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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Also in JPS's Forum)

Hello Gents!

Here are some photos of the latest acquisition. Been looking for one of these for quite a while. It's the bayonet, not the rifle, though the rifle is still in the original grease it was imported in..., say back in the 50s or early 60s? Notice how the blade is bent slightly downward away from the line of fire.

Bayonet is in near perfect condition with 98% of original black paint on scabbard. The rifle is pretty neat also. It is an 88/05 that has not been altered or reworked since the 05 change. Not sure of its origins. It is jam-packed full of cosmoline and I can't bring myself to clean that out. All the German stock stamps are as new. Not sure what to make of the reddish receiver and black colored barrel cover though?

Thanks for looking!

- Best regards! Mike​
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi George -

Thank you. It was a nice find. Unfortunately no German marks on the pommel. Will be glad to take some more photos of the ring and the modification. If you'd like I can place it with an "Irish" conversion for comparison.

- Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will try to get those pics tomorrow. Interesting on the spring. I tried this on two '88/05s. One that was Turk marked it would not quite lock up tight. On the one that was not Turk marked (in the above photos) it easily locks up tight. Neither band bar appears to altered. ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was lucky, it was a sleeper, and no one was really paying attention at the time I suppose. I have tried to find one of these for years also. Getting it was a pleasant surprise for me. I have also tried to find a ersatz Chassepot with no luck at all. Some day!
That is a nice one George. I'll get some more photos to compare. I think there was a bit of 'fitting' with the upper band/bayonet bar regarding these ersatz bayonets.

Don't give up on the '66. Here is a photo of two ersatz pieces (one Chassepot) that I found locally. Both misidentified.
 

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I have a question about the EB 118 designation, does it cover all Gras modded for the Gew88? Mike's has the press stud extension, and George's does not. Mine is even further different, with a ground muzzle ring and the press stud latch shortened in the slot. Are these all 118?

 

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I picked up one of these sans scabbard a while back at a show. It is made by Steyr for Greece (I think) but the muzzle ring, instead of having a screw holding 2 halves together, is one solid piece like most newer bayonets. Was this modified by someone? Turkey? Other than that it looks like Mike's (though with the blade more brown than shiny).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Irish Used Vs. German Used Mle 1874 Gras Conversions for the Gew. 88

Here you go folks, as per George's interest here is a side by side of the two. Note in the overall image how the blade on the German used blade is bent away fromt the line of fire. IMHO these are both Great War bayonets, as the hope for the Irish supplied arms was that a revolt would draw troops and attention from the Front Lines.

- Best regards! Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a question about the EB 118 designation, does it cover all Gras modded for the Gew88? Mike's has the press stud extension, and George's does not. Mine is even further different, with a ground muzzle ring and the press stud latch shortened in the slot. Are these all 118?

As per Carter's notation, N White, your bayonet is an EB116 and George's is an EB117. He indicates both are rarer than the EB118, so they are Great Finds!

- Mike
 

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What's the Irish connection? I've never heard of the Germans supplying Gew 88s to the Irish. Were they possibly supplied with the IG 71s (aka "Howth Mausers") supplied prior to World War I? Or were there Gew 88s mixed in with the "Irish Mannlichers" purchased by the UVF (also pre-WWI)? AFAIK, the only attempt by the Germans to supply Ireland with weapons was the ill-fated Aud expedition. The weapons provided were captured Mosin Nagants, most of which ended up at the bottom of Galway Bay.

-Devo
 

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I have a question about the EB 118 designation, does it cover all Gras modded for the Gew88? Mike's has the press stud extension, and George's does not. Mine is even further different, with a ground muzzle ring and the press stud latch shortened in the slot. Are these all 118?

Nick, I still like that erastz Gras of yours! Good to see a photo of it again. What is surprising is all the different varieties. Mike's two, yours and mine, and all four differently executed. Like Mike's German use example, mine also has a blade that slightly bends towards the quillion.
 

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I went and looked at mine again, no bend, dead straight. Even laid it spine down on a table. Flat level. I suppose it has to do with the different modification not requiring a bend. Now I need to get a Gew88 to try it on. Someday...

TP- thanks for the link to the books. The missing Vol III covers ersatz, correct? Figures, as that's what I am most interested in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What's the Irish connection? I've never heard of the Germans supplying Gew 88s to the Irish. Were they possibly supplied with the IG 71s (aka "Howth Mausers") supplied prior to World War I? Or were there Gew 88s mixed in with the "Irish Mannlichers" purchased by the UVF (also pre-WWI)? AFAIK, the only attempt by the Germans to supply Ireland with weapons was the ill-fated Aud expedition. The weapons provided were captured Mosin Nagants, most of which ended up at the bottom of Galway Bay.

-Devo
Hi Devo -

You are correct in that they were not supplied (as far as anyone knows) directly by the German government, but being shipped from German suppliers three months before the beginning of the hostilities, perhaps I may be allowed a bit of latitude. They certainly played a part in the troubles of the ensuing years. I have the book written in the early '30s by Major Fred Crawford, the mastermind of the SS Clydevalley incident. He was also in the British Artillery and used his contacts in Germany to set the deal up. I'll have to dig it out, as he goes into great detail about the operation.

However, the Kaiser, who was eager to make trouble for Britain, approved the sale. The gun-running was planned secretly and scrupulously. The operation was code-named "Lion".

Another interesting chapter, which you may know of, was the attempt by German liaisons to form an Irish Regiment in the German Army. It didn't work out very well, mostly because the unruly nature of the Irish recruits was not in line with the Prussian concept of order.

For the Irish Gras Bayonets, here is a bit more information.
http://www.irishbayonets.com/gras_conversion.html

- Best Regards! Mike
 
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