GENERALLY: During this timeframe, the Greeks were close allys of the French, who were particularly interested (with the British) in controlling any possible imperialistic expansion by the Ottoman Empire. Thus the Greeks relied on arms of British and French design. They tried to purchase Gras rifles from France, but the French were overwhelmed trying to built enough Mle 1874 French Gras rifles to re-arm themselves after the disastorous Franco-Prussian war with Germany, and were unable to supply any to Greece. Thus, the Greeks placed and order with Steyr, who built Gras rifles specifically for Greece. A correspondant from Chile has one of these guns which was used by Chile in the "Guerra del Pacífico", the war between Chile, Peru and Bolivia (1879-1883).
A number of Carbines and Musquetoons were also built by Styer for the Greeks. The Musquetoons are nearly identical but slightly shorter and the carbines are likewise about identical to the French Gras cavelry carbines, but with brass buttplate and barrel bands and turned down bolt handle.
PHOTO: The photo above is of a M1874 Greek Gras infantry rifle built by Styer during 1877.
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: Very closely similar to the French Mle 1874 Gras, except that the left receiver flat is marked with Styer proofs and the left buttstock carries a Greek cartouche. Identically to the French Gras, the Greek rifle is chambered for the French Mle 1874 Gras cartridge.
Additional Reference: http://www.stc.net/~randyric/rgras.htm
The "Y=1874" above is the Greek Model designation, although the entire
contract was built for Greece
by Styer in 1877.
Page initially built: February 20, 2000
Updated (finally) August 3, 2003