Its was a large improvement from the previous Gras of 1874 with:
- A tubular magazine based on the German Kropatschek for 8 cartridges,
- smokeless powder charge (B then Nobel),
- smaller caliber, 8 mm instead of 11 mm, thus lighter cartridges (15 g instead of 25 g) for a range of more than 1 km,
But it was rather fragile.
It became outdated by the Mauser from 1898. The tubular magazine design was also limited and the Mannlicher box type in 1890 was adopted by all later rifles.