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Dr. Marneaus 12-31-2011 04:56 AM

This was delivered by my girlfriends Father, who has a collection of several Lebels (among other things).

Its a Lebel Mle1886/M93. Apparently built in 1917.

This specific rifle is from the Verdun area, which is where he grew up as a kid.

Before he brought it to me, I didn't really know much about them, but apparently the Lebel was a pretty historically significant firearm, pretty technologically advanced.

My one question is this: How do the pointed projectiles work in the tubular magazine? I have read that the casings had something to prevent the point from hitting the primer and setting off all 8 shots in the magazine, but how does that work? The cartridges we have are modern Prvi Partisan factory loads, but they look like standard ammo to me. I'm worried to load anything into the tube magazine and fire it. How does this work?

Regardless, here's some pics.

Trez 12-31-2011 05:22 AM

That is sweet! I want one!!
Thanks, just what I need, another old rare gun to add to the list :(:p

Trez 12-31-2011 05:31 AM

Found this...
No rifle safety existed on the Lebel. The Mle 1886 rifle had a 10-round capacity (eight in the forend tube magazine, one in the transporter, and one in the chamber). The Lebel rifle features a magazine cutoff on the right side of the receiver. When activated it prevents feeding cartridges from the magazine.

In order to avoid accidental ignition of sharply pointed Balle D ammunition inside the Lebel's tubular magazine, a circular groove was formed on each case head, around the primer pocket, in order to receive the bullet tip of the cartridge that followed. The spring-loaded follower inside the tube magazine was also redesigned in 1898 to accommodate the new Balle D bullets. Lastly the Berdan primer itself on each Balle D round was protected against accidental percussion by a thick, convex primer cover that was also crimped in after 1912 (Balle D "a.m.", for amorcage modifie (modified primer)). This disposition provided in effect a double primer cup.[4] Because of this standard double primer cup protection, French military issue "Balle D" and "Balle N" ammunitions are safe inside a Lebel's tube magazine. Statements to the contrary are not based on factual evidence but rather on undocumented assumptions. However, modern commercially produced ammunition, such as Remington 8mm Lebel ammunition or pointed (spitzer) bullet reloads made with commercial Lebel brass ( Prvi Partizan ) or reformed .348 Winchester brass, may create a risk of accidental firing inside the tube magazine. Consequently, when using non-military ammunition, flat-nose bullets are much preferable, though they affect the rifle's long-range ballistic performance.

The last type of Lebel military issue ammunition to be introduced was the Cartouche Mle 1932N, using a steel and cupro-nickel jacketed spitzer boat-tailed bullet which was only suitable for Lebel and Berthier rifles marked "N" on top of the receiver and barrel. Manufacture of this ammunition, originally designed to increase the range of the Hotchkiss machine gun, ceased in France during the late 1960s.

unclebear 12-31-2011 04:27 PM

that is one awesome gun! Me personally I've always been a fan of the straight triggers, this might sound like blasphemy but if you can't find a the ammo with the special "groove" cut into it you might be able to replace the cap inside of the mag, there are modern lever action rifles that use pointed bullets but the way the mag can is it off sets the bullets tips to make them safe inside the tube.

I wouldn't do that I would just shoot one round at a time but it's an option if you really want to have a it all fully loaded instead of shooting one round at a time.

Rex in OTZ 01-01-2012 01:36 AM

same 8mm round diffrent bases.
3 Attachment(s)
French 8mm Lebel round had been around for awhile in chamberd several diffrent model rifle's, poking in boxes of old Lebel ammo you will notice some rounds haveing a wierd ring on the face the base, supposedly to accodate the tip the bullet behind it.

Dr. Marneaus 01-01-2012 01:43 AM

Yup that's what I read about...but the.modern ammo doesn't ha e that feature so we just fired it single shot.

It shot great! Very soft in the recoil department and prettying dern accurate. Ill post pics in a bit

Dr. Marneaus 01-01-2012 07:18 PM

It really does shoot well. We were hitting big stuff (pieces of doors and like parts of shelves and stuff) at 300 yards with no issues. Hitting 1-gallon water jugs at 100 off hand.

Dr. Marneaus 05-15-2012 02:22 AM

Turns out that I found some of his old surplus ammo that he thought he "lost" when bringing the rifle out with him.

The surplus ammo has the ring around the base, however, it looks like somebody ground flat all the tips of the projectiles. this would essentially make it so that the tip will not get stuck in the groove, and i'd feel very uneasy about shooting them out of the magazine. I have yet to fire any of this old ammo.

That being said, we also purchased some NEW ammo for it. Prvi Partisan makes some, kinda spendy though. 27 bucks for a box of 20 i think. The new ammo does NOT have the ring around the base, nor the "dobule walled" type primer. This ammo is NOT safe to use in the tubular magazine, so we were simply firing it one shot at a time.

The thing shoots great. I'd like to shoot it some more but its a little expensive!

Durangokid 05-15-2012 03:22 AM

The parent of the 8MM Lebel was the 11 MM Gras Black Powder round. The 11 MM Fusil M80 Mdl. of 1874 was a bolt action. Many fired 11 MM Gras rounds were found on the Custer Battle Field. The NDNs had brought these most modern rifles with them from Canada.:)

303tom 05-15-2012 01:48 PM

That is a nice looking old rifle.................

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