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WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

Article about: A warm welcome to all having just joined this site. I found it whilst looking for information on the rifle below and hoped you might be able to help. This is a french model 1886 Lebel rifle,

  1. #1

    Default WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    A warm welcome to all having just joined this site. I found it whilst looking for information on the rifle below and hoped you might be able to help.

    This is a french model 1886 Lebel rifle, serial AB 58441, passed on from someone who aquired it in France many years ago. Unfortunately the lightly engraved receiver markings havn't survived so I don't the definitive date of manufacture, although there is a faint indistinct "90?" on the barrel where this would also have been stamped. From lists of lebel serial numbers on another forum It would appear this dates to 1890, which would correlate with the faint date impression.

    As you can see it was somewhat the worse for wear, although it quickly cleaned up into something more presentable. Original furniture seems to be impossible to find (in comparison to SMLE's and the like), although maybe I can get some made to make it displayable. Any leads (UK) would be welcome!

    I've attached a few pictures of cleanup. There is no foresight or bayonet lug and i suspect the barrel has been shortened. It would appear the rear sight was removed and the rifle extensively stripped before it made it into the ground. Due to shortages in WW1 the french actively stripped spares from battle damaged rifles. Given its bent barrel and damaged receiver i suspect this was the case for this rifle. The barrel has not been "N" stamped, indicating it never underwent the postwar modifications for new ammunition. Likewise there is no sign of the "M93" indicating the 1893 revisions. Either it postdates this date and the lightly engraved marking has been lost, or it predates this and was never stamped/converted. I say this as pre-93 modified rifles appear to have quite prominent stampings that I assume would have left some impression, given that the lighter serial stamping is still legible. the barrel also has a single "C" within a rectangle and there is an "R" under the stock tang.

    Regards to all,

    Rob

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  2. #2
    mpw
    mpw is online now
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    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Welcome to the forum. That is an interesting project you have there. I have seen relic bits such as bolt etc from time to time on Ebay. I am currently trying to restore a relic of the much more common K98 and found just by a google search for K98 parts threw up lots of good leads. I wish you good luck and look forward to seeing any progress.

    Mark.

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Welcome to our forum family. Great looking project indeed!


    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Nice solid relic you have there. It will look amazing when you have found some furniture and possible got a relic/ semi relic bayonet to go with it? Sorry, I dont know where to get furniture but will keep my eyes open.

    Cheers.

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Thankyou all for your kind words. Yes, it is nicely solid and has only needed fine wire wool to remove the surface rust. The metal rings nicely when tapped with a coin. I expect this will be a long term project.

    Regards to all,

    Rob

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Thank you for posting it.
    I also have a few of this.
    chris

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW1 relic 1886 Lebel rifle.

    Thats the one that was on ebay, I was going to put a bid on it but decided not to. It looks pretty good, I had a quick look for wood but couldnt find any (which is why I didnt bid in the end).

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