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A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

Article about: They are still in untouched original condition and never rearsenaled. both have all completely matching numbers except for the numbers on the original " clearing" (not cleaning rod

  1. #1
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    Default A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    They are still in untouched original condition and never rearsenaled. both have all completely matching numbers except for the numbers on the original " clearing" (not cleaning rod), on the carbine don't match. A US veteran had carved U.S.N on one side and there is a skull and cross bones carved on the other side either via the vet or by the original owner who carried it. Lot of these little carbines were issued to Colonial troops. I paid $150 for the carbine and $200 for the Lebel. Bought them from two different sellers and hour apart, According to the serial numbers, the carbine was manufactored in1897 and the Lebel in 1889. Both have excellent bores.

    Apparently the Lebel was a WWI German capture as the bayonet lug had been ground off so a bayonet adapter for the German bayonet could slide over the barrel. See the photo of what one looked like. Apparently why the Lebel was never arsenal refurbed liike most were through the years.

    Here's some photos of the Lebel rifle and what the bayonet adapter looked like. Ray

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    It looks like the Vet or his family when they sold the carbine elimated his name by beating it out. The "N" that still shows looks just like the "N" in the USN. Ray

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    I found a Carbine bayonet at a small military the next day. Two seperate shows that weekend.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

    Default Re: A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    Very nice rifles!!! Thanks for showing.

    Regards

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    As long as I'm showing French rifles, here is a Berthier rifle I got last fall for $40. It was one of a small run that was made with night sights. The two round indentations on each side of the rear sight and the one below the front sight was filled with phosphorus. It helped see the sights in the dark. Ray


    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: A French Lebel rifle and a Berthier Carbine recent gun show finds

    nice finds, you need a bayo for the label. i have the same rifles too.
    andrew

  7. #7

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    I just watched an old B&W movie called "Beau Geste" starring Gary Cooper and noticed the rifles they were using appeared to be the M1907 / 15 Berthier rifle, but they were using the M1886 Lebel "Epee" bayonet, were the bayonets modified to fit the Berthier?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

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    No, the same 'knitting needle' bayo fits both long infantry rifles-only the Berthier carbine uses the long knife blade bayo-the Legion never used the Berthier rifle only the Lebel, even after the French army adopted it as standard after WW1.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Nice find, Lebels are getting hard to find these days especially all matching ones.

  10. #10

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    A nice pair of rifles to find. Well done! Its nice to see the bayonet with the quillion still intact too.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

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