Non-fitting 8x50R


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knirirr
May 5, 2012, 06:14 AM
I've got a French 1886/M93 rifle (Lebel) which I have not been able to load due to a shortage of ammunition. A couple of days ago I obtained some wooden training rounds and de-activated rounds for display and thought I would try the former out in the gun. Although the training rounds fit perfectly in the magazine and the action works as expected, they will not load into the breech and the bolt cannot be fully closed. I also checked with one of the de-activated rounds so it's not the wooden ones that are at fault - the breech seems to be too narrow.

I wonder if the film company who previously owned it had made some alteration so that more easily obtainable blank ammunition could be fired - the rifle is proofed only for blanks at present. Could that be it, or would there be some other reason for this problem?

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Vaarok
May 5, 2012, 09:04 AM
Could be Balle N versus Balle D, if the rifle was not modified for the wider throat it would not serve.

If the chamber seems noticeably too narrow, it might be sleeved for .30-06 blanks, which were commonly used by movie prophouses.

303tom
May 5, 2012, 09:54 AM
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures,

knirirr
May 5, 2012, 10:05 AM
Here's a picture of the cartridges which don't fit:

http://i537.photobucket.com/albums/ff337/knirirr/IMG_20120503_152811.jpg

A line can be seen around the rightmost wooden one which I think indicates about how far in they go. I can't manage to get a decent picture of the breech.

@Vaarok: The bolt won't even go in far enough to turn down and lock, so if putting in a sleeve for .30-06 blanks is commonly done then that may be what's happened here. That's a bit of a pain if so, as I was hoping to get it re-proofed with a more lightly-loaded 8mm so I could shoot with it locally. Hopefully it will still be usable for re-enactment.

NCsmitty
May 5, 2012, 12:05 PM
You may need to make a chamber cast to get the dimensions of the correct ammo requirements.
Here's a link to chamber casting material. Not sure of it's availability in England.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/462291/cerrosafe-chamber-casting-alloy-1-2-lb


NCsmitty

knirirr
May 5, 2012, 12:09 PM
Thanks - I'll consult with the local gunsmith to see if I can get some of that stuff.

knirirr
May 29, 2012, 05:18 PM
I'm still waiting to get hold of some chamber casting material. Meanwhile, I have managed to obtain this screenshot from the film in which my rifle was used. This is clearly not the original cartridge for which this weapon was designed:

http://i537.photobucket.com/albums/ff337/knirirr/dodgy_round.png

AethelstanAegen
May 29, 2012, 09:13 PM
Out of curiosity, what movie is that? I hope you find a way to shoot it again!

303tom
May 29, 2012, 11:20 PM
I'm still waiting to get hold of some chamber casting material. Meanwhile, I have managed to obtain this screenshot from the film in which my rifle was used. This is clearly not the original cartridge for which this weapon was designed:

http://i537.photobucket.com/albums/ff337/knirirr/dodgy_round.png
I sorry but that is a picture of a 8x56R, maybe that is why the 8mm Lebel don`t fit...........

Scimmia
May 30, 2012, 12:02 AM
I sorry but that is a picture of a 8x56R, maybe that is why the 8mm Lebel don`t fit...........

You sure? The shoulder looks too steep to be 8x56R.

AethelstanAegen
May 30, 2012, 12:31 AM
You sure? The shoulder looks too steep to be 8x56R.

+1 I don't see anything about that cartridge that screams 8x56R. Maybe it's just the angle but the shoulder does look too steep for 8x56R (when compared to one of the Bulgarian rounds I have here).

knirirr
May 30, 2012, 03:45 AM
Out of curiosity, what movie is that? I hope you find a way to shoot it again!
It's the Van Damme film "Legionnaire", which seems to be a re-make of "March or Die". I did in fact find it more enjoyable than the earlier film.

knirirr
May 30, 2012, 03:50 AM
+1 I don't see anything about that cartridge that screams 8x56R. Maybe it's just the angle but the shoulder does look too steep for 8x56R (when compared to one of the Bulgarian rounds I have here).

I agree; I've never handled an 8x56R round but the pictures of them look different to me.
By the way, 7.62x54R cartridges go into the breech but seem very slightly too small and don't engage with the extractor. I am presumably going to be looking for something a little larger than that for which blanks were easily obtainable 10-15 years ago, for the only reason I can see for this change was to make the ammunition supply for the film easier and/or cheaper.

Of course, to actually fire live will involve reversing whatever modification has been made and then re-proofing with the original ammunition.

303tom
May 30, 2012, 10:23 AM
Then it is a 8x52R..........Because it is not a 8mm Lebel.

.30-40 Krag, .30-06, 8x50R Lebel, 7.5x55 Swiss, 7.5x54 French, 7x57 Mauser, 7.65x53 Belgian Mauser, 8x50R Mannlicher, 8x52R Siamese Mauser, 8x58R Krag-Jorgensen

RPRNY
May 30, 2012, 11:14 AM
Any chance we could see some detailed pics of the rifle. That is not a lebel in the chamber from the movie shot. It's hard to tell what it is although 303 does give you a great cast of likely characters. Pictures of the rifle and the chamber itself might allow us to identify. I would have thought that it very likely that a film company might use Mausers of some description. You don't suppose they had a stunt double for your rifle?

knirirr
May 30, 2012, 11:27 AM
That is not a lebel in the chamber from the movie shot.

I disagree; note the magazine cutoff lever, for example. Here are some more images, as I don't have the facility to take more screenshots right now:

http://image.toutlecine.com/photos/l/e/g/legionnaire-06-g.jpg
http://weaponsman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/500px-L-LebelVanDammeFireFortFightA.jpg

N.B. there was a sizeable supply from this source, and a few other re-enactors I know have purchased them. They're in variable states of repair, some essentially non functioning, with very worn bores.

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