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8mm Lebel Load Info

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mokin, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. mokin

    mokin Well-Known Member

    Has anybody out there reloaded for the 8mm Lebel? My brother picked one up (some time ago) and I'm sort of wondering if there are any special considerations when it comes to reloading this cartridge. This rifle is shootable so safety isn't a concern (beyond reason...) I don't plan on reloading full power loads.... This is just sort of an ego thing about reloading the first cartridge designed around smokeless powder. Plus it's really cool to see such an old rifle still shoot. Reloading obscure military cartridges is a hobby of mine....

    I'm wondering if there is any one set of dies that works better than others, or, dies that should be avoided no matter what and if there is a big difference in the Remington made rifles (like his) and those made overseas when it comes to ammo preferences. He's got a lot of brass, at least some of it is reloadable (resized .458s I think) and a lot of old Remington (in the green box, he doesn't shoot that anymore). Any thoughts?

    Any help will be appreciated.
  2. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    You will have a difficult time reloading the 8mm Lebel but it can be done. First of all the Lebel case is Berdan primed and you will have to but decapping equipment from RCBS along with the necessary 8mm Lebel loading dies. Next you will have to find the proper Berdan primers for your cases and the correct weight bullets. A lot of this information can be found if you check Goggle for "8mm Lebel reloading". I would suggest a call to both RCBS and Huntington Die Specialties asking if there ary any case forming dies using boxer primed cases(could be expensive) or hit the gunshows and the internet for surplus 8mm ammo. That might be your easiest and cheapest route to go. Caution, French surplus ammo is usually corrosive. Good luck! :)
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    P.S. Check Gunbroker for reloadable 8mm Lebel cases and surplus ammo. :)
  4. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    No help from me cause I never reloaded for one. I do, however, have an 8mm story for you.

    The 8mm Lebel was the first big bore rifle I was ever able to obtain in this long journey into being broke from guns and ammo. With it, I got some misurp ammo with which I could 'try 'er out'.

    Dad and I took her out to the lower field, set up a large rock about 100 yards away and sighted in on it. I was leaning up against a big tree when I pulled the trigger the first time. CLICK! I gently took the rifle down from my shoulder to about waist level when she fired off-BOOOOM!

    EVERY round did the same. Click-wait-wait-wait-BOOOOOOM. Quite accurate I must say cause you could pull the trigger and then take your time to get your sights aligned.

    OLD ammo with mercuric priming and cordite powder.

    Quite an introduction to rifle shooting!
  5. kcoop9999

    kcoop9999 New Member

    Cases for your Lebel can be formed from .348 Win, if you can find them and if you are willing to part with the cash. When I first started loading these rounds, we didn't have the internet rescources, so I called the folks an Sierra bullets and talked to one of their ballistics people. The satarting loads they suggested were to use low-end starting loads for the 8x57. That was many years ago, and I have since been able to find a really good article in my collection of Handloader Magazines. I'm currently in AZ and won't be home for a few weeks yet, but when i get home I'll look the article up and see if I can post a scan for you. :D p.s. I believe you may be able to purchase loaded ammo and components from OWS and Buffalo Arms.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  7. ChuckS1

    ChuckS1 Active Member

    My Dad brought 2 8mm Lebel carbines back from WWII. I'd love to take one out to shoot.
  8. mokin

    mokin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I was thinking we'd leave the milsurp/Berdan primed stuff alone. Very old brass and way to much work. Plus I don't know how often it could be safely used.

    Speaking of old brass, how old is too old? My brother has acquired quite a bit of once fired Remington "Kleen-Bore" cases, probably loaded in the 30's? He also has some of those .348 that are reloadable. It was seeing the Graf and Sons cases that got me thinking about loading ammo. With this information I don't think I;ll need to form my own cases. It looks like fun but again a lot of work and not really cost effective.

    I've also got some pages from an old Lee reloading manual that list different recipies so I think I've got somewhere to start loads. Any advise on dies?
  9. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

    8MM Lebel Rifle

    Years ago I had a brand new 8MM Lebel rifle made by our Remington company when WW1 started for the French but the French were overrun by the Germans before most of the Rifles were shipped.

    I fired with Brass made by a friend who has passed away and I sold the complete outfit dies and all. I used to live down the street from RCBS when they were in a WW2 quonset hut in my residential area of Oroville Ca.

    My pertinent question is who made your rifle and what is its condition before firing it??
  10. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Well-Known Member

    Try Old West Scrounger they have all kinds of reloadable ammo.
    Their prices might be a little stiff but when you have an odd ball rifle........
  11. mokin

    mokin Well-Known Member

    The rifle is my brothers so I don't have it in front of me but here are the details as well as I remember....

    It is a Berthier manufactured by Remington in 1916 or so. It has a 3 shot magazine capacity loaded with a Mannlichier clip. The rifle was slightly sporterized at some time in the past, and combined with lots of information of dubius accuracy out there, this makes positive identification difficult but it was probably a Carbine Mle 90.

    The rifle was inspected by a gunsmith who said it was safe to shoot but should probably be recrowned to improve accuracy. The bore looks good and it is unlikely it went overseas and was ever exposed to lots of corrosive ammo and /or trench warfare.

    We've shot the rifle quite a bit (as much as we could afford at $1.00/round) and found that it is very accurate. My brother and I have also had some the hangfire and dud experience with surplus ammo as described above.
  12. mleinmiller

    mleinmiller New Member

    New 8mm Lebel ammo is available

    My great uncle brought back a 1918 French Mannlicher Berthier M.1916 Carbine from WWI. The receiver was made by Établissement Continsouza, and the rifle was assembled by “MAC", Manufacture d'Armes de Châtellerault. It sat in my great uncle's garage for 30 years until he gave it to my father, who was 16 at the time. They strapped it to a picnic table, tied a string around the trigger and hid behind a tree the first time they fired it. Regrettably, when my father moved a few years ago, he pitched his old ammo out of fear that it might be dangerous. Based on reactions to my queries at gun shows, it was probably almost as valuable to collectors as the gun at this point.

    I have never fired this rifle, but took an interest in it about a year ago. I poked around a bit and found info on reloading, which I have never done, nor do I have the equipment. I got an email from a friend the other day saying that he had stumbled across 8mm Lebel ammo at MidwayUSA.com. I looked and they have 8mm Lebel reloading dies, shellholders and reamers as well as 8mm Lebel revolver ammo and 8mm Lebel rifle ammo (the two are completely different from one another). I ordered a box of twenty rifle bullets for $21.99, and it arrived today. It is produced by Prvi Partizan in Serbia and is 8x50mm "R" (Rimmed) Lebel 200 Grain Full Metal Jacket. I mentioned it to a gun store owner when I saw that he carried the same brand in other calibers. He told me that there are more of the old European military weapons in Eastern Europe and that it made sense that they would still make ammo. What is surprising is that a US retailer would stock it. He was also complimentary of Prvi Partizan, saying that a number of his competitive AR15 shooters prefer their ammo, finding it to be "more consistent."

    I hope that this is the right ammo; it certainly appears to be. I won't have access to the rifle for a couple more weeks. My hope is that MidwayUSA.com will continue to carry 8mm Lebel ammo, so let's make it worth their while.
  13. mleinmiller

    mleinmiller New Member

    Factory Fresh Prvi Partizan 8mm Lebel

    Just a follow-up to my post of about a year ago. We took the 8mm Lebel out to the range and had a blast with it. The little carbine shoots well. I can heartily recommend the Prvi Partizan ammo, and the brass is reloadable with boxer primers instead of the old Berdan primers. I have since found another online source for the Prvi Partizan ammo at the following site ($4 less than Midway USA): http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/index.php/cName/rifle-ammo-8-x-50r-lebel

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I have a set of dies and no longer have the rifle. Do you reload for it? PM me if interested.
  15. Dave Shankel

    Dave Shankel New Member

    I am a new member of THR and joined looking for help to fine a reasonable load for an 8 mm Lebel. I have a Remington with US made cases. Do you have Load information as I have searched the usual sources and cannot find information on primer, powder, bullet or other detailed specifications for reloading this cartridge. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Dave
  16. Dave Shankel

    Dave Shankel New Member

    Hi Paul, I have an 8 mm Lebel and was wondering if you have any reloading information for a good starting point on Remingtom brass? My brother reloads all my loads and we have the dies, just need information on suggested primers, powder and charge size and bullets. We can play with bullet length and other details to fine tune the load for percussion. Any help you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Dave
  17. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR, Dave Shankel.

    There is very little info available for the 8mm Lebel.
    The following information should best be used in Berthier rifles and carbines as they're a stronger action than the earlier 1886. I would reduce the loads 10% to start.


    Lee dies do provide Lebel data with their die sets.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

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