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Bullet Identification


outsidehalf
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Hello,

I am new to this site as I am trying to identify two bullets, or the weapons they were likely to have been fired from. They were removed from my Grandfather sometime during WW1 having been wounded in action, thankfully he survived his injuries. I know little about when or where he sustained his injuries only that he served as a Private with "C" Company of the 5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and left his home town of Melton Mowbray on 8th August 1914 to go off to war. He would have been aged 26 at the time.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

I have attached a couple of photo's of the bullets in question.post-120053-0-04634100-1422902088_thumb. post-120053-0-01227000-1422902089_thumb.

If anyone knows where the Leicestershires would likely have been posted soon after that time, that would also be appreciated.

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The shorter bullet appears to be a standard German 7.92 spitzergeschoss rifle bullet.

The longer bullet appears to be the heavier German 7.92 schweres spitzergeschoss, made for and usually used in machine guns

Can't help with the regimental query, try the 'soldiers' forum giving as much detail as you can.

Regards

H

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Longer one is I believe a French 8 mm Lebel round

TT

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Longer one is I believe a French 8 mm Lebel round

TT

Don't think so, it doesn't appear to be pointed enough.

Outsidehalf, could you please post a picture of the bottom of the longer bullet please. A French Lebel bullet is made of solid bronze and the German bullet is a lead cored jacket. Whilst they do look very similar, a picture of the base would clinch the issue.

A Lebel bullet would have a flat base with a letter stamped on it denoting place of manufacture. A German bullet would be recessed with the lead core being visible.

Without a view of the base , identification will evidently be disputed

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Looks like the smaller one is the German 7.92 calibre S patrone, while the larger boat tail is French 8mm Balle D.

The dimensions match relative to the accompanying scale shown. They are certainly NOT the same calibre bullet.

Cheers, S>S

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If the OP's granddad had it dug out of him, one assumes that it is far more likely to be sch.spitzer than balle D ! A photo of the base might help, balle D being solid, the Mausers being jacketed.

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Thank you all for your responses so farpost-120053-0-98378300-1422952028_thumb., identification is clearly not as straightforward as I had imagined! Slightly confused as to why possibly a French bullet was removed from my Grandfather, were the French shooting at us also?! As requested by Radlad, I have attached a photo of the base of the longer bullet.

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German unit MG inventories often include captured weapons, including French. Was the Balle D used with the Hotchkiss, Chauchat or other French automatic weapon?

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If the OP's granddad had it dug out of him, one assumes that it is far more likely to be sch.spitzer than balle D !

Never wise to assume anything ... better to work with what is known and add things up from there. 'Stories' from the war sometimes tend to get mixed up over time ...

Yes, bullet is apparently unfired, so hard to imagine it ending up somewhere it needed digging out of.! The bullet shape says Balle D, so does the bronze, & the base.

Cheers, S>S

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German unit MG inventories often include captured weapons, including French. Was the Balle D used with the Hotchkiss, Chauchat or other French automatic weapon?

Good point.

When when we read something we naturally think of the logical thing and it must have been a 'fired' French bullet and it must have been a French soldier who fired it at 'Grandad'. We jump to a conclusion.

The Germans did use captured hardware such as rifles and machine guns even great big British tanks.

There are always puzzles

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Martin,

That's been a point of arguement for sometime. Having found 8mm Lebel in an archaeological secure context in a German trench this was a hypothisis I put forwards especially as the French were never within 8 Miles of that location. I know of the re-use of larger hardwear MG and above but I have no evidence for the use of Small Arms.

Anyone who does have I would really appreciate it as this is one of the examples in my PhD.

Rod

P.S. The standard German 7.92mm is definately a candidate for the injury to Outsidehalf's Grandfather but I'm afraid that the french Lebel bullet is most likely a souvenier only.

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The Germans did use captured hardware such as rifles and machine guns even great big British tanks.

Hotchkiss for sure, however I cannot believe that anyone in their right mode would want a Chauchat.

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BH,

Me neither. But it does leave me in somewhat of a quandry as to why several chargers of Lebel were in a CQMS' store in a German trench firmly dated to 1916 and in a sealed context that was indisputable.

It may be just one of those EOD things that has no answer except 'Sh*t happens'.

Rod

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Hi Rod, you may happen to find THIS old thread of some interest. The first page or two at least ... before it runs off into a raging argument about Lewis guns, etc.! :thumbsup:

Cheers, S>S

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Just slightly off topic - still about Bullets though.

A few years ago I took this photo of a display in a small WW1 museum at Notre Dame De Lorette. Mostly French items.

I just wondered what type they were and how it came about.

post-103138-0-35084900-1422972902_thumb.

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Hotchkiss for sure, however I cannot believe that anyone in their right mode would want a Chauchat.

From post #10 (by forum pal Bob Lembke) on the old thread referenced at post #19 by Shippingsteel:

"My father's flame company at Verdun carried the Chauchat LMG, which in the original French ammunition was not quite as bad as the popular conception, instead of the few German MG 08/15 that the army allowed them. They were lighter, and if you took a position you usually could find ammunition and even magazines for the weapon, if you had to hold it for a while."

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S>S,

Thanks mate, it still feels odd that Tony's not around and seeing his wisdom there again, well... He kindly kept me motivated on a tour once for 6 months by sending regular stuff on our joint passions that allowed me to use my brain for something interesting!

Martin,

That looks like an interesting ammunition accident! With a good senario I would love to give that to some of my compatriates as an exercise! However It does look like two 8mm Lebel again. I wonder how they arrived in that position, as it does not look like a deliberate trench art item.

Rod

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I've done quite a bit of work with the Melton Times, casualty lists and what have you, what was his name and number?

Regards.

Llew.

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No mention in the paper or 1/5th Battalion diary I'm afraid, the medal roll confirms that he was with the 1/5th throughout the war, his original 4 digit number 2317 would suggest that he enlisted on the 31st August 1914, was he Melton born & bred?

Regards.

Llew.

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