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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

French carbine


emlyn

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Hello all,

I am just starting to collect french ww1 equipment, and wonderd if anyone can provide more information on this carbine, on the caption it says 'french 1907-1915 Berthier carbine, in 8mm lebel caliber' what i want to know is were they ever used by the french army in ww1 on the western front, any information will be welcomed, andlook forward to hearing from all of you

Emlyn

post-12260-1154084014.jpg

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First of all, I am not really an expert in unusual firearms like this one.

This "carbine" is undoubtly from the 07/15 Berthier family, but not a issue pattern. I think it is a rifle that had been shortened and added a frontside, which looks rather like the German 88 Mauser carbine.

That makes me wonder if it is not part of captured arms that were issued to Territorial units in Germany.

A good database of French armament is there (in French) :

http://armesfrancaises.free.fr/sommaire.html

Eric

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Thank you for your replies they have proved most helpful, from what i can tell it dose appear to be modified

Thanks

Emlyn

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Although I am not a specialist in Fench arms, that does appear to be a non standard carbine. The Model 1892/16 carbine and the subsequent 1927 modification both had about four inches of barrel extending from the fore end. Also, most artillery and cavalry carbines were modified with the five round extended magazine.

It does not match the cavalry carbine either and I agree that the fore sight and nose cap do look like a Model 88 Mauser carbine. Perhaps the suggestion of a captured weapon may be right. Are there any stamps or cartouches in the woodwork, as most German re-works of captured weapons were marked?

Although the Germans must have captured millions of rounds of 8mm Lebel ammunition, the still manufactured it themselves. I have 8mm Lebel and Russian 7.62 x 54mm both maunufactured by Polte in 1917.

Regards

TonyE

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I think that i know what this is now :) after the first world war the french sold off some of their arms, the berthier 07/15 rifles being one type of rifle sold, it appears that the turks recived shipments of these rifles which they then slightly modified, by cutting them down and adding forsight 'ears' to the rifle and this is the end result ( or not, correct me if iam wrong here)

Emlyn

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It looks like what you have is a Turkish Forestry carbine. Following the war, France sold a number of Berthiers to Turkey, in three shot configuration, with the full stock. I'm not sure if these were sold that way by France, or more probably, modified by the Turks. The Turks were masters of highly modifying foreign arms to suit their purposes, if you want to see something weird take a look at the Turkish Lee Enfield-Mauser cross :blink: The Turkish Forestry officials (game wardens) were issued the Berthiers as their service rifle. These are relatively common here in the US.

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What a fascinating site!

Just as a follow-up on the Cavalry Carbine. Here is a site that displays a photo of an original unaltered carbine. Very rare in their original condition as most were reworked.

http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/rifles/armfrc.htm

Best Regards, Mike

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I've always wondered which was the weapon described as the French Cavalry's 'ridiculous little popgun' (Terraine, <i>Mons</i>).

I had actually considered owning, as a sporting shooter, a collection of 'ridiculous little popguns' of all kinds. Masochistic, yes, but they would have been fun to write articles about!

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Evidently Terraine never fired one of those "ridiculous little popguns." Berthier carbines are notorious for their brutal recoil, as they fired the same cartridge as the much heavier full-length rifle. Take it from me, mine will rattle the fillings right out of your teeth!

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(Laughs) I see your point! (And it certainly wouldn't help the cavalryman trying to deliver accurate gunfire).

More loosely on the topic of carbines, I wonder why the Brits didn't resurrect the 1890s Lee-Enfield cavalry carbine for the Far East theatre in WW2 instead of wasting resources developing what some people regard as an absolute abortus of a rifle in the #5. Surely it wouldn't have been that much effort to tack a flip-flop aperture backsight onto the charger guide (a la some marks of the No.4), and to enlarge the magazine for the full ten shots? (Hey, even the Mark 2 round the original was chambered for would have been all right in the jungle!)

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To be fair, I believe Terraine was quoting someone else from the period. Perhaps it was Home, who was a British cavalry officer. In any event, whatever the appearances of the carbine, it was effective in the hands of the highly trained French cavalry. As I have said before, people who made such comments had never been on the receiving end of massed carbine fire.

Robert

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