View Full Version : 8mm Labell?

February 27, 2000, 10:57 PM
Saturday afternoon, a fellow came into the shop looking for 8mm Labell (sp?) ammo. He swears up and down that that's what's stamped on his rifle, which is over 100 years old (he says).

None of us there had heard of it. I can't find it in any of my reloading books.

Harley, Jim, do you have a clue about this rifle/cartridge? He's bringing the gun in on Tuesday; I'll get some more details then, like proof marks and chamber dimensions.

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

February 27, 2000, 11:54 PM
The 8mm Lebel was France's military cartridge from 1886 up until around 1929 when it was replaced by the 7.5mm Mas (rimless). Rifles in this caliber were in use up till WWII. It seems like somebody should still load ammo for this, but perhaps only in France.

[This message has been edited by Herodotus (edited February 27, 2000).]

Paul B.
February 28, 2000, 12:03 AM
I believe that the 8MM Lebel was also the first smokeless powder cartridge in the world. I understand it drove the germans nuts till they could get a hold of the formula.
Paul B.

February 28, 2000, 12:53 AM
It was the first smokeless cartridge to be adoptd by a major military power. Smokeless powder was invented in 1885 by another Frenchman, M. Vielle, a chemist at the French Government powder factory. It caused an arms race among all the world's militaries at the time. Unfortunately for the French, by being the first to invest in the new powder and new rifles, they wound up with the most primative of the lot when the Great War finally arrived. My information is from "The Book of Rifles" by W.H.B. and Joseph E. Smith (3rd. Ed. 1963).
I am not sure who Lebel actually was, perhaps the man in charge of inventing their 1886 rifle??

February 28, 2000, 01:14 AM
There are instructions for making the cases for this cartidge and a load in "The Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Conversions" by John J. Donnelly (1987).

Harley Nolden
February 28, 2000, 07:04 AM

FRENCH 8mm M1886 Cartridge:
Introduced: 1886
Other Names: 8mm Lebel
8X50 Lebel
Type: Rimmed,Necked, CF
Length: 2.95"
Wt: 426gr.
Powder: Nitrocellulose
Chg: 46.3gr
Primer: Berdan


Type: Solid Bronze, Pointed BT (Balle D)
Dia: . 323"
Wt: 197.6gr
Length: 1.542"


Length: 1.98"
Length Head to shoulder: 1.46"
Length of shoulder: .16"
Length of Neck: .36"
Dia at Rim: .634"
Base: .535"
Neck: .350"
to shoulder: .456"


Muzzle Velocity: 2380 f.s.
Pressure: 39000lb sq.in.
NOTE: The original M1886 ctg. was loaded W/232 gn flat nosed
bullets (Balle M)

The 8mm Lebel was the first small-bore smokeless powder military cartridge developed by any world power. The cartridge and the Lebel bolt-action rifle were both adopted in 1886. Its rimmed case was not well adapted to automatic arms, so it was replaced by the rimless 7.5mm round in 1936. Remington manufactured Lebel rifles and ammunition for the French government during WWI. When the war ended, all the surplus was sold commercially and Remington turned out sporting ammo with a 170-grn. bronze-pointed bullet.


[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited February 28, 2000).]

February 28, 2000, 07:49 AM
Great! Thanks for the info, guys.