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Old March 7, 2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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8mm Lebel revolver reloading question(s),,,

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen:

I own a very fine specimen of 1892 French Lebel revolver.
It uses the 8mm Lebel cartridge.

I have 14 cartridges for it that were reloaded from 32-20 brass,,,
I believe the cartridges had to be cut down in length.

I have 6 "vintage" french cartridges for it.

I also have 50 new cartridges from Fiocchi that could be reloaded.

I have also been told that .32 S&W long will work in this revolver.

Here is what I would like to know:
1) Will the .32 S&W cartridges actually substitute for 8mm lebel cartridges?
2) Who makes a die set for the 8mm cartridges?
3) Where can I buy the dies to reload 8mm cartridges?
4) What bullet is suitable if I am able to reload the 8mm brass?
5) Will Unique or Bullseye powder be suitable for this cartridge?

I love this old revolver and would like to shoot it on a regular basis,,,
It has been looked at by two gunsmiths who told me the handgun is in very good and shootable condition.

I certainly don't want hi-power loads,,,
Just something to kill tin cans and terrorize paper with.

Any information you think would be needed or useful to a tyro reloader like myself will be greatly appreciated?

I thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge.
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Last edited by aarondhgraham; March 7, 2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old March 7, 2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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Location: Ohio
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The .32 Longs may fire in it if the rims don't fall in, but they will be loose in the chamber and the bullets will be loose in the bore. It will be very inaccurate and cause terrible lead fouling as a result. It may tend to leak pressure backward over the case in a low pressure load. Not a good plan, IMHO.

I believe the original brass is all Berdan primed, which means that unless you form the brass from something else, you will have the devil of a time getting primers for it. .32-20 brass looks like the best candidate to me. Its rim is about 0.006" thicker and 0.005" narrower than the Lebel revolver spec, but that will probably fit in many guns anyway. The brass would need to be shortened and the mouth widened a little, but it's all within the realm of reasonable effort. If you had to thin the rim, you could do that in a lathe by just taking it off the back surface, but it'll be a nuisance, so don't do it unless you have to.

RCBS has the dies available special order as part number 56917. It's listed on page 5 of their 2010 special order catalog, here.

I expect you'll be casting bullets for this one. Mountain Molds, among others, will let you design a custom mold. Bullseye and Unique will be fine, but lead bullets in this gun are just begging for Trail Boss. The CIP peak pressure rating is 1250 bar, which is just over 18,000 psi. Appropriate for those powders. You might consider using an inertial puller to pull the bullet from one of your loaded rounds to get weight and dimensions. Slug the bore and adjust your mold diameter to case 0.001"-0.002" over groove diameter when you do the design.
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Last edited by Unclenick; March 7, 2010 at 07:14 PM.
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Old April 2, 2011, 02:39 PM   #3
lonewolf 1964
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Join Date: March 23, 2011
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I got one as well just recently.
Hornady makes 8 mm die set as well shell holder.
I recomend that you buy Fiochi 8 mm brass, it is available.
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