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Old December 26, 2019, 06:23 AM   #1
BHBXRAY
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R35 M93 8mm Lebel carbine

I have a French 8mm Lebel that has R35 and M93 stamped on it. It is obviously an arms room weapon by the numbers on the stock. It’s in good shape. Any information including value would be helpful.

Thanks
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Old December 26, 2019, 11:28 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Google, man, google.
M93 = 1893 "bolt modification" upgrade of 1886 Lebel
R35 = Lebel rifle shortened to carbine length in and after 1935.

One source says mostly for issue to cavalry in North Africa.
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Old December 26, 2019, 05:04 PM   #3
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I have googled.

I have googled and knew what you posted. I don’t know why mine is black and every other one I’ve seen online is wooden brown. I have seen them sell for between $800 and $1200, but I don’t know what makes them worth what. The $1200 was in bad shape.

Thanks for responding though. That is a step for me...
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Old December 26, 2019, 06:22 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Lots of foreign military weapons are finished or refinished in what Grandpa called "stove enamel". Maybe yours was, too.
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Old December 26, 2019, 07:03 PM   #5
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Linseed oil turns black as it ages, giving a lot of old rifles a very dark look. They can usually be lightened up a bit using Scott's Liquid Gold or Johnson's Paste Wax to remove the ground in crud and 100 year old oil.

The reason the 1886 Lebel rifle costs so much is rarity. Lots of them were captured when France surrendered to the Germans in 1940. After WW1, many were sent to backwater troops standing watch over France's former colonies (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc). Most were old and tired and mothballed when the Germans captured them and many were in severe duty situations for another few years after theat. So, price is not necessarily an indicator of good design nor of desirability, but in many cases simply rarity. I have an old 1895/05 Berthier (served with the French army concurrently with the Lebel rifle), and I wouldn't give you a penny for the thing in a combat situation (except maybe as a club, it is heavy).

One bit of trivia- the Lebel rifle and its 8mm Lebel cartridge were the first rifle/cartridge designed for smokeless powder. Other than that, the rifle is not known for anything interesting other than being one of the most common rifles dug up in French farm fields over the past 100 years.
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Old December 26, 2019, 10:00 PM   #6
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Wow! Thank you for that. I don’t think I’ll try to clean it. The black looks like it fits this rifle. Interesting rifle for sure.
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Old December 27, 2019, 03:15 PM   #7
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Would it be possible to post pictures?
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Old December 27, 2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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Here are some images
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Old December 28, 2019, 04:47 PM   #9
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Supposedly during WW I French troops would try to get a Lebel instead of one of the far more common Betherier rifles. They felt that the Lebel had a better bolt and was more accurate.
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Old December 29, 2019, 03:45 PM   #10
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That stock does look authentically black. I've seen Springfield '03 parade guns with painted black stocks before. Perhaps yours was for ceremonial duty or was issued to guards of government higher-ups.
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Old December 29, 2019, 06:24 PM   #11
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That is a cool thought. I hadn’t seen anything like that anywhere. I wonder if there is a way to follow the serial numbers to get information like that.
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