Lebel Model 1886 Rifle

The Lebel Model 1886 rifle (French: Fusil Modèle 1886 dit "Fusil Lebel") is also known as the "Fusil Mle 1886 M93", after a bolt modification was added in 1893. It is an 8mm bolt action infantry rifle which entered service in the French Army in April 1887. It is a repeating rifle that can hold eight rounds in its forestock tube magazine plus one round in the transporter. The Lebel rifle had the distinction of being the first military firearm to use smokeless powder ammunition. The new gunpowder, "Poudre B", was nitrocellulose-based and had been invented in 1884 by French chemist Paul Vieille. . Lt. Colonel Nicolas Lebel contributed the flat nosed 8mm full metal jacket bullet called ("Balle M", or "Balle Lebel"). Lt. Colonel Lebel had been inspired by the first full metal jacket rifle bullets invented in 1881 by a Lt. Colonel Eduard Rubin (Swiss Army). Somewhat later, in 1898, a ballistically superior pointed (spitzer) AND boat-tail bullet was adopted for the Lebel rifle. It was made of solid brass and called "Balle D". Featuring an oversized bolt with front locking lugs and a massive receiver, the Lebel rifle was a durable design capable of effective long range performance . In spite of obsolete features, such as its tube magazine and the sharply tapered case of 8mm Lebel ammunition, the Lebel rifle remained the basic weapon of French infantry during World War I (1914–18). Altogether 2,880,000 Lebel rifles were produced by the three French State manufactures, between 1887 and 1920.

Read more about Lebel Model 1886 RifleOperation, Features, and Accessories, Origins and Development, Competitors and Successors, The 8mm Lebel Cartridge, The M1886 in Service, Military Users

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