French Firearms Information

The country that avoids war and the country that fights but has a hard time winning have been combined. The Swiss made some excellent firearms and the French made some unique and occaisonally inspiring ones.

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1886lebel
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French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:39 pm

Listing of some of the various French Rifles from 1874 and on ...

Gras Fusils, Carabines et Mousquetons

1. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1874 dit "Gras" (11x59Rmm)

2. Carabine de Cavalerie ou de Gendarmerie à Cheval Modèle 1874 (11x59Rmm)

3. Carabine de Gendarmerie à Pied Modèle 1874 (11x59Rmm)

4. Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle 1874 (11x59Rmm)

5. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1874 Modifié 1914 (8x50Rmm)

> In the 1880's an annular channel was cut into the receiver and just behind the chamber as well as a longitudinal groove in the event of a case head failure or primer rupture which was a common enough occurrence with ammunition from the 1870's. Weapons with this alteration are stamped M.80 on the left side of the receiver below the manufacturer’s name <

Other Fusils

1. Fusil de Marine Modèle 1878 dit "Kropatschek" (11x59Rmm)

2. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1884 (11x59Rmm)

3. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1885 (11x59Rmm)

Lebel Fusil et Mousquetons

1. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1886 dit "Lebel" (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on April 22,1887

2. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel" (8x50Rmm)

3. Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 Raccourci 1935 (8x50Rmm)

4. Mousqueton de Cavalerie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 Raccourci 1935 (8x50Rmm)

Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 Modifié 1927 (7.5x54mm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on January 12,1927

5. Fusil Service Automatique (FSA) Ribeyrolle,Sutter,Chauchat (R.S.C.) Modèle 1917 dit "Lebel Automatique" (8x50Rmm)

Berthier Fusils, Carabines et Mousquetons

1. Carabine de Cavalerie Modèle 1890 (8x50Rmm) ... There were two different types of these Carbines:

A. Carabine de Cavalerie Modèle 1890 1ème type (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on March 14,1890

B. Carabine de Cavalerie Modèle 1890 2ème type (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on March 25,1895

2. Carabine de Gendarmerie Modèle 1890 (8x50Rmm)

3. Carabine de Cuirassiers Modèle 1890 (8x50Rmm)

4. Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle 1892 (8x50Rmm)

5. Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle Modifié 1916 (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on November 11,1916

6. Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on May 22,1902

7. Fusil de Tirailleur Sénégalais "Colonial" Modèle 1907 (8x50Rmm) ...This weapon was officially adopted on June 19,1908

8. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915 (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on February 26,1915

9. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle Modifié 1916 (8x50Rmm) ... This weapon was officially adopted on November 11,1916

10. Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915 Modifié 1934 (7.5x54mm)

MAS Series ... (Manufacture d'Armes de Saint Etienne)

1. Fusil MAS 1936 (7.5x54mm) ... Serial number prefixes F, G, H, J, K, andL up to 45XX were all pre-war made. Kseries stopped in June 1940 at approxomately K 30,000, and the L series at L 3500. Both MAS and MF (ManuFrance) were making both series at the same time, and guns assembled at ManuFrance were all using K prefixes, so the guns assembled at MAS were in the L series, in May-June 1940.

In 1945, the French restarted where they left off in June of 1940 ... with K and the rest of the L series were manufactured in either 1945 or 1946. M, N, P,and Q were finished off by 1950. They then went to block letters: FG, FH, and FJ and so on until 1957

2. Fusil MAS 1936 Crosse Repliable 1939 (7.5x54mm) ... These were a conversion of the Fusil MAS 1936 and will have various serial number prefixes F, G, H, J, K, and L

3. Fusil MAS 1936 Lance-Grenades 1948 (7.5x54mm) ... These were only made at the arsenal in the "FG" series in 1950 and 1951, many are conversions and are stamped "L.G. 48" after the designation on the receiver

4. Fusil MAS 1936-1951 (7.5x54mm) ... Used block Letters, F and up starting in 1951 and ending in 1962

5. Fusil MAS 1944 (7.5x54mm)

6. Fusil MAS 1949 (7.5x54mm)

7. Fusil MAS 1949-1956 (7.5x54mm)

8. FR-F1 (7.5x54mm)

9. FR-F2 (7.62 NATO)
Last edited by 1886lebel on Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
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Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:45 pm

Serial Number Letter Prefixes

Here is a listing of the different letter serial number prefixes as used on French firearms.

A script letter prefix was issued to each of the different Nationale or Impériale Manufacturers and was to be used for each block of firearms made by that armory. Once a block of numbers was used they moved on to the next letter and so forth. Once the manufacturer got to the last letter block assigned to them they started back with the first letter but added a second letter to it usually the second letter assigned to them ... Ex. FG. French firearms were always produced in blocks of 100,000.

These letter prefixes started for rifles in 1866 with introduction of the Fusil de Infanterie Mle.1866 dit "Chassepot" and I believe used to the end of production of the MAS 49/56. These prefixes were also used on the Revolvers d'Ordonnance Mle.1873,1887 and 1892.

Note: These prefixes do not apply to French Semi-Automatic Pistols

Pre 1870-71

1. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MI C) ... A,B,C

2. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Saint Etienne (MI S) ... F,G,H,J,K,L,M,N,P,Q

3. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Tulle (MI T) ... R,S,T

4. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Mutzig (MI M) ... D,E

5. Letter codes U,V ... These letters were usually designated for foreign contracted weapons ... You will most likely encounter these codes on Fusils Mle.1866 dit "Chassepot"

6. Letter code X ... This letter was used on rifles rejected for service or live fire but used for instruction purposes only

7. Letter code Z ... This letter was used on bayonets not mated with rifles

Post 1870-71

1. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MA C) ... A,B,C ... Post 1874 D,E

2. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne (MA S) ... F,G,H,J,K,L,M,N,P,Q

3. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle (MA T) ... R,S,T ... Post 1874 U,V

4. Letter code X ... This letter was used on rifles rejected for service or live fire but used for instruction purposes only

Miscellaneous Manufacturers

1. Établissement Delaunay-Belleville (EDB) ... They used block letters A,B,C but scripted letters A,B,C have been encountered as well

2. Manufacture d'Armes de Paris (MAP) ... They have seemed to use various scripted letters
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:46 pm

Manufacturer Codes

Here is a listing of some of the common manufacturer codes that have been seen on some of the various French weapons

1. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Châtellerault ... MI C

2. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault ... MAC

3. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Saint Etienne ... MI S

4. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne ... MAS

5. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Tulle ... MI T

6. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle ... MAT

7. Manufacture Impériale d'Armes de Mutzig ... MI M

8. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Paris au Saint Denis ... MAP ... This manufacturer was a subsidiary of Fabrique National d'Armes de Guerre (FN) au Belgique

9. Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne ... MAB

10. Manufacture d'Armes et Cycles de Saint Etienne ... MF ... This manufacturer was sub-contracted by MAS. Other names given to this manufacturer was Manu-France or 'La Manu'

11. Manufacture d'Armes des Pyrénées Françaises au Hendaye ... MAPF

12. Manufacture Parisienne d'Armes et de Mécanique Générale ... MPA ... They manufactured barrels and bolts only

13. Établissement Delaunay-Belleville ... EDB

14. Établissement Continsouza ... They manufactured receivers only

15. Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mechaniques ... SACM

16. Société d'Applications Generales d'Electrique et de Mécanique ... SAGEM

17. Remington Arms Corporation ... RAC

18. Allegemeine Elecktrizitats Gesellschaft (General Electric Company) ... AEG ... This code is seen on Post-WW1 rifles this company was located in the Alsace-Lorraine region

If you have seen other codes please list them as we are trying to compile a listing of them for research purposes
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:48 pm

Steel Manufacturers

Right above the serial number on pre-MAS 36 weapons is either a one or two letter code that shows who provided the steel for the barrel called the pourvoyeur de acier. Steel was provided by private manufacturing firms but the state supervised the manufacture of all the material made for it calling this service inspection des forges and was centered in Paris. The country was divided in five districts and each of which had a sous inspection des forges which were namely:

Nord located at Méziéres

L'Ouest located at Rennes

L'Est located at Besançon

Centre located at Nevers

Midi located at Toulouse

Here is a listing of some of the different steel suppliers that I have acquired so far and the codes used by different armories for the various steel suppliers. Also included is the "Regulatory Requirements" code for each steel supplier but as of this time I have no clue as to its true meaning ... more research is needed in this area for the various codes and steel suppliers used.

1. Bedel Pere ses fils et Cie ... Regulatory Requirements: A-B; MAC, MAT: B; MAS: AB

2. Companie des forges de Châtillon, Gemmentry and Menses-Maisons ... Regulatory Requirements: C-C; MAS, MAT: CC; MAC: C or CC

3. Holtser (Jacob) et Cie à Unieux ... Regulatory Requirements: J-H; MAC, MAS, MAT: JH

4. Société anonyme des aciéries et forges de Ferminy (formerly called The Verdié Co), Ferminy ... Regulatory Requirements: F-Y; MAC: V; MAS: FV; MAT: V (Before January 1, 1890), F (After January 1, 1890)

5. Compagnie des hauts fournaisses, forges et aciéries de fer à Saint Chamond (formerly Patin-Gaudet Co.) ... Regulatory Requirements: G; MAC: M; MAS: PG; MAT: S

6. Compagnie des fonderies,forges et aciéries de Saint Etienne ... Regulatory Requirements: A-S; MAS: AS; MAT: SE

7. Société Mérallergique de l’Ariego ... Regulatory Requirements: P-M; MAS: SA; MAT: AB

8. Chambon-Feugerolles (Claudinon et Cie) ... Regulatory Requirements: C-N; MAT: CD

9. Forges et aciéries de Moulin (F. Levinson et F Benché) (F. Loeison ??? en Chambon Fougerolles) ... Regulatory Requirements: I-F; MAS: I, B, or L; MAT: L

10. Schneider-Canet et Cie en Creusot ... Regulatory Requirements: SC; MAS: SC

11. Société anonyme des hauts fourneaux, forges et aciéries du Saut du Tarn ... Regulatory Requirements: ST; MAS: ST

12. Société anonyme des hauts forneaux forges et aciéries de Denain et Ansin, à Denain ... Regulatory Requirements: D-A; ;MAS: D or DN

13. Compagnie des aciérs Boehler (de Styria) ... MAT: BR

14. Acier de Finspong (Sweden) ... MAT: F (On barrels made starting in 1890)

Other Steel Suppliers known but not sure of the codes:

Montluçon

Le Creusot

Jeumont

St.Chamond, Rive-de-Gier (Marrel Frères)

Thionville
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:51 pm

Supervising Officers and Final Inspectors

Here is an unofficial list of the French Supervising Officers Directeur de Manufacture, Final Inspectors/Principal Arms Controllers Contrôleur Généraux Principaux and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class Controllers Contrôleur de 1ème, 2ème y 3 ème Classe that were either in charge or worked at Manufacture d'Armes de Saint Etienne commonly called MAS along with dates that they were there.

Note: Start dates are only available for the various controllers

You will see the controllers stamps Contrôleur Poinçons on the barrels of weapons made at MAS in the form of two circle letter codes on the left side of the barrel or barrel flat on rifles and revolvers.

The first circled letter is that of the Supervising Officer, this is the one that is closest to the rear sight on rifles and on revolvers is the one closest to the frame.

The second circled letter is that of the Final Inspector/Principal Arms Controller, this is the one that is closest to the receiver on rifles and on revolvers is the one closest to the muzzle.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class controller stamps are used on the various pieces throughout the weapon.

Directeur de Manufacture

Commandant Briand ... 1856-1862

Lt.Colonel Jouffray, Charles ... 1862-1866

Col. Boigeol ... 1866-1873

Col. Maignien ... 1873-1891

Col. Percin ... 1891-1894

Lt.Col. Mourret ... 1894-1897

Lt.Col. Souffray ... 1897-1900

Col. Lefebvre ... 1900-1907

Col. Verneuil ... 1907-1912

Col. Chatain ... 1912-1915

Colonel Anus, Napoléon, Etienne ... 1915

Lt.Col. Charpy ... 1915-1918

Col.Stegens ... 1918-1924

Lt.Col. Berne ... 1924-1926

Gen. Gressier ... 1926-1934

Contrôleur Généraux Principaux

Jeuffroy ... (1864)

Tournier ... (1865)

Haillez ... (1866)

Combrade ... (1874)

Hourdiaux ... (1874)

Favarcq ... (1875)

Luneteau ... (1879)

Picot ... (1881)

Parent ... (1881)

Favarcq ... (1882)

Col. Robert ... (1882-1891) ... what is interesting is Col. Robert was not an Supervising Officer but a Final Inspector/Principal Arms Controller during the years 1882 to 1891, but his stamp appears quite often in place of the Supervising Officer one, which makes me believe he was more of influence on supervision of the armoury than a normal arms controller would have been

Note: I believe that from records Col. Maignien was very ill during this period and allowed Col. Roberts to run MAS

Contrôleurs de 1ème Classe

B ... Bisch, J (1863),(1875)

C ... Chevalier, H (1863)

C ... Close, J Th (1863),(1875)

B ... Bussières (1863),(1875)

B ... Birocha (1864)

C ... Combrade (1865)

P ... Picot, A (1866),(1875)

H ... Hourdiaux (1866)

H ... Hardy, F.S (1867),(1875)

P ... Parent, H.A (1869),(1875)

F ... Favarcq, J (1869)

C ... Close, J.T (1870),(1877)

G ... Girard, J (1870),(1879)

M ... Murgue (1872),(1878)

L ... Luneteau, (1872),(1875)

F ... Favarcq, P (1872)

B ... Bordes, C (1872),(1880)

A ... Antoine, J.V (1873),(1882)

B ... Bouysset (1873)

D ... Delmotte, H (1881)

D ... Dannesbuchier (1882)

P ... Parent, F.J (1882)

Contrôleurs de 2ème Classe

F ... Fastinger (1866),(1875)

V ... Vitrac (1866)

A ... Antoine, J.V (1867),(1875)

G ... Girolt (1868)

B ... Bouysset (1868),(1875)

L ... Labroye (1868),(1879)

D ... Dutranoy, A.A (1868),(1876)

B ... Broch (1869),(1878)

D ... Dego (1869),(1879)

B ... Betignies (1870),(1882)

C ... Cizeron (1870),(1883)

V ... Victori (1870)

D ... Desmoulins, P (1870)

G ... Guionneau (1870),(1881)

K ... Kuntz, F.F.G (1870),(1884)

K ... Keller, L (1873),(1883)

S ... Schmutz (1873)

G ... Girard, J (1875)

M ... Murgue (1875)

B ... Bordes, C (1875)

D ... Dannesbuchier (1875)

D ... Delmotte, H (1875)

M ... Moulinier (1875)

P ... Parent, F.J (1875)

L ... Lacroix, A (1875)

O ... Orioux (1876)

B ... Britsch (1884)

C ... Caille (1884)

Contrôleurs de 3ème Classe

L ... Labroye (1875)

D ... Dutranoy A.A (1875)

B ... Broch (1875)

D ... Dego (1875)

B ... Betignies (1875)

C ... Cizeron (1875)

V ... Victori (1875)

D ... Desmoulins, P (1875)

G ... Guinneau (1875)

K ... Kuntz, F.F.J (1875)

K ... Keller, L (1875)

S ... Schmutz (1875)

C ... Caille (1875)

B ... Britsch (1876)

L ... Lepiney, Ch.S (1877)

W ... Wayoff (1877)

R ... Rohr (1879)

H ... Hebe (1879)

R ... Robert, J.B (1880)

M ... Marquet (1880)

C ... Chatain (1881)

G ... Glass (1881)

B ... Bernard, P (1881)

C ... Chardonnet 91882)

R ... Rahire (1882)

V ... Vernhet (1883)

H ... Hamion (1884)
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:54 pm

Supervising Officers and Final Inspectors of MIC/MAC

Here is an unofficial list of the French Supervising Officers Directeur de Manufacture and Final Inspectors/Principal Arms Controllers Contrôleur Généraux Principaux that were either in charge or worked at Manufacture Impériale/Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault commonly called MIC/MAC along with dates that they were there.

You will see the controllers stamps Contrôleur Poinçons on the barrels of weapons made at MIC/MAC in the form of two circle letter codes on the left side of the barrel.

The first circled letter is that of the Supervising Officer, this is the one that is closest to the rear sight.

The second circled letter is that of the Final Inspector/Principal Arms Controller, this is the one that is closest to the receiver.

Directeur de Manufacture

Chef d'Escadron Nottret, Louis .... February 6, 1819 - October 5, 1830

Chef d'Escadron Raulin, Louis .... October 6, 1830 - August 19, 1834

Chef d'Escadron Colliot De La Hattays, Augustin, Mathurin .... August 20, 1834 - November 20, 1834

Chef d'Escadron Thoumas, Alexandre, François .... November 21, 1834 - October 10, 1837

Lt. Colonel Duport De Poncharra, Charles, Louis, César .... November 21, 1834 - October 10, 1837 ....

Chef d'Escadron Goupil, Auguste, Jean .... August 23, 1839 - December 11, 1840

Chef d'Escadron Belmont, Antoine .... December 12, 1840 - December 8, 1841

Chef d'Escadron Arcelin, Charles, Elie .... December 9, 1841 - September 24, 1842

Lt. Colonel Gazan, Alexandre, Zacharie, Alexis, Nicolas .... September 25, 1842 - April 1, 1846

Chef d'Escadron Chicoyneau De Lavalette, Absinthe .... April 2, 1846 - March 21, 1848

Chef d'Escadron Masclet, Hyppolite, Joseph, Antoine .... March 22, 1848 - August 8, 1848

Chef d'Escadron Gaudin, François, Antoine, Aimé .... August 9, 1848 - December 20, 1849

Lt. Colonel Arcelin, Charles, Elie .... December 21, 1849 - August 20, 1852

Chef d'Escadron Fadates De St.- Georges, Augustin, Jacques .... August 21, 1852 - July 27, 1855

Lt. Colonel Mecquenem, Jean, Baptiste, Marie, Louis, Aimé .... July 28, 1855 - August 5, 1859

Chef d'Escadron Le Caruyer De Lainsecq, Ambroise, Charles, Eugène ....August 6, 1859 - March 30, 1862

Lt. Colonel Jouffray, Charles .... March 31, 1862 - September 14, 1862

Chef d'Escadron Durousseau De Fayolle, Guy, Hubert .... September 15, 1862 - March 1, 1873

Lt. Colonel Maldan, Paul, Charles, Raphaël .... March 2, 1873 - May 10, 1875

Chef d'Escadron Reallon, Jean, Paul, Joseph .... May 11, 1875 - December 18, 1883

Chef d'Escadron Duban, Pierre, Auguste, Sulpice .... December 19, 1883 - October 23, 1887

Lt. Colonel Langlois, Arthur .... October 24, 1887 - November 16, 1891

Chef d'Escadron Camps, Bonaventure, Joseph, François .... November 17, 1891 - December 29, 1896

Lt. Colonel Bauret, Jules, François, Joseph .... December 30, 1896 - December 29, 1902

Lt. Colonel Chateau, Louis, Marie, Edouard .... December 30, 1902 - April 19, 1904

Lt. Colonel Veyrines, François, Victor, Albert .... April 20, 1904 - March 23, 1908

Chef d'Escadron Anus, Napoléon, Etienne .... March 24, 1908 - September 24, 1909

Lt. Colonel Franiatte, Marie, Lucien, Adolphe, Nicolas .... September 25, 1909 - April 22, 1914

Lt. Colonel Jacquot, Marc, René .... April 23, 1914 - May 8, 1924

Lt. Colonel Viry, Pierre .... May 9, 1924 - August 3, 1932

Colonel Aymard, Joseph, Antoine .... August 4, 1932 - January 11, 1934

Lt. Colonel Carre, Emile, François, Joseph .... January 12, 1934 - May 17, 1937

IMC-2 Jeantrel, Henri, Eugène .... May 18, 1937 - April 24, 1939

IMC-2 Vergnaud, Lucien, Léon .... April 25, 1939 - ????

IMC-1 Brisorgueil, Jean, Henri, Toussaint .... October 5, 1944 - April 30, 1951

IMC-2 Rabbe, Louis .... May1, 1951 - May 31, 1953

IMC-2 Nardin, Pierre, Marie, Louis .... June 1, 1953 - August 31, 1955

IMC-1 Cibaud, Gaston .... September 1, 1955 - July 31, 1960

IMC Pourquie, Louis, Marius .... August 1, 1960 - August 31, 1964

IMC Rebillard, Jacques, Adrien, Jean .... September 1, 1964 - 1968

Contrôleur Généraux Principaux

Wiedemann, Simon .... 1829 - 1843

Cazamajou, Pierre .... 1832 - 1843

Deschazaux, Augustin .... 1839 - 1854

Dombert, Louis .... 1844 - 1847

Bisch, Joseph .... 1844 - 1860

Chassepot, Pierre .... 1848 - 1854

Lelong, François .... 1855 - 1869

Perrichon, César .... 1855 - 1866

Bregnier, François .... 1860 - 1864

Bisch, François .... 1861 - 1863

Bisch, Grégoire .... 1864 - 1869

Boulanger, Charles .... 1866 - 1867

Trouvé, Jules .... 1866

Puivarges, Pierre .... 1867 - 1869

Cornevin, Louis .... 1870 - 1874

Meyer, Maurice .... 1870 - 1872

Dutranoy, Jean - Baptiste .... 1870 - 1871

Steck, Sébastien .... 1873 - 1887

Brenier, Jean - Marie .... 1874 - 1893

Robert, Etienne .... 1878 - 1879

Verdin, Louis .... 1879 - 1887

Schmitt, François .... 1884 - 1893

Chadelin, Léonard .... 1887 - 1891

Dutranoy, Alfred .... 1888 - 1900 (1)

Hochwelker, François .... 1889 - 1899

Sedelene, Léonard .... 1891 - 1893

Chouard, Michel .... 1892 - 1900 (1)

Caille, Adrien .... 1893 - 1900 (1)

Gabilla, Célestin .... 1897 - 1900 (1)

Close, Albert .... 1899 - 1900 (1)

(1) .... This is final year that I have any information on Contrôleur Généraux Principaux
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:56 pm

Supervising Officers and Final Inspectors of MIT/MAT

As of right now I do not have any information regarding who the French Supervising Officers Directeur de Manufacture and Final Inspectors/Principal Arms Controllers Contrôleur Généraux Principaux were at Manufacture Impériale/Nationale d'Armes de Tulle commonly called MIT/MAT. All I have is some dates and the letters based upon the controller stamps used during certain periods.

The controllers stamps Contrôleur Poinçons are stamped on the barrels of weapons made at MIT/MAT in the form of two circle letter codes on the left side of the barrel.

The first circled letter is that of the Supervising Officer, this is the one that is closest to the rear sight.

The second circled letter is that of the Final Inspector/Principal Arms Controller, this is the one that is closest to the receiver.

Directeur de Manufacture

1894 - 95 ... D

1905 ... B

1915 ... J

1918 - 19 ... B

1920 ... R and L

1922 - 25 ... L

1936 - 38 ... B

Contrôleur Généraux Principaux

1894 - 95 ... D

1905 ... L

1915 - 22 ... B

1920 ... L and U

1923 ... C

1925 ... G

1936 - 38 ... D
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
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Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: French Firearms Information

Postby 1886lebel » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:01 pm

Berthier Rifle and Carbine Modifications

Here is an incomplete accounting by dates of the history of the Mannlicher-Berthier

Note: Some of the various Berthier's had all, some or none of the following modifications done to them

1887 - The Comité de L'Artillerie and L'Ecole Normale de Tir (E.N.T.) designed a prototype carbine of the Fusil d'Infanterie Mle.1886 "Lebel" which was basically was a shortened long rifle. The experiment did not meet expectations. Mon. Berthier proposes his invention to the Comité de L'Artillerie and Section Technique de L'Armement (S.T.A.)

1888 - The first prototypes of the Berthier were built with the help of L'Atelier de Puteaux (APX) and were tested at Mont Valérien in December of that year which impressed the various commissions to proceed with the testing

1889 - Testing continued until February 28th when it was finally decided by the various commissions that the weapon would be adopted for service. The weapon went through a series of modifications during that year resulting into the Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890

1890 - The "Modèle 1890 de Cavalerie" was officially adopted for service on March 14, 1890. This particular weapon is called commonly called the Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890 1ème type. Both the Carabine de Cuirassier Mle.1890 and Carabine de Gendarmerie Mle.1890 were adopted for service during this year as well

1892 - The Mousqueton d'Artillerie Mle.1892 was adopted for service

1894 - It was found that the sling swivel at the bottom of the stock on the Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890 was not suited for carrying while mounted therefore it was decided to place a sling bar on the left side of the stock to help carry the weapon. This particular modification was not done to the Carabine de Cuirassier Mle.1890

1895 - The above modification resulted in the Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890 2ème type bieng adopted for service on March 25,1895

1901 - Sights were modified for the Cartouche à Balle Mle.1898 D or commonly called Balle D (Desaleux). This consisted of gringing down the ladder steps, usually the right steps, on the rear sight for the new rounds trajectory. The rear sight might sometimes be marked with a "D" on them. Receivers sometimes also be might be marked with "M.D." on them. M.D. means Modification Desaleux

1902 - The half/safety notch was no longer made on the cocking piece.

The Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Mle.1902 was adopted for service on May 22,1902

1908 - The Fusil de Tirailleur Sénégalais "Colonial" Mle.1907 was adopted for service on June 19,1908

1909 - A recoil lug was added to the stock to the rear of the receiver to help prevent the wrist breakages in the stock. The Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890 1ème type were started to be modified with a sling bar that was placed on left side of stock superceding the original sling swivel on the bottom of the stock

1910 - On May 22 an experimental Carabine de Dragons Mle.1890 was developed. This had a permantly attached side-folding bayonet. These were issued to the 16eme Regiment de Dragons in November of 1911 for service testing. On July 26, 1912 they were modified but finally dropped in August of 1914. Only approx. 400 made.

1915 - The two different Carabine de Cavalerie Mle.1890 began to be converted to the Mousqueton d'Artillerie Mle.1892 configuration by shortening the forend of the stock and fitting them with a bayonet lug.

Carabine de Cuirassiers Mle.1890's had bayonet lug fitted, the stocks were replaced with the Mousqueton d'Artillerie Mle.1892 combed stocks but retained the double sole leather buttplates.

The Fusil de Infanterie Mle.1907/15 was adopted for service on February 26,1915.

1916 - Both the Fusil de Infanterie Mle.M.16 and Mousqueton d'Artillerie Mle.M.16 were adopted for service on November 11,1916.

A 5-shot magazine and a wooden handguard was adopted on these weapons and many older model Berthiers were upgraded to this pattern of model. If they were modified to this pattern and a handguard was added then the rear barrel band was replaced with one that fit over the handguard to keep it in place. Stacking prongs were starting to be added to upper band on Mousquetons but was very limited.

1920 - "A" sights were adopted which replaced the earlier rear sight notched V sights and were replaced with squared notched sights. The rear sight is marked with an "A".

Carabine de Cuirassiers Mle.1890's were started to be converted to M.16 5 shot magazine in November.

1927 - The clearing rod removed and the clearing rod channel filled in on the stock. Sometimes new stocks without the clearing rod channel were used. A stacking prong was added to upper band on Mousquetons. This was the year when the majority of modifications were started.

1932 - Cartouche à Balle Mle.1932 N or commonly called Balle N was adopted for use. Balle N's bullet was slightly larger in diameter (.326) to both Balle M or D (.323) so the cartridge cases neck had to be increased to hold this bullet. This round was originally intended to be used in MG's but French Ordnance decided to allow this round to be used in both Fusils and Mousquetons so the chambers of the weapons required recutting the chamber throat to give the proper leade or freebore in the barrel and chamber. Weapons that were converted to fire Balle N will have a "N" marked on the top of the receiver ring and barrel.

1934 - 50,000 Fusils converted to 7.5x54mm called the Fusil d'Infanterie Mle.1907-1915 M.34.

1937 - Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Mle.1902 also were converted at this time to 7.5x54mm. Theseare marked Type S.E. - MAS 1902 M.37.

197? - The Berthier is phased out of service
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
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Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Postby 1886lebel » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:41 pm

The "refurb mark" is a square box with inside a letter with the initial of the ERM Etablissement régional du matériel in charge of the reconstruction and the two digits for the year of the rebuilt.

There was usually a form telling where the rifle was refurbished and these forms came in a variety of pastel colors, which came in a plastic sleeve and varied in size with the usual size of about 4" X 8", others are longer 12" or so.

Here is the list of the various ERM, renamed since ETAMAT we still do not know which ones cater for small arms beside Poitiers and Versailles.

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) d'Aubigné-Racan (Sarthe)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Brienne-le-Château (Aube)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Bruz (Ille-et-Vilaine)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Châlons-en-Champagne (Marne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Chemilly-sur-Yonne (Yonne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Dijon (Côte-d'Or)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Domgermain (Meurthe-et-Moselle)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Douai (Nord)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Draguignan (Var)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Fourchambault (Nièvre)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Gien (Loiret)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Gresswiller (Bas-Rhin)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Guéret (Creuse)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Langres (Haute-Marne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Leyment (Ain)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Lyon (Rhône)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Metz (Moselle)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Moulins (Allier)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Muret (Haute-Garonne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Neuvy-Pailloux (Indre)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Nîmes (Gard)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Nouâtre (Indre-et-Loire)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Poitiers (Vienne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Pontoise (Val-d'Oise)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Saint-Egrève (Isère)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Saint-Florentin (Yonne)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Salbris (Loir-et-Cher)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Thouars (Deux-Sèvres)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Vannes (Morbihan)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Vayres (Gironde)

Etablissement du matériel (ETAMAT) de Versailles-Satory (Yvelines)
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Postby 1886lebel » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:43 pm

How to Read and Understand the Different Letters and Number Codes on a Lebel and Berthier

Barrel Information

On the left side of the barrel is found the serial number which is preceded by a cursive script letter. Each of the different Manufacture Nationale de Armes were issued different letters for each of the blocks of firearms that was to be made by that particular armory. Once a block of numbers, 100,000, was used they moved on to the next letter and so forth until they got to the last letter block assigned to them then they started back with the first letter but added a second letter to it usually the second letter assigned to them. The armories were assigned the following letters:

1. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MAC) ... A,B,C,D,E

2. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne (MAS) ... F,G,H,J,K,L,M,N,P,Q

3. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle (MAT) ... R,S,T,U,V

The WW1 contracted commercial companies were usually given letters in block letters but they also used the cursive script letters as well on thier serial numbers (see below for information)



Right above the serial number at a 45 degree angle is either a one or two block letter code that shows which private manufacturing firms, called the pourvoyeur de acier, provided the steel for the barrel. Here is a listing of some of the different steel suppliers that have been acquired so far and the codes used by different armories for the steel suppliers:

Bedel Pere ses fils et Cie ... MAC and MAT: B MAS: AB

Companie des forges de Châtillon, Gemmentry and Menses-Maisons ... MAC, MAS and MAT: C or CC

Holtser (Jacob) et Cie à Unieux ... MAC, MAS and MAT: JH

Société anonyme des aciéries et forges de Ferminy (formerly called The Verdié Co), Ferminy ... MAC: V or FV MAS: FV MAT: V(1) F(2)

Compagnie des hauts fournaisses, forges et aciéries de fer à Saint Chamond (formerly Patin-Gaudet Co.) ... MAC: M MAS: PG MAT: S

Compagnie des fonderies, forges et aciéries de Saint Etienne ... MAS: AS MAT: SE

Société Mérallergique de l’Ariego ... MAS: SA MAT: AB

Chambon-Feugerolles (Claudinon et Cie) ... MAT: CD

Forges et aciéries de Moulin ( F. Levinson et F. Benché) ( F. Loeison ??? en Chambon Fougerolles) ... MAS: I, B or L MAT: L

Schneider-Canet et Cie en Creusot ... MAS: SC

Société anonyme des hauts fourneaux, forges et aciéries du Saut du Tarn ... MAS: ST

Société anonyme des hauts forneaux forges et aciéries de Denain et Ansin, à Denain ... MAS: D or DN

Compagnie des aciérs Boehler (de Styria) [In Austria] ... MAS: BR

Acier de Finspong (Sweden) ... MAS: F(3)

(1) Before January 1, 1890

(2) After January 1, 1890

(3) On barrels made starting in 1890

Next to the steel suppliers code are two circled block letters that show who the various controllers were at the time of the manufacture of the weapon. These stamps are called the Contrôleur Poinçons. The first is the Supervising Officer, Directeur de Manufacture, who was in charge of that armory and the second was the Final Inspectors or Principal Arms Controller, Contrôleur Généraux Principaux.

Directeur de Manufacture de MAS

Col. Maignien ... 1873-1891

Col. Percin ... 1891-1894

Lt.Col. Mourret ... 1894-1897

Lt.Col. Souffray ... 1897-1900

Col. Lefebvre ... 1900-1907

Col. Verneuil ... 1907-1912

Col. Chatain ... 1912-1915

Col. Anus ... 1915

Lt.Col. Charpy ... 1915-1918

Col.Stegens ... 1918-1924

Lt.Col. Berne ... 1924-1926

Gen. Gressier ... 1926-1934

Col. Robert ... 1882-1891 ... what is interesting is Col. Robert was not an Supervising Officer but a Final Inspector/Principal Arms Controller during the years 1882 to 1891, but his stamp appears quite often in place of the Supervising Officer one, which makes me believe he was more of influence on supervision of the armory than a normal arms controller would have been

Note: I believe that from records Col. Maignien was very ill during this period and allowed Col. Roberts to run MAS

Directeur de Manufacture de MAC

Chef d'Escadron Duban, Pierre, Auguste, Sulpice .... December 19, 1883 - October 23, 1887

Lt. Colonel Langlois, Arthur .... October 24, 1887 - November 16, 1891

Chef d'Escadron Camps, Bonaventure, Joseph, François .... November 17, 1891 - December 29, 1896

Lt. Colonel Bauret, Jules, François, Joseph .... December 30, 1896 - December 29, 1902

Lt. Colonel Chateau, Louis, Marie, Edouard .... December 30, 1902 - April 19, 1904

Lt. Colonel Veyrines, François, Victor, Albert .... April 20, 1904 - March 23, 1908

Chef d'Escadron Anus, Napoléon, Etienne .... March 24, 1908 - September 24, 1909

Lt. Colonel Franiatte, Marie, Lucien, Adolphe, Nicolas .... September 25, 1909 - April 22, 1914

Lt. Colonel Jacquot, Marc, René .... April 23, 1914 - May 8, 1924

Lt. Colonel Viry, Pierre .... May 9, 1924 - August 3, 1932

Colonel Aymard, Joseph, Antoine .... August 4, 1932 - January 11, 1934

Lt. Colonel Carre, Emile, François, Joseph .... January 12, 1934 - May 17, 1937

Directeur de Manufacture de MAT

No information at this time

Établissement Delaunay-Belleville

This manufacturer only used a one letter code in a circle on its barrels, the letter S, which happened to be the controller in charge of reception ... Contrôleur chargé de la réception

Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Paris au Saint Denis

They did not use any Contrôleur Poinçons on thier barrels

Manufacture Parisienne d'Armes et de Mécanique Générale

No information at this time

On the right side of the barrel is found a three letter code that shows who made the barrel and the date the barrel was made. Here is a listing of the different manufactures of the barrels seen so far:

1. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne .... MAS

2. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault .... MAC

3. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle .... MAT

4. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Paris au Saint Denis .... MAP

5. Établissement Delaunay-Belleville .... EDB

6. Manufacture Parisienne d'Armes et de Mécanique Générale .... MPA

7. Remington Arms Corporation ... RAC

Underneath the barrel you will see many different codes and letters that were used for a varity of reasons that are unknown to us at this time, but the most important ones you will see are the two big E's with crowns that signify the weapons proofing called the Epreuve. The uppermost one is the primary proof of the steel and the other one is the final proof of the assembled weapon followed by a large number which told you the month that it was accomplished. Just above the Epreuve stamps is the stamp of the controller who proofed them which were usually the 2nd or 3rd class controllers, Contrôleurs de 2ème Classe et 3ème Classe.
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0
1886lebel
Sustaining Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Postby 1886lebel » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:44 pm

Receiver

On the left side of the receiver you will see who manufactured that particular receiver in cursive script and in block letters or cursive script the different model designation for that weapon. The model designation particularly on Berthiers does not always correspond to the type of weapon it may actually be at its present time, sometimes these were scubbed out and a new designation was added. The different model designations you will see on the receivers are as follows:

Mle.1886

Mle.1886 M93

Mle.1886 R35

Mle.1886 M93 M.27

Mle.1890

Mle.1892

Mle.1902

Mle.1907

Mle.1907-15

Mle.M.16

Mle.1907-15 M.34

You will also sometimes see on the left side of the receiver on some Berthier Fusils, Carabines et Mousquetons right at the end of the model designation the following letters ... MD Modifié Desaleux which signified that the weapons sights were modified to the Cartouche à Balle Mle.1898 D commonly called Balle D.

You also might encounter some various letters such as PK on these weapons and at this time we have no clue as to thier meaning.

Note: At this time there is no way to date the receiver of a weapon other than what is encountered on the barrel.

Stock

On the right side of the butt-stock you will find the stock cartouche, which is enclosed in a circle and if still visable it is read in the following manner:

At the 12 a clock position is the month that the weapon was accepted by the Comité de la Réception, at 4 a clock is the Contrôleur Généraux Principaux code, at 6 clock position is the year the weapon was accepted by the Comité de la Réception, at the 8 a clock position is the Directeur de Manufacture, at the 9 a clock position is the letter perfix of the arsenal that completed the weapon. In the center of the cartouche are the letters MA which meant Manufacture d'Armes

Other Various Letters and Codes

You might encounter the following after the barrel date in the form of either an N Nouveau or a T Transformé which meant that the barrel was replaced during WW1 or after. Basically what they did was they made a large amount of new barrels during the Great War stamped them on the right side with MA then either a C, S or T, left the date blank and the N or T. Serial numbers and the Contrôleur Poinçons were also left blank but the pourvoyeur de acier was marked. When a weapon was re-built they then stamped the correct information into the blank areas ... this is why we see weapons that have dates out of the production run. You will encounter this alot on weapons dated 1916 and up.

Sometimes on the top of the receiver ring and barrel you will see a capital N stamped on the top of them which meant that the weapon was converted to fire the later Cartouche Mle.1932 or commonly called Balle N.

Numbering

On Lebels the bolt, carrier plate, stock, and forearm were numbered to the serial number on the barrel while the bolthead had the last two numbers of the serial number of the weapon on it.

On Berthiers the bolt, triggerguard, cleaning rod (if they had one) and stock were numbered to the serial number on the barrel while the bolthead had the last two numbers of the serial number of the weapon on it.

I have tried to give a little information on how to read your Lebels and Berthiers but more research is needed in the different codes and such, as most of this information was destroyed during WW2. I hope this helps a bit though but if you still need help on what your particular weapons codes mean please ask and we will be glad to help.
Vive la République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

Vive le Pinard !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

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