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Thread: French Firearms Information

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    Default French Firearms Information

    Serial Number Letter Prefixes

    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 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 Modèle 1866 dit "Chassepot" and used to the end of production of the MAS 49/56. These prefixes were also used on the various revolvers made from 1873 to 1892.

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

    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
    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


    Manufacturer Codes

    Listing of some of the common manufacturer codes that have been seen on some of the various French weapons.
    Note: This listing is for both rifles and pistols

    1. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault ... MAC
    2. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne ... MAS
    3. Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle ... MAT
    4. 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
    5. Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne ... MAB
    6. 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'
    7. Manufacture d'Armes des Pyrénées Françaises au Hendaye ... MAPF
    8. Manufacture Parisienne d'Armes et de Mécanique Générale ... MPA ... They manufactured barrels and bolts only
    9. Établissement Delaunay-Belleville ... EDB
    10. Établissement Continsouza ... They manufactured receivers only
    11. Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mechaniques ... SACM
    12. Société d'Applications Generales d'Electrique et de Mécanique ... SAGEM
    13. Remington Arms Corporation ... RAC
    14. Allegemeine Elecktrizitats Gesellschaft (General Electric Company) ... AEG ... This code is seen on Post-WW1 rifles, this company was located in the Alsace-Lorraine region
    15. Atelier Salaise ... SAL ... This code is seen on Post-WW1 rifles


    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

    Supervising Officers and Final Inspectors of MAS

    Here is an unofficial list of the French Supervising Officers called Directeur de Manufacture, Final Inspectors/Principal Arms called Contrôleur Généraux Principaux and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class Controllers called 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 called 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)

    Supervising Officers and Final Inspectors of MIC and MAC

    Here is an unofficial list of the French Supervising Officers called Directeur de Manufacture and Final Inspectors/Principal Arms called 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 called 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


    MAT Directors
    1883-1889 : Commandant Jules BOURDON ((B))
    1889-1892 : Frédéric LUSSON ((L))
    1892-1895 : Jean DELSOL (D)
    1896-1897 : Michel ABAULT
    1897-1899 : Michel AUBRON
    1899-1906 : Victor BONAMY (B)
    1906-1911 : Maurice HAUVETTE
    1909-1911 : David BLOCH
    1911-1914 : Gustave PAYEUR
    1914-1917 : Louis JOURDAN (J)
    1917-1923 : François BARES (B)
    1923-1929 : Louis CLAUDOT
    1929-1934 : Charles KARCHER ou HARCHER
    1934-1939 : Charles BRION (B)
    1939-1941 : Ingénieur Militaire Germain PIC
    1941-1942 : Ingénieur Militaire Georges MONTLAUR
    1941-1943 : Fernand MAGDALENA
    1944-1945 : Ingénieur Militaire Pierre MONTEIL
    1945-1950 : Ingénieur Militaire François DELAMAIRE
    1950-1953 : Louis CARRE
    1953-1956 : Maurice FRANCILLON
    1956-1964 : Lucien DERUELLE
    1964-1971 : Pierre LEVIEUX
    1971 : Albert BONNOTTE


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    Reply author: 1886lebel
    Replied on: 10/31/2005 11:58:33 PM
    Message:

    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

    Download Attachment:
    13.42 KB

    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)

    Download Attachment:
    12.53 KB

    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.


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    Reply author: 1886lebel
    Replied on: 11/01/2005 12:01:57 AM
    Message:

    How to Read and Understand the Different Letters and Number Codes on a Lebel and Berthier Part 2

    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

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    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.
    Last edited by 1886lebel; 02-26-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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