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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Michigan
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    104

    Question Mle M16 or Mle 92?

    I picked up an interesting berthier carbine on an auction that puzzles me a bit. It is marked on the receiver with Mle M16 from Chatellerault, with a barrel date of MAC 17. All the serial numbers match - barrel, stock, floorplate, and bolt (forced, but in same stamping as original). From everything I've found, Mle M16's were all 5 shot models, and most have handguards as this was an early modification. This rifle looks like an original Mle92. It is a 3-shot. It has the early sights with the thin blade and narrow v-notch. It still has the cleaning rod groove in the stock. So it missed a lot of modifications that started around 1919. I got it from a guy who said he found it in his dad's attic. Looks to me to be a WWI bringback, since it missed the sight change, the cleaning rod groove fill, and the chamber was not recut for the Balle N.

    What's confusing to me is the magazine. Again, all the numbers match, and it is a 3 shot Mle M16. Is this possible? Were these made in 3 shot models in the beginning to use up some existing Mle 92 parts or something? It doesn't look like this was touched by an armorer since WWI.

    Any help on history???

    Dave - lgm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    169

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    I have a WW1 bring-back carbine, too. It looks just like a Mle.1892 but has the 5-shot mag, and is marked Mle.1907-15. In my opinion, if the serial # is on the three shot floorplate, and not the triggerguard, it was probably made as a three shot Mle.1892. The five shot model will be marked on the triggerguard.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    397

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    There was a transitional period (april to september 1917 end of the D serial numbers, E serial numbers) at the end of the production of the model 1892 and at the beginning of the production of 1892M16. The weapons were made with unusual combinations of available spare parts. I suggest a timeline as follow : first time, shortage of 1892 receivers (but not yet M16 receivers) : use of 07/15 receivers. Second time : M16 receivers available, but still 3 shot magazines available (or may be not yet 5 shot magazines available). Third time: M16 receivers and 5 shot magazines available, but 1892 model stocks used. Fourth time : "regular" M16 mousquetons with M16 stocks, receivers, 5 shot magazine. Now hard to say if this weapon was considered, when it was made, as an 1892 or an M16. The rule, later, was simple : 3 shot : 1892, 5 shot : M16, whatever the stamp on the receiver.
    There is a gap in the data about the production : the model 1892 is supposed to be finished in may 1917, but there is too much M16 weapons produced between may 1917 and may 1919 compared to the data if this model really begins in april 1917. The data to be right seem to begin the M16 with the AB serial numbers.
    Last edited by Alamas; 03-16-2009 at 06:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    2,298

    "E" 1917 date

    Almas: I have a Mle M 16, MAC D series, that has a matching Mle 92 un-altered stock, with the swivel on the bottom, and a matching 3 shot magazine. I will make some pix of this jewel and post them when I can. I cannot read the Rondel, but the year and month are on the barrel....

    Still has the embouchoir sans stacking pin, and the clearing rod...

    Dale
    "If those sweethearts won't face German bullets, Then they'll face French ones!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    169

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    Same series as my Mle.1892 with 5 shot mag. MAI 1917. Sounds like a twin to yours except for being a 5 shooter, and being marked Mle. 1907-15.

  6. #6

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    I agree with Alamas.


    In 1917, production of rifles was greaty curtailed in favor of Mle 92's and receivers intended originally for rifles were used for the '92's. Later "M16" marked recievers were made but due to shortages of the 5 shot magazine components they were used for 3 shot versions.


    During rebuild receivers were often mis matched with the 3 and 5 shot magazines as well.


    Another twist is that older recievers were sometimes scrubbed and remarked "M.16" during rebuild.
    Last edited by xxo; 03-16-2009 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    397

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    Vonmazur : Thanks a lot. I will try to join to this message the data I have already compilated in tables about the 1892 and M16. It is still in french (sorry, not yet translated), but I think it is relatively understandable. This not the definite version at all (especially about the transitional weapons). You will find the weapons of a lot of people of the site (became anonymous by the replacement of the last two digits by X) and I would like to thank those who have posted their weapons. I cannot give a too long list (you can see the sticky another carabine de cavalerie to have an idea) of the persons who have helped and who I thank a lot, but I cannot miss Robert who have posted dozens of weapons.
    The rebarreled weapons are not on this list (or only when it was usefull, e.g; to confirm a total production). When a date is written 09/18 or 09/1918, this is the date of the proof of the barrel (september 1918). When it is written september 1918, it is the date of the reception "cartouche" on the stock.

  8. #8
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    Dec 1969
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    The documents were too big. Here they are in a smaller size.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Michigan
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    Alamas - I thought I'd respond again on this old thread because there doesn't seen to be anything in my carbine's number range on your listing. It is marked MAC 17, it's a matching carbine all around, including forced on the bolt, is an 1892 3-shot configuration (serial on mag plate), receiver marked "Mle M.16" from Chatellerault. It still has the original blade sights and stock w/cleaning rod groove, with a stock cartouche of November 1917. The serial # is F218XX. I got it with a serialed sling as well. Looked like you had "D" and "E" carbines, then went to "AB" om your list.
    Anyway, I've also got 3 other carbines that I'd be glad to give you info on if you're interested in collecting more serial data.
    Dave

  10. #10

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    The F prefix was only used by MAS (first MAS letter block). MAC used letters A through E.


    Are you sure it's a cursive F prefix and not a D or an E?


    The cursives can be hard to read, maybe you could post some pics of the prefix and other markings?

  11. #11
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    Michigan
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    Post

    OK, here are a load of pics. I also have a St. Etienne F series Mle1892, a Chatellerault D series Mle1892MD, and a BC series scubbed M16 from Chatellerault. Comparing the script letters, looks like an F to me. Take a look at tell me what you think. The next-to-last photo is of this stock number on the left and a Mle1892 F series on the right. The F stamp looks slightly different between the two stocks. There is a definite "B" stamped on the top of the wrist, but just the letter. The serial # on the barrel is half hidden by the wood, but it looks to be the same F2189X shown elsewhere. So what do you make of it?

    Dave

  12. #12

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    looks like an F to me too...strange. Must have started life as an early MAS Mle 1892 and later rebuilt by MAC with a new barrel and either a new/replacement or scrubbed/remarked receiver. The markings don't look like they were stamped over a scrubbed receiver in the photos, but if there is no recoil lug at the rear of the receiver or the lug is attached by a dovetail (these were fitted very precisely and are sometimes hard to see), it is an early one.


    Is the year stamped on the stock and barrel 1917?


    What is the month (number under the lower E proof mark) under the chamber?

  13. #13
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    Dec 1969
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    Like XXO, I'd be interested to know the month of proof of your barrel, always interesting to know the gap between the date of proof and the reception stamp on the wood.
    Last edited by Alamas; 04-15-2009 at 04:37 AM.

  14. #14
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    Dec 1969
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    Your weapon has a barrel of 1917 (if I have well hunderstood). It has been (re)built by Châtellerault in november 1917 with new parts (barrel and receiver) and used spare parts coming from one or more weapons made a lot earlier by St-Etienne : F 6917X and may be F2189X. Since the barrel has the serial F 2189X (considered as the heart of the weapon), they have re-stamped this number on the mis-matching parts, at least the bolt, the stock, which has kept the F of a former serial number, and may be the magazine. The parts stamped F 6917X could come from a cavalry carbine of 1891 or an artillery mousqueton of 1894. The serial F 2189X could have been "forgotten" and they have decided to re-use it. Or may be it was the serial number of the damaged barrel of a weapon they decided to repair. For a reason or another very few spare parts of the original weapon had been kept on the re-built weapon (too damaged or melted in a stock pile and re-used on another repaired weapons?). In that case, F 2189X could have been the serial of a cavalry carbine of 1891, a gendarmerie carbine or an artillery mousqueton of 1893.
    About your receiver stamped "Châtellerault -M16" with a 3-shot mag, for as much as we know, it fits with the mousquetons made "new" with such receivers and mags during a close period (august 1917-before november 1917, I was too restrictive in my message of 03-16-2009). The weapons made later with "Continsouza -M16" receivers were the firsts to receive 5 shot mags. You can check with the tables I have posted before.
    Your stock has a sling bar and not a sling swivel, unlike the "M16" mousquetons made new during the same period but like all the cavalry carbines of the 2nd type (but it could either has been modified later).
    Anyway, with all these clues, it will be really interesting to try to find the right explanation.

    Of course, if you want to share the data of your other weapons, you are welcome.

  15. #15
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    Michigan
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    OK, got the rifle apart - it was a very tight stock fit and the bottom didn't want to come out very easily. Here are photos of any marking I could find. The receiver does have a rear recoil lug, and it is machined into the receiver, not added. If you guys could explain the markings to me I'd really appreciate it so I know what I'm looking at on other rifles. I took a photo of the barrel serial, and it is a definite F and match. There also appears to be a script "O" and "85" stamped below the serial on the barrel. It is also stamped on the receiver tang. What does this signify? There also appeared to me a stamp on the inside of the stock as a "B", but maybe this is a coincidental dent? The stock is definitely marked November 1917, and has a script C stamped below it. Please let me know what you can decipher. Thanks.
    Dave

  16. #16

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    the O 85 markings on the barrel and receiver are stange, I do not know their meaning.

    Looks like its a 9 under the proof mark for September, which means that the barrel was proofed 1-2 mo. before the completed weapon was acepted into service in November.


    Both barrel and reciever appear to have been replaced along with the bolt and possibly other parts such as the stock....not much left of the original F series MAS weapon - it is very unusual that it was not simply stripped for parts and given and the original serial abandoned. An possible explaination is that it may have gone through several rebuilds. The original serial was not lost, if that were the case it would have been given a new serial from whatever letter block MAC was using at the time for new weapons, but with a number above 100,000 to indicate that it is a rebuild with a "lost" original serial.

  17. #17
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    Dec 1969
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    About the markings on your weapon. On left-upper side of the barrel, CC is the code for the provider of the steel of the barrel (in that case, Compagnie des forges de Châtillon, Commentry et Neuves Maisons). J and C in a circle are the markings of the director of the MAC (Marc René Jacquot, I think he was colonel in 1917) and of the main weapon inspector (Chossé, I think). The markings of the director and of the main weapon inspector are repeated in the circle of the reception stamp on the stock. On this stamp, the second "C" is simply the letter for Châtellerault. Don't know the meaning of the "K" on the bolt (code for the maker of the bolt?) and for the O85 on the barrel and the receiver. The gap of two months between the proof of the barrel and the reception stamp on the stock is classical during WWI.
    According to Kelt, the "3" close to the "9" is the month of provisionnal proof of the barrel.

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    List of some of the various contractors that made pieces for the Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915, Fusil de Infanterie Modèle Modifié 1916 and Epée-Baïonnette Modèle 1886 Modifié 1915 during The Great War:

    1. Établissement Delaunay-Belleville: made complete weapons ... Société Anonyme des Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville was formed in 1903 by Louis Delaunay and Marius Barbarou and was a French luxury automobile manufacturer from Saint Denis sur Seine, France. At the beginning of the 20th century they were among the most prestigious cars produced in the world, and perhaps the most desirable French marque. The Delaunay-Belleville were favorite automobiles of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, and other noblilities, King George I of Greece and King Alphonso XIII of Spain. By the late 1920s the Delaunay-Belleville had lost its prestige and converted to truck and military vehicles production. The factory was sold in 1946 to Robert de Rovin and was used to make the De Rovin minicars up to 1950. They made 159,912 complete Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915 and Fusil de Infanterie Modèle Modifié 1916 during The Great War ... Code: EDB
    2. Établissement Continsouza: boîte de culasse ... Établissement Continsouza was created in 1909 by Pierre-Victor Continsouza which produced gramophones and cinematography equipmnent. In 1914 Monsieur Continsouza rented industrial buildings called l'Usine de la Marque in North-East part of Tulle to produce armaments for the war effort. After the war he moved his entire production of cinematography equipmnent to this location. He continued operations until May of 1928 when he merged with Éstablishments Louis Aubert to form a company called Mécanique Industrial de Precision (M.I.P.) but in 1929 he was forced to liquidate his assets to the Banque Nationale de Crédit (B.N.C.) and thus the name Établissements Continsouza disappears from history.
    3. Avis and Co. (USA): made 43,500 barrels, contract was terminated before the end of production due to poor quality of the barrels.
    4. Atelier Bariquand & Marre: têtes mobiles, extracteurs, chiens, manchons, visserie, goupilles et entretoises n'entrant pas dans la composition d'éléments complets ... Code: BM within a circle
    5. Société des Automobiles Brasier: supports d'élévateur, gâchettes, manchons ... Code: B within a circle
    6. Société des Anciens Établissements Chenard & Walker: pontet, vis de crochet, vis d'éjecteur, vis de gâchette ... Code: CW
    7. Établissement Bliss & Cie: chargeurs
    8. Société Anonyme des Anciens Établissements Cohendet & Cie à Paris: tenons à fourche pour mousquetons, ressort d'embouchoirs pour carabine de cavalerie ... Code: CO interlaced
    9. R. Cornely & Cie: pieds de hausse.
    10. Darracq & Cie: embouchoirs à quillon, battants de crosse, embases, pivots, écrous, rondelles, rivet, goupilles, anneaux de battant.
    11. L. Delage & Cie: gâchettes, détentes, goupilles de détente, crochets de chargeur, poignées de baïonnette ... Code: LD
    12. Delahaye & Cie: planches inférieure, ressorts à galet, galets, goupilles, détentes, gâchettes ... Code: D within a circle
    13. Société Lorraine des Anciens Établissements de Dietrich & Cie, Lunéville: planches supérieure, cylindres de culasse, cylindres, vis d'assemblage ... Code: L within a circle
    14. Établissements de Dion-Bouton: planches supérieure, cylindres de culasse, supports d'élévateur ... Code: DB
    15. Société des Établissements Gaumont: pieds de hausse.
    16. M. Guinard: ressorts de grenadière, ressorts de crochet et de gâchette, ressorts de percussion, ressorts de virole de baïonnette, planches de hausse, ressorts de hausse, ressorts de curseur.
    17. Gaston Johnson: pontets, planches supérieure, planches inférieure, ressorts de planche inférieur, galets, vis de planche d'élévateur, goupilles de galet ... Code: J within a circle
    18. Établissement Malicet & Blin: anneaux de grenadière, croisières de baïonnette.
    19. Manufacture d'Etampage et de ferrure du Nord-Est: cylindres de fusil.
    20. Manufacture Parisienne d'Armes et de Mécanique Générale: canons, culasses mobiles ... Code: MPA
    21. F. Marinier: embouchoirs ... Code: MA
    22. Société des Anciens Établissements Panhard & Levassor: chiens, percuteurs, ressorts de percussion, embouchoirs à quillon, viroles de poignée de baïonnette ... Code: PL
    23. Société Générale des Établissements Pathé Frère: ressorts d'embouchoir, écrous, supports de vis de culasse, curseurs de hausse.
    24. Société des Automobiles & Cycles Peugeot: lames de baïonnette, écrous de poignée, fourreaux de baïonnettes ... Code: P
    25. Victor Pouzet: pontets ... Code: P
    26. Automobiles Renault: pontets, supports d'élévateur, t^tes mobiles, percuteurs, éjecteurs, entretoises de pontet, poignées de baïonnette, visserie goupilles et entretoises n'entrant pas dans la composition d'éléments complets ... Code: R
    27. Compagnie Française pour l'Exploitation des Procédés Thomson-Houston: gâchette.
    28. Société des Automobiles Unic: planches inférieure, ressorts de planche supérieure, ressorts à galet, galets, goupilles.
    29. Établissements Vibert-Truchon & Cie: boîtier de protection (mle 1916) ... Code: HVT Co
    30. Établissements Zavaterro à Saint Bonnet le Château: plaques de couche, crosses.
    31. M. Zavattero Frères: plaques de couche
    32. Maison Pathé: planches de hausse
    33. Établissements Boulland
    34. Maison Dacheux Frères
    35. Établissements Vilboeuf & Ladreyt
    36. Société Anonyme (S.A). des Anciens Établissement L. Chambon ... Code: C
    37. Clément Bayard ... Code: CB within a circle
    Vive La Rpublique Franaise, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modle 1886 Modifi 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Co-Author of Banzai Special Project No. 1 Revised Edition
    The Siamese Mauser
    A Study Of Siamese / Thai Type 45 & Type 46 Long Rifles and Type 47 Carbines, Including An Overview Of Siamese/Thai Weapons 18602014

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