My Grand father passed this down to me, and I am not much into the oldies but goodies. Any assistance is much appreciated.
First off, this is a bring back. This is the only part that I know that is not in debate. He brought this back himself. And it is chamdered in 8mm Lebel
This is what is engraved on the rifle.
Manufacture D'Armes St. Etienne
Left side of barrel
Right side of barrel
Here are some pics, sorry for the crappy photos I need a better camera.
1886 Lebel Carbine. This is the shorter carbine version of the world's first smokeless powder bolt-action rifle to serve with any army. Someone who is a real Lebel expert will be able to tell from all the codes and dates, but probably built as a rifle, then cut down to carbine specs later. The bayonet and rifle are both relatively rare, and especially if it has no import marks, it is a valuable (in monetary terms at least) piece. If you have the papers that go with it, that helps value even more. Ammo is very expensive, but can be tracked down.
ETA: Served with French army proper until (and even a little during WWII), and with "colonial" troops until the 1950s-early 60s. By the time the US showed up in Vietnam, most were replaced by newer weapons, but I'd imagine a few could still be seen in Viet Cong hands. It is an interesting piece of history to have, with or without a connection to your grandfather.
It has no import marks but the war trophy paperwork has long since disappeared.
When Gramps first gave this to me, about 10 to 12 yrs ago, I had done a little research and determined the caliber. I actually found ammo for it. The ammo that I found at the time was very unusual to me, as I had never seen linked ammo that the link was a rigid stamped piece.
Give me a minute and I will get a pic of the ammo in question.
After a google search, I found this from a auction for one on gunsamerica. They were asking $500, and the one I have is in better shape and with the correct bayonet.
From the GA add:
French Lebel Model 1886/m93/R35 8mm Carbine. Converted from M1886 Lebel rifles in the 1935-1939 time frame. This one was converted in Paris in 1936 and undoubtedly used against the Nazis in 1940. Only about 10,000 were made, and many were used by the Nazis after the occupation. Overall condition is about very good or better with much original painted finish. Has shrinkage crack in buttstock. Please visit my website for additional guns and books!
Anybody else have any idea as to value?
The ammo you have is linked up in Hotchkiss feed strips. Designed for use in Hotchkiss MGs, still good stuff to have. Just ballpark figure, I bet whole package could be worth about $650-700ish, maybe more to the right person.
Thanks dar48, I have no intention to sell. I was just curious as to what it is worth.