French M1907-15 Infantry Rifle, One Only
Soon after France adopted the legendary Lebel M1886, a need for a carbine-length weapon for cavalry, artillery, and support troops was recognized. The under-barrel tubular magazine of the Lebel was not suitable for a short carbine (although a short Lebel was developed), so it was decided to use a clip-fed Mannlicher magazine for the carbines. One challenge that had to be met was the unusual shape of the Lebel cartridge, which had a short, strongly tapered case with a very broad base. The result was a clip that held three cartridges. Unlike the original Mannlicher clip, which could only be inserted one way, the clip could be inserted either end up, like the similar clip used later in the American Garand rifle. This design, which used the Lebel-style bolt and Mannlicher magazine, is universally referred to as the Berthier system, and the first model adopted was the M1890 carbine. Many other carbines were subsequently added, differing only in small details dictated by the using arm. By 1907, an infantry-length rifle based on the Berthier system had been introduced.
When WW1 began, the Lebel was the standard infantry rifle and the other branches used Berthier carbines. The fastest way to increase infantry rifle production would be to commence production of the M1907 Berthier rifle. Some modifications were made, and the result was known as the Modele 1907-15. This became the workhorse of the French Army in the Great War.
In its first form, the M1907-15 accepted a 3-round en bloc Mannlicher-style clip, but this didn?t provide enough rounds between recharging, so it was soon modified to accept a 5-round clip to compete with the rate of fire of the German Mauser rifles. This sample has the extended magazine for the five-round clip. This sample is in very presentable condition and is a basic rifle for any French collection. Includes correct sling, a scarce original clip, and a rare oval WW1 issue two-sided grease tin.
Condition: Wood, excellent; Metal, excellent
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