French M1907-15 Infantry Rifle, One Only
Original Item: 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. It used a three-round Mannlicher clip and had unusual, elegant lines. In 1915, after The Great War began, some modifications were made, producing the Mle 1907-15.
This sample is in very presentable condition and is a basic rifle for any French small arms collection. Includes an original French sling, a scarce original clip, and a rare oval WW1 issue two-sided grease tin.
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