Original Excellent French WWI Era Modèle 1892 Lebel Revolver in 8mm dated 1898 - Serial G 16046

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of the Model 1892 revolver, also known as the "Lebel revolver" and the "St. Etienne 8mm". It is a French service revolver designed and produced by Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne as a replacement for the MAS 1873 revolver. It was the standard issue sidearm for officers in the French military during the First World War.

The Modèle 1892 revolver is a solid frame revolver with the cylinder on a separate frame swinging right for manual reloading. The Modèle 1892 was first fielded in 1893 and was prominent among French military officers during First World War. A mechanically tight and very well finished handgun, the Modèle 1892 fires 8mm Ordnance / Lebel rounds with a striking power equivalent to that of a .32 ACP round.

This example is in excellent mechanically functional condition with most of the original bluing intact on the frame, and barrel. The cylinder does show a bit of wear, and the trigger and hammer have a lovely gray oxide finish. It is marked M"re d'Armes / S"t Étienne on the right side of the frame, the top of the barrel is marked M"le 1892, and the side of the barrel is marked with the date S 1898. The serial number G 16046 is marked on the right side of the frame, under the cylinder. There are additional circled proof marks on various components.

The cylinder, frame and barrel retain over 90% blue/black original finish, while the hammer loading gate and trigger retaining much of the gray oxide hardening. Checkered wood grip still shows a lovely color and texture, with just a bit of storage wear to the checkering. Mechanically, we can find no issues, and the bore is mostly bright, with crisp lands and grooves.

A fantastic chance to pick up a GREAT example of this a M1892 revolver! Ready to add to your collection and display!

Specifications of Modèle 1892 Lebel Revolver

Year of Manufacture: 1894
Length: 240 mm (9.3 inches)
Barrel length: 115 mm (4.5 inches)
Finish: Blued Steel
Weight (empty): 1.88 pounds (0.85 kg)
Cylinder: 6 cartridges
Ammunition: 8mm / 92 Ordnance [8 x 27 mm R]
Rifling: 4 right-hand grooves
Operation: Double Action / Single Action

Though it was originally designed to serve as a commissioned officer's personal sidearm, over 350,000 Modèle 1892 revolvers had been manufactured between 1892 and 1924 . It was issued in the French Army, navy, and National Gendarmerie, amongst others. It is commonly, but mistakenly, called a "Lebel revolver" after the name of Colonel Nicolas Lebel, although there is no evidence whatsoever that Lebel had any involvement in the creation of the gun or its ammunition. Non-commissioned officers continued to carry the older Mle 1873 service revolver, but were also frequently issued .32 ACP automatic pistols (the Ruby pistol) during World War I. The Mle 1892 was later officially replaced by semi-automatic pistols in 1935 but many saw service during World War II and were brought to the United States as souvenirs.

Originally chambered for an 8mm black-powder cartridge closely resembling the .32-20 WCF round, later models issued during World War I and thereafter fired the same 8mm cartridge loaded with smokeless powder. The Mle 1892 revolver is a double-action solid-frame design, with chambers being accessed by swinging out the cylinder to the right. The fired cases can then be pushed out of the cylinder at the same time. After reloading, the cylinder is swung back into the frame and locked into place with the case-hardened loading gate located on the right side of the frame. In addition, the left sideplate of the frame can be swung back on a hinge to give access to the gun's internal parts for oiling or cleaning. These parts were individually numbered to indicate the order in which they can be disassembled. The year of manufacture of each revolver is engraved on the right side of the barrel, for instance "S 1895". The inscription "Mle 1892" is hand engraved on top of the barrel. It was carried in a large closed leather holster, which held an additional 12 rounds of ammunition hidden below the flap.

The Mle 1892 is a mechanically tight, accurate and very well finished revolver. It can be fired single-action by cocking the hammer first or by double-action by a full trigger pull. Its downside is the relative weakness, for a military handgun, of its 8×27mm ammunition. In terms of striking power, it just barely reaches the level of the .32 ACP.

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