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Thread: French Remington RB 8x50R lebel

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    French Remington RB 8x50R lebel

    Just today I got at an auction this RB poor looking but with sound action and good rifling and wood. Of course it needs cosmetical restoration and a good blueing job but after that I'd like to have a lot fun in shooting this venerable WWI old horse and for 250$ I cannot have more than a shooter. I've already a mousqueton Berthier and relevant handloading facilities but I have the insane idea to load some black powder round. After all its austrian cousin, teh 8x50R M95 was originally loaded with BP. My purpose isn't to push the first smokeless cartridge a step rearward mut make my Remington smoking. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Cast them soft, put triple F in the case to the base of the bullet, use SPG Lube or equivalent and a Magnum primer and go Boom! You got a hell of a deal on that gun.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    A good tip, thanks.

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    If you use FFFG Black you don't need a mag primer, either.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Mark Daiute's Avatar
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    I like the way it looks now.

  6. #6
    WOW, a french RRB chambered in 8mm. Lebel. I always wanted one of those.

    I would respectfully suggest not to reblue it. Those guns have a lot of history attached to them and yours seems to be in original condition after more than 100 years. It has a lot of character the way it is and a good part of it would be gone if a reblueing process takes place. JMHO.

    Regarding BP loads, it could be done but as you may already know, black powder always need to be compressed inside the case otherwise in can get dangerous. I would stay away from the use of any solid fillers since they can raise up a lot of pressure on a bottle necked cartridge.

    Just my 2cts.
    "Skill is acquired not alone through practice but through the combination of study and experience" - P. Sharpe

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentino View Post
    WOW, a french RRB chambered in 8mm. Lebel. I always wanted one of those.

    I would respectfully suggest not to reblue it. Those guns have a lot of history attached to them and yours seems to be in original condition after more than 100 years. It has a lot of character the way it is and a good part of it would be gone if a reblueing process takes place. JMHO.

    Regarding BP loads, it could be done but as you may already know, black powder always need to be compressed inside the case otherwise in can get dangerous. I would stay away from the use of any solid fillers since they can raise up a lot of pressure on a bottle necked cartridge.

    Just my 2cts.
    How?

    I have shot thousands of BP rounds with no compression or loose powder in them.
    The problem arises from short seated bullets in frontloaders, not the small volume of cartridge cases.
    Do Google and learn!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Mark Daiute's Avatar
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    were these not a WWI rifle? were they loaded with BP or smokeless? I bet it was smokeless

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    I have shot thousands of BP rounds with no compression or loose powder in them.
    Good for you.
    I´ll stick to what I´ve said. Others may try whatever they want but I won´t shoot nor recommend any BP load that is loose inside a case.
    "Skill is acquired not alone through practice but through the combination of study and experience" - P. Sharpe

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Daiute View Post
    were these not a WWI rifle? were they loaded with BP or smokeless? I bet it was smokeless
    You are correct, Mark. 8x50R Lebel was in fact the first smokeless military cartridge. Developed around the 11mm. Gras, a previous military black powder cartridge that essentially was necked down to 8mm. and loaded with early smokeless powder developed by Mr. Vieille around the mid 1880s.
    "Skill is acquired not alone through practice but through the combination of study and experience" - P. Sharpe

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    How?

    I have shot thousands of BP rounds with no compression or loose powder in them.
    The problem arises from short seated bullets in frontloaders, not the small volume of cartridge cases.
    Do Google and learn!
    I think that is true, and you have nothing to fear from a case full but not compressed with coarse grained black powder. It can be compressed, though, and you will get more in that way. In fact if you could manage something like the single pierced pellet used as stopgap in the first .303 rounds (probably deriving from the Congreve rockets used at Fort McHenry), it might give the slow and progressive burn which is desirable in such a strongly bottlenecked cartridge.

    The British necked a straight case after inserting the pellet (and indeed did the same for evermore with cordite powder in long strands). But you could probably achieve the same thing, if you have the patience to let it dry, with dampened powder and a tapered mandrel, extended with a rod which fits the flash-hole.

    I expect such rifles were issued to rear-echelon or colonial troops in the First World War. We do see patriotic postcards with Chassepot and Gras rifles in the hands of soldiers, who are sometimes young ladies doubtless accustomed to a less uniformed type of French postcard. But it's hard to distinguish weapons used by railway guards etc. from civilian-owned photographic props. I haven't heard that the French had a "sold out of service" mark like the second broad arrow, point to point with the "government property" one which the British used.

    But I would suspect that the conversions were pre-war, and probably nineteenth century. A considerable quantity of the Egyptian Remington order was diverted to France, although it may have been to the Army of the Loire, assembled from volunteers, provincial National Guard, sailors and latecoming colonial troops after the main French field army was destroyed. The Remingtons were highly regarded by the French, not just for themselves but for the new idea of an all-metal military rifle cartridge. Up to then they had known only the non-sealing paper cartridge of the Chassepot and the shotgun-style paper cases of the Mitrailleuse machine-gun and the Tabatière muzzle-loader conversion. They were probably crucial in the decision to go for the metallic-cartridge Gras.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check