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Thread: Tales about 8x50R lebel "D" or "N" chamber

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    switzerland
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    Tales about 8x50R lebel "D" or "N" chamber

    I've read everywhere a lot of silly things about this venerable round starting from Lee who makes dies focused on .323 bullets and ending with people who say they shoot .323 mauser bullets with great accuracy in a .327-329 bored barrel.
    If you take a look at the original french drawings you'll notice that the solid brass D bullet is a stepped one like .22 lr i.e. it has two diameters: .327 for the portion protruding from the case and .320 for the portion inside the neck while "N" bullet is a conventional .327 boat tail. Consequently the neck area in the chamber is bigger than the one of D chamber, just the thickness of the neck.
    Until now I've reloaded only for my mousqueton Berthier 92/16 with its N chamber with no problem with .327 Partizan bullets(except for reworking Lee dies) seated with correct OAL, but yesterday I've got my Remington RB 1914 fortunately unmessed thus with D chamber. Until few months ago in France there were a lot of original WWI era D solid brass bullets but now the source is dry.
    Crawling in the web I saw someone advertising 8 lebel PPU rounds loaded with Partizan D bullets. I couldn't believe it Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	223104so I assembled a virgin PPU brass with one usual .327 PPU bullet And I had the surprise to see the round enter easily in that D chamber. Then I realized the Partizan trick: not a stepped bullet but a two diameters bullet separated by the crimping groove: if you crimp the bullet at the crimping groove you'd get a "D" ammo but if you would seat the bullet more deep you'll enlarge the neck and you'll have an "N" round. Pure genius.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    So, the D bullet is basically a heeled projectile? I have a Lebel shortened by the French, circa 1935 and have never fired it. When I get around to it this is good information to have and I'll check the neck clearances carefully. Thank you!

    We have to remember that France developed and was the first to use smokeless powders, so they entered an unknown field. As a result, some of their designs seem unusual to us today but they're still fascinating.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    switzerland
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    Yes, if you have a D chamber use strictly Partizan .327 bullets and be sure to crimp the neck around its cannelure for a 2.87"OAL .
    Being your rifle a 1935 reworked, chances are strong you have an "N" chamber. If so you have a capital N punched on the barrel and on the top of receiver then you have to seat the same bullet deeper for 2.72" OAL. In any case you have to Cerrosafe your chamber and modify Lee dies according to your chamber dimensions.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, California...where the west still lives!
    Posts
    2,012
    I just checked the rifle, and it indeed has an "N" stamped on the barrel right at the action. Due to your post and information I have a much better idea of what reloading will entail. Thanks again!

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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