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Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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Ken W
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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#46 Post by Ken W » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:56 am

Mark, Thanks again for all of the assistance. I attempted to take a measurement of both the inside and outside of the right side receiver were the cross bolt come through and it appears to be 5mm.

Indie:
100_8465.JPG

Outside:
100_8463.JPG


Also, here's a video I found when dissembling my Lebel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSdt8d6XrPg
He also has one about the bolt.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#47 Post by Tuna » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:23 pm

The screw may be longer but it will work find till you find one you like. There is nothing for it to rub against and as long as it is tight you can shoot your rifle. But one thing I think I notice is there is no N marked on the top of the receiver at the barrel or on the barrel?

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Ken W
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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#48 Post by Ken W » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:58 am

Tuna wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:23 pm
The screw may be longer but it will work find till you find one you like. There is nothing for it to rub against and as long as it is tight you can shoot your rifle. But one thing I think I notice is there is no N marked on the top of the receiver at the barrel or on the barrel?
I don't have the screw for it. I was just trying to measure to opening in regards to what size screw is needed in the case of one being manufactured in a machine shop.

To answer your question, no, this rifle was never converted for the Balle N ammunition. Made in 1892 it did get the 93 update afterward but that seems to be the final upgrade it ever received. I've read that PPU ammo is loaded to Balle D specs. Unless I can find a better deal on brass than I have, 70¢ a piece, it's looking like it would be best to just get the loaded ammo. At least enough to have a nice supply of reloadable brass.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#49 Post by Ken W » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:01 pm

I have come across another conundrum. The bolt body I ordered from Numrich arrived today. To my surprise and dismay it seems to be a different version that has the bolt head connector permanently attached to the bolt body. The entire reason for getting this was to take the connector off and replace the damaged one on mine, especially since my bolt is SN# matching to the rifle. I also noticed the the channel is a bit more narrow than on mine. I don't know how close the tolerances are with these but being from the era I'm guessing it typical? I called Numrich and asked if they could check if any of the others in stock were like mine but was referred to their form. I've had people check on things while on the phone so I'm guessing this guy just didn't feel like arranging it.
Were only the older models made with detachable bolt head connectors? I tried to get a picture of the SN# for the new bolt but it's very difficult making it out. I think that an AC in script in front of the numbers. Not sure though.
bolt comparison p01.jpg
bolt comparison p02.jpg
bolt comparison p03.jpg
bolt comparison p04.jpg
numrich bolt.jpg

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#50 Post by 72 usmc » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:41 pm

I stopped ordering from them years ago because they always sent out incorrect or mis identified parts. You get close to the pictured item but it could be a reproduction, beat original or wrong part. I always went with Springfield Sporters -closed, libertytreecollectors, apex, or guys on eBay. Best bet is a spare, dog condition rifle one finds at a gun show for parts. Maybe someone has a spare , but complete bolts are over $100. Even for a stinking Mosin????
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#51 Post by Ken W » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:55 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:41 pm
I stopped ordering from them years ago because they always sent out incorrect or mis identified parts. You get close to the pictured item but it could be a reproduction, beat original or wrong part. I always went with Springfield Sporters -closed, libertytreecollectors, apex, or guys on eBay. Best bet is a spare, dog condition rifle one finds at a gun show for parts. Maybe someone has a spare , but complete bolts are over $100. Even for a stinking Mosin????
I've been mostly lucky with them but they have messed up a couple here and there. I really hoping that I'll be able to trade them for one I need. I'm just afraid if they had any with detachable bolt head connectors then they'd probably have stripped them off before and sold them separately, which are all gone of course.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#52 Post by kelt » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:56 am

Your rifle has a Mle 1886 original bolt body modified to accept the 1893 modification with the riveted part, and the replacement you received is a 1886/93 body built with the 1893 modification included!

kelt

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#53 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:04 pm

Okay, I went in to the shop today and made your bolts. Here is the good news, I think the receiver bolt will work. Here is the bad news, the bolt head retaining bolt stops short of going as far as it should and sticks out a bit too much. I think this is due to using a #12-24 thread die instead of 5.5mm by 1.0mm, which is not available commercially. With .003 difference per thread, I am now guessing after relieving the back of the bolt that this is the reason it will not screw in all the way since it is rather deep. I also relieved the diameter that fits into the counter bore on the bolt as well, with disappointing results.

I made the receiver bolt with a 5mm/.196 lead to fit into the hole in the receiver as well as made the bolt body .002-.003 thinner than mine so it will fit better (that's about half the width of a hair). Think the material I used was normal low carbon steel as it was not marked and just laying around. It can most likely be blued easily.

I still have not put on the cut for the screwdriver yet, but did round off the face of the bolt. Looks like band saw or hack saw work, not exactly proper arsenal procedure, but it will get you back in the field. Its Sunday and I'm tired, so I didn't finish it yet. Odds are I will V-block it up and do the best I can later. The end mills I have are too wide for the screwdriver slot anyways. This would not be the first screw I made this way. BTW, the threads on my receiver bolt were in the 5mm range, so I duplicated their dimensions on the bolt I made for you.

I will send you both bolts. The bolt head retaining bolt should still hold your bolt head in, or get it out of the chamber should those Liberty Tree Collector bolts fail you and leave your bolt head jammed in the chamber like I experienced with my Berthier bolt head retaining bolt in my Lebel. Cest la Guerre......

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#54 Post by Ken W » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:46 am

SWIHARTMARK wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:04 pm
Okay, I went in to the shop today and made your bolts. Here is the good news, I think the receiver bolt will work. Here is the bad news, the bolt head retaining bolt stops short of going as far as it should and sticks out a bit too much. I think this is due to using a #12-24 thread die instead of 5.5mm by 1.0mm, which is not available commercially. With .003 difference per thread, I am now guessing after relieving the back of the bolt that this is the reason it will not screw in all the way since it is rather deep. I also relieved the diameter that fits into the counter bore on the bolt as well, with disappointing results.

I made the receiver bolt with a 5mm/.196 lead to fit into the hole in the receiver as well as made the bolt body .002-.003 thinner than mine so it will fit better (that's about half the width of a hair). Think the material I used was normal low carbon steel as it was not marked and just laying around. It can most likely be blued easily.

I still have not put on the cut for the screwdriver yet, but did round off the face of the bolt. Looks like band saw or hack saw work, not exactly proper arsenal procedure, but it will get you back in the field. Its Sunday and I'm tired, so I didn't finish it yet. Odds are I will V-block it up and do the best I can later. The end mills I have are too wide for the screwdriver slot anyways. This would not be the first screw I made this way. BTW, the threads on my receiver bolt were in the 5mm range, so I duplicated their dimensions on the bolt I made for you.

I will send you both bolts. The bolt head retaining bolt should still hold your bolt head in, or get it out of the chamber should those Liberty Tree Collector bolts fail you and leave your bolt head jammed in the chamber like I experienced with my Berthier bolt head retaining bolt in my Lebel. Cest la Guerre......

Best Regards,

Mark


Thank you so very much, Mark! That was extremely kind of you. I've been super busy lately and haven't been on the computer much, hence why I'm seeing this a couple days later. I really appreciate all of the effort. I found something you might be able to use this morning as well. I've sent the link in a PM to you.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#55 Post by Ken W » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:58 am

kelt wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:56 am
Your rifle has a Mle 1886 original bolt body modified to accept the 1893 modification with the riveted part, and the replacement you received is a 1886/93 body built with the 1893 modification included!

kelt
I was unaware of the specifics of the modification specs. The thing is Numrich has found a bolt like mine with the pinned bolt head connector instructed me to make a return and they'd send me that one to replace it. It's already on the way. I'd rather use the original matching bolt anyway.

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Re: Help needed in saving an 1886/93 Lebel

#56 Post by Ken W » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:56 pm

I've made a lot of progress. I have removed most of the rust from the bolt and trigger/elevator assembly. Sadly it didn't leave a nice shiny bare metal but a flat grayish appearance instead. I have all of the necessary parts and have the bolt back together....mostly. The cartridge feeding elevator is actuated by the bolt as it should and the screw from Liberty Tree is holding the bolt into position. Everything seems to be functioning alright, so far. The only hang up is that the "new" bolt connector isn't fitting in exactly flush and it's impossible to get the small pin that secures it in. I imagine this is typical with the time that these were made. I doubt that "drop in" parts were quite a thing yet.
p01.jpg
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p04.jpg

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