French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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KneverKnew
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French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by KneverKnew »

For my Lebel rifle I’ve finally acquired all the bolt parts necessary to get it shooting EXCEPT for the firing pin main spring. Numrich doesn’t have them, nor does anybody else that I can find. So I thought I’d try and find a suitable replacement.

I’d greatly appreciate if some one with an 1886/ M93 Lebel would pull out their mainspring and provide some measured dimensions with calipers of its Length, O.D. And I.D. As well as a measurement of the thickness of the wire itself and number of coils. I can come up with something I’m sure with that information.

And if anyone has gone through this before and located an adequate substitute, from an accessible soured, I’d greatly like to know where. Thanks.

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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by 72 usmc »

I am not sure, but many moons ago I was told a Berthier and Lebel firing pin spring are the same. It would be best to have someone with a Lebel provide actual measurements. I do not own a Lebel. Wolff Springs does not offer a replacement, but given measurements, you may be able to get a spring from them. They got me an M95 Mannlicher replacement spring years ago from measurements.
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: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by butcharoot »

According to Kelt - A firing pin spring from a Remington 700 short action cut in half will provide two spares for Berthier /Lebel rifles. It has the correct coil diameter and will improve both trigger pull and bolt handling. I have done this with my Berthier.

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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by KneverKnew »

72 usmc wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:44 pm
I am not sure, but many moons ago I was told a Berthier and Lebel firing pin spring are the same. It would be best to have someone with a Lebel provide actual measurements. I do not own a Lebel. Wolff Springs does not offer a replacement, but given measurements, you may be able to get a spring from them. They got me an M95 Mannlicher replacement spring years ago from measurements.
Semper Fi!

Both Berthier and Lebel springs are “ out”.

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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by KneverKnew »

butcharoot wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:46 am
According to Kelt - A firing pin spring from a Remington 700 short action cut in half will provide two spares for Berthier /Lebel rifles. It has the correct coil diameter and will improve both trigger pull and bolt handling. I have done this with my Berthier.
Sounds like a good option. Thanks.

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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by 72 usmc »

REPLACEMENT LEBEL OR BERTHIER FIRING PIN SPRING :doh: :clap: :dance:

According to Kelt - A firing pin spring from a Remington 700 short action cut in half will provide two spares for Berthier /Lebel rifles. It has the correct coil diameter and will improve both trigger pull and bolt handling. I have done this with my Berthier.
Good to know> I wonder what weight ? I'd go for 28 pounds just to be sure- not too heavy not to light. Postage is high for one spring, but I buy a spare Enfield and a variety of Mauser springs to keep on hand and just get about 5 different ones and shipping is the same as one spring. Also some on Ebay or Midway sell singles with less shipping costs if you only buy one spring. Looks like I am going to pick one or two up as a spare.

700 Remington short action spring only 8 bucks at midway https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1005044174

Wolff has both long & short action springs. Here is the short action in different rating powers 24,28,32 -- 24 is factory:
https://www.gunsprings.com/REMINGTON/70 ... 108/dID348

I see 24 pound, 700 Remington short action (Wolff Spring) on Flee bay $11 no shipping, others are at 5 bucks for shipping.

The heavier the firing pin spring, generally the trigger pull increases a wee bit. I found this to be true with mausers when I up the spring tension for the hard military primers on Yugo &Turk 8mm. For example on an old Turk Mauser the factory listing is 19 pounds and I generally replace the firing pin with a 24 pound Wolff spring. They offer 22,24,26,32. At 26 the trigger pull is too heavy. So it functions fine with military hard primers with a Wolff 22 pound replacement spring. I want a strong primer hit.

Original Berthier springs are heavy for the hard military primers and I never had to switch one out because of a weak or broken spring on a Berthier. They all fire PPU Lebel ammunition fine. Prvi lebel works fine and can be reloaded. The ammo has soft primers. If I might venture a guess/speculation that 24 pounds will lighten the trigger and 28 pounds may be more like an original trigger pull. I am going to buy both weights and a few extra Mausers springs from Wolff and see how the Remington 700 springs work/feel in a Berthier.

Butcharoot any suggestions or comments on the type of spring for the Remington 700 short to use 24 or 28 pounds? What did you use?

KneverKnew please report your results and thoughts about the switch to a Remington 700 spring. This post is some great information.
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: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by 72 usmc »

Some research on sources of information : For accurate information 1886 lebel and Kelt are beyond fantastic.

firing pin parts identical: https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... el-1886-93
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The cocking piece, firing pin, firing pin spring and firing pin retaining nut are interchangeable. ( 72USMC ADDED... on the Lebel and Berthier)

Patrick


Firing pin spring
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... protrusion
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From the maintenance manual for the Mle 1886, 1886/93, 1890, 1892, 1902 and 1905, the acceptable protrusion of the firing pin in the bolt face is :

Mini = 2,5mm
Maxi= 3,3mm

I have shot plenty of handloads with civilian primers, never had a pierced primer cup with the stock Firing pin and spring (*).

* I have replaced the very stiff firing pin spring of my Gras / Berthier / Lebel rifles going to the range by a lighter one made from Remington 700 FP springs cut in half, the bolt handling and trigger pull are greatly improved.

LostSoul, if your Mle 16 "Musketoon" is "N" stamped on top of the receiver at the barrel joint, it was modified to fire the Machine gun cartridge Mle 1932, and beside an enlargement of the chamber in the throat area, the original firing pin spring was replaced by a stronger one to provide reliable ignition of the MG ammuntion fitted with a protection shield over the hard shell primer cup required for the hard kicking machine gun feeding system.



kelt

Headspace : https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... e-question

72USMC comment: As for my experience, I have a field Lebel headspace gauge and never found a Berthier to fail; like wise, I never found a Mosin to fail a field gauge. Most headspace problems are encountered with British enfields, M1 carbines, 1917 US enfields, and Mausers with miss matched bolts. Always check Turk Mausers. I do not see headspace an issue with Berthiers, and mine are all junker, old dogs that shoot fine.
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Excessive headspace is bad for the recoil lugs, it is best cured by swapping the bolt head for a longer one, or as a stopgap by inserting a holed washer inside the bolt face.

Berthier and Lebel rifles headspace values original 1886:
minimum= 2.00mm
maximum= 2.10mm
rejected= 2.30mm


Berthier and Lebel rifles headspace values WWI:
minimum= 2.20mm
maximum= 2.30mm
rejected= 2.35mm

Date of change in acceptable values not documented (yet).

kelt


Headspace & firing pin spring; https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... thier-M-16
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Original firing pin springs whether standard or "N" reinforced for the Mle 1932 ammo were made of a single piece.

An easy replacement part can be found from Remington, the Remington 700 has the same pin body and spring diameter (leftover technology from their WWI Berthier fabrication run?). A Remington 700 short bolt action firing pin spring cut in two makes two perfect replacement springs, providing positive striking of modern primers while lightening the trigger pull and the bolt handling.

The same replacement spring can be installed on the Gras rifles.

kelt
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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by KneverKnew »

Bought the Remington spring. All I need now is a front sight and to build the front wood handguard/ magazine tube. I would need the spring and plunger for that but would be fine just getting the gun operational as a single shot.
I suppose I could just put the 1 foot section of the handguard back on the gun so I have something to hold onto and go ahead and shoot the thing.

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Re: French Lebel main spring dimensions?

Post by KneverKnew »

I’m going to look around for an appropriate walnut furniture leg to see if I can form a functional forearm for the rifle. Anyone want to measure their’s and give me working measurements? Better yet pull it off and trace it on a piece of paper for me. LOL!

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