8 x 50mmR Lebel case found in Arizona


I have a case that was dug at one of our old fort sites here in Arizona. It is very much bottlenecked in shape. The stamp is unknown to me. If any one can ID it I would be grateful.
Thank you,
PS: I can’t seem to find out haow to add scan.



Go to the top of the posts in the Forum…There, Ron Merchant gives a dissertation on how to post a photo or scan in your thread…

What is the headstamp ? Just text would be fine until you can post a photo…Some dimensions of the cartridge case would be helpful…




What Randy said. A description of the headstamp may be all that is needed.

Cartridges and cases that you find at old fort sites can be anything from really old to fairly modern. Many fort sites were used as firing ranges by Army and National Guard units and it is not unusual to find 30-40, 30-06, and even 7.62mm .



John sent me this scan of the base of the case in question and states it is 50mm long…looks like the base of an 8 x 50R Lebel to me…what do y’all think?



Yup, a WWI French Lebel.


Many former military ranges have also been used by civilians for recreational shooting, which could account for all sorts of oddball calibers being found there.

Just because it was once a military range does not prove that everything there was left from the time of military use.

A few U.S. units were issued 8mm Lebel caliber rifles for service in France during WW1, primarily National Guard units from New York City area composed of African American troops, such as the 369th Infantry. These were assigned to reinforce weakened French sectors, and for logistic reasons were given French style arms and some equipment. Apparently some of the reasoning for this assignment was that the French had lots of troops from African colonies and the segregation attitudes of the period supported placing the U.S. black units with them under French command. These U.S. units performed extremely well in combat and “Hellfighters from Brooklyn” was the nickname earned by one regiment.

However, I doubt if any of those units retained the French rifles on return to the U.S. and also suspect the the units never got to the southwest for any training with or without the Lebel caliber rifles.


The most used automatic weapon of the AEF 1917-8 was the French Chauchat machine rifle cal 8x50R Lebel. These guns were issued in the US for training.


Look at the HS date : 3-18 ( 3rd Quadrimester, 1918, ie from Sept to Dec. 1918.)…so not ammo supplied for trials/training in the USA for the AEF prior to embarkation. In any case, the US would have used Winchester/Remington produced 8mm Lebel from the very large contracts being supplied to France.

Could be some “Bringback” after 1918, or Milsurp at any time since then…

Interesting Maker and Metal supplier marks ) ID?..

( I know, look up the lists recently posted…just too lazy, I s’pose…)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Thank you all for your help.Fort Huachuca AZ was the home of the four Black regiments in the U.S. Army, perhaps it was a bring back.
Again thank you for your help, very much appreciated.
John Gorto