Cher ami Jean Pierre,
In my ten years in Italy,(1974-83) frequenting both Shooters and Gunshops, I found that “any” small cartridge (ie “Short”) rimfire, was commonly referred to as a “flobert”, rather than “a percussione annulare” ( a’ percussion annulaire or Rimfire.). Only when one had to be specific, was the term “venti-due” (".22") used, in refering to “.22 Long Rifle”; sometimes with partiuclar reference to case length… Corto, Lungo, etc.
I found the same Colloquialisms used in the South of France as well.
It may not be "technically "correct, but then, back in the 1890s, they also spoke differently than we do now, in both France and Italy.
I have seen many advertisements from that period in original magazines, journals and reprints., and whilst the majority of terms are technically correct, common vulgar language sometimes "simplified " the concepts, so that we get these discussions today… and at the same time made it easier for the Common buying public to easily distinguish what they were buying.
If I talk to a normal Italian shooter these days, and I mention a “Flobert” they talk of “.22 rimfire” Only a Forensic or Ammuniton expert will talk and distinguish the different types of “Flobert” rimfires, and their Historical context.
I think that to identify the calibre as a “8mm Flobert” was to give it an sort of ID footprint, by simple Logic. The metricised French (they invented and promulgated the metric system, (C’tee of Direction of Public Safety, 1792-3) generally for the Unification of Republican measuring systems, and Specifically for the Gun Trade (Manufacture des Armes de St.Denis, Paris.)
And we all thank them for it… As I said, the french had aan American "Calibre, (.32) which was close enough to 8mm, It was Rimfire ( which all Flobert cartridges were, Ball or Shot), and it was Gallic simplicity to call it the “8mm Flobert” , rather than the “8mm Remington a’ percussion annulaire Court (ou Longue)”…I hope, in true gallic friendship, you can see my point.
Furthermore, “Cadet” rifles were usually chambered for a cartridge for “Tir en salon” ( Zimmerstutzen or Saloon Gun) that is, Indoor or short range shooting, say a school yard, garden, or similar.
A “Flobert” designed type short rimfire cartridge, either “Capped Breech” (CB) design, or “short” (as in the 32RF Short) would be the ideal chambering for these rifles.
The french Gras and Lebel Miniature/cadet rifles were in 6mm Bosquet RF, also a similar cartridge in concept to the .22 RF Longue; so we are obviously looking at a “Family” of cartridge designs, all originaiting from one Concept, the folded Musket cap (rimfire case) and a little Powder and a ball or some shot…Hence the generic term “Flobert”
A Bit like all “Cola Drinks” throughout Europe are referred to in the vulgate
as "coca Cola, irrespective of the acutal brand and formulation…Numerous Trtademark cases have been argued in italy and france, without any speicifc determination as to whether "Coca Cola has entered the lexicon of the respective languages, so as to become a "generic term for Cola drikns or a specific reference to a particular drink… similar to “hoover” in both French and Italian, referring to “Aspirateur du Poudre” (vacuum cleaners, aspira-polvere.
Anyway, an intersting discussion…the “8mm Flobert” RBs may be either in a “proper” Flobert type short, CB cartridge, or a copy of the .32 RF Cartridge of US origin.
Votre ami, et "bastian contraire"