8mm Flobert Rifle?


#1

While looking for info on Floberts I found the following two web sites that were auction off “Belguim Rolling Block Cadet Rifle in 8mm Flobert rimfire.”

specialistauctions.com/aucti … id=1114754

gundeals.co.uk/ROLLING-BLOCK … on_details

Both say the barrels are rifled so it doesn’t sould like a Flobert to me. They were reported to be made in Belguim under contract with Remington. Does anyone know what rimfire cartridge they shot?

Paul


#2

“Flobert” besides being a specific cartridge type, also refers in Euro terminology to “Rimfire” in general.

The “RRB” mentioned, is probably a Remington Licensed version (Nagant Freres, possibly) of the US Remington #4 Rolling Block, in .32 Rimfire.
(Long or short…check the chamber/markings)

As a Cadet rifle, I suppose it was a competitor to the Francotte Martini Cadet design in .310 Cadet (Greener/BSA) or .297/230 Morris Long calibres.

regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#3

[quote=“DocAV”]“Flobert” besides being a specific cartridge type, also refers in Euro terminology to “Rimfire” in general.
AV Ballistics.[/quote]

Hi Doc,
where have you seen Flobert refers to Rimfire in Europe ??

I 've never seen that in any catalogue (French, Italian, German, aso).

Some people can say that but it is by lack of knowledge and it is an error.

JP


#4

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.

Au revoir,
Votre ami, et "bastian contraire"
Doc AV


#5

We also call “flobert” every springer rifle probably because we call “Flobert” every little rifle used for hunting or indoor shooting
( not the 22 LR ones,we call them simply “venti due”)


#6

Hi Doc,

  1. I have never, but never heard of a French guy talking about a 44 Flobert or a 32 Flobert and since at least 30 years.(even in the south of France where I am living).
    Italian people, even if they are shooters or collectors can perhaps do it, this is not important, anybody can use the terms he wants.

  2. We are here on a serious forum, therefore better to use the good names, don’t you think ?

  3. More important is what you say:
    "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"
    First it means you have such documentation, and this is very good to know because I am always looking for it, and second this documentation will be very desirable because in mine I never seen that.
    What I call documentation is :
    either catalogues (or factory drawings)
    either books talking about hunting, or ctges, aso.
    I have quite a lot of old books and catalogues and I am very surprise to learn that.
    Could you please give me references of the documents in which you have seen that. I will double check the terms if I have them. And if not, I will be very pleased to receive them (sending some you don’t have in exchange of course).

  4. What do you call : Manufacture des Armes de St.Denis, Paris. ?

JP


#7

Dear Jean-Pierre

  1. Agreed.

  2. Agreed, if we can determine the “Correect” name ( language usage differences).

  3. Documentation,: it does not follow that I actually have the docs in my possession, only that at some time in the past (dim and distant it may be) I have actually SEEN these materials/advertisements, etc, mostly in Ialy and France, in books or collections, or have seen Images Posted of such material on the Nets on other (Gun Boards) sites, relating to arms more than cartidges (ie, scans of old catalogues etc. A Lot of these, due to “recycling” of websites, have disappeared from view, and so we have to search all over again…

  4. I was (perhaps mistakenly) referring to the manufactury of Arms set up by the Committee of Public Safety, in the early 1790s, in Paris, to produce common firearms based on the M1777 and earlier designs for the Army of the Republic, to defend the Revolution. It was set up “scientifically” by applying the parameters of a unified Measuring system based on the metric ideas then in vogue, to ensure interchangeability of parts to a better degree, and facilitate production.

The metrication standard was such a success, that by 1808, a Major Dale, inspecteur d’artillerie, was to prepare a booklet on Quality Control of Musket manufacture at the M’re Imperiale de Liege; I have a Belgian reprint of the original manual…which I bought during a visit to the Municipal Arms Museum, Liege, in 1993. It has a wealth of information, and extremely well written for its time (Scientifically).

regards, et bon chance,
Doc AV


#8

Dear Doc,

  1. If you agree we must find the "correct "name, this one must be not to use Flobert but “Rim Fire” (in different languages) fcor rounds other than true Flobert ones.
    I have (and a lot of people have) a lot of catalogues and drawings of many European manufacturers to proove it.
    And you have SEEN but have nothing to show us to proove the opposite
    (Sorry, don’t take that bad for you, but I am like St Thomas and I believe only what I see).

  2. “Documentation,: … or have seen Images Posted of such material on the Nets on other (Gun Boards) sites, relating to arms more than cartridges…”

I hope your bible is not the Net first, but rather serious catalogues, and furthermore even if you find an advertising in a dealer catalogue about a ctge (or worse a gun), it doesn’t proove it is the good designation.
I am dealing a lot with old (or new) “dealer” catalogues and I can tell you there are a lot a mistakes.

  1. And to go further, even if I take a risk of chocking you, when I find info in a book I don’t trust it except for some rare books.
    Indeed you have a lot of errors in books, a lot more than you can imagine.
    The only books I trust are the ones who always give references to any thing they say. 'and not a list of references at the end of the book !).
    For example the books of Bill Woodin you can trust them because for each type of bullet or case he gives the drawing number.
    The ones of Dixon also for the majority of the ctges (he showns the picture of the catalogues they are coming from).
    And so on.

  2. Now, to come back to the existence of an 8 mm Flobert, and to prove you I am not psycho rigid, I checked with some collectors.

And there is perhaps a true 8 mm Flobert.
Very very scarce round.
No drawing, no trace in any known catalogue, but perhaps a sample.

The guy who has it has to check to confirm that and if yes, I will post a picture.

  1. To give you some info, F on Flobert doesn’t mean it was made by Flobert.
    This guy when he made his rounds put no hstp on the base but engraved an F on the lead bullet !

Regards
JP


#9

Hi Jean-Pierre.

  1. I have a number of 8 mm Floberts in my collection including ball and shot (all with no headstamp).
  2. In 36 years of collecting cartridges and Floberts, I have never run across any reference in any book to the 8mm Flobert other than to 8mm Cadet rifles chambered for this round in auctions and gun sales.
  3. You are correct, they are very scarce/rare indeed, but occassionally do turn up.
  4. I have never seen a Flobert with an F stamped into the bullet. If you have one, I would be very interested in seeing a photograph. Now I will have to go and check all of the unheadstamped rounds in my collection…
  5. If anyone made them, it will probably be a French or German manufacturer of the day.
  6. So, to answer the original question, Yes, there are 8mm Flobert cartridges and indeed the Belguim Cadet Carbine/Rifle could be for that round (it was cheaper than firing regular carbine or rifle ammunition of the day). There were a huge number of Flobert rimfire pistols, rifles and shotguns manufactured in Europe. Indoor target shooting, small bird and game shooting were all very popular in the 1850-pre WW1 period. Too bad that’s not the case now.

Cheers.


#10

[quote=“powdertin”]Hi Jean-Pierre.

  1. I have a number of 8 mm Floberts in my collection including ball and shot (all with no headstamp).
  2. In 36 years of collecting cartridges and Floberts, I have never run across any reference in any book to the 8mm Flobert other than to 8mm Cadet rifles chambered for this round in auctions and gun sales.
  3. You are correct, they are very scarce/rare indeed, but occassionally do turn up.
  4. I have never seen a Flobert with an F stamped into the bullet. If you have one, I would be very interested in seeing a photograph. Now I will have to go and check all of the unheadstamped rounds in my collection…
  5. If anyone made them, it will probably be a French or German manufacturer of the day.
  6. So, to answer the original question, Yes, there are 8mm Flobert cartridges and indeed the Belguim Cadet Carbine/Rifle could be for that round (it was cheaper than firing regular carbine or rifle ammunition of the day). There were a huge number of Flobert rimfire pistols, rifles and shotguns manufactured in Europe. Indoor target shooting, small bird and game shooting were all very popular in the 1850-pre WW1 period. Too bad that’s not the case now.

Cheers.[/quote]

Hello,
If you have 8 mm Flobert, true Flobert, they have round bullet (not like the ones shown in other topic) which are 32 RF.
Are they ??

Could you post some pictures?

Your assemption they exist are based on : "In 36 years of collecting cartridges and Floberts, I have never run across any reference in any book to the 8mm Flobert other than to 8mm Cadet rifles chambered for this round in auctions and gun sales. ?

If I understand you well, you agree you have never seen any litterature about them, and on the other hand you take for positively sure when somebody says, in an auction, a gun is chambered for 8 mm.

How can the people selling the guns know it is for such a caliber??

JP


#11

Hello Powertin,
no answer to my reply ?
JP


#12

Jean-Pierre

Sorry, I thought I had replied. I guess I didn’t take it all the way. This technology stuff still baffles me.

With regards to the 8mm Floberts:

All of the specimens that I have are round ball. Of the nine with regular case lengths (8.30mm to 9.10mm case lengths), a number have a flattened belt around the lower part of the bullet with a round nose bullet. Perhaps they are 9mm swaged down to 8mm?

I have one with a longer case 10.55mm case length copper case. The bullet is more in line with a regular bullet, but still looking like a flobert. I am not sure, but it may be a centre fire with a copper case.

There are two shot loads. One has the white paper with fold at the mouth. The second had an olive green and white checkering. Both have a total length of 25.6mm case and shot length combined. None are headstamped. They are by different manufacturers or at least from different periods if from the same manufacturer. Both of the cases are different.

Several of the rounds have heads very similar to the SFM manufacture (shiny with a very flat head).

You are correct, I have not seen any literature or manufaturers catalogues or other publications with any information on this calibre.

With regards to the 8mm Flobert cadet carbines: I have taken for granted (not a wise thing to do) that the sellers know something that I don’t, since I have never examined one. Perhaps they are marked on the barrels?!? There are several for sale on Auction Arms if you enter Flobert in the auction arms search engine. Since I have not examined one myself, I have to go by the sellers’ descriptions. I am not inclined to purchase one just to check if they are actually 8mm Rimfire. To make a long story short, I do not know for a fact that they are 8mm Flobert, or even rimfires for that matter. However, I have never seen or examined an 8mm rimfire Flobert Salon Pistol or rifle or carbine. However, the rounds do indeed exist.

Cheers,
Powdertin


#13

Hi Powdertin,

A) I don’t talk about the rifles because, like you say, they are second source info.

B) More interesting are the ctges you have in your collection, which is what I call first source info.
Please for each of the following point could you show pictures and give excat dimensions :

  1. "All of the specimens that I have are round ball. Of the nine with regular case lengths (8.30mm to 9.10mm case lengths), a number have a flattened belt around the lower part of the bullet with a round nose bullet. Perhaps they are 9mm swaged down to 8mm? "

  2. “I have one with a longer case 10.55mm case length copper case. The bullet is more in line with a regular bullet, but still looking like a flobert. I am not sure, but it may be a centre fire with a copper case.”

  3. “There are two shot loads. One has the white paper with fold at the mouth. The second had an olive green and white checkering. Both have a total length of 25.6mm case and shot length combined. None are headstamped. They are by different manufacturers or at least from different periods if from the same manufacturer. Both of the cases are different.”

  4. “Several of the rounds have heads very similar to the SFM manufacture (shiny with a very flat head).”

C) Whith these info I will try to indentify them.
If you have Ecra software, there is one 8 mm Flobert shown with dimensions.
If you don’t have the software (like me), it is not important, the round belongs to a friend of mine and will make pictures of it next week.
He told me by phone the rim is very thin.

D) I make the following hypothesis :
Due to the fact this round is unknown in any post 1880 catalogue, I think, if it exist, it is pre 1870.
Therefore it must have the same conical rim as the first 9 mm Flobert (or at least a special rim, not one like the US RF ctges).

E) Which year is the Cadet Belgian riffle ?

JP


#14

Since I started this post I thought I


#15

Hi Paul.

You started a really interesting thread here. Your right about ‘what I’ve been told’. We all take at face value what is in print, even though there is much that has been proven wrong. It just shows us that we have to keep on our toes and to keep our wits about us and take nothing for fact without documentation. Your examples of the 50 Ball carbine and 58 Montstorm are excellent examples of why this is so.

Jean-Pierre

A- I agree

B - I will try to get them photograped and posted at some point. (the long case specimen will be x-rayed next week to make sure it is a rimfire)

C - I don’t have the ECRA data base, but can get access to it within the next little while and will try to respond as per their dimensions. The rims on my specimens are all standard later rims which are small and flat, not the early tapered rims of the earlier Flobert (the patentee) examples. Are you aware that there is a large sheet floating around France somewhere which gives the discriptions and diagrams and dates of the various rim styles for Floberts as manufactured by SFM? I don’t have a copy but have seen a copy a decade or two ago.

D - I have not seen any catalogues listing it at any time so cannot comment on your dating. The rims as I noted in D, are standard rimfire rims similar to any other rimfire from .22’s to 69 C&T’s. My examples all have standard rims and not early rims. I have not been able to figure out the dating at all.

E - Year of the Belgian Cadet Rifles - I don’t know.

F - Now that we have pretty much exausted the 8 mm Flobert saga, what about the 6.5 mm Flobert rimfires …
Perhaps on another thread.

Cheers,
Powdertin


#16

Hello Powdertin

  1. yes I am aware "there is a large sheet floating around France somewhere which gives the discriptions and diagrams and dates of the various rim styles for Floberts as manufactured by SFM."
    I have it (and all the other SFM drawings related to RF ctges).

The only black point is the fact the SFM drawings existing are post 1887 because the ones dated before have been destroyed in a flood.

It is because of that I told you the 8 mm Flobert, if existing , must be very old, and therefore with a special rim (conical or else)

  1. I will post a picture of the 8 mm Flobert (?) ctge of my friend (the one shown in Ecra database) on Tuesday.

  2. The 6.5 mm Flobert rimfire ??
    What is that ?? please post a picture, it could save time.

JP


#17

Hello Powdertin,
I am still anxiously waiting info about your 6.5 Flobert
JP


#18

Jean-Piere.

Lets take the 6.5 mm Flobert to a new thread and leave this one for 8mm Floberts. That way anyone who is interested in Floberts can follow the flow of information on each.

Cheers,
Powdertin


#19

Hello,
I’ve got some info about 8 mm Flobert.
A friend of mine, A.L.? member of IAA and number one in France about old ctges (either about the ctges or the patents or documentation) has what you could call an 8 mm Flobert.
I say you “could call” because in fact we don’t know what it is!

It is an 9 mm Flobert necked down to 8 mm.
(the top portion of the case is necked down on 2 mm)

The hstp is G (meaning a Gevelot manufacturing after 1875), and therefore the rim is not conical but normal like the new rounds.
The bullet is in bad condition and like ogival (not round, not conical).

This ctge is totally different from the one I will post the picture soon

JP


#20

Hello Powdertin,

In the 6.5mm Flobert thread you posted:

“Yesterday, I was able to have an xray done on the 8mm rimfire long copper case. It is indeed rimfire! So now we have two distinct case lengths in the 8mm Flobert: 1) the regular flobert specimens with the short case, and 2) the long case 8mm Flobert.”

Can you post the dimensions and/or photos of these?

Thanks

PL