8x50R Lebel bullet diameter?


#1

I am trying to pin down the actual bullet diameter of the 8x50R Lebel military cartridge.

Huon’s book gives this as 8.11mm, but the ECRA calibre database gives examples of cartridges with bullets of between 8.06 and 8.34mm, which is a huge range!

Can anyone clarify this please? Did the calibre change over time, like the 7.92x57?


#2

Tony, hope you read French.:)
Its a great side.

8lebel.org/

Rgds,
Dutch


#3

Thanks for that, Dutch.

They seem to think it’s 8.17mm. Any other offers?


#4

Hi Tony

A statistic from my (modest) collection

Mle 1886M (2 specimens) : 8.10 and 8.12
Mle 1886D (4 specimens) : 8.21, 8.22, 8.26, 8.27
Mle 1932N (2 specimens) : 8.23, 8.27

measured values !

Michel


#5

Thanks - those are amazing variations. Not exactly conducive to consistent accuracy or chamber pressures. Very strange, considering the fuss that is made about not mixing up the original 8mm Mauser rounds (bullet diam 8.08mm) with the later ones (8.20mm).


#6

Hello, Tony…I have a few 8mm Lebel bullets sitting here that are waiting to be shipped to a friend…these are the Remington-UMC solid bronze bullets with “B” inside “U” on the base, diameter is .320", which would be 8.128mm…Randy


#7

Tony
Not sure if this will help much, as I only have 4 8mm Label rounds.
Headstamp than bullet diameter
Rem-UMC 8m/m Lebel has a .320 bullet (8.13mm)
VS 2 11 S has a .325 bullet (8.26mm)
ART.D 4 16 ARG.OV has a .327 bullet (8.31mm)
VE 2 18 BS has a .327 bullet (8.31mm)


#8

Hi,

These are from my collection

FMJ steel bullet CN 1937:.325"
FMJ solid copper bullet ART.D 1914 :.327"
paper green bullet (blank) ART.D 1905 : 310"

Pivi


#9

I don’t have my notes at hand, but the gist of balle D diameter is that its two diameters, the cylindrical section between the boattail and the crimping groove running something on the order of .322 in. and a short skirt of the ogive just forward of the groove rather larger, on the order of .326. This characteristic was pretty uniform among several examples of French and U.S. manufacture checked by myself and a friend. JG


#10

Tony

The words “consistent accuracy” and “Lebel” do not belong in the same sentence. :) :) :)

Ray


#11

I dont know what happened, my answer is in a new post!
I am starting to get old I think.

Anyway Ray, just let me explain you someting about French ctges.

  1. all the commercials ones and military ones have a big problem : the primer !
    After a few years it doesn’t work, even if properly stored.
    And this about any caliber : handgun or rifle.
  2. the military 9 para ctges are very hot. They break all the handguns if you shoot a lot (including the MAC 50) because they were designed for a submachine gun
  3. the handgun ctges (like 32 ACP and 7.65 Long) juste made after WWII are terrible because of the powder. They used a mix of German powder captured after the war.
    Never shoot that if you don’t want to have a bullet stuck in the barrel.

It is all.(perhaps a lot, but only that).

Now, when people shoot ctges not designed to be shot in a gun they use (because the ctges don’t match the chamber), excuse me, but they have either no knowlege or are idiots.

It is the case for example with 8 mm Lebel.
The French surplus ammo you find in the US must not be shot in the old guns. But only in guns (machine gun, rifles, carbines) with a N on the barrel and on the receiver .
These ctges (Mle 1932) have a neck diameter bigger than the 1886 one and the profil of the ctge is different.

JP


#12

[quote=“jean-pierre”]

It is the case for example with 8 mm Lebel.
The French surplus ammo you find in the US must not be shot in the old guns. But only in guns (machine gun, rifles, carbines) with a N on the barrel and on the receiver .
These ctges (Mle 1932) have a neck diameter bigger than the 1886 one and the profil of the ctge is different.

JP[/quote]
What are the differences? I can’t see any difference in cartridge profile between a French 1913 Lebel and a French 1939 Lebel I have here. the 1913 Bullet measures .327" (8.31mm) at the case mouth, and the 1939 measures .328" (8.34mm) at the case mouth.


#13

It doesn’t depend of the bullet diameter but of the bullet type
Mle 1886 cylindroogival bullet
Mle 1886 D bullet : pointed copper bullet
Mle 1932 bullet pointed Steel jacketed bullet

the ctge with the 1932 bullet need a special chamber
jp


#14

I didn’t realise what you were trying to say at first about a different bullet. Both my rounds are identical as both have the solid copper Balle D bullet.


#15

Falcon,
your 1939 round should have a steel FMJ bullet.

Jean Pierre,
there is something I can’t understand in the french web site about 8 lebel cartridges.I have a D model solid copper bullet that is headstamped
A.VE PC 3.16 and has a red annulus near the cannelure:
1-what’s the meaning of the letters “PC”?I have seen a lot of model D bullets with the “D " headstamp
2-Is the red annulus a standard thing on ball loads?
Its diameter is .328”

Cheers
Pivi


#16

[quote=“Pivi”]Falcon,
your 1939 round should have a steel FMJ bullet.
Pivi[/quote]
The bullet is 100% Non-Magnetic. I know it is original to the case because I saw it as a live round, it was pulled by another collector I know who gave me some of their spare rounds.


#17

[quote=“Pivi”].I have a D model solid copper bullet that is headstamped
A.VE PC 3.16 and has a red annulus near the cannelure:
1-what’s the meaning of the letters “PC”?I have seen a lot of model D bullets with the “D " headstamp
2-Is the red annulus a standard thing on ball loads?
Its diameter is .328”

Cheers
Pivi[/quote]

Hi Pivi,
about the annulus (black or red or violet) : nothing special

about the code PC : I have the info somewhere but not available right now.
Surely a guy collecting Lebel can answer you before I find the info.

About dimensions :

  • where do you measure the bullet diameter ??? on a loaded round or on a loose bullet ?
  • I gave on another topic the SFM AND MILITARY dimensions (all of them coming from factory drawings) :8.20 to 8.25
  • Perhaps some manufacturings are a little bite bigger (I will check as soon as I have time).
    Here again some French people have a better knowledge than me about the dimensions (they also have all the factory drawings), so they can give you more info than me and quicker. I do not collect Lebel ctgs anymore.
  • Your bullet is 8.33. You are surely right.
    But :
  1. I usually don’t even check my library or even think when some European guy use inches! American people are OK because they have the excuse to use these units every day, but not European guys !
    Look at Tony William who opened the topic. He is a pure Brit and doesn’t speak in inches!
    Specially about metric ctges !
  2. Now let imagine you have a GOOD caliper, you CHECK it first with gages, and you KNOW how tu use it.
    The accuracy of a VERY GOOD caliper is 2/100 of millimeter, and 3/100 of mm for a GOOD one.
    Now if you use inch display and if the exact value is between two 1/1000 of inches you are rounding the nearest value and in his case you loose again 1/100 of mm.
    Total error in this case is : 4/100 of mm.
    your will measure 8.29 instead of 8.25 for example.
    Therefore no problem when somebody tells me he finds 8.29 instead of 8.25 !
  3. Now after 20 years of mechanical work I can tell you :
    90% of the calipers used by the collectors are in very bad condition.(they take it to go to gun shows, use it a lot not always in good environnement, let it fall and so on).
    90% of the users don’t know how to use a caliper.(and I am not talking of cents of mm measurements!)
    Therefore a 5/100 error is easay, very easy.

Furthermore a good mechanic worker will never use a caliper to have an exact measurement in cents of mm !!
He will use a micrometer.

Ask Ray, he is doing accurate shooting and if he is acting as the guys in Europe doing bench rest when they calibrate their bullet, check the concentrycity and so on, they don’t use a caliper

JP


#18

The bullet diameter measured with a micrometer is 8.315 mm ,about .016 mm from the measurement taken with my digital caliper.
Both instruments are in very good conditions.
The measurement is taken where the bullet enters in the case neck.
I repeat my last measurements on the other rounds:I found the same accuracy (or the same error if you prefer this term).

Pivi


#19

However,when you say:.327" = 8.30 mm it is not a correct thing.
If you cut the measure to the 1/100 mm the correct number will be 8.31 mm
If you cut the measure to the 1/1000 mm the correct number will be 8.306 mm

Pivi


#20

[quote=“Pivi”]However,when you say:.327" = 8.30 mm it is not a correct thing.
If you cut the measure to the 1/100 mm the correct number will be 8.31 mm
If you cut the measure to the 1/1000 mm the correct number will be 8.306 mm

Pivi[/quote]
Pivi,
when I give measurement .327= 8.30 instead of 8.306 (or 8.310) it is because it is rounded.
It is useless to give a bullet diameter with a 5/1000 mm accuracy !
You can’t keep that in manufacturing.

Now regarding your bullet measuring 8.31mm, I said why not.
Perhaps some military manufacturing runs were not in the tolerances!
8.30 instead of 8.25 is not a big deal for using these rounds during a war.

jp