Berthier ammunition


In an undated fragment titled ‘Notes on Ordnance’ that I found on the shelves in the Leeds Armouries library there was this illustration of a French Berthier carbine;

In the text it states that the carbine ‘will probably become the French military arm at an early date’

In an attached appendix details of the cartridge and arm are given as;

Caliber; 0,301"
Diameter to bottom of rifling; 0,313"
No of rounds in clip; 4
Diameter of bullet; 0,308"
Length of bullet; 1,142"
Weight of cartridge; 380 grains
Weight of bullet; 205 grains
Weight capped case; 142g
Weight powder (smokeless); 33 grains

The cartridge seems to be unusual in that it is rimless and the clip is like no Berthier clip I’ve ever seen. The drawing and description is detailed enough that the form of the ammunition and clip seems to be something other than guesswork. Does anyone have any further information on it and did the design ever get beyond the experimental? Information on French military arms and ammunition is a bit thin on the ground.

Happy collecting, Peter


Hello Peter,

I believe this is an experimental model chambered for a 7,5 x 53 SR Berthier cartridge (7,8 x 53 SR) designed by SFM in 1891.

I’m sure that one of our french members can add more information.