French 7.62 Carbine Ammo?

yes there were the two types of cases, Berdan and Boxer primed.
Berdan primed case was the Mle 1950 and the Boxer primed was the Mle 1954 and then became the Mle 1950A (in 1955, not to confuse with the first French 7,62 NATO who was the Mle 1954).
VE made both, TE only Boxer primed and SFM, for the French Army contract, Berdan primed but maybe also Boxer. SFM commercial (Gévelot) seems to be all Berdan primed.


HI, I know only 2 lots of .30 M1 with laquered steel case and bonderized ball (with lead core) (VE-4-C-49 / EV-2-F-52).

On the brass cases, there are 2 types of primer:

It is amazing that a mercury fulminate-containing priming composition would (or may) have been used for any country’s small arms service ammunition at that late date. Other than for some special match-grade primers, I thought mercury fulminate priming had ceased to be by about 1900. Less amazing, but equally strange, is that the French used corrosive priming in the .30 Carbine. I wonder what their logic was for that? By the way, both the French and Dominican .30 Carbine ammunition (which I think also used corrosive primers) I have fired was not used in the M1 Carbine, rather a Ruger Blackhawk revolver in that caliber.

On 14 Aug 2010 “pierrejean” on this forum posted a machine translation of a treatise by Michel Rogier on French ammunition development. It does not mention .30 Carbine, but clearly states that the French 7.5 mm had severe problems with consistent ignition of the French powders with styphnate primers. Therefore they kept mercury/chlorate primers for a long time.
(Alas, the French orginal -apart fram an unreadable scan- seems not to be available on the Web.)

Regarding mercury fulminate primers, I thought it was common knowledge that these were used in the entire Warsaw Pact military ammunition right up to its end. In GDR, Königswartha manufactured them, also for Lübben and export. I assume, Russian and Chinese military ammunition, unless for Export (environment protection), still uses them today.
The German primers 88 (rifle) and 08 (pistol) contained mercury as well as chlorate and were manufactured up to the end of WWII. Primers 30, 30/40, 43 and 08/40 have the Sinoxid mix.

Edited for typo.
2nd edit P.S.: The pre-1945 DWM NICORRO primer mix also contained mercury fulminate, but no chlorate. (according to Richard Mahrholdt)
3rd edit for typo again.

I also received, thru another person, a detailed description of French .30 Carbine production written by Philippe
Regenstreif some time ago. Philippe is an authority on French, German and perhaps ALL ammunition, so it is
clear from his description and those presented here that the French DID make Boxer-primed .30 Carbine ammunition.

The next question, to which I haven’t seen an answer, is “was the Boxer-primed ammunition corrosive-primed as is
the Berdan-primed version?”

I wish I had some duplicates of French Carbine ammo. I have a fair collection of them, but I never acquired much
in duplicate or box labels, because when it was in the U.S. we would not, under any circumstances, sell it in our
store and I would not personally fire it in any kind of weapon. So, I never acquired mored than individual specimens.

I thank everyone for setting the record straight on the Berdan/Boxer issue. Ignorance, in this case my own,
is NOT bliss, like the saying goes.

Composition french primers M1950 (Berdan) & M1950A (Boxer) for .30 M1 cartridges (French Army documentation).

Excellent, thanks.

Interesting primer formulations. As they do not contain any chlorates, they may not be particularly corrosive, and maybe that’s why the mercury fulminate was used. But I still don’t understand why the fulminate was used instead of lead styphnate given its problems with decreased shelf life. Could the French powders have been that difficult to ignite?

I decided to pull apart some dupes and even a couple of French .30 Carbine from my collection. Here
are the results, presented in no special order:

VE 2-60 S Berdan
SF I 2 54 Berdan
VE 4-59 N Berdan
VE 4-61 BD Berdan
VE 4 C 58 Boxer
VE 4 C 56 Boxer
VE 2 C 50 Berdan

  • GEVELOT * 7.62 Berdan

The base of the GEVELOT round is formed a little differently. It has a dimple in the center, which
at first I thought was a flash hole. Then I realized that on either side of the dimple, were snaller
flash holes.

I did not have any duplicates of “TE C” rounds at all, and only two variations of it in my collection, so
I assumed it is much scarcer than the “VE” rounds and decided not to pull either apart. According to
information previously on this thread, they should both be Boxer primed, but I did not confirm that.

The 3 VE 49 C aluminum-case, and the 4 VE 49 C steel-casel, are both NPE cases in my collection, both with Berdan primers.

Can you please double check the VE 4 S 58 hs. J. Barlerin mentioned the 1 49, but not that one.
Also, does the VE 4 C 56, have an open or closed 4? (I have ball in closed 4, and heard of a open 4 in Dummy.)


What is it that you want me to check on VE 4 58?

Just verify its VE 4 S 58, and not VE 4 C 58 or VE 4-59 S 7,62
Jacques Barlerin did not mention that headstamp. A picture would be great, when you have time.

and also VE 4-67 BD !! in 1967 AVE is normally closed !! (4-61 ??)

Also, is Your steel cased 3 VE 49 C really the 4 VE 49 C You posted about on the Sept 17, 2009 Forum? Thanks.


Dan - I made a typo on that one in the list of primer types. The headstamp is actually 4 VE 58 C.
On the 4 VE 56 C, the “4” has a closed top and in fact, looks very much like the “4” in the font I am

Jan - Yes, my early steel, primed empty case is 4 VE C 49. The figures “4” are both open at the top.

Tks - Yes, you are correct. The VE round you question is actually VE 4-61 BD 7.62. My 73-year old eyes
have trouble with these European numeral ones that appear to us very much like sevens. I know the difference
very well, but sometimes my eyes play tricks on me. That couple with typing getting sloppier and sloppier in
my old age mades me wonder if I should be doing this kind of work at all. When I was younger, on any job I
had, I was noted for accuracy in small details. Not any longer. Sorry for all the typo and reading errors.

I will edit my list to avoid confusion for others.

I have a complete case of these and just woundering how much they are worth and if they can be used in another firearm

These French .30 Carbine rounds can be used in any weapon chambered
for that cartridge. However, I, for one, would NEVER use them in an Ml
Carbine. Many of them are corrosive-primed rounds, Perhaps all of them, and very damaging
to the captive piston in a U.S. M1 Carbine. We saw the results of that. The
only way to properly clean out the gas chamber that the piston is mounted in,
with the locking nut staked into place, is to break it free to remove the piston so that it
and its housing can be properly cleaned. If this is done, the piston and nut remounted
and properly re-staked, every time a carbine is fired, it will soon pretty much ruin
the the unit. Since the housing is integral to the barrel, that is a very expensive
repair. I cannot speak to chamber pressures and overall quality of this ammunition,
so recommend it not be used at all, even though it is not impossible that it could be
used in guns that are easy to clean, such as revolvers, etc., without causing
permanent damage. Again, I would shoot it in nothing. JMHO.

Edited to correct a typo only.

John Moss

AS to Corrosiveness of Berdan M1 Carbine ammo, the PRC (Chinese) Covert “LC52” Plain boxed ammo of the 1960s, is the worst of any Corrosive M1C ammo. Beats French and Dominican by a Mile.

As to the use for Mercury Fulminate in primers ( well after non-mercuric Primers were invented and used) was more a question of Ignition…in any climate (from Arctic to desert); the longevity was Not a consideration…anything up to 5 years was CONSIDERED sufficient.


My father passed and I found 2 of these in his house. I imagine they are corrosive and would just be a collector item. Does anyone here know who would want something like this?

I like these… were are they Europe , US ??