Looking for reference material on French small arms

I am looking for a reference on French military small arms. English language would be preferred. Anyone have any recommendations?


Here are a couple about French handguns that I have. Les revolvers Militaires Françaises which is in French, and French Service Handguns 1858-2004 which is in English. Another book that focuses on pinfire guns and has some information on Fench military use of them is: Systeme Lefaucheux: Continuing the Study of Pinfire Cartridge Arms Including Their Role in the American Civil War.


There are a fair number of English-language books on French weapons. I don’t know what is available on the market, but I have the following in my own library:

Hicks, Major James B., “French Military Weapons 1717 to 1938,” Published by Norm Flayderman
& Co., New Milford, Connecticut, 1964

Medlin, Eugene & Doane, Colin, “The French 1935 Pistols, A Concise History,” Excaliber Publications, Latham, NY, 1991/1995

Medlin, Eugene & Huon, Jean, “Military Handguns of France, 1858 to 1958,” Excaliber Publications, Latham, NY, 1993

Bouchard, Russel, “The Fusil de Tulle in New France, 1691-1741,” Museum Restoration Service,
Alexandria Bay, NY & Bloomfield, ON, Canada, 1980/1998

Huon, Jean, "Proud Promise - French Autoloading Rifles 1898-1979,: Collector Grade Publications, Cobourg, ON Canada, 1995

Demaison, Gerard & Buffetaut, Yves, “Honour Bound - The Chauchat Machine Rifle,” Collector Grade Publications, Cobourg, ON Canada 1995

There are other good books on French Arms, some of which I have in my library, but they are in the French Language. I seem to recall that you speak and read some French. They shouldn’t be too tough for you. They are a little difficult for me, but between English, Italian and Spanish, I get a little of the text in them.

I also have a file on French Military Arms, so next time you are here, you could copy what you want.

Allow me to clarify that I meant small arms munitions. Sorry about that!


The Hicks book that John Moss mentioned has very basic coverage of ammunition- sufficient for a gun collector’s needs, but not enough dedtail for most cartridge collectors. The illustrations are helpful if working on a display or talk or something.

“Cartridges of the Gras System” Mention & Ramio ISBN 0-939-683-02-04 Armory Publications

the books of Jacques Barlerin

les catouches militaires francaises
la cartouche de 30 M1 francaise
la cartouche de 7.62 francaise
la cartouche de 12.7 francaise
les cartouches experimentales francaises (post WWII)
les cartouches experimentales francaises (pre WWII)

Hard to find them because he used to sell them himself

Is Mssr. Barlerin still with us? If so, does he still sell them?

John, I am sorry, but Jacques Barlerin sadly passed away several years ago… This was a very great loss for French and foreign peoples interested in small arms ammunition .

He also was a very dear friend.

He left very important manuscript, with fantastic hand drawings about French ammo, some copies went we do not know exactly where and it’s a real pity that the one (or the ones) who got it never tried to get the rights from his famlily to publish it.


About Jacques B. booklets, you may also add a quite interesting one about French intermediate cartridges = 1944-1970.

You may add to your list an interesting review on the French 5,56 x 45 rounds , by Jean Huon :

Les Cartouches Françaises de 5,56 mm

Fully illustrated, scale 1:1 pics, all in colours, 60 pages, and it’s in French, but ALSO in English.

You can get it (if he has some left) by ordering directly (as well as his former hard bound books)

J[b]ean Huon,

32 rue de Rochefort




hello Dak

If you are looking for Barlerin booklets you will never find them except if a french collector send you a copy of the ones he has.
Indeed they were made at very few copies (less than 100) each

Now if you are looking for a particular caliber (30-06, 30 Carbine, 7.5 Mas, aso) used in the French army I recommand you articles (with a lot of pictures, some of them in color) in old AMI magazines.

They were written either by a french guy (member of IAA) who is number 1 about French military ctges or by our friend Stuka (PR).

I will try to find you the issues numbers of AMI magazines.



Thank you all for the information.

I am trying to find a way to ID loadings of French military small arms for WWII and before in 8mm Lebel, and 7.5 French.

While I am at it, information on Danish and Dutch military rifle caliber loadings for that period are also on my list to find.

It seems like this would be a great topic for a book.

Best Regards,


Take a look at these web sites, both are French and may require the use of an on line translator. Both sites, I think, are very good and I believe the gentlemen who runs the histavia site has posted here on the IAA form. The fist site covers arms and also has a section on ammunition including French ammo. The second site has lots of info on French ammunition.

histavia21.net/Old-Munavia-2 … 0index.htm

For Dutch military ammunition there is also a very well done web site at:



Very interesting sites Brian. Thanks.


dak 21

Information about Danish military cartridges can you find here:

arma-dania.dk/public/timeli … r_list.php

arma-dania.dk/public/timeli … r_list.php[/quote]

Who’s website is this?

arma-dania.dk/public/timeli … r_list.php[/quote]Who’s website is this?[/quote]Belongs to a private club of enthusiasts called Arma-Dania. Webmaster and de facto boss is a guy named Morten. The cartridge editor is a member here, as is the machine gun editor.

Another great website. Thanks very much!