Video on ammunition manufacturing (France, 1940)


#1

Here’s an interesting video I have found in www.municion.org. The cartridges (see minute 2:51) look like 7,62 Nato but of course they must be 7,5 x 54 MAS.

youtube.com/watch?v=WQqGTKdxzK0

Schneider.


#2

Wonderful, thank you for the link.

JF


#3

Hello !
the ctges are indeed for 7.5 mas.

But at the end they show bullets turned on a lathe!
These ones must be for 8 lebel;
What do you think ,

JP


#4

All those exposed drive belts flying around. It wouldn’t be allowed like that today. A good video though and very interesting to watch.


#5

And Now that France No Longer Makes any Military ammo of its own, all that wonderful machinery has been reduced to
scrap iron and steel, and destroyed…!!! ( “UN Rules”)

Did everybody notice the Berdan flash hole driller machine??

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#6

Great video. I think I saw the cases passing some small flames to be annealed at one point.


#7

[quote=“jeanpierre”]Hello !
the ctges are indeed for 7.5 mas.

But at the end they show bullets turned on a lathe!
These ones must be for 8 lebel;
What do you think ,

JP[/quote]
Interesting question about the Lebel bullets. I always thought they were stamped but I don’t know where I got that from. Has anyone got any virgin Lebel rounds with machining marks on the bullets? The ones that I have are fired battlefield pickups, been in the ground for 80 years, but they are totally smooth.


#8

[quote=“VinceGreen”][quote=“jeanpierre”]Hello !
the ctges are indeed for 7.5 mas.

But at the end they show bullets turned on a lathe!
These ones must be for 8 lebel;
What do you think ,

JP[/quote]
Interesting question about the Lebel bullets. I always thought they were stamped but I don’t know where I got that from. Has anyone got any virgin Lebel rounds with machining marks on the bullets? The ones that I have are fired battlefield pickups, been in the ground for 80 years, but they are totally smooth.[/quote]

You are right they are stamped.
What these turned bullets are for ??

JP


#9

JP: Is it not possible that even if the bullets are stamped or pressure formed that the crimping groove might not be lathe turned? In the film it looks to me that the work being done is about where the groove is found on the balle D. Jack


#10

The crimping groove on a regular bullet for 7.5 or 8 is not lathe turned
the only exception, as you say, is for D bullet which is solid

But isn’t it a little be too late for D bullet manufacturing ?
And why to show pictures of another caliber manufacturing while it is obvious it is 7.5 manufacturing ?

No idea, sorry

JP


#11

JP: I have an 8m/m balle D cartridge of 1940 date (exact headstamp not at hand), so I think the D and N were both manufactured at that time. I thought that the inclusion of the shot of lathe turning the 8m/m (if that’s what we’re seeing) was simply for visual interest, since there is likely no parallel procedure on the 7.5m/m. Just a guess of course! Jack


#12

There is no reason for greasing to manufacture some brass.
For me it is not a question of 8mm Lebel with bullet D or N.
Can be a nucleus for 7.5x54 Mle 29, armor percing or armor percing / tracer who were made in large number for the aviation ?

p-j


#13

JP:It certainly could be an AP core rather than a bullet, but without anything in the image to provide scale it’s hard to know how large the object actually is. To my eyes it looks more like a bullet than an AP core, but the angle is a difficult one. I took it that the liquid was cutting fluid, which is often used in machine tools like lathes, but I don’t know enough about this to know if cutting fluid would be necessry with copper alloys, or only with harder materials like steel. Jack


#14

Coming from (originally) an engineering background I would tend towards the view that cutting oil (suds as they were known) would not be required on copper/ brass only steel but thats not definitive. It would depend on the cutting tool. High speed steel (HSS) tools might need a bit of coolant to prolong tool life but carbide tipped tools (much more probable in an obviously intensive industrial application ) would not. However, even with carbide the tool life would be prolonged by using a coolant but it would require washing and drying of the component afterwards which would mean additional stages to go through.


#15

All the SAA manufacturing is replete with “Suds”…it is actually “oil of green soap”(USA) or “Savon de Marseille”(Europe) dissolved in water, and used as a drawing and turning Lubricant with brass. Cases in the process are washed, pickled in acid, and re-lubed as they go thru the various processes, right up to almost the end, when they are primed and filled.

When I was at Sellier and Bellot, in 1993, they were still using Soap Suds as lube on case drawing, rather than the more “modern” synthetic sulphonated Oils which are now almost universal in Western ammo plants with Tungsten Carbide drawing dies. Remember, the dies in the French Factory would have been Forged Tool/die steel in 1940.

Brass can be fast-Turned Dry ( Trimming, Extractor Groove Turning), but a little Lube helps ( as also Berdan Hole Drilling).

As to the turning scenes of the “bullet”, Balle “N” was manufactured up to the 1950s, as was the AP version; Balle D ceased manufacture during the German Occupation Period (steel cases Valence (VE) marked loads do exist in 8mm Lebel)

Very nice Film clip, as were others in the same Files on YT. But too short and fast to note all the processes, or to really get information.
Phases shown:
Stamping Discs for Cups,(single stage) Annealing (Cups or Discs), Forming bodies/Forming necks and shoulders, Turning Heads, Drilling flash Holes, Filling and Bulleting, Inspecting and organising.

But unless one views it with “the Knowledge” one does not get any useful info. from it, or even know what the steps are.

Similar Movie clips exist from an Aussie factory (Footscray) and RL in Britain, both First and Second WW. All for “propaganda” value rather than actual information ( which the enemy could analyse and use.)

PS, the French were using a Fritz Werner Check-weighing machine…saw one at S&B–probably part of WW I reparations from Germany.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#16

Great and historical Video on ammunition manufacturing. I never had experience to see such type of ammunition manufacturing video before but first time I got awareness from this knowledge of valued source.


#17

It’s not something I personally know about, but I do remember reading an article somewhere about the 8mm Balle D bullets being turned on banks of automatic screw machines. And most references speak of the Balle D bullet as being lathe-turned brass. But there may have been different means of production used at different times by different plants.

Somewhere, I have a single specimen of an 8mm Lebel FMJ round made by Western (it has a WWI-era date on the HS - 1918, I think), but I don’t know what kind of bullet it has, probably not solid brass.


#18

I believe that all of the solid bronze (not brass) 8mm Lebel bullets were swaged in dies. One die cavity formed the long pointed nose, down to the crimp groove while the other cavity was shaped for the shank. When the two halves met a skirt of excess metal was squeezed out. This “skirt” was skimmed off as the crimp groove was formed on a lathe.

The factory film that I have seen only showed the lathe turning part of the process, not the swaging.

gravelbelly


#19

"I believe that all of the solid bronze (not brass) 8mm Lebel bullets were swaged in dies"
Does that mean there were both bronze and brass Balle D bullets? Everything I have read describes 8mm Balle D bullets as being made of 90/10 brass, except COTW says it is bronze. Just as a matter of economics, I would think brass would be the preferred material, as tin is substantially more expensive than zinc. Can someone document what the actual material specified by the French was?


#20

From the old French web site 8leble.org the ball D is described as (translation French to English) “bi-ogivale shoulder to tail truncated piece brass 90/10 (bronze), it weighs 12.8 grams and measures 39.2 mm in length”. That doesn’t help much:-)

If the film was made in 1940 would they not be producing the ball bullet Mle 1932 N which has a plated steel jacket and lead core? Or am I mistaken?

Brian