Rus Articles Journal

Lebel`s rifle. What was the mother of a legendary Russian three-ruler?

the French rifle of Lebel - the first-ever multicharging army rifle under a cartridge with smokeless gunpowder and an obolochenny bullet. Can tell that design finds during creation of this rifle served as prototypes if not all army small arms of the 20th century, then, undoubtedly, to its most part.

To a sample of the colonel Lebel on arms of the French troops single shot rifles of Gr of a sample of 1874, “partially store“ Austrian Kropachek and Italian Vetterli, all 11 mm of caliber under a cartridge with smoky gunpowder consisted. I ask to remember the second part of this offer especially. Gr`s rifle was single shot, like Russian “Berdan rifle“, Kropachek`s rifle had subbarrelled shop on 7 cartridges. The mechanism of a rifle of Gr - Kropachek of a sample of 1884. with the original sliding lock and subbarrelled shop was for the time advanced, reliable and “comprehensively tested“. Said even that Gr`s rifle - Kropachek is designed more successfully in comparison with the German rifle of the Mauser of that time. In principle, Gr`s rifles satisfied military in everything, except … smoky gunpowder in the boss.

And that is why.

All of us watched movies about war. Old war where shot from silicon guns which were loaded from a barrel. And so, at a shot from such gun before the shooter there is a cloud of a dense powder smoke which in windless weather long did not dissipate. When the shooter loaded the gun from a barrel, the smoke managed to dissipate. And here when guns with charging from state part went, rate of firing sharply increased. But from - for dense a powder smoke, the second shot of arrows did already through a smoke, the third shot - almost blindly. And when the rifle became multicharging, the problem of increase of rate of fire of small arms became unsoluble, there was no sense to increase rate of firing if the shooter does not see where to shoot.

And one more lack of smoky gunpowder. In 60 - x years of the 19th century there were already rifles from which the skilled shooter could hit the target at distance more than 500 m, but smoky gunpowder from the first shot found shooting so it was almost impossible to conduct the long hidden firing from the weapon with smoky gunpowder.

French not the first realized this problem, but first-ever solved it. And still as solved!

They made the first-ever cartridge with smokeless gunpowder which “8x50R Lebel began to call then“. The chemist Paul Viel and the army captain Desalo are considered as inventors of gunpowder. The boss was developed by the lieutenant colonel Nikolaus Lebel, the chief of army shooting school. It was the first boss with obolochenny a dense alloy a bullet.

All the matter is that soft lead at twisting in a long trunk it is unpredictable “is peeled“ and at the same time, in - the first, it is strongly slowed down, and in - the second, the trajectory of a bullet becomes less predictable. To avoid these “unpleasant“ effects, a bullet, for example, for Russian “Berdan rifle“, turned in the salted paper. It was very non-technological in production, plus lots of the channel of a trunk were quickly hammered that demanded frequent cleaning of the weapon. Besides, the obolochenny bullet possessed also the increased penetrative properties, metal of a cover was stronger than lead.

For increase in speed of a bullet, the boss made a bottle form, under gunpowder - the bigger cylinder, under a bullet - smaller. For a bigger nastilnost of a trajectory the caliber was reduced from 11 to 8 mm that, by the way, allowed to lose weapon weight strongly.

The big group of experts participated in creation of a rifle under a new cartridge: military experts Lebel and Bonzes, technician Klauz, engineer Vyel. Though the weapon was developed very hastily, the rifle was designed, according to a selection committee, “is quite satisfactory“.

The barrier mechanism of a new rifle left former, the shop was left by Kropachek`s designs, subbarrelled, there is nothing to change checked in fights on it is unknown that. The box consists of two parts: a butt and tsevya with the drilled shop, these parts are cut out separately from a nut tree and were fastened with iron plates, it was so simpler for production and repair. The ramrod is not provided, it is replaced by rope rubbing. The rifle adjusted fire without bayonet that significantly increased firing accuracy. A front sight of triangular shape with thin cut in the middle - for especially exact firing. The sector sight, as on modern Kalashnikovs, marked for firing to 2400 m is for the first time applied. It is approximately five times farther than an old rifle of Gr!

In 1886 it was taken advantage of the French army. For outstanding merits to Nikolaus Lebel gave a colonelcy and appointed the commander of an infantry regiment, and called the rifle created under its management a rifle of system of Lebel.

The rifle passed the first baptism of fire not in Europe, and in the jungle of far Madagascar. French from new rifles shot natives at distance about 2 km, without giving to the opponent of an opportunity to approach on rifle-shot distance. In 1893 the receiver was strengthened, and in a head of a lock drilled an opening for removal of gases (to reduce risk of defeat of the shooter in case of a rupture of a lock), but in general a design left former.

of TTH of a rifle of Lebel obr. 1886 / 93 g:

Calibre: 8 mm.

total length: 1,303 m

trunk Length: 798 mm.

Weight: 4,245 kg.

Initial speed of a bullet: 724 m/s.

Shop: 8 - charging tubular.

Rate of fire: 8 shots a minute.

of Advantage

aim range of firing Huge for those times - to 2400 m

Outstanding ballistic properties of the new boss: big nastilnost, strong penetrative action of a bullet, grouping, bezdymnost and small return.

The reliable mechanism of a lock which is not afraid of strong pollution.


the Inconvenient subbarrelled shop in use loaded on one boss.

Unsafe safety adaptation. Even the mechanism put on a safety lock during descent of a cock beat kapsul, but with a small force.

Tetrahedral blade of a bayonet; they could prick only though before on Gr`s rifles there was a cutting bayonet - a hatchet.

The forward swivel (a loop of fastening of a figurative belt) is located too close to state part of a trunk, the trunk is strongly shaken in the parties when carrying on a shoulder.

By the beginning of World War I the rifle with the subbarrelled mechanism became hopelessly outdated. However its subsequent modernizations under box-shaped shop were quite unsuccessful, and Lebel`s rifle served to French even until the end of World War II. Lebel`s rifle in civil armed parts of the admiral Kolchak, were at war with it and on other fronts of civil war. These rifles were even... probably, remained with defenders of besieged Leningrad even since World War I.

Lebel`s rifle obr. 1886 / 93 g laid off only in 1920. In total during production them about 2 880 000 pieces were let out.

Constructive finds of a rifle of Lebel strongly advanced “world weapon thought“. Under a lebelevsky cartridge French made one of the most reliable machine guns of that time - “Gochkis“. The same boss served as a prototype of the Russian unitary trilinear boss of 7,62õ54 mm under which the well-known Russian trilinear rifle, legendary “mosinka“ was made. The boss`s design to Lebel`s rifle (a bottle brass sleeve, a charge of smokeless gunpowder and an obolochenny bullet) is repeated now by all machine-gun, rifle, intermediate (automatic) and many pistol cartridges. The sector sight costs on any rifle with an external mechanical sight today. Well and, naturally, since then all army rifles do multicharging.

And the task was - simply to clean a smoke from a shot...