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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi gents. I have a Chatellerault Model 1890 receiver marked "something" carbine with the N marking, 1916 upgrade to 5rd magazine, and a newer MAC 1923 barrel on it.
I have some pics attached.

Just wanted to know what I have here. My best theory is it's one of the 1890 carbine models, if it was cavalerie or cuirassier it was converted for a bayonet later on, then modified for the 5rd mag, then upgraded to Balle N with a 1923 dated barrel.

Likely saw a lot of service before it was surplused. The bolt is not matching.

But is it a Cavalerie, Cuirassier, or Gendarmerie? Or is it now impossible to tell?
Cheers,






 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I put your link into google translate and it was dealing with the filling in of the wood stock - where the clearance rod went. The other parts of your research dealt with # rifles produced and conversion to 5rd mag. But there was nothing specific about the three 1890 carbines and what changed over the 30+ years to post WW1.
 

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There is a really good sticky at the top of this forum over the Berthiers. Your Berthier is a Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle 1892 Modifié 1916. It probably was a Carabine de Cavalerie Modèle 1890, but it's not anymore as it was converted during or probably after WWI to an 1892.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Read that long sticky, did not really help me because the serial numbers don't match the manufacturer. It's a Chattellerault with an F series number.
How can an 1890 marked receiver become an 1892 Artillery model?
The French rifles are not that confusing, but these Berthier carbines have me stumped. I have a another carbine, marked MLe 16 on the receiver, but with only the 3 round mag.
 

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There is a really good sticky at the top of this forum over the Berthiers. Your Berthier is a Mousqueton de Artillerie Modèle 1892 Modifié 1916. It probably was a Carabine de Cavalerie Modèle 1890, but it's not anymore as it was converted during or probably after WWI to an 1892.
He is correct ... a very simple rule to follow is whatever the configuration the firearm is at this time is the proper name of it no matter what the receiver says.

1914-1918 - During The Great War, the French military did what they had to do to make complete weapons especially after the Battle of Verdun known as the "meat grinder" during the first half of 1916, which chewed up men, animals and material at an unprecedented pace. The ongoing struggle waged by French Ordnance to arm the troops at the front, along with each year's new draft of young men, resulted in large-scale small arms salvage operations, where teams of scroungers picked up all of these weapons, all along the various fronts and were returned to the nearest facility for re-build and re-issue. The French arsenals put together rifles and carbines with whatever parts were on hand, be it carbine or rifle, from these battlefield-recovered weapons resulting in, rifles found with carbine bolts, carbines with rifle bolts and more, especially when it comes to stocks and stock furniture, you name it!. They did not stand on ceremony, tossing all of the pre-war fussiness out the window and re-built them as fast as possible into any functional model that they could. The easiest way to determine the number of potential wartime variations is to take a stack of Berthier components from the various models and see how many different ways you could possibly put them together, you will be surprised at what you could make!. Again after the war they also did this as well ... took parts of parts and made firearms as needed from those parts.
All this frequent re-building using parts from different models resulted in one of the more interesting aspects of collecting WWI-issue Berthier rifles and carbines, “What do I really have ?”, just remember this, that what ever configuration the weapon is at the present state is now is the nomenclature of this particular weapon.
So the next time you stumble across a Berthier at a gun shop, in the rack at a gun show, at the range, or on the internet, don't be surprised if it has one or more features from several different models.
 

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Read that long sticky, did not really help me because the serial numbers don't match the manufacturer. It's a Chattellerault with an F series number.
How can an 1890 marked receiver become an 1892 Artillery model?
The French rifles are not that confusing, but these Berthier carbines have me stumped. I have a another carbine, marked MLe 16 on the receiver, but with only the 3 round mag.
There is nothing different between the barreled receiver of an 1890 and 1892. The only difference is the stock and fittings. Yours was converted from an 1890 to an 1892. The reason for the F series serial number is it was rebarreled and they must have reused the serial number of another they rebarreled that was a St. Etienne made gun.

As for the M16 being 2 shots, the first M16s came from the factory with a 3 shot magazine as the 5 shot design wasn't fully finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks guys, great info. The rifles that were modified during the great war make it very interesting to collect. I have some Enfields including an 1914 early Mk3, and a transitional BSA from 1915. Same thing with the Japanese Type 99 from one of the best bolt action rifles of all time, to the "last ditch" ones made by the end of WW2. French rifles are new to me, but I am finding them very fascinating for the reasons you mentioned. I will keep an eye out for any that didn't get modified during the war, likely because it stayed in a colonial outpost. I have seen them around but didn't jump in time.
Cheers,
 
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