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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In looking at the three WWI era infantry rifles I have there are two different sights observed. On the completely original Lebel, MAC 1901, there is a blade sight. On the MAT Lebel, this one re-barrled in 1918 and updated to ball N, there is a "Lewes" (grooved front sight and wide rear apperture) type sight. The same for the St Etienne M-16. It was updated to Balle N and has the Lewes type sight. Was this the sight change made in the upgrades?

The second question is did the MA and date appear on the M-16s. My St. Etienne does not exhibit one. It is stamped CC and has a serial number in the 11,XXX range. There is no indication of re-barrleing and all numbered components match.

I suppose there is a third question in this. Is there any information on which sight proved a better combat site?
Thanks for any input. Nelson
 

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The original rear sight was wide U-notch and the front sight consists of a wide blade (that looks more like a sight base) with a groove machined into the top surface which was used by aligning the front and rear sights, and then placing the target in the groove, they then went to typical blade type sight, date unknown.
Both types of sights were used throught the weapons service life. I have a MAS 1888 that has the typical blade sight and a MAC 1888 that has the wide grooved type and both of these were never up-dated for the 1932N cartridge.

During WWI some of the barrels were not marked with a MA or date, I have one that way, all it has is a serial number and steel provider on it like yours. I know Dale has some of these as well. Why these were not marked with MA and date ... who knows, take a guess as my good friend Dale would say. Until we get some good documents we can speculate all we want as to why they were never marked. I like the theory, they were in a rush to get it out the door and forgot to do it :)
Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks much. It's never very neat or tidy I suppose. The second response makes total sense as well. I am lucky enough that the stock cartouche is still present to give me the February 1918 acceptance as a good date.
 
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