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Could someone please give me a general value of a Lebel 93m 35R carbine dated 1935? I have one with a great bore and a non matching bayonet.

I am also in need of a loaded chamber indicater for a 1935S pistol. Any help locating one would be great.

Thanks.
 

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Tuna:

Value is a topic which is wisely avoided when it comes to obsolete firearms, in a small and esoteric market. So if your inquiry is aimed at placing a monetary amount upon your carbine, archived near market selling prices would be your best guide. Without photographs, the things you have going are your stated first year of production, its reflective bore and a deal sweetening bayonet.

In terms of utilitarian and collectable value, it suffers from a few things that mitigate against it. The Mle 1886 M 93 R 35 is a cipher, and apt to remain so until documentation is plumbed, (if it still exists), that will give us an inventory. That will remain the province of those French researchers who have given us so much. The very nature of the little beast does not lend itself to the study of existing examples for more than a short list of suppliers and their corresponding dates.

While it is true that all known R 35s bear the serial numbers of previously matriculated Lebels, those numbers were reassigned to the 'new' revised carbine. It is not true that the barrels came from the serial host, as they were newly manufactured, and so marked as to the vendor's involvement. Likewise the stocks too have been newly fabricated beech, walnut being quite rare. The upper and lower-bands were new production, as were the rear sights. Only the receiver, bolt, trigger group, butt-plate and lower sling swivel survived the original. The few cut down, early dated barrels and the attendent mixed serial numbers, seem to have been a late 1939/early 1940 phenomenon, or from the Occupation period. (gross speculation on my part)

So, without a dated acceptance cartouche or sequential serialization, we are off on our own. Some of us do "data mine" these aberrations, but even when we share our notes no pattern is evident. What we can say is that the production figure of 25,000 is a grave underestimation, reflecting the number in one lot of rear sights, ordered from one vendor! Due to sequential numbering of the Mle 1907-15 M_34 MAS we see that atleast 63,000 unit were modified. The R 35 appears to be much more common; from my pathically small sampling, an excess of 100,000 would seem reasonable.

Intrepid tales of Saphis aside, (for the "cavalry" version seems to have appeared at the end of the production run perhaps as a sling standardization, rather than as a branch specific, as was the M_34 equivalent), the R 35 program is more an industrial adjunct to the Maginot construction boondoggle. Well meaning and affordable as it may have seemed initially, it did run on through five years of assemblage dates.

Basic representatives are 1932 N cartridge marked, non-import marked, and largely all matching in near unissued condition. They could be manufacture for a fraction of the cost of the Berthier M_34 upgrade, but, as above, it is hard to now comprehend why time and treasure were budgeted for a design which had existed and been rejected prior to the Great War. Compared to the elegant, swift loading, smooth chambering Berthier M.16 carbine, the R 35 was a rear echelon anachronism. (But that type of criticism is a prejudice from ignorance.)

Others will have a more positive perspective and believe the stories that attend these carbines. The sales narrative could read: "Considered to be rare, with only 25,000 manufactured. Proofed against the Maginot damp by their black enameled finish, yet seen in the hands of bold Saphis and eager E-boat crews, they are the last manifestation of the rifle which introduced all of the world's militaries to the modern smokeless powder revolution; and you can purchase this story for only $XXX! Carbine, bayonet and authentic, mildewed period sling included free." (If you do not have the sling, PM me and I will set you up.)


Frivolity aside, I doubt that anyone has written more copy about this carbine as may be found here, within the Lebel 'stickies' or the archived threads. Run a search and best of luck.
 
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