The French Lebel 1886 ■¡is— - ^ (also called the «modèle d'ordonnance» - standard issue model) was the first smokeless powder military rifle, and one of very wide distribution. The Foreign Legion and the Colonial Army used these in the French conquests in Africa and Asia. In accordance with French ideas, it was a better bayonet platform than it was a rifle. The standard bayonet was a two-foot blade that could only be used for thrusting; it had no effective cutting edge. Many variants existed; since the French hate to throw anything away, older models were in use to the very end of the Lebel's service, sometime in the late 1960s. (It was replaced as the Army issue rifle in 1936, but continued to be issued to police and reserve units for 30 years.) The true «Lebel» has an eight-shot tubular magazine; it can have one round in the chamber and one more on the cartridge carrier between magazine and chamber, when fully loaded. Rifles were about 1.20 m long and carbines about 0.90 m (Dmg. 5d+1, V2D 800, Max 3400, Wt. 3.1, Shots 3+2). In 1890, a commission redesigned the Lebel to use a Mannlicher-style clip of three rounds. The new rifles were called «Berthier», after the president of the commission; most French soldiers continued to call them Lebel. The first issued were carbines (stats as above except Shots 3; Mannlicher-style clips do not allow an extra round in the chamber). Rifles (as above except Shots 3) were first issued in 1902. In 1916, another redesign increased shots to 5 for carbines and rifles. All three designs in both styles were in use at the same time.

Weapon Malf. Dmg. SS Acc. 1/2Dmg. Max. Wt. RoF Shots ST Rcl. Cost HO

No. 1 SMLE crit. 6d+1 14 10 1000 3 800 4.5 1 10+1 12 -2 450€ -6 .303 British

The No. 1 Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle (SMLE for short, or «Smelly», colloquially) was adopted by the British in 1888, and still in use at the end of the 20th century, as a sniper rifle converted to 7.62 mm NATO, the SMLE was one of the fastest bolt-action rifles to operate. Skilled shooters could get off 40 rounds in a minute, even allowing for reloading. The magazine was removable, but normally reloading was with five-shot, Mauser-type stripper clips. The first versions of this rifle (called Lee-Metford) had an eight-shot magazine and could not be clip-loaded. The first 10-shot magazines were adopted in 1892 and the name was changed to Lee- Enfield in 1895. The first clip-loading versions appeared in 1900. Several variations of rifle and carbine on the same basic action were made during the Lee-Enfield's more than a century of use, all basically similar (MkI through MkIII, differing mostly in sights).




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