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Auction Date: May 20, 2011

Lot 1811: Scarce French Model 1917 Semi-Automatic Rifle with Bayonet

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Scarce French Model 1917 Semi-Automatic Rifle with Bayonet
Estimated Price: $2,500 - $3,750
Item Views 196 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Scarce French Model 1917 Semi-Automatic Rifle with Bayonet ManufacturerFrench State Arsenals Model1917
TypeRifle Gauge8x50 Mm Catalog Page86
Barrel31 Inch Round FinishBlue Grip
Stockwalnut ClassCurio & Relic Long Gun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a scarce example of a French Model 1917 semi automatic rifle in 8X50 Lebel caliber as manufactured by one of the French Arsenals, during WWII. These rifles are so very unique in that they were developed in the 1916-1918 period when most of the countries in the free world were just trying to equip their armies with a standard, front locking lug, bolt action rifle. Here the French developed a very unique semi-automatic rifle that used three front locking lugs, with a "Rotating Bolt" system (similar to the front locking lugs found on the Canadian Ross straight pull rifles) which used a gas operated, semi-automatic mechanism to function the rifle. This system used a revolutionary concept in that the French installed a gas port on the bottom of the barrel to function a full length operating rod, mounted on the right side of the action to cycle the bolt. This design did not prove to be very robust and most were converted to a straight pull single shot rifle that were eventually sold or given to Colonial troops. These rifles are usually marked on the sides of the receiver with the factory markings however this rifle is marked on the sides of the barrel which may indicate a late production rifle. The right side of the barrel at the breech is marked "MA T.1917" and the left side is marked "LP" and circled "B" proofs and the serial number f28700 which matches the number on the cocking bar, forearm, and buttstock, with the number "f37346" ahead of the trigger guard. This rifle has not been converted and still has the gas port or cylinder mounted to the bottom of the barrel and it still has a "Brass Gas Plug" installed. Tangent rear sight, straight grip stock with upper handguard, and leather sling. The right side of the buttstock has a 1917 MA circle cartouche. With a bayonet numbered "FL46134" with scabbard.

ConditionVery fine. The rifle retains 80% faded original dull Arsenal blue finish with the balance a smooth brown patina. There is an area of minor spotting on the buttplate. The handguard has been repaired and there is a cut-out (likely for a sight) on the top. The stock is very good with a long crack and a couple large gouges on the forearm, along with numerous minor pressure marks, scratches and dings. Mechanically excellent. The bayonet is very good with some minor pitting.
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