SOLD FOR: $1750
Make: Manufacture d’armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS), France
Model: MLE 1892 (1892 Berthier Carbine)
Serial Number: H 22404
Year of Manufacture: 1897. These rifles were manufactured between 1892 to 1916.
Caliber: 8mm Lebel
Action Type: Bolt Action, Clip Fed Three Round Internal Magazine
Markings: There is no visible import mark. The left side of the receiver is marked “St. Etienne MLE 1892” and with a small “P”. The left side of the barrel shank, bottom metal, bolt handle, and left side of the butt are all marked with the serial number. The left side of the barrel shank is marked “SC”, “circled J” and “circled C”. The right side of the barrel shank is marked “MA S 1897” and with a small “R”. The right side of the butt is stamped with a large circular cartouche that contains “JUIN. MA / J. S. 1897 C.” and with a “crown / cursive letter”. The bottom of the grip is marked “8”. The bottom metal has KRM” lightly scratched into it. There are a few other small stampings on the rifle.
Barrel Length: Approximately 17 ½ Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade atop a small barrel mounted base. The rear sight is a “U” notched sliding escalator when down. The left side of the sight base is marked “2 4 6 8 10”. When flipped up it becomes a sight ladder marked “12 14 16 18 20”. The ladder uses a sliding “U” notched blade.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The oil stained hardwood stock has a straight grip, finger groves, two through bolts, nosecap, cutout on the left for the included cleaning rod , barrel band with sling ring, sling loop under the butt, and a metal buttplate. The buttplate shows scrapes and light surface erosion. The wood shows several scrapes, scratches and compression marks. Several have damaged or removed small portions of the surface wood. These marks have been oiled over. The LOP measures 13 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition as an antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The lands are bright, the grooves are semi bright, and the rifling is deep. There is fouling and intermittent light erosion in the bore. The fouling should clean up a bit.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, scratches, and thinning on the leading edges of the metal. The top of the barrel shows a few patches of oxidation & light surface erosion. The screw heads show use. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition, as an antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This French Berthier Carbine MLE 1892 was made by Manufacture d’armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS) back in 1897. The rifle looks great for a military rifle that is over 120 years old. Surprisingly, the markings on the metal & wood are in great shape. The markings include matching numbers on the barrel shank, bottom metal, bolt handle, and stock. The 1878 date on the barrel shank and 1897 date on the stock cartouche are clearly visible as are the matching part numbers. This is a handy carbine chambered in 8mm Lebel. No FFL is required…unless you live in california.