SOLD FOR: $2500
Make: Manufacture d’armes de Tulle
Model: 1886 M93 Infantry Rifle. A Model 1886 with the 1893 bolt modification, and likely arsenal refinished for use post-WWI.
Serial Number: EI23864
Year of Manufacture: 1887 – 1920
Caliber: 8mm Lebel
Action Type: Bolt Action, 8 Round Tubular Magazine
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “MANUFACTURE D’ARMES / Tulle” and “MLE 1886 M93”. The left side of the barrel shank, the left side of the buttstock, bottom metal, and bolt handle are marked with the serial number, “EI23864”. The top of the receiver and the top of the barrel shank are each marked “N” next to each other. The right side of the barrel shank is marked “MF 1936”. There are a few other small marks on the rifle.
Barrel Length: Approximately 31 1/2”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a thick post atop a raised base. The rear sight is a “U” notched blade attached to a sight escalator when down. The left side of the rear sight base is marked from “4-8” for use with the escalator. When flipped up it becomes a sight ladder marked from “9-24”.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The two piece hardwood stock has a straight grip, finger grooves, nosecap with stacking rod, barrel band, two sling loops, through bolt and a metal butt plate. The wood has light-to-moderate dark compressions and nicks throughout that have been oiled over. The LOP measures 13 1/2” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has partially gone to white and has light nicks and spots of minor surface oxidation throughout. The stock rates in Good to Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Arsenal Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly dark and the rifling is well-defined. There is little erosion in the bore, but light stubborn fouling persists throughout.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 87% of its current metal finish. All metal surfaces have light surface oxidation throughout. The receiver has moderate thinning on most edges. Small nicks and scuffs dot the top of the barrel. The action has light operational wear. The bolt handle has gone to a light patina and has light nicks throughout. Screws have light tool marks with usable slots. The majority of markings are clear, but the “Tulle” marking is mostly worn away. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: This French MLE 1886 M93 Infantry Rifle was made by Manufacture d’armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS) sometime between 1887 and 1920. It was eventually rebuilt and a 1916 dated barrel was added. By appearances this example did see use post-WWI and possibly in the lead up to WWII given the 1936 marking on the right side of the barrel.