RARE WWI Fusil Automatique Modèle 1917 Semi-Auto Rifle 8mm Lebel, C&R

SOLD FOR: $3050

LSB#: 230921GT015

Make: Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS)

Model: MLE 1917 (Barrel and Receiver Only)

Serial Number: 43375

Year of Manufacture: 1917

Caliber: 8mmx50R Lebel

Action Type: Semi-Automatic with Hinged Floorplate Magazine

Barrel Length: 31”

Sights / Optics: The rear sight is a ladder sight marked from “9-24”. When the sight is folded down, there is a stepped 5 position base that forms an elevator sight, marked from “4-8”. The front sight is a wide blade.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is worn. There is some minor erosion. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates a 5 out of 10.

Overall Condition: The barrel and frame retain none of its original metal finish. The finish shows patina, frosting and pinprick surface erosion and scratches. The screw heads show distress, and have surface loss but are serviceable. The markings are slightly interrupted, previous owners have stamped other markings into the receiver as well. Overall, this gun rates in about Good condition.

Mechanics: There are not enough parts to see if the action functions correctly, however, there appears to be no issues as is. We did not fire this rifle. It should be inspected by a gunsmith before firing.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Fusil Automatique Modèle 1917 (also called the RSC M1917) was a semi-automatic, gas-operated, infantry rifle that was placed in service in the French Army during the latter part (1918) of World War I (the War To End All Wars.) It was chambered in the then-standard 8mm Lebel rimmed cartridge used in other French Army infantry weapons of the time. Altogether, eighty six thousand RSC M1917 rifles had been manufactured by MAT (Manufacture d’Armes de Tulle), when their production run ended in late November 1918, but very few have survived. This rifle only includes the barrel and receiver. This could be a great and rare rifle if fully completed. If you are interested in WWI or French Arms, this is for you. Please see our photos and good luck!