100 thoughts on “Model 1907/15 Berthier: The WW1 Standard Infantry Rifle

  1. "Monsieur Berthier quickly the Hun are at the border we need your rifles", " Sorry, Ian's got them all", " Ah mon dieu!"

  2. Wish I were getting paid before the 28th, would have liked to get one of those shirts.

    Thanks for this series. I really have been enjoying the ones you have been doing on various rifles. One on Lee's rifles or the Mauser brother's rifles would be fun too.

  3. Don't know if FW is going to cover this, there is important ammunition info for these rifles, a mistake I nearly made using the wrong ammunition.

    Extract en.wikipedia.org

    Balle D am ammunition was in near-universal service during World War I (1914–1918) in all Lebel caliber weapons. Somewhat later, Balle D am ammunition was followed in 1932 by "Balle N" ammunition which featured a lead-cored, cupro-nickel-over-steel-jacketed, spitzer boat-tail bullet weighing 15.0 g (232 grains). It was held into a case which had a slightly larger neck diameter than the older Balle D am ammunition. Balle N was heavier than Balle D am and had been designed to improve the long-range performance of the Hotchkiss machine gun. Converting most Lebel caliber rifles and carbines to the "N" ammunition was carried out during the 1930s. "Balle T" tracer and "Balle P" armor-piercing rounds were also produced, along with blank and reduced charge ammunition.

    Balle N ammo should never be fired from any Lebel or Berthier rifle unless it has had the chamber reamed to accept the larger neck of the N cartridge. Such weapons are stamped N on top of the barrel, just in front of the receiver and behind the rear sight. Balle N ammo is identifiable by the fact that the bullet, while pointed like the solid brass Balle D, is lead-cored and jacketed with soft steel.

  4. Hi,
    What about Continsouza as private contractor? Was it only for M16?
    I don't understand the Remington's issues for building tooling, is it possible to have a quick view of those problems?
    About pronunciation of "Tulle", don't say the E at the end you'll tell it properly.

    And thank you again for your very hight quality videos. Carry on! Sacrebleu 😀

  5. I work the night shift I get back to our work camp way up in Northern Canada and before bed I get my Gun history knowledge fix ….thanks Gun Jesus

  6. Seems soo strange to me they never considered to incorporate a larger ammo clip capicity in that new Berthier version.

  7. "they were focusing on production of carbines, so their production of long guns was shorter."
    That's some classic stuff there.

  8. Any chance we'll see that shirt design available on a print or poster? I'm not big on graphic tees but I love it.

  9. It looks like the bolt is also a bit shorter on the 1907/15 than on the Colonial, you can see it at 13:50. Is that a trick of the camera or did you forget that part?

  10. I find it interesting that the French didn't use magazine cut-offs (like the British), considering the low capacity of their Berthiers.
    Anyone got a lead on why? I'd be interested to hear.

  11. Hi Ian, how were the French able to make a bi-directional clip with a rimmed round and not get rimlock? I'm interested in how the Berthier clips work. Thanks!

  12. Ian, original 3 rounders or repro (AVB?) And if you have both, do you notice a difference? All mine are repros. Also surprised to not see a Remington bayonet too.

  13. Great vid Ian. I've been waiting on some solid info on this RAC 1907-15 I've had on the wall. I appreciate the video. Ordered my 'Only Dropped Once' T yesterday.

  14. man, i would love to hear you and Matt Easton(from Scholagladiatoria) talk about bayonets and trench weapons.

  15. After a quick search, I was rather surprised to find your only video on the Lebel is a 4-year-old range video. How did a francophile such as yourself get this far without a proper video on the Leble?

  16. I'm an American born and bred and have over 300 years in this continent on my French side. Thanks Ian for the focus at this time on French small arms. Very cool. Look forward to your book on them and will purchase more than one for gifts. Good luck. And bonne courage ami!

  17. Hey Ian, I have a Remington berthier I just picked up recently. Is it safe to shoot Balle D in it, or no?

  18. Hey Ian, if the French army archives are like the navy archives, it's not sure they are classified any more, maybe they are just not made public so maybe you have to physically go to the archives to get a peak in them. A friend of mine mentioned how for the naval archives you had to set a date to look into old documents, maybe you could ask themif that is the case (as I doubt that they'd put that kind of data under unlimited secrecy)

  19. if you have to pick a modern straightpull Hunting Rifle witch would it be? The Blaser R8, Merkel Helix or Browning Maral, or something i have forget? they have all different system so why is one superior in your opinion?

  20. Hello Ian! Congratulations for the channel. It's a very impresing archive. I was looking for Labelle rifle videos on your channel since you are a French rifle appassionate, but didn't find any. Hope you will do it. Wish you the best!

  21. I was just wondering, but is there a blanket term for firearms that have a manual action between each shot? This includes bolt actions, lever actions, and pump actions?

  22. It would be interesting if one of these days you discussed the advantages of a straight bolt handle (at least, in a pre-optics dominated world) over bent bolts, and vice versa.

    In the age of optics, straight bolt handles have gone the way of the Dodo. But before optics, both ways of making a bolt had a roughly equal amount of advantages and disadvantages.

  23. Do you have one of those shirts with an SMLE Enfield on it?
    I have one that was a "battlefield recovery".

  24. I wonder why Remington had a hard time with the Berthier plans. Everything in French and in metric I assume?

  25. It's funny how time changes our perceptions of things. Because today, with my modern eyes, looking at one of these huge long old infantry rifles makes me want to scream; these guys were fighting in trenches for gods sake! But then I remember that even a No5 Jungle carbine was like the length of an original M16 and that an FAL or M14 were both more than 40 inches long too. It's only been in the recent past the standard length of a rifle dropped below 40 inches. My instinct is to scream that surely someone should have realized that the cavalry carbines they were making were obviously so much better for the purpose. It seems that it took another 60+ years to learn that a short, light, handy rifle was just generally better and that was (correct me if I'm wrong) a lesson out of Vietnam and seeing the AK in action rather than from ww1 or ww2 which seems crazy to me.

    Here's a question for anyone – Was there ever a time when supposed benefits of these big long rifles (both bolt action and semi auto) were actually relevant at all? Has there ever been a war where infantry fire at 500+ yards was common? Maybe in the alps somewhere? But off the top of my head I can't think of anywhere the benefits of big long rifles were realized at all and yet somehow we went on for decades saying "1000 yards for infantry combat? Seems legit".

  26. A little story, during the war, the Berthier as been given the nickname "Fishing Rod" due to it's shape and length.

  27. Why did they want the bolt handle sticking straight out the side? Sure, the straight down and overly lengthened seems silly too, but the fix isn't to go back to poking straight out the side.

  28. I have a 1916 dated 1907/15 but with all the 1916 bits (mag, handgaurd, screw for the dust cover) is it a m16 transitional model, updated post war, test rifle?

  29. Many comments on the perceived inappropriate length of WWI rifles for trench warfare. Well, first of all, remember the war started with conventional offensives. It is only when offensives were stopped that the armies started to dig in. A situation that was always considered temporary, so much so that on the French side, soldiers were discouraged to equip and arrange their tranches too much, since conventional warfare was supposed to resume as soon as the front would be broken, and they had to keep that in mind (much less so on the German side). Now, long rifles were the military standard of the time, and for good reasons. Long barrels meant for maximum muzzle velocity and range, a feature their long distance rear sight settings were here to make use of. The concept was long distance volley fire, which would provide suppressive fire to hinder enemy manoeuvre, just about the same way we now use heavy machine guns.
    The worst mistake a historian can make is to look at the past with the eyes of the present. No, these guys were not silly. They just had no idea they would get stuck in trench warfare for so long.

  30. Note: A lot of these rifles went to Hollywood after the War for World War 1 and French foreign legion movies. John Wayne held one and Gary Cooper bought an M- 16 for his personal deer gun. See old photo of his gun rack.

  31. OUTSTANDING Ian…many if us have little understanding of these older
    french rifles outside of pictures and a few poorly written articles so this
    series is GREATLY appreciated, I did not know the Berthier started as
    a carbine for example….

  32. They didn't serialise them until they were issued? What if there was a issue where the 1000th – 2000th bolts were not up to spec for eg?

  33. An obvious flaw seems to be the lack of an upper handguard…..bayonet work and a hot exposed rifle barrel don't really go together…

  34. I don't get why they would go with a straight bolt handle. I don't imagine it would improve leverage and it definitely is slower and awkwarder to manipulate.

  35. Hey Ian, quick question!

    Do you game, at all? There's a particular videogame, Verdun, that I think you'd appreciate, and I was wondering if you'd played it, or seen any gameplay.

    I've never heard you mention videogaming, but you seem to like poking fun at stuff like the "tactical" obsession of so many casual shooters and wannabe "operator" types, so I figured you'd get a chuckle out of games like Call of Duty… But Verdun's definitely different.

    Just wondering 🙂

  36. Weird question… how were guns cleaned pre 1900? Did they sell bore cleaner and patches? Did you use the ram rod and clean from the end of the barrel instead of the breech? Just wondering

  37. I found one of these near a former Luftwaffe nightfighter airfield. very little of the rifle remains (the barell,chamber and bolt are the last solid items) It is curious that the example I found still held the 3 shot enbloc clip.

  38. It seems like the clip magazines of the berthier would also be better suited to conversion to the pointed spitzer bullets, a chief problem with the tubular magazines of the lebel. Speaking of which, were spitzer rounds ever used with this?

  39. Very nice. I must have foegotten that Remington produced these. Too bad it didn't work out. I have a Remington M1917 (Enfield) with a low 3 digit serial number 😁. They apparently got those guns right. It's a great rifle. Those old style bayonets kill me. U could lop 8" off the thing and still have a substantial blade. How much do u really need with an already somewhat long rifle? I'll have to keep my eyes open. A few of the shops i frequent sometimes have interesting old rifles- and we can still have them here in Kalifornia. Great video as always. Thank you

  40. I have a question Ian. Did the French issue 8mm Label for this Berthier already in that clip the way the US later issued 30-06 for the M1 Garand? Or did soldiers have to load them from loose ammo?

  41. at 8:35 … information about production of these rifles [100 years ago!] is still considered a military state secret … That sounds so very, very French.

  42. Ian, I love the Berthiers. I would love to start getting ahold of some. What would be my best bet on a reference book for these? Thanks – Jacob S.

  43. that was my rifle … it said mannlicher berthier on it and it used 8mm label bullets with long round nosed silver or steel colored bullets sticking out of the case, the base looked almost like a 20 ga. shot gun shell with a wide rim…lol

  44. At some point i would want to go back in time to prevent anyone from ever developing automatik weapons. This old rifles just have so much more style and make everything a bit more "personally" and most likely more intensive.

  45. I got one with a nicely carved sporterized stock. It just needs a screw (not sure which it would be called) and possible a barrel band with sling attachment.

  46. the problems for Remington to built properly this guns is not a surpise: in WW2 the main aircraft canon from the alliees was the french 20mm Hispano Suiza, selected by the brits because was the best of this times and they built it without problems* despite use the imperial mesurement system… but later, to increase the production, did the US built themself 20mm Hispano Suiza canon and the first of them work very badly (jamming), because to reduce the costs did the US engineers modify some details : later, with perfect respect from blue prints no problems…
    *the original 20mm canon was built to fit in the famous Hispano Suiza y12 "moteur canon" (canon engine) who fire trough the propeller shaft, use in the Morane 406 and the Dewoitine D520 (and later, with impovements, the Yakovlev 1 and 3), so in the heat from the engine, loading was pneumatic and work perfect… but the brits need it to install in the wings, and they fall on icing problems from the pneumatic system: this was the main modification on the brit Hispano canon version…

  47. Hi,
    I recently inherited my great Uncle’s Marine infantry gun. It is a 1907 15. It has St. Etenne on it. I did watch you video on these rifles and found it interesting. Is there any differences with my model? Did they use a standard 8 mm cartridge? I would like to get ammo and do not know where it can be purchased.

  48. Looks like a nice gun, though the limited ammo capacity for a bolt action rifle would be worrying if I was issued one.

  49. Some of these rifles where sent by Antante to White Russians to fight bolsheviks on The South front in Russia. Perhaps whites lost to reds of that? Three shot Berthier against 5shot Mosin Nagant? 😉

  50. I've always wondered with the United states neutrality why didn't the central powers have a ordnance acquisition committee here, especially with their obvious needs for equipment! And the large central European population in America!

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