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  1. #1
    Member Danktreebranch's Avatar
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    M1914 French Remington Rolling Block Loadings

    About 2 years ago I was absolutely abscessed With getting a Frenchicon M1914 Rolling block, up until 6 Months ago I watched Gunbroker and finally found one. There is just something about the 8mm lebel that just interested me And in a single shot rifle it seemed like a great Idea. I have no idea why wanted one so bad but I don't regret buying it they are really cool. A little about my gun the stock has a serial number which is 12RA831. The Gun seems to be all matching the patina matches on all parts. The action seems to have a solid lockup and it looks sturdy. My rifle has the Balle "N" marking which means it was refurbished and it is capable of firing the high pressured Balle N cartridge. The bore is in great shape for the age. With all of this information I was wondering what kind of loads I should use for this firearm I plan to take it deer hunting and do some random plinking. I do know the Balle N loading had a 230 grain bullet going at around 2300 fps.If you have any question I will do my best to answer thanks!

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  3. #2
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    A word of caution: that "N" marking is more than a century old. A problem with the RB mechanism is, that if anything is worn in the interlocking of the two block elements on their pins, this results in the block face being not quite square to the barrel axis in the locked-up position. And, of course, you cannot measure how much the system "gives" under a firing load by examining it on a bench. I suggest that you take a round and check the squareness of the cartridge base, fire it, then check again. You may be surprised.

    This lack of perfect squareness means that the bases on the fired cases are slightly skewed. Since nothing is perfect and any moving mechanism must have some play, however small, I make it a firm principle to mark my cases with a file mark filled with marker-pen ink. The cases are always used with the mark at 12 o'clock.

    That may seem a bit pernickety, but it will help your cases to last longer - and, according to the bench-rest shooters, it will improve accuracy - or, to be more precise, consistency, which is a prerequisite for accuracy.

    And please, do not try to achieve full-load velocities with a heavy bullet. That is an unnecessary strain on the rifle, your wallet - and your shoulder.

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    Advisory Panel green's Avatar
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    The Balle N mark shows that the rifle was rechambered for the M1932 N ctg which had a larger size neck.

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    Contributing Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    Personally I tend to load 44grns of 3031 under a 198 grn .323 FMJ bullet for my 8mm Lebel rifles (a 1907/15 Berthier and a Gras 70/84/14). Works pretty good and never had any pressure issues or anything. Do your own research yourself before you reload.

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    Member Danktreebranch's Avatar
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    Thank you Patrick. I never knew that about the RB action. I will try that and see what the status of my rifle is. One more question Is I was reading that the "N" means the guns is suppose to have a .327 diameter bullet could somebody confirm or deny this. If true should I stick with .323 bullets or try to look for some .327 bullets. I definitely do not plan on using balle N spec loads in my gun especially of gun of this age.

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    Really Senior Member bob q's Avatar
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    The N has nothing to do with the bore diameter . You need to slug your bore , as like all old military rifles , it will vary from rifle to rifle . You will need to know land and groove size . I have test fired my 22 8mm Lebel rifles and load about 1/2 with one bullet size and the other 1/2 with another . Your groove size should be about .326 to .330 , lands from .315 to .318 . An undersized .323 boattail will not stabilize well in a large bore and tend not to shoot well . I have used the .329 bullet in my large bore rifles for the best accuracy of any of mine . My RB groove was large at .329 . A easy on the rifle load is a .323 225 grain round nose , flat base at about 1800 to 2100 fps . If you use a light load of I-3031 powder , undersized Privi cases , and a small .323 dia bullet in a rifle with a large bore and chamber you will get a meltdown . The bullet will not seal up the chamber and bore and the powder will not burn correctly . The primer will jam the bullet in the bore and just melt the powder into a green lump . I-3031 is known for this in rifles with the above factors . Cold weather will also add to the factors , not really a problem right now in the summer .

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    Contributing Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    I have never had a issue with .323 bullets in 8mm Lebel. Both my rifles were chambered for 'N' cartridge but I found .323 198grn FMJ boattail rounds from PPU shot better than the pulled surplus larger diameter bullets I managed to acquire.

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    Member Danktreebranch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob q View Post
    The N has nothing to do with the bore diameter . You need to slug your bore , as like all old military rifles , it will vary from rifle to rifle . You will need to know land and groove size . I have test fired my 22 8mm Lebel rifles and load about 1/2 with one bullet size and the other 1/2 with another . Your groove size should be about .326 to .330 , lands from .315 to .318 . An undersized .323 boattail will not stabilize well in a large bore and tend not to shoot well . I have used the .329 bullet in my large bore rifles for the best accuracy of any of mine . My RB groove was large at .329 . A easy on the rifle load is a .323 225 grain round nose , flat base at about 1800 to 2100 fps . If you use a light load of I-3031 powder , undersized Privi cases , and a small .323 dia bullet in a rifle with a large bore and chamber you will get a meltdown . The bullet will not seal up the chamber and bore and the powder will not burn correctly . The primer will jam the bullet in the bore and just melt the powder into a green lump . I-3031 is known for this in rifles with the above factors . Cold weather will also add to the factors , not really a problem right now in the summer .
    Wow I had that problem with the "meltdown" several times with some of my earlier loads I had no idea what it was thanks. this is my first and will be my only french rifle. with all my other surplus rifles this one has been the hardest to create a good load for.

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    Really Senior Member bob q's Avatar
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    Yes 8mm Lebel is a hard one to get shooting right . On some rifles you just can't get the " right " bullets . That is why I slugged all my bores , made a chart comparing bore area , and test fired about a 1000 rounds with a lot of different bullet and powder combo's .


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