|Modèle 1892 Revolver|
|Place of origin||France|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||French colonial expeditions|
World War I,
World War II,
First Indochina War
|Designer||Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne|
|Number built||approx 350,000|
|Weight||1.88 pounds (0.85 kg) unloaded|
|Length||9.3 inches (24 cm)|
|Cartridge||8mm French Ordnance|
|Action||Double Action/Single Action Revolver|
|Muzzle velocity||720 ft/s (220 m/s)|
|Feed system||6 round cylinder|
The Model 1892 Revolver (also known as the Lebel Revolver or St. Etienne 8mm) was a French service revolver produced by Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne as a replacement for the MAS 1873 revolver. It was the standard issue sidearm in the French military during the First World War.
The Modèle 1892 Revolver is a solid frame revolver with the cylinder on a separate frame swinging right for manual reloading. The Modèle 1892 was first fielded in 1893 and was prominent among French Military Officers during First World War and later French Police until the mid-1960s
The Modèle 1892 fires 8-milimetre rounds, a much smaller calibre than many other revolvers of the time period, including the Webley Revolver or its predecessor the MAS 1873 revolver.
Though it was originally designed to serve as a commissioned officer's personal sidearm, the Modèle 1892 revolver had over 350,000 copies manufactured between 1892 and 1924 and was issued to officers in the French Army, Navy, and National Gendarmerie, amongst others. It is commonly called the Lebel Revolver after the gun designer Colonel Nicolas Lebel, although there is no evidence that Colonel Lebel had any involvement in the creation of the gun or ammunition. Non-commissioned officers continued to carry the older Mle 1873 service revolver, but were also frequently issued .32 ACP automatic pistols (the Ruby pistol) during World War I. The Mle 1892 was later officially replaced by semi-automatic pistols in 1935 but many saw service during World War II and brought to the United States as souvenirs.
Originally chambered for an 8mm black-powder cartridge closely resembling the .32-20 WCF round, later models issued during World War I and thereafter fired the same 8mm cartridge loaded with smokeless powder. The Mle 1892 revolver was a double-action solid-frame design, with chambers being accessed by swinging out the cylinder to the right. The fired cases could then be pushed out of the cylinder at the same time. After reloading, the cylinder was swung back into the frame and locked into place with the case-hardened loading gate located on the right side of the frame. In addition, the left sideplate of the frame could be swung back on a hinge to give access to the gun's internal parts for oiling or cleaning. These parts were individually numbered to indicate the order in which they can be disassembled. The year of manufacture of each revolver was engraved on the right side of the barrel, for instance " S 1895 ". The inscription " Mle 1892 " is hand engraved on top of the barrel. It was carried in a large closed leather holster, which held an additional 12 rounds of ammunition hidden below the flap.
The Mle 1892 was a mechanically tight, accurate and very well finished revolver. It was fired single action by cocking the hammer first or else double action by a full trigger pull. Its downside was the relative weakness, for a military handgun, of its 8x27mm ammunition . In terms of striking power, it just barely reached the level of the .32 ACP.
- Kinard, Jeff. Pistols: an illustrated history of their impact, p. 154, ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2003.
- Wood,J.B. Book of Revolver Assembly and Disassembly, p. 152, Krause Publications, 2011.
- McNab,Chris The Great Book of Guns, p. 108, Thunder Bay Press, 2004.
- McNab, Chris (2002). 20th Century Military Uniforms (2nd ed.). Kent: Grange Books. ISBN 1-84013-476-3.
- Giletta, Jacques (2005). Les Gardes Personnelles des Princes de Monaco (1st ed.). Taurus Editions. ISBN 2 912976-04-9.
- Kinard, Jeff. Pistols: an illustrated history of their impact, ABC-CLIO, Inc. Santa Barbara, CA (USA) 2003. ISBN 1-85109-470-9
- McNab, Chris, The Great Book of Guns, Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA(USA), 2004. ISBN 978-1-59223-304-5.
- Wood, J.B., Book of Revolver Assembly and Disassembly, Krause Publications, Iola, WI(USA), 2011. ISBN 978-1-4402-1452-3.
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