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French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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72 usmc
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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#16 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:13 pm

No I have not actually fire a live round. The cartridge does not slip under the extractor, a bad design, maybe? The cartridge pops up and fails to slide into the face of the bolt like a normal bolt action rifle. The shell fits nice and snug under the extractor jaw, but just does not fit as the action feeds a cartridge up from the magazine. The follower spring is strong and it comes up to the edges the bolt face in the action. The follower can not raise any higher, even with a strong spring, it seems the design allows the cartridge to pop up ahead of the bolt and pushes the cartridge into the chamber then the extractor must snap onto the cartridge to close the bolt. It is like loading a cartridge into a Berthier and forcing the bolt closed by forcing the extractor to snap over the rim of the cartridge. It is at least a rimless cartridge, I am not sure how the model 34 should function. The Mas 36 picks up the cartridge like a normal bolt. So do my other French Berthiers. I got to see if the extractor is unique to the model 34 or if its the same as a Berthier bolt or a Mas 36 bolt. I am not sure how it should actually function. I can not find a video of the action in slow movement so I can see how the rifle, the Mle 1907/15-34 should pick up a cartridge from the loaded magazine. It makes no difference if I load 1 round or have 5 in the magazine; the cartridge always pops up slightly ahead of the bolt face and does not slip onto the bolt face under the extractor, it simply slips into the chamber as the bolt face pushes the cartridge in the bolt moves forward; but then it has to snap over the edge of the shell to engage the extractor. It extracts a dummy round fine, and the ejector also works fine to toss the shell out--all work great. It is a wee bit hard to close the bolt because the extractor has to snap over the back of the cartridge to close down. Headspace is ok if the gauge is fit under the extractor and bolt slowly lowered, but doe not close on my field gauge. Do you own one of these? Do you know of any video showing how the bolt should pick up a cartridge on this modified M1934 Berthier? Before I shoot it I want to find out what type of extractor it has- Same as a Berthier, same as a Mas36 or some hard to find, unique designed extractor that I can never find as a replacement if it should break. If that is the case it will remain intact as a safe Queen- too nice to fire.
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#17 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:48 pm

The bolt face and extractor jaw. Pic of follower.
I wonder if the extractor is bent too far in or it springs down too much, this may prevent the edge of the cartridge from easily sliding into place under the extractor. Anyone got ideas. DOES ANYONE KNOW FOR SURE WHAT TYPE OF EXTRACTOR WOULD BE A CORRECT REPLACEMENT? I wonder if a normal Brethier extractor was used in the M1934 conversion?
Any French wizards as gun smiths that know this firearm and if the extractor looks correct? I assume like any bolt action rifle the cartridge should strip off from the magazine and position itself under the extractor and on the boldface so the bolt closes down easy and one does not have to snap the extractor over the rim???? Is the problem a bent-in extractor jaw? :doh: :doh: :think: :think: What is the measured gap between the extractor and the bolt face? like I say I can slip a cartridge under the extractor with the bolt head removed and it seems to fit fine.
IMG_1677.jpg
IMG_1678.jpg
IMG_1679.jpg
IMG_1680.jpg
IMG_1681.jpg
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:03 am, edited 5 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#18 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:54 pm

Bolt attempting to pick up cartridge, just does not make it under the extractor.
IMG_1682.jpg
IMG_1683 (1).jpg
IMG_1684.jpg
IMG_1685.jpg
IMG_1686.jpg
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#19 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:58 pm

Last pictures This shows it almost going under but its a no go.
IMG_1686.jpg
This shows the extractor
IMG_1687.jpg
Cartridge placed under the extractor by hand and it fits fine but a wee bit tight to get under
IMG_1688.jpg
A Mas 36 original French headstamped round, rimless
IMG_1689.jpg
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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#20 Post by indy1919a4 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:16 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:13 pm
No I have not actually fire a live round. The cartridge does not slip under the extractor, a bad design, maybe? The cartridge pops up and fails to slide into the face of the bolt like a normal bolt action rifle. The shell fits nice and snug under the extractor jaw, but just does not fit as the action feeds a cartridge up from the magazine. The follower spring is strong and it comes up the the edges in the action. The follower can not raise any higher, even with a strong spring, it seems the design allows the cartridge to pop up ahead of the bolt and pushes the cartridge into the chamber then the extractor must snap onto the cartridge to close the bolt. It is like loading a cartridge into a Berthier and forcing the bolt closed by forcing the extractor to snap over the rim of the cartridge. It is at least a rimless cartridge, I am not sure how the model 34 should function. The Mas 36 picks up the cartridge like a normal bolt. So do my other French Berthiers. I got to see if the extractor is unique to the model 34 or if its the same as a Berthier bolt or a Mas 36 bolt. I am not sure how it should actually function. I can not find a video of the action in slow movement so I can see how the rifle, the Mle 1907/15-34 should pick up a cartridge from the loaded magazine. It makes no difference if I load 1 round or have 5 in the magazine; the cartridge always pops up slightly ahead of the bolt face and does not slip onto the bolt face under the extractor, it simply slips into the chamber as the bolt face pushes the cartridge in the bolt moves forward; but then it has to snap over the edge of the shell to engage the extractor. It extracts a dummy round fine, and the ejector also works fine to toss the shell out--all work great. It is a wee bit hard to close the bolt because the extractor has to snap over the back of the cartridge to close down. Headspace is ok if the gauge is fit under the extractor and bolt slowly lowered, but doe not close on my field gauge. Do you own one of these? Do you know of any video showing how the bolt should pick up a cartridge on this modified M1934 Berthier? Before I shoot it I want to find out what type of extractor it has- Same as a Berthier, same as a Mas36 or some hard to find, unique designed extractor that I can never find as a replacement if it should break. If that is the case it will remain intact as a safe Queen- too nice to fire.
Hmmm.. This is one of those tough ones.. No I do not have one.. Heck, I am trying to live Vicariously through you on this one.. Do wonder if its suppose to do that?? But look how many broken extractors there are on m95s that were loaded correctly know what you mean about not pushing something like this, There is no resupply officer with a bucket of new parts out there for you..

Will look for some info on there..

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#21 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:17 pm

Where is slowbob when you need him??
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#22 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:15 am

I took a box of ammo and altered/filed the upper lower edge of each cartridge and polished the circumference of the back of a cartridge so its more rounded and polished and that makes it definitely easy for the bolt extractor to snap over an original cartridge, but it still will not pick up a shell like a normal bolt action rifle. This way it is at least not over forcing the extractor and the bolt closes down more normal with this altered case on 7.5 mass military ammo. I am going to get a box of Prvi and see if the ammo makes any difference ? Rounding the cartridge edge makes it easy on chambering because less force is needed to close the bolt on the cartridge. The rifle is acting like one that is not feeding from the magazine.

First photo is an original cartridge
IMG_1689.jpg
The next two are views of the modified edge on an original 7.5. This makes the extractor work less hard, but still does not allow the bolt to correctly seat a cartridge onto the bolt and under the extractor prior to chambering.
IMG_1690.jpg
IMG_1691.jpg
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#23 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:19 am

Does anyone have pictures of their bolt's extractor ? Can someone provide a gap distance on their rifle ? Does your rifle actually correctly strip a cartridge off the magazine and fully seat the round onto the bolt face and under the extractor just prior to chambering a round ?
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#24 Post by Smokey » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:32 am

Appears you need to somehow thin the rim by widening up the extractor groove backwards. That would be a careful filing job, but that might do the job.
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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#25 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:05 am

Good point, but I want to have a spare, correct extractor prior to modification to the rifle. I lightly polished the extractor claw, but it did nothing to correct the problem. I think the gap is too narrow, but yet with the bolt head removed, a cartridge slips on fine, likewise my headspace gauge. With the brass modification at least the bolt works less hard--more like a normal Berthier. I also posted on gun boards so maybe some of the French rifle experts may provide some clues/solutions. I am not even sure how this modified bolt should function. I am also storing this rifle with a fired brass case under the extractor, and chambered, so it may, over time remove some of the spring out of the extractor. That maybe a good or bad idea!

link to gun boards if I get a response:
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... M1934-find
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#26 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:31 am

I would like to point out the obvious, this is what you get when you buy a really cool rare gun.. No one to help.. :)

In all seriousness.. So when you pushed the bolt forward and forced the extractor over the rim.. How hard was it..??

Obviously not intended to work this way hard???.. Or hard but workable???

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#27 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:43 am

On normal military 1964 brass it functioned like a Mosin with hard extraction. Just the reverse- hard to insert not remove. You had to give the bolt a hard push, not enough that you had to hit it with your hand or a hammer, but still too hard, like trying to force another persons neck sized British .303 into a different Enfield rifle where its tight. It is workable, like loading a Berthier without the enblock clip. Then forcing the bolt down to chamber a single round without sliding it under the extractor first.

The modification to the brass makes the bolt close like on a normal round- more like a Mosin feel than a Mauser feel. To fire I will have to modify my military brass. Then its about right for a normal 8mm Lebel Berthier long rifle. It is almost impossible to get the cartridge to hand fit under the extractor while the bolt is in the rifle. Just too long. It fits easy if the bolt is out of the rifle. I just do not want to break the extractor till I figure out or am told if it is the same extractor as a normal Berthier. I am going to order a Berthier, 8mm Lebel bolt head for its extractor to remove and make measurements. I like leaving my working French rifles as is. Better to play with spare parts then end up with two non working rifles. :lol: :lol:
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#28 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:01 am

Its not like I have to fire it. I must have at least 8 Mas 36 functioning rifles. One is still in the arsenal wrap. Its would be nice to shoot it 20 times and fire off a box of ammo just to get its feel and see where it shoots.
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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#29 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:09 am

72 usmc wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:01 am
Its not like I have to fire it. .
Ouch do not talk like that, you will be turning my whole world into a lie... :)

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Re: French Model Berthier 1907-15/34 find

#30 Post by vandle » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks for the link
Very interesting subject.

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