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" Cleaned Up" Berthiers

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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CGSteve
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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#31 Post by CGSteve » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:50 am

I just saw your post 72 usmc, I will get some pics for you soon. Anything in particular you want to see? After seeing your pics of your "cleaned up" rifles, I am unsure what I have. The metal is not pitted at all, the wood has very few dings and grime. It looks like it was issued, but has never been in the field.

Semper Fi

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#32 Post by 72 usmc » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:04 am

if possible some of the wood and metal conditions. Sounds like you may have an intact rifle.
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: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#33 Post by CGSteve » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:17 pm

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#34 Post by 72 usmc » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:48 pm

A very odd rifle, the blue looks incorrect and the stock seems not to be an arsenal refinish. Someone made it pretty in an odd sorts of way. My first guess without actually seeing it in person is it is not a true French arsenal rebuild. Some of the screws are also redone with the blue. I have never seen such an animal.

It kind of reminds me of the humped K98s Classic was selling as original. But it took a lot of effort and work by someone, and I mean lots of hours, to somewhat restore(in a sort of inaccurate manner) that French rifle. At least there are no fake cartouches or stampings like on the K98s and some of Mitchels Mausers. It will be interesting what other French collectors think. I have never seen such a reconditioned rifle. Is there blue inside the barrel & chamber? Is there wear to the barrel. In some of your photos it almost appears like the varnish is sprayed on, not a brush job or rubbed in coat???? There are hours of work steaming and boneing the stock to remove the dents and scratches. My Berthier 15/34 is the most original one I own and the blue just does not look the same as what is on your rifle:
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewto ... =12&t=2857

Most of my pictures are of dog Berthiers out of barrels back in the day at Woolworths or hardware stores in the mid 1960s- mixmasters. Hunter's Lodge mail order $12 rifles.

Here is the link to the redone Mausers K98. I have yet to see one of these at a show. The reenactors love them. Maybe yours was done for WW I reenacting or parade display??????? http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewto ... =13&t=2084
Thanks for the pictures-- totally different then I have ever observed. Did you see more in this state of repair?

Maybe its not a paint but a very well done French formula re blue like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHyoUF50rF0
Note the sling bar or ring show absolutely no wear from sling use. Bolt patina does not match receiver/barrel patina. I can see no evidence of subsurface rust, pits, or dirt under that the nice blue-- its so even? Just too nice on an old workhorse?
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: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#35 Post by kelt » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:48 pm

BD 4161 was made in 1926/27, one of the highest known SN.

Is there a circular reception stamp on the right side of the stock?

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#36 Post by 72 usmc » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:45 pm

Yes let's see a photo of the right side of the stock :shifty: :shifty: :think: :think: Is it sanded down ?
Kelt any thoughts on the finish? :think:
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: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#37 Post by CGSteve » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 pm

Your guys' guesses are better than mine. This will be my only Berthier to go along with my MAS 36 as a representation of French rifles for WWII. I bought some ammo for it from Gunbroker and will hopefully fire some rounds from it in the near future.

In person it does not look like blue at all. When I read that article about them using locomotive paint on some rifles made sense to me, that's what it looks like. It is definitely think and even slightly gloppy in some areas. I am well aware of the Mitchell's Mausers and steered clear of them when looking for a K98 years ago. I can see how someone would want a super clean rifle, but do not condone altering them like that, and certainly not at the price they were asking for. I don't think there is enough interest in French rifles for someone to go through the trouble of doing that. If that was the case, it definitely was a one time thing done by whoever was the previous owner. However, even though there are some skilled gunsmiths and maybe even bubbas out there, my rifle looks too uniform and consistent to have been done in somebody's garage.

I will get a pic of the right side of the stock when the sun is out again tomorrow. If it was done by someone after it got here, then they covered up the import mark because I do not see any. Thanks for the comments.

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#38 Post by kelt » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:55 am

A well preserved example!

The original stowed paint finish (Parkolac) may have been enhanced by a coat of varnish (the wood furniture looks varnished on the pictures).

The original finish of the furniture was linseed oil.

The receiver was provided by MAT arsenal (Tulle) but the rifle was assembled by MAC (Châtellerault) and the Serial number is from MAC, it was still in French military service in the late 1930s since it is showing the modification of the handguard (window cut to show the SN stamped on the barrel), and the "N" modification (rethroating of the chamber to use safely the Mle 1932N ammunition) both carried out in the 1935/39 period.

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#39 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:56 am

Excellent thanks for the information Kelt. So that is pristine Parkolac paint and has 35-39 modifications on an original specimen. So CG Steve is a winner. Now CGSteve is it possible to take some macro views of the paint on the barrel, receiver or where ever you think is best in different light sources inside & outside light so you can provide the best possible close up views of the paint on that fantastic rifle. We need the best photos that actually make the rifle show in the pictures as it does in real life. I think a lot of readers will learn from your post and Kelt's fine comments. I am interested in closeups of the paint and what it really looks like, Please, please... maybe straight on at an angle??? Man I wish I could actually see that rifle. Sounds too good to shoot.
:pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:
Also the stock cartouche to document this fine specimen. I have never seen one in such fine original condition. Please photo document it.
Thank You.
Are there any special stock stamps or receiver stamps indicating the modifications?
I wish kelt would write a book in english about Berthiers.
I am going to print out in color at the highest resolution your photos. Thanks for posting that rifle--- a real learning experience.

PARTKOLAC

This is the paint on my 1935 s French pistol and apparently some bayonets had their handles painted. Also I have an early Mas 36 with some of its paint intact but nothing like the quality on CGSteve's Berthier
I found this additional information:
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... h-Timeline

https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... t-question

http://www.milsurpafterhours.com/bb/vie ... a04a22a410

Parker rust proofing process. Parker Rust Proof Co, which was introduced in France in May of 1927 under the name of Parcosel,
https://archive.org/details/ParkerRust- ... s/page/n11


British black paint is called "stove enamel" or Suncorite. It is enamel. It is a baked on high temperature finish found on some Enfields and Webleys. I can not find a description of Partkolac paint and if both are generally the same paint with different names. It does not come up under a search. Apparently in the above link, the french paint is an enamel paint called Parkolac or Parcolac.
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: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#40 Post by CGSteve » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:11 pm

Here is the most macro I can get given that I do not even have an amateur photography setup. I can see the texture of the paint, I hope you can too. The best comparison I can make is if you own an Egyptian AKM. It looks like that except evenly coated, more carefully applied, and lighter sheen.
Image

Image

The stock doesn't have any discernible markings/cartouches on it. You can see a very faint circle in this pic but if there was any icon or symbol it has long faded.

Image

Thank you both for the comments and the appreciation. Though I am not a Francophile I am glad I have an original rifle.

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#41 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:22 pm

Thanks, that is great pic of the receiver.
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: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#42 Post by kelt » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:49 pm

Too bad about the missing or erased circular reception stamp, the SN stamping on the left cheek of the stock is very crisp, the circular reception stamp was stamped just as vigorously and may have been erased on purpose.

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#43 Post by CGSteve » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:03 pm

Thanks kelt. Do you know what the reception stamp would have looked like based on the facotry? Do you have a saved image from somewhere?

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Re: " Cleaned Up" Berthiers

#44 Post by kelt » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:00 am

A few pictures of a Mousqueton M16 issued in September 1918 by MAC, the finish is very similar to CGSteve rifle.
Attachments
Mle 16.jpg
Mle M16.JPG
embouchoirquillonforg.jpg
marquagecrosse.jpg
marquageboitier.jpg
macaron.jpg

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