In 97% mint condition, we have an very top example of a 1900 dated French Model 1892 “Lebel” Service Revolver. This was the standard French Officer’s Service side arm from 1892 until it began being replaced in 1935 with the new automatic pistol of that year, however it stayed in Service well into the 1960’s with the French National Police. Obviously this revolver gained an outsized and legendary reputation during the first world war. You cannot watch any old news reel showing French troops and action during WWI without seeing officers armed and leading their men with this revolver. IN MOTION, PICTURES, SUCH AS “PATH OF GLORY” WITH KIRK DOUGLAS, WHO PORTRAYS A OFFICER, HE CAN BE SEEN LEADING A CHARGE ACROSS NO MAN’S LAND, GALLANTLY, WAVING ONE OF THESE REVOLVERS. EVEN IN THE RECENT MOVIE “FLY BOYS” IT’S FEATURED PROMINENTLY. It is simply the iconic French side arm of World War I.
The Pistol was heavily used during the WW2 era by the French Military, the Resistance, and it was also reissued by the Germans who captured vast quantities in 1940. One could think of no better pistol to represent the French Resistance movement during the time of the Nazi Occupation of France. This is a wonderful example of a French Service pistol at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914.
The great thing about these French Lebel Revolvers is That ammunition is easy to obtain at affordable prices, as it is loaded by Prvi Partisan, and Fiocchi. Because of the swing out cylinder, I think this is perhaps the most user-friendly and modern of the small caliber of the century European service revolvers.