TwoRivers wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:23 am
Early French Lebel ammunition used bronze as a bullet material ...
While "bronze" is often stated, the Balle D material was not bronze, but "high-copper brass", i.e. "gilding metal" in US terms.
I missed this years back. Going back over this, I would say that Two Rivers mostly correct.
Please review these topics:
From the information in these articles, we review the common understanding of today that "Bronze" is generally an alloy of copper and tin, but in the past, the name "Bronze" was used for what we would call "Brass" today.
"Brass" is generally taken today to mean an alloy of copper and zinc.
"Gilding Metal." as the article says, would be "figures range from 95% copper and 5% zinc to “8 parts copper to 1 of zinc” (11% zinc)."
Referring to the wiki on 8mm Lebel:
we're told that "in 1898 by a new design, a 12.8 g (198 grains) 90/10 bronze mono-metal, pointed (spitzer) boat-tail bullet called "balle D""
Ian McCollum, the author of Youtube's "Forgotten Weapons," the book "Chassepot to Famas: French Military Rifles 1866-2016" and a noted expert on French arms says, "This was a raadically new bullet design, made of solid brass instead of the traditional jacketed lead core ammunition." (p502)
So, by today's standards, the composition of the French Balle D monometal bullet would properly be termed "brass" as Ian McCollum and Two Rivers say, however calling the bullet "bronze" as many sources today report is more than likely based on older sources, where the word "bronze" is more loosely used to refer to a copper alloy of either tin or zinc (as the Wiki article relates).
Two Rivers's correction is therefore a proper observation.