RSC 1917

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RSC 1917
RSC 1917
general information
Military designation: Fusil Automatique Modèle 1917
Country of operation: France
Production time: 1917 to 1918
Overall length: 1330 mm
Weight: (unloaded) 5.225 kg
Barrel length : 0.58 mm
Technical specifications
Caliber : 8 × 50 mm R Lebel
Ammunition supply : Loading frame
Cadence : 250 rounds / min
Number of trains : 4th
Twist : right
Charging principle: air-cooled gas pressure charger
Lists on the subject

The RSC 1917 (official name Fusil Automatique Modèle 1917 ; FSA 1917) is a French self-loading rifle .


As early as the end of the 19th century, the French army had been developing self-loading rifles that were supposed to replace the repeating rifles that were introduced as standard armament. The officer Louis Chauchat and his assistant Charles Sutter, under whose direction the FM 1915 was manufactured at the Clement et Gladiator company , developed a self-loading rifle for the French orderly cartridge 8 × 50 mm R with the production manager of the Paul Ribeyrolles company. The original plan was to have one To create a conversion kit for the obsolete Lebel rifle in order to convert it into a self-loading rifle, but in fact the front and rear stock and stock fittings of the old weapon were used for the new one. The new weapon was introduced in May 1916, but series production did not begin until April 1917. The abbreviation "RSC" refers to the people involved in the development, Ribeyrolles, Sutter and Chauchat.

The production was divided between the following manufacturers:

The parts were assembled at MAS (a few hundred at MAC).

Production ended in September 1918; a total of 85,333 RSC were produced in 1917. Due to the weaknesses of the RSC 1917, the improved RSC 1918 was developed, of which only about 4,000 pieces were manufactured from September 1918.

In 1935, the French army converted the existing RSCs in 1917 and 1918 into straight-pull repeater, which were given to reserve units. The conversion only consisted of closing the gas extraction hole with a steel pin.


The RSC 1917 is a shooting, air-cooled gas pressure charger with a rotating head lock and an internal tap. The rifle only shoots semi-automatically.

The ammunition is fed from loading frames that are not interchangeable with those of the M1916 Mannlicher-Berthier rifle. For loading, the magazine housing in front of the trigger guard is swiveled down and the feed arm folded forward. The filled loading frame is inserted between the lock housing and the feed arm and the magazine housing is closed again.

The RSC's gas system is located in the former magazine tube of the Lebel fore-end and acts on the bolt carrier via the cocking handle via a push rod attached to the outside of the right side of the weapon. The gas system is adjustable.

The rear sight of the RSC 1917 consists of a rear sight slide on an openable frame; When folded down, the rear sight can be adjusted from 400 to 800 meters (in 100-meter increments), and when upright it can be adjusted from 900 to 2,400 meters. In the rearmost position of the slider with the frame folded down, the visor is set up for a combat distance of 250 meters.

The bayonet of the Lebel rifle can be planted on the RSC 1917.


The RSC 1917 is a long weapon that is too bulky to use in the trenches (a shorter version has been tested but not introduced) and is quite heavy. Dirt easily penetrates the mechanism through the large opening in the housing for the cocking handle (in the 1918 a rotating dust cover was therefore attached to cover this opening) - the RSC 1917 therefore tends to jam. A number of parts turned out to be too weak in prolonged use.

Without the peculiar loading strip, the RSC 1917 can only be used as a single loader.

The weapon does not have a breaker in the strict sense of the word: when the trigger is pulled through, the hammer engages in an abutment at the rear of the trigger when it is pushed down by the retracting bolt; when the trigger is released, the hammer slides back into the front detent. The shooter's trigger finger receives a blow every time the hammer clicks into place at the rear, making shooting tiresome.


  • Jean Huon: Proud Promise - French Autoloading Rifles 1898-1979 , Collector Grade Publications, Cobourg, Ontario / Canada, 1995, ISBN 0-88935-186-4