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Now for a little Collector Zen

The Castle's two Lebel rifles, and a rifle grenade. The rod-grenade is relatively rare, as it is made from a French F1 grenade. The French pretty much stopped using rodded grenades in 1915, opting instead for the Vivien-Bessiere cup discharger... which you just *happen* to see an example of attached to the Castle's Lebel Mle1886/M93 rifle.

Above that, you see the Mle1886/M93/R35, the shortened form of the rifle, with the correct bayonet (Neffi can weigh in on how relatively rare those are - especially with the proper scabbard). Due to bad French defense planning in the 30's, the R35 soldiered on into World War II with French forces in North Africa.


A nice set indeed. A bit later than I like to collect; but as the final link in the M1886 series quite desirable...
Rod type rifle grenades are really tough to find.  And, so are any type of VB grenade launcher or their grenades.
Yeh, ain't those rods reputed to be bad for yer rifle?  The Vivien-Bessiere was a cool engineering solution. 

There is always an engineering solution, even to interpersonal problems. Wimmen act strange when I say that to them.
With the V-B, IIRC, one did not have to remember where he put his special grenade-launching cartridges, while in the heat of combat, just put a grenade in the cup and load ball, ground the piece at the optimum angle, pull trigger, and Bob's your uncle.