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Lebel and Berthier sight question


New member
May 7, 2021
I have a question regarding the front sights on Lebels and Berthiers. I have a nice 1886/93 that I got off the GB Trader about a year ago. It has a blade style front sight and is easy to shoot. However, I've got a Berthier M1916 infantry rifle that has no blade, but a small shallow "V" notch on the front sight base. That notch is so shallow it doesn't look like a blade would stay on unless really soldered on good and there's no evidence of anything ever being attached. Needless to say it's hard to hit anything with it.

That being said, I picked a project 1886/93 at a gun show a couple weeks back and it has no sight blade. On the back side of the front sight base there is a hole maybe a couple 1/8" deep.

I've been told by "old timers" that the French would stick on a substance (the type of substance told to me eludes my tired brain at the moment) that glowed at night for easier shooting. That was also their explanation for no sight blade.

So my question is, should the front sight bases have a blade or am I totally out in left field?

Thanks in advance.
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