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Old October 28, 2014, 01:33 AM   #1
ifit
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Mas 49/56

Just picked one up today love the retro/unique look, slowly building up my retro collection. I've also got an svt 40 on hold...hopefully next week. any owners here on the mas? For those who are curious on the rifle here's a great article from years ago

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...ele-1949-1956/

Photobucket down for maintenance...will post pics later
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Old October 28, 2014, 01:51 AM   #2
Cooldill
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WOW! Those are some interesting looking guns!

They look VERY business like and still pretty attractive. Looking forward to the range report! !
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Old October 28, 2014, 02:15 AM   #3
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I loved mine, it was like an SKS meets a blocky M1 carbine. Only thing I wasn't terribly fond of was the ammo selection - 7.5 French is not terribly easy to find. Also, some 7.62 conversions were not done terribly well, beware the lemons if you're in the game of collecting them. Otherwise, a fantastic rifle - nice acquisition.
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Old October 28, 2014, 03:30 AM   #4
ifit
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Good friend of mine gonna throw in 200 rounds +die set for reloading, he also has brass. And just picked up some powder today, lucky I reload. Some pics, then soon a range report



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Old October 28, 2014, 03:42 AM   #5
swampcrawler
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I feel like I need one of these.
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Old October 28, 2014, 06:37 AM   #6
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I have one just like it that I bought in the 90's when they were cheap, and plentiful. I also reload for it as 7.5 French is very, very hard to get.
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Old October 28, 2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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the only thing I bought at my most recent gunshow trip was a bag of 60 rounds of loose "Syrian" 7.5 French which is no doubt corrosive and berdan primed. Three or four years back locally there was some very nice French made ammo in 15 round boxes locally, the sellers however seemed to think the bullets where made of gold though.

-kBob
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Old October 28, 2014, 07:39 AM   #8
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ifit

Looks to be in very nice condition; interesting design that sort of reminds me of the WWII German G43. Thanks for sharing (great pics too!).
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Old October 28, 2014, 09:02 AM   #9
eastbank
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get a lighter firing pin and the adjustable gas screw, with those the slam fire and cases thrown 80 feet problems go away. eastbank.
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Old October 28, 2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastbank View Post
get a lighter firing pin and the adjustable gas screw, with those the slam fire and cases thrown 80 feet problems go away. eastbank.
The adjustable gas valve is useful only on the 7.62x51mm conversions that Century offered. There are better ways of addressing the pressure curve without resorting to a valve, but that's a different topic all together.

A lighter mass firing pin will do nothing to address slam fired caused by soft primers.

The military did run with firing pin springs on some early rifles, but dispensed with it in later versions. Slam fires with commercial ammunition with non-military specification primers were known to occur when these initially came onto the market years ago. It was fairly common to shorten the firing pin slightly as a fix for preventing slam fires.

Personally I have never experienced a slam fire with either my 7.5mm or my. .308 conversion. The 7.5 was a gentle recoiling rifle and was not abusive on the converted 6.5x55 brass that I used. The 308 is a different animal and extraction/ejection is quite brisk. I never modified any of my firing pins, but did purchase some original 7.5mm foreign pins to work with should the need arise.

They are exceptionally well made rifles and pleasant to shoot. I sold my 7.5mm a couple of years who, but kept my .308 version. Fun rifle and is definitely a bit different than anything else in the vault.

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Old October 28, 2014, 12:10 PM   #11
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Mid 1970's I saw French Commandos carrying these rifles in the military competition at Romel Kasserne north of Ulm FRG calld the Danau Waffen Lauf.

The two teams with Americans on them carried the host's G3 rifles but the French brought their own. One year we brought some US weapons to share with the Nato troops for handling familiarization. The officer with the French ( he did not compete but was in his semi dress Uniform while the EM wore their fatigues and did the 20 K for time etc) handled the M-16 A1 and expressed concerns that his Army would soon be going to 5.56mm as well. His biggest issue was he felt the 7.5 round was more effective against aircraft than the 5.56 and they would be giving up local AA defense.

Later my unit did some weapons swap training with a French Infantry out fit that had the MAS 49/56. Oddly many of the French troopers kept a nasty hankie in their pockets. When asked they explained that the breech area of their rifles sometimes got so nasty they sometimes needed to wipe them out with the rags to prevent malfunctions. I felt they used way to much oil on their rifles.

I did not like their MG at all and was disappointed with the MAT 49 SMG. I enjoyed their M1950 pistol despite its safety and 9x19mm round.

The MAS 49/56 seemed to be a decent rifle and I liked the way it handled.

The ones posted here are very nice.

A friend bought one of the MAS 44 s that were the prototypes for the basic MAS49 and the 49/56 back in the 90's and has nothing but good things to say about it after all these years.

-kBob
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Old October 28, 2014, 01:57 PM   #12
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I've got one converted to 7.62x51 that works. These rifle are fun on many different levels. Welcome to a club that, as barnbwt mentioned in another thread, makes you “a hipster who's into cool swag that the mainstream is too dumb to appreciate.”
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Old October 28, 2014, 04:19 PM   #13
eastbank
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with the lighter firing pin i have not had a single slam fire using WLP,s and the adjustable gas screw puts the boxer primed cases about 3 feet away in a nice pile. and the cost is very low for the benifits received. eastbank.
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Old October 28, 2014, 04:52 PM   #14
ifit
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Thanks for the feed back guys, and great info. Took the hand guards off today, barrel gas tube very good condition..thing is built like a tank. The mas in action by mr. "Forgotten weapons"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKyey_XTcws
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Old October 28, 2014, 05:12 PM   #15
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I've also got one in 7.62 that runs great. Excellent rifle, built like a tank, and relatively accurate for what it is too. Didn't the French use these well into the 1980's?
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Old October 28, 2014, 05:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastbank View Post
with the lighter firing pin i have not had a single slam fire using WLP,s and the adjustable gas screw puts the boxer primed cases about 3 feet away in a nice pile. and the cost is very low for the benifits received. eastbank.
The benefit of the titanium firing pin is that the face of the pin is flatter than the original which is exactly what shortening the original one at the tip (blunting it) will accomplish.

The slam fire issue is just like the SKS rifles. Free floating firing pin.

When the bolt slams home on a loading stroke, the firing pin is free to slide in the bolt and contact the primer, ready to receive the hammer strike. With military primers, no issue as its part of the design criteria. Use "softer" commercial primed ammunition or reloads, that's when the problem crops up.

It's not the lightened firing pin that matters, but the profile of the tip that will come in contact with the primer. The Mle 1944 had a firing pin spring in the bolt that would eliminate any issues, but was deemed unnecessary in the 49/59 with the hard military specification primers.

As for extraction and ejection on the 7.5mm, I've never noted anything other than smooth operation, easily recovered, and in good, reloadable condition. This is a direct gas impingement rifle designed for a specific volume of gas for proper operation, so I never played around with hotter loads that could have derived benefit from an adjustable valve.
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Old October 28, 2014, 08:38 PM   #17
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I use NATO CCI primers and no problems. No way I would use anything else. I have a 7.5. Bought it in 97 from the first sizable importation. Terrific rifle. Easy to reload 150 grainers to correct point of aim.
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Old October 28, 2014, 08:49 PM   #18
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In 1982 the French troops that trained with US 3rd Armored Division had Le Claron, Unfortunately I did not get to shoot one as I had other duties.

That said I trained with some Nation Guard troops in 1973 that still had M-1 Rifles, BAR, and 1919s so............

-kBob
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Old October 28, 2014, 10:35 PM   #19
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I enjoy my 49/56 also, the kind of rifle I would choose if it were on a table with Garand, AK, SKS, or an AR. I own and shoot all these type rifles. Seems like some folks are just now rediscovering this great rifle, that's a good thing. No more French rifles will be brought into this country on the surplus market, well just keep changing ownership of the ones that are here . The French government got on board with the UN idea of destroying old arms rather then selling them on the world market, it had to do with that funny agenda of the UN to disarm the world. I read that in an article years ago.
My rifle is dated 1962 on the barrel and never was rearsenaled, a solid shooter that never slamfired on me. I reload for mine also. Pull the bullets on that Syrian surplus because it's junk ammo, the bullet is 139 grain though. I usually reload with 150gr FMJ, that happens to be the .30 cal bullet I use for 7-8 military guns in my pile. The 49/56 likes the load recipe to be at the high end of the parameters to function the action well. Here's my recipe if someone can use it, FYI.

Graf brass
Powder----IMR4895 36 gr. (max on Lee chart)
Bullet----150gr. FMJ BT
Primer----CCI
(Note) 2.943 OAL
(Note) Use the 7.62x54R Crimp Die, must crimp for
Use in MAS 49/56


Last edited by shuvelrider; October 28, 2014 at 10:41 PM.
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Old October 29, 2014, 01:39 AM   #20
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Mine is a .308 conversion that works well. I got it years ago when they were pretty cheap but late enough that I was well aware of the rough chambers due to Century doing it on the cheap and not replacing worn chamber reamers. I made a very close inspection before plunking my money down and I got a good one for my efforts. The front side is too wide and the trigger isn't as good as it could be but it's a solid rifle that shoots well enough for a military grade firearm. As far as the heavy firing pin and the slam fire issues, mine sees nothing but a strict diet of surplus ammo and ammo reloaded with CCI military grade primers that are a bit harder than your typical softer civilian primers. Stick to that route and you have no problems.
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Old October 29, 2014, 09:12 AM   #21
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Oddly enough over the years I have had NO failure to fire with the Syrian ammo but multiple with French military ammo. I also came in second in a club pre 1945 military rifle match shooting the Syrian in a MAS 36. Of course both observations could be just luck.

Anyone have much luck converting 6.5x55 Swede cases to 7.5 Fr? Anyone have any loads and what bullets are you using?

-kBob
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Old October 29, 2014, 10:57 AM   #22
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Werent these used by French Foreign LEgionnaires in battle of DienBienPhu in 1954?
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Old October 29, 2014, 11:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by kBob View Post
Oddly enough over the years I have had NO failure to fire with the Syrian ammo but multiple with French military ammo. I also came in second in a club pre 1945 military rifle match shooting the Syrian in a MAS 36. Of course both observations could be just luck.

Anyone have much luck converting 6.5x55 Swede cases to 7.5 Fr? Anyone have any loads and what bullets are you using?

-kBob
I converted the 6.5 Swede and has very good results. It was a simple reform and trim to length. The initial firing would fire form the shoulder and case life was good.

There was a really good old article in this cartridge for reloading. I'll have to see if I have the details still on which magazine it was in.

I sold my last 7.5 French rifle some time ago along with my dies, so I am no longer actively reloading or shooting this caliber. However, my .308 MAS 49/56 is a favorite that gets plenty of range time.
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Old October 29, 2014, 12:24 PM   #24
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The Garand also makes a loud audible clanging sound when it runs out of ammo – a fact that got more than one trooper killed in WWII.
I've heard this BS repeated a thousand times. Seeing it in this article tends to reduce the author's credibility.
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Old October 29, 2014, 12:52 PM   #25
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Werent these used by French Foreign LEgionnaires in battle of DienBienPhu in 1954?
The 49 was but the 49/56 was not available in 1954.
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