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Where can I find MAS info?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JediJJJ, Dec 23, 2007.

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  1. JediJJJ

    JediJJJ Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    For some reason even I don't fathom, I've decided the next addition to my modest WWII collection will be a MAS. Already ordered 200 rds of 7.5 French ammo, now just need something to shoot it in. :)

    I know the 36s are bolt action and the 49s are semi. I don't know much about the variations (36/51, 49/56) and chamberings, (is there an original .308 or are those all Century conversions?) and would like to find some historical and technical info. I searched here but didn't find anything definitive.

    I've handled a 49/56 at a gunshow but didn't know much about it and what would be reasonable pricing.

    If you have information or a web site you can point me to I would be appreciative.


  2. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    Lexington, IL
    I don't know but I'm marking this thread to try and learn something. Seems like most of the 36's I've seen are in very good shape. (of course you know what comes next . . :) )

    Did the 49 get used in WWII or was it too late in the game?

  3. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Not WWII, but it did see use in Indo China.
  4. Gator

    Gator Member

    Jul 23, 2003
    Stuck in Crook Co., IL
  5. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    south Florida
    Surplusrifleforum.com has two forums for French rifles,one for bolt action,and one for semiautomatic.
    Gunboards.com has a French rifle forum as well.I have learned a lot by lurking on these two.
  6. barman

    barman Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Versailles, France
    The Mas 36 was not used a lot by the French in WW2 as the production had barely started not too long before the war. After the defeat, they were used by German forces.

    However, this rifle is the main French rifle of both the Indochina war (our Vietnam war) and the Algeria war.
    So it did see some serious action, believe me.

    The reason why the Mas rifles that you see in the US are in good shape is because most of them have been re-furbished, very often re-barreled by French arsenals before being shipped accross the Atlantic.
    The ones that you find in France are usually in much poorer condition, because they've actually been used A LOT (in France we used to accomplish a compulsory military service which lasted from 12 to 18 months. We chose to turn ourselves towards an all-professional Army just a decade ago)
  7. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

    Nov 20, 2007
    East Tennesseee
    Theres a French army sniper rifle in 7.62 NATO that may be a rebarrel or possibly manufactured in that caliber by the armory.

    Also the MAS action was used to make a number of sporting rifles in several commercial as well as Military cartridges, though most were cartridges that served in both roles such as 7X57 Mauser.
    I've examined a Nam era bring back that was almost certainly a sporting version because it had a thumb safety just under the rear bolt cap.
    I couldn't find out the caliber at the time.
    The stock of that rifle was simply a development of the military stock, not sporterized but given a more sporter like shape from the factory.

    These sporter versions with thumb safety were sold in the French colonies. They had the advantage of easily found replacement parts and rugged construction.

    Apparently the North Vietnamese rechambered or rebarreled a number of MAS rifles to 7.62 but the source I got that information from wasn't clear as to whether these were in 7.62X39 or another nominal .30 round in use.
    The rifles were a sort of homeguard and training rifle issue and few showed up in combat, at least after supplies of SKS and AK rifles became more common.
    Whether the NV issued rifles had the thumb safety or not I have no idea.
  8. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    I don't know a ton about them, but as far as I know, all military issue MAS rifles were in 7.5x54.

    On that note, the MAS 36 is actually a neat little rifle. Very handy. I recently picked up a nice one for $150, along with the two Swede's in the photograph.


    The 7.5x54 is ballistically equal to other .30 caliber military cartridges of the day. It's actually really amazing how evenly matched the various cartridges from all over the world were during WWII. Except for the Carcano rounds and the 6.5 Arisaka, all the MBR/MG cartridges were .30-32 caliber and running 2,500-2,800 ft/lbs. And come to think of it, the Italian MG cartrdige (8x59) was actually right in there too, though slightly above the others.
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