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Old November 26, 2014, 01:25 PM   #1
BerdanSS
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49? or 49-56?

One of my favorite rifles I've ever had, was a one I got as a teen for a late birthday present. A near new MAS 1936-51.

After seeing a semi-automatic MAS at a gun show a couple years later, I decided that some day I must have one. I don't know much about them, but my 36-51 was a real tack driver and built like a tank....not to mention really unique looking. Whats the deal on these? People seem to like the 49-56 well enough. Are they accurate? They look like a blast to shoot, and I have piles of South African 7.62x51 surplus around. I guessing these are chambered for 7.62 nato even though every one I see for sale say "Chambered in .308 win!"



If you had two identical condition rifles, a 49 and a 49-56 which one would you take? Mostly just for a shooter and addition to the collection...but I'll admit I'd probably hunt whitetails with it next year if the law changes like it's supposed to.


<edit> I do have reloading equipment. So if I found a really nice 49 or an unconverted 49-56, I plan on getting a set of 7.5 french dies so I can be able to feed it
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Old November 26, 2014, 02:27 PM   #2
Erno86
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I just bought a MAS 49/56, re-chambered in 308. It has a free floating firing pin. I've had not the time to group it yet. But I would use mil-spec hard primers for it, like Wolf PVA --- but not the black box Wolf --- which tends to have case head separation.
I use German Riot Control 308 plastic cartridge with a 10 grain plastic bullet, though I've had two slamfires, using that type of ammo --- so I close the bolt very carefully on it --- when using that type of ammo. The plastic ammo does does not cycle the bolt; but I believe it causes slamfires because it uses soft primers with the plastic ammo. You might have a problem with detonation --- if you use a titanium firing pin --- or you can whittle down the firing pin and put a writing pen click spring around it; though I have not done that yet.
They say Century did not chamber some MAS bores correctly for the 308, which might lead to accuracy problems.

The 49/56 is well balanced. It has a flip-up gas valve for shooting rifle grenades. The muzzle brake is loud. Buy a 7.5 mag for the 308 and emery cloth the magazine feed lips yourself for 308, because some have been filed down too far.

I just bought a S&K scope mount for it, from Treeline products, though you might need a low mount red dot scope; including a raised cheek pad that I just ordered from Brownells.

The rubber MAS recoil pad fits perfectly.
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Last edited by Erno86; November 26, 2014 at 02:47 PM.
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Old November 27, 2014, 08:22 PM   #3
BerdanSS
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Good to know. I've heard the rumblings about the Century imported rifles not being very accurate and some have reliability issues. I also read somewhere that the french converted some 49-56s to 7.62x51 themselves before importation, and those are the ones to get if you don't get a 7.5.

I'm really liking the "rifle" look of the 49 over the carbine style of the 49-56.
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Old November 27, 2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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I personally prefer the looks of the 49-56 better. The Century 7.62/.308 conversions have a real bad rep, so I would get an original in 7.5. And since you're already set to reload 7.5.....................................
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Old November 28, 2014, 12:15 AM   #5
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IIRC, there is no safety, and they are prone to rough re-chamber jobs in 308, and a heavy floating firing pin that can/will slamfire non milsurp ammo. Great rifles, otherwise.

TCB
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Old November 28, 2014, 09:06 AM   #6
Ceol Mhor
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Between the two, I'd take a 49. They are scarcer than the 49/56. I would also only be interested in one in the original 7.5x54 caliber. I do have a 49/56 in 7.5, and it's a great rifle.
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Old November 28, 2014, 11:46 PM   #7
kilimanjaro
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You can get both unprimed boxer brass and loaded 7.5 French ammo from Prvi Partizan, the Serbian firm. Both are quite good in make. Graf & Sons or SGAmmo might be the best sources for one or the other.

As a rule, I don't care much for non-arsenal conversions by marketers, no matter what the resulting caliber. An arsenal will convert after considerable testing and tooling, while I feel the dealer in surplus arms is just trying to sell his stuff and quality and suitability may be less than desired.
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Old November 29, 2014, 08:16 AM   #8
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PPU is my go to ammo for my surplus guns. There's an Army/Navy surplus store about 45 min from me that always has a pretty good stock of it. That's were I always bought all my 7.5 french that I fed my '36....pretty good stuff


I did happen into a LGS one time though and got a good deal. I found a big vacuum sealed pack of loose 7.5 french in their random/loose ammo pile. Someone had miss marked it not knowing what it was. the pack roughly had about 200 rounds in it. While the owner was not happy when I came to the cash register with it (he was the shops mil-surplus guy) he said it was their mistake and if that was the price on the tag, that was what I paid. I counted them when I got home.....I had gotten the ammo for $0.28 cents a round Atb the time 7.5 french seemed REALLY hard to get a hold of. And when you did find it, it was almost a dollar a round.
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Old December 1, 2014, 02:57 PM   #9
Erno86
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The MAS 49/56 does have a right hand outside front trigger guard finger lever safety.
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Old December 1, 2014, 04:46 PM   #10
Cheapshooter
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Quote:
IIRC, there is no safety,
My 49/56 does have a safety. I stayed with the original 7.5X54 as I have heard the 308 conversions were poorly done.
My MAS 36 bolt action does not have a safety. Maybe you are confusing the two.
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Old December 2, 2014, 07:08 PM   #11
BerdanSS
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I noticed that. Looks kinda like a cross bolt. The 1949 looks like it has the same thing.
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