The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 6, 2010, 01:09 PM   #1
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
MAS-49 Questions

There is a very nice MAS-49 at a local gunshop. The tag says it's a .308, but there are no stamps or even import marks on the rifle to suggest that.

Is there any way, short of a chamber cast, to tell if it is indeed one of the .308 conversions, or the original 7.5x54mm?

And if it is a .308... Are the .308 conversions really as bad as the scuttlebutt suggests? I have heard some horror stories, and I already have generally bad luck with lemons.

As it stands now, I only really want it if it has not been converted. Prvi loads 7.5 French and it is available at a decent price, I don't see the need to roll the dice with a questionable conversion.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old October 6, 2010, 01:41 PM   #2
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
You need to chamber cast. Or see what round fits.

WildifnotfrenchavoidAlaska ™©2002-2010
Wildalaska is offline  
Old October 6, 2010, 01:48 PM   #3
tulsamal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Vinita, OK
Posts: 2,473
I have a MAS 49/56. Mine is unconverted. It's a great little rifle. Much shorter and easier to carry than a WWII Garand but more of a "rifle" than the smaller M1 Carbine. Decent sights and trigger. Weird stock. Even stranger method of attaching the magazine to the rifle. But it works just fine.

I reload for both 7.5 French and 7.5 Swiss and they are both easy to do since both use .308" bullets. With the MAS, just need to get the CCI military primers since a slam fire is possible with commercial primers.

I like mine a lot and have no intention of selling it. I keep meaning to get a deer with it but I'm getting too old for iron sights on game. If I could find a scope mount that uses the groves on the receiver, I think a small scope would make it a capable deer rifle.

Gregg
tulsamal is offline  
Old October 6, 2010, 11:47 PM   #4
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
Quote:
Or see what round fits.
Now, how would one go about that in a gunshop setting?

Something about chambering live rounds in a rifle that is somewhat notorious for slam-fires in the middle of a crowded gunshop seems questionable.

And I do not have any dummy-rounds handy.

If I were able to locate a .308 dummy, would that fit in a 7.5 chamber? Or would I need a 7.5 dummy-round to be sure?

My knowlege of the specifications of the 7.5 French round is nonexistant.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old October 7, 2010, 10:22 AM   #5
doofus47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
Posts: 1,353
Quote:
The tag says it's a .308
If I remember correctly, CAI converted some MAS to .308.
In any case, because it is a C&R weapon, you should probably take it to a gunsmith to get safety checked before firing anyhow, so let him check it. IMHO.
doofus47 is offline  
Old October 7, 2010, 08:01 PM   #6
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
After much asking around and pondering, I understand it that a .308 case could be used to check the chamber...

Can one of y'all confirm that a .308 case will not fit into a 7.5 French chamber?

I may be able to run by the gunshop tomorrow.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 10:08 AM   #7
tulsamal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Vinita, OK
Posts: 2,473
Quote:
Can one of y'all confirm that a .308 case will not fit into a 7.5 French chamber?
You got me curious so I pulled my 7.5 MAS off the wall. Found a box of Federal .308 commercial hunting ammo. Locked the bolt back and dropped in the round. Bad news for you, it went all the way in. I didn't try closing the bolt but the round dropped in flush. Just to look at it, you would think it was the proper size.

So that's not going to work for you!

I don't have a 308 MAS to check. But how about a 7.62 NATO FN FAL? Should tell us mostly the same thing. I'll try to put a 7.5 French in one of my FAL's.....

And there's your check. The 7.5 won't fit. It sticks out about three quarters of an inch. And if I remember right, that's the problem with the converted MAS rifles. They end up too wide at the rear of the case. I know I read a web page once by a gunsmith who explained that it was possible to convert one to 7.62 NATO but not the way Century was doing it. So he claimed a rifle that had been converted by a competent gunsmith might well be ok but not one done by Century. Of course I don't know how one would tell that if you were standing there holding a used one in a gunstore!

Gregg
tulsamal is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 10:15 AM   #8
tulsamal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Vinita, OK
Posts: 2,473
I looked up the cartridge specs in a Cartridges of the World.

The 7.5 should have a shoulder diameter of .411". And a base diameter of .480".

Case length is 2.11".

The 7.62 NATO has a shoulder diameter of .447". And a base diameter of .466".

Case length is 2.01".

The larger base diameter of the 7.5 French shows why it wouldn't go in my FAL. Clearly the 7.5 French has more taper to the case.

Gregg
tulsamal is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 12:31 PM   #9
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
Dangit... It can never be the easy option.

I'll see what I can do to round up a round of 7.5 French, but it will obviously be more of a chore than a piece of .308 brass or even a .308 dummy round.

Oh well, I don't think this rifle is in danger of walking away anytime soon. This gunshop does not seem to be a hangout for crufflers, other weird old guns have tended to hang around in the racks a while. I may be able to do this yet.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 01:58 PM   #10
tulsamal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Vinita, OK
Posts: 2,473
You're welcome!

Gregg
tulsamal is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 06:41 PM   #11
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
I appreciate it. Hopefully I can check it out and snatch it up, I'll keep y'all posted.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old October 8, 2010, 09:17 PM   #12
USMCGrunt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2000
Location: Somewhere in 13T EG
Posts: 628
The problem with the Century conversions was mainly due in part to the over-use of chamber reamers. They would wear out past their serviceable life but they kept on using them anyways which lead to a lot of their rifles having chatter marks (and unreliable operation) in the chamber. I have one of their MAS-49/56 conversions and I knew of the problems before I set out looking for one. When I found one for a reasonable price, the main part of my inspection focused on the chamber area and I did find one that had a smooth chamber. I never did have a problem with that rifle (although it seen far fewer rounds than my FALs, M-14s and HK) with no failures to extract. They are a perfectly serviceable rifle but you just have to be very careful in inspecting one before you buy it. Also, what has already been mentioned before about using surplus ammunition or reloading with CCI #34 military primers is spot on. The firing pin in this thing is STOUT and if you are using soft civilian primers, you are highly likely to have problems with slam fires just from the weight of the firing pin.
USMCGrunt is offline  
Old December 17, 2010, 04:49 PM   #13
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
I stopped by the gunshop the other day and it's still on the rack!

The tag now says $200, and I may be able to get it for less. Worth the gamble?

What kind of effort and parts would be required to unconvert it if it is a Century mongrel?
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old December 17, 2010, 05:22 PM   #14
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
$100

WildwavethebillandtellhimtakeitorleaveitAlaska ™©2002-2010
Wildalaska is offline  
Old December 17, 2010, 07:38 PM   #15
Snowmanx7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2007
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 143
All the Century .308 conversions I've seen have .308 stamped pretty clearly on the receiver. You would have seen it if it's like the ones I've seen. I always wanted one if 7.5 myself. They're def interesting guns.
Snowmanx7 is offline  
Old December 17, 2010, 09:42 PM   #16
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
Quote:
$100

WildwavethebillandtellhimtakeitorleaveitAlaska ™©2002-2010
Will do.

Quote:
All the Century .308 conversions I've seen have .308 stamped pretty clearly on the receiver. You would have seen it if it's like the ones I've seen.
Ah, thank you for that. The gamble is looking more promising.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old December 17, 2010, 10:00 PM   #17
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
I owned 2 Century conversions. Both were stamped .308. If it ain't stamped .308, it is not .308. Any sensible gunsmith would stamp it if the conversion was done. I would ignore the tag, that is meaningless.

Here is the thing about the Century conversions, every gun is a parts gun. They took them all apart, threw the pieces in piles, reamed the chambers, cut down the handguards and reassembled them at random. What this means is that the quality of the conversion is dependent upon 1. The quality of the bore and 2. the quality of the reaming. You can have an awesome looking receiver with a pitted crap bore- because it is a parts gun.

The one of the two I kept has a perfect bore but the chamber was reamed like garbage. I had to smooth is out with a dowel, sandpaper and a drill to get it to extract properly. Now every piece of brass it pops out has 3-4 ridges from the chamber gouges but it extracts fine and cycles perfectly (all that adjustable gas gauge modification is crap- if the chamber is properly right done the gun works.) You will probably have to replace the recoil spring if it is a conversion, Century chopped off some coils for no good reason. A Browning A5 spring works well. I hate Century, the people running that place are just plain dumb.

Anyway, I kept the better of the two MAS 49/56's and it will shoot 2 MOA all day long with my poor eyesight. Sometimes I can push it to 1 MOA if I play with the handloads. It is a shame Century screwed them all up, it is a fantastic battle rifle with great sights and a lot of potential.
SwampYankee is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 04:23 PM   #18
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
Got it.

It is indeed an unconverted 7.5, whoever logged it in had been inhaling too many Hoppe's fumes or something, they had it in the computer as a .308 MAS-36. Double whoops.

Luckily, my buddy was working and we got it figured out. Got it for $200 out the door and a pile of range passes and t-shirts (there was some initial price confusion with the computer mixup, so I got goodies). We initially haggled down to $150, but then he figured out the shop had $200 into the thing and he couldn't complete the transaction without catching hell. It was a wacky deal.

Now I need ammo and extra mags and a capi blanc.

Thanks for the help, all. I'll post photos when I can.
__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 05:23 PM   #19
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
Quote:
Now I need ammo and extra mags and a capi blanc.
Plus you need to learn to say "I surrender" in French. And never put it near a Mauser, it will run away

WildgoodscoreAlaska ™©2002-2010
Wildalaska is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 07:36 PM   #20
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
Je ne sais pas. That's all I remember from three years of high school French- it means "I don't know" and seems appropriate. Despite my indoctrinated hate for the French language, the MAS is a heck of a lot of fun. Some day I'll have myself an M1A. Until then, the MAS will suffice. I'd say $150 for a nonconverted weapon is a very good deal.
SwampYankee is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 08:25 PM   #21
Famas
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: French, currently living in US
Posts: 126
Quote:
Plus you need to learn to say "I surrender" in French. And never put it near a Mauser, it will run away
:barf:

In six weeks of 1940, over 92,000 French soldiers said no such thing, nor did they run away.
Famas is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 10:09 PM   #22
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
Quote:
In six weeks of 1940, over 92,000 French soldiers said no such thing, nor did they run away.
Lighten up Francois, I've been to Verdun, I know what the poilu was capable of

Ils non passerant pas is on the statute on Le Morte Homme. It's Holy. You been there?

WildandthefamaslookslikeatrombonenotarifleAlaska ™©2002-2010
Wildalaska is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 11:16 PM   #23
10mmAuto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2010
Posts: 598
Quote:
In six weeks of 1940, over 92,000 French soldiers said no such thing, nor did they run away.
I think the operative words there are "six weeks".
10mmAuto is offline  
Old December 18, 2010, 11:23 PM   #24
Snowmanx7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2007
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 143
Nice score Lahey. Lookin forward to the pics.
Snowmanx7 is offline  
Old December 19, 2010, 01:43 AM   #25
B. Lahey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,840
The receiver park is nice looking in person, dunno what went wrong with this photo. Bad cellphone pic.:

__________________
"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards."
-George Orwell
B. Lahey is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12685 seconds with 7 queries