View Full Version : French MAS 49/56

March 19, 2002, 11:10 PM
Can anyone tell me about these re-arsenaled, mil-surp rifles?
Background history, reliability, takedown, etc.
Seems to be a good deal, especially with all the assessories that go with one.
And once the Foriegn Legion got through with 'em, and the sand was shook out of them.;)
Remind me a little of the SKS.
Thanks for any help or advice.

have tape, and looking to go French...

James K
March 20, 2002, 10:35 PM
Many of those have been converted to 7.62 NATO and seem OK. A collector might want one in 7.5, but a lot of that ammo is corrosive as heck. (In spite of the seeming difference in metric terms, the bullet diameters are so close as to make no nevermind. I don't personally care for them but they are pretty sturdy and should hold up well. The stocks do not fit me, but you can get used to them. The rifles are no tack drivers, but they have good military accuracy with good ammo. One can definitely say that they are unquestionably, absolutely, undeniably, incontrovertibly - FRENCH!


March 21, 2002, 06:10 AM
Thanks for your comments, Jim!

I managed to 'liberate' one in 7.5 from a friend last week and it came with most of the "goodies" that are offered in SOG's ads, and in various auction sites on the Web.

Before taking it to the range, I was hoping that someone might share a service manual with me, or hook me up with a link in English, since I don't do French very well anymore. ;)
Do either exist?

That's the main reason I posted here, instead of over at "The Art of the Rifle" - to find out more on the technical/background/mechanical end, rather than dwelling on the aesthetics.

And I sure didn't get it for its 'tack-driving' ability, or potential!

have tape, polly voo franchaiz?

March 21, 2002, 12:47 PM
One of my copies of Small Arms of the World by Edward Clinton Ezell has a section on the 1949/56 rifles, including sub-sections on How to Load and Fire the M1949-Series Rifles, How to Field Strip the M1949-Series Rifles, How the M1949-Series Rifles Work, & Special Note on the M1949-Series Rifles.
Barnes & Noble carries a version of the book and I've seen it in many public libraries or if you have a specific question, I'll type in what information I can find in the articles.

March 21, 2002, 08:02 PM
Thanks fal!

Think I'll brave the dark recesses of the urban jungle I live near and see what I can find out this weekend.
On second thought, maybe I'd better lock n' load the MAS and take it with me...;)

have tape, but where in the heck did I put my library card...

James K
March 21, 2002, 11:51 PM
Takedown of the MAS 49 is very similar to that of the FN 49. Pull down on the little button in the back and hold it while pushing forward and pulling up on the receiver cover. Ease the receiver cover carefully off the gun (it is under spring pressure). Then pull the bolt carrier and bolt back to the dismount point and lift them out of the receiver. Reassemble in reverse order, taking care not to kink the recoil spring. That is about all that is needed for normal cleaning.

Clean well and clean out the gas tube if using corrosive ammo. There is a way to tell the French 7.5 corrosive from the non-corrosive, but I have forgotten it, so I assume 7.5 is corrosive.

The MAS semi autos date back to 1938 when they first started experiments using modified Model 1936 (bolt) rifles. There was a Model 1940, but the first to achieve any production was the Model 1944, which they worked on during the war. The Model 49 was basically an upgraded 1944 and the 1956 variation added all the goodies in the form of the grenade launcher, etc. Some features were "in the air" at the time the French started work, and turned up on the MAS designs as well as the FN 49, the Ljungman AB42, the FAL, etc. I think the MAS was the first rifle to use the gas tube system which later turned up on the Ljungman as well as on our own AR-15/M16. (But the French were smart enough to vent the gas into the air rather than through the bolt carrier.)


March 22, 2002, 06:10 AM
Thanks Jim!

While looking for other things, I came across a MAS 49/56 service manual being offered in a current FAC catalog.
Will probably invest in a copy to keep with the rifle.

BTW bought some Portugese 170gr. FMJ 7.5 ammo (made back in the 80's) from SOG, which is touted as non-corrosive.
And while far from cheap, at least it's readily available.
Time to truck off to the range.

have tape, and sure don't have a wall-hanger....

March 23, 2002, 11:27 AM
Check out www.gunsworld.com. They used to keep a manual and parts breakdown posted on the MAS and many others.

March 23, 2002, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the link.
That's exactly what I was looking for.

have tape, and a manual to go with a rifle...:)