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Old September 12, 2004, 07:06 PM   #1
Jamie Young
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French MAS reloading data?

Might hold on to this fella for a little while.

Anyone have any info on this?

I don't see anything in my books.
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Old October 2, 2004, 12:09 AM   #2
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Use the following at your own risk:

American Rifleman, May 1991, p. 58.
Reader Doug Bowser of McComb, Mississippi wrote:

"... 7.5mm French MAS rifles are common, as is Berdan-primed 7.5mm military ammunition. Virtually unobtainable, however, is Boxer-primed brass in that caliber, making reloading tiresome at best.
"A simpler solution is to use the Boxer-primed 6.5X55mm Swedish Mauser cases that are imported from both Norma and RWS. They can be easily reformed by trimming 1.5mm from their necks and running them through a 7.5mm French full-length resizing die available from RCBS.
"My first loads were made with cast bullets at low velocity. When they worked well, I went to full power loads without experiencing any difficulties."

Handloader's Digest No. 4, copyright 1968. Briefly mentioned by author Frank C. Barnes in an article on military rifle calibers:
"... .308 inch bullets can be used for loading. Dealers replace the military bullet with a 150 gr. softpoint and the reader can do the same thing. Power is similar to the .30-40 Krag or the .303 British."

Cartridges of the World 8th edition, by Frank C. Barnes. Copyright 1997:
"In 1924 the French army adopted a new cartridge, the 7.5X58mm MLE 1924C for a new automatic rifle. In 1929 the case was shortened 4mm to become the 7.5X54mm MLE 1929C. It was originally used in light machineguns and automatic arms, but in 1934 the Lebel Model 07/15 bolt-action rifle was modified for this round.
"In 1936, a newly designed bolt action rifle (MAS 36) in the new 7.5mm caliber was adopted. This rimless cartridge replaced the rimmed 8mm Lebel, which the French Army had used since 1886.
"Sporting ammunition in this caliber has never been manufactured. However, A.L.M. Arsenal in France is now making this caliber with a Boxer primer. Some of the surplus dealers made up hunting ammo by replacing the military bullet with a similar softpoint type.
"The military load develops about 40,000 psi breech pressure.
"The initials MAS represent the French arsenal that developed the cartridge and rifle, Manufacture d'Armes de Saint Etienne."
This same reference book lists a few loads that should get you started:

150 gr. softpoint / IMR4831 - 54.0 grs. / 2,680 muzzle velocity (Duplicates military ball cartridge)
150 gr. softpoint / IMR4895 - 48.0 grs. / 2,800 fps
180 gr. softpoint / IMR4895 - 44.0 grs. / 2,590 fps
The military MLE 1929C load used a 140 gr. bullet at 2,600 fps.
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Old October 17, 2004, 07:19 AM   #3
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data cobbled up from experience and unsupported by any currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

The 1936 MAS is a relatively weak action with poor case head support. I had one for a while and used cases made from 6.5x55 Norma brass. It's important to use Norma or Lapua brass because the US made 6.5x55 is undersized in the base area even for 6.5s. It's way undersized for the MAS.

For loading data, I used starting loads for the .300 Savage with powders faster than 4350. I also stuck with bullets no heavier than 150 grains.

You should also be aware that the MAS will chamber and fire .308 Win. This is an extremely bad idea and how I got the rifle. The previous owner had been doing so and had even killed a deer with it. He brought it to me because the floorplate fell off with every shot. The reason the floorplate was falling off was because the case heads were expanding to the point that the primers would fall out and the escaping gases were venting through the magazine and blowing the floor plate off.
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Old October 22, 2004, 02:02 PM   #4
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You can get virgin Hornady 7.5x54 MAS brass from Graf's-----BE SURE TO USE CCI MILITARY PRIMERS TO AVOID SLAMFIRES(49/56)---the primers are also available from Graf's.

Load data was included with my Lee die set-----and in the Hornady reloading manual----neither of which I have in front of me----so can't give any loads.
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