Firearms / Assault rifles / MAS 49

MAS 49

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-loading rifle

  • ORIGIN
    France

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1940's

  • DESIGNER
    Manufacture d'Armes de St. Etienne

  • PRODUCTION
    1950 - 1965

  • PRODUCERS
    France - MAS

  • QUANTITY
    About 20.600 MAS 49, much more MAS 49/56

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Rugged and reliable
    Limited maintainance needed
    Long and heavy

Introduction

The MAS 49 is a self-loading rifle of French origin. It was developed after World War 2 to replace the various bolt action rifles in French service. As France was not part of NATO during the Cold War the MAS 49 was one of the few European standard issue firearms that was not chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round.

Design

The MAS 49 is a self-loading rifle that fires the same 7.5mm ammunition as the earlier MAS 36. It is gas operated and uses the direct impingement system with a tilt-locking bolt. The MAS 49 looks like a classic rifle with its wooden stock and furniture that covers a large part of the barrel. The MAS 49/56 is an improved version and the most produced model of the MAS 49. For use a sniper rifle an APX scope and rubber buttpad can be fitted.

Firepower

The MAS 49 fires the French 7.5x54mm round from a 10 round detachable box magazine. The MAS 49 fires semi-automatic only. The maximum effective range is 400 m with iron sights and 800 m when using a scope. The MAS 49/56 is the most common version of the MAS 49 rifle and is able to launch NATO standard 22mm rifle grenades.

Users

Franch was the first and foremost user of the MAS 49. In French service the MAS 49/56 was used until the year 1990 when it was finally replaced by the FAMAS. The MAS 49/56 was the most widely exported version and was adopted by most ex-French colonies and several other nations.

Variants

MAS 49

The MAS 49 is the first version of the MAS 49 rifle. It can be identified by its much longer wooden forearm. The performance was very good, but the design was upgraded to make it lighter and shorter. The MAS 49 was common in French service but the production number was lower than that of the improved MAS 49/56.

TypeSelf-loading rifle
Caliber7.5x54mm French
Magazine10 rounds
OperationGas operated, direct impingement, tilt-locking bolt
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length580 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 270 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity850 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.075 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.90 kg empty, 4.33 kg loaded
SightsIron sights, 200 to 1.200 m gradation, 650 mm sight radius
RemarksAble to launch rifle grenades

MAS 49/56

The MAS 49/56 is an improved model of the MAS 49 rifle. Lessons learned during the Indochina War were incorporated in the design. The MAS 49/56 has a slightly shorter barrel and much shorter wooden forearm to reduce weight. The grenade launching ability is also upgraded. The MAS 49/56 was more widely exported than the original MAS 49.

TypeSelf-loading rifle
Caliber7.5x54mm French
Magazine10 rounds
OperationGas operated, direct impingement, tilt-locking bolt
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length525 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 270 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity820 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.020 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.21 kg loaded
SightsIron sights, 200 to 1.200 m gradation, 650 mm sight radius
RemarksAble to launch 22mm NATO standard rifle grenades

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