As a follow on to the bolt MAS36 the French were working on a semi-auto rifle prior to WW2, the German invasion put a stop to it, at the time of liberation they went right back to work & adopted the MAS44 semi auto which was issued in very small numbers, in 1949 they deleted the integral bayonet & added a grenade launcher & put the MAS 49 into service, a modernized variant, the MAS49-56 was adopted in 1956. These rifles were chambered for the French 7.5MAS cartridge in service, some 49/56's were reportedly tried in .308 NATO (to standardize) but were never issued in that calibre. Some 49/56's were sold here in 308 but as far as I know these were rechambered guns for commercial sale.
Album by willyp. Photos by willyp. 1 - 111 of 111 Total. 23612 Visits.
1 Mas 49 top, 49/56 bottom The MAS 49 was basically a MAS44 w/no integral bayonet & the addition of an attached grenade launcher on the muzzle, later some of the 49's had the launchers removed during refurb, I have been told the rifles w/o launchers were to be used as snipers rifles as the regulations prohibited firing grenades from snipers rifles. Bottom rifle is the later, modernized? version, the MAS49/56
2 Rear sights apertures, 49 top, 49/56 bttm Note the minor differences in the apertures, I'm not sure if these are model differences or mfg differences though.
3 Actions, 49 top, 49/56 bottom
4 Muzzles, 49 top, 49/56 bottom Note the differences in forends & the attached launcher/sight on the 49/56, also note though that the majority of 49's also had a launcher but the sight was on the side of the barrel not on top as in the 49/56, this particular example is one of a few that have had the launcher removed, probably during rearsenal.
5 Muzzle detail, 49 top, 49/56 bottom Note that the 49 on top has no integral bayonet, the ones found w/the integral bayonet are Syrian contract guns.
6 Muzzles, left, 49 top, 49/56 bottom
7 forends left, 49 top, 49/56 bottom The 49/56 has the sling attached, both rifles used the same sling & attachments.
8 Left views, 49 top, 49/56 bottom Note the dual "grooves" on the upper rear side of the receiver which are for attaching the French military scope system, all 49's & 49-56's were mfg w/these grooves for scope attachment.
9 49, 49/56 Snipers Here are the rifles fitted w/the French scope system mounted on the left rear receiver.
10 49, 49/56 Snipers right view w/covers Here the rifles, w/scopes & mags fitted are shown w/the field cover, it effectively protects the scope, action & muzzle. From what I understand these covers were also used w/rifles w/o scopes.
11 49, 49/56 snipers scope mounts left Here you can see the attachment mechanism, the mounts slid on the receiver w/two grooves, there's a lever that is turned then to lock the mounts onto the rifle.
12 49, 49/56 snipers left w/covers Note the leather straps that simply pull through metal "u" fittings to hold the covers on.
13 49, 49/56 snipers left full view
14 MAS 49 right view
15 MAS49 w/early action cover I believe this cover is more of a "transport/storage" cover than the cover shown on the snipers as this cover cannot be fitted w/a magazine in the rifle, it also will not accomdate the scope/mount affixed to the rifle. I also believe this is an earlier cover as they came w/the MAS49's that were imported a few years ago but not with the MAS49/56's.
16 MAS 49 butt stock right side As far as I know the guns originally had the serial number stamped on the butts, when refurbed or wood replaced they didn't, this one has no numbers, neither does the 49/56.
17 MAS49 action, bottom view The actions for the 49 & 49/56 were virtually the same, note the distinctive manner of securing the magazine to the rifle, a sprng loaded lever that the fits into a recess on the receiver side.
18 Mas 49 action right.
19 Mas mag catch closeup Here you can see the recess in the receiver & the manner of "locking" the mag securely to the rifle.
20 Right closeup of the earlier cover
21 49 Forend right view
22 Closeup of 49 muzzle Again note this MAS49 is one of the few that has had the grenade launcher (& grenade sight) removed.
23 Closeup, left muzzle
24 Mas49 left forend
25 49 Receiver upper left mkg
26 MAS49 mfg marking, left receiver
27 MAS 49 cocking knob
28 MAS 49 action left Here you have a better view of the integral grooves in the receiver for mounting a scope.
29 MAS 49 rear sight
30 MAS 49 rear sight aperture
31 MAS 49 receiver closeup Good view of the scope grooves (or rails if you prefer).
32 MAS 49 butt stock left
33 MAS 49 buttplate
34 MAS 49 w/early cover, left view
35 MAS 49 left
36 MAS 49 bagged w-accs The rifle shown in the pics (MAS49) was never taken out of the original bag until the pics were taken! as I received it it had a slit by the serial so the transferring dealer could read the number otherwise it was untouched for many years! The 49 came w/an acc set of cleaning tools, sling, early action cover, tool pouch, manual &, I believe, 1 mag. the French military scopes & cases were available seperately.
37 Sniper/later/long case marking This is the marking on the leather spine inside the later?, long scoped rifle case.
38 Sniper/later/long case tip
39 Mas Sniper/later/long sling "slit" These cases also have "slits" in them so when the case is on the sling when fitted comes thru them & can be left on the rifle.
40 MAS 49 acc pack oops, also includes an oil bottle
41 Mas 49 acc pack rear view
42 MAS 49 action cover in original packing
43 Mas field belt set This is the French military issue field belt system used w/the MAS rifles, leather belt & Y straps w/2 leather pouches for magazines. There was also a set issued in canvas.
44 Magazine pouch marking
45 Magazine pouch marking #2
46 Belt marking, inside of leather waist belt
47 MAS 49 sniper right w/cover
48 MAS49 Snpr R
49 MAS 49 sniper, right side action
50 French APX 806 scope w/eyecup Inner view, you can see the attachment lever & "rails" on the mount.
51 MAS APX 806 scope set The APX 806 scope set consists of the scope/mount, rubber eyecup, tool, scope manual & leather case, also shown is the "snipers" cover.
52 APX 806 scope case lid Here you can see the cushion on top which prevents the scope from moving in the case & the small leather pouch on the bottom which holds the scope tool.
53 Scope & military scope manual
54 Left side (outer) view of APX 806 scope
55 APX 806 scope marking
56 MAS 49 sniper action left
57 MAS 49 sniper top action
58 Closeup of action area w/sniper cover fitted
59 MAS 49 sniper left, w/cover open
60 MAS 49/56 w/accs Here the MAS 49/56 is shown w/it's accs, rubber grenade/sniper boot, spare mags in bag, acc set in bag consisting of manual, cleaning kit, pouch, oiler, action cover, night site set w/pouch & tool, 2 mag pouches, bayonet/scabbard, scope/case, belt & Ystrap over sniper cover. Most accs came w/the guns were they were imported, except for the scope/case, action cover, sniper cover, & Y strap/belt/pouch set.
61 MAS 49/56 right view Here shown w/the bayonet affixed to the rifle.
62 MAS 49/56 right, w/night sight fitted These rifles had a night sight, a tube which slid over the barrel w/auxilliary sights which were highlighted in a luminescent material for low light situations, the sight was carried in a canvas pouch w/tool when not affixed.
63 MAS49/56 night sight closeup
64 MAS 49/56 thru night sight
65 MAS 49/56 buttstock right
66 MAS 49/56 action right
67 MAS 49/56 forend right very different from the MAS 44/49 series guns.
68 MAS 49/56 grenade launcher Note the folded down launcher sight which sits on top of the barrel when not in use.
69 MAS 49/56 bayonet/scabbard
70 MAS 49/56 bayonet/scabbard left
71 MAS 49/56 grenade launcher left
72 MAS 49/56 launcher sight markings
73 MAS 49/56 launcher sight raised Note the small cutoff/lock lever near top front of handguard in raised position.
74 MAS 49/56 frontband, forend tip
75 MAS 49/56 gas port/lock lever
76 MAS 49/56 receiver markings
77 MAS 49/56 action left
78 MAS 49/56 buttstock left
79 MAS 49/56 buttplate This one has some color spotting.
80 MAS 49/56 w/launcher up, boot on Here the rifle is shown w/the launcher sight in the firing position & the acc rubber boot fitted to the butt. The boots were to cushion the rifle when launching grenades but could also be used to adjust the "pull" for snipers.
81 MAS 49/56 w/bay/scbbrd left
82 Left side, night sight attached
83 MAS 49/56 left w/night sights
84 MAS 49/56 w/acc left side
85 49/56 acc set w/manual
86 MAS 49/56 sniper right
87 MAS 49/56 buttstock right
88 MAS 49/56 sniper w/boot right
89 MAS 49/56 buttstock w/boot
90 MAS 49/56 sniper w/sniper cover
91 MAS 49/56 sniper action right
92 MAS 49/56 sniper action left
93 MAS 49/56 sniper left w/cover
94 MAS 49/56 rubber boot pad
95 MAS 49/56 sniper left w/cover
96 MAS 49/56 sniper w/boot left
97 Campana training device box Very interesting training aid that was used w/most French military rifles of the period, it "fired" an beam of light to use as a sighting lesson. Here it is shown closed up in it's leather box.
98 Campana Training device in box This is a view of the contents of the packing box, upper left "mag" that fit into the receiver & carried the batteries, middle left, wires w/connectors & trigger assembly that "fired" the light, bottom left, 3 leather straps to secure the above wires to the rifle, center, muzzle attachment that contained the bulb, right in lid, manual for the device.
99 Campana device manual page This is a page from the manual for the device illustrating the weapons it was used on & the method of affixing it to them.
100 MAS 49/56 w/Campana trainer fitted The muzzle attachment is wired to the battery box (magazine), which in turn is wired to the trigger (attached to bottom of trigger guard), the leather straps secure the wire to the side of the rifle.
101 Closeup of the action w/device fitted
102 Campana muzzle attachment Slides over the muzzle & is held w/3 plastic thumbscrews, it's centered by a rod that enters the bore. All wire attachments are simple push pins.
103 Campana muzzle attachment left
104 Campana leather wire holders There are 3 different length straps w/the device, some weapons required 2 some 3.
105 Campana trigger & mag/battery fittings
106 MAS 49/56 w/training device left view
107 Visoscope Box, for training aid This is another training aid to enable an instructor to "see" the sight picture a trainee is using on the rifle.
108 Visoscope box contents The lid contains instructions, on the left is a semi-circular "strap" that goes on the rifle & is secured w/a vinyl strap, it has a swivel fitting on it, on the right is the glass assembly which attaches to the swivel.