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 willyp | Home > Weapons of the world photo Albums > 
French MAS49 & 49/56 (7.5x54)
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. 33608 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 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

Enlarge photo 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.

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Actions, 49 top, 49/56 bottom

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 6

Muzzles, left, 49 top, 49/56 bottom

Enlarge photo 7

forends left, 49 top, 49/56 bottom
The 49/56 has the sling attached, both rifles used the same sling & attachments.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 9

49, 49/56 Snipers
Here are the rifles fitted w/the French scope system mounted on the left rear receiver.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 12

49, 49/56 snipers left w/covers
Note the leather straps that simply pull through metal "u" fittings to hold the covers on.

Enlarge photo 13

49, 49/56 snipers left full view

Enlarge photo 14

MAS 49 right view

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 18

Mas 49 action right.

Enlarge photo 19

Mas mag catch closeup
Here you can see the recess in the receiver & the manner of "locking" the mag securely to the rifle.

Enlarge photo 20

Right closeup of the earlier cover

Enlarge photo 21

49 Forend right view

Enlarge photo 22

Closeup of 49 muzzle
Again note this MAS49 is one of the few that has had the grenade launcher (& grenade sight) removed.

Enlarge photo 23

Closeup, left muzzle

Enlarge photo 24

Mas49 left forend

Enlarge photo 25

49 Receiver upper left mkg

Enlarge photo 26

MAS49 mfg marking, left receiver

Enlarge photo 27

MAS 49 cocking knob

Enlarge photo 28

MAS 49 action left
Here you have a better view of the integral grooves in the receiver for mounting a scope.

Enlarge photo 29

MAS 49 rear sight

Enlarge photo 30

MAS 49 rear sight aperture

Enlarge photo 31

MAS 49 receiver closeup
Good view of the scope grooves (or rails if you prefer).

Enlarge photo 32

MAS 49 butt stock left

Enlarge photo 33

MAS 49 buttplate

Enlarge photo 34

MAS 49 w/early cover, left view

Enlarge photo 35

MAS 49 left

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 37

Sniper/later/long case marking
This is the marking on the leather spine inside the later?, long scoped rifle case.

Enlarge photo 38

Sniper/later/long case tip

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 40

MAS 49 acc pack
oops, also includes an oil bottle

Enlarge photo 41

Mas 49 acc pack rear view

Enlarge photo 42

MAS 49 action cover in original packing

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 44

Magazine pouch marking

Enlarge photo 45

Magazine pouch marking #2

Enlarge photo 46

Belt marking, inside of leather waist belt

Enlarge photo 47

MAS 49 sniper right w/cover

Enlarge photo 48

MAS49 Snpr R

Enlarge photo 49

MAS 49 sniper, right side action

Enlarge photo 50

French APX 806 scope w/eyecup
Inner view, you can see the attachment lever & "rails" on the mount.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 53

Scope & military scope manual

Enlarge photo 54

Left side (outer) view of APX 806 scope

Enlarge photo 55

APX 806 scope marking

Enlarge photo 56

MAS 49 sniper action left

Enlarge photo 57

MAS 49 sniper top action

Enlarge photo 58

Closeup of action area w/sniper cover fitted

Enlarge photo 59

MAS 49 sniper left, w/cover open

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 61

MAS 49/56 right view
Here shown w/the bayonet affixed to the rifle.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 63

MAS49/56 night sight closeup

Enlarge photo 64

MAS 49/56 thru night sight

Enlarge photo 65

MAS 49/56 buttstock right

Enlarge photo 66

MAS 49/56 action right

Enlarge photo 67

MAS 49/56 forend right
very different from the MAS 44/49 series guns.

Enlarge photo 68

MAS 49/56 grenade launcher
Note the folded down launcher sight which sits on top of the barrel when not in use.

Enlarge photo 69

MAS 49/56 bayonet/scabbard

Enlarge photo 70

MAS 49/56 bayonet/scabbard left

Enlarge photo 71

MAS 49/56 grenade launcher left

Enlarge photo 72

MAS 49/56 launcher sight markings

Enlarge photo 73

MAS 49/56 launcher sight raised
Note the small cutoff/lock lever near top front of handguard in raised position.

Enlarge photo 74

MAS 49/56 frontband, forend tip

Enlarge photo 75

MAS 49/56 gas port/lock lever

Enlarge photo 76

MAS 49/56 receiver markings

Enlarge photo 77

MAS 49/56 action left

Enlarge photo 78

MAS 49/56 buttstock left

Enlarge photo 79

MAS 49/56 buttplate
This one has some color spotting.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 81

MAS 49/56 w/bay/scbbrd left

Enlarge photo 82

Left side, night sight attached

Enlarge photo 83

MAS 49/56 left w/night sights

Enlarge photo 84

MAS 49/56 w/acc left side

Enlarge photo 85

49/56 acc set w/manual

Enlarge photo 86

MAS 49/56 sniper right

Enlarge photo 87

MAS 49/56 buttstock right

Enlarge photo 88

MAS 49/56 sniper w/boot right

Enlarge photo 89

MAS 49/56 buttstock w/boot

Enlarge photo 90

MAS 49/56 sniper w/sniper cover

Enlarge photo 91

MAS 49/56 sniper action right

Enlarge photo 92

MAS 49/56 sniper action left

Enlarge photo 93

MAS 49/56 sniper left w/cover

Enlarge photo 94

MAS 49/56 rubber boot pad

Enlarge photo 95

MAS 49/56 sniper left w/cover

Enlarge photo 96

MAS 49/56 sniper w/boot left

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 101

Closeup of the action w/device fitted

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 103

Campana muzzle attachment left

Enlarge photo 104

Campana leather wire holders
There are 3 different length straps w/the device, some weapons required 2 some 3.

Enlarge photo 105

Campana trigger & mag/battery fittings

Enlarge photo 106

MAS 49/56 w/training device left view

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 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.

Enlarge photo 109

Visoscope attached to 49/56

Enlarge photo 110

Visoscope, different view

Enlarge photo 111

Visoscope & another

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