French MAS MLE 1949/56 info please!

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by XxWINxX94, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. XxWINxX94

    XxWINxX94 New Member

    Hey all,

    I was looking for a 308 semi auto.
    I came upon this gun looking through auctions. I like its look, I like the age, and I like the semi-auto 308 carbine type gun. The price is also right.

    However I know nothing about this gun and they don't seem common.

    Can someone give me some general info or something I might want to know before I go and make an attempt to purchase this gun.
    Again its a French MAS MLE 1949/56 semi-auto clip fed 308 (7.62 NATO).

    Need info please!!!!
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Have no personal experience with the French rifle. Be aware that 7.62 NATO is NOT .308 Winchester. The civilian round is loaded hotter, and has a thinner case (meaning it's inside volume is different, and reloading gives different pressures) You CAN shoot 7.62 NATO in a .308, but reverse is not always true.

  3. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    Very reliable rifle! But as stated, it is 7.62x51 Nato, not .308. It is a carbine version of the 1949 Mas, Magazine fed rifle. 7.5x54 french and 7.62x51 are very similar. The conversion was as simple as rechambering the rifle since both are .308.
  4. NickySantoro

    NickySantoro New Member

    Interesting rifle but be aware that a good number of the conversions from 7.5X54 to .308 were done poorly and those rifles are troublesome. The 10 round mags have become a bit scarce also.
  5. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    They have one locally down here for 350 with Scope and Scope Mount.

    Was tempted to buy...but really not willing to get it as .308 is expensive...and I'd rather have an AR-10 or Bolt Action .308 first.
  6. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member


    There is another forum that one its members has access to french military manuals and is a great wealth of general MAS information
    KELT over at "surpluserifleforums"

    The MAS-49/56 is a pretty nice rifle built the old way (machined)ther were some changeover flukes that people encounterd when civilianizeing the MAS-49/56 to 7.62/.308 (as stamped on my "G series" 49/56)

    Some that was coverd by a fella named J.B.Hohlfeld in a paper titled "A Test and Evalueation of MAS-49/56 (SLR) self loading rifle" this was performed by the R*O*C Ranger outreach center, this paper is was hosted on the JFPO web site for some time but recently they just feature the companion paper the test and evaluation of MAS-49/56 scope bases

    The original French Military scopes and mounts are very different in how they are paired off to a particular rifle (shimming and a very different manner of windage and elevation adjustment performed on the scope)

    Word of Caution the original French Scope looks just like any other scope but do not attempt to adjust the turrents as internal scope damage will result.

    The paper mentions a gunsmith (Bill Toth) that specializes in MAS-49/56 rifles and does fabricate a adjustable gas regulator valve for the cycleing issues, fireing pin work for the slam fire issues when soft commercial ammo is used, modification to use FAL mags.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  7. DarwinsMistake

    DarwinsMistake New Member

    Old thread but I have some answers if it means anything at this time.

    The French MLe M.A.S 49/56 is a very well built semi auto rifle.When Century imported these into the US they converted some over to the 7.62X51 .The problem with some of their conversions was a rough boring of the chamber.When .308 rounds are fired they expanded in the chamber and caught these rough ridges that were left from the poor machining process..Some say Century used really tired reamers to complete this process thus causing the issue.

    I have a converted model and have never had an issue firing .308 through my rifle.The one thing I do know is you want to be sure to be on a range when loading the chamber as these rifles have been known to slam fire.Military primers are harder and the firing pin under heavy inertia would not activate the primers.

    Also this rifle was designed for use of steel cases not brass so the extractor is very heavy and has been known to rip the lip off of the shells when firing brass cased rounds.

    I mainly use mil spec ammo but have not had any problems shooting civilian based ammo..These rifles from Century truly can be a hit or miss as with most rifles from Century arms.Its always best to be able to fire one and inspect it before purchasing if possible..You may get one like mine that performs flawlessly and end up with a real keeper..Or end up with a rifle that will irritate you to the point of pulling hair out..

    Good luck if you ever decide to get one..If you get one that works I promise you will be extremely pleased with it..


    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  8. M14sRock

    M14sRock Active Member

    Check in with Bill Toth if you are considering one of these rifles.

    The problems with the ones converted to 7.62x51 were far more than just the chamber reaming. Pressure curves, chamber pressures, etc. The 7.5Fr is a much lower pressure round than the 7.62x51.

    Bill Toth:

    Design Systems Technologies, Inc.
    136 Morehead Avenue
    Millville, PA 17846
    (Phone: 570-458-0140)

    Bill designed an adjustable gas port for them and it really helps smooth out the operation.