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Tell me about the French Mas......

Mikej

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I've got a line on one. I saw Joe Montegna on "Gun Stories, I think it was, do a thing on the French Mas. I'm intrigued. It's a cool/different looking rifle, ammo isn't crazy expensive either. What's not to like? What's TO like? Who has and shoots one?
 

gmerkt

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The MAS 36 is sturdy but kinda clunky. When it was designed, it was intended to be a cheap, simple, robust design for use primarily by colonial and rear area troops. The French Army thought of it as a kind of stop-gap (along with earlier, obsolescent models) until they could get a semi-auto design fielded. Which never happened in quantity because WW2 came along before they could get it done. So you might say the rifle was never intended by the French to be comparable to first line service rifles like, say, the Mauser.

I've owned dozens of milsurp rifles in the past 55 years, was never tempted to buy a MAS 36. Why buy a MAS when you can buy a Mauser is my thinking. The joking about the French using these aside, I've passed on some examples that were like-new rebuilds at gun show prices were very reasonable. In my view, no way are they worth current Gunbroker (or similar) asking prices. One thing they have going for them, they are 30 caliber so if you handload, bullets are not a problem. The 7.5x54 French cartridge is a pretty good one, comparable to 7.62 NATO. The aperture rear sight is a good feature.
 
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Mikej

Mikej

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There are many that are shiny-new with only one drop mark on them.... ;):D
Thanks Stomper! :D Always helpful aren't you. :s0112:

Avoid century abortions would be my only advice.

These always interested me.

View attachment 586224
Not sure what you mean? Would you explain? And yes, I'm fascinated by them too.

The MAS 36 is sturdy but kinda clunky. When it was designed, it was intended to be a cheap, simple, robust design for use primarily by colonial and rear area troops. The French Army thought of it as a kind of stop-gap (along with earlier, obsolescent models) until they could get a semi-auto design fielded. Which never happened in quantity because WW2 came along before they could get it done. So you might say the rifle was never intended by the French to be comparable to first line service rifles like, say, the Mauser.

I've owned dozens of milsurp rifles in the past 55 years, was never tempted to buy a MAS 36. Why buy a MAS when you can buy a Mauser is my thinking. The joking about the French using these aside, I've passed on some examples that were like-new rebuilds at gun show prices were very reasonable. In my view, no way are they worth current Gunbroker (or similar) asking prices. One thing they have going for them, they are 30 caliber so if you handload, bullets are not a problem. The 7.5x54 French cartridge is a pretty good one, comparable to 7.62 NATO. The aperture rear sight is a good feature.
Good input here^. Just getting into this old rifle thing and have three so far, with Mauser actions. If it didn't sell, I believe the one I was eyeballing was, what I'd consider, reasonable. I did glance at Gun Broker and yes, not going to pay anywhere near a K for one. The Gun Stories i watched Joe Montegna made it sound like it's a strong sturdy rifle.

Bolt action or semi-auto? My son has a bolt action and is a very nice, easy shooting rifle.
And yep, if it is a .308 just walk away.
It is a bolt action. And as far as I know it's in the French cartridge. I'd discussed it with the a seller as far as asking if ammo is readily available.
 
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Sounds like we're talking about two different beasts.

The 49/56 is a semi auto, some were imported by century arms and converted to 7.62 NATO. I have but one experience with a century destroyed rifle and have been "cured" as a fellow brother of the spud would put it. Never again will a century marked gun fill space in my safe. Search the webs and see my feelings are far from unique.
 
Just getting into this old rifle thing and have three so far, with Mauser actions.
I have two MAS-36

dsc03915-jpg.jpg


but unless you have a special interest in French rifles or have an unlimited budget there are several other rifles that would be better choices for someone just getting into the old rifles thing.

That being said, this guy likes them


and he even included the MAS-36 among the top 5 military bolt action rifles


although I can easily think of more than 5 military bolt action rifles that are better and more interesting than the MAS-36 - the Swiss K31, Finnish M39, Swedish m/96 and m/38, German K98k, British SMLE, US M1903 and 03-A3, and US M1917, in that order. I would get all of those, and an Arisaka Type 99 and a Chilean Model 1895 and a Russian PU sniper before spending money on a MAS-36. Not to mention semiautos like the M1 Rifle and M1 Carbine.

MAS-36 rifles were used more after WWII than during WWII
Post-WWII use of the MAS-36 rifle: Part I (French use)
Post-WWII use of the MAS-36 rifle: Part II (export users)

They were even used recently in the Syrian civil war

mas36.jpg

(Rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) distribute WWII French MAS-36 rifles.)

syria2013.jpg

(A Syrian rebel takes aim with a MAS-36 in 2013.)

But again, if you are just getting into the old rifles thing there are several others I would buy before getting a MAS-36. I think I paid less than $300 each for my two several years ago and I see them selling for $550-800 in completed auctions on Gunbroker.com. I think there are better/more interesting rifles for that kind of money.
 
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gmerkt

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I think I paid less than $300 each for my two
"Less than" is the region I've seen them actually sell for. Like $275 for a clean one and to a buyer who actually wanted one. They sell slowly. But I suppose people wouldn't put them up for highly inflated prices if they couldn't occasionally sell one online to a "fish" who didn't know any better.

However, we old timers have to keep in mind that prices on many old things keep going up. Mosin Nagants that used to sell for $80 at Big Five 15 years ago can't be touched for that now. Ordinary Arisakas sell for $300 now but I don't know who is buying them. I have what I think is an ordinary Japanese bayonet that someone gave me recently; I was told it would sell for $100. I can remember buying them in the late 1960's at garage sales for $4.

A lot of this has to do with the depreciated value of our money. It just doesn't buy all that much anymore. I heard Thomas Kaplan say the other day, "What a dollar was worth when the Federal Reserve was set up [1913] is now worth seven cents."
 

AndyinEverson

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The MAS36 series of rifles were heavily used in French Indo-China and French Algeria ...
Lots fighting in both of those wars...

I have shot a MAS36 a time or two and found it to be fast and easy to shoot...not my first choice in a bolt action rifle for sure...but lots of history in the rifle nevertheless.
Andy
 
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Mikej

Mikej

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Good input guys. I didn't realize the "Only dropped once" was such a thing. After reading I see it is though. I chuckle, but it's not really funny for those that were close to that or remember stories from old family members. @tac has pointed that out before. I have to believe though, that like in any war, the leadership is to blame for screw-ups. That guys on the ground are only doing what they are told, or taught.

@BSG 75 The rifles you'd buy before the Mas,.... 1902 Swede M96/38, 1918 SMLE and a just purchased 1943 03A3 are in the safe now. And a new manufacture Inland M1 Carbine, that's been flawless BTW. Almost forgot about the Patron Mauser .22. The Mas looked kind of neat and different, and not a lot of money. It's fascinating reading but I'm not set on it.
 

tac

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Almost forgot about the Patron Mauser .22.
Mike, we really need to see that - they are VERY collectable here and where YOU are. BTW, 'Patron' more correctly 'Patrone' is German for cartridge, and has no other meaning. Depending on the age of your rifle, it should be stamped 'Patrone .22LfB or LFB' or simply .22 Long Rifle. The abbreviation LfB stands from 'Lange fuer Buchsen' - IOW, long rifle.

Here is my ES350B from 1937, with its later Ajack x2.5 scope on high mounts -

upload_2019-6-3_16-52-6.png

upload_2019-6-3_16-52-46.png
upload_2019-6-3_16-53-41.png
 
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Mikej

Mikej

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Mike, we really need to see that - they are VERY collectable here and where YOU are. BTW, 'Patron' more correctly 'Patrone' is German for cartridge, and has no other meaning. Depending on the age of your rifle, it should be stamped 'Patrone .22LfB or LFB' or simply .22 Long Rifle. The abbreviation LfB stands from 'Lange fuer Buchsen' - IOW, long rifle.

Here is my ES350B from 1937, with its later Ajack x2.5 scope on high mounts -

View attachment 586395
View attachment 586396View attachment 586397
tac, I swear you must be the original owner of your rifles. They a look brand new! And I'm pretty sure you don't sand them down and refinish? :D

Yeah, I left off the "E". I believe mine dated to '29-'30 ish. It's a straight bolt. I believe the lesser rifle of the time. Simply 22 long rifle. Serial 621**, then 459 , crown over B, different crown over G, crown over U

I thought I'd put pics up before. If I get time and remember I'll get more up.
 
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tac

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Sacrilege, Sirrah!!! I've never refurbed a gun in my life. As your your little Mauser, whatever it is, I'd be gratish to see it. I have Jon Speed's book of the small-calibre Mausers looking at me on the shelf, just begging to be tested out. The back sight on mine came from a gunshow in Kentucky, bought for me by none other than Jon Speed, author of all the books on Mausers, and great grandson of Mr Speed who helped develop the Lee rifle - hence the Lee-Speed. It then became the Lee-Metford, named after the rifling form that was optimised for the 210gr paper-patched hardened lead, and then, when the compressed BP load became a Cordite load and a cupro-nickel bullet, and the rifling changed accordingly, into the Lee-Enfield, it was renamed after the Royal small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock, where it was made thence.

This is the infamous backsight, that the gun was missing when I bought it in the late 1980s.......it cost me $300 to Jon Speed, and when I got it over here in yUK, another $200 to get it blued to match the gun.

upload_2019-6-3_19-5-2.png
 

tac

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BTW, we call those stamps BUG marks - they are the proof stamps after the German revision of the proof laws in 1891, and were in place until May of 1939. The 459 refers to the chrome content of the steel - it's good stuff, BTW ;)
 
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The ammo is readily available (here's one retailer I have bought from online before):

7.5 French Ammo | SGAmmo.com

That said, I would recommend reloading it if you want to shoot it regularly. You can use the 308 bullets that are on the lighter spectrum.

I found brass to be more expensive than loaded ammo so just bought the Prvi stuff to shoot and collected the brass. I have a the 49/56 though (semi-auto) and that thing ejects brass like a crazy AK so I have definitely lost some over time.
 

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