M14 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with French made rifles?
I have a few Berthier's, one Lebel carbine, as well as the 36, 49, and 49/56.
I am focusing on the Berthier and Lebel rifle. Have y'all shot them? Thoughts? Stories?

You can say what you want about French military rifles, but I really respect the rifles used during major battles in the Western front of WWI. Verdun, Somme, Marne all were epic with a huge loss of life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
No first hand experience, but the Collector's Grade Publications book Honor Bound covers the development of French auto-loading rifles, culminating in the Models 49 and 49/56. I really admire the simplicity of the French Model 49.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really admire the 49 as well. I have been looking for a 49 for a long time. I want it still in the original 7,5 FR.
Most of the 49's I have seen are Syrian and in horrible condition. The only 49 I have I found at a pawn shop and it had a scope mount welded to the receiver. The collector value of it is ruined. I just wanted that model and it was a very good price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I really admire the 49 as well. I have been looking for a 49 for a long time. I want it still in the original 7,5 FR.
Me too. Even the French had a hard time getting the 49/56 to work right in 7.62x51. I've heard there are some 7.62x51 49/56 coonversions out there, but at best the conversions are hit or miss. In the original 7.5 French, I have hears nothing but good things about the 49 and 49/56. I wish I'd bought one when they were dirt cheap...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My Dad bought a 49/56 when CAI was importing. The market was flooded, so they were a good deal. You could get the bayonet, extra mags, cleaning kit, sling and other random accessories.
It was eventually given to me because I had such an interest.
It is a fine rifle. I wish I had the scope and mount to go with it.
But at the moment the 49 is on my wish list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
I've owned 2 of them over the years, both with the original APX scopes. Obtaining quality, reliable, and reasonably priced ammo was a constant problem and in the end was the no.1 reason that both went bye bye. It is a good weapon, rather heavy for it's size but very rugged. I'd stay away from any of the one's converted to 308. Other than the AR platform it was the only other rifle designed with a DI gas system that had any real longevity as a service weapon. DI5

The maximum effective range of any weapon is where you can effectively engage the target.

JMPWNG2
ARMY1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,363 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Depends on who did the conversion. Mine was done by a Gunsmith/Armorer and its perfect. A lot of the Century conversions were done badly. Poor chamber finish and they are a problem. I like my 7,5's better and the sulplus ammo is terrific just have to diligently clean as it's corrosive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,363 Posts
Ahhh...So it's not necessarily the 308 conversion that's the issue, it's another Century botch job... (sound familiar?)

They look like robust rifles. I had an FN49 in 30-06 that was robust accurate and reliable, but I got out of the 30-06 biz long ago. I'll have another of those too one day.

I just have a weird nerve about "buying French" outside of bread....GI2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
You also have to wonder why the french never converted them to 7.62 NATO. While it is a fact they informally withdrew from NATO in 1966, they were still part of the command structure and still exercised with allied forces so standardization was in their best interests. No doubt Century botched it up, as well as numerous other conversions and builds but it still begs the question why the french didn't do it themselves. Very possibly it didn't lend itself to successful conversion, who knows. DI5

The maximum effective range of any weapon is where you can effectively engage the target. DI5

JMPWNG2
ARMY1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
;)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
I knew it was an issued weapon but I didn't know it was used for as long as listed. While I stand somewhat corrected I will note that total production, including Norwegian, Danish, and Egyptian numbers, wasn't even half what the french produced in the 49/56 series nor was it even a general issue weapon within swedish forces. Only in Egypt was it deployed in numbers and it was quickly replaced by the AK-47.

Not so. The Swedes had their Ljungman AG42.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ag_m/42
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Ahhh...So it's not necessarily the 308 conversion that's the issue, it's another Century botch job... (sound familiar?)
Maybe . . . but the book Proud Promise about the development of the MAS 49 and 49/56 says the French arsenal conversions weren't as reliable as the 7.5 French models. The French made some 49s in 30-06 and some 49/56s in 7.62x51 NATO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
A 49/56 in 7.5 is a sweet shooting rifle, I was suprised at how well it naturally pointed when shouldered, well-balanced. Personally I don't like the idea of putting a bunch of 7.62 down the pipe one one of the converted 49/56s...it's like I think of the converted SMLEs in 7.62, they prob shoot ok but I don't like the idea of 7.62 chamber pressure thru weapons that weren't origially built for those cartridges. Just my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I will admit that once you find ammo for the MAS 49 or 49/56 it is a great rifle to shoot. I compare it to the M1 Garand. I would not have it as my "last ditch" rifle only because the ammo issues.

I normally buy ammo off of Midway USA (when I can afford it).
 
G

·
The MAS is such a fun rifle to shoot. I picked one up in mint condition that was supposedly chambered for .308 by century. well when i loaded magazine into the rifle I chambered the first round and as soon as that happened all 10 rounds were gone. we used our carbide pull through reamer and sure enough that fixed the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
I have a Berthier Mle16 and Mas 36 and a 49/56. They all shoot very well and the Berthier is definitely an eye turner at the range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Those Berthier rifles really turn heads at the range. Especially the carbine or "muskatoon." With original ammo, it sounds like a cannon going off. Very fun to shoot. Even with the PRVI ammo the rifle is impressive.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top