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An improved version of the original Mas 49 called the MAS-49/56 was introduced in 1957 and incorporated lessons learned from service in Algeria, Indochina, and the Suez Crisis. The rifle was shortened and lightened to improve mobility for mechanized and airborne troops. The MAS-49 built-in rifle grenade launcher was replaced by a combination compensator / grenade launcher that fired NATO-standard 22mm rifle grenades.The rifle also incorporates an integral grenade launching sight that is attached to the front sight block and a gas cutoff that prevents gas from entering the gas tube from the gas port when firing grenade launching blank ammunition.
These fine rifles saw service for years in theaters of combat all over the world and were affectionately known as the pride of the French Foreign Legion. Attempts were made to replace the MAS-49/56, but none were successful until 1978 when it was ultimately replaced with the modern 5.56 Nato caliber FAMAS Bullpup rifle which is still in use today. The MAS-49/56 was finally completely withdrawn from official service in 1990 but it is still prized by guerrilla forces in many third world countries to this day due to its rugged durability. Total production of rifles was 275,240 rifles issued between 1957 and 1978.
Back in the late 80's and very early 90's, we were able to obtain these rifles on occasion but supplies dried up and they have been largely gone for years. We feel very fortunate to be able to offer this very limited quantity now while supplies last. . More about the rifles. - These came to us as part of a larger surplus lot that was recently obtained from an African country. They have been stored for years in their original turn in condition and will show wear and battle fatigue but all will be functional. What an absolutely incredible find. More about the condition. In all honesty the best way to describe these is rough but functional. These were heavily used and then stored for years in a warehouse in Ethiopia. Stocks are rugged and will show dents, dings, digs, gouges.... etc, plus they were used in exceptionally dry climates s you may see some non function inhibiting cracks in the wood ( but all stocks are solid and functional ) . Bluing wear varies from heavy to not so bad but we have not seen a lot of rust. Bore conditions seem to vary as well. A hand select will get you the best of 10 and I would say hand select on these is well worth it because conditions do have such a wide range of variance. As for actual grading this is difficult. I would call the majority of these NRA Surplus high end of Fair to a solid Good condition on the nicer ones from a cosmetic standpoint. All should be good from a functional standpoint. We do guarantee for function. One thing for sure though. If you are looking for a beauty queen don't buy one of these. So far I have not seen a beauty queen among them. However, if you are looking for one of the most unique, highly sought after and collectible rifles in the world look no further. They are right here Limited quantities available and when they are gone, they are gone. Hurry. Hand Select will get you best of 10 cosmetically but if you are expecting a beauty queen hand select still will not get you there. These are rugged and have seen action. However, it will get you the best of 10.To learn more about the MAS-49/56 you can visit their Wikipedia page here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAS-49_rifle
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