Rifles by countries and continents. Part of 22. France: the heiress of Lebel

France for many years used its Lebel rifle of the 1886 model of the year with 8 caliber mm, so that, according to the French military, was good. And although already in the years of the First World War the Berthier rifle was adopted, and then the riberol automatic rifle arr. 1917 of the Year, French Army News in the Rifle weapons by no means shine. The power of the habit was too great, and the French military too weakly focused on technical progress in this area. This attitude had the most negative impact on the new infantry rifle program launched in 1931, which was implemented so slowly that the new MAS 1936 rifle, that is, the 1936 model of the year, was launched only at the end of March 1938. That is, Lebel’s 1886 rifle, the French soldiers had to fight in World War II, and they were used in the colonies in the post-war period. And everyone understood that the lack of a new rifle is connected with the absence of a new cartridge, and the old one was outdated long ago. However, the new cartridge was created just as slowly.

MAS-36 rifle. (Army Museum in Stockholm)

They began this work at the beginning of the 20s of the last century, and four years later they adopted the cartridge 7,5x57 mm MAS mod. 1924. They began to design a rifle for it, but then the previous cartridge was abandoned in favor of the new ammunition - 7.5 mm Cartouche Mle.1929C (7.5x54 mm). What the French did not suit the earlier, a little longer sample now can not be said, but, apparently, there was some reason. The main thing is that now the French gunsmiths had a new rifle cartridge of a smaller caliber compared to the old one, and it was under them that they began to create a rifle, which for many years had to replace all the previously used samples.

The assignment of a team of gunsmiths and designers led by captain Monteil on the basis of the tactical and technical requirements drawn up by the French Ministry of Defense in 1930 was simple. It was necessary to create a new rifle for the French army, taking into account the experience of the First World War and the local conflicts in the colonies that took place in the French Republic. It was noted that the average height of the soldiers of this war was 1,7 m, therefore the Lebel rifle with a bayonet was higher than the height of such a soldier and therefore uncomfortable in the trenches. The military required universal small arms for the ground forces, intermediate in size between a rifle and a carbine, and equally suitable for participation in a maneuverable battle (including jungles and settlements), and in a positional war. It was also found that the shooting of rifles during the First World War, the soldiers were mostly lying down or standing in a trench. Moreover, the marginal distance of fire was 1000 m. That is, it turned out that maneuverability for the new rifle is more important than the range. Five years later, the first prototype rifle, which had the designation "Modèle 34B2", entered the tests. It was armed with 17 March 1936, and its mass production began only 31 March 1938. Until June, the 1940 of the year for the army and the Foreign Legion produced only 250 thousands of rifles.

Riberol rifle arr. 1917

The Vichy government was able to rearm MAS-36 with only parts of the French army in southern France and in Corsica, but these rifles were no longer enough for soldiers in North Africa. But some of their number was in the hands of the “Gaullists” from the “Free France” of General Charles de Gaulle. But after the Germans finally disarmed the French army in 1942, all of these rifles hit either the Wehrmacht, or ... the poppies. The Germans captured rifles in France were designated as Gewehr 242 (f), and used them in units stationed in the same France in order not to carry ammunition. That is, their release did not stop either during the war or after it until the 1953 year. After that, they were kept in warehouses for a long time, and were practically used in parts of the presidential guard and gendarmerie.

Well, it is clear that in the territory of most of the former French colonies, these rifles were kept in large numbers as a memory of the past colonial past of these countries.

Since 2011, in Syria, a number of MAS-36 rifles from the warehouses of the mobilization reserve fell into the hands of anti-government armed groups. In June, MAS-2016 rifles were used for military training of local self-defense forces in the Afrin area of ​​Syrian Kurdistan in June. So this rifle, despite its considerable age, somehow, but still continues to fight!

If we look closely at the MAS-36 rifle, then ... its obvious similarity to the Lebel M1927 rifle (and the M1886 / 93 R35 musket) will certainly strike the eye, although their butts and aiming devices are completely different. The reason is the presence of a powerful receiver, because of which, like the Lebel rifle, the box turned out to be not intact, but split, consisting of three parts - a butt with a half-pistol handle, forearm and its lining, fastened with two rings. It was considered that such a construction is more technological, since there are always more short wooden bars than long ones and, moreover, short ones less “leads”. At first, these parts were made of their walnut wood, but after the war they switched to cheaper birch! With regard to the finishing of metal surfaces, there could be used and phosphating, and burnishing, depending on the time of release.

Modernized Lebel M1927 rifle

The rifle's structural basis is a receiver made by milling, that is, it is very durable, but it gives the rifle extra weight, so even though it turned out short - the length of the entire 1020 mm (that is, the length of the SKS karabiner and our karabiner sample. 1938 year) but it weighs 3700 gr., that is pretty decent. The barrel has four right-hand rifling.

The bolt, traditionally locked with a turn to the right, has two lugs at the back of its stem, like English Enfield. USM is also normal, shock type and without fuse. It's amazing, but true.

Parade of soldiers of the French Foreign Legion with MAS-36 rifles (Lambesis, 1958).

Due to the fact that the stops are at the back, the shutter has been shortened, and the shorter the shutter, the shorter its stroke, and, consequently, the recharge. It affects the reload speed and the location of the shutter handle, which on the MAS-36 is literally at its very rear end, so the designers had to bend it specifically so that it would be somewhat closer to its middle. But this trick did not help even more comforts than the rest of the bolt-bolt rifles she had acquired. That is, everything is decided by the training of the shooter, as it often happens.

Sights are arranged more rationally. On the same R35 musket, the sight is placed on the barrel, so its aiming line is quite short. The MAS-36 has a sector diopter sight, installed at a distance from 100 to 1200 meters and is measured in 100 m at the rear of the receiver, so that its aiming line is much longer. The fly is placed in a powerful ring earpiece behind the wooden stem lining. It is alleged that it turned out to be too wide for tagging further than 300 meters, but at this distance it is wide or narrow does not play a big role.

French gendarmes from the CRS unit with MAS-36 rifles (beginning of 1970-x).

The MAS-36 magazine accommodates 5 cartridges, and its feed mechanism is copied from the Mauser design. Well, no one invented anything better, simpler and more reliable, and time has clearly proved this. The magazine is filled with ordinary plate clips or one cartridge each. In the upper part of the receiver there is a groove for the holder, and for convenience, the arrow on the left in the wall of the box has a deep groove for the thumb. In front of the store there is a button. If you press it and then press the cover down, it opens, which is also convenient: this way you can quickly discharge the magazine.

Rifles by countries and continents. Part of 22. France: the heiress of Lebel

The MAS-49 / 56 rifle in the hands of the National Guard guards at the Elysée Palace.

A separate story deserves a new rifle bayonet, imbibed, so to speak, the experience of a variety of rifles from many countries and peoples. And what did the French do on its basis? And here's what: a triangular needle bayonet (baionnette modele 1936) of the original design. In the stowed position, it is stored in the position of the tip back in a special tube located under the barrel inside the forearm. In this case, to fix the bayonet in a combat or field position using the two buttons-latches on its handle. Pressed one - took out the bayonet, inserted and ... the second retainer secured it. I did the same thing in reverse order - I fixed the bayonet in the tube under the barrel.

Bayonet to MAS-36 rifle.

In fact, the French already had a triangular bayonet for a rifle Gra arr. 1874, although the blade was still T-shaped. Whereas the bayonet to the MAS-36 is exactly triangular, without a handle and crosshairs with a bow. That is, it is impossible to consider him the heir of the old traditions.

Modification MAS-36 M51 got the opportunity to fire rifle grenades: the barrel with annular nozzles and a special sight. The fly with the earbud on it had the shape of a letter W with a short middle “stick”.

One of the fasteners of the bayonet on its handle. The second is on the opposite side from the other end.

In general, the rifle "turned out." It was technologically advanced, quite comfortable, short and light. We can say that this rifle is pure utility, which, of course, is good. But ... for all that, she appeared too late to be appreciated. The time of manual reloading rifles is definitely expired!

To be continued ...
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +4
    7 August 2018 15: 16
    Although MAS-36 was "late", but still it is fiercely delighted with it. IMHO, one of the best shops in terms of TTX balance and ease of production (remember, it was specially made as simple as possible in production, but without much loss of performance). And outwardly, it’s even nothing, although the aesthetics were shot - a relative concept.
    1. +1
      8 August 2018 13: 38
      Quote: arturpraetor
      Although the MAS-36 was "late"

      Yes, that's for sure, everyone has already developed self-loading, and the French have come up with a new boltovik.
    2. +2
      9 August 2018 19: 12
      The French, Monsieur, know a lot about perversions.

  2. +7
    7 August 2018 15: 36
    "What the French did not like the earlier, a little longer sample now you can’t tell, but, apparently, there was some reason. "
    The reason really was - the 7,5x58 mm Modèle 1924 cartridge and the 7,92 × 57 Mauser cartridge are difficult to distinguish. Considering that the Mauser rifles were widely used in the French army for training, accidents occurred due to the similarity of the cartridges.
    It was decided to shorten the cartridge by 4 mm. So there was 7,5 x54 mm Modèle 1929 C.
    1. +4
      7 August 2018 16: 14
      "Due to the fact that the stops are at the back, the shutter was able to be shortened, and the shorter the shutter, the shorter its course, and, consequently, recharging. "
      The length is determined not by the location of the combat protrusions, but by what they enter when locking behind the reciprocal protrusions of the receiver or barrel sleeve. In the second case, the shutter will be longer. But the length of the cartridge is decisive for the magnitude of the shutter stroke; the stroke of the longitudinally sliding shutter cannot be less than the length of the cartridge.
      1. +3
        7 August 2018 16: 18
        “It affects the speed of reloading and the location of the shutter handle, which is literally at the very rear end on the MAS-36, so the designers had to specifically bend it so that it would be slightly closer to its middle. But this trick did not help much than she didn’t get from the other bolt-action rifles, that is, training the shooter decides everything, as it most often happens. "
        The location of the handle on the bolt and its shape largely determine the methods of handling weapons, ease of use, reloading speed and rate of fire of the rifle. On some rifles, the handles are located in the middle of the bolts, but on most of the rear. The bolts with the handles farther from the butt require a change in the position of the rifle each time a new cartridge is sent - some lowering of the weapon with the butt moving from the shoulder to the armpit. Only after this the handle turns out to be reachable for the shooter and he can, turning it with his hand, palm facing up, open and close the shutter. This is one of the drawbacks of the Mosin rifle. The bolts with rear handles allow reloading the rifle without taking the butt off the shoulder, especially if the handles are bent down. Using these handles, the reloading process is greatly simplified.
        1. 0
          21 September 2018 06: 03
          Quote: Curious
          This is one of the drawbacks of the Mosin rifle.

          Something I did not notice such shortcomings in the Mosin shutter. Yes, the fuse is inconvenient.

          But with the "Mauser" and other rifles based on it, when you twitch the bolt, without lifting it from your shoulder, you risk sticking the back of it right in your face. Also, it is not particularly pleasant and you have to raise your elbow high.
  3. +3
    7 August 2018 16: 14
    Double-check the caption with the guardsman. The guardsman rifle does not look like a MAS-36 /
    1. +4
      7 August 2018 16: 32
      Well, of course, not like that. This is MAC-49 - photo from the 2-th article, what else will be! "The monkey has become weak with old eyes!" But now it’s not worth changing.
      1. +2
        7 August 2018 16: 49
        Rather, it is still MAS 49/56. They have external differences.
    2. +2
      7 August 2018 16: 50
      "The MAS-36 rifle is in the hands of the National Guard at the Champs Elysees. "
      In the hands of the guardsman is a semi-automatic MAS 44 or MAS 49. If you look at the butt plate of the butt, then it is characteristic of the MAS 44.
      1. +1
        8 August 2018 09: 52
        According to the forearm with a prominent protrusion at the end (clearly visible in the photo), it still looks more like MAS 49/56
        1. +2
          8 August 2018 13: 48
          Quote: CentDo
          If you look at the butt plate of the butt, then it is characteristic of the MAS 44.

          The recoil pad is not an indicator, of course at the MAS 49/56 guardsman.
  4. +2
    7 August 2018 16: 59
    Filling the store using conventional plate holders or one cartridge. In the upper part of the receiver there is a groove for the clip, and for convenience, the arrow on the left in the box wall has a deep notch for the thumb. In front of the store there is a button. If you press it and then press the lid down, it will open, which is also convenient: in this way you can quickly discharge the magazine.

    In one of the series of The Invincible Warrior (season 3, episode 9), French legionnaires and Gurkhas were compared! And for some reason, the MAS-36 was reloaded not with clips, but with one cartridge!
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. +1
    7 August 2018 23: 19
    You had to add a video about shooting from the MAS-36! These videos show the reload from the clip and the bayonet abutment!
    And the "tramps" from the "Invincible Warrior" apparently decided to give the GURKHAM victory in advance and for this MAS-36 reloaded one cartridge ...
  7. +3
    7 August 2018 23: 55
    I stamped a photo and a signature to it from the Internet. "For what I bought - for that I’m selling it."

    (Looking forward from the back of the MAC-36. This specific example still has a lateral cavalry sling point. The “D” / ”M” marking on the back of the bolt is for dismantling (disassembling) and mounting (assembled) and is intended for maintenance and not for any type of security indicator. The MAC-36 had no security.)
    The rear sight was adjustable from 100 meters (328 ') to 1200 meters (1312 yards) in increments of one hundred meters.

    Another, and much more common, post-war option was the MAC-36/51. It was the MAC-36, equipped with a 22-mm muzzle brake for firing from NATO standard grenades.
    In total, about 1938 million MAS-1957s were built in the years 1,1-36.
  8. +4
    8 August 2018 00: 00
    Carabiner MAS-36 CR39 -
    In 1939, a special version of the MAS-36 rifle, designed for paratroopers and alpine shooters, was adopted. It had a folding butt made of aluminum alloy and was designated “MAS-36 CR 39”. A total of 6 thousand units were produced. TTX carbine: caliber - 7,5 mm; length - 883 mm; length with folded butt - 625 mm; barrel length - 450 mm; empty weight - 3,7 kg; Muzzle velocity - 775 m / s.
  9. +2
    8 August 2018 16: 18
    Oh ... In 1936, the Simonov automatic rifle was adopted by the Red Army, and in 1938. Tokarev self-loading rifle. And the French are finishing up the five-shot “bolt” for armament. The same British 10 charge store under their cartridges with a flange in response to Mauser could come up with 30 years earlier.
    1. +1
      8 August 2018 16: 59
      And in 1944, in the USSR, a carbine of the 1944 model was adopted.
    2. 0
      9 August 2018 19: 20
      ... and the British still charged their 10-shot rifles with clips, rather than replacing the store.

  10. 0
    8 August 2018 16: 56
    If you compare this carbine, then only with the Soviet carbine of 1944!

    Interestingly, are they equivalent in return or not? Both there and there a sleeve of 54 mm.
  11. 0
    8 August 2018 20: 14
    Quote: hohol95
    If you compare this carbine, then only with the Soviet carbine of 1944!

    Strange ... Why not compare with Rifle No. 5 mk. I "Jungle Carbine"? The same refinement of the rifle / carbine on the stream under local conditions. But not a new system from scratch, and even in an outdated design for the 30s.
    1. 0
      8 August 2018 21: 20
      "JC" was released just a little more than 250 thousand pieces! Of course you can compare with him, but. The British developed this carbine as highly specialized - for action in the jungle of Southeast Asia!
      The Jungle Carbine was popular in the military due to its lighter weight and easier handling compared to the SMLE and Lee-Enfield No. rifles. 4 Mk I. However, he also had a number of shortcomings - excessive sound of a shot and recoil due to a too short barrel, and most importantly - the arbitrary shift of the mid-point of hit of many carbines, called the "walking sight". The British government has officially declared the inherent design of No. 5 mk. I malfunctions and the production of these weapons ceased at the end of 1947.

      In addition, I suggested comparing a French carbine with a domestic one!
  12. -1
    8 August 2018 22: 32
    Hmm, the custodians in their repertoire. It is not surprising that they completely lost to the Boschs in 1940. In 1936, they adopted a bolt !!! While in the USSR and the USA at that time they adopted ABC and Garand, as well as in many armies they were armed with PP.
  13. 0
    12 August 2018 14: 57
    In the film "Bayazet" the Turks are so armed (the events of the film take place in 1877), it's funny ...

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"