Rifles by countries and continents. Part of 22. France: the heiress of Lebel (continued)
MAS-1949 rifle. Figure from the manual. The lever of the gas-cutter of the gas mechanism is clearly visible, the archaic hook for putting it into the goats. Below rifle grenade and 7,5-mm cartridge.
The French managed to create an original gas engine for the MAS-1949 rifle with direct action of powder gases on the gate. This system was developed by the Frenchman Rossignol in the 20s of the 20th century, but was applied much later, first in the Swedish AG-42 rifle, and then - after Eugene 1949, Eugene Stoner also used it in his AR-15 / M16 rifles. The essence of the design lies in the fact that the gas chamber is located above the barrel, and the powder gases from it through the vapor pipe (in MAS-1949 it is not straight, but with a knee-like bend) enter the receiver box. Here they put pressure on the U-shaped slide frame, inside which the slide in the form of a bar swings in a vertical plane. It is connected to the bolt carrier with a groove in the back of the striker, which is easily removed from the bolt itself. The bolt carrier is spring-loaded with a spring loaded on the guide rod of the receiver cover. By the way, the sight is also installed on it, and it is removed almost in the same way as the cover of the bolt carrier at the Kalashnikov assault rifle. That is, with an incomplete disassembly of the rifle, we get only five parts: the receiver cover, recoil spring, bolt, head and bolt carrier. Interestingly, the bolt cocking handle has a massive plastic “head”, which is certainly convenient from the ergonomic point of view. USM normal, kurkovy type, designed only for shooting single shots. The fuse is made in the form of a transverse button in front of the trigger frame.
From top to bottom: MAS-44, MAS-49, MAS-49 / 56. The last rifle has become much shorter, it has changed the forearm, sights and attachment point of the lever, the mechanism for cutting off the flow of gases from the barrel.
Such a gas mechanism works very simply. When fired, the powder gases rush back in the tube and press against the wall of the bolt carrier. She moves back, pulls back the striker and no longer presses the shutter from above. At the same time, the rear part of the bolt is tilted, that is, it rises upwards, it disengages from the barrel and moves further back, carried away by the slide frame, compressing the mainspring and at the same time removing the spent case from the chamber.
After that, the frame, pushed by the spring, goes forward. The shutter also goes forward, picks up the next cartridge, pushes it into the chamber, but since the frame now begins to press it from above, its rear part goes down, and the front opposite - rises. The shutter is twisted in a vertical plane. It locks up. After that, when you pull the trigger, the trigger hits the backward striker, the gun breaks the cap and the shot follows. Then the cycle repeats. The design provides for a delay shutter, which stops the bolt in the rearmost position when all the cartridges from the magazine are used up.
Diagram of the device MAS-49 rifle.
So, as you can see, there are very few moving parts, which increases the reliability of the weapon. True, this simple system is fraught with the formation of soot. That is, the weapon with the direct supply of gases to the receiver has to be constantly cleaned. But by cleaning the components of gunpowder it is possible to reduce the process of formation of soot and, apparently, the French managed to create such an ammunition that did not give much soot. In any case, the French soldiers armed with these rifles, judging by their memories, did not particularly complain that they were being cleaned from morning to evening or that they often refused to fire due to problems with carbon. Here the American soldiers with M-16 rifles in Vietnam complained about it constantly, or rather, until the ammunition manufacturer changed the recipe for gunpowder in the cartridge. What they complained about was the great weight of MAS-49 rifles, the mass of which, with relatively small dimensions, was 4,5 kg. By the way, it is not very clear why it was so heavy, because there seemed to be little metal in it. Most likely, its creators made them all as “thick” as possible to ensure its durability. And indeed, all reviews of the new French rifle began with the word "reliable."
French soldier with a MAS-49 / 56 rifle in Algeria. 19 March 1962.
The supply of cartridges in MAS-49 comes from a box magazine for 10 cartridges, in which they are staggered. And you can fill the magazine inserted into the rifle with the help of clips for five rounds each (for which the guides for the clips are provided), or you can simply change the shot stores. Interestingly, the store latch is not on the receiver, as is usually done, but on the store itself on the right.
In the design of the rifle, individual parts were borrowed from the MAS-36, for example, butt, handguard and sight. Mushka had the same headset and was located on the front ring of the ring, and the power rear sight was mounted on the cover of the receiver. It can be adjusted both in range (from 200 to 1200 meters) and in elevation. MAS-1949 equipped with a special guide for the optical sight bracket, located to the left on the wall of the receiver. The rifle could also be used for firing rifle grenades that were put on the barrel. At the same time, special blank cartridges, a special grenade launcher sight on the left side of the box and a gas cutoff were used. On the first samples of the rifle at the very beginning a hook was provided for putting the rifle into the goats. But the bayonet on it, unlike the MAS-44 model, was no longer envisaged.
Algeria, 1962 year. Soldier with a rifle MAS-49 / 56.
Model MAS-1949 / 56 received a shortened barrel and forearm, and its weight decreased by more than 0,5 kilogram. The sight for firing grenades and the base of the fly was transferred to the barrel, the valve of the gas cut-off valve was placed at the front cut of the forearm right above the barrel. A muzzle brake was placed on the muzzle of the barrel, which simultaneously served as a guide for launching rifle grenades. The hook for staging with a rifle removed.
Sniper version of the rifle MAS-1949 / 59.
The MAS-1949 and MAS-1949 / 59 sniper variants were equipped with an APX L Modele 1953 optical scope with 3.85X magnification. The effective aiming distance with them was equal to 600 meters.
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.