After Alex C’s excellent review of the MAS 49/56 rifle, I decided I just had to have one of my own. The MAS 49/56 is the perfected French vision of a semi-automatic infantry battle rifle, an important piece of late 20th Century history, and a very handy, relatively lightweight, and inexpensive civilian full-caliber semiauto. I found one online for sale by Cliff’s Guns, Safes, & Reloading in Boise, ID, and I picked it up from the local FFL. Then I took the rifle out for some photos, but I didn’t expect I would have a surprise visitor!


Carolina anoles are common in Louisiana, but they don’t often reach this size, nor are they usually this bold. The lizard was quite comfortable checking out my new rifle even with me standing only a few feet away snapping photos. These anoles are often called “chameleons” despite not being closely related to true chameleons, because they also have the ability to change color. This guy is bright green in these photos, but just a few minutes earlier he was a very dull mottled brown. Either is perfect camouflage for my backyard.



It’s easy to see how this guy got so big – he’s clearly not afraid of anything. After biting the MAS 49/56 to see if it was edible and/or a threat, he decided he was cool with it and went back to what he does best…



…Attracting a mate.

Louisiana’s a pretty fitting environment for the MAS 49/56, since it is a subtropical former French colony, after all.


  • KestrelBike

    haha cool guest. Nice rifle!

  • I love these guns. Well played sir.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Those suckers are all over the place in Houston.
    Good mosquito eaters.

  • sam

    Interesting, I’d been calling/thinking of them and the little pink ones as geckos.

  • Riot

    That I recognized this immediately from the thumbnail show how obsessed by this thing I am.

    • It’s a great rifle – if a bit pragmatic feeling.

  • TDog

    It’s a great rifle.

  • Dabe of Dau

    I sold one in 7.5mm.My other one wont properly eject.Nice wood though.I need a accomplished gunsmith

  • Just took it to the range today; it’s very easy to shoot and pretty accurate for an old warhorse.

    • iksnilol

      I guess that’s one way to surrender… bullets that is *evil grin*

      Is the bore in good condition?

      • Yeah, it’s in great shape!

        • The Game You Lost

          It’s still the rifle that literally NEVER won anything.

  • DW

    The only VC approved reliable and accurate DI gun.

  • Tassiebush

    If you could catch enough of these you could fasten them alive to a cloak to make the ultimate chameleonic camo system!

  • hikerguy

    You have bought yourself a handsome rifle there. How does the 7.5 compare to the 7.62? I would imagine they are close.

    • The 7.5×54 is a bit bigger (wider and longer) and a little less powerful. Shooting either, I don’t think you could tell the difference.