MAS 49/56 Field Strip

Alex C.
by Alex C.

The French MAS 49 rifles are spectacularly simple firearms that are both reliable and accurate. These terrific rifles are not priced high in the USA, and I would highly recommend anyone in the market for a vintage autoloader look no further. So, what makes the French gem tick?

Thanks to our sponsor Ventura Munitions. Without them TFBTV Would not be possible.

The full transcript …

– [Alex] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFB TV and for today’s Field Strip, we’re going to do a MAS-49/56 rifle.

This is, in my opinion, probably one of the best, most underrated semi-automatic rifles out there, and you can get them for around $500, which makes them one of the best deals out there, in my opinion.

Check out our Run and Gun on this if you’d like to see it in action.

I titled it “The One Where Everything Went Wrong” but that’s not really because of the gun.

So, anyways, let’s get to it.

You’ll notice there’s a large nylon charging handle on the right side of the gun.

Pull that back, check your chamber, and remove the magazine.

Now, the next step has everything to do with this little button on the rear of the receiver, so get in a position where you can push that button down, and at the same time, grab the plate where the sight is on, push forward, pull up and out, and this will separate that part and the recoil spring.

So separate those two, the spring from the plate, and set them aside.

Now, the next step’s actually going to remove the bolt and carrier from the receiver, pull it back, and lift it up and out and it’ll all come out as one unit.

And then, you’re actually finished field stripping the lower part of the gun, you’ve just got the bolt and carrier to go.

So, these are tilt locking guns instead of a rotating bolt, so separate your actual bolt and firing pin from the carrier, remove the firing pin, and boom, you actually just completely field stripped a MAS-49/56.

These are brutally simple firearms and function via DI in its purest form.

No funky AR internal piston DI.

Gas is just tapped directly from the barrel, slams into the carrier, which sends it to the rear and unlocks the bolt.

In my opinion, if you’re looking for one of the best deals on a semi-automatic rifle out there, and a big centerfire cartridge, really look at one of these MAS-49/56s.

Great piece of history, great rifles, very accurate and a lot of fun.

Anyways, guys, this was a short Field Strip, but special thanks to Grizzly Target and Ventura Munitions.

Alex C. with TFB TV, hope to see you next time.


Alex C.
Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.

More by Alex C.

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4 of 19 comments
  • Rokurota Rokurota on Dec 04, 2015

    Alex & company, what's your opinion of the 7.62 NATO conversions of these guns?

    • See 1 previous
    • Ludwig_Vorgrimler Ludwig_Vorgrimler on Dec 06, 2015

      @Nathaniel F. No, you're about right. It's possible to convert these guns to 7.62 NATO with no problems, but it's not wise to assume that the Century attempts to do so will actually work. It might be a better idea to look for a project gun that someone with a decent reputation worked on rather than just blind-buying a 7.62 Century conversion and getting your hopes up on it working.

  • Eric Shearer Eric Shearer on Dec 09, 2015

    Do you think they made the charging handle white as a field expedient white flag? JK! I've had one of these for quite a while and every time I look at it that's what pops in my mind.