Second Amendment Rights

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – The MAS 49/56 rifle


MAS 49/56
(Manufacture Nationale d’Armes de St-Etienne models MAS 38-39/40, 44, 49, 49/56)

History(A new category I should have added earlier on other rifles in the series.) Most people don’t know how influential the French were on gun design and military adoption of new ideas, it was the French that were the first to use smokeless gunpowder, first to introduce a boat-tailed bullet, introduced the tilting block and the direct impingement system to the gun world thus giving rise to the SVT40, SKS45, FN49, FNFAL, Ljungman, Hakim, Rasheed, and of course the AR-15/M-16 and others. Owners of both will note how similar the M1 Garand trigger group is to the MAS, as both rifles trigger groups are modified from the French Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917/18 rifle. Garand born in Quebec from a French speaking family was familiar with the French RSC 1917/18 design. Garand was involved with US attempts to adapt the RSC 18 design to the 30.06 cartrridge at Springfield Arsenal moving many of the design features to what would become the M1 rifle.

Like the FN49 development of the MAS rifles was interrupted by WWII the French were able to keep the weapon development away from the Germans – so well in fact, they lost information and after the occupation they were forced to reverse engineer their own rifles from prototypes (a story in itself). The MAS 38/39 and 40 rifle had a fixed magazine and was produced in small numbers as prototypes. The MAS 40 was adopted for French service in March 1940 but the war was to stop further plans until parts of France were no longer under German control.

The MAS 38/39/40 rifle
Production is estimated at less than 60 rifles total including prototypes.

The MAS 40 and early rifles were used as a base for the next development in the series, the MAS 44 rifle, notably adding the detachable magazine. The MAS 44 rifle was produced in limited numbers starting near the end of WWII The MAS 40 and MAS 44 are very rare, the 40 unavailable and the 44 commanding collector prices.

The MAS 44 rifle
Total production 6,200 rifles.

The MAS 44 series of rifles was modified and improved in the late 1940’s into the MAS 49 (with the detachable magazine, better metallurgy, and other features).

The MAS 49 rifle
Total production 20,600 rifles.

The MAS 49 was the main rifle of the heavy conflicts in French Indo-China and Algeria where the MAS 49 and MAS 49/56 rifles became particularly identified (to outside observers) with the French Foreign Legion troops. The MAS 49/56 rifle was the main rifle of all branches of the French military until the adoption of the FAMAS bulpup rifle.

The MAS 49/56 rifle
275,240 rifles of the MAS 49/56 model were produced for the French Military.

Personal – I wish my first experience with this rifle would have been the original French 7.5×54 French cartridge, the MAS 49/56 is known as one of the most reliable military rifles ever fielded by any military. Sadly there was a batch of Century Arms imported MAS 49/56 rifles that were “converted” to use the .308/7.62×51 NATO round and my first experiences with this rifle were mixed because of the mixed quality of the conversions. The “rabid angry one-eyed beavers” at Century Arms produced a series of conversions of the MAS 49/56 that are known for function problems in well over 1/2 of the rifles that were converted. I would have no problem recommending this rifle if in it’s original form, converted or repaired by a good gunsmith.

The MAS 49/56 is a short handy rifle that is accurate for it’s size, it is heavy at about 8 1/2 pounds but the weight makes the recoil more manageable, honestly the size makes the rifle very handy, for a daily carry in a pouch in a car or truck, on an ATV or even on horseback or hiking it could make itself quite useful.

If you have a McCann Industries or other competent gunsmith conversion the rifle is excellent, if one of the Century Arms conversions they are plagued with failure to chamber, eject, and extract problems, along with the typical slam-fire incidents inherent with the all too common military rifle “free floating” firing pin and (more impact sensitive) commercial primers. I will review caliber conversion choices later in this article.

I have to put this rifle in a second tier choice for a preparedness rifle if in it’s original 7.5×54 French round because of the lack of availability of ammunition.

Sadly the rifle is rare in the United States and as a consequence some spare parts, and aftermarket accessories are low in number and can be difficult to find, yet 10 round magazines, and basic parts are available (or can be modified from other rifles parts.

Function – Will be reasonable to marginal with the Century Arms conversion, and Excellent to superb with good conversions and in it’s original unmodified 7.5×54 form.

Design flaws – This rifle has a direct impingement gas system, in this rifle it is not necessarily a design flaw, because the bolt carrier is “in the open” the collection of powder fowling and heat that plague the “closed” action of the AR10 and M-16 family of rifles does not come into play. The rifle is a hefty 8 1/2 pounds, a bit heavy for the size and length. The stock has a short “length of pull” (a short butt-stock) that can be uncomfortably short unless in excessively heavy and thick winter clothing or bulky web gear, basically the stock is too short for the average statured American and almost ridiculous to tall and long armed gorillas like myself.

Quality – First world, all machined, good to excellent quality construction, machining, and metal finish when originally produced. The fact is that because the MAS 49/56 are examples of military surplus, the range of “use and abuse” can be quite vast.

Many consider the Century Arms conversions to be so badly butchered that the price of repair is too high to justify buying the rifle (I would disagree), but if you intend to modify the rifle then you may want to consider a CA conversion because any collectors value the rifle may have had was spoiled in the modification.

Caliber/Ammunition – 7.5×54 French is an accurate full power battle rifle cartridge, like all other full powered military rifle rounds it is often considered excessive in recoil. Suitable for large and smaller game the 7.5×54 French is as useful as .308 Win. but suffers in the US due to lack of availability (rareness).

Conversions in Caliber/Ammunition – Because the rifle was direct impingement and can even be modified to make the system adjustable, many gunsmiths have used this rifle for conversions into other more common cartridges used in the US. The most popular MAS 49/56 rifle cartridge conversion is of course is the 7.5×54 to .308 Win./7.62×51 modification. With only minimal modifications the MAS 49/56 has been converted to .250 Savage, .308 Win., .243 Win., and a host of other “one-ofs” that have a similar base/extractor rim and a similar or shorter length. Basically the design of the MAS 49/56 rifle lends itself to a relatively simple conversion with a new or modified barrel, gas adjustment fabrication, extractor modification, bolt face modification, and other minor parts like springs. If a gunsmith can change a barrel in a Mauser they can modify the MAS 49/56. How cool would it be to have a short little semi-auto brush gun that is more accurate and more powerful than an SKS in about the same size?

Use – Accuracy with an original example or a well done conversion will be on par with any first world production military rifle, in other words better than the average shooter can utilize. The MAS 49/56 uses a simple detachable magazine that is available on-line and some users have modified FNFAL magazines for use with this rifle. The The MAS 49/56 magazine is a short 10 round alternating dual stack formation that has the catch latch attached to the magazine itself, this locks into the side of the receiver and makes it very easy to remove and change magazines with one hand.


Current Production -This rifle is surplus only but examples are still available from private owners and gun show dealers, future import of more examples is possible, as several batches have entered into the US periodically.

I personally would consider this rifle a second tier choice for an MBR, but only because of the ammunition and limited magazine capacity, a good example using .308 and modified to use standard capacity magazines would place this higher, and even the magazine capacity of 10 rounds is not particularly troubling.

An excellent trunk gun, brush rifle, or hunting rifle.

A company, McCann Industries provides an interesting MAS 49-56 Receiver Conversion

Categories: Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Prepper Info, Rifles, Second Amendment Rights | 5 Comments

Personal critical perspective, The Kel-Tec PF-9 subcompact 9mm pistol

Personal critical perspective, The Kel-Tec PF-9 subcompact 9mm pistol.


Our additions to the collection, a pair of consecutively numbered Kel-tec PF9 pistols.

The Kel-Tec PF-9

Kel-Tec CNC Industries, an interesting little power-house of a manufacturer, the third largest handgun producer in the U.S. George Kellgren as Chief Engineer will likely continue to make a huge impact in the firearms industry for many more years.

This example of a subcompact pistol, taking the features and design work from the P-3AT and his earlier P11, is outselling the competition by a large margin.

Personal – This is a small lightweight cary pistol that has many points that make it well suited for concealed carry.

Small and thin

Can fit in a pocket

Quick reliable operation

Simple take-down

Double Action

Reasonable trigger and reasonable accuracy

Capable of shooting hand-loaded ammunition

The PF9 fits this list well and I was shocked at how accurate this little pip-squeak actually is on the range.

I do not “enjoy” shooting this pistol, more on this as I progress, I don’t have to love this pistol its reason for existing in the collection has nothing to do with recreation or even open carry, but a down and dirty backup or concealed carry.

Function – Using reloads, white box, bulk Remington and federal and my premium ammunition all worked with excellent results and without incident. I found a distressing problem with feeding with lead bullets as they would simply not function reliably, ever, this is not a huge loss because the pistol will not be used all that often and saving money on ammunition is not the priority.

The PF9 is a miniature 9mm with a high-power inspired tilting lock barrel that keeps the size very very small for a full powered handgun round.

I guess you could call the pistol ambidextrous but there are just not any features to speak of, at least not many that need any ambidextrous access for the use this pistol will fill.

The magazine release could be an issue, as it is with any small pistol there is simply just not much room and the magazine release button is at thumb level. Thinking clearly about the issue this pistol is just not designed nor would it be used for fast magazine changes – it is a “holy shit” self defense handgun for concealment – a concealed option with a full-power punch.

Take-down for cleaning is simple but not as fast as you would get with a more feature packed full-sized pistol. There is an unusual pull-pin that requires the rim of a case or a thin pry tool to remove the subsequent take-down is simple.

This pistol actually has a small mini-hammer in a protected rear slop that is double action only and non-recprocating – that is, it will not reset until the firearm is operated or the slide is actuated again.

Design flaws – The double action trigger on this pistol is smooth enough but is long as would be expected but exists inside a small trigger guard and is “pinch-prone” for larger fingers. The trigger has an exaggerated forward and lower angle with a relatively thin and pointed end. In examining the trigger it looks very similar to the profile of the trigger from the Russian Makarov pistol, but for whatever reason, unlike the Mak this tends to catch the trigger finger inside of the trigger guard and of course leaves little room in the guard for large fingers.

The non-recprocating hammer in double action is simply annoying – if it has to be double action with no single action feature at least make it capable of snapping twice if needed on a primer that is not cooperating as needed.

Small and lightweight, great for carry, painful and at best excessively “snappy” with this full sized round.

Magazine release at thumb-level can be a problem for some, in this case I would think that a rear frame mounted bottom of the magazine release would actually make changing the magazines quicker, a release similar to the Makarov pistol.

While not exactly a design flaw the heavy part of the pistol, the slide, is of course on top, the lightweight handle is very lightweight so the force of the 9mm is increased in its leverage making the pistol have a very unpleasant hard “snap” when firing, I found that after as little as 50 rounds I want to put it back in the box and go to another handgun, for most normal people that would be about a magazine of rounds down range.

Quality – Quality, safe-to-use “state of the art” manufacturing but the fit and finish tends to be, well, kel-tec ish, functional but not all that finished rough and ugly would be descriptive.

Caliber / Ammunition – 9×19 in a subcompact – damn thats both useful and painful. The PF-9 will accept +P ammunition with the recommendation of using it only “from time to time” +P – double damn!

Ergonomics – Ergonomic design to this pistol would be like talking about ergonomics for a smart-phone, it is just not the primary aim. This handgun’s design revolves around the ability to be small and lightweight in that it is tops in the market.

Current production – Production of the PF9 is priority out of the factory in Cocoa, Florida, while you cannot get some of the more interesting firearms due to backlogs this pistol seems to never have much of a lag in availability. The US factory produces a wide range of colors and finishes including camouflage base colors like dark brown, tan, gray, olive green, navy, and of course black with slides of colors, hard chrome plated and blued.


Nice little plastic boxes come with the pistols as a retail package.

Categories: Firearm Overview, Firearms, Handguns, Second Amendment Rights | Leave a comment

Anti-gun statists and the gun owners that aid them


“The whole CC (concealed carry) vs. OC (open carry) debate was started by legitimate training companies to drive up sales, nothing more. Every advocate of CC versus OC is a training company, or a supporter of such companies.” – AZ boots n saddles

I have to agree, our friend AZ may have a point, a point followed by something possibly darker and harder to nail down – the unconscious acceptance of government authority over a right that has become regulated.

Would there be any arguments in the gun community if concealed carry did not involve begging our oppressive government for approval to do something guaranteed by our constitution? How many recognize that our personal arms are the only personal property specifically protected by the Constitution and the anti-Federalist Bill of Rights?

Emotional and irrational statements, statistically untenable propositions, derogatory attacks and decent into juvenile verbiage – the signs of the typical statist anti-gunner, yes but sadly it has become the standard signs of the new anti-OC/only CC is viable proponents, a bunch similar to the haughty hunting-only elitists like the disgraced (black rifle hoplophobe) Zumbo.

Here is a typical anti-gun person confronted with the facts disbelief  and cognitive dissonance when their irrational fanciful FAITH is shattered with EVIDENCE.

 “Carrying a gun is very dangerous. No doubt this data will be corrected soon to show that there have been dozens (or hundreds) of deaths due to road rage, arguments over parking spaces, lover’s quarrels and the like. And likely thousands of deaths due to negligent discharges. The manslaughter cases for the NDs are probably still working their way through the courts, along with the murder cases. There’s no way almost 403,000 people with concealed carry licenses could only produce one murder and no manslaughters. That would mean everything I’ve been taught about the extreme dangers of concealed carry is wrong. And that’s just … unpossible(sic).”

No, mr. cognitive-dissonance-educationally-indoctrinated-statist it is a FACT as uncomfortable as you may think it is – it IS a fact.

The above was in response to:

“In 2009 there were 402,914 people in Texas who had Concealed Handgun Licenses. During that same year there was exactly ONE CHL holder convicted of murder, ZERO Capital Murder, ZERO Manslaughter. On that one conviction, we don’t even know if the CHL was relevant. He/she may have done murder by knife for all we know. There were 577 convictions for these crimes of citizens who did not have CHLs. Out of the 402K people who had CHLs it is reasonable to assume that there were cases in which the CHL holder used their gun in self-defense, even if no shots were fired.”

Texas state statistics may be viewed here

How about more facts: Buckeye Firearms Association

Myth 3: Concealed carry will result in increases in gun related deaths, accidents, road rage and crime in general. Letting (simple, untrained and unwashed) civilians (dirty rednecks) carry concealed will result in gun fights in the streets and the “wild west” in our neighborhoods.
Fact 3: Exactly the opposite happens. Fact 3a: As of 2002 RTC states had 24% lower total violent crime, 22% lower murder, 37% lower robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault when compared with non-RTC states (FBI crime statistics). “Concerns that permit holders would lose their tempers in traffic accidents have been unfounded. Worries about risks to police officers have also proved unfounded…
National surveys of police show they support concealed handgun laws by a 3-1 margin… There is also not a single academic study that claims RTC laws have increased state crime rates. The debate among academics has been over how large the benefits have been” (“Should Michigan keep new concealed weapon law? Don’t believe gun foe scare tactics,” Detroit News, 1/14/01).

Concealed carry statistics

 99.9% of self-defense firearms uses do not result in fatal shootings of criminals, an important factor ignored in certain “studies” that are used to claim that guns are more often misused than used for self-protection. Of incarcerated felons surveyed by the Department of Justice, 34% have been driven away, wounded, or captured by armed citizens; 40% have decided against committing crimes for fear their would-be victims were armed.

Then we deal with what you typically see from the gun-ignorant feminized statists in “journalism”

“…people shooting other people for small-time offenses, like stealing the hub caps off cars.”

No factual statistics, no evidence, this statement is of course completely wrong!

“…people hitting bystanders while firing at criminals.”

Wrong again.

“…people shooting at criminals then being shot by police who mistake them for criminals during gunfights.”

Wrong again.

“…people simply blowing their top and waving around handguns to express their anger.”

Wrong again.

“The list of things that can and will go wrong is far longer and more likely than the effective use of a handgun.”

Statistical evidence has proven this not just wrong but completely opposed to the statement.

That’s because 98 percent of these gun enthusiasts won’t have a clue.

Nice little condescending derogatory non-fact pulled from some hack’s nether parts. Not only do I have a clue, but all of the range users I meet are all far more competent and practiced than any police officer I have ever known.

They will have no idea of the laws surrounding self-protection and deadly force.

I have yet to meet a shooter that is not so well versed in the laws that police typically ignorant of (and that should be their job). How many of you are aware that many police departments have a policy of not hiring people with IQs that are “too high”?

They will receive no formal training either in using their weapon or when to use it. They will not regularly practice with that weapon to make sure they can actually hit what they are pointing at. And they most likely won’t know how to maintain that weapon or take the time to do so.

Didn’t we go over this stupid pathetic myth before?

Oh yea… here. (So mr. Journalist hack – please go intercourse yourself with a computer mouse)

“In short, they will have the same fire power as police officers, but without any of the training, preparation and practice to handle an actual deadly force event”

He is right on one point, most shooters I know could actually outfit several police with better firearms, equipment. Counter to what our lickspittle “journalist”so offensively has written most shooters could teach them more about the law, shooting, and politeness.

So again we see such a mass of ignorance that I would cry if I actually cared about the typically leftist statist college-puke man-vagina. (link to the above stupidity)

In conclusion, please if you are a gun owner and an advocate of gun rights understand that CC or OC both prevent crime, stop thinking that somehow the propaganda by advertisers, NRA RHINO whores, instructors who make a living helping you beg for your rights and the anti-gun statists who love to see us trash each other – remember.

Gentlemen we must all hang together or we shall surely all hang (by the neck) separately – Benjamin Franklin

Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?

 “Our conclusion from the available data is that suicide, murder and violent crime rates are determined by basic social, economic and/or cultural factors with the availability of any particular one of the world’s myriad deadly instrument being irrelevant.”

Categories: Firearms, Handguns, Second Amendment Rights | Leave a comment

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