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mas49-56-1.gif

 

Everyone else has a Garand - imagine how many women will come running to your side when you pull this bad boy out and line up a few grenades.

 

+1 on the Ariska Bolt, its only weakness is front locking lugs.

 

legend.jpg

 

I was just about to post the bolt from my Type 38 that I am rebuilding.

 

I would disagree with you about the front locking lugs being a weakness. Yes, it makes the bolt stroke longer and puts more geometry in the feed path, but you have less bolt deformation occurring during firing. And also, Mauser style extractor for the win.

 

I did have to re-barrel a MAS 49/56 that Century Arms gooned up when they tried to convert it to .308, but failed horribly. It was a rather fun and challenging project, and I learned quite a bit about those rifles in the process. They have earned a place in my list of rifles to own someday soon.

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It doesn't really make sense why they chose .308 over 7.62 NATO.

 

I guess that's really an opinion that a lot of people have, I don't know why I felt I should post it.

 

Who chose wha?

ED: Oh, you mean Century. .308 as a specification is more forgiving of different ammo types, and accepts 7.62 NATO ammunition.

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I was just about to post the bolt from my Type 38 that I am rebuilding.

 

I would disagree with you about the front locking lugs being a weakness. Yes, it makes the bolt stroke longer and puts more geometry in the feed path, but you have less bolt deformation occurring during firing. And also, Mauser style extractor for the win.

 

I did have to re-barrel a MAS 49/56 that Century Arms gooned up when they tried to convert it to .308, but failed horribly. It was a rather fun and challenging project, and I learned quite a bit about those rifles in the process. They have earned a place in my list of rifles to own someday soon.

 

The French equivalent of our Ordnance Department "condemned without recourse" the front-locking rotary bolt for selfloading rifles, which is why the MAS 38 and its progeny do not have it.

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I was just about to post the bolt from my Type 38 that I am rebuilding.

 

I would disagree with you about the front locking lugs being a weakness. Yes, it makes the bolt stroke longer and puts more geometry in the feed path, but you have less bolt deformation occurring during firing. And also, Mauser style extractor for the win.

 

I did have to re-barrel a MAS 49/56 that Century Arms gooned up when they tried to convert it to .308, but failed horribly. It was a rather fun and challenging project, and I learned quite a bit about those rifles in the process. They have earned a place in my list of rifles to own someday soon.

 

You should post the bolt of the Type 38 anyway.  I really need to have very good high resolution photographs of a typical Ariska as well as a typical Enfield for a book I am doing.

 

The primary advantage I believe of the Mauser bolt is locking strength - with the lock occurring near the stress point there is less micro-setback during the travel phase when the bullet is leaving the barrel.  For a hunter with a heavy cartridge locking strength is everything.  In WW1 though the French discovered that for both autoloaders and bolt action rifles' front lugs were a major problem because of how they pushed mud into the chamber of the weapons equipped with them.  French weapons would drop front lugs because of this and move to rear lugs.  Bolt action rifles had their lugs based in part on how the Enfield locked.  The autoloaders based their locking on the Rossingol and its tilting bolt, removing rotary lugs all together.

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Who chose wha?

ED: Oh, you mean Century. .308 as a specification is more forgiving of different ammo types, and accepts 7.62 NATO ammunition.

Yeah, I meant Century, sorry. Also, I have no idea about ammo cross-over like that. It's something I'd like to read up on.

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Yeah, I meant Century, sorry. Also, I have no idea about ammo cross-over like that. It's something I'd like to read up on.

 

It doesn't happen with most calibers, but 5.56/.223 and .308/7.62 are exceptions and unfortunately very common.

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Yeah, I meant Century, sorry. Also, I have no idea about ammo cross-over like that. It's something I'd like to read up on.

 

Century conversions were made by drunk monkeys.  In the 308 conversion they took the barrel and cut several centimeters off the back and rebored it to .308.  Then they hacked the wood, removing a vital metal connection point, and threw the weapon back together without test shooting them or resetting either elevation or windage.  The result was a weapon that was barely able to print on a sheet of typing paper at 10 feet.

 

The 49/56 conversions were worse, requiring careful repair to bring them back to being one of the easiest shooters every made.  

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You should post the bolt of the Type 38 anyway.  I really need to have very good high resolution photographs of a typical Ariska as well as a typical Enfield for a book I am doing.

 

The primary advantage I believe of the Mauser bolt is locking strength - with the lock occurring near the stress point there is less micro-setback during the travel phase when the bullet is leaving the barrel.  For a hunter with a heavy cartridge locking strength is everything.  In WW1 though the French discovered that for both autoloaders and bolt action rifles' front lugs were a major problem because of how they pushed mud into the chamber of the weapons equipped with them.  French weapons would drop front lugs because of this and move to rear lugs.  Bolt action rifles had their lugs based in part on how the Enfield locked.  The autoloaders based their locking on the Rossingol and its tilting bolt, removing rotary lugs all together.

 

Sadly, the Type 38 is a rescue rifle. Someone else attempted to turn down the bolt handle and drill it for a scope base. I've got my work cut out for me. I do have a 1944 Type 99 that has a more of less intact action, and intact chrysanthemum, but the barrel and stock where "sporterized".

 

Locking strength was also important back then because ammunition pressures where not terribly consistent, so you wanted your rifles to be able to handle the occasional over pressure round. That is less of a problem today because of improved quality control during manufacture, but there are plenty of other factors that can lead to an over pressure situation. It addition to locking strength, front locking bolts have a longer service life. It is a relatively common problem for rear locking action to go out of headspace much faster than front locking. From my understanding, this is why SMLEs have 4 different lengths of bolt heads, and why FALs have different sized locking shoulders that can be inserted into the receiver. I imagine that these where primarily designed in such a manner for easing mass production, but these rifles are both notorious for having their headspace open up and rates that would be completely unacceptable by today's standards.

 

As far as that 49/56 that I fixed it involved a completely new barrel turned from a blank. They still wanted it in .308 for ammunition reasons, though. I didn't copy the grenade launcher features into the barrel at the request of the owner, so that made my life easier. I had to get a new gas tube and a new forearm as well. After I got done that rifle ran rather well, especially considering that it was a caliber conversion using original magazines. I saved the old barrel as an example of century arms. They had put about an inch of "free bore" after the chamber. (quotes because it wasn't truly free, the rifling was very very faint, but still there) It looking like it had been done with a drill bit.

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The other factor going against rear locking is that you need to have a larger portion of your action bearing the stress of firing, and therefore your action will be heavier. It's not a problem on traditional bolt actions, but for autoloaders it starts to be an issue. Tilt lockers also have some fun issues, like tenancies to vertically string shots. If I am remembering this correctly, that is one of the reasons the soviets where not keen on the SVT, in addition to other larger logistical problems of needing to manufacture millions of rifles, and the SVT requiring more resources to make than 91/30s.

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Sadly, the Type 38 is a rescue rifle. Someone else attempted to turn down the bolt handle and drill it for a scope base. I've got my work cut out for me. I do have a 1944 Type 99 that has a more of less intact action, and intact chrysanthemum, but the barrel and stock where "sporterized".

 

Locking strength was also important back then because ammunition pressures where not terribly consistent, so you wanted your rifles to be able to handle the occasional over pressure round. That is less of a problem today because of improved quality control during manufacture, but there are plenty of other factors that can lead to an over pressure situation. It addition to locking strength, front locking bolts have a longer service life. It is a relatively common problem for rear locking action to go out of headspace much faster than front locking. From my understanding, this is why SMLEs have 4 different lengths of bolt heads, and why FALs have different sized locking shoulders that can be inserted into the receiver. I imagine that these where primarily designed in such a manner for easing mass production, but these rifles are both notorious for having their headspace open up and rates that would be completely unacceptable by today's standards.

 

As far as that 49/56 that I fixed it involved a completely new barrel turned from a blank. They still wanted it in .308 for ammunition reasons, though. I didn't copy the grenade launcher features into the barrel at the request of the owner, so that made my life easier. I had to get a new gas tube and a new forearm as well. After I got done that rifle ran rather well, especially considering that it was a caliber conversion using original magazines. I saved the old barrel as an example of century arms. They had put about an inch of "free bore" after the chamber. (quotes because it wasn't truly free, the rifling was very very faint, but still there) It looking like it had been done with a drill bit.

 

yeah, drunk monkey conversions. 

 

I learned a lot about good versus bad gunsmiths from working with smiths at fixing a wide range of weapons that were either "improved" by "idiots" or fixed by CAI.  There is a great PA gunsmith that pioneered the main fixes, but he is nearly a year behind in work.  

 

So I have a 308 MAS 36 butcher waiting for conversion to something else interesting, and a 49/56 that short strokes.  

 

If you fix French weapons I could post your name on my website and get you business galore.

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I do not currently fix weapons, I would need to re-establish a shop. If I can get the cash flow to do so, that might not be a bad idea. I take it that there is a substantial market for repairing French guns. Sadly, fixing that 49/56 was a rather intense job, and If I had to do it again, I would charge a lot more.

 

I am re-barreling that Type 38 for 7mm Mauser. It was the closest thing I could find to match the OAL and case head of the 6.5 Arisaka that is still common. That and it's just a classic cartridge. I've toyed with the idea of building an M76 in it.

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I do not currently fix weapons, I would need to re-establish a shop. If I can get the cash flow to do so, that might not be a bad idea. I take it that there is a substantial market for repairing French guns. Sadly, fixing that 49/56 was a rather intense job, and If I had to do it again, I would charge a lot more.

 

I am re-barreling that Type 38 for 7mm Mauser. It was the closest thing I could find to match the OAL and case head of the 6.5 Arisaka that is still common. That and it's just a classic cartridge. I've toyed with the idea of building an M76 in it.

 

The 49/56 has had a lot of streamline repairs - fixing the gas tube for the 308 version and fixing the problem with short stroke that came from CAI messed up repairs.

 

This is what I want to turn my butchered 308 into when I have enough money

 

556811n4frg1d.jpg

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Shorting with the '49 can be caused by a lot of things.

 

Remove the trigger housing, and try cycling the bolt. It should be very smooth.  If it's not, check the "nozzle" for signs of it dragging on the bolt carrier, and check the stock screw (visible with the bolt/bolt carrier removed) to see if it's dragging.

 

Next check the FCG for drag. It should move smoothly. When reinstalling note if the hammer drags in it's cutout.

 

If there are no obvious mechanical causes, take a can of carburetor cleaner or brake cleaner, and using the straw, discharge the stuff into the gas tube using short gentle bursts of the solvent. Keeping the piece inverted and over a mat of paper towel will minimize the mess, and help the decarb soak the crud out.. You're not trying to blast it out, just keep the inside of the gas tube and it's block soaked with the solvent.

You definitely want the forend wood removed for this. 

 

If you have shop air, you can try intermittently blasting through the gas tube between soaks to see if anything comes out.

 

 

As to working on the 49's... They used a lot of specialized tooling and gauges for assembly, that are incredibly scarce. And that is likely why the Century's were so generally jacked up.

I doubt they had the gauging to set the gas tube protrusion or alignment, for example.

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I still think the CAI issues were the result of hiring chimpanzees to work on weapons, and in fact disproved the infinite chimp theory.

 

I have been breaking down my spare 49/56 each go around and working out one issue at a time.  Right now I am about convinced the trigger is riding high.  A difficulty actually comes from how rugged the things are - it is obvious broken, but it just as obviously ALMOST works!  

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If they're hiring chimps, do you think they're buying tooling for said chimps?

 

Either way, the ones they butchered usually had some kind of issue as a result of being improperly assembled.

Gave the '49's a bad rep for a time, but luckily made them cheaper for the folks who knew how to work on one (or possessed a modicum of mechanical aptitude).

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In the next two decades the MAS series of rifles will skyrocket in price.  If you consider that there is an estimated million Garands in civilian hands and 350,000 M14s, and now there are 400,000 M16 variants (and maybe as many as 1 million rifles all told), then I expect these weapons will plateau and even come down in price - especially since each has the possibility of later manufacture.  The 40,000 MAS 49/56 and variants that came into the US are the last that will ever arrive - the MAS 44 itself is under 2000 weapons.  Some models of MAS 36 are also extremely constrained - the MAS 36/LG48 may be under 200 weapons in the entire US inventory - while the CR39 is in the double digits.

 

Sort of like the SVT or W43 rifles.  10,000 of each came in during the 1980s then that was it.  Now they are worth 10 times what they sold for IF you can find one for sale.

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The Enfield finally got range time on Memorial Day. Shoots like a dream. The bolt is as smooth as everyone says, and the trigger just feels nice. I didn't go for grouping or anything, but I was able to plink soup cans at 100yds with only a handful of misses. Afterwards, I broke it up, and got as much gunk and grime as I could out (I'm liking Ballistol lately, it's even revitalized some of the wood. I'll still keep Hoppe's around, but I'm impressed with Balli so far). I'm really glad I found this thing. The guy in town I bought it from is notorious for over-priced and questionable merchandise, and I only think I got the deal I did because he had just gotten it only a few days earlier. I was so sick over spending the money on this thing for a short time because of him, but I'm glad to see it didn't go to waste. I think I'm gonna put in the research on MAS 36 and 49s, and try to find one in the Harrisburg show next month.

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I really like my Enfield which is the same as yours if I remember right. I'll have to do the same trick when I get back home from Alaska. The only thing that I have to complain about is that short European length of pull (I have long monkey arms).

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I really like my Enfield which is the same as yours if I remember right. I'll have to do the same trick when I get back home from Alaska. The only thing that I have to complain about is that short European length of pull (I have long monkey arms).

the buttstocks of the No1MkIII and No4 Mk1 were meant to be fitted, and were of 3 (well, two really) differing lengths of pull.

 

For a time you could find both original and reproduction "L" stocks, which would likely fit much better.

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I really like my Enfield which is the same as yours if I remember right. I'll have to do the same trick when I get back home from Alaska. The only thing that I have to complain about is that short European length of pull (I have long monkey arms).

 

Another trick is to find (or have me send you one) a French recoil sleeve.  They were designed in 1952 because French rifles began to throw HUGE direct fire 22mm grenades as part of a new anti-tank strategy with the eventual ideal of having each member of a French squad able to tackle a tank.  These pad fit the comb of an Enfield and add about four centimeters to the reach.

 

Let me know if you want me to track one down for you.

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