The MAS-49 is a French semi-automatic rifle that replaced various bolt action rifles as the French service rifle. The MAS-49 and MAS 49/56 use a direct gas impingement system with no gas piston. In this system gas is vented from a port on top of the barrel and piped directly into an open cylindrical hollow located in front and on top of the bolt carrier. The system has the advantage of not depositing gas fouling on the bolt itself, a separate part located underneath the bolt carrier. Many MAS-49/56 rifles were imported as surplus in the USA and had been rechambered to fire the 7.62x51mm NATO round.
Silhouette (Visual Identification)
Global distribution map
This map is a reflection of data on global distribution and production provided primarily by the BwVC. It is not exhaustive. If you would like to add to or amend the data, please click here.
Global distribution list
The data on global distribution and production is provided primarily by the BwVC, but also from national and regional focal points on SALW control; data published by think tanks, international organizations and experts; and/or data provided by individual researchers on SALW. It is not exhaustive. If you would like to add to or amend the data, please click here.
|Country of origin|
|Production without a licence|
|G||Government: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is held by Governmental agencies.|
|N||Non-Government: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is held by non-Governmental armed groups.|
|U||Unspecified: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is found in the country, but do not specify whether it is held by Governmental agencies or non-Governmental armed groups.|
It is entirely possible to have a combination of tags beside each country. For example, if country X is tagged with a G and a U, it means that at least one source of data identifies Governmental agencies as holders of weapon type Y, and at least one other source confirms the presence of the weapon in country X without specifying who holds it.
Visual Identification (Silhouette)