This here is a MAS 49/56. The MAS is a French main battle rifle. It was a modification of the MAS 49, and modified in 1956. It was produced until 1965, and remained in service in the military until 1979, with the reserves until 1992, and still with the police. The barrel length is 20.7" and overall it's 40". Flash hider/muzzle brake is standard. The bolt handle is white plastic. Looks funny, but it easy to grip. This is actually well thought out. It also has an integral scope mount.
The rifle shoots the 7.5x54 French cartridge. It's comparable to the .308 but a little more powerful.
This thing is built to last. All steel. Parkerized. Direct impingement. The rifle is unbelievably easy to break down- takes about 5 seconds. It breaks down like an SKS. Take of the cover, the main spring slides out, the bolt and carrier come out and the firing pin slides right out. seriously, it could not be easier.
And, it comes with a built in grenade launcher. How cool is that! Of course, there aren't any grenades handy, but it is still neat nevertheless.
The magazine clips in by way of an external clip on the mag. It locks up really solidly. This is a 10 round magazine, but they say there are higher capacity ones available, although I haven't really seen one.
This is a very accurate and nice shooting gun. Many reports say it's a better gun than the M14. Before you make the French jokes, keep in mind that the French invented smokeless powder and automatic rifles. This gun was used in Indochina and Algeria and all over Africa, by the Army and the Foreign Legion, and we all know the Foreign Legion was pretty bad ass.
These guns are available at a very reasonable price too. The downside is ammo can be tough to find sometimes but you can reload for it too. Century imported some of these and converted them to .308 and by all accounts totally screwed them up. Don't get one in .308. The ones in the 7.5 caliber are said to operate flawlessly.
Recoil was negligible. About like an AR, which means none. Accurate. By the way, it's on the C&R list. So if your looking for something a little different that all the guys at the range want to shoot, this is it.