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FAMAS 5,56mm c1978 Manual Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne

Item #3858: $14.95
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FAMAS 5,56mm c1978 Manual Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne

30 pages, about 11" x 8", glossy soft-cover in full color. New re-print restored and digitally enhanced from a nice original. Printed on high quality 20# 97 bright acid free paper. Fully Illustrated. Text in French.

Contents - Index:

  • Pages: 30
  • F. A. MAS 5.56
  • In French
  • Assembly/Dismounting
  • Charactistics
  • Generalities
  • Munitions
  • Parts and Nomenclature
  • Position Couchere
  • Position for Firing
  • Technical Data
  • The Bayonet
  • The Firing Mechanism
  • Usual and Unusual Conditions

The first French bullpup rifles were developed between 1946 and 1950 at the AME (Atelier Mécanique de Mulhouse) and MAS, testing rounds such as .30 US Carbine, 7.92x33mm Kurz, 7.65x38mm (Made by Cartoucherie de Valence) and some other intermediate calibers[citation needed]. Since France was engaged in the First Indochina War at the time, and was also the second-largest contributor to NATO, the budgets for new types of weapons were reduced and priority was given to the modernisation and production of existing service weapons. Nevertheless, approximately forty different prototypes were developed between 1952 and 1962, most of which were designed for the 7.62x51mm NATO round notably the FA-MAS Type 62 (the bayonet of which is used on the FAMAS). However the round was not found to be suitable for any bullpup designs, and consequently, none were adopted, and the ideas were set aside.[4][5][6][7] MAS then began to manufacture under licence the H&K G3 and the H&K 33 in the 1960s and studies were reactivated to produce a weapon using the new .223/5.56mm round. But the idea to develop and use German weapons was out of question for many members of the French high command. General Marcel Bigeard, against the idea of using German weapons, visited the Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne and asked the engineers to present him the different prototypes developed. He then chose, amongst different prototypes, what would become the FAMAS.

The FAMAS project began in 1967 under the direction of Paul Tellie and the first prototype was completed in 1971, with French military evaluation of the rifle beginning in 1972.[3] When production problems delayed the general issue of the new rifles, and with the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi showing the immediate need for a more modern weapon, the French Army began searching for a temporary rifle to fill this need until the FAMAS came into full production. The H&K 33 was considered, and a batch of 1,200 examples were tested by Infantry, Airborne, Marines, Mechanised and Foreign troops, but it was ultimately turned down in favour of the SIG SG 540, built under licence by Manurhin, until enough FAMAS rifles were produced to begin general issue. The French military finally accepted the rifle in 1978 as the standard French combat weapon.

After adoption, the FAMAS F1 replaced the aging MAS 49/56 rifle and MAT-49 submachine gun, and approximately 400,000 FAMAS F1 assault rifles were produced, with production now complete. The F1 had many problems and was not completely reliable. For instance, the plastic pieces broke easily and the weapon jammed on occasions because of the poor disposable magazine concept. The first magazines were supposed to be disposables, but the budget of the French army never allowed it. The F1 was followed by the G1 that included several minor improvements such as redesigned grips, and an enlarged trigger guard for utilisation with gloves, but it remained conceptual and was never actually produced.