The MAS model 36 replaced the Lebel rifles in 1936. Manufactured at Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-
The French adopted semi-
France's newest service rifle, the FA MAS (Fusil Automatique, Manufacture d'Armes de St. Etienne), has already demonstrated itself to be an effective and generally well-
Manufactured by GIAT (Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres) at their St. Etienne arsenal, a semiautomatic-
France was a major player in the field of automatic rifles since the very beginning, but due to deep secrecy less is commonly known about French developments in this field. In any way, after the end of the 2nd World war the liberated France found itself in the need of rearming its infantry with semi-
The French opted for the Lebel 8 mm weapon (officially titled the Fusil modele, produced in 1886, and which unusually fired smokeless cartridges) as their rifle of choice during the war years.
Despite its wide use it suffered from a marked practical design flaw. Its eight rounds were loaded, nose to tail fashion, in a tubular magazine placed under the barrel of the rifle. This resulted in slow loading since the operator had to be wary of one round hitting the primer of the cartridge in front, thereby causing a most unwelcome explosion.
Although a better French model, the Berthier, was available from 1916, the Lebel -
Invented by Antoine Chassepot (1833-