Hello all, new to forum.
Dont mean to hijack your thread, Gator, but you picked a great subject of interest to me and wanted to chime in with my first post. Congrats on your newest gun. Looks like you also got a few mags, and the recoil pad, which definitely sweetens your deal.... Hows she shoot ?... A lot of folks turn up their nose at these frenchies, but I find them a pretty good value for the dollar.
Heres a few thoughts I penned last year on the 7.5 to .308 conversions, and last time I was in contact with McCann, I was told that they recently had discontinued their mas 49 goodies.
Originally posted on SurplusRifle.com
MAS 49 / 56 ( Century, et. al. 7.5 mm TO 7.62 x .51 rechamber )
I don?t mean to sound like an expert regarding this subject, because I am not. It is surprising that so little information is currently available regarding this gun and many folks complain that parts are difficult to come by. Other's enthusiasm for this gun is noticeably discouraged due to lack of available "add-on goodies", while others lose interest due to the small-ish magazine capacities. Primary complaints revolve around well know poor workmanship/design issues regarding the 7.5 to 7.62 re-chambering.. These are good, strong, viable points, and of utmost importance, but our industry has a way of naturally resolving almost any problem sooner or later, thus the below listed update....
DSTI / Bill Toth no longer advise using their old adjustable gas valve, and now they have developed a more reliable comprehensive system that makes these guns run perfectly. They now re-work the gun's gas system and utilize a gas reservoir/expansion chamber, coupled with a few other mods like returning the recoil spring to its original configuration, real chamber polishing/ take chamber out to NATO spec., e.t.c. It is no secret that many of these re-chamber jobs are known to exhibit a variety of reliability issues, and many fingers have been pointed, accusations made, and blame assigned to various involved parties. Here's what I know.... These guns (re-chambered) have had a somewhat tarnished reputation for years, and lots of folks simply passed them by for fear of getting a "bad one". I know of many people who have a "bad one" and can?t get rid of it, or at least recover their initial expenditure. I have witnessed lots of people who also state that theirs run absolutely fine, and I am glad they have no difficulties (for now) so the info listed below is only of interest to those of us who own one (or more) of the "bad ones". Of paramount concern to all is the known fact that pressure problems coupled with firearms is bad ju-ju, and truth be known, I take no chances when it comes to potentially dangerous situations involving firearms, fearing for my own, and my customers safety and well being.
Bill has recently worked on the first of a quantity of Mas 49's, that I have acquired over the past few years to add to my semi-auto mil-surp section of my store. Although he has only returned the first one to me recently, I am impressed with DSTI & Bill Toth enough that I am planning on having him work on everyone of them because they do a comprehensive inspection of the gun, offer you an individual assessment/eval on each one, advise you of recommendations & their respective costs, and then test fire before returning. Speaking with Bill on the phone many times has revealed that he is an intelligent, informed gun lover, someone who isn?t afraid to get his hands dirty, likes shooting, and he really knows his stuff, especially these old MAS'es. Another nice thing I enjoy is that this guy promptly returns all of his phone calls, and treats you with respect, even if you are ignorant on the inner workings of this gun (like me!) without him sounding like a know-it-all, or seeming like he is "talking down" to you.
Short-term testing has shown that sample #1 no longer exhibits its previous un-friendliness, digesting a healthy diet of good ol Port surplus, with a voracious appetite for more. Reliability issues/concerns now seem a thing of the past, and it runs nicely. Long-term testing results will be comprehensive, most thorough, and shall be posted here when completed. Definitely a distinct advantage shooting affordable surplus .308 over the costs of the frenchie 7.5 !!!.. As first glance, nothing seems modified, nor strangely out of place, and my sample #1 was returned to me with the shortened Century recoil spring, and 19 brass casings from DSTI?s test firing in a baggie for inspection. Firing pin strikes on the returned brass appear consistent, and of proper depth/strength, and subsequent range firing show reliable regularity in this department. Opening the bolt shows that the chamber work is quite visible and certainly looks smoother and well polished compared to another sample not yet worked on, and this chamber work certainly makes extraction/ejection issues moot. Taking a peek under the hood reveals the gas system expansion chamber, and I have included a side by side pic of this, with the Bill Toth / DSTI rework on the left. My close-up photography is less that adequate, although you can see in this pic, the differences, and its amazing what a small part can accomplish in a firearm?s gas system..
Here's where the situation needs to be kept in perspective. He quoted me a reasonable basic price / estimate, one that may or may not go up pending on what they discover during initial inspection and then once they examine your firearm, they contact you and advise exactly what they have discovered, and what they recommend. You then have the choice of either having the gun returned back to you, or you can O.K. the work to commence. Turn around time on my first MAS that I shipped him was about a month, although it could take longer pending how busy they are at that time. Most of these guns are well used and/or abused, and being French, one could only surmise that this vigorous mileage is U.S.A. invoked, thus during their inspection they might discover any variety of sins during their inspection (be prepared !), however, this first MAS I sent him was in relatively good condition, and was only beginning to exhibit the known trouble signs (FTE, FTF, GPP, e.t.c.) so the next one he will be working on is a ratty old clapped-out "beater", and this way I should roughly be able to see the his pricing range and apply it to my final customer cost, and I shall report this information here as well.
The main thing I personally have to keep in perspective is that I have built a somewhat strong reputation in my area for only selling proven, reliable mil-surps (at a working mans affordability), thus I cant take any chance of jeopardizing this reputation with anything less than a perfectly running gun, which is why I have decided after evaluating sample # 1, that I shall send DSTI every one of these prior to resale. I have seen these things sell on the auction sites & for sale forums with increasingly higher & higher prices and coupled with a rework cost, the final associated price could approach $ 500.00. Another thing I notice on the auctions is that virtually everyone of these listed for sale are advertised as "works perfect", "runs excellent", "put 100 rounds through it with no problems", "late model Century rework where all the bugs have been worked out" "guaranteed to shoot", and a slew of other B.S. that is indicative of the seller trying waaaaaaay too hard to push the sale. What?s funny is that I now have quite a few warehoused ready for rework & resale, and although I have only tried out a few of them, everyone I fired really needs work, so I guess I am the only s.o.b. on the planet honest enough to say that my Mas 49's dont always reliably function properly. For those who truly have one that functions flawlessly, be pleased, as many are not.
Personally, I have been quietly acquiring them for well under $ 150.00 for several years now and have stockpiled a rather modest supply of them, and only recently have these guns began to attract more than a spark of interest. Anyone who pays more than $ 250.00 for these, then plans to have some additional work performed, should keep in mind value / resell ability issues. And for anyone who may be interested in having some work performed on their MAS 49, I have included more current contact info (listed below) and tell Bill that John @ Blue Ribbon Firearms Co. sent you, as he is expecting your calls.
Design Systems Technology Inc.
2A Old Green Creek Rd.
Since I published the above, I have run several thousands of rounds through that first "test" specimen and the thing still functions well, with none of
its original annoying habits. Also, DSTI is currently reworking these in the
$ 130.00 range and by now have solidified an excellent reputation for professionalism. Great medicine for those Century hack jobs that wont run...
I also cant help but to notice that these guns have risen in price considerably since I first posted the above, and the Auctions now regularly list em in the $300.00 to $ 400.00 range, so more people are clueing in on what great shooters they are.