Now here's a French sniper rifle that will will really
reach out and touch someone!
The French brought us the MAS-36 bolt-action infantry
rifle in the mid-1930s.
The MAS-36 is
chambered for the rimless 7.5x54 French cartouche,
an abbreviated 7.5x57mm light machine gun round. The MAS-36 was a
long-lived gun, seeing action in World War II, the First Indochina
War and the Algerian War of Independence. It was in service in the
French army until 1978.
A paratrooper version was also adopted by the French
for its airborne warriors.
The FR F1 Sniper
Rifle was produced by French-owned Manufacture
d'Armes St. Etienne
(MAS) from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. Originally chambered in
the MAS-36 rifle round, 7.5x54 MAS, a later version, the FR F2, was
chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x51mm NATO.
The FR F2 has been in production from the mid-1980s to
The FR F1 tips the scales at slightly more than 11 1/2
pounds. Add a pound or more if it's loaded.
Its overall length is
47 1/4 inches, and it has a 25 1/2-inch barrel with a sweet,
dual-purpose muzzle brake (can you say stabilizer)
that serves as a harmonic dampener, which spells increased accuracy.
Paired with the standard-issue, 3.8X, APX L806 telescopic sight, this
baby is good to go out to distances of 2,000 feet and beyond, up to
half a mile. For you metric freaks, that's 600 to 800 meters. And
here's the good news. The gun's downrange accuracy, under optimal
conditions - a good shooter with match-grade ammo - on a
pristine day, is about 1 or 2 MOA (one or two-inch groups).
That's nothing to
sneeze at, Monsieur
But remember the equation for sniper-grade accuracy: a
very good rifle with an above-average shooter, using quality
ammunition. Even sub-par groups for man-sized targets will get the
The FR F1 has a muzzle velocity of more than 2,500 feet
per second and has a roomy, detachable box magazine with a capacity
of 10 rounds.
All things considered, the FR F1 and its progeny, the
FR F2, are pretty respectable sniper guns.