16 Dec 21
“You may as well aim high. Why shoot yourself in the foot, when you can shoot yourself in the head?”
William Shatner
Plight of the French!
When French war planners finally decided to adopt the NATO standard cartridge (7.62×51) in the early 1970s, conversion of the direct-gas-impingement/tilting-bolt MAS 49-56 from French 7.5×54 to the new NATO caliber was thought to be a simple matter, but it proved utterly unsuccessful. Parts breakage, slam-fires, and other problems lead to the eventual abandonment of the entire idea.
The MAS was essentially withdrawn from French service in 1978, replaced by the French FAMAS Rifle in 5.56×45 caliber. The MAS itself was finally declared “obsolete” in 1990, and all copies were withdrawn from service.
The French “bullpup” FAMAS Rifle was thus officially adopted by the French military in 1978 and has since enjoyed a very good reputation. It employs a clever (and unique) lever-delayed blowback operating system and is hence not a rotating-bolt/gas-gun. The FAMAS’ manual safety lever is inside the trigger-guard, which is not a good idea!
Like most bullpups, the FAMAS can be converted from right-hand, to left-hand ejection, but not readily, and certainly not under active, field conditions. The charging handle is reciprocating, but it is on top and does not impact the shooter’s face, no matter on which side he has the rifle mounted.
Only a handful of French FAMASs were ever imported into the USA (Century Arms). They were all in 5.56×45, like those used by the French military. I’ve only seen them in museums!
Attempts by the French to sell the FAMAS to other nation’s militaries were mostly unsuccessful, due to the high cost of the FAMAS, and the fact that most people have no interest in dealing with the French!
Civilian sales of FAMASs in France, to French citizens, was restricted to 222 Remington, as military calibers are not allowed in civilian weapons, a common rule in Europe, and Mexico.
One reason French war planners selected the FAMAS over the American M16 is that M16 was not capable of launching heavy rifle grenades that were popular within the French military (far less popular in the USA and most other NATO nations)
The FAMAS has been since superceded by the H&K 416. The reason is that existing inventories of FAMAS rifles are over thirty years old and are worn-out, and since French government arsenals have all been since decommissioned, there is no ability to make more, and France has no domestic, private arms industry.
So, since the French cannot make rifles any more, they now have no choice but to rely on Germany!
Taking a lesson from all this, we must enthusiastically support our domestic American Arms Industry, since America’s government arsenals have all been long-since decommissioned too!
Leftist politicians are now actively working to put all American gun-makers permanently out of business.
So, like the hapless French, when we need guns to defend our nation, we’ll have to try to find some foreign government who wants to sell them to us!
How stupid can nations get?