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I just picked up this French MAS 36 bolt gun about 3 weeks ago. The gun functions perfect but, after looking up info on it, I found out it was imported in 1949 after the war by a company called Golden State Arms. The company sporterized it for the hunting market by cutting 4.5 inches off the barrel and putting a smaller handgaurd and sling swivel on it. I have no complaints about the gun cuz its now really short and light but the ammo is hard to come by. Its chambered in 7.5 french and nobody locally, even cabelas, carries it and the online sites ive found have the ammo running around $16-20 a box plus shipping. Now heres my idea.


I have read on other forums that a company makes chamber adapters for it to convert 7.5 french to 762x39. That excites me but the gun would basically be a single shot. So i got an idea to alter the follower and spring to feed the x39. The magwell is double stacked and a 5 round AK follower and spring fit perfectly in the magwell. The only problem i see is the now empty space in front of the follower. I could take a piece of hardwood and shape it to fit perfectly and make a little ramp but this is where i need advice on.


I also got the idea to take the floor plate and cut out the center, along the edges, out. This way i could take a 20 round ak mag and cut the top off straight and weld it to the floor plate. So it would essentially be a short bolt gun chambered in 7.62x39 and have a 25 round fixed magazine. Now before you jump down my throat for altering this piece of history, none of the numbers match and the sporterized barrel and furniture kill the value. I need ideas and advice on what i have planned! I have pictures of the magwell with the ak follower in it.


Refinished wood







Follower fit






This is where the floor plate would be cut, just on the inside of the outside lips and the mag would be cut as shown and welded on. I will be using a 20 rounder instead of the 30.






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I would highly recommend not cutting the original parts. Apex has a replacement parts kit for $89 - maybe buy one, and chop the kit parts instead? That way if it doesn't work out well, you still have a functional rifle.


To make thinks more fun, you could have a .45 caliber barrel made for it, and convert it to take Thompson mags... :D

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I use to own one of those sporsterized MAS 36's. It was a nice short brush gun. They weren't ever that collectable or high priced. Nice wood, that's about the most intresting part of the ugly little French gun. :) It could be a fun project your thinking of, very doable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ya the semester is almost over and then I will start on the project. I found old surplus floor plates for like $10 so I will most likley practice on that. I wont convert to 308 simply because I have always wanted a bolt action x39 rifle. cheap ammo and slower ammo consumtion makes it easier to shoot more often. The way I have the gun planned out, other than the floor plate, I will not be permanantly altering the rifle. Thanks for your imput.

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