Derived from the MAS 40/44, This was the first french automatic rifle adopted for service. Originally, France had this rifle in production but was halted due to the German invasion. However when the Nazis were booted out, The MAS 40 was modded to use a detachable magazine and became the MAS 44.
It then became the MAS 49 when further modifications such a Grenade launching capability and an optical sight for Sniper use.
For the last time, The MAS 49 was again modified into the MAS 49-56. Among other things, the barrel and stock was shortened, a flash suppressor was added & the grenade sight was moved onto the top of the barrel just behind the front sight. The MAS 49 was to be replaced with the 7.62 NATO calibre FA-MAS Type 62 but stuck with the MAS 49 and MAT 49 until its replacement by the FAMAS. From 1957 to 1978, 275,240 MAS 49-56 rifles were produced.