Range Time

Due to the fact 7.5x54 ammo isn’t very easy to find even in the best of times, our range menu was somewhat limited. As with our previous sessions with the bolt-action MAS 36, we relied on Portugal’s Boxer-primed, noncorrosive 139-grain FNM stuff — and we felt darn lucky to get it! Due to the difficulty in obtaining anything ammo-wise, we were unable to find any of the excellent Serbian-made Prvi Partizan stuff, the only other source of new 7.5x54 we’re aware of.

The trigger broke at a nice militarily crisp 6 lbs. plus, with a surprising small amount of takeup. The fat front sight is wide enough to promote a 6 o’clock hold. It’s protected by ears and is adjustable for elevation. The rear is a windage-adjustable peep sight.

At 100 yards our best 5-shot group was 2-3/4" with one notable 1-1/4" 3-shot cluster within. Chronograph results averaged 2,590 fps with an extreme spread of 62 fps. All in all, the same ammo ran slightly slower (31 fps) than it did through the slightly longer barrel of the bolt-action MAS 36 but grouped a bit tighter.
Recoil was extraordinarily mild, thanks to the rifle’s cartridge, weight, gas action and compensator.
Although it ejected forcefully, it kicked the brass pretty much to the same spot 10 feet away and was quite kind to those cases. Many 49/56s were converted to .308, but such conversions have, for the most part, been unsatisfactory. Best stick with the original chambering even though the ammo is admittedly tough to find.