This is a very rare, early example of a French Model 1907/15 straight pull military rifle produced by the MAS factory. It has a very low serial number "4" indicating it was probably one of the first test or prototype rifle manufactured. This model is patterned somewhat after the original Model 1902 and 1907 rifles but in a manual, straight pull type design vs. a bolt action design. They were only produced for a very short time and then France developed the Model 1917 semi-automatic rifles. The left side of the receiver is engraved "MA. S. 1907," followed by No. 4". It has a very long 31 inch barrel with a fully machined action and internal parts with a machined sliding action cover. The rifle is loaded through the top of the receiver via a stripper clip. The interesting aspect is that it has a non-rotating bolt head that is pinned into a bolt carrier. There is a set of spring loaded, opposing locking lugs, mounted on the side of the bolt head. There is also a matching set of spring loaded locking lugs mounted in the receiver/barrel extension. When the rifle is fired, the complete bolt/bolt carrier and barrel slide rearward approximately 4 inches (which is why the barrel is so long) and when the bolt carrier/bolt locks into the rear of the receiver, the barrel is released and slides forward. Then, when the bolt carrier is released, it (along with the bolt) moves forward, stripes a round from the magazine and chambers it in the barrel. During this forward movement, the locking lugs in the bolt head actually retract inward, and the locking lugs in the receiver move outward which allows the blot to lock in place in the rear of the barrel. A very unique design that was probably very complicated to manufacture, explaining why you don't see very many of these rifles. It has a fixed front sight and a military style tangent rear sight mounted on top of the receiver. The graduations for the rear sight are actually marked on top of the receiver ring on the left side. It has a full length one piece stock and handguard. The right rear side of the buttstock is stamped with single "Crown/R" proof over a circular cartouche from the MAS factory. The cartouche is stamped "MA" in the center surrounded by "MA/G/S.A" and dated "1907" at the bottom. Below that cartouche is serial number "4".
Very good with 75% of the original blue finish overall with edge and high spot wear and some light cycling wear in the bolt area. The bolt carrier and bolt head are still in their original in the white finish, now patinated. The stock and handguard are both in fair condition with a nice matching color overall showing numerous light pressure dents and dings on the side of the stock and forend area. The right side of the lower stock area, ( which covers the sides of the magazine box) shows chunks of wood missing along both sides, and there is an old duffle bag cut directly in front of the lower barrel band. A very interesting and certainly rare French prototype rifle.
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