Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3613: Documented Vietnam War Trophy French MAS 1936 Bolt Action Rifle

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

French MAS Model 1936 Bolt Action Rifle with Bayonet, Documented Vietnam War Trophy

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,000 - $3,000

French MAS Model 1936 Bolt Action Rifle with Bayonet, Documented Vietnam War Trophy

Manufacturer: MAS
Model: 1936
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 7.5 mm French
Barrel: 23 inch round
Finish: matte gray phosphate
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 789
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 305
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Developed at St. Etienne prior to the outbreak of World War II, the MAS 1936 was a main-line French infantry rifle during the early years of the Cold War, and continued on in colonial service well into the 1960s. These rifles saw active use during the First Indochina War, with many falling into Vietnamese hands during the conflict. According to the included war trophy registration paperwork (which identifies the rifle by serial number, but lists it as a "French Mausser(sic)" and gives the caliber as "9mm" due to counter-boring of the muzzle) and temporary export permit, this rifle was claimed by a 1st Lieutenant Roger C. Bultman of the 199th Infantry Brigade in April of 1968 at the Long Binh station in South Vietnam. The date falls after the first phase of the Tet Offensive, where the 199th was called upon to defend Long Binh from an assault by the 275th Regiment of the VC, and also saw action in Saigon and Cholon; while not explicitly documented, it may have been taken as a trophy during the Tet Offensive. Online records confirm a Roger C. Bultman with the 199th, with a final rank of Brigadier General and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (+1 oak leaf), and the Vietnam Service Medal (+8 campaign stars). Hooded blade front and peep rear sights, with standard receiver markings, a spike bayonet slotted into the forearm, and a brown leather sling. The bolt, floorplate and trigger guard are mixed numbered, but the forearm and buttstock are a numbered match for the rifle.

Rating Definition:

Very good, with 50% of the matte gray finish, showing scattered spotting, areas of gray patina, and handling marks. Heavier corrosion is visible on the bayonet and buttplate. A short hairline crack is present on the wrist, with a larger split in the underside of the forearm and scattered dings and dents overall. Mechanically fine.

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