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The MAS AP Modèle 61 was a prototype French battle rifle designed in 1961 and produced in very small numbers in prototype form only by the Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne. One of a number of automatic weapon prototypes designed by MAS during the 1950s and 1960s, the AP 61 was an unsuccessful attempt at replacing the MAS 49 in service.

History[]

The AP 61 was one of a number of automatic weapon prototypes designed by engineers at MAS as a potential weapon to replace the MAS-49 rifle in service; it was felt that there was a need for the French to standardize their weapons with the then-newly introduced 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge, and to reduce or avoid reliance on other countries for equipment the weapon had to be of French manufacture.[1]

The weapon was never actually submitted to military trials. While the rifle's attempt at replacing the MAS 49 was without success, the work done on the AP 61 eventually culminated in the design of the FA-MAS Type 62.[2] The AP 61 was one of the last automatic weapon prototypes MAS designed around the time.

Design Details[]

The AP 61's action was heavily based on the MAS 49, being gas-operated with a tilting bolt. The AP 61's charging handle was on the left of the receiver.[1]

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