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The FA-MAS Type 62 (French: Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne Type 62) was a prototype French battle rifle designed in 1962 and produced in extremely limited numbers for trials in 1962 by the Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne. A competitor against the FN FAL for adoption, the Type 62 was the culmination of ten years' worth of work by MAS engineers in designing an automatic weapon.


The Type 62 was the last of many automatic rifle designs by the Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne, with the first designs for an automatic rifle appearing when the MAS 49-56 was first adopted. The Type 62 was finished in July 1962 and accepted for formal trials by the French Army.[1]

For these trials, MAS manufactured sixty rifles and sent them for testing at the Section Technique de l'Armée de Terre (lit. "technical section of the army") and at the Bourges Proving Grounds, alongside the competing FN FAL. Along with being tested at these grounds, some five platoons were also issued the Type 62 for troop trials alongside the FN FAL.[1]

Both the FAL and Type 62 were considered serviceable weapons, although the FAL was preferred by the troops due to its better handling, accuracy and trigger response, while the Type 62 was regarded as more complex and less accurate. With the trials over, the French Army's general staff provisionally selected the FAL; however, later discussions led to the staff considering the adoption of the Heckler & Koch G3 instead as it would be a cheaper investment in the long run.[1]

Come 1964, however, the United States had adopted the then-new 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge for use in their new rifles. At that time, France had yet to adopt the new cartridge; eventually, it was decided to abandon development of the Type 62 project as other military projects needed attention. MAS would then begin designing a rifle for the new 5.56mm cartridge; this would become the FAMAS, which would become the standard French service rifle in the early 1980s.[1]

Design Details[]

The FA-MAS Type 62 was a gas-operated design using a tilting bolt, quite like that of an FN FAL although its action was derived from that of the MAS 49. The weapon featured a mixture of plastic and wooden furniture and a complex sighting system consisting of drum sights, battle peep sights, nighttime optics and rifle grenade-launching sights. Optics can be mounted on a dedicated rail mount on the top of the receiver.[1]