The FR F1 (French: Fusil à Répétition modèle F1) is a French bolt-action sniper rifle produced from 1966 to 1980 by various state owned French arsenals. Based on the prototype FR-P sniper rifles, the FR F1 was the main sniper rifle used in French service from 1966 to 1989.
Designed in 1964 on the instruction of General Charles Ailleret to create a new precision rifle for the army, the Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne was tasked to create a rifle that would fit these needs. Taking advice from competition shooters, the FR F1 was conceived in 1966 after being developed from the FR-P series of rifles.
The rifles were adopted by the French Army in 1966 to replace scoped MAS-36s and 49/56s; these were used until 1989 when they were replaced by the FR F2, while some FR F1s were upgraded to F2 standard.
The FR F1 is a sniper rifle based on the proven MAS-36 action. It has a padded cheekrest and an adjustable buttstock using a spacer system. The weapon has a muzzle brake with long threading and a locking nut; this would theoretically modify the vibratory resonance of the barrel. The venting holes of the muzzle brake are lined up with the grooves of the bore to prevent the vented gases from being obstructed by the muzzle brake cage; this is supposed to help increase accuracy somewhat. The FR F1 is a cock-on-close weapon; when the bolt closes, it cams forward, moving the helical locking lugs forward. If the system is tuned properly, perfect contact can theoretically be achieved between the chamber and the case neck while the rim rests on the bolt head.
The FR F1 has a thicker bridge near the top of the receiver and a lengthened receiver to solve problems with the original MAS-36 system. The FR F1 is fitted with an APX L806 optic and also has a free-floating barrel.
The FR F1 appears to have three variants.
- Version A
Sniper rifle variant with folding and telescoping bipod and a APX 806 L optic.
- Version B
Competition rifle variant which lacks a bipod and has other features to optimize it for the competition shooter.
- Version C
Prototype version meant to be marketed to civilians.