The MAS-38, France’s First Great Submachine Gun.

by Daniel Russ on August 22, 2017

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In the early 1930s France needed a new sub machine gun to modernize its army. . It manufactured the Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS) developed the Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS Modèle 38. Trials for the test weapon went very well and the gun was  adopted in 1938 only months before Germany invaded Poland. This open bolt blow back design was fed from a 32 round magazine of doubled stacked 7.62mm pistol ammunition . 

The angle of the stock made it easier to aim and this gave the sub machine gun an odd look. Unlike so many high powered sub machine guns, the low powered pistol round Andy it’s relatively slow 600 rpm fire rate made it easy to control and aim.

The gun was used for the duration of the war by both the Free French, the Vichy French and Germany. Smuggled and captured MAS 38s were used by Italian partisans and by the Viet Minh.



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