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BarryinIN

FAMAS on GB

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Not long before the 1989 AWB, Century brought in a few FAMAS rifles. I've heard numbers from 20 to 200. All I know is they seldom come up for sale, and bring a lot when they do.

The FAMAS is an odd rifle. It's a sort of a delayed blowback that uses leverage to lock the bolt. I wouldn't buy one for $500 but I would like to borrow one for a weekend to look over.

If there is anybody out there wanting to buy one, there is one on Gunbroker right now.

I'll save you the trouble of looking- it's got two bids and is up to 6,000 now, and hasn't hit the reserve.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=309735713#PIC

If anyone here should buy it, can I borrow it for a day or two to look inside?

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I wish I could view the link but it's blocked here at work.

I assume it's the MAS.223 that Century imported back in the day. I've wanted one of these for many years but could never come up with the $15,000 to buy one (that's what the last one on GB went for). I'm sure that the reserve is well over $10,000 on that rifle. They are very rare, with only a couple hundred or less imported.

If you want to see the insides... do a search for Buddy Hinton collection or Buddy Hinton Famas pictures. He's got the largest single collection of Famas photos, including the MAS .223

Edit:

Looks like I was incorrect about the last MAS .223 sale price. I guess there was another more recent one that reportedly sold for over $25,000. Ouch.

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Yep, the one Century called the MAS .223. I didn't use "MAS" in the title because when I see or hear " MAS", I think "MAS 36" or maybe 49/56 and figured few would know I meant the bugle rifle.

Since posting the link, I've found another that sold last spring on Gunsamerica that sold for $13k as I recall, plus another forum where someone said they had one and sold it last year for $12k. Point being, the bidding (which stands at 7600 last I checked) may not have even seriously begun.

The reason this auction caught my attention was because I had recently read a piece on the FAMAS by a French soldier. The comments following his writing dispute some things, but it does paint an ugly picture of life in the French army.

If interested:

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/...he-famas-rifle/

Although curious about it mechanically, I had little interest in owning one (even at $1000) but I heard something recently that I had not considered. I was in an AUG/bullpup lecture recently and the instructor was talking about the merits and drawbacks (actual and perceived) to bullpups. In this, he talked about bullpup use by some of the various troops he had worked with in his duties in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The thing that made me think was him saying we may never know how good or bad the FAMAS is (or was, if it gets replaced soon as some think likely) because of the French army mindset. Everything is kept ready for inspection as if Charles DeGaulle is coming any minute, instead of ready to go to war. White cotton slings and absolutely bone dry of lube is their ready status, even in combat zones. It's hard to break them of it.

So while I have no love for them, when I hear of FAMAS problems now, I am going to wonder how much of the cause was from poor design and how much was from never seeing a drop of oil in its life.

And since nobody else uses them and never will, plus there is essentially none in private use being ran through training courses to provide data, we may never know.

We might have had more useful data on the AK47's first ten years behind the Iron Curtain than we do on the FAMAS after 35 years of service.

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Just under six days to go. Five bids. $8501. Reserve not met.

I am actually starting to get tempted. I'd have to shoot it, and not just a little, so the lack of parts- any parts- would scare me to death. I can get parts for my Johnson rifle, even if they are made new, but a FAMAS...

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Nothing major, but I've had to replace springs and several small parts like extractors on a few types. More on older ones like Garands, but I accept that with 70 years of use by three generations or more. I've seen enough common and uncommon things fail in classes that I always take at least one spare rifle, and a bunch of parts.

None of these parts are expensive or hard to come by, but could be both with a FAMAS. I wouldn't be using a FAMAS in classes or shooting it for a season of 3-gun, but I would shoot it.

I seriously doubt I bid on it, but if it goes for say $10k, I will beat myself up about not trying.

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It ended at 9500. No sale; it didn't meet the reserve.

But all is not lost! It's listed again. The auction is six hours old and has topped the high bid from last time. Same high bidder. It sits at 10k right now.

Reserve still not met (But he says he lowered it!)

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=312087190

Any of you IL guys: it's in Gurnee. Think of what you might save in shipping costs!

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It was listed yet another time, got to $10K and stalled. No sale: Reserve not met. Listed again, pulled soon after.

But all is not lost! Again. One just showed up elsewhere from a seller in AZ. That's 1/60th or so of total imported that have become available recently. Flooded the market.

This is not an auction, so you won't be inconvenienced by having to wait for that process. Just send the $12,000 now.

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/semi4sale.cgi?read=252883

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