FN-49, SAFN-1949

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shastaboat posted this 01 May 2018

Whether 7x57, 8x57, 30-06 or 7.62x51; has anyone ever shot cast in a FN-49?

Because I said so!

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Larry Gibson posted this 01 May 2018

Back in the late 60s, early 70s I had a very nice FN49 in 30-06.  I SHOT a lot of 311284s, 311291s and 311299s out of it.

Concealment is not cover.........

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shastaboat posted this 01 May 2018

How was the accuracy with cast?  Do you remember if cycling was a problem and what powders did you use?

 

 

Because I said so!

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Larry Gibson posted this 01 May 2018

The FN-49 had an excellent barrel, almost new.  I've always regretted trading that rifle off.  I had only been loading cast bullets in the 30-30 and the FN-49 30-06 was the 2nd rifle I loaded cast in.  I started with the 311291 using milsurp 4895 (local sporting good store still had a barrel full and sold it by the pound in paper sacks for 95 cents) and initially got very poor accuracy.  I was using jacketed load data and was probably pushing them at 2300+ fps with my start loads.  All the expert advise back then was that the cast bullets were "stripping" in the rifling and weren't stable.  The bullet holes at 100 yards were still nice and round even with very bad accuracy so I wondered how they weren't stabilized....but what the hey, the experts were the experts..... found out some years later the real cause for the inaccuracy but that is another story......

Anyways I started backing off on the powder charge and found 30 - 34 gr gave good accuracy with the bullets mentioned.  Cycling was not a problem as the gas system is adjustable.  Taking off the handguard allowed access to the adjustment.  It was simple to fine tune it so the brass was just ejected with 100% reliable cycling. 

Initially there was vertical stringing of the groups at 100 yards; the 10 shot groups (that's what the mag held) ran 2 to 2 1/2" wide by 4 to 5" vertical.  Back then I was using Javelina lube and the wax paper around the lube stick said to send it in with a quarter for some "Dacron" to use as a wad to alleviate vertical stringing.  That's when I started using Dacron.  With the Dacron the vertical stringing stopped and accuracy ran 2 - 3"  groups at 100 yards with 10 shots.  Might have been better if I had been using the Dacron as a filler instead of a wad. 

I also tried surplus 4831 (same store, another barrel same 95 cents a pound) but it did not shoot as accurately as the 4895 loads. BTW; I had access to a lot of linotype and WWs back then so I mixed it 50/50 because I didn't know any better then. I was using Javelina lube, Lyman GCs and sizing .309.  Never had any problem with leading. 

The FN-49 shot 1 1/2 t0 2" moa accuracy with LC M72 Match.  It was a very accurate rifle, especially for a semi-auto.  It out shot M1s and was on par with most match M1s.  But alas it could not be used for our local NMC matches as a service rifle so I traded it off for a M1903........

LMG 

Concealment is not cover.........

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shastaboat posted this 02 May 2018

Excellent report!  Since it was a military service rifle, why could you not use it in your local NMC matches?

Because I said so!

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 May 2018

Only US Service rifles as in the rules were allowed. Could have shot Match Rifle with ti bit it wasn't competitive by any stretch. Could have used it in local milsrp matches but I was more interested in competition at the time so it got traded......regretfully.... LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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shastaboat posted this 02 May 2018

I thought any military weapon could be used including Mausers, Arisakas, Swiss, etc...

Because I said so!

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Larry Gibson posted this 03 May 2018

They can now if the match has enough shooters for a foreign military rifle class by the rules. If not enough shooters you shoot in Match Rifle class.  Back when I had the FN-49 all they shot was Service Rifle and Match Rifle.....

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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John Alexander posted this 03 May 2018

Larry,

I know you have been shooting in Phoenix and don't know what rules they use there. I am pretty sure that they don't shoot by CBA military rules. Registered CBA matches all allow foreign rifles - no special foreign classes.

There is nothing in the CBA military rifle rules that says the the rifles have to be American. Lots of  matches have been won by Swiss, Mausers from several countries, and such.

The key rule says -"Any military service rifle issued to any nation and legally sold as surplus in the US"  There are some classes that allow different iron sights, scopes,stocks, etc. but the statement above applies to all. This has been the rule since military rifle was approved as an official CBA category.

Our matches may sometimes look like they are all US rifles but that is because the Springfield 03A3 has the best sights.

John

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Larry Gibson posted this 03 May 2018

John

 

You misunderstand; my 1st post states; "Back in the late 60s, early 70s I had a very nice FN49 in 30-06.  I SHOT a lot of 311284s, 311291s and 311299s out of it."  My 2nd post states; "But alas it could not be used for our local NMC matches as a service rifle so I traded it off for a M1903........"

I had the rifle in '69 through '71 if I remember correctly.  I was talking about shooting NRA service rifle National Match Course (NMC) back in '69 - '71 time frame.  No idea of CBA matches back then (47 - 48 years ago).......were there any?  There weren't any at the range I shot at.  I traded the FN-49 off in '71 for a SA M1903 and a Winchester M1917. wish I still had all three......frown

We do shoot military rifle matches in Phoenix according to CBA rules.  I've won numerous matches including the AZ state match the last 2 years using a Finn MN M39 so I'm well aware of CBA rules.

Hope this clears up the misunderstanding.

 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 03 May 2018

Many years ago I also had an SAFN .30-'06 and regret to this day ever selling it, like Larry said, a less fussy, more accurate cast bullet rifle than the Garand.  Although once you figure the M1 out it is capable of good accuracy and reliable functioning with proper loads.  About 36 grains of either 4895, 4074, RL15 or Varget with the Dacron filler is a good place to start.  A CMP rebuild with new springs which operates stiffly might need as much as 40 grains, mine did until it had been run a bit, but it now runs an HM2 31-160-5 bullet and 38 grs. of 4064, or #31q299 with 36 grs. with better accuracy than HXP Ball M2 from the CMP.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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shastaboat posted this 03 May 2018

Lot's of good responses here.  Since I ordered 3 new 8x57 barrels for the FN-49 at a very good price.  I'm not saying where from.  Anyway I'm primarily looking for a FN-49 on that caliber because I plan to rebarrel.  I haven't found a source for any other caliber barrel for the FN-49.  I do have a lead on a pristine Venezuela 7x57 that I've been assured would not have to be rebarreled.   The Egyptian FN-49's probably fired a lot of corrosive ammo.

Because I said so!

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bushranch posted this 04 May 2018

Bit off topic but it does remind me of Sweden"s Ljungman Ag 42 in 6.5 . These rifles were easily found in Canada in the early 1970's . I had one for a while and is reminded me of a cross between the Canadian FN and a 99 Savage. 

The question now would be does any on shoot cast in this rifle ? I am now thinking it may have worked pretty well. 

 

 

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shastaboat posted this 04 May 2018

Things sometimes happen fast.  Looks like I'll be trading an average M1 Carbine that has been sitting in my safe for at least 10 years including several hundred rounds, bayonet, (7) 15 rnd mags and (2) 30 rnd mags, set of dies; straight across for a decent Egyptian FB-49 in 8x57.  I'm satisfied and so is the other trader.  Now to get stuff shipped.  Darn ammo has to go UPS too. 

Because I said so!

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John Alexander posted this 04 May 2018

Larry says: "You misunderstand"

You are right.  I apologize.

John

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45 2.1 posted this 04 May 2018

Bit off topic but it does remind me of Sweden"s Ljungman Ag 42 in 6.5 . These rifles were easily found in Canada in the early 1970's . I had one for a while and is reminded me of a cross between the Canadian FN and a 99 Savage. 

The question now would be does any on shoot cast in this rifle ? I am now thinking it may have worked pretty well. 

I did, well over thirty years ago. It did quite well at velocity. An added benefit was the rear sight was changeable from the round nose to spitzer ammo trajectories available for the rifle (the RN drum worked well for cast). The only problem with the rifle, besides finding cases to load, was that it tossed fired cases forty-five to fifty feet away and put a dent in the sidewall of the case. It had a violent action also....... don't get your fingers in the way or you got worse than a Garand thumb.

 

 

 

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shastaboat posted this 18 May 2018

Well, lots has happened.  I finally received the Egyptian FN-49 and have been getting familiar with field stripping, cleaning, adjusting the gas system, etc...regardless of what the prior owner said I found the barrel to be somewhat lacking.  So I've had it for one week and yesterday I tore it down, pulled the barrel, parkerized the action, bolt and action cover.  Then installed one of the brand new barrels; 8x57.  Reassembled the rifle.  I'm impressed with this rifle design.  Even though these are brand new Belgium manufactured barrels I acquired, they certainly are not match quality.  I'm probably going to fire lap this one as I continue to develop cast loads for it. I tried some prior cast loads I developed for my 98's.  20 gr of Blue Dot and a 176 gr Lee cycled the action with the gas bleed system completely closed.  27 gr of 2400 cycled at 4 turns open and 35 gr of H335 cycled at 8 turns completely open.  I didn't chrono these loads out of the 23" barrel but based on prior 98 shooting sessions all loads should have been in the 1800-2200 fps range.  One thing I found that this new barrel only has about .100" leade or freebore where my bolt guns are all over .200".  I have 40+ lbs of H335 so I'm going to work with this powder to develop a load that will cycle the rifle with closed down gas system.  First load at 30 gr with the LEE 8mm bullet cast in WW.

My first shooting session wasn't as accurate as I had hoped.  4-6" at 50 yards and not printing to point of aim.  Rear site needs to be adjusted right.  Elevation was at lowest setting and at least I was on target enough to print paper.

Would like to hear from others who have developed cast loads for any caliber FN-49.  I won a 7x57 Venezuelan yesterday so will be receiving that one in a couple of weeks.  Wish I could find a new barrel for 7x57.

Because I said so!

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shastaboat posted this 30 May 2018

So, I've been camping in Northern Nevada for the last 8 days and shot a bunch of ground squirrels with 55 gr cast Lee in .223 bolt rifles.  The squirrel shooting will get 1000% better in a few weeks when the alfalfa growers cut and bale their first cutting.  It sure is fun turning  ground squirrels into a flying squirrels.

Anyway the 2nd FN-49 I have coming from Missouri in 7x57 should be here by Thursday.  If anyone knows of a source for new FN-49 barrels in 7x57, I sure like to get that info.  I wonder about boring and relining an worn out 8x57 barrel to 7x57.

Because I said so!

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shastaboat posted this 20 June 2018

I'm back to working on 8x57 cast loads in the Egyptian FN49.  I found H335 to be just too dirty and slow to accurately seal the case to the bore when fired and lots of soot residue.  I'm now working with 22 gr of 2400 which shows promise and seals well. 

I also installed a S&K scope mount base on the Egyptian FN49 that replaces the bolt cover.  I just can't see those open peep sights well enough anymore.  I had a brief range session to just sight the Redfield 2x7 scope at 25 yards and need to get back out and set up the chono and adjust the gas system to function semi-auto.  Then I'll start doing some 50 yard and 100 yard testing. 

I had loaded 100 rounds of 8x57 with the LEE 175 gr bullet and 30 gr of H335.  I was going to look at pulling the bullets on those but decided to try them in one of my 8x57 Mauser bolt sporter rifles for jack rabbits.  Went out last evening and blasted a few and in the bolt gun I did not get the severe gas soot as the FN49.  Guess I'll just shoot them up at rabbits in the bolt gun.  Lesson learned on loading up a bunch with out adequate testing.

 

Because I said so!

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