Quite a few years ago I sold all of my military rifles to fund something (maybe the mortgage) and I was left with loads of brass and bullets for various calibres but one I missed most of all and I decided to retain it as an option on my Firearms Certificate.
I missed not the rifle (for that was an ugly French girl) but the cartridge the M1929 7.5 French for the MAS 1936. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAS-36_rifle
Actually the rifle was fun even if the trigger pull was measured in days and not pounds and the best sight picture meant a bruised check or nose from your thumb.
The cartridge was what I felt was missing from my life https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.5%C3%9754mm_French
The cartridge was never developed after acceptance, it was a steady eddy performer right up until it was phased out. Does that mean it was right first time?
Who knows, looking at what could have happened if WW2 had been later in starting the cartridge may have been more widely accepted.
In the spirit of Rigby I decided that the cartridge could be anglicised. I had after all originally had to make brass by necking up the 6.5 x 55 Swedish Brass and it was a good performer in the military chambers.
I felt that we needed to be honest and rather than Anglicise the round just stating what it was made from: a .30 calibre bullet from a 55mm Mauser case.
Thus was born the .30 x 55 or 7.62 x 55.
One of many of the dramas was the reamer. The suppliers in the US failed to use the measurements provided and subsequently any left over brass from my MAS is too fat for the tight chamber.
This meant fire forming 6.5 x 55 Swedish Factory ammo to get the cases right. This means we have mainly used PPU brass as they are the cheapest for the quality of case makers of this round.
Way back in the mid 1990's when I was loading for the MAS 36 managed to get a 148 grain NATO bullet to do 2700 fps using 48 grains of IMR 4895. This was easily on par with the much later 7.62 x 51mm Nato round.
At about the same time the 155 grain Palma bullet was accepted for .308 (I'm going to irritate the cousins as the cartridge is the same, its the loadings that may differ) but when this was being issued to the Military teams some of us were already hand loading 220 grain bullets to stay supersonic at 1000 yards.
As can be expected the Palma match ammo lasted a while before being superseded by 168 grain which seems to be the current load of favour.
Do keep up the Military you are still so last week.
My point has been what would have happened if the M1929 C cartridge had been developed, would it have been a heavier loading and would it still be used in sniping and machine guns?
As for Mr Rigby and his anglicising of the 7x57 Mauser into a 140 grain bullet loaded .275 seemed to have worked. He didn't use the same Mauser action as the 7x57 which was an earlier one so I feel happy by not attempting to source a MAS 36 action for this.
The Remington 700 has become the action of its time, it is the Mauser 98 of this era. A big plus is the BATF don't want to ban its import and its well known by most gunsmiths.
As with Mr Rigby I felt that the original loading isn't what I want, I am still unsure of what that is and as I type the round is still being developed. I have only managed one short testing session so far.
The results are interesting and using my standard load that usually produces 2700 fps the tighter chamber has pushed the same load up to 2900 fps delivering 2780 foot pounds of energy. A lighter bullet of 130 grains with the same powder amount delivers 2960 fps and 2878 foot pounds of energy.
This is more than enough for any game animal on this Island and possibly enough in Europe too.
There is plenty of work still to be done but effectively it is a superb pig or deer cartridge.
Going forward I will be loading it up to 168 grains and beyond. Fitted with the 8x56 Schmidt and Bender it should reach out and touch those I am aiming at!
More details and pictures to follow