Egyptian FN-49 sniper rifle (late variant)
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Thread: Egyptian FN-49 sniper rifle (late variant)

  1. #1
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    Default Egyptian FN-49 sniper rifle (late variant)

    I picked this rifle up a while ago... Didn't get around to taking it apart and doing a deep cleaning until recently. Shame on me...

    Needless to say it's a very, very rare rifle. Only around 30 imported into the US. 30 imported by Navy Arms in 1986 and at least one by Century Arms (unknown if more, but only one has been documented.) Interestingly my rifle has no importer markings, which is consistent with other Navy Arms imported Egyptian sniper rifles. So I have to assume my rifle was a Navy Arms import. For some reason they were never marked...

    No other imports to any other countries are know to have happened, and there are no other Egyptian sniper rifles know to be in private collections in any other countries.

    The rifle is in excellent condition, with the metal in almost as new condition. The wood has some dings and gouges, as has been found with the other Egyptian sniper rifles. This appears to be due to poor packing for importation into the US and not due to use.

    This rifle is like new inside with almost no wear on any parts and little carbon on the face of the gas piston. The breech face is as new.

    It is the highest known serial number of the late variant Egyptian sniper rifles in the US. It's serial number is 35364. It's serial number is inscribed in Arabic-language numerals as well as "English" numerals on the receiver.

    The scope is a Meopta 2.5x6P which has Arabic language numerals on it's elevation turret and can be adjusted out to 1,100 meters. It is calibrated for Egyptian 7.92 Mauser Ammo. Each scope has a Meopta serial number. This scope is numbered 0592. These numbers are not related to the serial number of the rifle. The Egyptians did engrave the rifle's serial number in Arabic language numerals on the top of the scope tube. This Meopta scope has the rifles serial number engraved into it in Arabic.

    The Meopta 2.5x6P scopes had to be substantially modified by the Egyptians to work with the Echo mounts and the OIP made 1955 scope bases.

    The Meopta scopes originally had a angular mount cast into the bottom of the scope body for use on the Czech vz54 sniper rifle. This mount had to be milled off and the scopes extension tube elongated in order to be held by the Echo mount and to allow for proper eye relief.

    This rifle has the proper OIP made 1955 side base with it's two tension screws. The OIP bases have their own serial numbers, but like the Meopta scopes have no correlation to the rifles serial number. The base on this rifle is numbered "855" in Arabic language numerals.

    The rifle uses the standard "large ring" ECHO made mount found on all the other FN-49 sniper rifles.

    All of the Egyptian sniper rifles were converted into sniper rifles in Egypt, not by FN in Belgium. The Egyptians installed the FN made muzzle brakes as well as the right handed wooden cheek piece. They also contracted for and installed the OIP bases.

    It is unknown who modified the Meopta scopes. But the Egyptians did the assembly.

    It is believed that the Egyptians only assembled around 100 or so of these sniper rifles.

    I owe a great thanks to the Wayne Johnson who is the author of the book titled "The FN-49 The last Elegant Old-world Military Rifle". Wayne helped me confirm the legitimacy of my rifle.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about these wonderful rifles, Wayne just this last year published a second edition of his book. Anyone who enjoys a good read should buy a copy.
    https://www.wetdogstore.com/FN-49-La...981397-1-5.htm

    Anyway here are some pics.

























    Last edited by JIMMY C; 05-14-2020 at 07:29 PM.
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  2. #2
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    More pic's.





















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  3. #3
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    A very nifty rifle Jim! And, in better condition than mine . Great pics too !!
    Read a good book lately?
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    Beautiful! Thanks for posting!
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  6. #5
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    A very nice rifle! Congratulations to owning it. The pristine condidition these usually turn up compared to the condition other Egyptian FN rifles turn up makes me wonder if they ever saw any service at all.

    Two minor details to things you mention:
    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMY C View Post
    The Egyptians did engrave the rifle's serial number in Arabic language numerals on the top of the scope tube.
    To be precise: they sleeved the scope at the front end and on this sleeve they added arabic letters (as you later also explain). This however is NOT the scope tube as you wrote.
    Anyway, most important is that the scopes seem to be Vz.54 scopes which were adopted to work on the Echo mount and FN rifle. Since whoever made the extension tubes (I assume not Meopta, otherwise they would had made the scopes without the rails on bottom and with the already extended tube or a different solution. After all this limits the amount of light entering the objective) anyway marked them in Arabic, the same person would most likely also replaced the elevation markings with ones in Arabic.

    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMY C View Post
    This rifle has the rifles serial number engrave into it in Arabic.
    I assume this was a typo .. you mean the scope has the rifle serial engraved? Otherwise it would be ... well. Self-fullfilling.

    If you can and are willing, please take the scope out of the mount. I really wonder if the extended tube was soldered or affixed to the scope in any way. It almost looks as if it was not secured in any way and is held between the two rings with smaller diameter of the tube where the rings are located.

  7. #6
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    Now that is a cool rifle. I have not seen one except in books. Thank you for sharing.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFromSheffield View Post
    To be precise: they sleeved the scope at the front end and on this sleeve they added arabic letters (as you later also explain). This however is NOT the scope tube as you wrote.
    Anyway, most important is that the scopes seem to be Vz.54 scopes which were adopted to work on the Echo mount and FN rifle. Since whoever made the extension tubes (I assume not Meopta, otherwise they would had made the scopes without the rails on bottom and with the already extended tube or a different solution. After all this limits the amount of light entering the objective) anyway marked them in Arabic, the same person would most likely also replaced the elevation markings with ones in Arabic.
    Yes, indeed the Arabic numerals representing the rifle serial number were applied to the added sleeve, not to the original scope tube. However, it is not believed that these scopes were ever Vz.54 scopes but rather were purchased by Egypt from Meopta with the rail mount and with Arabic range markings and the elevation settings calibrated for the Egyptian issue 7.92 Mauser cartridge rather than the 7.62x54 cartridge used by the Vz.54. These scopes were originally used on the "Early-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle using the scopes original rail (on the bottom of the tube) and some sort of side mount (probably a similar mounting set-up to a Vz.54). Later, the scopes were re-purposed/modified to be used in the Echo mount on the "Late-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFromSheffield View Post
    If you can and are willing, please take the scope out of the mount. I really wonder if the extended tube was soldered or affixed to the scope in any way. It almost looks as if it was not secured in any way and is held between the two rings with smaller diameter of the tube where the rings are located.
    I have had my scope out of the Echo mount and the sleeve is tight/solid on the original scope tube. Can't say how the sleeve was secured to the scope (adhesive, interference fit [heating the sleeve], other ?) but one doesn't experiment with an unobtanium and $$$ scope to find out.

    If you are interested in this topic, I have about 3,000 words and 12 photographs of coverage of the Egyptian sniper rifles and Meopta scopes in the second edition of my book.
    Last edited by Goose52; 05-14-2020 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Addressed question about the scope sleeve
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFromSheffield View Post
    A very nice rifle! Congratulations to owning it. The pristine condidition these usually turn up compared to the condition other Egyptian FN rifles turn up makes me wonder if they ever saw any service at all.

    Two minor details to things you mention:

    To be precise: they sleeved the scope at the front end and on this sleeve they added arabic letters (as you later also explain). This however is NOT the scope tube as you wrote.
    Anyway, most important is that the scopes seem to be Vz.54 scopes which were adopted to work on the Echo mount and FN rifle. Since whoever made the extension tubes (I assume not Meopta, otherwise they would had made the scopes without the rails on bottom and with the already extended tube or a different solution. After all this limits the amount of light entering the objective) anyway marked them in Arabic, the same person would most likely also replaced the elevation markings with ones in Arabic.


    I assume this was a typo .. you mean the scope has the rifle serial engraved? Otherwise it would be ... well. Self-fullfilling.

    If you can and are willing, please take the scope out of the mount. I really wonder if the extended tube was soldered or affixed to the scope in any way. It almost looks as if it was not secured in any way and is held between the two rings with smaller diameter of the tube where the rings are located.
    Thanks for the corrections. Goose pretty much answered to question as to the the extended scope tube.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
    These scopes were originally used on the "Early-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle using the scopes original rail (on the bottom of the tube) and some sort of side mount (probably a similar mounting set-up to a Vz.54). Later, the scopes were re-purposed/modified to be used in the Echo mount on the "Late-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle.
    Would you mind letting me know what (rifle?) these scopes were originally used/intended for? I'm not aware of another Egyptian sniper rifle using this scope and would be highly interested to find out! My Czech made Mosin Nagant sniper (with PU scope base) rifle that I originally had thought would had been Egyptian seems to originate from Saudi Arabia, at least according to the scope base inscription. And given the PU base it would not fit the Vz.54 scope [rail] anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
    I have had my scope out of the Echo mount and the sleeve is tight/solid on the original scope tube. Can't say how the sleeve was secured to the scope (adhesive, interference fit [heating the sleeve], other ?) but one doesn't experiment with an unobtanium and $$$ scope to find out.
    Thank you for this information, that is what I was looking to hear upon! Of course the sleeve would not be loose and nearly falling off, but you are correct in not playing around with them. I was just wondering if solder or adhesive might be visible. The cut at the very rear makes one believe it was really only pressure fitted.
    One thing you did not address, are the areas where the scope rings are located of a smaller diameter so that the scope rings can anyway only be placed in the correct position. Are you able to tell me on this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
    If you are interested in this topic, I have about 3,000 words and 12 photographs of coverage of the Egyptian sniper rifles and Meopta scopes in the second edition of my book.
    I've been looking for your book at several gun shows over here in Europe, but have not found one yet. The shipping costs for a single book are extremely high and I had not given up the hope to find one for sale. Other books from the same publisher can be found, so I hope the same for your book.

  11. #10
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    Wow - that's really nice! Thanks

  12. #11
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    Comments below in RED:

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFromSheffield View Post
    Would you mind letting me know what (rifle?) these scopes were originally used/intended for? I'm not aware of another Egyptian sniper rifle using this scope and would be highly interested to find out! My Czech made Mosin Nagant sniper (with PU scope base) rifle that I originally had thought would had been Egyptian seems to originate from Saudi Arabia, at least according to the scope base inscription. And given the PU base it would not fit the Vz.54 scope [rail] anyway. Sorry - I have no other information about that Meopta scope model and other applications that it may have been used for.


    Thank you for this information, that is what I was looking to hear upon! Of course the sleeve would not be loose and nearly falling off, but you are correct in not playing around with them. I was just wondering if solder or adhesive might be visible. The cut at the very rear makes one believe it was really only pressure fitted.
    One thing you did not address, are the areas where the scope rings are located of a smaller diameter so that the scope rings can anyway only be placed in the correct position. Are you able to tell me on this? I do cover that reduced diameter of the extension tube - on page 237 of my book. The answer is simple - that extension tube was metric dimensioned and is about 26mm outside diameter - the tube had to be lathe turned down a bit to properly fit the 1 inch rings on the Echo mount.


    I've been looking for your book at several gun shows over here in Europe, but have not found one yet. The shipping costs for a single book are extremely high and I had not given up the hope to find one for sale. Other books from the same publisher can be found, so I hope the same for your book. You might want to consider emailing my publisher to inquire about any European or UK dealers that stock my book. www.fn49.com will get you to his web site where you will find his contact info.
    Read a good book lately?
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  13. #12
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    Since I‘m typing from my mobile only a short reply - how comes that you know of another Egyptian sniper rifle that has used this scope, if you don‘t have any information on it at all? Is this an assumption of yours?

    Thanks on the other information, I‘ll write to the publisher.

  14. #13
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    It's hard to believe this rifle is 70 years old this year...

    The below pic's are pic's of FN's proof marks indication the year of production. They are a "0" partially surrounded by what looks like a "box". The differing sides of the box, or lack of a side or two indicates which "trimester" of the year (what we would call quarter of a year) in which the part was made.

    The "0" indicates 1950 production.














    The hand guard has both a "9" indicating 1949 as well as a "0" indicating 1950 production... Don't have a clue why it has both year proofs...
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFromSheffield View Post
    Since Im typing from my mobile only a short reply - how comes that you know of another Egyptian sniper rifle that has used this scope, if you dont have any information on it at all? Is this an assumption of yours?

    Thanks on the other information, Ill write to the publisher.
    Please re-read post #7 where I talked about the two versions (Early- and Late-Variant) of the Egyptian sniper rifle. I have a photograph and several hundred words about the Early-variant sniper in my book. So, known applications of this model Meopta scope include two versions of the Egyptian FN-49 sniper and the Vz.54. Meopta may have sold this model scope for other applications but as I said I have no information on that...
    Read a good book lately?
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
    Please re-read post #7 where I talked about the two versions (Early- and Late-Variant) of the Egyptian sniper rifle. I have a photograph and several hundred words about the Early-variant sniper in my book. So, known applications of this model Meopta scope include two versions of the Egyptian FN-49 sniper and the Vz.54. Meopta may have sold this model scope for other applications but as I said I have no information on that...
    I have re-read your post #7 and I assume you were referring to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Goose52 View Post
    These scopes were originally used on the "Early-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle using the scopes original rail (on the bottom of the tube) and some sort of side mount (probably a similar mounting set-up to a Vz.54). Later, the scopes were re-purposed/modified to be used in the Echo mount on the "Late-variant" Egyptian sniper rifle
    To me it was unclear whether your terminology "Early-variant Egyptian Sniper Rifle" would refer to a FN-49 with a different scope mount, or to a totally different rifle (e.g. a bolt action sniper rifle) carrying this scope. In fact I really understood it might have referred to something else than a FN-49 carrying this scope. Therefore also my questions in this direction. While my user name might suggest something differently, it is really just a user name and neither I'm located in an English speaking country nor am I'm a native English speaker, therefore also maybe my confusion.

    Another member here by the way also pointed out an European retailer for your book which I've inquired to buy a copy of your book. Seems I might be getting one soon.

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