The MAT-49 was developed by France after World War Two to satisfy the need for a more modern submachine gun to replace the MAS-38. The military had come around to standardizing on the 9x19mm cartridge for its pistols and subguns, and the 7.65mm MAS-38 was not feasible to convert. All three state arsenals and the Hotchkiss company submitted designs, and the Tulle arsenal won out with a gun that borrows substantially from the American M3 “Grease Gun”.
About 700,000 MAT-49s were produced between 1949 and 1979, when it (along with the MAS 49/56 rifle) was replaced by the FAMAS bullpup rifle. During that time it saw substantial combat in France’s colonial wars, notable Algeria and Indochina. Despite being a relatively heavy weapon, it came to be well liked by all who used it for its durability and reliability.
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