Are the French dumping the FAMAS?

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Rumors that the French military are considering dropping the FAMAS rifle have been spreading fast across the internet. The speculation arose from a post [English translation] at The Mammoth, a French milblog.

I asked Aurelien, an authority on the French military, what he thought of these rumors. I was surprised when he told me that the FAMAS has caused many problems.

The F1 model only works with the older M193 (55 grain) 5.56x45mm ammunition and it uses propriety magazines. The FAMAS G2 corrected these problems by modifying the rifle to work with STANAG (AR-15) magazines and the modern SS109 (62 grain) round. So far only the Navy has adopted the newer G2 model. The Army has to source M193 for the FAMAS and SS109 for the FN Minimi machine gun and to make matter worse, stocks of the old M193 are running low.

The French special forces, because of the lack of modularity of the FAMAS, have been using M4-style and Sig 5xx rifles for decades.

FAMAS G2. Photo from Wikipedia.

Aurelien says that while their have been talks of a replacement to the FAMAS, the FELIN program (the French equivalent of the Land Warrior program) still involves fielding an upgraded FAMAS G2.

I am sure I had always heard good things about the FAMAS. Admittedly from non-French sources. Talking to a locals always gets better quality information. Since running the blog I now have contacts all over the world.

Many thanks to Aurelien for taking the time to answer my questions.

Hat Tip: Eric @ LightFighter

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • mack

    Hi from France. The picture above is a Félin : a flat top Famas g2 prototype with a multimédia interface.

    Your article is correct, the rifle is not the problem but the ammo. So our sf has hk 416 (feu thousands).

    The worst is chat if the army changes it s.rifle all of famas will be destroyed and sold for the métal (like the mas36).

  • Sven Ortmann

    They had some initial producton quality problems as well, and the need to replace the old FAMAS model because of the ammo problem was often mentioned the last few years.

    So far it looked like they are going for the G2 model, though.
    They tend to attach way too heavy equipment (often a thermal sight) on the G2 model in FELIN photo ops (just as on the photo above).

  • UraniumHead

    For all the hype, it seems like most armies that have fielded bull-pups have found them wanting. The Brit’s L85 has gone through a 20 year saga just to get it to function reliably, the ChiCom’s QBZ-95 is being “supplemented” by the conventional layout QBZ-03, and now we hear that the French are supposedly thinking about replacing the FAMAS. About the only bull-pup that doesn’t seem to garner severe criticism is the AUG, and even that rifle has not seen the kind of widespread combat deployment that brings design issues to the surface.

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but you can’t eat your cake and have it too. For all of the purported advantages of the bullpup layout, there are also serious inherent flaws.

  • Vitor

    So no real problem in the FAMAS mechanism per se, but because they have been lazy to adopt the most recent version that isnt that recent? This is almost like american troops carrying the M16A1.

  • Clairon

    I’m French, and I will try to use my best english to give you the situation about the Famas.

    originally this weapon has been build for the M193 munition, but (and this but is important), due to the specific way of work of the Famas (delayed blowback), the quality of the cartridge case is very important, because in fact it’s the case who will push the blowback.

    During preliminary tests in 1973-74 a major incident occurs because some brass cases were not strong enough. A this time, the conceptors decided to design a new case, a full steel case, high-quality, but very expensive, about 2 to 3 time the cost of a simple brass case.

    No problem for production, France has his own ammunition manufacturer, Luchaire, who will be merged with the GIAT in the year 80. So at the adoption of the Famas in 1978, France didn’t adopt an NATO gun, but well a kind of priopriatary gun, only compatible with french produced ammunitions (typical french, the famous “French Exception”, how to refuse to do like others ….).
    2 years after this first adoption, NATO adopt a new munition the SS109/M855, which needs another type of barrel. But France decided to not modified the production of the Famas which was at that time in full production rate.
    Begin ’90, GIAT produced a modernized version of the Famas, the G2, with Stanag magazine and a barrel optimized for the SS109, but this version has been only adopted in limited quantities by the French Navy.

    After the fall or the Iron curtain, many european weapon industries had a lot of problem to survive, and the GIAT was one of the most impacted. They decided to stop the production of small caliber ammunition … without thinking to the possible consequence for the french army.

    The french army launched international RFP for munitions, and some test with the SS109, but precision results were so bad (more than 50 cm dispersion at 30 m …..) that they cannot use it in the current Famas F1, without changing the barrel. This change was forseen around 2005-2010 with the introduction of the FELIN system (the French Land Warrior concept).
    So in the mean time, purchase department of the French army decided to buy M193 munitions, but probably forgot that brass case munitions can be sometime dangerous in a Famas. And the problems begin to appear one or two years ago, in particular with munitions coming from a company located in United Arabs Emirates : ADCOM.

    More than 70 incidents have been registred in 2009, forcing the french army to choose other suppliers (RUAG, MEN, IMI, ….) and also to revise the Famas Felin : because if the barrel change is enough to have precision with SS109, it doesn’t solve the Brass case problem. So “petit à petit” more and more people within the French army think it’s perhaps time to look for a new gun, also don’t forget that almost all Famas in duty have been produced between 1978 & 1991 ….. So apparently preliminary tests between the HK416, the SCAR and the ARX160 Beretta will start begin of 2010, but it’s not yet the “big bang”, it’s a little bit like for the US army a few month ago, who accept to start tests between the M4 and other gun (SCAR, HK416), but without willing immediatly adopt a new gun.

  • Big Daddy

    When it first was introduced a friend of mine was an Army Ranger who did some work with French forces. He said that it was a POS and overly complex. This guy was not a rocket scientist but was a good soldier and I believe him.

    I on the other hand was a bad soldier……

  • jdun1911

    Most of you know my position on bullpups, so to me this isn’t a surprise. There are way too many disadvantages in the bullpup design to justify one advantage for combat rifles.

    I won’t be surprise if the French went with their own version of the AR. I’m sure French Special Operation force would love it.

  • Clodboy

    Upon closer inspection, the FAMAS really doesn’t seem to lend itself well to easy upgrades with Picatinny rails.
    Even if you were to find space to slap on side-mounted rails for lasers and lights and the like, they would probably get into the way of the integral folding bipod.

    While a simple upgrade kit is probably out of the question (well, except replacing the huge carrying handle – which supposedly is prone to chipping – with a picatinny-rail), I see no reason why couldn’t go for a full redesign incorporating a rail system from the ground up.

    I mean, Steyr did with the AUG, and now even the scope has three rails on it.

  • subby

    Well Australia which has fought in Afghanistan and in Iraq extensively say the Aug/F88 is great. In Afghanistan the australians have even garnered the reputation of having ‘magic rifle that never misses’. A testament to its quick handling and shootability. But saying that they make their own Augs called the F88. These are known to be more reliable than the Austrian versions at least with the ammo the Australians use.

    For the australians the AUG meets all their needs and they don’t see any reason to change it. (Although they will be releasing a version with more rails on it)

  • subby

    But saying that Australian special forces use the M4/M16 and they have by far the most battle experience. So maybe the AuG isn’t up to the task after all?

  • Matt Groom

    I have always loved the FAMAS. It’s a sexy and innovative design… for the 1970′s. That being said, I’ve never shot one. Don’t recall ever touching one, and my more experienced friends who have shot it all agree, it’s an overly complex POS. That’s a sad face, cause it was really cool in Metal Gear Solid. But the design has had a significant service life, and a new generation of technology has since emerged.

    If the French are wedded to the bullpup concept, there are a host of newer, better bullpup designs out there like the TAVOR and the RFB, which could probably beat out the AUG in a military trial.

    It may be wiser, however to consider a conventional layout in one of the advanced designs like the XCR, CZ S805, or the Beretta ARX-160. Then they could have a modern design with interchangeable barrels and more places to hang stuff.

    The ultimate problem the French face is politics. France won’t adopt anything that isn’t French. The only exception I can think of is the Beretta M92. France has a long and storied history when it comes to arms development, and they always seem to adopt the cutting edge technology they develop about twenty years after everyone else has, or right about the time it’s rendered obsolete. Perhaps they’ve finally learned their lesson and they will simply go with the best design from somewhere else.

  • Clairon

    About the G2 : Famas G2 has been produced in 92-93, max 20.000 units for the French Navy.

    The major changes are : adoption of the AR15 magazine, 7″ twist SS109 compatible barrel, and suppression of the specific muzzle for rifle grenade.

    The Famas Felin (if he comes, wat’s absolutely not sure currently), is an “old” Famas (the F1), which will be refited by Nexter with a 9″ twist barrel (according to Nexter/GIAT, good for both SS109 an M193), a new design with the suppression of the carriying handle replaced by a picatinny. Also an “incredible” forehand grip, like a joystick with special buttons for use of the Felin camera mounted on the Famas.

    But no Stanag magazine …..

    I also confirm that the POS of the Famas is very complicated and suggest to jam, espacially in heavy dust of sand.

  • Aurélien

    “The ultimate problem the French face is politics. France won’t adopt anything that isn’t French. The only exception I can think of is the Beretta M92. France has a long and storied history when it comes to arms development, and they always seem to adopt the cutting edge technology they develop about twenty years after everyone else has, or right about the time it’s rendered obsolete. Perhaps they’ve finally learned their lesson and they will simply go with the best design from somewhere else.”

    Well that’s not entirely true.

    Army and navy adopted the USP9 and 9C, Gendarmerie is using the 92G, and everybody is widely using MP5s, UMP9s, and now HK416/417.

    Sometimes they are just locally build, like the Beretta 92G developped for the french Gendarmerie and built in France as the MAS G1.

    GIAT has no assault rifle ready for tests aside from the FAMAS G2 and FELIN, so going for something built elsewhere would not hurt, IMHO.
    And the FAMAS F1 was chosen over other designs, FN CAR and M16A1 if i recall correctly.

  • KP

    I see no problem with showing procurement preference to your own nation. It can lead to under-competition and stagnation without good motivating factors.

  • subby

    The new conventional rifle designs offer no real advantage over the M4. Keep in mind they have been working with a POS for decades. That shows a lot of commitment for the bullpup design

    I doubt france will adopt these newer rifles. Something tells me they will either need to design a new bullpup with modern materials or work with the people who currently design the most advanced versions of them. FN’s FS2000 and Kel tec’s RFB.

  • Carl

    The problems seem to be more from the delayed blowback action rather than due to the bullpup layout.

    Is the need for extra strong shell casings present with other delayed blowback operations? I’ve never heard of any such problems with the HK G4 for instance.

  • Vitor

    Well, in case they want a proved bullpup, Tavor is the way to go. It already has been fine tuned and israeli and colombian forces really like it.

  • Lance

    I think the Famas G2 is going to be adopted. Like any rifle its takestime to get the kinks out of any new or newer system to get inot service. For France is easier to use a weapon slders have alreday trained on than goto a new system.

    And Italy isnt replaceing the AR-70 some spec ops units ther have had the new Beretta rifle but nost havet even anylised its perforence yet.

  • subby

    The Tavor is nice but like others have said whats the advantage over the Famas G2? It basically the same rifle without ammo problems and its a bit lighter.

    It will be hard pill to swallow and a dent to French pride that they can’t even fix their own bullpup rifle and instead must borrow the Israeli’s.

  • El Duderino

    French small arms technology has lagged behind for a long time. The Lebel rifle was ahead of its time (first smokeless powder military rifle_ — but that was 1886! I have a photo of French Legionnaires using MAS-49 10-shot semiauto rifles — in the 1980s, well after most countries went to select-fire rifles like the M16, AK-47, or FAL. Yes this has almost everything to do with a nonexistent civilian arms market to feed designs to the military and a fairly closed procurement system, but as some people point out this is changing.

    The training issue is a small one, as long as the new rifle uses a trigger and the bullets come out the front end it won’t be much of an issue. They ain’t gonna do an American design — I’m betting on another European design. But we’re talking about the French, they might just do a warmed-over FAMAS. Hey we did it with the M16. :)

  • Vitor

    Subby, Tavor is almost 2 pounds lighter, doesnt have the exagerated rate of fire of FAMAS, and it’s a gas piston system instead of blowback, quite different guns. But yeah, I agree the french would never do that.

  • http://gear-nerd.blogspot.com Boris

    “French small arms technology has lagged behind for a long time. The Lebel rifle was ahead of its time (first smokeless powder military rifle_ — but that was 1886! I have a photo of French Legionnaires using MAS-49 10-shot semiauto rifles — in the 1980s, well after most countries went to select-fire rifles like the M16, AK-47, or FAL. Yes this has almost everything to do with a nonexistent civilian arms market to feed designs to the military and a fairly closed procurement system, but as some people point out this is changing.”

    Well in times of war, the french manufacturers do work fairly fast to procure new designs that were unseen at the time.
    In 1918, almost all of the french army was issued with semi-automatic full powered rifles, some even using box magazines instead of stripper clips.
    In 1940, the french army was beginning to be issued the MAS-40, a 5 to 25 rounds semi auto rifle, capable of using the MAC 24/29 LMG 25 rounds magazine.
    In 1949 they were issued the MAT49, a full-folding SMG with telescopic bolt.

    But as soon as the conflict is over, they are prone to forget all of those designs and go back to being average. One of the main reasons being, as you say, the non existent civilian market, the other being the fact that almost all of the small arms manufacturer are governement owned, the governement seeing no reason to develop weapons outside of war time.

  • subby

    Heres an article about the french testing out some Scars and HK417s in Afghanistan. http://defensetech.org/2009/11/25/french-scars/

    Like you said Boris maybe their thinking of an upgrade for wartime, at least for those deployed in Afghanistan.

  • Lance

    Im not a BIG defence tech fan. Spec ops use many types of weapons from tradtional infantry arms to advanced SMG for missions. It may be they need a M-4 style weapon for some mission so they went to HK. But theres always rumors of some units buying this gun or that unit got this weapon.

    As for the regular French army the Famas G-2 will be standerd issue.

    As for Spec Ops dont always believe the rumors a single bloger may state.

  • Clairon

    For the SCAR adoption mentionned by subby, it’s for the French Police and not the army, which is not the same …. The French Police never had any Famas Clairon

    For Boris :

    1° in 1918 less than 80.000 semi-automatic Rifles RSC 1917 have been supplied, mostly for the “Designated Marksmans” within French Infantery. At this time, french army aligned more than 5 millions soldiers, so, it’s difficult to speak about “almost all the french army”

    2° MAS40 was still a prototype in 1940, officialy adopted in May 1940, a little bit late to participate to the short “French campaign” …

    3° The MAT 49, even if it was a relative good weapon at that time, cannot be considered as a really innovative SMG 9 after the MP38/40, the M3 Grease gun, …

  • Aurélien

    “3° The MAT 49, even if it was a relative good weapon at that time, cannot be considered as a really innovative SMG 9 after the MP38/40, the M3 Grease gun, …”

    Well it was quite handy for airborne troops and special forces.

    The MAS40 was introduced way too late, but still was innovative compared to the MAS36 bolt action used at the time. Even if the MAS36 was a very good rifle compared to the german 98k.

    And the RSC 1917 wasnt the only semi-auto rifle supplied to the french forces. But as soon as the was ended, the semi-autos were scrapped and the troops were supplied bolt action rifles again. Nevertheless, at that time the german were using 98 and 98k rifles, the brits were issued the Enfield rifle and the yanks the 1903 springfield. That just shows the french army has had some very innovative small arms designs in the XIXth and XXth centuries.

  • Lance

    Yeah the French Army in 1940 didnt have a semi-auto rifle. The MAS36 wasnt really in service either only a few elite French units had them most where useing WW1 vintage Label 1886 rifles. But this isnt why France was over run. It was the stupididy of the French government for support General Gamalan and his WW1 defence stratigy and the cut they did on French tank production. If they followed then Presidnt wanted to have more tanks and to fire Gen Gamalan. France would never need the USA and the UK to rescue them……. again.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

    Aurélien, France forever has its place in the Firearm history books thanks to the efforts of Vieille and Lebel. Not so much as innovation but a complete revolution of small arms technology.

  • Aurélien

    @ Lance : The problem was not the number of armored vehicules as the use they made of them. Most of the french tanks were able to esily destroy the germans due to their superior armament, but the high command used them as infantry support (WWI strategy book) instead of armored groups like the german HQ.
    Thats the main flaw in every french global strategy, they often dont want to listen to the newcommers and they work with antiquated battle plans.

    But thats not really the subject, is it ?

  • Mad World

    New Zealand armed forces is the same as the Aussies regular forces use the AUG (F88) while our spec ops (SAS) use the M-4, over here the AUG is criticized for its lack of rails and tiny scope however that said soldiers can still achieve decent accuracy with it as is. I heard somewhere that the F88 and Auisse ammo are slightly different from their Austrian counterparts, in the early days of the AUG (1980″s) in New Zealand the government purchased some Austrian models for evaluation and apparently the Aussie ammo was reported to have “blown the barrels off” or something to that effect. Wether that is entirely true I am unsure however still an interesting story.
    Cheers.

  • Lance

    The F-88 has its own problems With tactical tactics due to a bullpups poor mag change techiques.

  • Clodboy

    The French actually did use the Ruger Mini-14 in its fully-automatic configuration (the AC 556, or “Mousqueton AMD” in French nomenclature) in limited numbers with certain police units. Most famously, it was used to thoroughly perforate the notorious Jacques Mesrine (think of him as France’s answer to John Dillinger, although his movie – Public Enemy no. 1 – actually came out before Depp’s Dillinger biopic and is well worth a watch. Even though I did kind of just spoil you the ending *oops*)

    Also, while the FAMAS was stuck in development hell, the French company Manurhin license-built a number of SIG-540′s for certain units.

    So maybe there’s a teeny-tiny chance for them to license an established foreign platform, perhaps SIG’s new 556 or 516 line.

  • XxleoxX

    The solution is obvious,the french need to adopt a new weapon! The bullpup AK lol,well i’ve seen the RFB and it looks like a solid gun,i dont know much about internals,but that Forward-ejection system looks extremely unreliable,as for the tavor,iv’e heard its great.Maybe it is time for the French to let go.

  • Nizzle

    I personally have never had an issue using the FAMAS and as for the Tavor a friend in the Israeli military says its one hell of a weapon.

  • Aurélien

    Little heads up : the french Gendarmerie has been deployed in Afghanistan, and they have not been issued FAMAS (even if its supposed to be the Gendarmeries main automatic rifle).
    Instead they got G36C and Ks (with Specter and M4S optics), G3A3 Rifles from HK/Manurhin and in the near future HK416 (with S&D Short Dot optics). And they Minimi 762.

    All the rifles seem to be brand-new (the G3s are not the same as those used by GIGN).

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Aurélien, very interesting! No love for the FAMAS, eh?

  • Aurélien

    Well either its a move toward a change, or a sign showing that Gendarmerie will not be issued military-contract rifle anymore, and be issued the same weapons as the Police Nationale, whos getting a shitload of G36s to replace their aging PM12S.

    After all there are plans to make one single police force with the 2 of them.

  • Aurélien

    And i stand corrected, the G3 were built by the MAS. Manurhin built the Sig 54X series for the french army in the 80′s.

  • snmp

    French have in Armory (in short)

    * Navy : with Naval infentry & 5 Commando Marine (Assault diver)
    - FAMAS G2 (FAMAS G1 for SF when they need to look like Army force) / SIG 55X / HK G36KE (and hybrid version)
    - HK USP compact & Glock 17 Mariner, MR73 in .357
    - FRF2, FR 12,7 (PGM Précision), HK G3 MSG1 and G3 hybrid version
    - R870, Benneli Super 90 M3 & M4, Franchi SPA15, MP5 & MP5SD

    * Army
    - FAMAS G1/ SIG 55X (for underwater mission) / HK416 (SF) (in replacement of Colt M4/M16)
    - R870, Mossberg 50X, FN Winchester 1200/1300, Benneli Super 90 M3 & M4 MP5 & MP5SD (MAT49 for training)
    - FR1F2, FR 12,7 (PGM Précision & 338LM), SAKO TRG42 folding stock 300WM, MAS49/56 for training purpose, HK G3 (from German army for discount price of 50€/unit for save it form the scrap), SR25 & AR10 (with story of poor reliability) with an replacement with HK417
    * Pistol MAS 50 & PAMAS G1 (92GS : S for sécurité after modification of slide after somme trooper have take it in mouth), HK USP
    * FN Minimi 5.56, AA52 7,62×51 & the new FN Minimi 7,62 for test in A.stan

    * Air Force
    - FAMAS G1 / HK416 (SF)
    - Maverik 88 Slug, MP5 & MP5SD (MAT49 for training)
    - FR1G2 (Buil base on MA36 action with Barel & funiture from FRF2), FR 12,7 (PGM Précision & 338LM), SAKO TRG42 folding stock 300WM, MAS49/56 for training purpose (and upgrade version) version, HK G3 (from German army for discount price of 50€/unit for save it form the scrap)
    * Pistol MAS 50 & PAMAS G1 (92GS : S for sécurité after modification of slide after somme trooper have take it in mouth)

    Gendarmerie (Military police Force)
    - FAMAS G1/ G36KE (External Opération in A.stan)
    - MAT49 for training
    - FRF1 in 308, Tikka T3 Tactical .308, MAS49/56 MSE (in .308) for training purpose
    version, HK G3 (from German army for discount price of 50€/unit for save it form the scrap)
    * Pistol MAC 50 & SIG2022 (PAMAS G1/Berreta 92GS are phase ou and tranfert to army)

    * FAMAS could have Rail (RIS -RAS) Handel Call PIRAT (PGMP) in upper ( http://www.sturmgewehr.com/bhinton/FAMAS/FAMAS_PGMP.Mount.jpg ) in lower part you could have ISAA (Interface Standard Arme Assaut : http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1745/albumpicphppicid33619oo8.jpg )

    * Ruger AC 556 (Ruger Mini 14) are for Correctionnel Officers & “C.R.S” Anti Riot Force of the Civilan Police (Police National).

    BTW : the Root of the G3 : STG45 => MAS => CEAM Modèle 1950 => CETME Model A & Model B (Germany bouth Licence and give the production to HK & Mauser-Rheinmetall

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      snmp, thanks for the overview.

  • snmp

    For Gendarmerie : HK UMP in 9x19mm SMG ( http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/8539/08121102303867662860862.jpg & http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/aHva7YZlFs6kIbBEOy9pDw ) & FN Browning 1200/1300 Shotgun

    BTW : the Garand M1 Rifle have one part of it system base on SA Rifles RSC 1917/1918 & Pistol Lefrançais in 1913 the Firt DAO pistol ( http://site.voila.fr/collectionarme/francaisarmee.htm )

    In fact for the amunition the FAMAS G1 (infantry) have an hybrid rifling between M193 & SS109. In plus FN Minimi have barel who could eat M193 & SS109.

    The G1 & G2 have not the same polymer frame : for the G1 is Fiberglass with an Organic polymer / For the G2 that an PA.6.6.

  • Aurélien

    “BTW : the Root of the G3 : STG45 => MAS => CEAM Modèle 1950 => CETME Model A & Model B (Germany bouth Licence and give the production to HK & Mauser-Rheinmetall”

    I was speaking about the G3A3 and G3A4s currently used by the french army. They were license-built by MAS in the 80s and 90s.

    BTW, the Navy has Sig 55X for their commandos.

  • snmp

    Many G3 Rifle in service with French Army are from German army (50€ per Unit). the G3 is good rifle but not support longtime used like French army love.

    The Sig 55X are in phase out, with an replacement by G36KE (and hybrid version betewen G36E & G36KE) with B&T handguard. Commando Marine refuse the HK416 (the other French SF from Army & Air Force have HK416 ) in favor of the G36 system.

  • Aurelien

    Latest news say they are several competitors on the replacement of the FAMAS, whos more and more looking like its being phased out.

    HK416 and SCAR-L are being field tested. Sig516 is being looked into, Sig already having building deals with french manufacturers for the SP 2022.

    Seems like they are looking into the ACR too, but who doesn’t ?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Aurelien, thanks for the update!

  • snmp

    All French SF have :
    * HK416 (G36KE for Commando Marine)=> Relacement of Colt M16Ax/M4Ax/CAR15 …… & Sig 55X
    * HK417 For DMR => Replacement of SR25/AR10/HK G3 & FRF2 & FRG2
    * SAKO TRG 42 300W (folding) for Mid and Long Range

    No replacement of FAMAS G1 but FELIN Upgrade, that many year that German dream to replace whit their expensive and crappy (not enough ruged for Regular Trooper) wepaon

  • Destroyer

    Proof that bullpups are a nationalistic charade (meaning they look cool but are ineffective at their primary purpose). I wouldnt be surprised if France dumped the FAMAS. Don’t agree? well consider the elite units of the French military that use anything but the famas.

  • mr73

    Having been an agent for MMD and one of my best friend the technology transfer director,I have some insight. The SIG 5xx series were made because of the Swiss laws regarding export of defense goods. This series made by Manurhin was made for the export market. The French armed forces refused this well made rifle. We tried to have them rebadged as a semi auto for the NA market but BATF refused. The Beretta 92 was made by Manurhin which discovered during testing and after issuing, a slight problem with NATO 9mm rounds, the modifications to the slide were performed before Beretta did the same after some navy SEAL got injured. It was similar to a problem discovered by Manurhin when they made the SIG226 under license. An additional rib was added to the slide. The MR73 was used by the GIGN as a sniper pistol with success! I can personaly attest to 35 mm 5 shot outside diameter groups at 150 meters with hanloads. The MR38 Match will give 6 shot 25 mm groups at 25 meters with factory ammunition.

    The GIAT was sold off in parcels as the then gov decided to divest itself from the defence industry. At one point, the GIAT was one of the largest land based defence contractor in the world.

  • Gustavo

    I remember using the SLR (FN), M16A1 and F88 in Aussie army.
    My mag change times were about the same for all.All you do is practice your drills.And practice and practice and time comes down, it becomes instinct.I found it was more of the case of where or how I wore my mag pouches or rig
    I loved the F88.

  • JJ

    The Famas is too old and showing its age. French military and government need to own up and admit that it’s a rifle that is now past it’s age of usefulness. However, given the current economic climate in Europe (shrinking budgets), French gov. is not likely to invest in any costly replacement program anytime soon. French infantry will have to make due with a sub-performing weapon (especially compared with newer models available) which is unreliable (ie, sands of Afghanistan) and largely ineffective.

  • John

    THey should have kept the MAS 49/56, upgraded it to 308 on a large scale,for NATO, said no to the mousegun, and cartridge, and kicked A-S where every they went.
    The MAS 49/56 is the finest battle rifle ever made. Simple,rugged,fool proof, and accurate. Twice the practical range of the AK47, and the 5.56. Always remember 30 cal holes, make invisible Souls. Every time.
    If they want to remachine the MAS 49/56, and reissue it, I am sure the boys on the battlefield would thank them.

  • gunner

    @ mack,
    actually not all the mas36 rifles were destroyed or scrapped, i owned one here in the u.s. back in the 1970s and it was in good, serviceable condition, though 7.5mm french ammunition was hard to find here at the time. the mas36 was no object d’ art, but it was a solid sensible rifle for the purpose ir was made for

  • Shug

    Has anyone seen the new Aussie F90? I hear it’s uber light now and with 4 rails and a side loader grenade launcher from Steyr in Austria. Is it in the race in France?

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