Brazil looking for new service rifle

Brazil is looking to replace the IMBEL MD-2 service rifle (and MD-3 & MD-4 variants). The MD series of rifles is based on the FN FAL design, but instead of a FAL tilting bolt it has a M16 style rotating bolt.

IMBEL MD-2 and MD-3 (insert)

A Brazilian general has said that three rifles are in the running for adoption. These are the FN SCAR, the IWI Tavor and the IMBEL MD-97A2. The latter is an update of the MD-97 (which itself is based on the MD-2). The current MD-97 has a bad reputation for reliability.

Brazilian firm Taurus has apparently purchased a license for the production of the Tavor. Now if Taurus USA would just start cranking them out …


[ Many thanks to Vitor for providing translation of Fórum Defesa Brasil. ]

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.


  • Rex

    does this mean we’ll see some parts kits?

    Dear Brasil,

    Please take all your MD-2’s and cut them in half and sell them to us please.




    P.S. have some of your hot ladies deliver them.

  • daskro

    Damn you barrel ban! Give me those parts kits!

    Also, tavors in the US would be sweet.

  • Pedro

    This probably has something to do with the FX2 renew program of the air force. And the consequently strategic deal with France if the Rafale wins. We are also planning a few joint projects and more sales with them including a tactical air transport and some help with our nuclear submarine, as well a few Eurocopters. So I guess that it wouldn’t be such a wild guess to say that we mighty heard about Leclercs and a further improved version of the FAMAS.

    It’s also quite interesting to mention the Tavor, it reminds me of the LAPA FA-03.

  • James

    LOL. I agree. Those would be cool kit guns.

    Are they shooting training ammo? It sounds funny. The cases look like brass. Maybe they loaded them w/ plastic bullets, similar to the blue German .308 floating around.

  • Vitor

    We have a saying here about the FAL: “Your grandpa used it, your daddy used it, you use it, your son will use it”.

    • Strider

      So what does it mean? It means the FAL is a reliable weapon and adapted very good to the brazilian conditions of use and doctrine. Besides, along the years it resulted cheap because it is locally made and since long amortised. While other countries spent a lot of money changing its basic weapon several times (sometimes with disastrous effects) Brazil kept its FAL, and did not loose any war in between….

  • Matt Groom

    I always thought the MD-2 and variants were sexy, but they make very little sense. All of the faults of the FAL (very expensive to produce) combined with all of the serious faults of the M-16 (the Johnson Stoner Bolt). I think the TAVOR would be a good choice, assuming it’s as reliable as it is cool looking.

  • Lance

    Its a FNC basicly. Well I bet the updated MD-97 would win since a poor country like Brizil could use the older parts from older guns to supplament parts for the new guns. Plus I doubt the MD-3 is going away Brazil still uses M-41 tanks and other old weapons Just because some general wants them replaced dosnt mean they wil be.

  • slntax

    cheap 5.56 fals in the USA? i would buy that for a dollar!

  • Luiz


    Sincerely, Luiz from Brazil.

  • Tylermar

    Shoot me if I’m wrong but isn’t it an IMI tavor 21 not IWI

    • Tylermar, you are right! Thanks.

      PS. I wouldn’t have shot you even if you were wrong 😉

  • Vitor

    Lance, Brazil isnt particularily poor and most people are very skeptical about the upgraded MD97. I would bet in the FN SCAR for three reasons:

    1 – We have a long affair with FN
    2 – It’s a traditional layout. I guess the Army would a bit hesistant to adopt a bullpup
    3 – It has the “designed with the input of US Socom” appeal

    Although I personally favor the Tavor, after hearing very good reports about it and hearing from you guys about the polymer of the SCAR having a hollow feel. But either would be way better than proping a horrible company like Imbel.

  • Tylermar and Steve,

    It was correct the first time. IMI sold its small arms division to a private investor back in 2005. The new owner changed the name to IWI: Israel Weapon Industries.

    • Daniel, ha, got it. I thought it was IWI! Thanks.

  • Clodboy

    “Shoot me if I’m wrong but isn’t it an IMI tavor 21 not IWI”

    Both would be correct – IWI Ltd. is the former small arms division of IMI, which was privatized in 2005.

    • Clodboy, thanks! Well spotted.

  • Lance

    The Brazilians would find the SCAR has its own problums over heating, crappy plastic butt stock, and WAY TOO EXPENSIVE! IMBEL has plants and influence on the governmet FN dose NOT. And while Brazil is better off than its neighbors its still poor and over 1/2 of its population live in poverty.

    • From what I read, Brazil is spending a lot of money on its military, especially her Navy. If I remember, huge off shore oil deposits will mean huge revenue, but it also necessitates a defense force to protect the resource (and discourage anyone else from claiming them).

  • Rafael

    Brazil is not a poor country as most people thinks (just look at the economy numbers). We don’t use M41 (not even as a recon), we bought 250 Leopards, 12 Mi-35, 5 subs and we are about to buy 36 modern fighters with the possibility to buy 120 more (the final decision is going to happen on next sunday, hopefully). The Navy, Airforce and Army are going to increase their sizes in, at least, 40%.

    Well the brazilian military industry was almost extinguished by the US in the 80’s. Because the Brazilian tank (more than 1 billion spent to research it) wich was almost sold to Saudi Arabia suffered an embargo by the US, who sold the M1A1 (or M1A2, don’t remember) to Saudi Arabia. Only now the industry mentioned is starting to rise again.

    P.S: the name of the tank is EE-T1 Osório, for further research.
    P.P.S: sorry for any grammar mistakes.

  • El Duderino

    Saudi Arabia bought M1A2s new and later, some M1A1s to upgrade to M1A1S standard. Egypt license-built M1A1s — I believe theirs do not have the depleted uranium mesh armor upgrade (for you non-AFV folks, no that’s not an April Fool’s joke — Abrams tanks run around with uranium inside).

    Osório is a bit on the light side of MBTs and not in the same class as the Abrams. Although the Saudis DID agree to buy them, and backed out…

    But wait…we we talking about rifles right?

  • Lance

    Egypt has some M-1s in service but mostly M-60s are its main tank. Same for turkey and many for Saudi Arabia.

  • Rafael

    El Duderino
    Yeah its true I forgot the rifles…hehe…. my fault.

    Well, I think the Imbel MD97A2 is will become the new service rifle, that is if the Army really change the rifle because the 7.62 NATO FAL is still fulfilling all the Army requirements. The engagement doctrine of the Brazilian Army is for engaging targets at over 100 meters.

    P.S: Sorry for any grammar mistakes

  • Tylermar

    Oh ok so now it’s IWI not IMI ok so all IMIs weapons or now IWI