FN FAL Chambered in 5.56mm, Using 30-round Steyr AUG Magazines

Ronaldo Olive dug up another interesting story for us. Back int he late 1980s, Argentine weapon manufacturer Fábrica Militar de Armas Porátiles Domingo Matheu decided to create a FN FAL chambered in 5.56mm. They strangely enough decided to adapt the 5.56mm Steyr AUG magazines to fit into the modified FAL.

Following cancellation of its native FAA 81/FARA 83 rifle program in the late 1980s, Argentina tried another way to get its Army equipped with a 5.56 x 45 mm rifle in the early 1990s. This consisted of adapting the 7.62 x 51 mm FN FAL (which was then in full production at  Fábrica Militar de Armas Porátiles Domingo Matheu, in Mendoza) to fire the smaller round, at least one prototype having been completed. This used the 30-round Steyr AUG plastic magazine with a steel  interface for adequate insertion into the FAL mag housing. The program did not proceed much further, though. I was lucky enough to fire this unique rifle at FMAP-DM in February 1990.




Many thanks to Rolando for sharing this interesting story and photos.

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.


  • Harald Hansen

    So they recreated an FN FNC?

    • SAPH

      More like a system that would allow all rifles in the system to be converted with out the expense of new tooling.

    • Jasta

      Well, not quite. FARA 83 is in fact much closer to FNC due to it’s rotating bolt. In fact, both of them use locking system borrowed from AK, so these rifles are very simillar. The one above is nothing more and nothing less than FAL.

  • Ripley

    The Argentine special forces have had AUG for a long time so it’s not that unlikely combo.

    Wikipedia has: “A version of the FALMP III chambered in the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge was developed in the early 1980s. It used M16 type magazines but one version called the FALMP III 5.56mm Type 2 used Steyr AUG magazines.”

  • Sam

    Not that weird! those aug waffle mags were probably some of the most reliable 5.56 mags in existance at that time! and still compare with tings like the p-mag etc. today

    • Avery

      Makes sense. I think the Steyr magazine along with the Enfield/HK STANAG magazine was what inspired the P-MAG.

      • William

        The H&K all steel magazine came out after the Magpul all polymer magazine

  • Lance

    I know Argentina and Brazil use FAL based weapons now in 5.56mm. But the Argentine use of AUG mags is a downer. Every one else uses STANMAGs which are US M-16 mags so a solder cannot use enemy ammo in combat from a dead enemy unless he has alot of time on his hands. Interesting to know more about the post Falkland Argentine military though.

    • Tom

      Before my time but I seem to think a lot of weapons in the 80’s tried propriety magazines. The early M16 magazines were hardly beacons of reliability and I can see why the Argentines would look elsewhere.

      Also on a side note whilst the Falklands and South Georgia are garrisoned by British forces they do have their own defense force which curiously use the AUG.

      • Esh325

        That’s probably the reason. I think you’re also a bit more limited design wise when you’re forced to design a gun around being able to use current magazines. A M16 magazine might be okay in one design, but maybe not for another design.

    • Esh325

      I imagine the reason is because STANAG magazines weren’t as reliable back then as they are today.

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    At the time, there probably werent many .223 magazines on the market that used a nose-first, rock-in method of magazine change similar to the one the FAL mag used. Ruger Mini-14 mags, and that was about it.

  • Tony

    Imbel currently manufactures 5.56 FAL carbines that accept STANAG magazines in a full stock and parastock version in the MD97, too

  • Alejandro

    Maybe the reason was that we had received some AUG’s as part of the SK-105 tanks we bought back then. Greetings folks.