R.I.P General Paul Tellié, Father of the FAMAS

French military blogs are reporting that General Paul Tellié, the lead engineer of the FAMAS assault rifle, has passed away. The General began working on what would become the FAMAS in the late 1960s. It would take more than a decade before the French military finally decided to replace their aging sub machine guns and MAS-49 battle rifles. I understand Tellié also designed the FR F1 which served as the French Army sniper rifle during 1966 – 1980.


General Paul Tellié

TFB reader Amael provided this translation of this obituary from French news blog Opex360.com

He was an officer cadet in 1940 at Saint Cyr ( French equivalent of West Point) and fled to North Africa where he met his spouse after the Fall of France. Upon his return to France he decided to resume his education and obtained a engineering degree at the age of 30. He then later integrated the Manufacture D’arme de St Etienne ( the MAS in FAMAS) and began work on the Famas prototype in 1967. He retired after obtaining the rank of brigadier general and lived a state pension and received only a small bonus from his work on the FAMAS. His widowed wife also mentions that he was a man of strong personal conviction, often clashing with his superiors. On one such occasion, Paul Tellié outright refused orders to work on a new flamethrower design, considering the weapon type to be “too cruel”.

Sadly, Tellié was one of the last living post-WWII 20th century gun designers. May he rest in peace.

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.


  • Raven Lee


  • Hrachya H.


  • KestrelBike


    Tangent on the FAMAS: What a badass rifle. I know it’s got quirky ammo needs, the ergonomics allegedly leave something to be desired, but damn I’d buy one in the space between two heartbeats if it was available. Nice using the FFL (French Foreign Legion, not the US FFL term heh) for the main picture of the FAMAS 😀

    This has always been a goofy photo on wikipedia that I’ve liked:

    • schizuki

      To paraphrase Hoban (“Wash”) Washburne: “Man walks down the street in that uniform, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”

  • Zachary marrs

    I respect men and women who have the desire to serve their country

    RIP, sir

  • Texas-Roll-Over


    Seems all the old firearm designers are kicking it. I wish they would release another run of FAMAS’ to the US market. I would buy one in a heart beat.

    Yes yes, its an ugly bugle, not as accurate as an ar, and its harder to dress up nice like an ar, but it has a certain ruggedness to it that would be fun to tinker with.

    • How would they release a new run of them in the US? By petitioning Obama to repeal the 1989 Bush I import ban?

      • John

        Have better open a division in the US selling the upgraded famas, aa52, and fr-f2, as well as Scrome scopes in the US.

        • John

          Nexter not better.

        • I dont think you understand the bureaucratic process involved in importing firearms into the US. The FAMAS is unimportable, and the state owned entity that produces them sure as hell aren’t going to tool up here in the US to produce them for the commercial marketplace.

          • That USED to produce them. They’re no longer in production. The French military is literally running on spares, now…

            ..in fact I think it’s precisely another TFB article + comments that taught me this. In a roundabout way, thank you guys.

          • John

            If the rights like the Aug are no longer held by Nexter a U.S. company could build a clone.

          • KestrelBike

            That’s what I’m thinking. Just don’t let MSAR have the license hehehe. I wonder who could do a proper job?

          • snmp

            In fact the design right stay in hands of the French Republic.

          • Wetcoaster

            And I recall mention in a previous thread on the possible replacements for the FAMAS that they’ve been OOP for a while

    • breversa

      Please, nobody except foreign gun enthousiasts has been calling the FA-MAS “bugle/clairon” for TENS OF YEARS now. New recruits in the french army nowadays weren’t even born that that nicknamed had already been forgotten…

  • RIP.

    Passez le bonjour à Mikhail et à Eugene de notre part.

  • dp

    That’s the way it goes; there is a man behind every creation, gun or shovel. From my brief encounter with Famas, I can say that is was superbly easy to handle with almost no kick to talk about. The only unusual thing was that it forces your head straight up. Good man – good gun.

  • st4
  • kingghidorah

    Are the the receivers milled or stamped? Also are they overly complicated? Looking FWD to a flood of parts kits in the coming years.

  • Mr_Fastbucks

    Not even one “never been shot, only dropped once” jokes?