FN FNC Full Auto: The Pride of Belgium

The FN FNC lies at a junction somewhere between the AR and AK, and the shooting experience it provides is a strange juxtaposition of both platforms. The ergonomics are very AR-like, but you get a bit of that lovely mechanical recoil impulse of the AK as a result of the long-stroke piston.

The FNC was developed by FN and has been the mainstay of the Belgian military since 1979, and since then other countries such as Indonesia and Sweden (as the AK5) produce licensed copies.

But how does the rifle perform? Well, to determine that Miles and Alex hit the range with this magnificent rifle.

Thanks to our sponsors Grizzly Targets and Ventura Munitions.

Firearm Featured:

FN FNC



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Got to put two magazines through one in Europe about 11 years ago on a NATO base. I found it to be quite fun and I’d like a lot more trigger time with one. Thank you for the great video!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Beer and MG’s, two things Belgium does well.

    • Anonymoose

      Don’t forget waffles!

    • Giolli Joker

      Rochefort 10…

    • Blake

      Fried potatoes 🙂

    • Tassiebush

      Chocolates!

  • Don Ward

    Now that the Kraut military is weapon less with their H&K plastic rifle debacle, it’s time for the Belgian Army to get a little payback!

    • yup

      My money is still on the “Krauts”

    • Thomas Weißhuhn

      Its gonna be some 416ish gun but it will be delayed untill 2029 because no one of the officials has a clue. TheBundeswehr will recieve them shortly after every other nation starts fieldind 40 watt plasma rifles.

      No wonder no one wants to join them, they are a joke of an Army. (the Bundeswehr it self NOT the soldiers)

  • Esh325

    Never fired one, but the FNC always seemed like a very solid design, under appreciated I think. It’s a shame it never was more popular I think it’s because the m16 beat it out in the 5.56 market in numbers and the winding down of the Cold War. I’m surprised the Belgians haven’t bothered upgrading the rifle like the swedes have with the AK5. I wonder what their reasoning behind not having a bolt hold open was considering the FAL had it and their proceeding designs the scar and fns2000 have them.

    • Anonymoose

      Most European countries still don’t seem to care about last round hold-opens. HK only added one to the G41 because America likes them and they were going up against the M16A2 in NATO trials.

      • Esh325

        I think there are quite a few European designs with bolt hold opens now. Even the AK will be getting one with the AK12

  • NewMan

    What an extremely solid looking rifle. Damn, it’s a huge shame that it isn’t more popular. Could weight be one of the reasons why?

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      On full auto you want that weight. 🙂

      • jcl

        Russia use muzzle brake to make their ak74 controllable in full auto while keeping the weight down.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Americans have a fetish for Euro-firearms, but they are desperately trying to hide it in the TFB-comments.

    • Wolfgar

      Not at all,the FNC is one of the best shouldering rifles I have ever fired. When it comes to firearms, Americans are usually as open and liberal as Europeans with no bias or predigest except when the talk turns to gun control LOL.

      • I’m biased against anything that weighs over six pounds stripped and unloaded.

        • iksnilol

          Give me that dremel, I think I can reduce the weight.

        • Wolfgar

          Shhhh, international diplomacy at work here.:-]

  • Vitor Roma

    Alex, it was easy to see you love and has your mind in sync with this gun, since you had some great control in full auto.

  • Joe

    Nice gun, those FNC’s get quite toasty after a few mags don’t they.

    • David

      No worse than any other gun for the same rate of fire really.

    • mechamaster

      Not sure the original FN-FNC one, but I heard complain from army that use licenced-produced one, it’s easy to overheat more than 50 rounds.

      • jcl

        Yeah, I often heard Indonesian soldiers complaining about overheating. But it could be because sub standard barrel quality and I heard report that Indonesian produced 5.56mm ammo are often dirty and overpressured.

  • Ben

    FNC… YUCK!!!!!!!! FAL was a great rifle. But the FNC not so much bad trigger pull sucky folding stock and it has no optics mount.

    • David

      it has an optional optics mount which can be sourced here in the US. I’m not sure what you consider sucky about the folder; I have a full stock one.

    • Complaining about the FNC’s trigger while praising the FAL… Yep, that’s a new one.

      • tacticaltshirts.com

        Yeah. I have both and was thinking the same thing.

    • RickH

      It’s your opinion that the FNC has a bad trigger, I don’t mind it at all. As for the “sucky” folding stock, are you against folding stocks in general? If so, then that’s just an opinion. If it’s the design that you say is sucky, then on that item you are just wrong.

  • yup

    “Heat” was a great movie for gun enthusiasts

  • Wayne Gro

    What was the gun that Al Pacino used in Heat? Probably one of the most asked question on gun forums for years….

    • Jonathan Ferguson

      Along with “What color is the boathouse at Hereford”?

  • Joel. K

    I have never fired an FNC, but i DO have tens of thousands of rounds behind the Ak5 (A,C &D versions). And would say that the main thing that bugs me is the weight, yeah its great when you shoot full auto. But seriously, how do you shoot F/A really? The Ak5C weighs 5,5kg or 12lbs with a fresh mag and aimpoint, after a while you really start to feel that weight.

    in all other aspects i think its a pretty reliable gun, i would say accurate. But most of all, it feels solid, you know it is weapon and not a toy when you hold it. I’ve shot M16a2’s and AKM’s before, and i think the Ak5 is just much more well put together.

    • kn. Arnesson

      Men för helvete din svage malaj ak5:an är en FNC. Gå till gymmet för helvete.

  • mechamaster

    I took the photo of Indonesian licensed-build FNC, the Pindad SS1 month ago.

    Most of the army guy love this rifle, some of the user complained the quality of the receiver steel / alloy, and firing-pin quality that easy to malform, and locally produced barrel that easy to overheat.
    But overall, nice rifle with many extra feature.

    I’m not 100% sure if this the originally imported one, or domestically produced version. ( I forgot to check the marking and serial number )

    • Blake

      What’s with the skull mask?

      • mechamaster

        The owner of the mask must be a fans of Ghost.

    • tacticaltshirts.com

      That’s a cool pic. I have never seen a licensed one before.

      –Marky

      • mechamaster

        That’s because only 2 country licensed build FNC.

  • Cattoo

    Yup me too. Top of the list and very underrated and still not one to be found in my safe. 😐

  • MrEllis

    Awesome, thank you. I’m a fan of this rifle.

  • Tassiebush

    Seems like a really really nice gun.
    One question I’m pondering regarding use of select fire rifles is in what context do you switch to full auto or burst settings instead of semi? When is auto fire more effective?

    • Rock or Something

      Almost never. Most western armies train their soldiers to use semi-automatic most of the time and only burst/auto in extreme or dire circumstances. Depending on which military and their order of battle, most platoons are going to have at least one or two squad automatic weapons to support the rest with automatic fire anyways. The only time I ever switched on burst for my M16a2 was to get rid of ammo on the range. Well I take that back, I did use burst another time when I was a gunner and my M240 went down during a live fire convoy exercise.

      In none western-armies, the doctrine, tactics or circumstances may be different so that auto is used much more frequently (it is no coincidence that AKs go from safe to auto first) due to not enough GPMGs to go around or the heavy use of the infamous “human wave tactic”, but I think even many modern non-western armies are even moving away from that mindset.

      • Tassiebush

        Thanks for that explanation. I guess the whole idea of full auto increasing hit probability (at least in a rifle/carbine platform) seems to have been debunked. Is automatic fire in a squad automatic context just used generally for gaining fire superiority/achieving suppressing fire or creating a beaten zone? my understanding being those are all means towards controlling enemy movement or killing them if they’re caught in that space.

  • Screwface_Romeo

    Anything FNC-related gets a lot more interesting once you’ve seen a certain Japanese cartoon…

  • tb556

    Pretty similar to a Sig 556/551 except the separate recoil spring. Seems be be a bit heaver too. (8.2 vs 8.47). Nice gun, would be fun to shoot.

  • Y-man

    I’m glad to mention that I have fired this very same FNC, and I found it WORTHY! Great rifle.

  • claymore

    Anybody know what the clicking sound after ever round fired is after he fires it before firing the next round in semi off the bench starting at about 4:37 ?