IMBEL’s new 7.62x51mm IA2 carbine and rifle

During the recent (April 4-7, 2017) LAAD Defence & Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil showed the latest development examples of its 7.62x51mm IA2 carbine and rifle prototypes which are expected to soon join the similarly-designated 5.56x45mm variants  currently in full production at the company’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) facilities in Minas Gerais State.

When the IA2 program got a real start around 2009-2010, emphasis was on the development of the 5.56x45mm model, since that’s what the Brazilian Army and police forces were expected to acquire in large numbers, what eventually happened. However, a 7.62x51mm-chambered gun somewhat based on the FAL (for long time, license-produced by IMBEL) was also developed side-by-side, though in a secondary position in the priorities list. Anyway, prototype examples of both types were already being demonstrated at selected Brazilian Army units in December, 2010.

Examples of both the 5.56x45mm (foreground) and 7.62x51mm variants of the IA2 rifle were ready for initial demonstrations late in 2010.

Early, non-official illustrations of IMBEL 7.62×51 IA2 rifles and carbines with different stock configurations. (Image source: www.smallarmsillustrated.tripod.com/Index.htm)

The semi-auto carbine version, primarily aimed at the LE market, is currently undergoing an official certification test program at CAEx – Centro de Avaliações do Exército (Army Evaluation Center) in Rio de Janeiro. Although it has inherited the FAL tilting-block breech locking bolt, plus the firing mechanism and the very same 20-round steel magazine, everything else is derived from the 5.56x45mm model, but this includes a re-dimensioned piston gas system. Polymers, of course, are found everywhere, such as in the side-folding stock, hand guards, and the pistol grip, which clearly shows less forward inclination than that of the well-known FAL.

With the stock extended, the 7.62x51mm IA2 carbine is 800mm long, the cold-forged barrel being 265mm in length. Gun’s empty weight is 4kg. Full-length Picatinny rail on top and shorter ones around the handguard.

The IMBEL carbine gets pretty compact (550mm) with the stock folded to the right, while still keeping the firing possibility. Note the MEPRO M5/MEPRO RDS PRO Red-Dot Sight, compatible with GEN II and GEN III NVGs as well as with magnifying scopes.

The 7.62x51mm IA2 carbine in an even more businesslike configuration resting on a frontgrip/bipod and fitted with a MEPRO MOR Multi Purpose Reflex Sight with Laser Pointers and, aft, a MEPRO MX3-F X3 Magnifying Scope with Integrated Slide Flip Adaptor.

As far as the selective-fire IA2 rifle version is concerned, TFB was told that Brazilian Army official certification tests are scheduled to start sometime in mid-2017. The gun features the same general configuration, but is fitted with a longer (390mm) barrel, which raises overall length to 920mm (or 670mm, stock folded).  Empty weight, 20-round steel magazine in place, goes up to 4.3kg.

The 7.62x51mm IA2 rifle features a 390mm barrel fitted with FAL’s NATO-standard flash hider, being 920mm in length overall and weighing 4.3kg with an empty magazine in place.

The IA2 rifle, polymer stock folded, and (below) a closer view of basic grip/trigger/fire-selector area. Typical FAL cylindrical charging handle and disassembly latch are recognizable.

Wait no longer: here’s the first published photo of the 7.62x51mm IMBEL IA2 rifle field-stripped. Steel lower receiver and anodized aluminum upper, all metallic parts being parkerized and covered with epoxy paint.



Ronaldo Olive

Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.


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  • Graham2

    The Imbel IA2 FAL carbine, where FAL stands for Fireball And Loud!

  • hkryan

    Cool looking but I don’t understand why they’d even go through the trouble of redesigning the FAL if this is the result. I basically see a Para FAL with polymer furniture and an ARMS-style railed top cover. No significant improvements at first glance. Free-floated barrel? No. Adjustable length and/or cheek riser stock? No. Lighter weight? Not really. Retrofit of existing inventory? Not if part dims are really different.

    Also, pretty sure the upper is steel and the lower aluminum, not the other way around.

    • Anonymoose

      I’ve heard horror stories about the old aluminum FAL uppers, but apparently they were good enough for intermediate-caliber Meeper conversions.

    • RSG

      An 8.5lb SBR? Lol.

    • Denny

      Original FAL is labour intense (besides receiver) in gas cylinder area. They may have achieved some savings there.

      • EdgyTrumpet

        Looking at the last picture with the field stripped rifle, it seems it has tappet gas system.

  • Stephen Paraski

    Beautiful.

  • iksnilol

    My teeth hurt from looking at the shorty version.

    • EdgyTrumpet

      “empty weight is 4kg”
      I wouldn’t worry about that.

      • iksnilol

        Think of the weight savings of all the flashbangs you don’t have to carry.

        • Friend

          Lol. That’s one way to look at it. Maybe we could get the US army to issue it as a resurgence of the flamethrower.

          • Major Tom

            Using high-flash blanks?

    • roguetechie

      As a former Fal para owner I can attest to the flame throwing…

      I was actually finding myself interested in a .308 gun other than “small frame” AR10’s right up until I read tilting bolt…

      Then I was like… NOOOOPE

  • RSG

    Perhaps a “made in America” blog should be using the American units of measurement? Crazy, I know.

    • Major Tom

      Ronaldo is from down in Brazil. Metric reigns supreme as the units of measure across most of the world including Brazil.

      Besides it’s not hard to convert from metric to American customary.

    • Denny

      Nobody is using inch/pound/degF except United States. This web is read worldwide.

      • Graham2

        We still use it in England, which makes sense, seeing as we invented it. We do use metric as well for some things, so we have the best of both worlds.

        • iksnilol

          No you don’t, “stone” makes no sense as a measurement of weight.

      • KestrelBike

        I really wish we’d abandon it and go to metric. But not celcius. Fahrenheit is so much more precise.

        • iksnilol

          Fahrenheit is stupid, there, I said it. It has no logic behind it, it’s so arbitrary.

          There’s a reason Kelvin uses the same degrees as Celsius.

      • David B

        Canada also uses imperial for somethings. Just the “official” measurements are metric

    • DIR911911 .

      not crazy . . . just very limited.

  • Denny

    That aluminum receiver has to be pretty strong to sustain tilt bolt pressure. Even with hard steel insert (looks like round pin), there is chance that aluminum will stretch. But yes, Al is 2.5 time stronger than steel at the same weight.
    Overall weight (4kg) is still too high though, regardless of material used.

  • El Dude

    Makes me feel a little better that Brazil and I both can’t afford a SCAR.