Miscellaneous guns in pics and text – 2

Hi, there! One more time, here’s a small random selection of pictures and text on miscellaneous guns that have been located in this writer’s somewhat messy files. You may find them of some interest, though.

Well, let’s call these picture just “teasers” for a future, full-length article to appear in TFB. It shows three examples of Argentina’s 5.56x45mm FAA/FARA assault rifle created and briefly manufactured in the early 1980s by FMAP-DM (Fábrica Militar de Armas Portátiles – Domingo Matheu), in Rosário, Santa Fé Province. Yep, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to fire it.

In WWII, a Brazilian Expeditionary Force fought alongside the U.S. 5th Army in Italy (1944-45), the main rifle employed being the .30-06 M1 Garand. Being long-time users of 7x57mm Mauser bolt-action rifles, the Brazilians certainly loved the semi-auto operation of the American gun and the caliber used. In the early 50s, the Army decided to try creating a local version of the German G43 chambered to .30-06. The service’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), in Minas Gerais State, made a small trials batch of the so-called Mq. S/Aut .30 M954, while the Arsenal de Guerra do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro War Arsenal) came out with at least one somewhat different prototype, both models being shown here.

This DIY subgun was seized by police in Rio de Janeiro way back in the early 1990s and neatly marked “HUDSON ESPECIAL CAL.32 AUTO, SHOWCASE AMERICAN ARMS, MADE IN USA”. With a 175mm long barrel, its overall length was 730mm (460mm, stock folded) and empty weight was 2.5kg. The single-row box magazine stacked 17 rounds of .32 Auto (a.k.a. 7.65mm Browning) ammo. Very brief tests showed that its full-auto-only operation spit bullets at about 1,000 rounds per minute.

After World War II, Belgium’s Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, a long time manufacturer of the Model 30 automatic rifle (similar to the U.S. Model 1918A1 BAR), introduced the Type D model. It features major improvements over the BAR, such as a quick change barrel, a clockwork-type rate-of-fire reducing mechanism, and a rapid method of field stripping. The recoil spring is located in the butt rather than in the piston slide assembly. The example seen here, in .30-06, was used by Brazil’s Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais (Marine Corps) for many years alongside the SAFN 49 semi-auto rifle, also made by FN.

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.


  • Dukeblue91

    As usual great stuff and some interesting guns.

  • Major Tom

    I kinda want that BAR derivative.

    • PK

      There are a few FN-D BARs on the registry, for what it’s worth.

  • TrustMeIAmEngineer

    Can you provide some insights as to why the K43 was copied (perhaps better addressed in your full length articles)?

    I own one (AC44), along with an FN49 and Garands. The K43 feels very gen1 and soldier unfriendly, while the FN49 is much more refined and the Garand soldier friendly. In the early 50s, they could have chosen either of them.

  • PK

    “Arsenal de Guerra do Rio de Janeiro”

    This reminds me… I’ve got some 1902 Madsen items with this stamp and other markings on them, and have been so far unable to find any information about them. Is there a way to contact you with high-res photos for possible ID and information about them?

  • .45

    I’m learning to always click on Mr. Olive’s posts. Sometimes I am not that interested in the gun/s featured, but I usually learn something. ;D

    Also, what are the reasons people making homemade guns in other countries like to label them as “Made in the USA” or “American Arms” for example? Is it just style, to make people think they have the “real deal”, to sell to the ignorant who think they are buying quality goods, or all of the above?

    • wetcorps