FAMAE, Chile’s state-owned firearms manufacturer, currently offers a range of 9x19mm SAF submachine guns, an updated clone of the SIG SG 540 and a Galil ACE clone – which is set to become Chile’s service rifle. For a number of years, their portfolio has been lacking a pistol. The company has identified a military and law enforcement need for new 9x19mm pistols and feel the new Vulcano will fill this gap.
The new pistol is clearly inspired by, or possibly cloned directly from, the SIG P226 family of pistols. FAMAE state that the pistol will be chambered in 9x19mm, have a 13 round magazine capacity, steel slide and an aluminium frame. The Vulcano has a double action/single action trigger which combined with its apparent size would indicate it is patterned after the P228/9.
Back in 2019 FAMAE introduced a series of .38 Special revolvers, based largely on Smith & Wesson designs, offering 2.5 inch and 4 inch models.
The revolvers are not currently listed on FAMAE’s website beyond a mention in the 2019 annual report.
FAMAE have noted that they have the “capacity and highly qualified personnel in its Armament and Ammunition Plant, as well as have cutting-edge technological tools, such as CAD (computer-aided drawing), CAM (computer-aided machining) software and analysis of elements and finite volumes and cutting-edge machining centers” needed to produce the pistols.
According to FAMAE once the new pistol has passed qualification tests – drop testing, vibration testing, endurance, accuracy and environmental testing (including sand, salt water, temperature), the Vulcano is scheduled to have its design finalised in September 2020, with production of the first pistols set to begin before the end of the year.
The Chilean military are currently equipped with the FAMAE FN-750, which contrary to its designation is a locally produced CZ 75 clone. Elements of Chile’s special forces are also said to use the Beretta Px4.