Belgian Steel on the Nile: FN49 (SAFN) Rifle in Egyptian Service

by Miles

The Egyptian contract FN49 rifles are a fascinating example of the geopolitics of Egypt became entrenched in the Warsaw Pact side of the Cold War. Adopted in the same era that Nasser was seizing power from the Egyptian royalty, the Egyptian contract numbered approximately 37,000 rifles purchased from FN Herstal in several different orders directly from Belgium. The majority of these rifles were of standard configurations but among these, there were precision rifle variants with Meopta quick-detach optics that are highly coveted on today’s surplus market.

The FN49 was intended to be replaced by the Hakim rifle, of which conservative estimates put at a production value of possibly 70,000 rifles. However most of these appear to have been manufactured in the 1960s and the rifles that probably replaced the 37,000 rifles in Egyptian service are the SKS, Vz.52, and the milled receiver AK47, all from Czech and Soviet support to Egypt before and after the Suez Canal Crisis.

In this episode of TFBTV, we go over the FN49 rifle in Egyptian military service, explaining some of the intricacies and possible downfalls of the rifle while putting a couple rounds through it as well.

The Rifle that Ran Out of Time by Blake Stevens, Collector Grade Publications

The FN-49 Rifle in Egyptian Service

Please check out Machine Gun Dad on Youtube! Scott has been a tremendous help to TFB TV in getting these historic firearms documented!


TFBTV is viewer supported and does not accept money for positive reviews of products. Please visit our Patreon and SubscribeStar pages if you enjoy our independent content and consider helping us.

Not only does this assist us in creating content, but we give away hundreds of dollars of guns and gear a month to our supporters!

NOTE: These giveaways are not affiliated with, associated with, or in any way endorsed by YouTube and TFBTV is solely responsible for the giveaways mentioned in this video and this description. No purchase required for guns/gear worth over $250.


««« SPONSORS »»»

Please Support Them! They help make our videos possible.

Ventura Munitions –

Federal Premium –

Blue Alpha Gear –

Top Gun Supply –


Want to join the TFBTV chat room? Use our Discord Invite:



Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

More by Miles

Join the conversation
  • BattleshipGrey BattleshipGrey on Jul 11, 2020

    Was the black finish a cost or time saving measure compared to the bluing done on other FN49s?

    • Hillhunter Hillhunter on Jul 11, 2020

      @BattleshipGrey good question and i've been meaning to research. have a venezuelan 7mm version. it's painted black as well and has a compensator. the paint is gone from the comp but still no rusting despite me living near the coast.