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
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