For a few weeks, the Belgian company FN Herstal have been promoting an event called: “A New Chapter Begins“. As you know, the company already provides an extensive range of firearms for use in the ground role, or mounted on vehicles, ships and aircraft from 5.56mm cal to .50 cal machine guns.
From the images and the teaser video it was evident that we were dealing with a new type of machine gun, and as the pre-recorded (Corona safe) press conference started this was confirmed.
After a long presentation and interviews with various people in the design process, the viewers were finally able to see the first real pictures of FN Herstal’s new EVOLYS, an Ultralight Machine Gun.
The operation principle is gas operated, firing from an open bolt and using a short stroke piston. The FN EVOLYS was presented as an ultralight machine gun that fires like a machine gun but handles like an assault rifle.
To highlight the weight reduction the EVOLYS was shown with a carbon fiber bipod.
The EVOLYS looks like an FN SCAR on steroids.
The use of various Polymers and Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) was said to be a huge part of the weight reduction. One of the interviews was made in front of a 3D printing machine, which looked like it was from HP.
The ambidextrous fire selector has a semi-auto position to engage point targets as with a rifle while the full auto position allows suppressive fire as with a machine gun.
The buttstock is adjustable in length and height. Whatever his size, or the equipment he is wearing, the user can always find a comfortable shooting position.
After about 15 minutes into the press conference, we get to see the very first pictures of the new firearm.
There was also plenty of “live” shooting in the presentation. Yes, they shot all of that belt and the recoil looked very mild due to the weapons hydraulic buffer. Impressive to say the least.
They also demonstrated shooting on the move and in various positions, from standing, kneeling to prone.
FN means that the reduced weight enables the user to move across difficult terrain quickly and to engage with a high volume of fire when needed. Anyone who ever ran with a machine gun nods and understands.
This was to demonstrate that all the gasses are pushed away from the shooter. The EVOLYS is designed to work suppressed as well.
The FN EVOLYS will be made in two main versions. One in 5.56x45mm NATO with a weight of 5.5 kilograms. The other is the 7.62x51mm NATO with a weight of 6 kilograms. This is certainly quite a large weight reduction from the FN Minimi which weighs more than 7 kg.
You can change the belt with either your left or right hand only.
The FN EVOLYS trademark was registered very recently, and elements of the design have been patented over the last few years.
The FN machine guns have been exported around the world for many decades.
You can find more information here: https://www.fnherstal.com/en
The event can be found here: https://www.events.fnherstal.com/en