FN Herstal – New FN MINIMI Mk3 Light Machine Gun

Eric B
by Eric B
New variant of the FN MINIMI Mk3 Light Machine Gun (Image: FN Herstal)

FN Hersal has a new variant of its famous FN Minimi Mk3. The new variant has a longer one-piece top rail, to be able to accommodate two optics in-line. A lot of FN Herstal’s customers have a need to mount a red dot with a magnifier, or a day optic with night vision or thermals for 24-hour use. A single rail will improve repeatability and accuracy. The new Minimi has a small folding backup rear peep sight integrated into the rail.

FN Minimi @ TFB

The new variant of the FN Minimi Mk3, available in both 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO caliber, can be seen on display at the EUROSATORY trade show.

For comparison here is the previous Mk3 Minimi with rear sight (FNH)

A new variant for FN MINIMI® Mk3 light machine guns

(Herstal, Belgium) – May 2024. The FN MINIMI® light machine gun (LMG), designed by Belgium-based FN Herstal, is a global reference in its category. It is the most widely used NATO calibre LMG, being the standard weapon in many armed forces worldwide, including several NATO members. FN Herstal constantly adapts its products to align with evolving user requirements, ensuring that they always retain peak combat effectiveness. One requirement that is increasingly being expressed is for sufficient rail space to allow in-line mounting of optics.

The FN MINIMI® is often fitted with an optical sight mounted on a rail that is integral with the feed cover. However, it is difficult to mount two optics in-line on the current rail. Configurations of both the FN MINIMI® 5.56 Mk3 and FN MINIMI® 7.62 Mk3 have been introduced with a long rail feed cover (23 slots).

The one-piece rigid top rail gives sufficient rail length to mount two optics in-line. For example, a non-magnifying day optic with a magnifier, or a day optic with a night vision optic. Mounting both optics on a single rail provides reliable assembly and ensures greater accuracy.

The standard adjustable rear iron sight has been replaced by a flip-up non-adjustable rear sight for back-up use.

A cover retaining latch holds the feed cover open during loading, unloading and clearing actions to counter the weight of the optics. This ensures that handling is equally safe and easy with or without optics fitted.

These modifications give the user a valuable added capability that can make a real difference in current operational conditions.

This variant of the FN MINIMI® Mk3, available in 5.56x45mm NATO or 7.62x51mm NATO calibre, will be on display at the FN Herstal stand at the major EUROSATORY trade show, to be held in Paris-Villepinte, from 17 to 21 June 2024.

For more information about FN Herstal, visit www.fnherstal.com.

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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5 of 16 comments
  • Jono102 Jono102 on May 24, 2024

    In 2013 when we replaced our 5.56 C-9/Minimi with the 7.62mm version, we specified the same long rail they are now marketing. I guess they are trying to squeeze all the juice out of the platform for those looking at upgrading existing fleets rather than replacement. Problem with that rail is something like an ACOG with an in-line night sight are still generally to long to open the top cover without the in-line touching or looking straight at the hot barrel. Not what you want to be doing with an expensive thermal or IR sight.

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    • Jono102 Jono102 on May 24, 2024

      @Kinetics I think FN are covering both bases with the incremental upgrades on the Minimi and the EVOLYS waiting in the wings. The EVOLYS seems to be on par for features with the contemporary LMG's being released of late especially integration of optics and night fighting kit. With the 7.62mm version, they are largely future proofed in regards to developments in calibres and not to bad at 6kg for a 7.62 gun.

  • MediumSizeTex MediumSizeTex on May 24, 2024

    Did anybody even think to ask FN if they could make these in that silly new SIG Furry round?