Brazilian Army Receives First Batch of IA2 Rifles

Brazil’s IMBEL have completed and delivered the first batch of new 7.62x51mm IA2 rifles. The batch of 50 rifles will be delivered to the Brazilian Army’s Army Evaluation Center (CAEx) for extensive testing.

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Brazil's IMBEL and Taurus Announce Partnership

Two of Brazil’s biggest firearms manufacturers have announced the formation of a partnership for the development of products and services. IMBEL and Taurus have signed a memorandum of understanding which opens the way for the development of new products, production methods and marketing so we’re likely to see the companies work closely on various military, paramilitary and police tenders and contracts.

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Brazil's IMBEL and SIG Sauer Exploring Partnership to Produce the P320

Back in April, Brazil’s IMBEL released a statement on their future plans for expanding their product portfolio, this included a passing reference to a potential partnership with SIG Sauer. The statement, however, did not go into details of what the cooperation between the two companies might involve. We now have some more details on what the potential cooperation will focus on.

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IMBEL's Ca 7.62 IA2 Preparing for Production

During the recent LAAD 20019 Defence and Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, State-owned IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil announced that the company’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), in Minas Gerais State, is currently getting ready to start mass production of its Ca 7.62x51mm IA2 semi-auto carbine. This includes not only tooling up for the process on an internal basis, but also acquiring bulk material for the weapons’ manufacture and contracting third-party suppliers, among other required steps. Formal, official approval of the gun as a “controlled product” by the Brazilian Army was granted in September, 2017 following an intensive test program carried out by the Service’s CAEx – Centro de Avaliações do Exército (Army Evaluations Center), the former, highly-regarded Campo de Provas da Marambaia (Marambaia Proving Grounds), in Rio de Janeiro.

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Brazil Orders More 5.56 IMBEL IA2 Carbines

Brazil has moved to procure 4,000 new 5.56x45mm IMBEL IA2 Carbines. The state owned Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil or IMBEL, has been awarded a contract worth over $7 million.

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New IMBEL 7.62x51mm sniper rifle in the works

IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil may soon be producing and marketing a new 7.62x51mm sniper rifle. This comes as a follow-up of the company’s previous venture into the precision rifle market, which started in the early 1990s with the AGLC, named after the initials of its creator’s name, Brazilian Army Colonel Athos Gabriel Lacerda de Carvalho. Widely used by the Brazilian Army and some local LE agencies, the .308 Win-chambered weapon is based on a refined Mauser bolt action with an adjustable trigger coupled to a heavy, cold-forged steel free-floating heavy barrel (610mm-long) and an all-wood furniture. The rifle’s overall length is 1200mm, and empty weight is 4.7kg. By the end of 2017, it was still available from IMBEL’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), Minas Gerais State.

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IMBEL's Xodo pistols: a brief look at compact M1911 descendants

In the Portuguese language, the noun “Xodó” is a popular expression to indicate one on whom we have a very special romantic crush or long-lasting love relationship. It’s no small wonder, then, that IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil has chosen it as the name of two of its dozen-or-so pistols currently available, models that have received a great deal of attention in the local market. More significant, by the way, is the fact that the Brazilian weapons manufacturer had never given any of its products a name, other than its usual — and a little confusing, in my opinion– system of caliber, model number (e.g. MD1, MD2, etc.), and suffix (LX, GC, TC, etc.) designations.

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IMBEL pistol production planning adjustment

In a matter of a few days in mid-December, 2017, IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil made two conflicting official announcements related to the company’s planning as far as pistol production is concerned, namely, the reduction from twelve to six models in the current products portfolio. According to a very brief note aired in the firm’s website ( www.imbel.gov.br), production of the following types would be discontinued as of that date, while sales would continue covering produced guns already in stock, only: .380 ACP MD1 N (single-stack, 9-rd), 9x19mm SC MD1 Xodó (double-stack, 12-rd), .40 S&W GC MD2 (double-stack, 16-rd), .40 S&W GC MD6 (double-stack, 16 rd), .40 S&W SC MD2 (double-stack, 16-rd), and .45 ACP M1911 A1 (single-stack, 7-rd).

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Fabrica de Itajuba's first SMG prototypes - Part 3

In 1978, three years after Brazilian Army’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) had become part of the IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil conglomerate, the unit’s Oficina de Protótipos (Prototypes Workshop) decided to give the earlier 9x19mm C.E.70 submachine gun design some additional modifications. The first resulting test specimen, tentatively designated M978, kept the basic wooden lower receiver and firing mechanism topped by a rectangular upper receiver housing a similarly-shaped, heavier bolt, whose longer displacement distance was aimed at reducing the weapon’s cyclic rate of fire. This was finally achieved, coming down to a more reasonable figure of 600-700 rounds per minute. A new, non-reciprocating charging handle made of light alloys was added to the top of the gun, this featuring a wide U-shaped configuration so that it did not interfere with the use of the sights. Empty cartridges ejection was also moved to the top.

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Fabrica de Itajuba's first SMG prototypes - Part 1

Having very recently ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/11/06/imbels-ia2-based-subgun-carbine-prototypes/)  written about submachine guns and pistol-caliber carbines currently under development at the Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) facility of IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil, in Minas Gerais State, it just occurred to me to dig my old photo and info files in search of material to produce a how-it-all-started-type article on the company’s very early SMG prototypes. Some of them have, in fact, already been brought to the attention of TFB readers in previous editions, such as the FAL-based 9x19mm models of the late-1970s/early-1980s  period ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/05/29/imbels-fal-derived-submachine-guns/) and a couple of .40 S&W prototypes of the late 1990s ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/07/12/early-40-sw-subgun-prototype-brazil/ and http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/09/20/another-early-40-sw-subgun-prototype-imbel/). But I wanted to find the granddad of them all, and succeed I did!

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IMBEL's IA2-based subgun and carbine prototypes

The concept of “modular” or “family line” weapons is far from new, being easily found worldwide, but, much more typically, in the Heckler & Koch house. Once you have a sound, functional firing mechanism/operating system combination, chances are that they may be used in a variety of configurations and calibers. Enter the IMBEL -Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil company. Having developed and placed into production the IA2 family of 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm rifles in both selective-fire and semi-auto variants, in addition to being about to certify a .22LR training kit for the smaller-caliber types, the design office of the concern’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) is now playing around with derived .40 S&W and 9x19mm submachine-gun designs, plus a .380 ACP semi-auto carbine.

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A third IMBEL .40 S&W subgun prototype

Following two earlier exploratory attempts to create a .40 S&W submachine gun ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/07/12/early-40-sw-subgun-prototype-brazil/ and http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/09/20/another-early-40-sw-subgun-prototype-imbel/ ) the research department of IMBEL’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory, in Minas Gerais State) pushed their efforts one step further in the shape of a third prototype model, still under the general designation SMTR .40 IMBEL MD1. Captain Paulo Augusto Capetti Porto remained responsible for the project.

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Another early .40 S&W subgun prototype from IMBEL

As already mentioned in an earlier TFB article, Brazilian police agencies were quick to follow a trend to adopt the .40 S&W round, introduced in the early 1990s as a wonder solution for most LE pistol and submachine gun needs. The local IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil company soon came out with a somewhat crude SMG prototype ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/07/12/early-40-sw-subgun-prototype-brazil/) to initially explore the concept. The results were positive enough to justify the start of a brand-new design effort in 2000 or so, officially designated SMTR (Submetralhadora, Submachine gun) .40 IMBEL MD1. The brain behind the project was Army then-Captain Paulo Augusto Capetti Porto, the enthusiastic head of the Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) research department and who had had prominent participation in IMBEL’s work on a number of creative 5.56x45mm rifle developments ( http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/05/18/filfilc-97-family-forgotten-imbel-rifle-prototypes/).

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IMBEL official 5.56x45mm IA2 rifle/carbine advices

Following a recent firing incident with a 5.56x45mm IA2 semi-auto carbine in LE training use in Brazil, IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil has issued an official recommendation note covering two aspects of the weapon’s operation. The first of them refers to the commonly-controversial 5.56x45mm vs .223 Rem ammo use, whose slightly different NATO vs SAAMI chamber forcing cones generate higher-than-ideal chamber pressures in a .223 Rem rifle firing 5.56x45mm rounds.  However, both the IA2 rifle and the earlier IMBEL MD-97 are chambered for NATO-standard cartridges, the use of which is specifically recommended in the respective Operations Manual.  Nevertheless, the IA2 in both rifle (selective fire) and carbine (semi-auto) versions has been in service with the Brazilian Army and numerous civil and military police forces for several years now with no definite indications that the weapon is strictly “no-go” for .223 Rem.

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An early .40 S&W subgun prototype from Brazil

For five whole decades or so after World War II, the .45 ACP and 9x19mm calibers were, as known, the most widely employed in pistols and submachine guns worldwide, this including Brazil. Types in wide use  by the country’s armed and police forces included the locally-made INA M.B.50 and M953, both in .45 ACP, and the Taurus MT-12, in 9x19mm, whose original projects came, respectively, from Denmark (Madsen M1950) and Italy (Beretta M12). Some indigenous designs, all chambered to the 9x19mm round, were, in fact, often tried by different individuals and manufacturers in Brazil, quite a few of them having already been shown to history-inclined TFB readers. Other than that, some foreign-made types were also adopted, such as the German-made Walther MPK and the Heckler & Koch MP5 in various sub-types. All in 9x19mm, of course.

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