FAMAS Assault Rifle

Don’t know what it is about the bullpup design (the magazine well is located aft of the trigger housing) that the Europeans so admire, but admire it they must. FAMAS (Fusil d’Assaut de la Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Etienne) and Steyr, for example, couldn’t be happier with the configuration in light of the FAMAS and the Steyr AUG.

Shortly after the end of World War II, the first bullpup rifles emerged on the French prototype scene thanks to Atelier Mecanique de Mulhouse (AME) and MAS.

Early French bullpup weapons chambered intermediate rounds like the 7.92x33mm Kurz, the .30 U.S. carbine and the 7.65x38mm, but this ammunition and the 7.62x51mm NATO were later abandoned in favor of the .223 (5.56mm) NATO.

Dozens of prototype designs later, French weapons designer Paul Tellie came up with the FAMAS in 1967. French-owned Nexter (formerly GIAT Industries) currently manufactures the FAMAS assault rifle for French military and paramilitary use.

The FAMAS comes in two models: the FAMAS F1 and the FAMAS G2.

The F1 has been the French Army service rifle since the late 1970s, although the updated G2 can be found in the arsenals of the Fusilers Marins and Commandos de la Marine since the mid-1990s. The Philippines, Djibouti, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have bought this assault rifle in limited numbers.

The FAMAS is a delayed blowback, select-fire assault rifle that is chambered for the ubiquitous 5.56mm NATO round. The FAMAS F1 and G2 have an overall length of 29.8 inches with a 19-inch (and change) barrel. With an empty magazine, the F1 weighs slightly less than eight pounds (i.e., 7.96 pounds); with an empty magazine, the G2 tips the scales at slightly more than eight and a quarter pounds. The F1 uses a FAMAS 25-round magazine; the G2 accommodates a 30-round STANAG magazine.

The muzzle velocity of the F1 is 3,150 feet per second. The F1 is capable of cycling up to 1,000 rounds per minute with an effective range of 984 feet (300 meters).

Muzzle velocity of the G2 is slightly less at 3,035 feet per second, and it has a rate of fire between 1,000 and 1,100 rounds per minute. Its effective range is 1476 feet.