Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal (French for National Factory of Herstal) — self identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN — is a leading firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium, owned by the regional government of Wallonia. It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe.
FN is a subsidiary of the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns U.S. Repeating Arms Company (Winchester) and Browning Arms Company. FN Herstal is the parent company of two United States entities: FN Manufacturing and FNH USA. FN Manufacturing, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the manufacturing branch of FN Herstal in the United States, producing firearms such as the M249 and M240 machine guns and M16 rifle, among others. FNH USA, located in McLean, Virginia, is the sales and marketing branch of FN Herstal in the United States.
Firearms designed and/or manufactured by FN include the Browning Hi-Power pistol, Five-seven pistol, FAL rifle, FNC rifle, F2000 rifle, P90 submachine gun, M2 Browning machine gun, MAG machine gun, and Minimi machine gun—all of which have been very successful for the company. FN Herstal's firearms are used by the armed forces of over 100 nations.
FN originated in the small city of Herstal, near Liège. The Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (French for National Factory of Weapons of War) was established in 1889 to manufacture 150,000 Mauser Model 89 rifles ordered by the Belgian Government. FN was co-founded by the major arms makers of the Liège region, with Henri Pieper of Anciens Etablissements Pieper being the driving force and the primary shareholder of the new company. In 1897 the company entered into a long-lasting relationship with John Moses Browning, a well-known firearms designer. FN was an important manufacturer of motor vehicles in Belgium, a development championed by Alexandre Galopin as managing director. Cars were produced in Herstal in the early 1900s until 1935. Production of FN motorcycles continued until 1965, and production of trucks until 1970. In 1973, FN changed its name to reflect a product line diversified far beyond just "weapons of war", adopting the current name of Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal.
One of Fabrique Nationale's handguns, a Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol in 9×17mm (.380 ACP) (serial number 19074) was one of four weapons that were taken from the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, although it is unknown which of the four weapons actually fired the fatal round.
John Moses Browning began development of the Browning GP35 'High Power' (sometimes written as Hi-Power) pistol, the GP standing for Grande Puissance or "high power" in French. However, the weapon was finalized by Dieudonné Saive and did not appear until nearly a decade after Browning's death.
The FN Manufacturing LLC plant in Columbia, South Carolina is part of the military division of FN. It is primarily responsible for the production of U.S. military weapons, such as M16 rifles, M249 light machine guns, M240 machine guns, and M2 machine guns.
FN Herstal weapons
- Barracuda: Double-action multi-caliber revolver that can be switched between three calibers (9×19mm Parabellum, .38 Special and .357 Magnum) by changing parts of the cylinder.
- Five-seven: Lightweight polymer-framed pistol with a 20-round magazine capacity, and designed to use FN's 5.7×28mm cartridge. In service with military and police forces in over 40 nations throughout the world.
- FNP series: Series of polymer-framed pistols offered in 9×19mm Parabellum, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.
- FNX series: Updated and reengineered version of the FNP series pistol in 9×19mm Parabellum, .40SW and .45ACP.
- FNS series: Polymer striker-fired pistols in 9x19mm Parabellum and 40 S&W.
- Forty-Nine: Pistol chambered for 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W.
- Hi-Power: Single-action pistol chambered for 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W. One of the most widely used military pistols of all time, having been used by the armed forces of over 50 nations.
- HP-DA: 9×19mm Parabellum pistol, double-action variant of the Browning Hi-Power.
- M1900: .32 ACP blowback semi-automatic pistol.
- M1903: Blowback semi-automatic pistol chambered for .32 ACP and 9×20mm Long Browning.
- M1905: .25 ACP vest pocket blowback semi-automatic pistol.
- M1910: Single-action pistol chambered for .32 ACP and .380 ACP.
- P90: Ambidextrous bullpup personal defense weapon with a top-mounted 50-round magazine and chambered for FN's 5.7×28mm cartridge. In service with military and police forces in over 40 nations throughout the world.
- Uzi: Built under license from Israel Military Industries.
Semi-automatic and select-fire rifles
- Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle .22 LR, .22 Short. Takedown rifle. Production began in 1914 and continued through 1974 in Belgium.
- CAL: Carabine Automatique Légère, 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle.
- F2000: 5.56×45mm NATO bullpup assault rifle, part of a system with a computerized sight and 40mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun.
- FS2000: Semi-automatic sporting version of the F2000 rifle.
- FAL: Fusil Automatique Léger, 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle. One of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by over 90 nations.
- FNAR: Semi-automatic rifle chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO.
- FNC: Fabrique Nationale Carabine, 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle.
- M16: 5.56×45mm NATO rifle (produced under license by Colt Defense via a U.S. Government contract since 1991, by FNH USA).
- Mle 1930: Belgian variant of the Browning M1918, chambered in 7.65×53mm Belgian Mauser.
- Model 1949: Semi-automatic rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 7.62×51mm NATO, and 7×57mm Mauser.
- PS90: Semi-automatic sporting carbine version of the P90 submachine gun.
- SCAR: SOF Combat Assault Rifle, modular assault/battle rifle system with dedicated versions in 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×51mm NATO.
- Ballista: Modular .338 Lapua Magnum long range sniper rifle that is convertible to .308 Winchester or .300 Winchester Magnum calibers.
- Karabiner 98k: 7.92×57mm Mauser bolt-action rifle produced post-World War II.
- Model 1924 / Model 1930: Carbine and rifle based on the Mauser 98 carbine.
- Model 1950: .30-06 Springfield bolt-action rifle; updated version of the Model 1930.
- Model 30-11: 7.62×51mm NATO bolt-action sniper rifle developed from FN-built Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles.
- PBR: Patrol Bolt Rifle; 7.62×51mm NATO bolt-action rifle intended for police patrol cruisers.
- SPR: Special Police Rifle; bolt-action sniper rifle based on the Winchester Model 70, chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO and .300 Winchester Magnum, intended for FBI and SWAT teams.
- TSR: Tactical Sports Rifle based on the SPR.
- BRG-15: Experimental heavy machine gun chambered in 15.5×115mm.
- M2: .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) heavy machine gun produced under license.
- MAG: Mitrailleuse d'Appui General, 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun. Used by more than 80 nations, and made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Minimi: Mini Mitrailleuse, 5.56×45mm NATO light machine gun. Adopted by over 45 nations and used in the United States as the M249 SAW.
- MK 48: Variant of the M249 light machine gun. Chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO, and developed to meet a United States special forces requirement.
- Model 1930 BAR: Licence-built version of the M1918 BAR, rechambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.
- P-12: 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with 18-inch barrel and 5-round capacity.
- SLP (Self-Loading Police): 12-gauge gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun offered in four different models with various barrel lengths, sight options, and capacities. Introduced in 2008, and named "2009 Shotgun of the Year" by American Rifleman magazine.
- TPS (Tactical Police Shotgun): 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with 5 or 8-round capacity. It is an upgraded version of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company Winchester 1300.
- Browning Auto-5 recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun with 5-round capacity, designed by John Browning.
- 5.56×45mm SS109: NATO standard 5.56×45mm cartridge.
- 5.7×28mm: Small-caliber, high-velocity cartridge designed for use with the FN P90 submachine gun and FN Five-seven pistol.
- EGLM: 40mm Ergonomic Grenade Launcher Module designed for the FN SCAR.
- FN 303: Less-lethal 17 mm multi-shot projectile launcher.
- FN 303 P: Pistol version of the less-lethal FN 303 launcher.
- FN Telgren telescoping shoot-through rifle-grenade.
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- "Les armes belges, un business juteux" (in French). La Dernière Heure (DHnet). December 31, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Miller, David (2001). The Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns. Salamander Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84065-245-4.
- "Report: Profiling the Small Arms Industry - World Policy Institute - Research Project". World Policy Institute. November 2000. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- Francotte, Auguste; Gaier, Claude; Karlshausen, Robert (2008). Ars Mechanica. Herstal Group. ISBN 978-2-87415-877-3.
- Stevens, R. Blake The Browning High Power Automatic Pistol. Collector Grade Publications (1990). ISBN 978-0-88935-089-2.
- Tirans, Ivars (2009). "Baltic Defence Research and Technology 2009 Conference Proceedings". Military Review: Scientific Journal for Security and Defence (ISSN: 1407–1746), Nr. 3/4 (132/133), p 103.
- Arnold, David W. "Classic Handguns of the 20th Century: The Browning HI-Power". Handguns Magazine. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
- Hogg, Ian (2002). Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-00-712760-X.
- "FN Manufacturing, LLC: Products - MK48 MOD 1". FN Manufacturing, LLC. 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- "FNH USA Shotguns - SLP". FNH USA. 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- "FNH USA Ammunition - 5.7x28mm". FNH USA. 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- "FNH USA Less Lethal Products - FN 303 System". FNH USA. 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- "FNH USA Less Lethal Products - FN 303 P Series". FNH USA. 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
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- FNH USA 2009 Product Video on YouTube