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DCB Shooting FAMAE.jpg
The .40S&W SAF submachine gun.
Type Submachine gun
Place of origin  Chile
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer FAMAE
Designed 1993
Manufacturer FAMAE
Produced 1993–present
Variants Mini-SAF
Weight 2.7 kg (5.95 lb)
Length 640 mm (25.2 in) stock extended / 410 mm (16.1 in) stock folded
Barrel length 198 mm (7.8 in)

Cartridge 9×19mm Parabellum
.40 S&W
Action Blowback, closed bolt
Rate of fire 1,200 rounds/min
Effective firing range 150 m
Feed system 20- or 30-round detachable box magazine
Sights Iron sights

The FAMAE SAF is a submachine gun produced since 1993 by FAMAE (Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército), the Chilean government small arms factory. It is in service with the Chilean armed forces and police and is exported.

The Paramilitary Police, gendarmerie type, Portuguese Republican National Guard (GNR - Guarda Nacional Republicana) and the Prison Guard (Guarda Prisional) both use the FAMAE SAF[clarification needed]. The GNR is thought to have both some 4500 weapons, replacing older submachine guns and, partially, the G-3 battle rifle in public order maintenance activities.


The SAF is a blowback-operated select-fire gun, firing from a closed bolt. It is based on the Swiss SIG SG 540 assault rifle which was produced under license in Chile in the 1980s. In general the design is a shortened version of the SIG 540 rifle, but the rifle's rotating bolt has been replaced with a simple blowback bolt. The SAF also has a bolt hold-open catch that engages after the final shot. Otherwise, the receiver, stock, fore-end, trigger/hammer assembly and floating firing pin design are from the SIG 540. The upper and lower receiver, as well as the trigger guard are steel, pistol grip and Handguards are all made from polymer. The ambidextrous safety/fire selector switch, as well as the interchangeability with SIG 552/553 handguards, is a feature found on the latest versions. Older versions used own handguards.

The 9mm magazines are transparent plastic, allowing the number of available rounds to be determined visually. The magazine is fitted with protruding lugs on one side and corresponding slots on the other, allowing two or three magazines to be clipped together for faster magazine changes. The .40S&W magazines are steel and hold 30 rounds. The selector has four settings: safe, single shot, 3-round burst and fully automatic. Some models were made in a semi-auto only configuration.


The SAF is manufactured in four versions: the standard model with a fixed polymer buttstock, standard with a left-side-folding tubular metal buttstock, a model with an integral suppressor and folding buttstock, and the Mini-SAF.

The Mini-SAF is very compact, at only 12 inches (300 mm) long. It has a short 4.5 inches (110 mm) barrel, no shoulder stock (although the left-side-folding tubular metal buttstock of the standard SAF can be attached), and a vertical foregrip. The Mini-SAF can use the standard 30-round magazines, but comes with special 20-round magazines for a smaller profile. All versions have post front sights with adjustable elevation, and aperture rear sights, adjustable for windage.

FAMAE SAF-200 submachine gun

A new version, the SAF-200 Bicentenary Edition, is being tested by FAMAE and the Chilean Army. It includes a new, retractable and foldable stock, a new handguard and Picatinny rails provided for optics and lateral attachments. The rails are optional for other SAF models, but standard on the SAF-200.[1]



  1. ^ http://www.famae.cl/slimbox/ficha_saf.php
  2. ^ Miller, David (2001). The Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns. Salamander Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84065-245-4.
  3. ^ Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. p. 893. ISBN 0-7106-2869-2. 

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