Here’s what would happen if China and Japan went head-to-head
This post was sponsored by FN.
If your tagline is “The World’s Most Battle-worn Firearms,” you should be able to secure it better, right? While the question of which company actually has this could give many answers to a random group of gun people, most of them would be wrong. Like cars and shoes, people tend to be branded with their firearms without actually cracking the data. However, the data in this case leaves only one answer: FN.
FN Herstal and its subsidiary FN America manufactured the weapons that were transported across the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan. We could have picked from many weapons best suited to back up FN’s claim, but these top 6 are absolutely stunning in depth. Any of them could be number one, so don’t look at them in any particular order. Much of FN’s contributions to this list came from John Moses Browning’s brilliant mind. Later in his life, Fabrique Nationale, now known simply as FN, became Browning’s go-to place and also owns his eponymous company, Browning.
So let’s go, in an order that no one can call descending, 6 cannons that are battle-tested and breathtaking:
Browning high power
The very first iteration of this pistol was called the GP 35 or Grand Puissance and was completed by Dieudonne Saive, a protégé of John M. Browning, who took over the design when JMB died at their factory in 1926.
Saive is also the engineer who developed the modern double-stacked magazine, which was first introduced at FN High Power.
Known as High Power (and later as “Hi Power”) because the High Power carried 13 9 mm rounds when it was created, while most handguns carried 7 rounds, it was ahead of its time. It has been used in conflicts from 1935 to the present day, from World War II to the Falkland Islands to Syria. It was the classic favorite not only of the SAS, but of many command units from all over the world. These weapons are still highly valued.
The Canadian military still uses the high power. They have an interesting connection with design after the plans were segregated from Belgium prior to the German occupation of the FN factory. The Canadians under the Inglis brand produced their own.
A version of the FN FAL used by West German soldiers in 1960.
FN FAL, also known as “The Right Arm of the Free World”
The Right Arm of the Free World is not an easy nickname to come by, but it’s well earned with the FN FAL. FAL stands for Fusil Automatique Leger, French for “Light Automatic Rifle”. Prototypes in 7.92 x 33 mm short and again in 280 British, most examples historically are 308 (7.62 x 51 mm). At a time when the world was recovering from World War II and urgently needed a new rifle, the FAL entered service as a service rifle in 90 nations.
The British called it the L1A1, and it faced the AK-47 with the Cold War. So many FALs were produced that they were occasionally worn by opposing armies. It was a favorite worldwide and is still used today. I had a captured paratrooper model in Iraq that I was absolutely in love with and sadly had to leave it because of its automatic counter.
M2 50 caliber BMG, also known as The Ma Deuce
This is strange as it is not an FN exclusive design and FN does not currently have a contract on the M2. Due to the demands of World War I, dozens of companies made M2 machine guns, much like Singer sewing machines from 1911. But FN has been making M2 since the 1930s, and you may actually have used one in service. The M2 is arguably the longest-serving weapon in US history and does not need to be introduced. From an anti-aircraft role in World War II to Kandahar last week, the M2 has served on every imaginable battlefield.
FN is currently producing the M2 in a Quick Change Barrel or QCB model for vehicle or boat trunnion mounts. They also produce the FN M3M, known as the GAU-21, which is in service with the US Navy.
M-16 / M-4 / M16A4
I count this as a weapon even though it is a family of weapons. Something That Might Surprise You: If you were in the military after 1988, chances are good your service rifle was an FN. In 1988, FN won the contract against Colt for the M-16 production for the first time. They created the M16A4 for the USMC in the Global War on Terror out of all fabric and beat Colt again in 2013 for the M-4 contract.In addition to serving in the US military, FN has armed that with M-16/4 weapons over the decades what can only be called the metric basis of other nations. FN’s production exceeds one million units of M16 / M4 carbines for DoD.
FN America on Facebook
M240 / M249
Again, this could count as multiple weapons, but I consider it one since the M249 is basically a scaled down M240. You might be surprised to learn that it has been in operation since 1958 (version 240). It is exhibited in 80 military and manufactured under license by FN in Canada, India, Egypt and the United Kingdom. It goes by many names, like the GPMG for you British, and sets the standard worldwide as the medium machine gun of choice. While the M240 (7.62 x 51 mm) is older, the smaller M249 (5.56 x 45 mm) has also been around for some time. It was designed in 1976 and entered US service in 1984.
It is well known that our cousins on the other side of the pond also have many names, such as “Minimi”. It has been used in every US conflict since the 1989 invasion of Panama and was a personal favorite of mine in the GWOT. I think a great many of us GWOT veterans, including myself, can say this. I came home more than once on my feet instead of in a body bag because I was carrying an FNH machine gun.
US Navy SEAL with a scar.
SCAR – also known as the “Special (Operations Forces) Combat Assault Rifle”
This one didn’t see quite as many conflicts as it was only produced in 2004. But he represents the future for FN. Available in 5.56 (light version) or 7.62 × 51 (heavy version) and from January 2020 in 6.5 Creedmoor, the SCAR is a rising star. It won the SOCOM service trials for the US and entered service in 2009. The Heavy version became very popular with troops traveling to Afghanistan and was placed in the service of 20 nations. The SCAR can be quickly configured by the user for different mission roles and is evolving. Given FN’s previous reputation, we can assume that it will continue for a long time.
It might be difficult to live up to a tagline that says most of the world until you have an FN product in hand.
This post was sponsored by FN.