The FAMAS Rifle

(Source)

French soldiers from the 27th Alpine Rangers Battalion and French Task Force Tiger patrol the many valleys of Kapisa province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2009. (DoD photo by Maj. Patrick Simo)

The FAMAS rifle, or Fusil D’Assaut De La Manufacture D’Armes De Saint-Etienne, is the standard French service rifle and has been since 1978. The acronym stands for assault rifle (Fusil D’Assaut) Manufactured for the Army by the French government’s armory in Saint-Etienne.

What would become the FAMAS started in the 1950s with France’s experimentation with the bullpup rifle concept. This was en vogue with French military circles in the 1950s and ’60s, though defense cutbacks toward the end of that time forced the new design to be temporarily halted. The bullpup concept had not seemed to gain any traction during the mid-20th century, but with the decision to make the 5.56x45mm the NATO standard, designers once again began to examine

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