Few firearms manufacturers have reached the global stature of Fabrique Nationale (FN). FN has supplied small arms to Western militaries and commercial customers for well over 100 years. From pistols to machine guns, FN is synonymous with quality, military-grade products for clients of discerning taste.
Before 1889, several loosely affiliated factories manufactured firearms for the Belgian military. These companies worked together to produce military arms to compete with German firms like Mauser. Finally, in 1889, these factories came together in the town of Herstal as a new company to build military rifles. This newly created company became known as Fabrique Nationale.
FN and Browning
John Moses Browning is well known as one of America's most prolific firearms designers. His real talent existed in the envisioning of a firearm's mechanical action and properties. After designing a firearm mechanism, he would sell the concept to a manufacturer. Companies like Colt and Winchester then took these designs and turned them into mass production firearms.
Eventually, Browning wished to produce firearms on his own, rather than sell the designs. Just before the turn of the Twentieth Century, Browning turned to FN to begin building many of his designs. They needed work between military contracts and Browning sought new opportunities with an overseas manufacturer to turn his ideas into reality. This partnership became an unparalleled match and led to one of the most famous duos in firearms history.
The Armory of the West
Since its founding, FN has produced small arms for countless Western militaries and civilian markets. After WWII, many European armies fielded the FAL battle rifle in 7.62 NATO. Several militaries also issued the Browning Hi-Power pistol chambered in 9mm Parabellum. The US subsidiary, FN America, has produced M16 rifles for over 30 years. In recent years, the SCAR rifle series raised the bar again with a design tailored for special operators and appreciated by anyone that demands the very best.
FN's Notable Modern Offerings
In the late 1980s, NATO militaries issued a call to manufacturers for Personal Defense Weapons (PDW). PDWs aimed to provide select-fire, armor defeating capabilities in a sub-machinegun type platform. NATO intended this new class of firearm for non-front line personnel that were historically issued sidearms. FN submitted the P90 chambered in their new low recoiling bottlenecked 5.7x28 cartridge. The P90 has been in service since 1990 and has become a favorite among users needing high firepower and mild recoil.
In 2000 FN placed the Five-seveN pistol into production utilizing the same 5.7x28 round. In addition to this new high performance round, the Five-seveN boasted an unprecedented 20 round magazine capacity. The 5.7x28 cartridge offered significantly less recoil than traditional service size calibers like 9mm Parabellum with increased ballistic capabilities.
As the Global War on Terror heated up, America's military started to look for a replacement for the M16 family of rifles for special forces. FN submitted two rifles for the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) program put on by US Military. The FN SCAR H in 7.62 NATO and SCAR L in 5.56 NATO have been in service since 2009. The SCAR rifles utilized a short-stroke gas piston system. Now FN offers the semi-automatic SCAR 16S in 5.56 NATO and SCAR 17S in 7.62 NATO for the commercial market. Additionally, the SCAR 20S, is offered as a precision marksman's rifle in 7.62 NATO. The SCAR rifle series raised the bar again with a design tailored for special operators and appreciated by anyone that demands the very best.
It is hard to overstate the mark that FN has made on the world of firearms. Especially after their partnership with John Browning, FN is responsible for some of the most popular gun designs in history. Even with this rich history, they continue to lead the way in firearms innovation. Browse our large selection of Fabrique Nationale handguns and long-guns!