Firearms / Machine guns / Minimi

Minimi

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    Belgium

  • NICKNAMES
    C9 (Canada)
    F89 (Australia)
    L108A1 (United Kingdom: Minimi)
    L110A2 (United kingdom: Minimi Para)
    M249 (United States)
    Squad Automatic Weapon / SAW (United States)

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1960's - 1980

  • DESIGNER
    Fabrique Nationale

  • PRODUCTION
    1982 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Australia - ADI
    Belgium - Fabrique Nationale
    Greece - EBO
    Italy - Beretta
    United States - FNMI

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Limited weight
    High volume of fire
    Dual feed mechanism
    Quick change barrel
    Overheats quickly

Introduction

The Minimi is a machine gun of Belgian origin. It was developed in the mid and late 1970's by Fabrique Nationale although concepts were drawn up much earlier. The Minimi is the world's first dedicated 5.56x45mm machine gun. Such weapons did exist earlier, but were derived from assault rifles or larger caliber machine guns. The name Minimi stands for Mini Mitrailleuse, which is French for mini machine gun.

Design

The Minimi is a belt fed machine gun with a quick change barrel and is also able to use magazines if needed. The Minimi gas operated and has a gas piston below the barrel. The design has a strong emphasis on a limited weight, allowing the Minimi to be used by a single operator. The Minimi has a plastic forearm and uses a fixed plastic stock, although the earliest versions had a metal tubular stock. The more compact models use a tubular retractable stock and shorter barrels. The latest model is a scaled up version that fires the heavier 7.62x51mm round.

Firepower

The Minimi fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from 100 or 200 round belts or STANAG magazines. Recently a scaled up model that fires the 7.62x51mm round has been introduced. The Minimi fires fully automatic only and has a rate of fire of 700 to 1.150 rpm, depending on the setting of the gas valve. The effective range is quoted as 300 meters against point targets and 800 meters against area targets.

Users

The Minimi is one of the most common machine guns in the world. The USA was one of the first who adopted it and remains a major user. The Minimi is in service with most NATO countries and can also be found in Asia and South America. In many armies two Minimi's replaced a single 7.62mm machine gun in infantry sections.

Variants

No variants

Use

 
Afghanistan
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Australia
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia

Bosnia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Croatia
Cyprus

East Timor
Egypt
France
Greece
Hungary
Indonesia
Ireland

Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kenya
Latvia
Lebanon

Luxembourg
Malaysia
Mexico
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway

Oman
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Slovenia

Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Taiwan
Thailand
Tunisia
Turkey

Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Venezuela
Yemen

K3

The design of the South Korean K3 is derived from the Minimi light machine gun.

Negev

The Israeli Negev looks somewhat similar to the Minimi light machine gun and has a rougly similar performance.

5.56x45mm NATO

Most versions of the Minimi fire the 5.56x45mm NATO round.