Firearms / Assault rifles / IMBEL MD97

IMBEL MD97

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Assault rifle

  • ORIGIN
    Brazil

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    1990's

  • DESIGNER
    Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil (IMBEL)

  • PRODUCTION
    1997 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Brazil - IMBEL

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Rugged design
    Limited production costs
    Limited weight
    Limited barrel life
    Difficult to mount accessories
    Very high rate of fire

Introduction

The MD97 is an assault rifle of Brazilian origin. It was developed by IMBEL in the 1990's to replace the not very successful MD2. The MD97 is a much modified version of the MD2 assault rifle, which in turn was based on the Belgian FAL battel rifle. The MD97 is usually called the MD97L to indicate that it is much lighter than the MD2 that had as main drawback its excessive weight. The L stands for Leve, which is Portugese for light.

Design

The MD97 uses a mechanism similar to the FAL, although a different form of locking is used. The MD97 uses a short stroke gas piston and has a rotating bolt. Compared to the MD2 it is much lighter due a lighter receiver and much thinner barrel. As a result it heats up faster and the barrel life is only 6.000 rounds. Externally the MD97 looks very similar to the FAL Para since it uses the same handguard, pistol grip and folding stock. Accessory rails are not fitted as standard. Recently an A2 model was presented with new polymer furniture.

Firepower

The MD97 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from a 30 round STANAG magazine. It is a select fire rifle with a very high cyclic rate of fire of 850 to 950 rpm. The maximum effective range is 400 meters. The MD97LC carbine fires semi-automatic only out to a maximum range of 300 meters. A M203 grenade launcher can be fitted but it is impossible to launch rifle grenades.

Users

The MD97 is in limited use in Brazil. Several law enforcement and military units use the MD97 alongside a wide variety of other assault rifles. It is deemed unlikely that the MD97 will see widespread service.

Variants

MD97LC

The MD97LC is a more compact and semi-automatic only version of the MD97L. It was intended to serve as a police carbine. LC stands for Leve, Curto, which is Portugese for light, short. It is also available with a fixed plastic stock instead of the metal foldable tubular stock.

TypeAssault rifle
Caliber5.56x45mm NATO
Magazine20, 30 round detachable box
OperationGas operated, short stroke gas piston, rotating bolt
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length330 mm
Rifling6 grooves, 178 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFoldable
Length850 mm / 600 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.33 kg incl empty magazine
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

MD97L

The MD97L is the standard full size version of the MD97. The MD97L differs from the LC model in having a longer barrel and the ability for automatic fire. The L in the name stands for Leve, what translates as light. Although the designation may suggest otherwise there is no standard or heavy version. It is also available with a fixed plastic stock instead of the metal foldable tubular stock. The MD97LM has a Picatinny rail on the receiver for mounting optics.

TypeAssault rifle
Caliber5.56x45mm NATO
Magazine20, 30 round detachable box
OperationGas operated, short stroke gas piston, rotating bolt
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire850 - 950 rpm
Barrel length437 mm
Rifling6 grooves, 178 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity915 m/s
StockFoldable
Length1.010 mm / 770 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.71 kg incl empty magazine
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

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