Firearms / Assault rifles / FN SAFN-49

FN SAFN-49

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-loading rifle

  • ORIGIN
    Belgium

  • NICKNAMES
    Modèle 1949 Fabrique Nationale Model 1949
    FN-49
    FN AL

  • DESIGNED
    1939 - 1947

  • DESIGNER
    Dieudonné Saive

  • PRODUCTION
    1948 - 1960

  • PRODUCERS
    Belgium - Fabrique Nationale

  • QUANTITY
    Over 176.000 produced.

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Semi-automatic
    Reliable
    Good accuracy
    Large and heavy

Introduction

The SAFN-49 is a self-loading rifle of Belgian origin. It was developed Dieudonné Saive for Fabrique Nationale. The name SAFN-49 stands for Saive Automatique Fabrique Nationale 1949 . The development started before World War 2 in Belgium and was completed in the UK during the final stages of the war. The SAFN-49 was not as successful as the MAS 49/56 or the M1 Garand, but sold well. It was replaced in production by the more capable FN FAL battle rifle.

Design

The SAFN-49 is a magazine fed gas operated weapon with tilting bolt. It has a classic wooden furniture, a fixed stock and rifle type grip. During the Korean War the SAFN-49 reportedly proved to be more reliable and accurate than the M1 Garand. A number of SAFN-49 have been fitted with an optical sight for use as a sniper rifle.

Firepower

The SAFN-49 is a semi-automatic weapon fed by a 10 round box magazine. It is most commonly chambered in .30-06 Spingfield, but was also produced in 7x57mm Mauser, 7.92x57mm Mauser or 7.65x53mm Argentine. The maximum effective range was claimed to be 700 meters. In Argentine service it was converted to 7.62x51mm NATO and used a 20 round magazine.

Users

About half of the total production was for the Belgian military, which was the third out of nine nations to adopt it. The SAFN-49 was also sold to various South American nations and several other nations around the world. Nowadays the SAFN-49 is considered obsolete and all have been withdrawn from active service.

Variants

SAFN-49

The SAFN-49 was produced in one version, but was chambered for several calibers. About three quarters of the production models are chambered for the US .30-06 Springfield round. Other calibers include 7x57mm Mauser, 7.92x57mm Mauser and 7.65x53mm Argentine.

Many Argentine models were converted in the late 1960’s from 7.65x53mm to 7.62x51mm NATO by the Argentine firm Halcón. They were fitted with proprietary 20 round magazines.

TypeSelf-loading rifle
Caliber.30-06 Spingfield, 7x57mm, 7.92x57mm, 7.65x53mm
Magazine10 round detachable box
OperationGas operated
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length589 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity730 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.201 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.5 kg
SightsIron sights, shielded post front and tangent aperture rear, optional optical sight
Remarks-

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