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IMBEL MD97



Overview


MD97L

MD97LC with optical sight in use with Brazilian GATE in Minas Gerais state.
Source: Ludmila Tavares @ www.flicker.com - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Brazil
Type
Assault rifle
Entered service
Around 2004
Status
In service
Development
1995 - 1999
Developer
Brazil - Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil (IMBEL)
Production
Early 2000's - present?
Producer
Brazil - IMBEL
Notable users
Brazil

Description


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.

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.

Details


Facts MD97LC MD97L
General
Origin
Brazil
Type
Assault rifle
Caliber
Caliber
5.56x45mm NATO
Feed system
20, 30 round detachable box magazine
Barrel length
330 mm
Rifling
6 grooves, 178 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
840 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, short stroke gas piston
Locking
Rotating bolt
Fire selector
0 - 1 - F
Also produced as semi-automatic only
Rate of fire
850 - 950 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Side folding
Optional fixed synthetic stock
Length
0.85 mm stock extended
0.60 m stock folded
Weight
3.33 kg incl empty magazine
Sights
Mechanical
Iron sights
Optics
Optional, requires dust cover with Picatinny rails

Media


Related articles


FN FAL

The MD97 has been derived from the Belgian FAL battle rifle, which is produced under license by IMBEL.