Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN) was formed in 1889. Its mission was to produce Mauser rifles for the Belgian military. The company has a rich history filled with triumph and sadness. It has produced some of the world’s great guns, both military and civilian. It’s collaboration with the American genius John M. Browning gave the world among others, the Superposed O/U shotgun, several small-auto pistols, and the great Hi-Power semi-auto handgun. The company also designed and produced the very fine FAL rifle. In 1970 the company’s name was changed to FN Herstal and in 1998, FNH USA was formed to provide marketing and sales support to the company’s U.S. operations.
FNH USA produces more firearms and accessories than I could possibly list in this column; so let’s look at few that I believe are important to the American civilian gun scene. First, the FN509™ semi-auto pistol. This is a striker fired polymer framed gun chambered in both 9 mm. The gun is available with a standard 4 inch barrel, a compact with a 3.6 inch barrel and a shorter grip, and a 5 inch barreled gun for duty and competition. The FN509™ has one of the best triggers I have found on any striker fired gun. The FN509™ is the product of the recent competition for a new U.S. Military pistol.
The FNX™ is a traditional double action hammer fired pistol. It is polymer framed gun chambered in 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. A fairly large pistol, this gun is appropriate for duty service or as a home defense pistol. It is a fairly comfortable to shoot and in my case provided good accuracy.
FN markets pump, semi-auto, and O/U shotguns. The SLP™ is a semi-auto designed for LE and competition. It is basically the same gun as the Winchester SX-3™. The other guns are literally copies of the Winchester SXP™ pump and the 101™ O/U shotgun respectively. All use Invector® choke tubes which are interchangeable with some Winchester and Browning shotguns.
The FN SPR™ (Special Police Rifle) is a Model 70™ clone. It has all the requisite Model 70™ features: controlled round feeding, 3 position wing safety, blade ejection, and chromed lined hammer forged barrels. It differs from the Winchester produced Model 70™ in that it has the original 2 lever trigger that some feel is the best trigger ever produced for a bolt action rifle. The FNAR™ is a Browning BAR™ clone available in 3 configurations for use in the field and in competitions. Both the SPR™ and FNAR™ come only with composite stocks, no wood is available.
Perhaps the most interesting of the FNH USA rifles are the SCAR® series carbines. Chambered in both 5.56 (.223) and 7.62 (.308) the rifles have folding polymer stocks that telescope and are fully adjustable for length of pull and comb height, fully ambidextrous controls, and 16.25 free floated hammer forged barrels. The guns are equipped with a MIL-STD 1913 optical rail and three accessory rails that allow a myriad of accessories to be attached to them.
FNH USA recently began marketing an AR style rifle for civilian use and it has several other gun models that I haven’t mentioned here. It also is one of the largest suppliers of small arms to the U.S. Military including most of the machine guns. As a side note, my Model 70™ has a FNH USA produced barrel and it is very accurate.
Next time you are looking for a new handgun, shotgun, or rifle, I suggest you give FNH-USA a look. This quiet company produces many thousands upon thousands of high quality firearms for both the American civilian market and the American military. You might be surprised at the plethora of really cool and quality guns available, all made in the USA.
Be safe and good shooting.