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FN MAG GPMG at the Independence Day exhibition at Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Latrun, Israel
Type General purpose machine gun
Place of origin  Belgium
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars South African Border War, Yom Kippur War, Falklands War, Gulf War, 2003 Iraq conflict, Afghanistan Conflict
Production history
Designer Ernest Vervier
Designed 1950s
Manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN)
Produced 1958–present
Variants See Variants
Weight 11.79 kg (25.99 lb)
Length 1,263 mm (49.7 in)
Barrel length 630 mm (24.8 in)
Width 118.7 mm (4.7 in)
Height 263 mm (10.4 in)

Cartridge 7.62x51mm NATO
Action Gas-operated, open bolt
Rate of fire 650–1,000 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 840 m/s (2,756 ft/s)
Effective range 800 metres
Maximum range 1,500 m from tripod
Feed system Non-disintegrating DM1 or disintegrating M13 linked belt
Sights Folding leaf sight with aperture and notch, front blade

The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale (FN) by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.[1] The weapon’s name is an abbreviation for Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général[2]—"general purpose machine gun" (GPMG). The MAG is available in three primary versions: the standard, heavy infantry Model 60-20 machine gun, the Model 60-40 coaxial machine gun for armoured fighting vehicles and the Model 60-30 aircraft variant.


Design details

A U.S. Marine firing the British L7A2 version of the MAG.
A FN MAG mounted on a Eurocopter EC 725 Cougar MkII at the 2007 Paris Air Show held at Le Bourget airport.

The MAG Model 60-20 is an automatic, air-cooled, gas-operated machine gun, firing belt-fed 7.62x51mm NATO from an open bolt.

Operating mechanism

The MAG uses ignited powder gases vented through a port in the barrel to propel a gas piston rod connected to the locking assembly (it uses a long-stroke piston system). The barrel breech is locked with a vertically-tilting, downward locking lever mechanism that is connected to the bolt carrier through an articulated joint. The locking shoulder and camming surfaces that guide the locking lever are located at the base of the receiver. The MAG uses a series of proven design concepts from other successful firearms, for example the locking mechanism is modeled on that of the Browning M1918 (BAR) automatic rifle, and the feed and trigger mechanisms are from the WWII-era MG42 universal machine gun.

The MAG fires from an open bolt. Both the spring-powered extractor and ejector are contained in the bolt. After firing, spent cartridge casings are removed through an ejection port located at the base of the receiver (a spring-loaded dust cover of the MG42 type covers the ejection port). The machine gun has a striker firing mechanism (the bolt carrier acts as the striker as it contains a channel that houses the firing pin, which protrudes out from the surface of the bolt upon firing), an automatic-only trigger assembly and a manual cross-bolt push-button safety, which is located above the pistol grip. With the safety placed in the “safe” setting, the sear mechanism is disabled. The safety can only be engaged with the weapon cocked.


The weapon feeds from the left-hand side from open-link, metal ammunition belts: either the American disintegrating M13 belt (NATO standard) or the segmented German DM1 belt, whose 50-round sections can be linked together through a cartridge. In order to adapt the weapon to feed from one belt type to the other, several components of the feed mechanism need to be reconfigured since the position of the feed tray's cartridge stop and pawl angles in the top cover are different. The MAG features a pawl-type feeding mechanism that continues to move the feed link during both the rearward and forward cycles of the reciprocating bolt carrier, producing a smooth belt flow. The feeding mechanism’s three pawls are actuated by a roller connected to the bolt carrier. The feed channel rail, feed link, both feed slides and the feed tray are chrome plated. The top cover body is an anodized aluminum casting. In the infantry assault role, the weapon can be fitted with a sheet metal container that houses a 50-round belt and is attached to the left side of the receiver.

The quick-change barrel has a slotted flash suppressor. The barrel’s chamber and bore are chromium-lined and the barrel has four right-hand grooves with a 305 mm (1:12 in) rifling twist rate. Also attached to the barrel is the front sight base, carry handle and gas block (equipped with an exhaust-type gas regulator valve with three settings).

The machine gun is fitted with a folding bipod (attached to the end of the gas cylinder) that can be adjusted for height. The aluminum legs can be folded back for carrying or use as a forearm—and secured in slots under the receiver by their hooks and a spring-loaded catch. When firing from the hip, the bipod legs remain extended and the left leg is gripped for support. The bipod can be removed from the gas cylinder by tapping-out a roll pin in the gas cylinder head until it is flush and the bipod can be rotated enough to clear the gas cylinder's retaining lugs.

The MAG is also equipped with a fixed wooden stock, pistol grip, carrying handle and iron sights that consist of a forward blade (adjustable mechanically for both windage and elevation) and a folding leaf rear sight with an aperture in the down position for firing distances from 200 to 800 m in 100 m increments and an open U-notch for ranges from 800 to 1,800 m graduated every 100 m. The rear sight is hinged to a base with protective ears that is integral with the receiver's upper forging.

The MAG’s receiver is constructed from sheet metal stampings reinforced by steel plates and rivets. The front is reinforced to accept the barrel nut and gas cylinder which are permanently mounted. Guide rails that support the bolt assembly and piston extension during their reciprocating movement are riveted to the side plates. The bolt's guide rails are shaped downward to drive the locking lever into engagement with the locking shoulder—also riveted to the side plates. The rear of the receiver has been reinforced and slotted to accept the butt-stock.

In the static machine gun role the weapon is mounted on a tripod that offers a higher degree of accuracy and control than the bipod, for example the FN 360° tripod, which features an elevation adjustment mechanism that enables the weapon’s bore axis to be maintained from 300 mm (11.8 in) to 600 mm (23.6 in), has a -30° to +15° elevation change and a 360° traverse range.


The Type 74 machine gun, a Taiwanese version of the MAG.
7.62 Ametralladora Tipo 60-20 MAG, Argentine version of the FN MAG used by the Argentine Army.
A U.S. Marine fires a tripod-mounted M240G.

The vehicle-mounted variant of the MAG lacks a stock, bipod, carry handle, pistol grip and ejection port dust cover, it does however have a new closed-type gas regulator. Depending on the weapon’s employment, the machine gun can also be fitted with an extended charging handle linkage, standard trigger group (with a pistol grip), or a specialized trigger assembly with an electrically-fired trigger.

The pintle-mounted aircraft model is fed from either the right- or left-hand side exclusively with the M13 belt. Thus configured weapons typically lack standard iron sights and are equipped with electrically powered triggers.

The MAG fires the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. A variant was also produced for the Swedish Army (designated the Ksp 58), that was adapted to use the 6.5x55mm Mauser rifle cartridge. In the early 1970's the Swedish Army modified the weapon, now having switched to the standard NATO calibre 7,62x51mm and it was now designated Ksp58B. The weapon is still in service until this day.

In 1961 the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield—now British Aerospace—in the United Kingdom, undertook license production of the MAG in the following versions: L7A2, L8A2, L37A2, L20A1 and the L43A1. These models all use the M13 ammunition belt.

The L7A2, general purpose machine gun, replaced the L7A1 in service with the British Army. Compared to the MAG Model 60-20, it features, among other minor changes, a 10-position gas regulator valve, a plastic butt-stock and a bracket—used to mount optical day- and night-vision sights—mounted to the left side of the receiver. In a stationary defensive role the L7A2 can be mounted on the L4A1 tripod in conjunction with a periscope sight.

The L8A2 coaxial tank machine gun (replaced the L8A1) has a different gas valve switch (closed, single-position)—when compared to the analogous Model 60-40—a different flash hider and a modified cocking handle. The weapon also has a trigger group that accepts electrical input and a lever in the feed tray that enables the belt to be removed without lifting the feed tray cover.

Another tank machine gun is the L37A2 (succeeded the L37A1) designed to be mounted on tank turrets, in the commander's position, on wheeled armoured vehicles and on armored personnel carriers. It differs from the L8A2 primarily in its trigger, which was adapted from the L7A2 GPMG. The machine gun can be used in the ground role for self-defense, by dismounted vehicle crew members, the egress kit consists of an L7A2 barrel, bipod and buttstock.

The L20A1 aircraft machine gun was based on the L8A2, from which it differs by having an electrical trigger and a slotted flash suppressor. The L20A1 can be converted to right-hand feed by changing several components in the feed mechanism.

The L43A1, also developed from the L8A2, is a coaxially-mounted tank machine gun used to sight-in the vehicle’s main gun by firing ballistically-matched tracer ammunition at the target to confirm the trajectory visually. The weapon’s barrel, fitted with a flash hider, has a reinforced and heavier structure that increases the weapon’s accuracy especially during sustained fire.

On January 14 1977, the US Army awarded a contract to FN Herstal for the delivery of a modernized Model 60-40 variant tank machine gun designated the M240. Initially the firearms were produced in Belgium. Currently they are manufactured in the USA by FN’s US wholly-owned subsidiary FNMI (FN Manufacturing Inc.) located in Columbia, South Carolina. The M240 is built in several versions: the M240 (base model), M240C, M240E1, M240D, M240G and M240B.

The M240 is the standard coaxial machine gun used by US armored vehicles. It is used in the M60 series of tanks (where it replaced the M73/M219 7.62 mm machine guns) and the M1 Abrams family. It has an electrically-operated trigger and a reloading lever. Compared to the MAG Model 60-40, the M240 has a different flash hider and gas valve.

The M240C is a variant of the original M240, but with a right-hand feed system. It is used in the M2 and M3 Bradley series of infantry fighting vehicles as a coaxial gun to the main armament.

The M240E1 model, installed since 1987 on LAV-series wheeled armored fighting vehicles, has a spade-type grip with an integral trigger and cocking mechanism.

The M240D is considered to be an upgrade of the M240E1 and is optimized for use in military helicopters in a pintle-mounted configuration. The M240D is also supplied with a kit for dismounted use. The M240H is an improved version of the M240D. The M240H features a rail equipped feed cover, an improved flash suppressor, and has been configured so it can be more quickly converted to infantry standard using an Egress Kit. The M240H is 41.2 inches long, has a 23.6 inch barrel, and has an empty weight of 26.3 lbs.

The M240G general purpose machine gun was introduced into service with the United States Marine Corps and the 75th Ranger Regiment in the early 1990s in place of the M60E3. This was due to an interservice agreement in which the USMC swapped all M60-series weapons, parts and tools to the US Army and were given M240s built for the M1 Abrams. The USMC then developed modifications, which resulted in the "G" variant designation. The M240G features a different gas adjustment valve and shorter flash hider than the MAG Model 60-20. The weapon was also modified to accept optical sights through the use of a MIL-STD-1913 receiver-mounted rail. The M240G is used on the M122A1 tripod for stationary use, and is also used in vehicular and aircraft mounts. It weighs 10.99 kg (24.2 lb), has an overall length of 1,245 mm (49.0 in) and a rate of fire of 650-950 rounds/min.

The M240B is a modernized and product-improved derivative of the M240G, which features a perforated hand-guard and heat shroud, a MIL-STD-1913 rail integral with the receiver top cover—that enables the use of optical day and night sights—a new synthetic stock and a new ammunition container. It was selected to be the U.S. Army’s new medium machine gun on December 1, 1995, replacing the M60 machine gun (it defeated the M60E4 during trials). It weighs 12.5 kg (27.6 lb) and has a length of 1,245 mm (49.0 in). The rate of fire is 650-950 rounds/min.

Ksp 58

FN production variants

Designation Description
MAG 60.20 Standard infantry version with pistol grip, fixed buttstock, and bipod; Many subvariants including the T3 (L7A1) and T6 (L7A2)
MAG 60.30 Fixed aircraft version, firing from a solenoid trigger; Capable, at least in some subvariants, of left and right hand feeding
MAG 60.40 Coaxial version for armoured fighting vehicles; Many subvariants including the T3 (M240)
MAG 10.10 "Jungle" version with shorter barrel and buttstock.

British subvariants

Designation Description
L7A1 7.62x51 mm NATO FN MAG 60.20 T3 machine gun
L7A2 L7A1 variant; FN MAG 60.20 T6; Improved feed mechanism and provision for 50 round belt-box
L8A1 L7A1 variant; For mounting in AFVs. No buttstock. Barrel fitted with fume extractor. Solenoid-triggered, but with folding pistol grip for emergency use.
L8A2 L8A1 variant; improved feed mechanism
L19A1 L7A1 variant; extra-heavy barrel
L20A1 L7A1 variant; for remote firing in gun pods and external mountings
L20A2 L20A1 variant; improved feed mechanism
L37A1 L8A1 variant; L8A1 breech & L7 barrel for mounting on AFVs. Conventional pistol grip & trigger, plus kit allowing dismounted use
L37A2 L37A1 variant; L8A2 based. As above.
L43A1 L7A1 variant; for use as a ranging gun on the Scorpion light tank
L44A1 L20A1 variant; for Royal Navy


A Canadian soldier fires the C6 variant of the MAG.
The M240E1 variant on the LAV-25.
Mexican military personnel inside a tank with an FN MAG.
A sailor of a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion fires an M240B, a U.S. derivative of the MAG adopted for infantry use in the 1990s.
  •  Argentina: The MAG is in use in the Argentine Army as the 7,62 Ametralladora Tipo 60-20 MAG[3] after being purchased more than two decades ago. The MAG saw action during the Falklands War. Argentinian MAGs were license-manufactured by the state-owned Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares (DGFM) arsenal.[4][5]
  •  Australia: The MAG is the standard GPMG of the Australian Defence Force, in particular, the Australian Army where it is known as the MAG 58.[6]
  •  Austria: The MAG is used by the Austrian Army as the 7,62 mm MG FNMAG/Pz and is used in the Schützenpanzer Ulan and the Kampfpanzer Leopard 2A4.[7][8] It's also used as the armament of the new S-70A-42 Black Hawk helicopters.[7]
  •  Bahrain[9]
  •  Iraq[10]
  •  Barbados[9]
  •  Belgium[9]
  •  Belize[9]
  •  Bolivia[9]
  •  Botswana[9]
  •  Brazil: Standard support weapon of the Brazilian Army, known as the M971.[11]
  •  Brunei[9]
  •  Burkina Faso[9]
  •  Burundi[9]
  •  Cameroon[9]
  •  Canada: Used in the Canadian Forces with the designation the C6 GPMG[12], it is used primarily as a platoon level support weapon[13]. Two C6 machine guns are assigned to each Rifle platoon. The C6 GPMG is also mounted on a variety of vehicles, including the LAV III, the Coyote, the Leopard C2, and the G-Wagon LUVW. In these vehicles the C6 GPMGs are co-axially and pintle mounted and used to provide fire support to the infantry or for local defence of the vehicle itself.
  •  Chad[9]
  •  China: Made for export as the CQ, 7.62 x 51 with an adjustable butt.[14]. The XY, 7.62 x 51 is made with a wooden butt[14]
  •  Egypt: Made under license by the Maadi Company for Engineering Industries.[1][4]
  •  Colombia[9]
  •  Cuba[9]
  •  Cyprus[9]
  •  Djibouti[9]
  •  Dominican Republic[9]
  •  Ecuador[9]
  •  Estonia: The Swedish-made version known as the Ksp 58B has been adopted as the standard MG.[15]
  •  Gabon[9]
  •  Gambia[9]
  •  Ghana[9]
  •  Guatemala[9]
  •  Greece: EKAM counter-terrorist unit of the Hellenic Police.[16]
  •  Haiti[9]
  •  Honduras[9]
  •  India: Made under license.[1]
  •  Ireland: Known as the GPMG or MAG 58.[17]
  •  Israel: Used by the Israel Defence Force.[18]
  •  Jamaica: Battalion-level fire support weapon of the Jamaica Defence Force.[19]
  •  Latvia: The Swedish-made version known as the Ksp 58B has been adopted by the national guard as the standard MG.[20]
  •  New Zealand: The New Zealand Defence Force originally purchased the British-made L7A2 version of the MAG in 1976. These are now being replaced by several versions of the Belgian-made MAG-58, which was originally introduced into service as part of the introduction of the NZLAV. The FN-made MAGs are now used in the infantry light machine gun (LMG) role as a flexible mounted machine gun on the LOV and UH-1H and as a heavy sustained fire machine gun.[21]
  •  Singapore: Unlicensed production carried out by Ordnance Development and Engineering Company of Singapore[4], now integrated to ST Engineering. Two versions produced, one infantry assault variant fitted with a bipod, the other co-axial model for armored vehicle or vehicle mountings. One MAG is issued to each rifle platoon. It is always referred to as GPMG or simply MG. The weapon is operated by the machine gun team, comprising the MG Commander, the MG-gunner, and assistant gunner who carries extra ammunition, helps link belts and change barrels, and provides security.
  •  Sweden: Adopted in 1958 as Ksp 58, and manufactured by Bofors Carl Gustaf.[22]
  •  United Kingdom: The L7 general purpose machine gun is used by the British Army.[23] It and the related L8 are a license-built derivative of the MAG. The official British Army designation for the current version is the L7A2 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun). The L7 was adopted by the British forces as a replacement for the long-serving Vickers machine gun (in the medium role) and the Bren (in the light assault role), following trials in 1957. Built under license originally by Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield Lock and currently by Manroy Engineering,[24] it serves in the British Army, the Royal Marines and other services. There have been two main variants, the L7A1 and L7A2, developed for infantry use, with the L7A2 having superseded the earlier variant. Several other variants have been developed, notably the L8 (produced in the L8A1 and L8A2 versions), modified for mounting in armored vehicles (the L37 variant was developed for mounting on armored vehicles). Although intended to replace the Bren entirely, that light machine gun (re-titled as the L4) continued in use in jungle terrain (especially in the Far East), where there was no requirement for the medium machine gun role, and with secondary units, until the adoption of the L86A1 Light Support Weapon (LSW). The LSW was intended to replace both the L7 and the L4 in the light machine gun role, but dissatisfaction with the L86's sustained fire capabilities and reliability resulted in combat units continuing to utilize the L7 whenever possible (although neither it, nor its 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition were supposed to be issued to infantry platoons). The British Army and Royal Marines have since been issued with the L110A1 (FN Minimi Para) to replace the LSW as the light section support or fire support weapon. This uses the same NATO-standard 5.56x45mm ammunition as the L85 assault rifle. However 7.62 mm L7 variants continue to be used in both dismounted roles and mounted on some British military vehicles, naval vessels, and aircraft.
  •  United States: US Military as the M240.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Hogg, Ian (2002). Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-00-712760-X.
  2. ^ World Gun's FN MAG page. Retrieved on November 21, 2008.
  3. ^ MAG 7.62 being used in military training exercises in Misiones, Argentina:
  4. ^ a b c Multiplying the Sources. Retrieved on October 5, 2008.
  5. ^ European arms exports to Latin America - An inventory. Retrieved on August 15, 2008.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b 7,62 mm Maschinengewehr FN MAG 58. Retrieved on April 2, 2008.
  8. ^ Österreichs Bundesheer - Waffen und Gerät - Turmdachmaschinengewehr MAG (für Leopard A4)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. p. 896-898. ISBN 0710628692. 
  10. ^ Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. p. 359. ISBN 0710628692. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ The Canadian Army - Equipment
  13. ^ Canadian Forces General Purpose Machine-Guns. Retrieved on April 2, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Popenker, Maxim & Williams, Anthony G., page 41.
  15. ^ Eesti Kaitsevägi - Tehnika - Kuulipilduja KSP-58
  16. ^ "Greece Ministry of Public Order Press Office: Special Anti-Terrorist Unit". - Official Website of the Hellenic Police. July 2004. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  17. ^ Army Weapons - General Purpose Machine Gun. Retrieved on April 2, 2008.
  18. ^ Modern Firearms: Negev machine gun
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Machine Guns.
  22. ^ Medeltung kulspruta 58. Retrieved on October 9, 2008. (Swedish)
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^


  • Popenker, Maxim & Williams, Anthony G. (2008). Machine Gun. The Development of the Machine Gun from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. London: Crowood Press. ISBN 978-1847970305. 

External links

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