The FNC is a selective fire weapon that uses a gas-driven piston operating system (with a long-stroke piston) and a rotary bolt locking mechanism equipped with two locking lugs that engage corresponding recesses in the barrel extension. The bolt is rotated and unlocked by the interaction of the bolt's cam pin with a camming guide contained in the bolt carrier. Overall, the mechanism strongly resembles the Kalashnikov, but adapted to more advanced design and production methods.
The spring extractor is located inside the bolt head, the ejector is fixed and riveted to the inside of the receiver housing. The FNC uses a 2-position gas valve, a hammer-type firing mechanism and a trigger with a fire selector switch that is simultaneously the manual safety, securing the weapon from accidental firing. The selector lever is located on the left side of the receiver and has 4 settings: "S"—weapon safe, "1"—single fire mode, "3"—3-round burst, "A"—continuous fire.
The FNC's barrel features a flash suppressor that is also used to launch rifle grenades (only the standard rifle model has this capability). The gas block contains a gas valve setting that is used to isolate the gas system, providing an increased volume of propellant required to fire a rifle grenade. The sheet-metal gas valve switch when pulled upright, acts as a V-notch sight used for aiming the rifle grenades. The piston head and extension, as well as the gas port block, barrel bore and chamber, are hard-chrome plated to minimize the effects of propellant fouling.
The rifle feeds from 30-round steel magazines that are interchangeable with magazines from the American M16 rifle (STANAG 4179 system). After the last round is fired, the bolt will remain closed as there is no provision for an automatic bolt hold open. However, the bolt handle can be manually worked to hold the bolt back. FNC magazines will function in M16/AR-15 type rifles but the follower will not hold the bolt open on the last round unless they have been replaced by an M-16 type follower.
The plastic-coated, lightweight alloy skeleton stock folds to the right side of the receiver and FN also offer a synthetic (polyamide) fixed buttstock.
The rifle has a flip-type L-shaped rear sight with two apertures with settings for 250 and 400 m (the front sight post can be adjusted for elevation, the rear sight—windage). The FNC can also mount optics such as the Hensoldt FN4X telescopic sight through the use of a receiver-mounted adaptor.
Standard equipment supplied with the FNC includes a spike bayonet or a variant of the American M7 blade bayonet (with the use of a lug adaptor) and a sling. The rifle can be deployed with a barrel mounted bipod and blank-firing adaptor.
FN FNC Variants
The FNC is produced in two primary configurations: a standard rifle and short (carbine) length. The rifle variant called the "Standard" Model 2000 and the "Short" Model 7000 carbine come equipped with barrels with 6 right-hand grooves and a 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling twist rate (used to stabilize the heavier Belgian SS109 bullets), while the Model 0000 rifle and Model 6000 carbine—a slower, 305 mm (1:12 in) twist rate (used with the American lightweight M193 cartridges).
The Swedish service rifle built by Bofors Ordnance (currently BAE Systems Bofors) is a modernized Model 2000 carbine that lacks the burst fire control setting. It was accepted into service in 1985 as the Ak 5 after extensive trials and replaced the 7.62mm Ak 4 (locally produced copy of the Heckler & Koch G3). Bofors has produced several variants of the basic Ak 5: the Ak 5B (equipped with a British 4x SUSAT optical sight but no mechanical iron sights), the Ak 5C (a modular carbine variant designed for compatibility with various accessories), and the Ak 5D (a compact variant for vehicle crews).
Fabrique Nationale offers a semi-automatic only carbine version known as the Law Enforcement (Model 7030 with a 1 in 178 mm rifling twist and the Model 6040—with a 1 in 305 mm twist rate). These single-fire carbines feature a 410 mm (16.1 in) barrel and are also capable of firing rifle grenades and mounting a bayonet.
|Place of origin||Belgium|
|Used by||Belgium, Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Sweden, Venezuela |
|Wars||Anti-guerrilla operations in Indonesia, 2007 Lebanon conflict, Conflict in the Niger Delta|
|Designer||Fabrique Nationale de Herstal|
|Manufacturer||Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, Bofors Ordnance, PT Pindad|
|Weight||Rifle: 3.840 kg (8.47 lb) |
Carbine: 3.7 kg (8.2 lb)
|Length||Rifle: 997 mm (39.3 in) stock extended / 766 mm (30.2 in) stock folded |
Carbine: 911 mm (35.9 in) stock extended / 667 mm (26.3 in) stock folded
|Barrel length||Rifle: 449 mm (17.7 in) (rifle) |
Carbine: 363 mm (14.3 in)
|Width||70 mm (2.8 in) stock extended |
75 mm (3.0 in) stock folded
|Height||238 mm (9.4 in)|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||Approx. 625-675 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||M193: 965 m/s (3,166 ft/s) |
SS109: 925 m/s (3,034.8 ft/s)
|Effective range||250–400 m sight adjustments|
|Feed system||30-round detachable box magazine (STANAG system)|
|Sights||Rear flip aperture, front post|
513 mm (20.2 in) sight radius (standard rifle)