The MD-2 is part of a family of standard Brazilian assault rifles serving the modern Brazilian Army. The MD series, as a whole, traces its roots back to the excellent Belgian Fabrique-Nationale FN FAL service rifle and can be considered a revised extension of this series. The rifle family consists of the original MD-1 prototype and the base production MD-2 as well as the evolved MD-3 and MD-4 models. While the original FN FAL was chambered to fire the 7.62mm NATO standard cartridge, the Brazilian MD series is chambered to fire the 5x56x45mm NATO cartridge - the same cartridge as utilized by the American M16 service rifle. The MD rifle line was first designed in 1983 with production beginning in 1985 under the IMBEL brand labeling. To date, the rifle has served with the Brazilian Army, Navy and police forces. The MD-2 and the similar MD-3 rifles are differentiated by the former having a folding stock and the latter featuring a fixed solid polymer stock. The MD-4 sports a shorted barrel as well as a side-folding stock.
The MD-2 weighs in at 9lbs, 10oz and features a running length of 39.8 inches with the stock fully extended (the skeletal stock is hinged to fold over the side of the receiver). The barrel measures in at 17.8 inches. The firing action consists of gas-operation (tapped from the barrel) with a rotating bolt system. The feed mechanism is designed to accept various STANAG-type magazines. Rate-of-fire is approximately 700 rounds per minute with an effective listed range out to 328 yards. Sighting is made possible by an aperture rear installation with a hooded front post. Outwardly, the weapon system maintains a rather conventional appearance and layout with the receiver containing all of the important internal workings, the integrated stock and pistol grip/trigger unit and the magazine feed. The barrel runs under the gas cylinder and is encased in a forend housing. A carrying handle can be affixed to the top of the receiver just ahead of the magazine feed.