With the standardization to NATO calibers for guns of Western countries during the Cold War, European arms makers furnished the market with exceptional long-range choices as was the case with Belgium's Fabrique Nationale de Herstal and their FN Model 30-11 sniping system. The weapon saw production from 1976 into 1986 and became a proven long-range precision weapon for the Belgian Army, special forces, local police as well as some other forces of the world. The Model 30-11 became Fabrique Nationale's final Mauser-based rifle system.
The product weighed 10.7lbs and featured a length of 44 inches with a 19.8 inch-long barrel installed. It was chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge and operated from the typical bolt-action arrangement requiring the operator to manage the included bolt-handle. Feeding was by way of a 5-round internal magazine with muzzle velocity reaching 2,790 feet per second. The heavy, hammered barrel aided in long range accuracy and the trigger was adjustable.
Design of the Model 30-11 held origins in Fabrique Nationale's existing line of hunting/sporting rifles and its action was based on the long-running Mauser design appearing in the late-19th Century. Though up in years, the system was a proven arrangement with few flaws if any and used throughout countless bolt-action rifles since it was introduced. This starting point made sense for a military/police grade sniping platform which gave rise to the Model 30-11 line. The weapon was designed with inherent precision out to 600 meters.
The Model 30-11 featured a single-piece, solid wood stock though its buttstock was a two-piece system designed with customization in mind. A folding bipod (taken from the FN MAG machine gun) could be fitted when needed under the fore-end as a frontal support. The trigger ring was oblong and made for the gloved hand while the integral 5-round magazine projected some ahead of the trigger group but much thought was given to clearing the trigger area of any sort of protrusion - including the well-spaced grip handle at rear. The rifle supported various sighting optics but retained its iron sights as backup. Sling loops allowed for a shoulder strap to be installed and used for transporting the gun. A flash hider was added to the muzzle to help protect the firer's position from enemy eyes.
Despite its strong qualities, the need for such a gun - and the ultra-competitive sniper rifle market in general - did this Fabrique Nationale product in by the middle-to-late 1980s.
Manufacturing Fabrique Nationale de Herstal - Belgium
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.