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.