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Fabrique Nationale FN Mle D (BAR)

Light Machine Gun (LMG) [ 1932 ]

The FN Mle D was an improved form of the base Mle 1930, which was itself born of the American BAR series.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/19/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The original John Browning M1918 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) was introduced during World War 1 with American forces and saw more widespread during World War 2 while serving into the 1960s(it can still be found in certain places today). Colt eventually produced a version of the BAR for the commercial market and foreign adoption of the weapon ensued. The Belgian concern of Fabrique Nationale took on license production of the automatic rifle in 1930 as the "FN Mle 1930", this based on the "Colt Automatic Machine Rifle Model 1925" offering of 1925.

Prior to World War 2, Fabrique Nationale took to modernizing the Mle 1930 in 1932 to become the "FN Mle D" (or "Type D") for their still remained need for BAR-type weapons especially in the light machine gun role. FN took to modifying their BARs in two distinct ways - institution of a "quick-change" barrel feature and simplifying the design of the receiver. In these two initiatives, the Mle Type D now sported the ability for the operator to change out an overheating barrel with a cool unit and not risk the detrimental effects of an overheated barrel (deformation, fracturing of the assembly). This allowed the weapon to undertake the more defined suppression fire role where voluminous fire was a key quality. The simplification of the receiver and its internal working components meant that the weapon was lighter than in previous BAR iterations and proved less expensive to produce in number. Additionally, cleaning, maintenance and repair were all bettered through the initiative. The weapon was produced in three chamber sizes - the original utilizing the 7.92x57mm Belgian Mauser cartridge and, in the post-war years, the .30-06 Springfield 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges. In the latter (designated as the "FN Mle DA1"), the weapon fed from FN FAL-type straight box magazines. Belgian BARs were noticeably different from their American cousins by their use of cooling "fins" along the barrel - though these were of debatable value. Other key Belgian-inspired features were retained from the Mle 1930 - the carrying handle, heavy-duty barrel and folding bipod.

The end-product resulted in a fine weapon system that was an improvement over the original BAR iteration. However, the new weapon was still limited by its 20-round detachable box magazine which was not addressed in the redesign and thusly limited the tactical value of the Mle D as a light machine gun. It was still too heavy and clumsy to wield as a battle rifle or assault weapon and, adding insult to injury, time had passed the BAR design by to the point that there proved better offerings for the light machine gun role on the world stage. World War 2 disrupted much meaningful armaments production in Belgium and the Mle D did not go one to see widespread use - being limited to the armies of Belgium and Egypt and little more. The Mle D survived longer in Egyptian service than in Belgian service before being replaced by Soviet offerings. ©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Belgium national flag graphic


Light Machine Gun (LMG)

Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, Herstal - Belgium
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Belgium National flag of Egypt Belgium; Egypt
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,443 mm
56.81 in
Barrel Length
508 mm
20.00 in
Empty Wgt
20.28 lb
9.20 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Gas-Operated; Tilting Breech Block

Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


7.92x57mm Belgian Mauser; ,30-06 Springfield; 7.62x51mm NATO

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 7.62x51mm / .308 Winchester rifle cartridge
Graphical image of a 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

20-round detachable box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
2,853 ft
(870 m | 951 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,400 ft/sec
(732 m/sec)

Mle D ("Type D") - Base series designation appearing in 1932; based on the preceding Mle 1930.
Mle DA1 - Post-WW2 variant chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge; FN FAL-type 20-round magazine.

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