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FN 49

Belgium/Egypt

 

BRIEF OVERALL HISTORY

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MANUFACTURER

Along the left side of the receiver is the manufacturer mark. "Fabrique Nationale D'Armes De Guerre_Herstal Belgique" translates to "National War Weapons Factory Herstal, Belgium". This is commonly abbreviated to and known as FN Herstal.

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RECEIVER RING MARKING

Indicating an Egyptian contract, the receiver ring marking is a crown over an Arabic inscription. The crown is monarchical crown of King Farouk, who was king at the time of the FN-49s adoption. The Arabic inscription is "Egyptian Army".

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SERIAL NUMBER

On the left side of the receiver is the serial number. This is marked in both Arabic and French numbers. This serial number puts this rifle in the second Egyptian contract and would have been delivered in June of 1950.

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ADDITIONAL SERIAL NUMBERS

Serial numbers are also marked on the top cover, bolt carrier, bolt, and stock. Some of these are mismatched indicating replacement parts.

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CALIBER MARKINGS

With varying calibers of FN-49s in production, some caliber specific parts were marked. The Egyptian contract rifles were chambered for 7.9mm (8mm Mauser) and are marked as such on the receiver, extractor, magazine, and follower.

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GAS CYLINDER PLUG

The gas cylinder plug on the Egyptian contract rifles was marked "gas" in Arabic script. When this mark is visible, the gas operation is enabled.

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PROOF MARKS

What is known as the Perron proof mark can be seen on the bolt, receiver cover, and receiver. This mark is a rendition of monument a in Liège known as "Le Perron". The letter below a star above this mark is the inspector at the Liège proof house. "E" was for Auguste Jamart, who was there from 1924 to 1959, and "H" for Christophe Woit, there from 1938 to 1968.

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FINAL PROOF MARK

The final or definitive proof mark is on the barrel over the chamber. This is applied after the rifle has withstood the firing of a proof-load cartridge. The ELG represent "Epreuve de Liège" or "Proof of Liège".  The letter below a star above this mark is the inspector at the Liège proof house. E was for Auguste Jamart who was there from 1924 to 1959.

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FIRING PIN

A two piece firing pin was adopted by FN in 1952. Egypt's contracts were fulfilled by 1950. This rifle has a two piece firing pin and it does not have the notch for the firing pin safety stop, which was omitted on the Egyptian contract. This would indicate that this is a replacement part for an Egyptian rifle, possibly done at the request of FN, as they knew the one piece design was prone to failure. Also of note, is this being an early two piece firing pin, as it has right angle machine cuts that were later tapered.

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FRONT SIGHT

Rifles were zeroed using varying sized front sight blades. This was done at the factory and the front sight height is marked on the left side. This one is marked "7.2" indicating that it is 7.2mm high from the bottom of the sight base, not including the dove tail.

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REAR SIGHT

The rear sight is a tangent style with and windage adjustable aperture. It is adjustable from 10 to 100 meters and is marked in Arabic.

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SAFETY SELECTOR AND COCKING INDICATOR

The safety selector is located on the right side above the trigger. It rotates down in to the safe position, blocking the trigger. Protruding from the trigger guard is a cocking indicator. When the hammer is back, the pin can be seen and felt.

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BOLT CARRIER CATCH

On the forward left side of the receiver cover is a bolt carrier catch. This allows the bolt and bolt carrier to be held to the rear for loading.

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DUST COVER

Along the right side of the receiver is a manually operated dust cover. It is partially open in this photo.

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GAS CYLINDER PLUG ADJUSTMENT

Removal or adjustment of the gas cylinder plug can be done with a cartridge. Using the tip of a bullet, the gas cylinder plunger can be depress then rotated. If the plug has become stuck, it can be rotated using a cartridge rim.

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STOCK WRIST CARTOUCHE

Behind the trigger guard on the stock wrist is a cartouche. The meaning of this is unknown.

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STOCK DISC

On the right side of the stock is a brass unit disc. The Arabic inscription around the top is the same as the receiver ring, "Egyptian Army". The inscription around the bottom seems to include the numbers "473" and "21". If you know what unit this rifle belonged to, please let us know on the contact page.

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BATTLEFIELD CAPTURE

This rifle does not have an import mark, indicating it was imported prior to 1968. The only known Egyptian FN-49s to enter the U.S. prior to 1968 were battle field captures from the Sinai War in 1956. Israel captured the rifles from Egypt and they were then imported to the U.S. around 1958.

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HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS

 
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RESOURCES

THE FN-49: THE LAST ELEGANT OLD-WORLD MILITARY RIFE
-WAYNE JOHNSON