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FN Model 30: The First Belgian BAR

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FN played a role in the production of Polish wz.28 BARs, and in the process obtained a copy of the technical package for the weapon, and converted it to metric measurements. Under the supervision of Dieudonne Saive, this was used as the basis for FN’s own BAR production, called the Modelé 30. Production was done with a license from Colt, who owned the rights to Browning’s patents on the BAR.

The Model 30 was basically a Colt R75 (Model 1925), but incorporated a few improvements. Most significantly, the male and female parts of the gas system were swapped, which prevented carbon from building up and eventually jamming the gas piston. In addition, the bolt removal latch was improved form he US pattern, and the Polish wz.28 style rear sight was used. Lastly, a rate-reduction mechanism oil the fire control group gave the gun “slow” and “fast” settings, of roughly 350rpm and 600 rpm instead of the traditional semi and full auto settings.

Production began in 7.65mm, and the Belgian Army adopted the weapon, taking deliveries form 1930 until occupation in 1940. The Model 30 was also made in 8mm Mauser, and exported to China and Ethiopia. The design was fairly quickly supplanted in 1932 by the FN Modelé D, which added a quick-change barrel mechanism to the design, and this pattern sold more widely.

Full video on the FN Model D:

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