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Venezuelan FN49: The First FN49 Contract

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Venezuela was the First Nation to purchase the FN-49 rifle, before even the Belgian military. In fact, the Venezuelan contract was signed in 1948, before the “FN-49” designation was even in place. Venezuela bought a total of 8,012 rifles in two batches – 4,000 rifles plus 12 cutaway training examples delivered in 1949 and a further 4,000 more rifles delivered in June 1951. All of them included the integral muzzle brake and scope mounting cuts, although no scopes were ever procured. They were all semiautomatic models.

Some of the rifles were issued and used, but some appear to have remained in depots their entire life. Venezuela was also an early adopter of the FAL, and the FN-49 was only used for a short time. In 1966, all of them (or virtually all) were sold as surplus to InterArms, and brought onto the US collector market.

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