Country of origin
7.62 x 51 mm NATO
1 232 mm
Cyclic rate of fire
750 - 1 000 rpm
Practical rate of fire
1 800 m
Range of effective fire
Range of effective fire (mounted on a tripod)
1 100 m
The L7A1 is
a UK-built version of the Belgian
It was adopted in 1961. Its improved versions are still produced. This weapon saw action
during various military conflicts. During the 1982 Falklands War, it
has even been used by both sides.
FN MAG is one of the most widespread and effective machine guns in
the world, and is still being mass-produced around the world more
than 50 years after its introduction into service. It is also used
by the US military as the
The L7A1 is
used against enemy troops, soft-skin and lightly armored vehicles.
It can be fired from tripods and vehicle mounts. This general
purpose machine gun is used on armored vehicles, helicopters and
machine gun has several design attributes of the World War II-era
German MG-42, including its trigger mechanisms, quick-change barrel,
and spring-loaded dust cover. But much of the weapon was derived
from the basic design formula of the venerable Browning Model 1918
BAR. In fact most of the Belgian FN MAG was created by simply inverting
the BAR's receiver, so it could be belt-fed from above rather than
magazine-fed from below.
The L7A1 is
gas-operated weapon. Barrel is above and the gas regulator. This
machine gun fires from an open bolt.
It is a
selective fire weapon, but does not have a single shot capability.
The fire selector switches between a rate of fire of 750 rpm, 850
rpm, or 1 000 rpm. However the firing rate is adjusted only when
fouling causes sluggish operation of the weapon and there is no time
to clean the weapon properly.
A safety is
integral to the design, which disables the sear when set to "safe",
but it can only be safed when the weapon is cocked.
is fed into the upper left side of the weapon by a belt. The L7A1
accepts linked belts with disintegrating or non-disintegrating
links. These belts are typically 50 to 250 rounds in length and
stored in boxes. The 50-round belts are the most widely-used, and
can be linked end-to-end. On the L7A2 model a 50-round belt box can
be attached to the weapon itself.
The L7A1 is
bulkier and heavier than many modern machine guns. However it proved
to be a very reliable weapon. Several sources report that the FN MAG is the most reliable machine gun in the world. For example, during testing in the 1990s,
it was able to fire an astonishing 26 000 rounds between failures.
This reliability was further confirmed in a 2013 torture test of the
American M240B, after which there was no loss of accuracy, despite the weapon
firing a total of 15 000 rounds at its cyclical rate of fire. By the
end of that 2013 test, it had fired more than 32 000 rounds without
ill effect. The barrel is rated for 800 rounds fired before
replacement, but the L7A1 can exceed this requirement.
According to some sources this weapon
have been able to fire 8 000 rounds out of individual barrels before
requiring a replacement, even when the barrels were heated until
they glowed red hot. Barrels with advanced lining materials have
even longer life ratings, with Stellite-lined barrels claimed to
last for 15 000 rounds.
Most of the
components of the L7A1 are interchangeable with the Belgiam
and its derivatives, such as the American
has quick-change barrels. A carrying handle is attached directly to
the top of the barrel. It allows the crew to quickly remove an
expended barrel while it is still hot, with no need for insulated
gloves to handle it.
The L7A1 has
composite buttstock, foregrip and pistol grip. Early versions of the
original FN MAG had wooden furniture, while newer models also employ
bipod is standard equipment, allowing this machine gun to be fired
from a stable position while resting on the ground or a raised
object (such as a wall or a boulder).
The sight is a folding leaf type, with an aperture and notch
in the rear, and a simple blade in the front. The rear sight is
adjustable for sighting range, from 200 m to 1 800 m.
effective range of the L7A1 is 800 m when fired from a bipod and 1
100 m when fired from a tripod.
L7 machine gun is available in a number of versions.
this weapon is around US $9 500.
L7A1 is a
baseline version, used by the infantry;
improved feed mechanism and provision for 50-round belt box;
L8A1 is a
coaxial version of the L7A1, intended for mounting inside tanks and
armored vehicles. It has no buttstock and is fitted with a sloenoid
trigger mechanism. This weapon has a folding pistol grip for
L8A2 is a
coaxial version with improved feed mechanism;
L19A1 is an
infantry version of the M7A1, fitted with a heavy barrel;
L20A1 is a
version, designed to be mounted on helicopters in gun pods and
external mountings. Mechanically it is similar to the L7A1;
L20A2 is a
improved version of the L20A1 with improved feed mechanism;
L37A1 is a
variant designed for mounting on armored vehicles. This weapon
consists of L8A1 breech, and L7A1 barrel;
improved version of the L37A1 with improved feed mechanism;
L43A1 is a
coaxial version of the L7A1, used as a ranging gun on a
Scorpion light tank;
L44A1 is a
variant of the L20A1, a helicopter-mounted version, used by the
L112A1 is a
variant of the L7A2, mounted on