View Full Version : My famous French FAMAS F1 bullpuprifle

July 22, 2015, 15:14
Hi Folks,
Some time ago i was able to buy some Dutch NATO trial rifles. Including this French FAMAS F1, still fullauto and burst capable. No need to call the feds, FBI, or men in black. I don't live in the land of the free, so i can legaly own MG's and DD's :]

Boy, this is the weirdest rifle i ever have seen...
The FAMAS F1 was developed in the late 70's. Production started in '79. FAMAS means “Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de St-Etienne”. Let's say, assault rifle made in France...
You can search om wikipedia for some random info, this is more a first hand experiance story.

My rifle is one of two bought by the Dutch Army. The other one did all the work, mine stayed as a reference and saw no action.
First thing you notice is the weight and lenght. It is 4.25 kilo loaded. still 76cm long.
The balance is bad. If you fire it, it jumps off your target. The sighting is unique. You got 3 different sizes of diopters on board for day light, 2 more for night and an ambidextrious for grenades. Oh, and the grenade lever has 2 settings + a kind of gasregulator on the barrel with some 17 settings. So there are 2x17= 34 settings for your rifle grenade. Each type grenade has its own settings, means 5 different grenadetypes times 2 times 17... WTF!

The bipod helps a big deal to stay on target. The performance and group was good. Those Frenchies choose there own ammo, so at the very best, you can fire a 55gn bullet. It is not NATO compatible... They always do odd!

Loading the 25round mag is easy. The mags were ment to trow aways but the army had not enough money to do so...
Be adviced, for a French civilian, it is forbidden to have rifles in a military caliber. empty military mags are not allowed for then. So, mags have one of the lips cut away to neutralise'm...

Loading a bullpup mag sucks always if you were trained with classic assault rifles. Yank the cocking handle and release it free. If you don't let it fly, it jams! Sighting is easy, firing too. The triggerpull is military hard. The result was fine. some 10 cm on 100 meters.
The fireselector is not placed in a good way. There is a switch to choose safe, single shot and "a kind of automatic fire". WTF? yep, a kind of...
Under your elbow is a second switch. There you choose "3" for a triburst or "0" for full auto. So "zero" means full auto? Yep, don't ask me why but i'll bet at least one idiot fired the gun by accident...

The rounds are not ejected, they roll out, right in your armpit, and burn like hell. Thanks French engineers!

Some more weird things. If you need to zero your gun, you need to remove the upper to do so. You can only adjust it "open".
one click is 3cm/100m
The gun has a delayed blowback system, so not gasplugs. Fieldstripping is not difficult. Push out (and loose'm in the high gras) the pushpins. Remove upper, remove back. Push out cockinghandle pin. Remove bolt now. push boltpin. open finaly the bolt by pushing a very small pin on the bolt. The ejector and extractor are now out. A mickey mouse hole remains.
If you want to switch the ejectionport, you need to switch ejector from place + the cover.
Did you notice that the upperframs is smaller as the lower. Water and dirt will automaticly flows IN your lower, not over. Crazy!

so, conclusion:
It is is a special rifle. The sights day/night/grenades are complex. Even mounting the combatsling can't be done with out a youtube movie...
Everything is odd, special or weird.
It shoots tight, even with the bipod. Accuracy is fine, balance not! (follow up shot sucks)
Compared with the L85 and AUG's, the FAMAS kicks harder.
The shells roll out, long sleeves are adviced if you fire in the prone position!
The use of the safety+funswitch is slow.
The rifle is a soundbox. It is noisy.
The next FAMAS generation is ar15 mags compatible and can fire a 62gn projectile.
My F1 has a 1/12 twist and only 3 land/grooves. Why, becouse they can...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9802_zpsvcnyytj6.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9802_zpsvcnyytj6.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0555_zpsy50qjgcj.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0555_zpsy50qjgcj.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0605_zpsh3hc6myb.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0605_zpsh3hc6myb.jpg.html)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0564_zpsu5euxic7.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0564_zpsu5euxic7.jpg.html)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0576_zps82nuyxo7.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0576_zps82nuyxo7.jpg.html) Safety on R= rafalle
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0583_zpstbikanha.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0583_zpstbikanha.jpg.html)
Funswitch 0=FA 3 is 3, got it?

Gasring to the left= maximum range
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0566_zps2ul1eufu.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0566_zps2ul1eufu.jpg.html)
to the right, minimum range, note the plastified notes with rangecharts.
in combination with the grenade sight 45 ot 76. You can do this is 10.000 Russians are running to you position...
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0598_zpsnviefbcm.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0598_zpsnviefbcm.jpg.html)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0600_zpsphpmg050.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0600_zpsphpmg050.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9714_zpscnxo6zom.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9714_zpscnxo6zom.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9713_zpsy8pcroli.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9713_zpsy8pcroli.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9711_zpsehawc9ku.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9711_zpsehawc9ku.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9710_zpsltwu2fws.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9710_zpsltwu2fws.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9709_zpsqdjkgj4h.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9709_zpsqdjkgj4h.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9717_zpsvl3698mf.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9717_zpsvl3698mf.jpg.html)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0612_zps90gulsox.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN0612_zps90gulsox.jpg.html)
Say hi to Mickey Mouse
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9780_zpsqnimb8ke.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9780_zpsqnimb8ke.jpg.html)Burn baby, burn!
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9783_zpsoqgutss7.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9783_zpsoqgutss7.jpg.html)

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9789_zps2jhjmq3l.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/4%20Bullpups/DSCN9789_zps2jhjmq3l.jpg.html)

My FAMAS and the other trial bullpups...
More details later. This rifle will be published in a magazine in september. rest will follow...


July 22, 2015, 15:38

Some guys have all the fun, on this forum that guy is you!

July 22, 2015, 16:31

Some guys have all the fun, on this forum that guy is you!


But hey, it is a dirty hard job, and somebody has to do it.
I do it voluntary!
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/joeplf/vlimmeren/WapensBVVWTestMP40MP44018_zps81ea8f43.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/joeplf/media/vlimmeren/WapensBVVWTestMP40MP44018_zps81ea8f43.jpg.html)

July 22, 2015, 19:04
Thanks for the Famas pics Paco- I've always thought those guns were so cool (and I'm not a bullpup guy). Passed up an opportunity to pick one up here in the states about 8 years ago and have kicked myself ever since.

Brian in MN
July 22, 2015, 20:29
Thanks for the review, paco. Glad to hear that those grapes are sour.

I never wanted one of those things anyway.


July 22, 2015, 23:12
Two cool things about the FAMAS.....it has that really handy Surrender Handle for a positive grip while handing your gun over to your captor, or you can utilize those integral Surrender Sticks if you'd rather lay down your gun and not get it dirty while you wave your white flag!


July 23, 2015, 02:13
I think those engineers had to much wine in there plant.
My buddy has a MAS, the civilian version of the FAMAS, he's happy as hell with it. He is not a military and sees things different i'll guess.
I talked to some Legionairs in Djibouti when i was in Somalia. They didn't like it so much too. The sand got in fast. The action jams sooner or later.


July 23, 2015, 07:53
Would you happen to have a tech manual on it, that you could scan.? I have the operator manuals, but I'm looking for the armorer manual with the tech specs. French is fine, I can read enough of it myself, and my cousin is a French language professor.

I have one in for restoration, and have never done an arsenal level disassemble on one.

July 23, 2015, 08:31
I only have the soldiers manual...

July 23, 2015, 09:19

Thanks for posting this. One must wonder who in the French beaurocratic chain over-rode the recommendations of an engineer who must have called out the deficiencies of this firearm. Another theory is that the French just don't care that much about effective weapons because they are French and fighting is left to others, such as the Foreign Legion.

Either way, keep the reports coming!

July 23, 2015, 13:11
It is a hugh responsebility to make the call.
We go for this, or we go for that weapon.

I'm happy we took the FN FNC, and not FAMAS or L85A1