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The Gorgeous Rifles of FAMAE

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FAMAE has been around since 1811, but many here in the states have never heard of them outside of some quirky old pulp novels. That's largely because they're way down south in Chile. Being enamored with both obscure rifles and the southern tip of South America myself, I made a beeline as soon as I saw them at SHOT.


5.56 FAMAE SG 540-10

From the get-go, it's obvious that the Sig 550 was a large influence. Decades ago, Sig Sauer setup a factory to produce 550s. Being familiar with the layout (and having the tooling), FAMAE made this series (variation?) which closely mimics the originals, but with some twists. FAMAE brought along a variety of rifles and subguns in 5.56, 7.62N, and 9mm.

The forend on the SAF 200-10 (pictured above) has grip and cutout that invokes a SyFy channel movie. This blow back beast spits 9mm out at a rate of 1,200 RPM. Though the barrel is unthreaded, there appears to be enough meat to get the job done if required. FAMAE did play with manufacturing their own suppressors years back and may enter that arena again in the future. When the stock is folded, the overall length is only 15.7″.
The FAMAE SAF-10 is of an older generation, as evidenced by the add-on picatinny rail as opposed to the integral. It's slightly longer at 16.1″ folded and sports a metal folder (you pinch the stock rods together to fold) and different forend.

Keeping up with the subgun theme, here's the smallest of the bunch: the MINISAF. Just a bit over a foot long when folded (12.6″), this one is popular for those in executive protection roles. A 20-round magazine extends no further than the pistol grip, keeping everything tight.

Moving onto rifles, the SG 540-10 (5.56, folding stock) and SG 542-1 (7.62N, fixed stock) look the closest to the original 550 they were drafted after. These ones were sporting Trijicon ACOGs (TA31F for the 5.56 and a TA11F for the 7.62N).

Unfortunately, the likelihood of these rifles hitting the United States is incredibly low, though some were imported into Canada. The pistols provide a glimmer of hope since 922r does not apply. I appreciated the ability to check these out without the ill-advised move of having to pull one from the hands of a Chilean serviceman or Carabinero. If you keep your eyes peeled, occasionally you can see them on international news broadcasts.

Of course, I really want to go shoot them. 

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