Review Disclosure

Given the fact that FN Herstal has been developing firearms for almost 125 years, there’s a surprising lack of literature available out there regarding FNH weapons and history. At least one outstanding book about FN Herstal is available, and it’s titled Ars Mechanica (ISBN: 0978-2-87415-877-3).

The book is published by the Herstal Group (2008), which is the parent company of FN Herstal and Browning Arms Company. It’s a big, heavy hardcover book with 576 pages and over 1,500 high quality photographs. Ars Mechanica goes into great detail on FN’s company history, as well as its involvement with John Moses Browning, and it also describes some of the early products manufactured by FN Herstal, such as bikes, motorcycles, and automobiles. Of course, there is also info on FN’s latest firearms, such as the 5.7x28mm weapons and the SCAR rifles.

This is undoubtedly “the ultimate FN book” (as its cover claims), but it’s not perfect. In my opinion, it spends too much time discussing FN’s old products, such as the motorcyles, and too little time discussing FN’s modern products. It would have been nice if the book had more background info on current weapons.

For example, there are some great pictures of prototype P90 submachine guns, but not a very thorough backstory on development of the P90, which would have been very interesting. The quality of writing could also be a bit better, but since English is not the authors’ native language, that can be excused.

All in all, this book is excellent, and any fan of FN Herstal should own it. Ars Mechanica can be purchased from Amazon for about $75.

Ars Mechanica: The Ultimate FN Book

Early FN P90 prototype

Early FN P90 prototype

Early FN P90 prototype

Damage suffered by the Herstal factory in World War II

Damage suffered by the Herstal factory in World War II

Over 2 million American service weapons were delivered to the Herstal factory in 1945 for cleaning and repair

Over 2 million American service weapons were delivered to the Herstal factory in 1945 for cleaning and repair

Assembly of M3 machine pistols in August 1945

Aerial view of FN in the 1970s

M249 (Minimi) production at FNMI, in Columbia, SC.

F2000 rifles at the factory

These images were scanned from the Ars Mechanica book. Credit for these images goes to the Herstal Group.

David

David

David is a Missouri native and a long-time writer, photographer, and gun enthusiast. He is a member of the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, and other gun rights organizations, and works to preserve Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
David