FN Herstal has introduced a new model of the Minimi machine gun, designated the ‘Mk3,’ which incorporates user feedback for better ergonomics and mobility. According to FN’s press release, this new model includes the following changes:
• an ergonomic buttstock adjustable in length (5 positions) to allow compensation for body armor and load bearing equipment. The buttstock is adjustable for cheek rest height as well. The user can have his eye correctly aligned with the iron sights, or optical sights, while keeping his cheek properly positioned on the buttstock. It also integrates a folding shoulder rest and a hydraulic buffer that stabilizes the rate of fire and reduces felt recoil,
• a new handguard/bipod assembly that provides a comfortable handguard and three forward MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny® accessory rails. The adjustable-height (3 positions) bipod, when folded back, integrates into the shape of the handguard even with an accessory on the lower rail,
• an ergonomically-shaped cocking handle that gives the user a better grip with the strong or weak hand,
• an improved feed tray with belt retaining pawls that hold the belt correctly in position during the loading procedure, which is most useful when the user is in the standing position,
• an optional heatshield that greatly reduces the risk of inadvertently touching the barrel,
• the convertibility of the FN MINIMI® 7.62 to fire 5.56x45mm ammunition.
Head over to FN Herstal’s official website for the full press release. They also released a video that displays the new features of the Minimi Mk3. The text of the video is in French, but the images in it are interesting nonetheless:
The standard Minimi machine gun is currently used by over 45 countries around the world, including the United States (as the M249).
Image credit: FN Herstal
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