FN Minimi 5.56mm light machine gun

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.



The Minimi (short for French: Mini Mitrailleuse; “mini machine gun”) light machine gun was developed by Ernest Vervier at Fabrique Nacional (FN) at Herstal in Belgium. It is chambered for 5.56mm NATO ammunition and able to use either belted rounds or if required rifle box magazines.

First introduced in 1974, it has been very successful, adopted for use now by over 30 countries, manufactured also in 7 other countries and so can be widely seen in service, across the world from Australia to the UK and USA.

In 1984 it was adopted by the US Marine Corps who name it the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon).

It is now used extensively by US forces, production taking place entirely in the US by a local subsidiary, FN Manufacturing LLC in N. Carolina.

Under the US military’s M249 Product Improvement Program (PIP), the M249 was updated with: a new synthetic stock and modified buffer assembly, a single-position gas regulator, a “birdcage” type flash hider/compensator from the M16A2, a polymer barrel heat guard, and a folding carry handle.

Many of the PIP upgrades have now been incorporated by FN into their Herstal produced Minimis.

Helpful info

Regarding dates and period correctness, this item is appropriate for many armies and peacekeeping forces – from 1974 to the present day.

Foxtrot has both variants, either the short barrel, folding stock version called “the para”  or the standard long barrel, fixed stock “infantry” version.

Examples pictured here are both fitted with a canvas ‘belt box’ and an ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight).

 Film Set Notes

We have found in film/TV use that the Minimi is an extremely tolerant and actor friendly weapon, the para model especially, is compact and permits fast handling in confined spaces on tight sets or car interiors. The shorter barrel also delivers a bigger flash so the look when firing is more dramatic.