The FAMAS (Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de St-Etienne, meaning "Assault Rifle from the St-Etienne weapons factory"), also spelt FA-MAS and nicknamed le Clairon, is a bullpup select-fire assault rifle chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO. It was developed by GIAT Industries in France.
The first model, the FAMAS F1, was manufactured in 1975. These guns had proprietary 25-round magazines, a one-finger trigger guard, and other minor differences from the current FAMAS G2 model. Production of both models was discontinued in 2000.
Later, the FAMAS rifles were redesigned for better integration with NATO standards, culminating in the "G1" and "G2" models. The G1 was an intermediary model; it was able to accept both the proprietary magazines and STANAG magazines. The latest configuration (circa 1994), the G2, accepts only STANAG magazines.
The main selector switch has three positions - safe, semi-automatic and full auto. There is an additional selector switch behind the magazine; when the rifle is set to full-auto, this selector switch has two settings - full auto, and three-round burst.
The rifling in the bore has three grooves instead of the more common 4-6. The F1 models utilize a 1:12 rifling twist; the G2 models, a 1:9 twist.
The FAMAS has issues with using standard brass-cased 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition, which can create over-pressure and case ruptures and lead to severe malfunctions, so the French military uses its own special steel-cased ammunition for the FAMAS. Local production of ammunition had ceased entirely however.
All rifles are shipped with sling and bayonet. With the exception of the "SMG" variant, all rifles come with a deployable bipod.
The FAMAS is a part of the French FÉLIN (Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés, Integrated Infantryman Equipment and Communications) infantry combat system. FAMAS used in the program are modified with lowered carrying handles and extra equipment to integrate all aspects of combat into a single system.