The AMELI (which is a contraction of “ametralladora ligera”, or light machine gun) was introduced by CETME in 1981, and adopted by the Spanish military as the MG82. It was a counterpart LMG to the new CETME-L 5.56mm rifles, and is a mechanically fascinating design.
The AMELI is a roller-delayed blowback system. Although it takes a lot of visual cues from the MG42, it’s not simply a copy of that classic. What makes the AMELI so intriguing is it combination of excellent mechanical simplicity, light weight (6.7kg/14.7 lb), and handiness. It is a belt-fed gun, with a rate of fire around 900rpm – fast, but not too fast.
Unfortunately the AMELI suffered a reputation for fragility, and never saw widespread adoption or real commercial success. It was adopted by Spain, Mexico, and Malaysia in limited numbers, but was replaced by the H&K MG4 in Spain in 2008. Production ended in 2003, with only 3000-4000 apparently being made.
Big thanks to DSA for giving me the opportunity to disassemble and film this one for you!