One of the less well known firearms in the roller-locked family of designs is the Spanish Ameli (a contraction of “Ametralladora ligera”), or “Special Purpose Assault Machinegun”. Developed in the late 1970s by CETME, the Ameli was basically a scaled-down MG42 machine gun in 5.56x45mm. However, instead of using the MG42’s fully locked mechanism, the Ameli was designed with the roller-delayed blowback developed with the Gerat o6H/StG45 and most commonly seen on the HK91 series or rifles.

Ameli LMG

The Ameli was a particularly short and light weapon, and used a fluted chamber to aid extraction. It had good sights, an adjustable bipod, quick-change barrel with integrated handle, and several polymer parts to reduce weight. Like the MG42, it was designed with two different bolt weights to charge the rate of fire between 1250 rpm and about 850 rpm. Other than a few initial teething problems, it was an excellent weapon.


Manuals (English)

Ameli Descriptive Handbook
Ameli Descriptive Handbook


  1. This fine weapon is quite effective and light for its class, but it has acquired a reputation as a terrorists weapon due to the fact that that it can be broken down into its component parts and stored in a hard sided case of surprisingly small dimensions and carried into a target area without arousing suspicion. This may have had something to do with its limited success on the international market.

  2. Some units in the spanish army received it, but as it is rather fragile, nobody wanted it and preffered to use the MG3, (MG42)

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  4. The Royal Malaysian Navy PASKAL unit also using the Ameli from late 1990s trough 2000s until they being replaced/supplemented with South Africa Vector SS-77/Mini SS.

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