Venezuelan FN49: The First FN49 Contract

Venezuela was the First Nation to purchase the FN-49 rifle, before even the Belgian military. In fact, the Venezuelan contract was signed in 1948, before the “FN-49” designation was even in place. Venezuela bought a total of 8,012 rifles in two batches – 4,000 rifles plus 12 cutaway training examples delivered in 1949 and a further 4,000 more rifles delivered in June 1951. All of them included the integral muzzle brake and scope mounting cuts, although no scopes were ever procured. They were all semiautomatic models.

Some of the rifles were issued and used, but some appear to have remained in depots their entire life. Venezuela was also an early adopter of the FAL, and the FN-49 was only used for a short time. In 1966, all of them (or virtually all) were sold as surplus to InterArms, and brought onto the US collector market.


  1. Venezuelan were 7mm. Beautiful shooters. Have a sniper version and it is very nice to shoot. Accurate, not to much kick, just a nice rifle.

    Of all the old snipers I’ve shot, it is the nicest shooting.

    Worst, IMHO. Springfield 30-06 with Unertl. Thing is a beast. Just unfriendly/unfun to shoot. Kicks like a mule. Accurate, yes. But kicks worse than a K98K. Ugghh, I hate it.

  2. I have one of these, it’s my most prized possessions. Serial# 4707, part of the 2nd-production run. I had a time getting the barrel cover back on after adjusting the gas-piston, though. It’s a gorgeous rifle that’s an absolute dream to shoot. Not only that, I got a 15-inch bayonet for it too. The bayonet was for the previous Mauser rifle but all it took was enlarging the muzzle-ring from 15 mm to 18 mm and it fits perfectly.

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