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History of FN Herstal Firearms

FN Herstal has been around a long time. Nearly 130 years, in fact. Since its start, it has manufactured millions of firearms for people all over the world. Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre National Factory of Military Weapons (FN) is part of a larger conglomerate known just as Herstal, a company located in Belgium. Belgium is considered one of the manufacturing giants in the firearm market.

The Origin of FN Herstal

FN was founded in 1889 to begin producing rifles for the Belgian military. They started producing freshly designed automatic weapons with the help of John Moses Browning, an American firearms designer considered to be a genius in his field. It turned into a powerful partnership.

Early weapons

The partnership gave birth to some of the most ingenious and powerful weapons of the time. Some examples of these weapons include pocket autos like the 1900, 1910, the .25 Baby Browning vest pocket auto and the Mauser. It’s also worth noting that they invented the P.35 Hi-Power pistol, which is widely believed to the most powerful handgun in the world.


The Hi-Power pistol grew to be pretty notorious. During WWII, the Germans invaded Belgium and forced FN to mass produce the P.35 for them to use. It was around this time that the P.35 began production in Great Britain as well.


The war came to an end, and weapons manufacturers suffered. FN questioned whether to go on or shift gears in production. After downsizing their staff by over a thousand, they began production again. This time, exclusively on weapons.

FN Herstal Today


FN Herstal remains at the top in the field of firearm production. For decades, their reach has spread from Belgium to England and to the United States. Ever since wars started up again overseas, FN’s weapons are more popular than ever. The U.S. is FN’s biggest customer, even favoring FN’s M240 across different branches. Currently, FN’s popularity is with their production of high-powered rifles, such as the M240 and the M4A1, both oft’ used weapons of war.


Being a fan of firearms is being a fan of FN Herstal. After paving much of the way for weapons development, they’ve earned their place in history. Next time you fire a rifle, think of how far weapons development has advanced. If you’d like to see some examples of advanced firearms, visit our store.

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