Founded in Herstal, Belgium, the Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (FN) was launched by the region's most highly respected gunmakers from the Liege area that already had a five century old tradition of designing and manufacturing firearms. FN's first mission: to manufacture 150,000 Mauser rifles for the Belgian government.
A rifle is powerless without ammunition. And so, two years later, the FN cartridge factory was established in Belgium to manufacture ammunition for the Mauser rifle and to provide Belgium's military forces with the firepower they needed.
Just before the turn of the century, in 1897, FN first partnered with John Moses Browning. Browning continues to be regarded as one of the greatest firearms inventors in history. He is credited with designing the original 9mm High Power automatic handgun (known as the GP in French), of which one million have been manufactured by FN since 1935. Truly committed to his craft, JM Browning designed a series of well known and widely used pistols, from the Model 1900, through the Models 1910 and 10/22 to the High Power that was completed after his death.
In the 1920s the partnership between Browning and FN Herstal bore one of its signature firearms - the BAR™ automatic rifle. This was followed in the 1930s, by the legendary .50 cal (12.7mm) M2HB heavy machine gun, still widely used today. Mountable on either a tripod or a wide variety of vehicles, boats and ships, the M2HB continues to be regarded as one of the finest firearms ever made.