7x49mm made by FN for Venezuela?


#1

Tried the search function with no results so here goes. Just bought a few boxes of ammo that are marked, “Armed Forces of Venezuela, 15 cartuchos Cal. 7mm, Common on shippers, for light automatic rifle, F.N. 1955” Box also has the “FN” in a an oval marking.
The cartridges are on silver colored strippers.

The head stamp and box say it is 1955 FN production
Dimensions are: in - mm
OAL 2.785 - 70.74
Case rim dia .470 - 11.95
Case head dia .465 - 11.81
Shoulder dia .449 - 11.43
Case oal 1.931 - 49.09
Head to shoulder 1.402 - 35.63
Head to neck 1.600 - 40.61 (the numbers don’t add to the case oal so my measurements are off a little)
Neck length .312 - 7.94

The head stamp is “55” at 6 O’clock - “F” at 10 O’clock - “N” at 2 O’clock
The sliver colored bullet attracts a magnet. The primer is crimped by three triangular stabs spaced equally between the lettering, with the triangle base on the primer. The primer is silver colored and the sealant is purplish.

Don’t know how to post pic if anyone can help please.

I’m unable to find any info on this round, or any rifles that might have used such a caliber. Venezuela did use bolt action and semi-automatic rifles chambered in standard 7x57 Mauser, but nothing in a 7x49 caliber.

Anyone have any knowledge about this cartridge?
Thanks for the help,
Dan


#2

Your statement that Venezuela never used a semiautomatic rifle in the 7 x 49 (7 x 49.15 mm Opintimum 2) is not correct. It was the first caliber used by them, beginning in 1954, in the Belgian-designed FN-FAL rifle. The Spanish name, “Fusil Automätico Liviano” (Light Automatic Rifle) led to the cartridge being nick-named the “7 mm Liviano.” They purchased both light barrel and heavy barrel versions in November of 1954. They were the only country that initially adopted the FAL in a caliber other than 7.62 x 51 mm NATO.

Later on, in addition to new rifles of the basic German pattern, they ordered large quantities of the 7.62 mm barrels and converted their entire inventory of 7 mm FALs to the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

Much of the ammunition was purchased by a large surplus arms and ammunition dealer and offered for sale in the United States, and perhaps elsewhere as well. That is why full boxes of the ammo are reltively common. Evidently, they did not realize that there were, basically, no rifles for this caliber. I have heard that large quantities were sold very cheaply to be broken down to components, primarily the bullets, for lack of sales of the ammunition, but I have never been able to confirm that.

Reference (on Rifle and adoption by Venezuela): “The FAL Rifle,” edited by R. Blake Stevens, Collector Grade Publications, Canada, (combined edition pages 230 - 234).

John Moss


#3

The cartridge was an offshoot of the NATO calibre competition of c.1950. The British and Belgians worked together to develop a 7x43 cartridge used in the Belgian FAL and British EM-2 bullpup. This performed very well on test but the US Army insisted that NATO adopt their new .30 cal round, originally a 7.62x47 but finally extended to 7.62x51. The British, Belgians and Canadians argued strongly in favour of the 7mm calibre and gradually ramped up the performance, partly by extending the case (eventually this reached 7x51, being just a necked-down 7.62x51). The 7x49 was one of the intermediate stages, and was known as the 7mm Medium. Venezuela was the only country which bought it.


#4

Thanks for the info. My metric FAL book is currently unavailable and couldn’t find any mention of this round in any reference that I have access to. I was aware of various the trials after WW2, but didn’t know that any of the “trial” rounds were adopted by anyone. I’m not a cartridge collector so I came here to ask.

John, don’t know what area you’re in that the 7x49 is common, but I’m in SE MI, and in 40 years of going to gun shows, this is the first time that I’ve ever seen it, which is why I bought it.

One last question, does this ammo have any collector value, either by the round, the stripper clip, or by the box?

Great info guys, thanks again.
Dan


#5

Dan–John Moss is in California, but his statement that they are “relatively common” is from a cartridge collectors viewpoint, not a shooters. Shooters usually talk in terms of “Crates”, while we cartridges collectors think more in terms of single rounds or at most a few boxes. To us “relatively common” could mean less than 1000 rounds in the world, which would mean “RARE” to a shooter. To be “Rare” to us would mean more like less than 100 known specimens. Just a different viewpoint.

Also, as for collectible cartridges, I have found Gun Shows to be VERY poor places to find cartridges. They are great for full boxes of recently made stuff, but, except for wanting a single specimen for my collection, which few dealers will sell, they offer next to no interest to me. There are a number of ALL CARTRIDGE (NO GUNS) shows held each year that most cartridge collectors attend to find new items for their collections. But, then for a shooter, these would hold little interest as few cartridge dealers sell by the box. In fact, on the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum here we do not allow ads for shooting quantities, such as full ammo cans, etc.

BTW, welcome to our Forum. I hope you stick around. Just remember, for the most part, we discuss KEEPING cartridges, not shooting them. We are happy to answer whatever questions you might have on identifying cartridges, etc. Just keep in mind that anything dealing with reloading information, such as powder types and amounts to use, etc, are prohibited topics due to potential liability.


#6

Dan - Ron gave a perfect description of the parameters I was using in say the rounds are relatively common. I am surprised, though, that you never saw it at gun shows. Years ago, when it was first imported (by Century Arms, I think), the boxes were all over the place. I don’t collect rifle rounds (other than a brief fling at .303 and a longer time collecting 7.9 x 57), and I have had three or four boxes of this ammo go through my hands. As I mentioned, they finally wholesaled it out for breaking down into components. Of course, that immediately lessened the amount around by a goodly percentager.

Like anyone who has collected for years, to again put “common” in perspective, I have a few cartridges that are the only know specimens of that particular round, and more where only two or three rounds are known in collections throughout the world. Those are rare. From a collector’s viewpoint, the 7 x 49 Liviano, by any name, is not a rare or even scarce cartridge. Someday it might be, but it isn’t there yet. That doesn’t mean that we are tripping over full boxes at gunshows - it just means that if a determined collector wants a round for his collection, he will be able to find one.

John Moss


#7

Ron and John, Thanks for the explanation and the info. We obviously have different definitions for words such as “common” and “rare”. It all makes for a much more interesting world.

I also attend antique arms shows, and have been to the Vegas and Balto shows and this is the first of this ammo that I’ve ever seen. Wish that I could find one of the unaltered FALs chambered for this round.

I am a shooter, and we do tend to think in terms of thousands when it comes to ammo, but I do have a small “gathering” (not really a collection) of some odd rounds that have come my way through the years. These 7mm Livanios are now gathering dust with the other oddballs.

Thanks again everyone,
Dan