The rifles used by French police look a little familiar, don’t they?

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The recent terror attacks in France have brought the French police and counter-terrorism troops into the public eye. Some of them are armed with a decidedly un-French rifle.
If you’ve watched any of the news about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, especially online, you may have seen typical French military hardware such as the FAMAS bullpup rifle. Those are typically carried by the Gendarmerie Nationale, the federal police controlled by the military. The famous French counter-terrorism unit, the GIGN, is a special operations unit of the Gendarmerie (their full name is Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale.)

There is another national police force, however, which is under civilian jurisdiction: the Police Nationale, whose blue-white-red swoosh logo has been widely shown. Their officers aren’t usually armed with FAMAS rifles, but with something you might not expect: the Ruger Mini-14.

Their version of the Mini-14 is called the AMD and according to sources were purchased from Ruger back in 1978. They were originally widely issued, but over the years seem to have had their primary home at the Police Nationale. The biggest change from the commercial Mini-14 is the stock, which has an M1 Carbine-like sling cutout in the butt. (This has, rather amusingly, caused armchair commandoes across the internet to proclaim that the “stupid French” were armed with war surplus M1 Carbines!)

This isn’t the only time that the French have sourced firearms from Ruger. Back in the ‘90s the French firm of Manurhin built what was essentially a Ruger Security-Six under license, which they called the MR-88. I’ve not seen one, but I’m told that the guns were quite nicely made, which I would expect from Manurhin.

Ian McCollum over at Forgotten Weapons has a nice writeup of the AMD, along with some great shots of the receiver markings.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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