Platinum Edge

DSEI 19 – FN Herstal Introduces New Small Caliber Cartridges

FN Herstal has released the following information regarding their new small arms cartridges:


5.56x45mm SS109 ammunition was originally designed by FN Herstal and adopted by NATO as the second official caliber in 1980. FN Herstal has now engineered the new FN PERMAX™ Enhanced Performance Round (EPR) 5.56x45mm cartridge so as to deliver superior performance in urban combat by passing through barriers such as windscreens, automobile bodywork, glazing or masonry to reach a protected target.

The new FN PERMAX™ 5.56 has excellent mass retention behind barriers, maintaining greater incapacitating effect.

Composed of a hardened steel penetrator and a brass body, the FN® PERMAX 5.56 has been developed to meet and anticipate further environmental European and international legislations requiring use of lead-free ammunition.


The new FN PROPASS™ Armor Piercing (AP) 5.56x45mm cartridge is a further addition to the FN® range of ammunition, and is ideally suited when the mission requires defeating hard targets using 5.56 caliber. Featuring a tungsten carbide core, the projectile perforates armored targets or level IV ballistic protection composed of metal or ceramic inserts.

Both FN PERMAX™ 5.56 and FN PROPASS™ 5.56 cartridges are compliant with NATO standards – therefore, compatible with all weapons chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. These two newly-developed cartridges are qualified on FN Herstal weapons such as carbines and assault rifles (FN SCAR®-SC or FN SCAR®-L), and light machine guns (FN MINIMI® 5.56).


In the .50 cal ammunition line, FN Herstal has designed a reduced range cartridge that features a shorter travel distance limited to 3,500m.

Highly reliable without requiring re-zeroing or converted weapons, the FN ARIA™ .50 RR cartridge is dedicated to safe and effective training with .50 cal weapons on shooting ranges that are limited to the use of 7.62mm weapons. With a tracer version also available, the FN ARIA™ cartridge can be provided on belts (4 FN ARIA™ .50 RR + 1 FN ARIA™-T .50 RR-T) for realistic training.

The FN ARIA™ .50 RR cartridges are compatible with all weapons chambered in 12.7x99mm NATO cal (.50 cal), and are qualified on the FN® M2HB-QCB and the FN® M3 machine guns.

Alongside these new developments, FN Herstal proposes an extensive range of .50 cal rounds, including the multipurpose APEI (Armor Piercing Explosive Incendiary).

One Response to “DSEI 19 – FN Herstal Introduces New Small Caliber Cartridges”

  1. James says:

    Glad to see the EPR configuration getting some more love beyond the US and Thales. Slightly odd that it is a “brass body” rather than a copper slug + copper jacket as found on classic EPR configs.

    Given that the jacket and penetrator meet about halfway up the ogive, it will almost certainly experience the same violent fragmentation as M855A1. So much for worrying about the Hague!