November 9, 2007: The Mexican armed forces are
introducing a new infantry weapon, the FX-05 "Xiuhcoatl" (or "Fire
Serpent" in one of the Indian languages). The FX-05 was designed and developed
in 16 months by two army generals. The weapon is a 5.56mm assault rifle similar
to the U.S. M-16. It is manufactured in Mexico, using no imported parts. It has
a Picatinny Rail for scopes and other devices. It uses either 30 round box
magazine, or a hundred round drum magazine. There are standard and short
barreled (for urban operations and police) versions.
The eight pound FX-05 replaces the larger ten pound
G3, a 7.62mm rifle, manufactured in Mexico under license from Heckler &
Koch. The similarity of the FX-05 to the German Heckler & Koch G36 brought
accusations that the Mexican rifle was an illegal copy. Heckler & Koch
representatives came to Mexico earlier this year and carefully examined the
FC-05, andÂ concluded that there was no
copying. Still, the two rifles are amazingly similar.
One big advantage if the FX-05 is that it is only
for military use. This provides the Mexican government much better control over
the weapon issued to its soldiers. The distinctive features of the FX-05 will
better control unauthorized use as well. Moreover, shell casings and bullets,
have the distinct mark of this rifle, making it easy to detect illegal use. Any
stolen rifles will be easier to track, since only the military can possess them.
Mexico began issuing the FX-05 last year. About 10,000 have been manufactured