Armi Jager AP85: An Italian .22 Rimfire Faux-MAS By: Ian McCollum


Armi Jager was an Italian arms-making company that was created in the early 1950s by Armando Piscetta. He initially made .22 rimfire sporting rifles, then transitioned into making Old West style revolvers, and in the 1970s began offering a series of military lookalikes (he was also heavily involved inn development of the 9x12mm pistol cartridge). These were made in both .32ACP and .22 LR to comply with Italian law, and they were also readily imported into the US (with .22 LR models being much more common than .32 ACP ones). The first was the AP-74, mimicking the M16A1. This was followed the AP-80 AK, the AP-84 Galil, and the AP-85 “FAMAS”, which we are looking at today.

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The FAMAS was the last of Armi Jager’s models, and rather than make new parts to accurately copy the French design, they used a mixture of elements from previous models. The action and magazines are form the AK pattern guns, with a carry handle based on the M16A1 molds and a Galil front handguard. It is the least realistic of all the designs, and today is popular really for its own distinctive appearance, as well as its tenuous connection to the FAMAS.