The MN1: A Galil for NATO?
The Dutch Entry for the NATO Small Arms Trials of 1978-1979

As is commonly known by those interested in small arms, 5.56×45mm NATO was standardized upon in 1980 following trials involving a number of cartridges, and variations of 5.56×45mm.

During said trials, Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands submitted a number of rifles and light machine guns as well, although no weapon was standardised across NATO:

Country Cartridge Rifle Machine Gun Note
Belgium 7.62×51mm NATO SS77 MAG-58 Control LMG (7.62mm)
5.56×45mm SS92
5.56×45mm SS109 FNC MINIMI
France 5.56×45mm M193 FA-MAS
Germany 7.62×51mm NATO G3 MG3e Control rifle (7.62)
4.7x21mm, caseless G11
United Kingdom 4.85x49mm XL64E5 Right hand ejection
XL68E2 Left hand ejection
XL65E4 Right hand ejection
XL69E1 Left hand ejection
United States 5.56×45mm M193 M16A1 Control rifle (5.56)
5.56×45mm XM777/XM778
5.56×45mm XM855
(SS109 equivalent)
The Netherlands 5.56×45mm (M193) MN1

It is this last entry which will be the focus of this article, as it is sometimes incorrectly identified as a Stoner 63. Rather, the entry was nothing more than a license-produced Israeli Galil. This confusion has probably arisen over the fact that the manufacturer – NWM De Kruithoorn of ‘s-Hertogenbosch – built/marketed both the Stoner 63 and Galil during the ‘70s. The Stoner 63 and the “Post-70 Soldier” will be the topic of their own article at a later date.

In the late ‘70s, the Koninklijke Landmacht faced a “problem”, which is formulated as such:

In use with the Koninklijke Landmacht, we find the following weapon systems:
                        a. The rifle, FAL (7.62 mm), adopted circa 1961
                        b. The submachine gun, UZI (9mm), adopted circa 1961
                        c. The pistol, FN, adopted circa 1955
The weapon systems use NATO-standard 7.62mm and 9mm small arms ammunition. For the purposes of adopting NATO-standard ammunition and small arms, optimized for a rifle (IW = Individual Weapon) and light machine gun (LSW = Light Support Weapon), NATO requirements have been set to trial both weapons and ammunition. A Memory of Understanding (MOU) was agreed upon in June of 1976 and ratified by the Netherlands on the 7th of February 1977.
Standardisation of ammunition is necessary, standardisation of a weapon is desired.

All in all, it would appear only 40 rifles were produced, for the following purposes:

Trial and instruction in the Netherlands 2
Trial and instruction in Meppen and Cold Meece 16
Trial and instruction in Hammelburg 10
Spare weapons for NWM De Kruithoorn 4
Spare weapons for Hammelburg 8
Total 40

With the MN1 deemed "politically unsuitable" due to its similarities with Soviet AK, the rifle died a quick death, with the Netherlands eventually adopting the C7 family of weapons in 1995. Four of these Galils remain at the Nationaal Militair Museum.

At least we still have the marketing brochure...

The document can be downloaded here, or viewed below.