He was at the Knob Creek machine gun shoot in West Point, Kentucky on April 8, 9 and 10, 2016, demonstrating and discussing FAMAE firearms. He spoke to Guns.com about two of his fully automatic weapons in particular: the SG 542-1 and Mini SAF.
The Mini SAF is a compact 9mm submachine gun with a rate of fire of 1200 rounds per minute. It is blowback-operated, so it fires from a closed bolt. The design is a shortened version of the SIG 540 rifle. The rifle’s rotating bolt has been replaced with a simple blowback bolt. The SAF has a bolt hold-open catch that engages after the final shot. The upper and lower receiver, as well as the trigger guard are steel, pistol grip and handguards are all made from polymer.
The SG 542-1 is a gas operated 7.62 × 51mm rotating bolt battle rifle developed by SIG and produced under license by FAMAE. It has a rate of fire of 800 to 900 rounds per minute. SIG designers used a long-stroke piston-driven action (with the recoil spring wrapped around the piston rod itself) and a three position adjustable gas regulator. The firearm is locked into battery by means of a rotating bolt which features two massive steel locking lugs. The receiver is made from steel and has two major parts, upper and lower, which are connected by pushpins. Rear sights are diopter drum-style sights.
“Go out and get your Class 3 and give us a call.” says Cates, referring candidly to his full autos. Of course, semi-auto variants are currently available.