The LAPA FA-03 (Portuguese: Fuzil de Assalto Modelo 03, lit. Model 3 assault rifle) is a Brazilian bullpup assault rifle made in the 1980s by Laboratório de Pesquisa de Armamento Automático (lit. Automatic Weapons Research Laboratory), often shortened to LAPA.
The weapon was part of a family of weapons LAPA produced, which included the FA-03, a full-power 5.56mm assault rifle, a submachine gun in 9×19mm Parabellum known as the SM-03, and a .22 LR carbine known as the CA-02. None of the weapons were particularly successful.
The gun was designed by Nelmo Suzano in 1978 to create a domestic Brazilian firearm for police duty and export sales. It was never officially adopted and no large quantities of the rifle were made; approximately 500 were produced. Trial reports say that the gun did not perform very well, but the problems were attributed to the poor ammunition that was used. One of the main reasons for its downfall was that the Brazilian army and police forces used heavy, 7.62mm NATO rifles like the FN FAL; when the weapon was actually trialed, the army considered the weapon nothing more than just a "toy" due to its appearance and light weight.
After the FA-03, Suzano designed another bullpup rifle in another company he founded, N. S. Projetos Termobalísiticos, in 1998; this rifle was notably similar in appearance to the FA-03 and had a number of configurations. This rifle was equally unsuccessful.
The FA-03 is a piston driven, rotating bolt select fire bullpup rifle featuring a distinctive double action trigger. It also had a burst fire selector for 3 rounds. It was very lightweight because the entire exterior of the gun was made out of plastic.
- There are rumors that this gun is still used by police forces in Brazil, but there is no conclusive evidence to say so.