Fabrique National FAL (FN-FAL) [Automatic Rifle]:

The FN-FAL is considered one of the most widely used military rifles in history and has been adopted by over 90 nations. This includes numerous Latin American countries, the British Commonwealth and Israel. In many nations, the rifle has been replaced by 5.56 NATO rifles but is still very popular. Many of the nations which adopted the FN-FAL have made minor modifications and/or manufactured the rifles under licence. It has been manufactured in Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, India, Israel and South Africa.

Similar designs have been adapted for the smaller 5.56 cartridge including the FN-CAL and the IMBEL MD2.

The FN-FAL was adopted due to the United States forcing on NATO the heavy 7.62 x 51 mm catridge. The United States did not want a smaller cartridge with a reduced range and adopted the catridge in the M-14 Rifle. In the 1950s, the British had developed a light 280/30 catridge which they planned to use in a Bulpup style rifle. As a result of American presure, the British adopted the FN-FAL in 1953. In effect, they were forced to adopt a Belgium rifle that they did not want firing an American Cartridge that they did not want.

The FN-FAL is gas-operated and fires from the closed-bolt position in both the semi- and full-auto modes. The rifle has an operator-adjustable gas regulator which uses the "exhaust" principle. Under ideal conditions the major portion of the gas is passed through the regulator and out into the air. This system helps to reduce recoil.

The major problem with the FN-FAL is due to the 7.62 cartridge being too heavy for an effective select fire weapon recoil even with the gas system to reduce felt recoil. The recoil is too great to be handled easy in fully automatic. As a result, many FN-FAL rifles are semi-automatic only. The Riflr is excellent otherwise although has problems with being jammed with sand under desert conditions.

There are four basic versions of the FN-FAL. The standard model which is normal just designated the FAL. This is fitted with a fixed butt stock and a standard barrel. A second version has a folding butt stock and a shortened barrel. A third version has a folding butt stock with a standard length berrel. A final version is a heavy barrel version.

In addition to military versions of the FN-FAL, Semi automatic versions of the rifle are very popular in civilian hands. A host of accessories have been developed for the rifle. Kit versions of the rifle are also available.

Weight: 9.8 lbs (4.45 kg)
Caliber:7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester).
Barrel Length:21 inches (53.3 cm).
Overall Length:42.9 inches (109 cm).
Action:Gas operated (Closed Bolt).
Mode of Fire: Semi automatic or fully Automatic (Some versions are Semi-Automatic Only and Civilian Versions are Semi-Automatic).
Range:1800 feet (539 meters).
Magazine:20 round box magazine.
Cost: $ 1,200.
Made in: Belgium (Other Nations as well).
Special: Powerful and long range combat rifle although very hard to control on fully automatic. Many civilian semi-automatic versions exist at a variety of price range.

[ FN-FAL, FN CAL, FN-FNC, IMBEL MD2, M-14, and Winchester are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa ) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2004, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.