Firearms / Assault rifles / FAL

FAL

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Battle rifle

  • ORIGIN
    Belgium

  • NICKNAMES
    C1 (Canadian FAL designation)
    C2 (Canadian FALO designation)
    Fusil Automatico Pesado / FAP (FALO nickname)
    L1A1 (UK designation)
    Makleon (Israeli FALO nickname)
    NR-1 (Nigerian designation)
    R1 (South African designation)
    Romat (Israeli FAL nickname)
    Self Loading Rifle / SLR (UK designation)
    Stg 58 (Austrian designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1947 - 1953

  • DESIGNER
    Dieudonné Saive & Ernest Vervier (Fabrique Nationale)

  • PRODUCTION
    1953 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Argentina - FMAP
    Australia - Lithgow Belgium - Fabrique Nationale
    Brazil - IMBEL
    Canada - Canadian Arsenals Limited
    Greece - Pyrkal
    India - Ishapore
    Nigeria - DICON
    South Africa - LIW
    United Kingdom -RSAF/ROF
    Venezuela - CAVIM

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Rugged and reliable
    Accurate
    Limited recoil
    Heavy and cumbersome
    Hard to control under automatic fire

Introduction

The FAL is a battle rifle of Belgian origin. It was developed around the 1950's by Fabrique Nationale and together with the German G3 became the standard issue rifle in most nations that were not under Soviet influence. As such it is one of the most produced and widely used firearms in the world. With the trend towards intermediate power assault rifles the use of the FAL has reduced rapidly.

Design

The FAL is a gas operated weapon and uses a short stroke gas piston for cycling. Due to a gas bleed off the recoil is limited for a weapon chambered in the full power 7.62x51mm round. Most of the FAL is made out of metal. Early versions had a wooden furniture, later models had a plastic forearm and stock.

Firepower

The FAL fires the 7.62x51mm round from a 20 round magazine. Most non-Commonwealth models have the ability for automatic fire at a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rpm. The significant recoil makes automatic fire of little use. The maximum effective range is 600 meters with optics and 400 meters with iron sights. The FAL can be used to launch rifle grenades and can be fitted with a bayonet.

Users

The FAL equipped most European NATO and Commonwealth members. With most users it has been replaced by a more modern rifle. However the FAL still remains in active use with many nations in South America, Africa and Asia.

Variants

FAL Para

The FAL Para has a shorter barrel than the original FAL and can be considered a carbine version of the full size FAL. The Para model is fitted with a folding stock. As with the full size FAL it comes in a variety of versions. Since it is a newer model it usually has a plastic or aluminum furniture. The Belgian model has an even shorter 436mm barrel to make it fit through the door of the C-119 when strapped across the chest.

TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length436 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity810 m/s
StockFoldable
Length998 mm / 748 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.79 kg
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
549 mm sight radius
Remarks-

FAL

The most produced version of the FAL is the full size battle rifle. FN recognizes three types: the FAL 50.00 has a fixed stock, the FAL 50.61 has a folding stock and the FAL 50.64 has a Hidumidium alloy lower receiver and folding stock. As the FAL has been produced under license in many nations a lot of weapons are different from the standard FN models. Most FAL 50.00 models are fitted with wooden forearms and butts. Many newer models, such as the folding stock versions, have plastic instead of a wooden furniture. Most Commonwealth models, such as the British L1A1 SLR, fire semi-automatic only. Austrian, Dutch and German models have metal forearms. The Israeli models have a forearm that is similar to the FALO.

TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length533 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.090 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.3 kg
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
553 mm sight radius
Remarks-
TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length533 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFoldable
Length1.095 mm / 845 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.9 kg
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
549 mm sight radius
Remarks-
TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length533 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFoldable
Length1.095 mm / 845 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
549 mm sight radius
Remarks-

FALO

The FALO is a light support weapon based on the FAL battle rifle. It fires the 7.62x51mm round from the same 20 round magazines. In Commonwealth nations the FALO was often issued with 30 round magazines instead of 20 round ones. As with the full size FAL it comes in a variety of versions as it is produced under license in modified forms. In all versions it is capable of full automatic fire and it is fitted with a bipod. The FAL 50.41 has a plastic stock while the FAL 50.42 has a wooden stock.

TypeLight support weapon
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20, 30 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length533 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.125 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight5.95 kg
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
553 mm sight radius
RemarksFixed foldable bipod
TypeLight support weapon
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20, 30 round box
OperationShort stroke gas piston
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length533 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity840 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.125 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsIron sights
aperture rear sight, post front sight
200 - 600 m gradations
553 mm sight radius
RemarksFixed foldable bipod

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