Flag Counter The FN FAL: The FN FAL is the Western Cold War... - A History Of War

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The FN FAL is the Western Cold War counter-part to the AK-47 series of rifles, it has been called “The Right Arm of the Free World” and “The Original Black Rifle”. Designed in Belgium and based off of the StG44/MP44 assault rifle, the FN FAL has been the main Battle Rifle of over 90 nations including Canada (as the C1), UK and Autralia (as the L1A1 Self Loading Rifle), Germany (G1), Israel, India, and of course Beligum. It proudly served its adoptive nations troops through several Cold War conflicts including the Six Day Way, Vietnam, the Rhodesian Bush War, and most notably the Falklands War where both sides were armed with a variant of the FAL. Unlike the AK-47 the FN FAL is a Battle Rifle that uses a full power cartridge, giving it a longer effective range and stopping power, but making the firearm itself and its ammo significantly heavier. Initially the FN FAL was a selective fire weapon, however several nations to adopt the FAL as their service rifle of choice modified it to fire only in a semi-automatic mode, most video games have it restricted to semi-automatic for balancing purposes.

Common Variants:

Throughout its service life during the Cold War the FAL was adopted as the standard issue infantry rifle of well over ninety nations. Several of these nations made slight changes including cosmetic and functionality of the rifle to suit its nations military needs. There are considered three overall standardized versions of the design to become widely issued not including foregrip or stock differences.


The original design by FN was constructed on blueprints and tooling specifically designed using metric measurements. Most of Europe, South Africa, and Latin America standardized this versions as their weapon of choice.

Commonwealth / Inch:

The United Kingdom had adopted the FAL as their service weapon of choice but while doing so they made some altercations to the original design designating the new version the L1A1 SLR (Self Loading Rifle). Their fist change was a drastic design overhaul, lacking metric tooling systems they redrew the design using Imperial units of measurement. They opened the ears on the front sight assembly to allow light to better illuminate the front sight post. The standard charging handle consisting of a large fixed knob was replaced by a slimmer folding handle. The magazine release, and safety selector switch were enlarged to help better their manipulation. The fixed rear sight was replaced with a folding sight to allow the attachment of a SUIT optic. And most importantly removed the capability of fully automatic fire. The early issue SLRs came with wooden furniture, towards the end of its service life new and existing rifles were retrofitted with synthetic polymer furniture for weather resistance. The Inch or Commonwealth version was the primary service rifle of the entire English Commonwealth, Canada, and Australia.

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