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FN-FAL 7.62mm Carbine
By:SOTOPhantm
Published : September 15, 2003
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The FN FAL (Fusil Automatique Leger - Light Automatic Rifle) is one of the most famous and widespread military rifle designs of the 20th century. Developed by the Belgian Fabrique Nationale company, it was used by some 70 or even more countries, and was manufactured in at least 10 countries. At the present time the service days of the most FAL rifles are gone, but it is still used in some parts of the world.

During the time, FAL was built in numerous versions, with different furniture, sights, barrel lengths etc. There are, however, four basic configurations of FAL rifle: FAL 50.00, or simply FAL, with fixed butt stock and standard barrel; FAL 50.63 or FAL "Para", with folding skeleton butt and short barrel; FAL 50.64 with folding skeleton butt of "Para" model and standard length barrel; and the FAL 50.41, also known as FAL Hbar or FALO - a heavy barrelled model which was intended primarily as a light support weapon. There are also two major patterns of FALs around the globe: "metric" and "inch" FALs. As the names implied, these were built in countries with metric or imperial (inch) measure systems. These patterns are slightly different in some dimensions, and magazines of metric and inch pattern sometimes could not be interchanged. Most "inch" pattern FALs were made in British Commonwealth countries (UK, Canada, Australia) and have had folding cocking handles and were mostly limited to semi-automatic fire only (except for Hbar versions like C2). Most "metric" pattern rifles had non-folding cocking handles and may or may not have select-fire capability, but as with other light select-fire weapons chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO round, the controllability of the full auto fire is disappointing and shots spread in burst is extremely wide. But, regardless of this, the FAL is one of the best so known "battle rifles", reliable, comfortable and accurate. It is somewhat sensitive to fine sand and dust but otherwise is a great weapon.

 

The only countries still producing the FAL rifles until the present time are Brazil and, most surprisingly, the USA. Brazil adopted the FAL under the name LAR and manufactured it at the IMBEL facilities. The USA produced a small amount of FALs as the T-48 at H&R factory in early 1950s for Army trials, but at the present time a number of private US Companies is manufacturing various versions of FAL rifles using either surplus parts kits or newly manufactured parts. Most of these rifles are limited to semi-auto only and are available for civilian users. Probably most notable US manufacturer of FAL modifications is the DS Arms company, which produced its rifles under the name of DSA-58.


The FN FAL is a gas operated, selective fire or semi-automatic only, magazine fed rifle. It uses short piston stroke gas system with gas piston located above the barrel and having its own return spring. After the shot is fired, the gas piston makes a quick tap to the bolt carrier and then returns back, and the rest of the reloading cycle is commenced by the inertia of bolt group. The gas system is fitted with gas regulator so it could be easily adjusted for various environment conditions, or cut off completely so rifle grenades could be safely launched from the barrel.

The barrel is equipped with long flash hider which also serves as a rifle grenade launcher. Design of flash hider may differ slightly from country to country. The furniture of the FAL also can differ - it could be made from wood, plastic of various colours or metal (folding butt stocks, metallic hand guards on some models). Some models, such as Austrian Stg.58 or Brazilian LAR were fitted with light bipods as a standard. Almost all heavy barrel versions also were fitted with bipods of various design. Sights usually are of hooded post front and adjustable dioptre rear types, but can differ in details and markings. Almost all FAL rifles are equipped with sling swivels and most of rifles are fitted with bayonet lugs.

 

Specifications

Calibre : 7,62mm NATO (7.62x51)
Action: Gas operated, tilting breechblock, select-fire or semi-auto only
Length: 1100 mm (990 / 736 mm for "Para" model)
Barrel length: 533 mm (431 mm for "Para" model)
Weight: 4.45 kg empty (3.77 kg empty for "Para" models)
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds (30 rounds for heavy barrelled fal versions)
Rate of fire: 650-700 rounds per minute

 

 

 

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