I have the most interesting friends. One fully embraces authentic older weapons. He has a very eclectic collection of rifles and pistols – every one with a story. I’ll talk about some of his guns from time to time, as they fascinate me. Recently, he has been building an authentic replica of a Fusil Automatique Léger (FAL) built by the Belgian armaments manufacturer, Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). Fusil Automatique Léger translates to “Light Automatic Rifle”. The short name for this rifle is “FN FAL”.

I had to write this article to educate myself, as I did not know anything about a FN FAL. According to the front page of the FAL Files, it was originally designed to fire a 7.92mm Kurz cartridge, developed by the Germans in WWII.  Following the war, it was adapted to use a 7.62mmx51 (.308 Winchester) cartridge (as the .308 became the NATO standard.)  This classic post-war battle rifle was sold to the militaries in over 90 countries.

7.92×33mm Kurz Vs. 7.62 x 51 NATO (.308)

Watch this video from Discovery to see the FN FAL in action.  It covers the specs of the rifle and gives a quick history.

I will get a chance to use this rifle, and I am excited to try. Because we are in California, it will have “bullet button” to release the magazine, he is having the upper manufactured in the USA, and it will be set up for semi-automatic fire.  After watching that video I would never want to fire the FN FAL in full auto – what a waste of good ammo!  This thing is a beast!

The upper will arrive in the next month, and after that – I will get the opportunity to send some serious lead down range.  When I do – you will be the first know.



5 Replies to “FN FAL: “The Right Arm of the Free World””

  1. One of the BEST 7.62MM rifles ever made. The Brits I hung out with many years ago use a semi auto version ..they called the SLR (Self Loading Rifle)…because it had replaced the old bolt actions SMLs they had used for about a hundred years.
    Keep it tight and good cheek weld and you’ll have no problems. Even dirty and rusty they still seem to work.

    1. IZ – after I really understood the history behind this rifle, I understand why people love them so much. I can’t wait to use it, OldNFO told me it will kick, but I would be able to handle it.

      Thank you for the advice – I will ensure I have a firm grip and cheek weld. (The very very first time I ever shot a .308 I was not firm with the cheek and had a nice bruise to show for it on my cheek bone!) Nothing like touching fire to remember what the wise ones told you!

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