Tactical Ops

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The FAL

Nicknamed "The right arm of the free world," the FN FAL has been adopted by over 90 countries, and has been the primary or subsidiary battle-rifle of over 70. By modern standards, the standard FN FAL is a beast, being 1.1 metres in length, and weighing around 5kg (loaded). The full-steel construction of the weapon makes it highly durable, and the 7.62mm catridge provides considerable stopping power. Though attempts were made to introduce a 5.56mm version of the rifle (the most successful being the FNC), the full-fat FN FAL remains the most popular.

The L1a1 (the imperial version of the FAL) was used by the British army well into the 1980s, and in 1983 was used in the Falklands War against the Argentinians. In a rather unique turn of events, the Argentinians also used the FN FAL - albeit the metric, fully-auto capable version of the rifle. Though many British servicemen were anxious to pick up one of these rifles on tour (you'd be hard-pressed to meet a soldier who doesn't fancy a bit of full-auto now and again), the fact is that the fierce kick of the 7.62mm catridge provided too much muzzle-climb for it to be used effectively on this setting.

Other Commonwealth countries took to the FAL, and certainly numerous teams I have worked with abroad are very fond of the old-school wood and steel variants. Over 2 million FAL rifles are currently in circulation, and they are still made under license by Brazilian company Imbel, and American company DSA. These modernised variants boast superior performance, lighter weight, and have rails for mounting optics, lights, lasers, foregrips and bipods. See the video for a review of a DSA FAL...

 

 

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