In uploading the footage from this years’ trip to Battlefield Vegas I saved the best for last when it comes to the classic Cold War 7.62 NATO battle rifles. The Fabrique Nationale FAL was first prototyped in 1946 right after the end of WW2, with a lot of input coming from experience gained during the war no doubt.
US influence lead to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge become the standard for FAL production, even though America ended up adopting the much maligned M14. The FAL however went on to be adopted in huge numbers by a great number of NATO member nations as well as others, with perhaps the most famous variant being the British L1A1 that lacked the Automatic selector setting and saw use in a number of conflicts, with the most iconic imagery coming from the Falklands where L1A1s were pitted against Argentine FALs. The weapons also saw use in the hands of the Israeli armed forces on multiple occasions and during the Rhodesian Bush War, amongst others.
Standard magazines are 20 rounds with a rock-to-lock system similar to the AK. The charging handle is mounted to the left and does not reciprocate. The short stroke gas system is well known for having a huge range of adjustment positions on many variants of the rifle, something quite unusual for a military firearm.
Recoil in repetition (semi auto) is pretty good and manageable for a ‘full power’ cartridge vs an intermedmiate cartidge like 556, but you would need an extreme amount of practice for automatic fire to be of any use at all with this weapon. There’s definitely good reasoning behind the L1 lacking the auto feature and most M14s also being locked to semi around the same time period. When you only have 20 rounds in a mag, your ammo is large and havy and you might have downloaded for increased reliability in the desert/jungle the last thing you want to be doing is wasting shots.