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The FN FAL

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by KodiakBeer, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I've been playing with my FN FAL in the last week or so. This particular rifle is a G1 model was ordered by the West Germans in 1956, the year of my birth, and thus has sentimental value for me. I've mounted one of these new "gee whiz" prism scopes on it, and thanks to a lucky find I've got plentiful 1983 era 7.62 NATO ammo to fling across my pasture.
    In the late fifties and into the nineties the FAL was the "Right Arm of the Free World." Something like 95 nations adopted it as their primary battle rifle. Everyone outside of the US and the commie nations (we preferred our M14, they the AK) used this in conflicts across the globe. A number of nations are still using it. It's rugged, robust and reliable, but also heavy, and is fading into obscurity as lighter rifles take the stage.
    It's surprisingly gentle to shoot, mostly because the weight and efficient gas system take up much of the recoil. Accuracy? Not great. I suppose I'm spoiled with AR rifles, which with good ammo will give you about an inch at 100 yards. This FAL gives me something like 2 1/2 inches at 100 yards (shooting from a bench), which is plenty good enough for a man sized target out to 400 or 500 yards.
    All in all, as a battle rifle, I prefer the AR rifle (though I despise the gas system and have upgraded mine to more dependable piston systems). Still, the lighter weight and good balance of an AR make it much easier to get hits offhand. By offhand, I mean standing on my hind legs rather than off a bench. As an aging gentleman I find it a struggle to hold the FAL offhand and do good work. Yet, there is something sexy about the big BOOM of shooting a rifle in 7.62. If the Walking Dead ever come down out of the Peloncillo Mountains toward my house, I'll grab the FAL and whack them from a fixed position on my veranda.

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  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    With this weapon it’s no use hiding behind a tree...
     
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  3. Owen

    Owen O

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    Rear sight used to scratch my specs when recoiling.
    In 1987 [or was it 88?] I got issued an SLR dated 1965 with wooden furniture.
    One excercise I wore a green bush hat & spoke in an Aussie accent until my Sgt told me to stop mucking about.
    Few months later the wood was replaced with black plastic.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The wood on this was black with 40 years of embedded oil and dirt when I got it. The trick to bringing wood back to original is to first take off any original finish with harsh solvents and sanding, then drop it in water and clothing detergent for a week or two. When you pull it out of that soup, roll it in dry detergent like it's fried chicken and let it dry for a week. That dry detergent will pull all the oil and dirt out and turn yellow and brown. When you finally rinse it, it will look like fresh wood. This rifle took two of the above treatments to get clean. After that you finish with linseed or tung oil just as the original makers did.

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  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    You can make it full auto with just a match stick apparently...
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    You did a fine job mate...she looks new.
     
  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Just an observation: I've been fooling around with old military rifles since I was in college. The best accuracy I could get out of most of them was just about what you reported. As you noted, that's good enough for most battle situations. The only two that did significantly better were the two from the neutral countries- Sweden and Switzerland. Both the 6.5 Swede and the 7.5 Schmidt-Rubin were tack drivers and showed a lot better fit and finish than the average battle rifle.

    Enjoy the hell out of it, it looks like a good one!
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I've had a couple of Swedes pass through my hands over the years and wish I had hung on to one of them. With the Swede Mausers, it was more than just fit and finish. People who study such things say that the long-for-weight 6.5 slug was just the right shape and weight to fly true at the velocity of that cartridge. If you have ever seen slo-mo of a rifle slug in flight there is always just a bit of 'yaw' in its travel, but that long 140 grain slug just doesn't yaw and is inherently accurate given a good bore and chamber, etc.

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  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    So I hear, but I have no desire to shoot into the sky while getting beaten half to death. The FAL in full auto was not controllable even with young well-trained soldiers, so I suspect I would not do well at all at my age.

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  10. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    When I see FAL I always think battle rifle and vice-versa. Are there others?????
     
  11. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    nice. can you say more about the scope...how much, why it's awesome etc.
    is that a flash suppressor or a recoil thingy...looks like it adds 3-4 inches to gun.
     
  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The 6.5s are indeed often inherently accurate. However, fit, finish, attention to detail-especially in the bedding and barrel making-pays big dividends accuracy-wise. The Swedes and Swiss had the luxury of taking their time in making their rifles and their accuracy is the proof. Most countries are more likely to put more emphasis on quantity instead of quality.
     
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  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    These prism scopes are like a traditional scope in that it is a nitrogen filled tube, but instead of a traditional crosshair it has a whole range of info hidden in it. Dots for bullet drop compensation, bars on the side for range estimation (a normal sized man filling the bars from top to bottom, is 300 yards, the next shorter bar, 400 yards, etc.), for wind, for moving targets. All of this is plain black until you turn the dial and then all of the lines are brightly illuminated in red, which works for both bright sunlight washing out the fine black lines, and also makes everything crystal clear in low light. It has all the advantages of a red dot sight, but then adds all this information you can use at various ranges. They are not that expensive, starting at about $200.

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  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Oh, and Poppie asked about flash hider/muzzle brake. It's a ridiculous thing that was only on these early FALs. The later editions had a much shorter, lighter and better attachment out there. I keep it on because it's original to the gun. It comes off with a smart twist to the right, a piece of spring steel keeps it locked on.

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