Ultimate FN FAL photo collection

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The T48 was the designation of the FN FAL entered into the competition to replace the M1 Garand. The T44 (later called the M14) won the competition but the Marines appear to have kept their quote of T48 rifles. These have been meticulously photographed by an Australian who visited Quantico in 2008.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Lance

    Nice FALs bet they will be in a museum soon.

  • Andy

    Dad always said (and he was in Ordnance corp) that the FAL really won, but that FN wouldn’t license out the manufacture, so the M14 was chosen. I’ve never been able to verify that. In either case, there’s something just a little more special to me about the old wood furniture in a FAL, CETME and such.

  • jdun1911

    With the exception of the AR10, the three battle rifles of that era, the FN FAL was the best follow by M14 and G3 came in last.

    The AR10 didn’t see any meaningful production at that time. It only starting to come into the spotlight the last 25 years.

    The only thing that I didn’t like the FAL are the iron sight. Whoever decided to place the front sight on the upper receiver and the rear sight on the lower receiver was smoking some good stuff.

    G3<M14<FAL<AR10

  • JeffinNZ

    The FAL (known as SLR in AU and NZ) was a great rifle and well thought of by those who carried it. Apparently the VC in Vietnam did not like the Ozzies and Kiwis as the 7.62 could punch throught trees etc better than the 5.56 could dream of. Still a lot of SLR’s in civilian hands here in NZ.

  • cm smith

    I think that may be a rare prototype to the left of the FAL’s.
    What appears to be a large, bulbous even, fore end is the clue. I’m remembering pictures of a prototype for the BAR role. Winchester, maybe.

  • Pop N Fresh

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……fal, they’re like dogs, better get two cause one would just get lonely by itself.

  • cm smith

    This is popping into my memory, but I may well be conflating vague memories. (I only know what I read.) How about “Winchester Automatic Rifle – W.A.R.” ?

  • Mike

    These rifles are not T48 rifles or prototypes but late production L1A1 rifles judging by the design of the fore grip. Also, the colour of the wood on the pistol grip and butt stock indicate that they may be amongst a small number of Lithgow manufactured L1A1 rifles manufactured in the 1980s specifically for the US market which subsequently were prohibited by the BATF due to the ease of converting these rifles to full auto functioning.

  • http://johnbearross.blogspot.com John Bear Ross

    Mike,

    Click on the link to the Fal Files…Pat’s detailed workup of the T-48 is there. Beautiful stuff.

    Best,
    JBR

  • cm smith

    Another light machine gun of great promise was developed privately by Industry, and even given the green light to the extent of being “adopted” for issue in 1944. This was the W.A.R., variously called Winchester Automatic Rifle or Williams Automatic Rifle.

    Utilizing the short-stroke gas piston development of David Marshall “Carbine” Williams, the W.A.R. was hand built in a lot of twelve at the Winchester New Haven shops for test and engineering study. With folding bipod and light alloy combination flash hider and muzzle brake, the W.A.R. was a magnificent piece of manufacturing, but perhaps too costly and too sophisticated for issue in times of industrial stress.

    The breech group and safety concept of the WAR was further refined and reappeared in the 1950s on the ill-fated experimental .224 caliber “Winchester Light Rifle”.

    SHOOTING TIMES DECEMBER, 1966
    William B. Edwards [AKA George C. Nonte]

    http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/5439/winchesterautoriflewar1.jpg

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Andy,

    I have seen claims of just the opposite. FN reportedly offered the US Army a royalty-free license for the manufacture of the FAL for US military issue. I would imagine that their management believed that US adoption of the FAL would result in it becoming the de facto standard infantry rifle for NATO and the rest of the Free World.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Daniel, thats interesting.

  • Jim D

    Have a FAL with short recoil. Have gas setting on A, tried all numbers, one at a time, replaced gas piston and spring, and tried with different ammo, NO CHANGE! Any ideas???

  • Louis

    Hands down…the FAL battle rifle is a far more superior rifle than any American semi
    auto battle rifle…Less parts, more accuracy and assembly/ disassembly is simple…more NATO country’s prefer it over the M-16/ AR variants..

  • charles222

    Well, just to point out-the FAL did become the de facto standard battle rifle for the free world. The FAL’s been adopted by something like 90 countries according to wikipedia. The only other weapon to get even close to that from non-Warsaw pact/ComBloc countries is the M-16 with over 80 countries.

  • Andrew

    The plan was for FN to allow all the nations of the Allies (non-communist ones (probably NATO only at first)) in WWII to produce the FN F.A.L. royalty free in thanks for liberation. However, the U.S. did not adopt it. West Germany(association with Axis history) chose to eventually not use the G1(FAL) because FN (Belgium) would not let them have a free license to produce it. I doubt a run of the mill FAL is (or was) more accurate brand new then a factory run of the mill M14 or M1A (or M1 Garand for that matter). A heavy barreled one or L1A1 might be the exception (especially an air gauged Israeli Heavy Barreled FAL). Its accuracy is combat acceptable though, like the akm/ak47 (for the ranges respective to their intended design as we see them in their original mainstream production at the start). I would rather have four different upper assemblies and locking shoulders on a FAL and two lowers (one folding) than an akm, so that I could switch as necessitated by mission. Only if I could get some 30 round magazines though. I would probably scope a 21″ or 18″ FAL and red dot any barrel length that was shorter than those. The L1A1 looks like a cool beast but I do not like the front sight leaf. Most of the reasons I prefer a FNFAL over an L1A1 style is the availability of parts. I know of no businesses producing parts typical to a FNFAL that fit an L1A1, only the reverse really. I do like the L1A1 flash hider/bayonet lug and bayonet, as well as the magazine,as well as the fact that BREN Machine Gun magazines fit an L1A1(they better be .308Win or 7.62x51NATO(not a Bren expert!)) I would like a Imbel FAL with all the standard available sand cuts on a DSA type II upper reciever with a Hampton lower (m16a2 rear sight) (fixed stock) L1A1 flash hider and bayonet, trilux prism reverse post scope. I would never pick up an Indian FAL/L1A1–> good for them for making it work and being efficient with their ordinance, but what a pain in a$$ for parts fitting. It be cool to have working tritium in the trilux and decent night sights on the iron sights area. If anyone on this blog owns a 18″ barrel FAL/L1A1 (before muzzle device is attached) i recommend a leatherwood scope. They have a cool one that works like a normal scope but has close quarters battle properties on the lens. If you can’t get that, maybe get an IOR Pitbull. And IOR makes a picatinny compatible .308 calibrated scope dragunov reticle style without the side rail BS if you want one.

  • KevinTheCynic

    I know I’m guilty of thread necromancy on this but I’d just like to add some additional information regarding the AR-10. It was actually taken into military service, both Portugal and Sudan had limited numbers in their inventory and apparently Portugal used them in the liberation wars in Portugal’s African colonies.

    A New Zealand reader of The High Road believes that a lot of Sudanese and Portuguese AR-10s ended up in New Zealand and Australia.
    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-522526.html

    This wiki page has an image of Portuguese troops on an operation in Angola in an Alouette helo. The guy about to disembark has an AR-10
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Colonial_War