Gregor emailed us this photo saying “This is how the Austrian Army uses the FN FAL (STG58): to hold helmets!”. The photo was taken during the Austrian National Day, which falls on October 26.

The StG58 was the Austrian Bundesheer version of the FN FAL. The 7.62x51mm battle rifle was their primary service rifle until it was replaced by the Steyr AUG. It is notable for being one of the few FN FAL lightweight variants equipped with a bipod at the factory. The West German G1 was another light FN FAL equipped with a bipod. As we can see in the above photo, if nothing else the bipod (and muzzle brake) made for a nice field expedient helmet rack.

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  • Josef1ofAustria

    As a member of the Austrian Armed Forces / Gardebataillon, who had to endure this piece of junk in 1994/95, the few rifles able to shoot were so off, at the range you aimed for your target and hit the one of your neighbour, either left or right of you. The rest didn’t even had a bolt, most of them were only used for exercise drills.

    • Wetcoaster

      In a thread about Enfield that went off-topic, Peter Laidler (yes, the Brit armourer) mentioned checking for bent barrels. The FALs were the biggest offenders in that regard, with another poster remembering FALs and overly enthusiastic bayonet training was a recipe for trouble.

    • big daddy

      Any piece of equipment needs maintenance and parts replaced when worn. It’s maybe not the rifle itself but the lack of upkeep.

    • Flyn_Bryan

      The good ones were cut in two and sold as rifle kits in the late 90s and early 2000s. I have several kit rifles built with StG parts. Some of the best FALs ever made.

    • You were using the dregs that couldn’t make the grade as US import parts kits.

      I built a FAL using an Entreprise Arms reciever, and one of those kits. The exterior was a little worn, but the barrel was apparently unfired. I can consistantly put bullets in the x-ring at 400 meters with it.

      I suggest blaming your armorer.

    • gunsandrockets

      How quickly and how badly does that metal forend heat up? How many rounds before it is too hot to touch?

    • chrisB

      They were worn out in 1981 – tight arse, short sighted, money pinching Gardebataillon.

  • Ken

    One of my friends has one of the DSArms built StG58’s. It was all NOS Austrian parts, except for receiver and necessary 922r parts. I believe DSArms got the rest of the parts from Steyr and the Austrian military, as well as the TDP for the receiver. It was very well made.

  • wojtekimbier

    There is a mistake in “Austrian Bundesheer version” should be Bundeswehr

    • wojtekimbier

      ^Nevermind it’s my mistake

    • Bud Spencer

      Actually it is Bundesheer. We are not germany 😉

      As of 2014 there is no life fire training with Stg-58 as even the Gardebatallion uses the Stg-58 for presentation/drills only.

  • DajkaG

    A British Commonwealth derivative of the FN FAL has been produced under licence as the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle.

  • PraetoR

    I went for some law courses at Austrian barracks. We have a fully professional army in the Czech Republic, which brings the average age to about 35. In Austria I saw guys who looked like 14 (but were probably 18) with firearms that seemed disproportionally large for them. It was almost like they were preparing for child war or something. I can’t imagine them effectively firing gun like this.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Kristopr is absolutely correst. I used the British L1A1 SLR version of the FN FAL when I was in the service, and it was, and still is, a first-class battle rifle by any standards, bar none. The StG 58, along with the Chilean, Brazilian and Argentinean FAL’s, the South African and Rhodesian R1’s, etc., would be no different, period. It does sound as if Josef1ofAustria had the unfortunate experience of receiving the last of the sadly-neglected remnants of the StG 58 stock in Austrian Army service that had been relegated to strictly ceremonial duties. As such, it would not be surprising that his unit was given such lip service.