Beautiful FAL Slowmo Footage From Larry Vickers

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The FAL is a rifle that needs no introduction for our readers. The tilt-locking, short-stroke piston operated 7.62mm Belgian light rifle has been accepted by so many nations and seen so much combat opposite the ubiquitous Soviet AK rifle that it has earned the nickname “the right arm of the free world”.

Retired Delta operator, firearms instructor, 1911 gunsmith, and TFB friend Larry Vickers has as many of our readers by now know been releasing a series of videos featuring high quality high speed footage of firearms in action. His latest, though, sets the bar above even the previous work put out by his channel. The video is embedded below, but I highly recommend readers watch the video full screen and loading the highest resolution, because what you’re about to see is absolutely gorgeous high speed footage:

The rifle Larry is shooting in the video is a German G1 select fire rifle. The rifle is recognizable by its distinctive long flash hider, otherwise resembling closely the later Austrian StG. 58 model. This rifle was adopted as standard issue by the Bundeswehr in 1956, but supplanted in 1959 by the CETME rifle, a development that originated in Germany itself at the end of WWII as the Gerät 06, but was fostered in France after the war, and finalized in Spain in the late 1950s. It was the Belgian decision to not allow Germany (a nation that had invaded Belgium twice in the last half-century) to license-produce the FAL that resulted in the rifle’s replacement in German service.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • BattleshipGrey

    Wow, that was great. I’ve always loved the FAL, but they were usually out of my budgetary range. Even if I could grab one, I could barely feed it. I love the imparted impulse of the piston to the bolt carrier.

  • Ryan

    Can we really blame the Belgians for telling the Germans to bugger off?

    • Nope!

      • Giolli Joker

        …if this resulted in the HK G3, probably the second most ubiquitous 7.62 battle rifle, being developed, we should not only agree with the Belgians, but thank them as well.

    • mikee

      And then the Belgians purchased Leopards! Go figure!!

    • MPWS

      If this is true, it was the most unsound business decision ever. On the other hand, Belgians were as nationalistic as any nation of the time and their historical experience cannot be altered. It was France who was the target however; Belgium was the bridge to get there.

  • Hokum

    The post-production sound effects are very impressive in all Larry’s slo-mo videos.

    • M.M.D.C.

      True. It’s possible they are real, but they seem too good.

      • Hokum

        Believe me, they aren’t real and that’s exactly why they sound so

        sumptuously.

  • mechamaster

    Somehow the FAL, without the top cover installed, it looks like Vz.58 in battle rifle configuration.

    • MPWS

      Except FAL’s complexity is far greater and shot is beefier. The open action has it advantage though; you see exactly what’s going on and clearing is a snap..

    • DW

      They are really similar:
      -Both are short stroke piston, tilt bolt locking guns with milled steel receiver (Later FALs have cast receivers)
      -FAL is designed and adopted at the same timeframe as the VZ58
      -Both have paddle style mag release alongside bolt hold open catch
      -Both were designed to fire a intermediate cartridge of their own design, but was forced to use standardized rounds of their respective pacts
      -Both have stamped steel contemporary rivals…without last shot bolt hold open feature (The G3 and the AKM)

  • ComradeCole

    all of a sudden I have the strangest urge to go buy a FAL…..uh wonder why.

  • radditer

    Nathaniel F also browses /r/guns

    • Giolli Joker

      I guess he made it explicit a couple of times…

      • When did I say I browsed reddit?

        • Giolli Joker

          Maybe it was imgur, for example wasn’t it you picking from imgur a patent of a system to fire pistols staying hidden in a trench?

          • Nope!

            I’ve suspected for a while that folks have been getting two or three of our writers confused:

            Nathaniel F (that’s me!)
            Nathan S
            Nicholas C

            We’re all different people. 🙂

            It would explain why Lance thinks I love European guns so much, maybe?

          • Dan

            Nothing can really explain why Lance thinks the way he does.

          • Giolli Joker

            I know you’re three different guys…but memory may fail.
            Btw, why did you all lose your personalised photos?

          • Some kind of database thingie? I don’t know, we just got an email about it.

    • Or I subscribed to Larry’s YT channel.

      I actually do not visit reddit except by coincidence.

  • MPWS

    This is the kind of thing I like – beef on beef (meaning FN on Larry); no mickey mouse 5.56.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Sweet video.

  • The FAL is an absolute beast on full auto. Great video.
    Also, Nathaniel confirmed for unapologetic FAL fan (as previously accused).

    • James

      The man had an all but perfect replica of a T48 trial rifle built for him. His FAL fandom is very much confirmed.

    • Darkpr0

      I support FAL nation. These stupid old guns just fit like a glove, feel as smooth as glass, and never die. That’s a pretty good list right there.

  • UnrepentantLib

    Thanks. That was interesting. I was surprised how far back the piston (tappet?) came. I always thought it was just a very short, sharp movement.

  • Leonidas

    Beautiful. This is art.

  • Machinegunnertim

    I am continually amazed that most gun owners that I talk to have no idea what the FAL is.

    • I think it was Alex who was saying that when he talked to the FN reps at SHOT 2015, they didn’t know what an FAL was.

      I didn’t ask them that, but I’d believe it. They were all marketing guys incapable of talking guns or making decisions on their own, such as answering whether I could field-strip one of their AR-15s.

      • Seburo

        Having less knowledge then a typical Call of Duty player is either sad or funny. The “Right arm of the Free World” isn’t a title given to the M16.

        • Right, the M16 is “Both Arms of The Free World”. 😉

  • Seburo

    German Army G1, but what’s the G2! Found it never mind.

  • Dan Atwater

    Coolest thing I’ll see all day.

  • uisconfruzed

    The barrel whip at 1:35 is great footage, I want to shoot one now.

  • BearSlayer338

    FAL’s are great just as reliable as an AK(or so close you can’t tell)but with the accuracy and hard hitting power of .308(or 7.62×51 NATO).I use as a home defense weapon,hunting rifle,and SHTF rifle.It is truly a do it all rifle.(at least in the shorter length with folding stock)
    If the handgun on my nightstand isn’t enough the FAL with a 30 round mag full of hollow points is my cavalry.

  • Jim

    Amazing piece of machinery! These old firearms just fascinate me when you look at them firing in slow motion you get to see exactly how they work and how well they work, Something that the designers never got to see!

  • thebeeishorrid

    LOVE the FAL!! I’ve ALWAYS wanted one!!