7.92x33mm FAL Modification at GunLab

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The first prototype of what was then the FN Universal Carbine, but that would become the FN FAL (Light Automatic Rifle), was not chambered for the familiar 7.62×51 NATO, nor its competitor round the .280 British, but in the German 7.92x33mm Kurzpatrone round developed in 1942 for the MKb. 42(H) (the predecessor of the famous Sturmgewehr):

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The FN “Universal Carbine”, prototype No. 1. This was the only rifle in the FAL family chambered at the factory for 7.92x33mm Kurz. Image source: gunlab.net

Chuck of GunLab muses about starting a project to produce a replica No. 1 Universal Carbine, and noted two previous projects to produce FALs chambered in their original cartridge, the Kurzpatrone:

This is Pete’s , a friend of Gun Lab, version of a 7.92×33 rifle. His solution was to put in a new ejector block of his design with a spring loaded ejector. Then remove 0.900″ from the magazine to fit the 7.92×33 round.

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In the second post he says:

With the last post we made on the 7.92×33 FN-FAL we showed a FAL that had a new ejector block and magazine made to allow the rifle to shoot 7.92×33. This post will show a different approach to reach the same conclusion, shooting 7.92×33.  This series of photographs comes from another friend  of Gun Lab and how he converted his rifle to use MP-44 magazines. This version the owner cut down the receiver by 0.900 and welded support plates to enlarge the magazine housing.

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Chuck certainly has enough projects on his plate! The VG. 1-5 project recently received ATF approval, and Chuck also has made copies of the Gerät 05, Gerät 06 and Gerät 06H, and also started a project to produce replica AR-16s. Adding the FN No. 1 Universal Carbine would certainly round out the list!



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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  • DW

    Someone make a 7.62×39 FAL please.
    Oh wait, that’s VZ58.

  • Tom W.

    Awesome! Make these available please and thank you.

  • Lance

    Looks fun.

  • JPS

    FAL gun smith Vern Smith (handle Meeper at Falfiles) has conversion for many calipers. Commonly done but not as reliable as factory as you can imagine

  • UnrepentantLib

    It seems to me, with 20-20 hindsight, that FN could well have continued developing a 7.92×33 FAL, ultimately migrating it to 7.62×39, and had a second, large market for FAL’s. I suppose with the political climate of the ’50’s no one could have forseen Russia’s client states becoming customers for western arms.

  • iksnilol

    That rifle looks so atompunk, just add one of the AR-10 bell flash hiders.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Especially that original prototype with the exposed gas tube in the second pic. Hell yeah! Blast some Martian invaders and giant, radioactive ants for sure! And any reminder of the AR-16 project sends my retro fetish into overdrive.

  • JQPub

    Holy break my wrist batman. Think you could crank that grip angle up any more?