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Weapons are made for war. It is their purpose, and a weapon that cannot
fight is not a useful one. Not all are forged in battle, however: and
the forces that drive us apart can equally unite us. The FAL. A classic cold-war rifle used the world over. A design that shed wartime wood for the modern
age. So, how did the notion of a NATO-standard
rifle come about? What obstacles stood in its way? And in games, why is such a widely-used weapon
a relatively rare sight? The year is 1945. War had left millions dead, cities in ruins
– and a collective will for a long-lasting peace. It was a time of treaties and unions, with
wounded nations shoring support in case of future conflict. The seed of a new European Union was planted
in the Treaty of Brussels: a pledge of mutual defence between Britain, France and Benelux
– lest the Nazis ever return. As the dust settled, it was clear that Germany
was no longer a threat: but the massive manpower and nuclear weapons of the Soviets were another
story. Nobody was more concerned by the rise of communism
than the United States – and thus the North Atlantic Treaty was drafted, extending the
zone of mutual defence to cover the US, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway and Portugal
– with Greece, Turkey and West Germany joining shortly after. With the establishment of NATO, a clear line
in the sand was drawn between the first and second world: A deterrence that had a chilling
effect on military action – ensuring the Cold War stayed that way. NATO’s role was to organise effective co-operation
between each member’s military: proposing standardisation for procedures, communication,
equipment – and ammunition. With most member nations still using bolt-action
weapons: if there was to be a collective modernisation – the so-called ‘Free World’ needed a new
firearm. FN Herstal were key innovators in the early
20th century – well noted for their self-loading firearm designs – and for the work of John
Browning. After his death in 1926, work continued in
the hands of FN’s chief weapons designer, Dieudonné Saive. He was the man responsible for finishing the
Browning Hi-Power – but he would become better known for his gas-operated rifles. The first was the FN Model 1949, or the SAFN
– a ca pable semi-automatic rifle, but its non-progressive design relegated it to a prior
era. Saive’s next project would shed such conservatism
and attempt to define the next generation of small arms. With select-fire capability, removable magazines
with a 20-round capacity – and reliable self-loading function regardless of ammunition: Compared to the wooden weapons it would replace,
this new ‘Light, Automatic Rifle’ would be state of the art. Inspired by the 7.92mm ‘Kurz’ cartridge fired
by the German Sturmgewehr, the FAL was originally designed to fire intermediate rounds – just
like a modern assault rifle. The experimental .280 British was the prime
calibre contender – a small, high velocity round which retained rifle-grade ballistics
while lessening recoil and necessary weight. The FAL was to be a truly modern rifle firing
the perfect round. What could go wrong? America’s ‘doctrine demanded power: .30 calibre
was their minimum acceptable manstopper, and in their dominant position they dug their
heels. And so the new rifle was retooled for the
more powerful .308 Winchester round – eventually becoming the NATO standard 7.62mm cartridge. Despite getting their way, America snubbed
the foreign-made rifle after testing, instead electing the home-grown M14. The dream of a universal weapon destroyed:
the advanced use of intermediate cartridges delayed. Even so, from its first production in 1953
the FAL still saw massive adoption – it has been used by over 90 countries, and over 2
million rifles have been manufactured. It was the NATO equivalent of the AKM through
its widespread service, earning it the title: ‘The right arm of the free world.’ The odd thing about the FAL – with regards
to its depiction – is its relative rarity. With the huge number manufactured – it’s amongst
the top ten weapons of all time – it should rub shoulders with the M16 and AK-47: but it doesn’t. It’s a sideline, a relic from the cold war
overlooked in favour of valiant World War 2 stories and more relevant tales of modern
terrorism. After all, it was a weapon designed for unity,
for peace – an uneasy peace, perhaps – but, with few exceptions, its conflicts saw no
greater scale than skirmish. It’s a relatively unassuming weapon to look
at, too – the most prominent feature of its sleek black exterior is its carrying handle. Compared to weapons made just 10 years before,
it’s a very modern-looking rifle – but its innovations are obscured by those who imitated
them. Caught in the middle of two eras: it’s no
war hero, nor is it particularly tacticool. Designed for duty, and nothing else: the FAL
harks to an era before Picatinny rails – where customisation meant spray-painting the weapon
with situational camouflage. A primitive hunk of steel, without delicate
decoration – you’ll aim with sights of iron and you’ll like it. It might not fire the round it was originally
supposed to, but it still spits its .30 calibre with aplomb. It is unapologetically powerful – as perhaps
a battle rifle should be – and leaves no wish for more: but such power is not without detriment. The recoil is significant by modern standards:
and while a typical rifleman is no stranger to such force, the bolt-actions of yore lacked
the FAL’s select fire. Simply put: a relatively lightweight firearm
discharging a full-power cartridge full-auto at some seven hundred rounds per minute – is unusable. And so the FAL served primarily in single
fire: which, in most circumstances is fine: conserving ammunition and ensuring more accurate
shots. Combat was evolving, however – and individual
marksmanship was an ever-decreasing factor in modern combined arms doctrine. Towards the end of the 20th century, the benefits
of intermediate cartridges were increasingly clear: Compared to modern assault rifles the
FAL was too long, too heavy and too difficult for some to handle. Slowly, the rifle intended for universal service
– was replaced. The Americans let slip their stubborn grasp
on .30 calibre rifles with the M16. The Austrians adopted the AUG, the Belgians
the FNC, the British the L85 – all bearing the new standard of the 5.56mm round. However, the FAL endures: like the AKM, it’s
too common to ever fall entirely out of favour – and it still turns up in all sorts of places. Its time as the prime tool of NATO forces
might be over: but its steadfast service is sorely missed. It emerged in a fractured world – one thoroughly
weary of war. The start of a new global responsibility: A need not to fight, but to be prepared. Weapons might be made for war: But this one was a product of peace. The FAL: Pacifier; Sentinel; Stalwart friend. Thank you very much for watching – and until
next time, farewell.

100 thoughts on “FAL.

  1. the FAL is far from "unusable on full auto" and there are plenty of modernized versions with features like VFG a better inline stock and muzzle devices that make them very controllable for intermediate-advanced users.

  2. I wish you guys would include some Escape from Tarkov footage, they have many of these guns, such as this FAL, and the mechanics are very realistic.

  3. This guy could defientally voice stuff in the new modern warefare or a new battle field eventually. I could imagine him saying the line in Cod 4. "Knife the watermelon… your fruit killing skills are remarkable"

  4. The army instructed us this weapon (older version with wood parts) could still be used as a club if we ran out of bullets.

  5. The changing of the caliber and choosing the M14 was because of one over cockney man who wanted his shot at glory outside of war

  6. I owned one for a while , it is very powerful and accurate gun yet , very heavy the gun it self and its ammunition and mags , and the heavy recoil makes it uncomfortable to shoot successive accurate shots

  7. gotta do more about this weapons:
    gewher 98
    browning automatic rifle
    colt m4
    tec 9
    mac 10

  8. The FAL is a makes the enemy say: "Help! I have FALlen and can't get back up!" rather quickly…
    Perfect lead delivery system if you do not fancy spending a lot of ammo!

  9. So America asked for the rifle to switch the type of bullets it used but then didn’t even use it Because we don’t want no European rifles

  10. FN: "Look guys, we made this perfect modern rifle"
    USA: "Cool, but we need it to fire a unnecessarily large ammo round"
    FN: "Fine, but now it has more recoil and stuff"

  11. I wouldn't call the Falklands War a Skirmish bruv. Also of interesting note since it was used by BOTH sides at the same time

  12. FAL is one of my favorite guns ever I want to buy one when I get the money because who wants a M4/M16 they jam and are too common I want a bulky rifle with a bulky round and something that can compete with a AK or M4 and that’s a FAL a historic weapon of mankind

  13. In Indian veterans still used to tell what if I have slr I can kick the butt of enemy. Really effective rifle.

  14. This guy can talk about a plastic spoon and make it sound amazing and like the biggest achievement of humanity.

    Cutlery is made for food. A spoon forged with a hole — doesn't hold any water.
    But when old standards fail, a new type of forging has to take their place. One that fits the incoming space age.

    Plastic spoon.
    The saviour of picnics.

  15. They may not be laying on every table at every gun show, but there's a reason for that. Anyone lucky enough to own one keeps it. It's a fantastic rifle. I love mine, and will pass it down to my heirs.

  16. I have a love for the FAL, it's a beautiful rifle, I love it's sillouheutt, it's powerful cartridge, and the easily controlled single shot accuracy, and it's iron sights. I think it's a very nice gun, and I want it to have it's time in the spotlight, but that time is long past. Sorry FAL.

  17. the FAL is FN's equivalent of when you tell an original joke and nobody listens but the one dude who hears it says it louder and gets all the recognition.

  18. I feel .280 British was rejected just because of the name. If it was called .280 Freedom it would've been snapped up.

  19. The right arm of the free world.
    I'm a G3 man, but you can't deny the FAL (German G1, Austrian Stg58, South African R1, British L1A1 etc) is an amazing weapon system.

  20. Is it possible to switch out the stock of the FAL?
    Can I replace the standard fixed position stock for a folding paratrooper stock?

  21. the only reason he doesnt have so many subscribers is because everybody is so busy watching the videos and clicking on the next one as soon as this one ends. lets face it, youve probably done it a few times. leave him a sub witj notifs.

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