Battle rifles

Place of origin


In service



Vietnam War Cambodian Civil War Six-Day War Portuguese Colonial War South African Border War Northern Ireland Troubles Rhodesian Bush War Falklands War Gulf War Balkan Wars Cenepa War Sierra Leone Civil War Yom Kippur War Rwandan Civil War


Dieudonné Saive, Ernest Vervier




Fabrique Nationale (FN)


1953–present (IMBEL only)


7.62x51mm NATO

Feed system

20 or 30-round detachable box magazine

The Fusil Automatique Léger ("Light Automatic Rifle") or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, with the notable exception of the United States. It is one of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by over 90 countries.

The FAL was predominantly chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round, and because of its prevalence and widespread use among the armed forces of many NATO countries during the Cold War it was nicknamed "the right arm of the Free World".


FAL 50.41 & 50.42Edit

  • Also known as FALO as an abbreviation from the French Fusil Automatique Lourd;
  • Heavy barrel for sustained fire with 30-round magazine as a squad automatic weapon;
  • Known in Canada as the C2A1, it was their primary squad automatic weapon until it was phased out during the 1980s in favor of the C9, which has better accuracy and better ammunition capacity than the C2;
  • Known to the Australian Army as the L2A1, it was replaced by the FN Minimi. The L2A1 or 'heavy barrel' FAL was used by several Commonwealth nations and was found to frequently experience a failure to feed after firing two rounds from a full magazine when in automatic mode.
  • The 50.41 is fitted with a plastic buttstock, while the 50.42's buttstock is made from wood.

FAL 50.61Edit

  • Folding-stock, standard barrel length.

FAL 50.63Edit

  • Folding-stock, shorter-barrel paratrooper version; standard metric charging handle and carry handle.
  • Two variants with differing barrel lengths: 458 mm versus 436 mm. The shorter version was requested by Belgian paratroopers. This allowed the folded-stock rifle to fit through the doorway of their C-119 Flying Boxcar when worn horizontally across the chest.

FAL 50.64Edit

  • Folding-stock, standard barrel length, 'Hiduminium' aluminum alloy lower receiver, upper receiver was not cut for a carry handle, the charging handle on the 50.64 was a folding model similar to the L1A1 rifles.