The glorious FN FAL from its first years among Rhodesian Soldiers of Fortune to its introduction to the modern age of warfare, clad in prosthetic polymer and MIL-STD-1913 rails about its bottled, elegant handguard. The original FN Herstal Fusil Automatique Leger (“Light Automatic Rifle”) and its variants such as the StG 58, DSA SA58 OSW and Para rifles, Armtech L1A1 SAS, Argentinian FAP, Brazilian IMBEL MD series, MD97, IMBEL IA2, FN FALO, and IMI Romat have served across ninety countries and several dozen conflicts. During the conflict in the Falklands, both sides were armed with the weapon, and in many African rebellions it was the FN FAL that suppressed the Pan-African ideology.
The powerful, monstrous 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifle has been nicknamed “The right arm of the Free World”, and is both vindicated and vilified for its role in imperialism and domination across the globe. It remains one of the three most widely used rifles in the world, beside the AR and AK in their infamy, proliferation, and reputation.
But unlike the aforementioned assault rifles, this battle rifle sounds with the roar of a full rifle round. A single full metal jacket 7.62 NATO round carries with it 3,304 joules of energy upon impact compared to the 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x39mm’s 1,767 joules and 2,179 joules, respectively. The weapon is perfectly capable of annihilating most infantry cover and virtually any brush between it and the enemy.
It never gained the same popularity as the AR-15 or Kalashnikov designs due mostly to weight, length, and age. But it returns again from the grave, loaded and angry. If the scepter represented the empire in the king’s hand, it was this rifle that represented the empire in the soldier’s hand.