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FN FAL Para (South African Paratrooper) review with 7.62x51mm Aguilla


<Transcript> We are taking a look an FN FAL paratrooper model that was built from a South African parts kit.

The FN FAL, or Fusil Automatique Léger, was a simple short-stroke gas piston rifle that flat out works in many rugged conditions and one of the crowning achievements of Fabrique National.

It’s served nations from it’s conception in the 1950’s to the present day.

Often times the FAL conjures up images of Rhodesian troops in their short shorts, or British and Argentineans having nature hikes in the south Atlantic.

The prolific firearm is sufficiently accurate, easy to use, die-hard reliable, and earned it’s nickname, “the right arm of the free world” through half a century of combat.

The rifle operates with a tilt-bolt design similar to a Soviet SKS. This bolt design is relatively rare compared to modern rifle trend of using rotating bolts.

The 20 round magazine rotates in, and the firearm is charged with a side-non-reciprocating charging handle.

The paratrooper model shown here has a different recoil spring and stock.

These are some of the toughest folding stocks that you will encounter. Tough enough to survive African conflicts.

The gas blow-off port behind the front sight is adjustable to accommodate different types of ammunition to be safely shot through the rifle, and the rear sights are a crude flip-up sight.

Take note that the carry handle is usually clipped off on the Rhodesian versions of this rifle.

So how accurate is it? We did a simple 9-hole group to test this with some Aguilla 7.62x51.

Lets see… The impacts were all high, I missed the mark with one shot, but we were able to draw a 3.3 MOA 9 round group.

Shooting it in the past, I can expect it to generally hit around a 3MOA type of accuracy with these sights too.

The FAL shoots a full powered 7.62x51 NATO cartridge, and is no laughing matter with close range targets.

I asked USPSA Grand Master class shooter, Josh Mazzola from Clear Advantage to lend me his trigger finger.

Josh currently holds the USPSA PCC division champion titles for the state of Texas and Mississippi and is much more suited for this test.

While we were able to score all A-C zone hits, the rifle’s recoil was far more violent than a normal M4 carbine. You can see a massive different when Josh runs a standard FN M4 with a stock trigger.

I suppose this does add validity to the classic Rhodesian recruitment poster, saying that you could be a man among men in the RLI.

The rifle altogether is a light, compact package that was at the top of it’s class in the 1950’s. The US was still using M1 Garands in Korea when the FN FAL was first seen on the market.

The FN FAL disassembles with a simple push of a button, and the bolt carrier group comes out. The receiver hinge pin unscrews and you have the two receivers separated.

The gas plug rotates and you can remove the piston for maintenance.

The sights were adequate for it’s era, but obviously not target sighs. There are aftermarket options for optic mounting, but they are not conducive for the paratrooper models…

The paratrooper model has the recoil spring integrated with the dust cover, and therefore disassembly requires the user to remove the dust cover.

Most optic mounts are on the dust cover, and paratrooper model dust cover mounts will have to be removed and re-zeroed every time a user performs maintenance.

None-the-less, after a few hundred rounds of mixed types of ammunition with no stoppages, we found the FN FAL paratrooper here to be a very reliable, battle proven and versatile firearm, that has earned it’s place in history.

DSA Arms makes some high quality versions, but we do caution people on the century-marked FN FALs floating around the US Market, as some of these have poorly designed feed ramps and reliability issues. However some Century FN FALs are built with excellent Brazilian “Imbel” marked receivers that were actually Belgian licensed copies of the rifle, so do your research.

That goes to show the proliferation of the rifle itself on the world stage.

Anyways, thanks for tuning in again, we’ve enjoyed reviewing this unique firearm, and we’ll see you around the next time!


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