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The FN FAL Battle Rifle

The FN FAL Battle Rifle Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2013 Title The FN FAL Battle Rifle
Author Bob Cashner Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780969039
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Aptly called "right arm of the Free World", FN FAL battle rifle served over 90 nations in the post-WWII years.  And it's still in production today.

Now it's the subject of handy history from Osprey, The FN FAL Battle Rifle – 27th installment in the publisher's "Weapon" series.

Contents course through the whole terrific tale of this classic Cold War combatant.  The informative introduction covers the rifle's design and development, international users, improvements and modifications, and accessories.

The story then segues to "use" in postwar British, African, Arab-Israeli, Indo-Pakistan, Vietnam, and Latin American conflicts.  That's where you'll discover fascinating details on the FAL in, for instance, the Falklands War and South African service.  But any rifle is only as effective as its operator.  And in "well-trained hands", Cashner concludes, the FAL "proved superior to the AK-47 in poorly trained hands".

A subsequent "Impact" chapter summarizes the weapon's importance, strengths and weaknesses.  And half of that section recaps the critical role of the 7.62x51 NATO round.  Check out, too, the illuminating FAL comparison to two other postwar Western battle rifles: the M14 and Heckler & Koch G3.

Photos and color plates illustrate text.  And Steve Noon's always-excellent action paintings proved particularly potent.  A "conclusion", selected bibliography and index neatly wrap things up.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!