IMBEL Fz SA

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  • IMBEL Fz SA

    I picked up a while ago a version of the Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal Fusil Automatique Léger. More popularly known in the English speaking world as the Light Automatic Rifle, my version is a metric-pattern licensed built rifle by Indústria de Material Bélico (of Brazil). The model name is "Fuzil Semi Automático" which was a sporting rifle production run for import to the US in the late 80's. Mine lacks any other markings other than the importer (Pacific Armament Corp), and also lacks the date stamp on the interior of the magazine well, indicating an 80's import, possibly 1990 at the latest. Unlike some other rifles, the FAL is produced in both metric and inch patterns with some variation between the two. "FrankenFALs" are common amongst kit builders, as complete rifles are relatively rare. Mine is a complete rifle as imported, and all parts are Brazilian.


    DSCF0197 by chazbotic, on Flickr

    The FAL is a short recoil gas operated rifle with an adjustable gas system. Mine has a muzzle brake installed, but flash hiders are also quite common. The FAL features a nonreciprocating charging handle, easy hinged upper and lower for maintenance, and 20 round detachable box magazines suitable for commericial .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition.


    DSCF0198 by chazbotic, on Flickr

    Key differences from the inch pattern include rear sight style, relief cuts in the upper and lower receiver and bolt assembly, a differently shaped handguard, a different muzzle device, as well as markings on the gas system adjustment knob. The Type III receiver (pictured) was originally designed for a forged aluminum receiver, but IMBEL decided against it for the cheap price of steel, making the Type III FAL receiver both the heaviest and possibly the strongest FAL receiver made.


    DSCF0201 by chazbotic, on Flickr

    Made in 34 countries, exported to an additional 60 and used for the past 60+ years in nearly 100 countries worldwide, the FN FAL has earned the moniker "right arm of the free world".

  • #2
    Nice rifle, but it is a tease for us.

    Thanks,

    Oddball

    Comment


    • chazbot
      chazbot commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Oddball" post=9687
      Nice rifle, but it is a tease for us.

      Thanks,

      Oddball
      I mostly want to post a few things like this since the semi-auto forum appears to be largely empty. I can stop if it's unwanted though - I don't mean any offense.

  • #3
    Sadly, by legislative necessity the semi auto section is going to be largely empty.


    I appreciated your pics chazbot...know a few ex-servicemen whose eyes go all misty when thinking about their old SLRs

    Comment


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      I do appreciate seeing a good semi auto. It's just that it is frustrating we can no longer own them ( in general).

      Bring on some good pictures, field stripped as well. If its in parts those that haven't used them, will get an appreciation for both the design, worksmanship and function perspective.

      Thanks,

      Oddball

  • #4
    After pushing the take-down lever upwards, a cam pin that retains the upper is removed, allowing the upper to pivot forward so the carrier group can be removed and the chamber and bore accessed for cleaning.


    DSCF0245 by chazbotic, on Flickr

    The ever popular "rat-tail" is used to extract the carrier group. The tail is used as a rod to interact with the recoil assembly contained in the stock. A tear drop shaped depression and a cup shaped joint allows the tail to self-center, so closing the action is quite easy.

    Comment


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by chazbot" post=13343
      After pushing the take-down lever upwards, a cam pin that retains the upper is removed, allowing the upper to pivot forward so the carrier group can be removed and the chamber and bore accessed for cleaning.


      DSCF0245 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      The ever popular "rat-tail" is used to extract the carrier group. The tail is used as a rod to interact with the recoil assembly contained in the stock. A tear drop shaped depression and a cup shaped joint allows the tail to self-center, so closing the action is quite easy.
      How about the gas system? Removing the dust cover? Removing the hand guards? Removing the upper and lower receiver?

      Many of us are very intimate with the FN FAL / L1A1 SLR, and may enjoy seeing it stripped further.

      Thanks,

      Oddball

  • #5
    Originally posted by Richard @ RARCO" post=13664
    Looks like the F1 PNG version - can't be too many of those around.
    I concur, not 100% on the name, though, but the PNG style flash suppressor, which, tests showed more efficient, and same barrel length. I beleive the early intakes of ADFA, the female cadets got them as well, rumour only....

    Thanks,

    Oddball

    Comment


    • #6
      Alright well here are some more photographs with a bit more of the disassebly. This isn't typical of a field strip.

      Notable differences (as mentioned above) between FAL variants are grossly divided between metric and inch patterns. I'm not overly familiar with all of them, but the major style are the European FAL, the Canadian/Australian/Britich SLR, the South American FAL, the Israeli FAL, and contract rifle prototypes.

      My Fz SA uses a muzzle brake/flash hider combination device with a crellenated strike face for some reason. This is significantly different from the long and short Belgian flash hiders more common on inch pattern rifles.


      DSCF0260 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      You can note here how the adjustable gas system has no markings. It is a 13 position rotary dial, and on inch patterns is typically marked 1 through 7. Additionally the inch pattern have larger protective ears for the front sight post that are "open" to the sides. My metric patten rifles typically have smaller closed ears. You'll notice the front sight post is a little different from some inch pattern FAL rifles too.


      DSCF0255 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      The handguards I have are plastic, but they vary by manufacturer and country. Israeli FAL rifles use wood and stamped steel, while most inch patterns and European inch patten rifles use wooden handguards. They are typically secured by cross pin or a partially threaded retaining screw.


      DSCF0259 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      You can see the gas cutoff knob here. In the "A" or automatic position, the rifle functions normally. In the "G" or "Grenadier" position, the gas system is fully vented and is meant to be used for rifle grenades. YOu can use your finger, or a bullet to depress the spring loaded retaining cross piece. On some inch rifles, this is a bit different and uses a special tool.


      DSCF0267 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      Rotating the knob to the take down position will allow it to be pushed out by the operating spring and gas piston assembly.


      DSCF0268 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      On the receiver, you can see the different shape to the carry handle, assuming your particular FAL has one - not all do. The bolt carrier may or may not have "sand cuts" to allow better function in sandy or dusty environments. The brown spot on the dust cover is discoloration of some kind - might be light rust under the powder coat.


      DSCF0256 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      On this side you can see the magazine release and the bolt hold open, which is actuated by the follower of the magazine and works to retain the bolt rearward when the magazine is empty. As mentioned earlier, the magazines between the inch and metric FAL differ and you can use metric magazines in the inch pattern rifle due to the wide locking lug shelf, but the small shelf in the metric rifle will not fit the inch pattern magazine. The split pin and retaining hollow pin is the pivot assembly for the upper and lower receiver.


      DSCF0258 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      Here's the other side of the receiver. Using the slot and a coin, fingernail, or some other similar tool, you can unscrew the split pin from the hollow pin and then tap out the hollow pin. This releases the upper and lower receivers.


      DSCF0261 by chazbotic, on Flickr


      DSCF0263 by chazbotic, on Flickr


      DSCF0264 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      On this photo, you can see that the dust cover can be easily separated by lightly squeezing it to relieve tension and moving the cover rearward. The dust cover is not required for the rifle to function unless it's a folding stock variation. Notable is that the dustcover is typically where scopes are mounted, so a very solid mounting is needed for best accuracy.


      DSCF0265 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      With the dust cover removed, you can much better access the upper receiver, the chamber and bore, and other areas for inspection and cleaning.


      DSCF0270 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      All ready for more detailed cleaning and reassembly.


      DSCF0269 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      Comment


      • Slo355
        Slo355 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for another interesting thread Chazbot.

    • #7
      Great post chazbot, thanks.


      Only time I have seen or held an SLR, but it was a nice piece alright Dealer owned unsurprisingly.










      Comment


      • TRE
        TRE commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for sharing Chaz

    • #8
      Took the rifle to the range. At 50 yards, using the 200 meter rear sight will shoot consistently about 6 inches low. The 400 meter sight brings it up to where it needs to be at such a short range. Note that I have a 200 meter zero.


      DSCF0325 by chazbotic, on Flickr


      DSCF0326 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      And bonus photo of my buddy's AK.


      DSCF0320 by chazbotic, on Flickr

      Comment

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