The SLR and how it was used

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by cdnguy215, Jan 12, 2004.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm new to this forum, and wanted to ask people here who may of used the old FN SLR a few questions?

    What was it like in field? Did you find it to be too long or too weight? I used in when I was cadets, but as a canadian cadet all we did was shoot it on the range and do drill. So I was hoping to get some first experience with its use. What was it like in Northern Ireland? What was the combat loads like. On Canadian broads its hard to anyone who has used, and no Canadian has it like its been by UK Forces.

  2. Well I'm not sure what some will say, but I can say I liked it. The length and weight weren't a problem even though the amount of ammo that could be carried 'ready to use' in magazines was limited compared with 5.56mm. Some things that I gidn't realize it at the time but would now give me a warm feeling deep inside? :-

    If I hit someone I would have been very confident that they were going down.

    I could use it in both right and left shoulder, allowing me to be on the right side of any available cover and also allowing 50% of the section's weapons covering the right flank on the move.

    Not needing to reach over the weapon to 'make ready'. It had a nice natural cocking action with no need to take the weapon out of the aim or worry about having to 'forward assist'.

    When I squeezed the trigger I knew there was going to be an almighty bang and a round heading off in the intended direction.

    There was something you could actually put a bayonet on the end of. Nowadays you might as well put a bayonet on the end of a pistol!

    I might just be showing my age and be in that 'good old days' zone, but there you go.
  3. It was lovely. It had few parts to clean, could be carried quite comfortably, was reliable and solidly built and could be set up for left handed people.
    It had its downsides though. Getting in and out of vehicles with it was a pain, it's sights needed setting up again after you broke the weapon to clean it (It had no optical sights as standard) and was only single shot.
    Mind you it actually felt like you were firing a weapon (sunny summer days on German ranges and coming back with bruised shoulders, ahhhh, bliss).
  4. Only drawback I can think of is in house clearing [length] otherwise great weapon.
  5. Agreed on the length, disagree on the zero. Bit of a gravelbelly myth, that one, IMHO. As for the cleaning, the inside of the gas plug housing was a pain without that armourer's tool. And it was the days before Scotchbrite (swing that lamp).

    I found that if you kept the body locking catch and lug clean, there were no "loss of zero" worries about breaking the weapon open. I tried out the following once, as a young Gravelbelly:
    - zero rifle
    - break weapon and mount SUIT, zero SUIT
    - remove SUIT from it's top-cover mounting, check zero iron sights (no change)
    - remount SUIT and check zero (no change)
    - break weapon, remove SUIT, and check zero (no change).

    Ahh, a good day on the ETR..... 600rds of 7.62 a day, and no significant bruises :) :)
  6. Arms drill with the SLR was much easier, because at Attention, Stand at Ease and Order Arms the butt rested on the ground.

    The sling did not require a degree in origami too attach, either.
  7. Unless you had a match to hand, Hee hee hee!
  8. Fabrique National FAL (Fusil Automatique Legere) 'The Free World's Right Arm'; Great rifle, better than G3 and the L1A1 scored as the best of breed.
    It pointed well and snapshooting was no problem, especially if you managed to get hold of a Hythe two-leaf rearsight and use the large aperture; what people are calling a 'Ghost Ring' these days. If it was getting a bit short of gas, it told you well in advance; just didn't chuck the cases out so far.
    I never found that being semi-auto only was ever a problem. Some folk have a problem with this; 'pray and spray' seems to give them a hard-on, but full auto is a waste of ammo; firepower is a one shot kill.
    With the 7.62x51 NATO round recoil is over-hyped too and gunshyness amongst young soldiers is a product of inadequate coaching. As for losing the the zero on cleaning I never once experienced this and on active service I cleaned my rifle every day.
    As for accuracy; I once owned a Lithgow built L1A1, (before the beginning of legalised theft by the Governmment), and I found that, if I was doing my part correctly, the rifle would shoot standard ammo into 1MOA quite happily.
    I want my bundook back! I'm tired of tin-pot poodle shooters!
  9. Ooohhh, extra-long butt, double-leaf rearsight, and a three-prong flash eliminator. 8) I never liked the wooden furniture on it, preferred plastic 8O
  10. It was better than the SA80 at applying a butt stoke to recalcitrant folk - soldiers and Paddys - at least it didn't fall apart. Does anyone remeber the boxer, Richard Dunn, ex-para who, it was said, could take the full force of an SLR swung into his face without flinching.
  11. I remember him well, and I recall that he looked as though this may have happened on several occasions.

    Bloody good weapon and the 7.62 x 51mm standard is a bloody good round.
  12. They were beginning to show there age but were bloody good rifles.
    never managed to break one unlike SA80 :evil:
    needed a few more mags as standard though 4 mags was pretty much a joke for any sort of section attack
  13. Excellent weapon. It was also good to teach shooting techniques on due to the kick. If you did not hold it correctly or did not get the correct site picture you soon knew about it.

    Who said no kick, I came back from Bisley with a fractured cheeck bone. Not from one smack but from the continous belt of the butt under the cheek through out the comp and the trg prior to it.
  14. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    SLR, God. Same number of letters, ergo the same !

    Seriously, like Gravelbelly said, the zero was never a problem - I've never had one anyway, both with and without a SUIT. I've never had a stoppage with one either - but maybe that's my fault, perhaps I shouldn't have cleaned the damn rifle......

    CBB mentioned the fact that they were getting old, a quick call to Enfield along the lines of "We need x-thousand new SLRs" would have sorted that one out in short order.

    Of all the FAL variants, the SLR has to be at the top of the pile. Real development took place, questions were asked and "Lessons Learnt" were actually learnt. (This doesn't go along with current thinking, but then what the phuq would I know ?) The mag and catch were sturdy, then made actually squaddie proof. The sand cuts have been the envy of many armies whose 'shed told them that they were unnecessary. The plastic furniture was more comfortable and better able to withstand temp and humidity changes than the dead tree stuff. Not so sure of the lack of hold open, but that's a moot point, you can get away without it. I've met armourers that claim it was putting too much of strain on the receiver (?) and others that say the pin was too small/brittle. The answer is a larger annealed stop. Next problem. Go along with the twin leaf sight - mega kit.

    Cdnguy215 - Being as the Canuk SLRs (C1s) had differences to ours, how did the "dial" sight stand up to dust, mud and snow ? If you're unsure yourself, but can find a Newfie mate to tell you let me know please. Cheers.

    Full auto ? No thanks, tried it on several different FALs. It's not big & it's not clever. Not if hitting your target has anything to do with your musketry training anyway. Double tap is neither a difficult skill to teach nor pick up.

    Everything comes down to trg. Give the lads enough range time then they'll hit what they need to. With the possible exception of any poor sod with the SA80, where you have to wait to see what is going to fall off/self destruct next, and the myriad of stoppages. But then I might be a little biased against that miracle of modern engineering and financial prudence.

    Back to the Free World's Right Arm, as the advertising bumf went. Probably the most well balanced full-bore I've had the pleasure to carry. With all due respect to every other designer, (except the numpties at BAE,) the weapon feels, well, right. Add that to that the butt has four standard lengths and you'll fit it to most toms, except possibly the orangutang who deserves the GPMG and full SF kit on his jack. Anyone who has had the good fortune to shoot a fitted gun, (gun, shot, small birds, blasting out of the sky, for the use of) will attest to the fact that this will change you from a concentrated confident shot to a casual confident shot.

    Right lads, I'm ranting, I'd better knock this on the head before the apple juice mashes what is left of my brain.
  15. SLR.......................My all time favorite bullet chucker! only used it in basic and Granby though, got to my regiment and got the fright of my life when I saw the SA80.