Factory Grenade F1

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a high impact grade nylon containing a black organic dye. The handguard material is different in that it is a heat and light stabilized moulding grade nyfon which also contains 33% by weight of low alkali glass fibre. The kit comprises pistol grip and cover, carry handle, butt, butt plate, buttplate plug and left and right handguards.

The nylon furniture was found to be more suitable to extremes of climate than wood and in Canada and Arctic climates, the triggerguard could be dispensed with or folded into the pistol grip so that the rifle could be operated readily whilst wearing thick gloves or mittens. Nylon readily replaced wood as the insulation materia! for the hand-fitting carry handle, in British and then Australian service, because of its better durability.

Canada applied changes to the C1 which resulted in advances in nomenclature too. Improvements to the ejector block mooted an advance from C1A1 to C1A2 in the mid-1960s although the name change was eventually shelved. A later variant, the C1A1D had a modified fire selector like the C2, which enabled full auto fire and was issued aboard Canadian ships.

In 1 963, India commenced production of the F.N. F.A.L. at the Rifle Factory Ishapore, hence their RF! marking. India's Ishapore FALs are a curious combination of inch measurements and metric dimensions which renders component parts generally interchangeable among the sub-continental models but non-interchangeable with those of British, Canadian or Australian manufacture. The Indian model is designated the Rifle, 7.62mm 1A.

New Zealand purchased and issued Lithgow-made L1 A1 and L2A1 rifles and they also had some accessories and tools produced locally.

A variety of unit optical sights, infa-red and night vision devices, luminous and special telescopic sights were used with the LI and C1 rifle series. An even wider array of blank firing adaptors, recoil reducers, grenade dischargers and tools were issued with the rifles in over 20 countries where they served. Due to the length of time the LI was in service, production in three factories in England as well as at Long Branch, Lithgow and Ishapore, the sizeable variety of accessories and ancillaries is almost worthy of a study In its own right.

How Made GrenadeSlr Rifle Parts Diagram

Trials

Rifle X8E1 Tr

Rifle X8E2 Tr

Rifle X8E3 Tr

Rifle X8E5 Tr

Rifle X14E1 Tr

Rifle EX 1 Tr

Rifle EX 2 Tr

Bayonet X2E1 Tr Scabbard, Bayonet X1E1 Tr als, generally U.K. and Australasia, metric als, fitted with telescope sight & offset iron sights, metric als, variant of X8E2, metric als, modified cocking handle, metric als, eventual L1 A1 configuration, inch-measurement als, Canada, equivalent of British X8E1, metric als, Canada, equivalent of British X8E2, metric als, FN manufacture, stamped on underside of grip tang als, FN manufacture, stamped on body

Production, Great Britain

Rifle 7.62mm L1 A1 Rifle 7.62mm L12A1 Rifle 7.62mm L23A1 Rifle 7.62mm L25A1 Rifle 7.62mm L26A1 Bayonet L1A1 Bayonet L1A2 Bayonet L1 A3 Bayonet L1 A4

Regular service issue

H&K .22 conversion

Instructional D.P., sectionised

Instructional D.P.

Instructional, variant of L25A1

Original model, sheet steel grips, brazed pommel

Production alternative with riveted pommel

Brazed pommel, recess in pommel for shorter locking bolt

Riveted pommel, recess in pommel for shorter locking bolt

Production, Canada

Rifle 7.62mm C1 Rifle 7.62mm C1A1 Rifle 7.62mm C1A1D Rifle 7.62mm C2 Rifle, 7,62mm C2A1 Bayonet C1

Early model designation

Minor components & manufacture changes

Selector switch enables auto burst fire too

Heavy barrel auto, early model designation

Heavy barrel auto, minor components & manufacture changes

Similar to British & Australian L1A2

Production, Australia

Rifle, 7.62mm L1A1 Rifle, 7.62mm L2A1 Rifle, 7.62mm L1 A1-F1 Rifle, 7.62mm L1 Al A SAF Lithgow Target Rifle Bayonet L1A2

Regular service issue

Heavy barrel auto

PNG issue with shorter flash hider

Commercial export model for USA, no sear safety

Commercial production for Rifle Club purchases

Same style as British L1A2

Production, India

Rifle 7.62mm IA Bayonet 1 A

Bayonet 1A later mode! Bayonet 1A, long blade

Particular to India, composite of both inch & metric systems

Like British L1A2 but has wooden grips l ike British L1A4 but has wooden grips

Like L1 A4 with wood grips, but blade is 2-in. longer at 1 0 in.

Slr L1a2 RifleBritish X8e2

Top to bottom- 7.62mm L1A1 rifles of British, Australian and Canadian manufacture. UK makers' indicators are UE for Enfield, UE for BSA and UF for Fazakerley. The next rifle down is Australian production at Lithgow while the bottom example is a Canadian Long Branch. The Trilux SUIT sight fitted at top was an option. M.O.D. Pattern Room

British, Canadian and Australian F.A.L. rifles generally have their designation markings on the left side of the upper receiver (action body) along with the factory indicator. Such inscriptions make for ready identification and many component parts were stamped with manufacturer's marks and sometimes the year of production as well. Proof and production marks on prime components are also good indicators in identification.

Because parts are interchangeable, many of the L1 rifles available in the civilian U.S. marketplace today are rebuilds which utilise components from different sources. New manufacture receivers in the United States are generally set ud with components parts of UK, Australian or to a much lesser extent, Canadian origin. While this may not necessarily affect the function of a rebuilt LI because the design and production of the rifle is based around full interchangeability, the result falls short of what many collectors require.

Lithgow production receivers, barrels, breech blocks and carriers are also stamped with steel batch marks which also serve to identify the years of production. These are listed in 'S.L.R.- Australia's FN FAL by Ian Skennerton, along with serial number lists and the countries or services to which L1 and L2 rifles were sold by the Small Arms Factory factory. The 'S.L.R.' book also details a chronology of the changes to component parts during the course of twenty-eight years of production and is an important reference for any collector or shooter with a Lithgow rifle or one which has Australian component parts.

Rifle serial numbers were usually engraved on the upper receiver, trigger housing, breech block and breech block carrier and stamped or engraved on the lower receiver (trigger housing). On British and Australian production, the first two letters denote the factory and the next two figures indicate the year of production, e.g. AD68001 72 is Australian production or UB60A92920 from Great Britain. The UE code indicates Enfield as the maker, UB for B.S.A. and UF for Fazakerley. The Australian LI AT rifles have 7-digit serial numbers after the 'AD' indicator while their L2A1 rifles have 6-digit numbers following the 'AD' prefix.

In the UK, from 1957 until 1961, 103,400 L1A1 rifles, 551,700 magazines, 108,300 bayonets and 1 5,520 grenade launchers had been produced, in Canada, about 90,000 had been assembled at CALs Long Branch by 1979 and production continued after this. The production numbers are significant in observing LI and C1 seria! numbers. Australia's Lithgow production commenced in 1959 and reached about 223,000 by 1986; the UK factories had produced this figure as eariy as 1964,

Canadian rifles do not incorporate the year indicator in the serial number but they have the letter 'L' for Long Branch ahead of the last four numbers, e.g. 8L3050 and the numbers run consecutively from 1 956 until end of production. The Long Branch C2 rifles incorporate an 'A' letter, presumably to indicate 'automatic'. The automatic rifle series used three numbers after the LA letters, e.g. 2LA690, commencing with 0LA002 in 1 958. The very first C2 rifle no. 0L0001 duplicated an FN C1 number and the number/letter system change was made after this.

Indian Ishapore rifles, while not considered essentially a part of this group because of their inch/metric mix and non-interchangability, are sometimes encountered as batches have become available on the surplus market more recently. Ishapore rifles are readily identified because of the square profile on many parts, especially of the darker coloured timber furniture. They are noticeably less well finished in both metal and timber. Their 7.62mm 1A receivers are clearly marked R.F.I, along with the year of production. Serial numbers on the Indian rifles are usually in the form of a letter prefix followed by the numbers, e.g. F7631. South African 7.62mm R1 rifles are metric FAL's rather than the inch system in service with other Commonwealth countries.

Canadian Service Rifle

Canadian C2 at top compared with Lithgow L2A1 rifle below. The tangent rearsight originated in Canada. Note the different auto rifle carry handle, allowing for the different centre of gravity. M.O.D. Pattern Room

Argentine Fal Semi Auto Rifle

Canadian C2 auto rifle close-up. Note Canadian CI 'snow'sight and special serial number. Long Branch rifles incorporate an Vbefore the last 4 numbers, also note the Canadian distinctive proofs. M.O.D. Pattern Room

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Responses

  • conrad
    Why did ishapore use Ad prefixed serial numbers?
    9 years ago

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