View Full Version : Identification: Correct config for a Belgian M2?

Strike Penguin
November 13, 2006, 04:26
I'd like to know the detailed configuration for a Belgain M2... Most importantly, the receiver and barrel.

1. Receiver - Did the Belgians ever make the M2 with a Type 2 receiver?

2. Barrel - Stevens says the M2 was "like the G1". I've seen pictures of Browning imports and a Belgian M2-esque rifle that have a long flash hider, but I've also seen pictures of Belgian army soldiers using rifles that looked like M2s with combo devices. I've collected pictures of M2s that have bare muzzles with lugs, like the M1/Israeli/early Argentines. That's three possible configs. The only constant seems to be "no bipod cut". Is one choice more correct than the others?

3. Gas system - Closed-ear low config, the standard type we all know and love, right? With standard length tube & piston, and standard Metric plug?

4. Top cover - Stripper clip or standard? (I'd be OK with either one, but I'd prefer a black FN standard cover, it's cheaper! :D )

5. Paint finish - Gray enamel or black epoxy? (I'm leaning "black epoxy")

6. Stock - Seems to be agreement here that it was a lacquered French Walnut "Type C" with ferrule. No trapdoor.

7. Other furniture - Agreement here again, non-bipod-cut gray fiberglass handguards, with synthetic PG, is evidently correct.

8. Cocking handle knob - Aluminum, like on the M1 and G1? Or something else?

9. Carry handle - Synthetic with ribs?

Any thoughts?

I've got my current projects almost wrapped up, and I was thinking of starting an M2 clone build as a long-term fun thing to partner with my M1, but then we went and had an election :rolleyes: so we're looking at a push for another AWB come January. I'd like to get at least the barreled receiver done before then, if I can afford it, but I'd need to know what to get first.

November 13, 2006, 10:48
1- YES: I have in my hand a pic in the Stevens' book.
2- Stevens says the M2 was 'an update of the basic FAL Canada'. The ORIGINAL contract to the Belgain Army had a smooth barrel w/lug. Subsequent depot visits generally 'updated' the update.
3- YES
4- Stripper, originally
5- Belgian grey/green (special order: FN sold a black overcoat on most contracts)
6- Plastic HG and PG, w/ wood stock (originally). The 60s issued M2 I see has plastic stock and rubber pad.
7- See 6
8- standard Euro beer keg cocking handle
9- The Belgians I have handled all had Model C (plastic on short rod, ribbed) carry handles.

November 13, 2006, 10:52
Belgian Army M2 model :

The receiver : Type1 .
Note : I once encountered a Falo with Type2 receiver . This rifle was in new unissued condition , but I cannot tell whether this rifle was rebuild from spare parts or newly manufactured .

Next pic is of the Falo type2 . Alas, he's in very poor quality , but it's all I have .
The barrel : No bipod cuts . Always plain barrel with bayonet lug .
Note : The bayonet lug on a G1 was never intended for a bayonet and therefore it's placed app.1cm closer to the muzzle .
The gas system : As you describe . See also above pic .
The top cover : Always the short stripper type in HIDUMINIUM .
Will continue ........

November 13, 2006, 11:06
The paint finish : Grey enamel
The stock : Type C wood , but also possible type D black plastic .
Other furniture : HG non bipod fiberglas .
Pistol grip : black plastic
Cocking handle knob : Black plastic
Carry handle :synthetic with ribs . See above pic .

Last but not least , a pic of 2 soldiers with M2's . I'm the best looking one ;)

November 13, 2006, 11:59
you just earned a trip to the R&D Forum. Outstanding update!

I have a Dutch soldier's manual-

November 13, 2006, 12:59
Thanks, and for my hard work , maybe a small reward ? Something like a Dutch manual :angel: ?

November 13, 2006, 13:05
I thought elevation to the Valhalla of The FAL Files was enough!

Strike Penguin
November 13, 2006, 16:22
Good stuff, thanks! But no Type 2 receivers on standard FALs then? :( I like the look of the Type 2 and I already have a Type 1, so I was looking for an excuse to buy a different receiver type. :) Did anybody ever field a black-painted Type 2 with a combo device and gray handguards? South Africa maybe? Here are the pictures that led me to think the M2 was possibly painted black, and maybe also had a combo device.

From the recent thread about Belgian equipment, here's this lovely rifle above an M1 cutaway model:


Trio of rifles, not sure where I got the picture from. L1A1, ??, Imbel Para? The middle one is what interests me, it looks like it has a Type A or Type B stock, and early lugged barrel, but it's black and has the later gas system:


I had this labelled as a pic from a Belgian museum but who knows, really? I really like the look of this configuration:


This is what made me think of combo devices. The website I got this picture from said it was a picture of the Belgian army, but now I see there's a grenade launcher sight on the foreground soldier's FAL. Again - South African maybe?


November 13, 2006, 16:53
The last pic is indeed Belgium armed forces .
This is a pic of a former police organisation who was responsible for the law
and order on Belgian territory. They were 2 ministries responsible for it .
Namely the ministrie of internal affairs and the ministrie of defence . As said this was a pure national police force but in time of war they had certain defence responsibilities .
They adopted a Fal variant with the 22mm FH . This version was named M5
Nowadays this force is amalgated with the municipal police force and these Fals are sold a few years ago .
The name of this force was , in Dutch : Rijkswacht and in French : Gendarmerie .

J. Armstrong
November 13, 2006, 16:56
M2s evolved through several configs. Stevens has pix of a late M2 withe type 2 receiver, synthetic furniture, horizontal latch lever, wide tab BHO, and although the pic doesn't show the muzzle, i'd bet the ranch it has a combo device. Fig 153 in Stevens "The Metric FAL".

Strike Penguin
November 13, 2006, 19:11
The last pic is indeed Belgium armed forces .
They adopted a Fal variant with the 22mm FH . This version was named M5
Nowadays this force is amalgated with the municipal police force and these Fals are sold a few years ago.What makes it an "M5", the combo device and grenade sight? What was the "M4", do you know? This is the first I've heard of these variants. Really there isn't enough information about Belgian rifles out there, thanks for the help!
M2s evolved through several configs. Stevens has pix of a late M2 withe type 2 receiver, synthetic furniture, horizontal latch lever, wide tab BHO, and although the pic doesn't show the muzzle, i'd bet the ranch it has a combo device. Fig 153 in Stevens "The Metric FAL".I had forgotten to mention those pictures in Stevens. The figures 153 and 155, as well as my third museum pic above, are what I had in mind when I was thinking of a fun M2 config: Gray fiberglass handguards, Type 2 receiver, and all the later features including Type C stock. Maybe it wouldn't be the most common config but finding parts wouldn't be so hard, and it would go nice with my M1 without being too similar. The big question mark is the barrel and muzzle configuration.

Just one photo or anectdote to confirm if the M2s ever used the combo device would be enough. :) I already have a lugged barrel FAL and I'm putting together one with a big long Inch hider. It would be nice to be able to have a combo device to complete the collection, and not have to hunt down another Argentine lugged barrel.

November 14, 2006, 03:36
My source : De Belgische reglementaire vuurwapens sedert 1830
Free translation : The official Belgian small arms since 1830


There is NOTHING to find about a M4 and there is no info why they named it
M5 .
Remark : I myself have seen these guys almost every day with their Fals ,
but these were all with the normal gas plug and not with the grenade sight plug . I don't have any explanation about why in your pic they have .

About betting the ranch : Don't do it , because you end up on the street .
The Belgian army never used combo devices on their M1/M2 models .
Only the M3 para version had the 22mm combi device .

Strike Penguin
November 14, 2006, 03:48
One more point to clear up. The lugged barrel on the M2: Was it the G1 style, or the M1/early Argentine/Israeli style which could take the Type A bayonet?

I think by saying the M2 was "like the G1", Stevens meant the M2 had the lower sight line, not that the barrel was now a G1 barrel.

November 14, 2006, 05:06
The Belgian lug schould be the same as on a Argie barrel since he has to accept a bayonet . The lug on a G1 barrel is app. 1cm more to the muzzle and serves only to accept the accesories .

Strike Penguin
November 14, 2006, 12:15
OK, so how about this for configurations:

Low sights, closed-ear gas system.
Barrel - ALWAYS plain 21" with Type A lug (no bipod cut, no muzzle attachment!)
Buttstock - Type C wood w/ferrule, or later synthetic.
Pistol grip - synthetic.
Handguards - synthetic gray, smooth.
Top cover - always stripper clip, even on later production?
Paint - Gray. Is it possible they were black sometimes too? For example, EX1 had some Hiduminum stripper clip covers for sale that were black-painted. Some M2 in Stevens also look very dark.

Low sights & closed-ear gas system, of course.
Barrel - 21" with combo device, sometimes without bipod cut? Looks like the Gendarme in the photo has only one ring on the barrel.
Buttstock - Synthetic, but it looks like that same Gendarme has Type C wood with ferrule? Judging by the planes of light on the buttstock under his nose. Difficult to say.
Pistol grip - synthetic.
Handguards - synthetic.
Painted black? Looks dark in the photo of the Gendarmes, and on the page scanned above.

Could it be that the rifle in the museum photo is an M5, and not an M2?

November 14, 2006, 12:46
Your configuration for the M2 looks OK .
About the grey paint , I've got one pic of a black M2 . But be assured this is an EXEPTION .
On the other hand when we talk about FN49's there I've encountered more black ones .
The M5's I've seen almost every day were as the pic in the book , bipod cut and normal gas plug , NO bipod attached .

Strike Penguin
November 14, 2006, 16:27
It looks like the M5 has a later style smooth carry handle also.

The G-series above the cutaway M1 has an odd mix of features; long flash hider, bipod-cut barrel, NON-bipod-cut handguards, Type C stock, solid top cover, and early-model carry handle. Maybe FN/Browning was going for aesthetics, rather than direct conversion of a military model?

I wish I could find what museum this picture is taken in:


I'd like to see the front end of the FAL. It's been so long since I downloaded the picture that I've forgotten all context for it. I'm interested in the top cover also, it looks like a STANAG with the arms for the scope removed.

J. Armstrong
November 14, 2006, 17:29
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ruudje-c
About betting the ranch : Don't do it , because you end up on the street .
The Belgian army never used combo devices on their M1/M2 models .
Only the M3 para version had the 22mm combi device . [/QUOT

OOPS ! Well, I've been on the street before - good thing I don't really own a ranch :D

Great stuff, Rudy :bow: :bow: - keep it coming !!!

Strike Penguin
November 15, 2006, 17:54
Couple of more questions:

Is there more than one type of the classic Belgian gray fiberglass handguard? Did they make the gray handguards with bipod channels, also?

Ruudje, did you recall seeing an M5 with the first type of synthetic carry handle, shown in your scan of "Page 13" above?

November 15, 2006, 18:20
The Belgian army used whatever Fn fabricated . I don't believe that Fn made special grey hand guards for the army . These hand guards look greyish ,that's all . Tomorow I will see if I've got some in the spares , if so I take a pic .
I have a pic from a M2 with bipod cut hand guards , this was in the very last years they used the Fal and you have to see it as running out of original spares and use whatever Fn had on hand . You see the same with the Dutch Fal , on a certain moment they ran out of the metal hand guards and were using synthetics instead .
The original configuration is as giving above !
The M5's I have seen were all as in the pic I posted .

Strike Penguin
November 16, 2006, 02:40
I should re-title this post "Bombard Ruudje-C With Questions Again, Belgian M2 Edition". ;)

For my next project I think I will replicate the mysterious Gendarme M5 in the courtyard picture. Type C stock, 21" barrel with combo device & no bipod cut (judging by location of the sling swivel), dark paint, lighter-colored handguards, what looks like the ribbed synthetic carry handle, and a grenade launcher plug (!). It would certainly be unique. :)

Ruudje, I see in your service picture how you guys had the old Enfield slings. Were the rifle's magazines always a dark color? I have one photo in which it looks like the magazine is the same gray as the rifle, but in other photos they appear dark. I had meant to ask this earlier, if I should bother getting my magazines painted the same color as the gun when my M1 clone is refinished. Judging only by photos it seems like a rare thing to have gray magazines.

November 16, 2006, 07:55
Magazines where mixed . The grey however were not a rarity but common issue . As I already explained , the Belgian army used whatever FN delivered to them . The original configuration was the grey paint but probably later in time when placed a new order Fn was not willing anymore
to paint them grey . This is however some thinking from my side .
Fact is that when weapons went through repair or complete overhaul they were painted grey . These overhauls and big repairs were not done at FN but at a army arsenal , namely Rocourt near Liege .
Next question , please ;)

Brian in MN
November 16, 2006, 11:13

Can you tell us how the para's were painted? Were they all grey or a mix of grey & black? Love to see a color pic if you have one.

November 16, 2006, 12:04
I do not have a clear color pic of the para . Here we see more of a mix of black / Grey and grey para's .
Recently there was a docu on tv about the training in the para brigade .
All the recruits were equipped with grey para fals . Although not the standard weapon anymore ,during training they use the Fal instead of the Fnc .

J. Armstrong
November 16, 2006, 15:09
Rudy, Just wanted to take a second and thank you for being so generous with sharing your knowledge and experiences ( and photos ! ) :beer: :beer: :beer:

November 16, 2006, 15:48
sheers !;)

November 16, 2006, 16:41
Hello the pic of the fal in Strike Penquins post is one of four Swedish Experimental Fals in 6.5x55mm. Thanks EX1

November 16, 2006, 17:26
Well David , you can be right . Very good observation !
Groetjes Rudy

January 20, 2007, 01:45
I thought I was the only one that did this to my FAL!? :eek:


Probly preaching to the choir around this place :rofl:

Andy the Aussie
January 20, 2007, 02:27
Great history and info Ruudje, thanks very much.

Vagabond.....you are conpensating ... ;) ;)

Andy :beer:

January 20, 2007, 04:26
Originally posted by Andy the Aussie
Vagabond.....you are conpensating ... ;) ;)

Andy :beer:

:rofl: Yeah, conpensating with a carbine! :uhoh:

February 04, 2007, 10:52
Originally posted by Strike Penguin

I wish I could find what museum this picture is taken in:


Carl Gustaf Factory museum in Eskilstuna Sweden....I took the picture many years ago.