View Full Version : What's it like to run a full auto heavy barrel FAL?

January 26, 2012, 23:08
So for those of you who have owned or used a full auto heavy barrel FAL,
what was it like compared to other 7.62 NATO automatic rifles or light machine guns?

From the video I've seen it looks like the recoil is manageable.

I still hope to acquire one some day.

Thanks for reading,


January 27, 2012, 19:05
Piece o' cake. It's pretty much all about weight,..............the heavier the better. Minor factors like brakes and bipod location make a difference, but not as much as simple weight. I've got an L2 and an Izzy and they're pretty comparable. The good brake on the L2 stabilizes about as well as the muzzle mounted bipod on the Izzy so it ends up being a toss-up.

Neither are quite as good as the BAR or the FND, but they have the advantage of weight. And neither of those are as good as the Bren,..........which is heavier still and has another advantage in that the entire receiver and barrel are recoil sprung and absorb a good portion of the movement.

Note, all of these are good shooters from prone. They're all pretty worthless from off-hand. Weight works against you there, so the HB FALs are better than any of the other three and the Bren is impossible to even fire unless slung from the shoulder.

Configuration of the FAL is very good for auto fire. Even the standard weight barrel guns are better than anything else I've ever fired in .308.

January 28, 2012, 10:41
Thanks !

Anyone else ?

January 28, 2012, 11:37
I've done a little bit of FA shooting with a little bit of firearms. I call BS on any comments about off hand shooting inaccuracy. As long as you practice 3 to 5 round burst you will do just fine.

When I was in the US Army we had a battalion shoot with a required prior night bivouac. Only 3 people attended this so called voluntary activity. Other then myself there were 2 sergeants. One of them happened to be an IDF loaner. He taught me how to shoot off hand and off hip using FA.

Then, before I went to Saudi Arabia, we were taken to the range where every military firearm ever manufactured and/or captured prior to 1982 were placed on tables, and we were told to shoot them. They had set up conexes with 2 million rounds across the road.

Talk about a wet dream! We didn't even have to clean them!

I shot from 8 am until the sun went down. I would have kept shooting but they made me stop. Some BS excuse like they had to go home. Armorers are such fags!

Anyways, having shot all these toys, including the FAL, and having done so in an off hand fashion, they are absolutely controllable on FA when used correctly.

I can zip a man's chest at 300 yards from the hip with a 3 round finger controlled full auto burst.

So you tell me. Is it controllable.


J. Armstrong
January 28, 2012, 17:34
I can zip a man's chest at 300 yards from the hip with a 3 round finger controlled full auto burst.

So, from the hip, no sights, you can CONSISTENTLY get 3 round FAtorso hits at 300 yds ?

Wow. I need lessons.

January 28, 2012, 18:46
I'm not sure what you're calling BS on.

The standard weight FAL is fine from the shoulder. I don't even have a problem with the M14(although the FAL is much, much better). But the HB's? No, those I shoot from prone. It's 'possible' to shoot them from the shoulder, but hardly practical. The muzzle mounted bipod on the Izzy dangles and swings around. The folded L2 bipod makes a fairly horrible fore-end. The BAR and FND; harder still(for exactly the same reasons). The Bren? Nope,...........pretty much can't be done. 25# loaded with nothing but a folded bipod for a forearm? Lay that puppy in the dirt and get to work.

The 7.62's have a reputation for being uncontollable in FA. That's only true for untrained, rookie shooters. They're really not THAT bad, but you do need a certain amount of trigger time with them to be effective.

But I still think the rifles are best used as they were designed,..................HB supported and LB unsupported,.......fired semi. If you know what you're doing, swing the switch to "A" and let 'er rip.

J. Armstrong
January 28, 2012, 22:50
Not calling BS - I've never tried FA from the hip with anything, so I lay no claim to expertise.

I find mutters statement of getting 3 round torso hits at 300yards unsupported and unsighted hard to believe, but I can't refute it and I'm not about to insinuate a man with more experience than I is prevaricating. I KNOW I can't do it, and if there were a chance in a million that someone could train me to do so this olde farte would jump at it and be tickled silly just to take a whack at it :biggrin:

January 29, 2012, 16:45
I call BS.

After you have a lot of practice and after you have shot several short bursts to get the rifle on target then maybe but overall and especially for the first couple of bursts, no way hosea.

Now, I am sure you think you can do it all day long but ...

P.S. Was this with tracers or without?

January 29, 2012, 20:29
i havn't shot the fa fal but have shot the scar 17 in auto. The scar is lighter than the fal and does kick but can be controlled with 3- 5 rd bursts.

J. Armstrong
January 29, 2012, 20:38
Apples and oranges. The SCAR has a much more in line stock, a more effective muzzle brake and a totally different locking system.

January 30, 2012, 14:58
Not calling BS - I've never tried FA from the hip with anything, so I lay no claim to expertise.

Not you,.......................da udder guy!

mutter...........................I call BS on any comments about off hand shooting inaccuracy. As long as you practice 3 to 5 round burst you will do just fine.

Same could be said if you practiced 1 round 'bursts'.

I generally agree with what he's saying. Almost anything is controllable to a useful degree if you're familiar with it. We're just talking too many variables here to reach a consensus.

IIRC, the original question was who had experience firing the HB FALs in FA and how did it compare to other 7.62 automatics and LMGs. I kinda stuck with the comparison to the LMGs since I have a few to compare to and have shot most of the rest. The L2 and Izzy aren't quite as stable as the heavier guns, but they're more than good enough. I'd gladly take one of the 14# beasts in preference over one of the 20-25# beasts any day. I just wanted to point out that they're less fun from the shoulder, so if that's something circling in your mind you might want to reconsider. The main problem with any rifle caliber firearm with an 'A' setting is heat. Without a method for quickly changing barrels, you're not gonna be in the fight for long and that's where the HB FAL falls short. Its fire is effective,.................just not for very long. BAR suffered from the same fault. Bren and FND solved the problem, but added much weight. Don't forget to add the weight of a second barrel or you really haven't changed anything.

In the light barrel versions, the standard FAL is the best of the lot. I'm not sure I could consistently hit from the shoulder at 300yds, but I could damn sure terrorize at that range. Really, you can't expect to do much better with a supported LMG. You're gonna knock snot out of the zone, but it's still a matter of luck whether anything's gonna get hit or not. More rounds downrange the better the chances.

Really putting rounds on a target at range with shoulder-fire,.............you kinda need to step down to the 'assault' type cartridges. I can chew up a target real fine with the M16 and I swear I can chew the center out with my 5.45mm Krink, although I've never tried to put it on paper. It just seems to hit everything it's pointed at. Any hit from a burst with the FAL(other than maybe the first round)I'd chalk up to luck or maybe a sinful target,................but it can and occasionally will happen.

OTOH, hitting all around a target with a burst of 7.62 can take it out if you're hitting close enough. The pattern with the M14 and G3 starts getting pretty thin.

Dr Shock
February 20, 2012, 12:17
IN my limited experience, HB Izzy is waaay better than an M14. But not as good as the BAR.
BAR stays on target quite well on both fast and slow, even from the shoulder.
HB Izzy OK but limited from the shoulder, better off the bipod.
M14 is all over the place no matter what you do with it..

February 28, 2012, 21:22
I was watching "Top Shot" and they had a challenge using a full-auto 1918 Bar and with only minimal training it looked like they were pretty accurate. Which got me to wondering how the FN-Fal compared to the venerated Browning Automatic Rifle

March 14, 2012, 01:02
Might I suggest working out once in a while? You'll probably do even better when running rifles on FA.

March 15, 2012, 09:37
I find no problem with it on full auto.

A fellow Ohioan with an IZZY!

I am waiting on my form 4 currently, but am glad to see someone else is our state is enjoying this beast :shades:

March 15, 2012, 10:24
Thanks for the replies guys !

I've been wanting a Class III HB FAL for a long time.

It might become possible in just a couple of years so I'm keeping my eye on the market for these.

Autoweapons has one for $+18K and there is one currently listed
on Sturmgewehr for $13K.

I'm looking at the purchase kinda like a rental, I can use it for a few years
and get most, if not all, of my $$ out of it later if needed. Or, if possible pass it down to one of my sons, assuming they are in a place where it's legal to own it.

Not going to call it an investment.

Is that still sound logic for a Class III firearm like the HB FAL in this economy?



March 15, 2012, 14:30
Adult males probably won't have any issues with an HBHS (Heavy Barrel with a Happy Switch.... pretty catchy, huh?) :shades:

Accuracy will likely be what is to be expected, that of an "area weapon."

Most of the vets here likely know a lot more about this than I do but I think it's important to bring up in the context of this discussion.

As area weapons, HB automatic rifles, LMGs, GPMGs, etc are expected to deliver a certain "Cone of Fire" that will engage targets in what is essentially a very large group down range, where the "groups" impact the target area, known as the Beaten Zone. While a heavy barrel rifle, even in full auto might be more "accurate" (smaller cones of fire into a smaller beaten zone) they are still area weapons that are expected to disperse projectiles over a relatively large area. (Incidentally, this is why I take pause when I see civilian police agencies talking about acquiring rifle caliber belt feds, etc).

Keep in mind that worn and overheated barrels will generally make cones of fire and beaten zones much larger.

Canadian Forces C-2 gunners were always trained to engage with short bursts only, unless exceptional circumstances deemed otherwise. Not having a quick change barrel really requires this to be adhered to.

Some very good information concerning these principles and concepts can be found here -



Warbirds Custom Guns
March 15, 2012, 23:07
These 2 are up for sale & I could buy either one or both since I could keep it.
Now if some TX boys would be willing to ante up equal $$$ I would could let ya shoot it on the weekends if you provide ammo.
As in a lifetime rental fee paid in advance & I'll even do all the maintenance & parts replacement when needed.:devil:

Imagine the thrill of it all for those days when you need to relieve some stress. :D
Better hurry tho cause time is running out quick.;)

FN FAL .308 machinegun pre-1986 dealer sample (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=277206468)
FAL Belgian Dealer Sample (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=276144502)


March 16, 2012, 09:08
I've done a lot of full-auto shooting of the FAL and others. I've melted barrels and shot till my fingers bled. I've shot the izzy on FA, as well as my 50:63 and my G1 clone, G3, etc.

I call bullshit on hip shooting a 3 round burst at 300 for reliable, repeatable hits.

There are some who have very good hand-eye coordination. One of my mentors would throw 3 marbles in the air and usually get two of them, and sometimes all 3, with his pump-action winchester .22.

I'd even call bullshit on the comparatively easier one round on semi on any type of repeatable basis.

I can saturate a target from the hip at 300 with one of my PKMs, no problem. But that is walking rounds in, not point shooting. I've cut down trees with my M60.

Most people can't even see a man at 300 if that man is trying not to be seen.

March 16, 2012, 22:45
We used to have a video clip of someone here on the 'Files shooting a full auto Izzy HB with a big ceegar in his teeth. He looked like he had it down pretty good.

March 17, 2012, 14:09
Look 2:38 into this video for your answer:


MG Johnny
March 18, 2012, 17:53
Check out this video!
I have shot many MG"s at The Knob. The Izzy Is controlable in F/A. Practice and Discipline ...3 round burts fire.

March 21, 2012, 00:09
wait... let's face it... given as a war tool yes. As a demo tool for a web upload where you expect 20 seconds of dumping ammo... NO.

I am tired of this argument. Yeah, that is selfish to say, but come on.

It is controllable in the initial position it was meant to be in.... a squad light with other personnel that were similarly equipped in a similar caliber. Highly mobile, mag fed and able to put down short term suppressing fire.

Otherwise, get an M60.

Argument ended.

March 25, 2012, 08:59
I imagine an IZZY would be pretty stable if those big shoes on the bipod are bagged properly (and make proper use of the shoulder leaf)

April 03, 2012, 18:59
I imagine an IZZY would be pretty stable if those big shoes on the bipod are bagged properly (and make proper use of the shoulder leaf)

And in a middle eastern window in a small neighborhood...

It was made to be a lighter BAR... pro's and con's. The FN-D didn't work as a switch barrel. It was just too light. Get a big fat f*ck to carry a MG-3 or a M-60 if you want to dump loads in your squad. Otherwise... an FN HB can be pretty cool if you are jumping houses in the city.

April 03, 2012, 19:01
oh... and by the way... .308 goes through walls. Use this weapon appropriately.

April 07, 2012, 22:30
No barrel rise at all. I had one around 10 years ago. It was the IZZY HB one shown on this sight for years. I can't find it now. But anyway, I am back into NFA stuff and hope to get another one soon.


May 06, 2012, 09:53
I shot a HB in FA and I was pretty impressed. Easily straffed gallon water jugs at 100m. Completly different experience than a standard FAL in FA.

May 06, 2012, 09:56
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May 07, 2012, 21:01
The C2 bounced around a lot.
Honestly, pretty much useless from the hip except for making noise.

On the bipod, the C2 bounced around a lot. It had no forestock, so you had to get creative with your left hand.

Short bursts were the order of the day. Much more than 3 or 4 round bursts would waste ammo.
From the shoulder, the folded bipod was wobbly.

My opinion only: a useless idea combined with a stupid design.

Also had to remember; it's just a C2. You get it hot and melt the barrel, you're done.