The true-blue 7.62 NATO FN FAL battle rifle was in production in Belgium from 1953 (when it was born) until 1988 when it was replaced by the smaller and easier-to-handle 5.56 caliber FNC. While it was (and is still) made under license around the world, just something like one out of every seven FALs produced was made by FN, and most of those were scrapped following the end of the Cold War.
That’s why it is big news that FN recently found 400 1980s-vintage late-production FAL M1 and M2 models in their warehouses in historic Liege that were turned in 30 years ago by the Belgian Gendarmerie as part of a deal for new weapons. Looking at the bottom line– the military market for FALs is slim these days– FN Herstal decided the best thing to do was call up its FN USA subsidiary and send the 400 guns over there in kit form. Stripped of their barrel, receiver, and muzzle break, they look nice, and legit FN-made FAL kits are always rare in any form.
The sad news is that FN plans to sell them for $899 a pop and, with demand likely to be bananas, is drawing that process out via a lottery with 100 guns put up for sale a month.
Ian from Forgotten Weapons was lucky enough to get one, so maybe there are just 399 left.