Published on Jul 15, 2012
In this episode we're covering the FN FAL.
It's a semi-automatic weapon, unlocked at level 32.
The FN FAL, or 'Fusil Automatique Léger' - which translates as Light Automatic Rifle - is a Belgian weapon, manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal.
It was first produced in 1953, and would become a definitive example of a post-war battle rifle, and the western counterpoint to the Soviet AKM.
The development of the FAL began in 1947, in the wake of World War 2 - with the increasing inadequacy of traditional bolt-action service rifles for infantry combat, and the advent of effective automatic rifles, such as the German Sturmgewehr 44 and Russian AK-47.
The era of the select-fire battle rifle had begun - a politically charged time, with former allied forces dividing Europe in two - North America and Western Europe forming the NATO alliance, and the Soviet Union and Eastern European states uniting under the Warsaw pact.
The FAL would be the cold war service rifle of choice for many NATO states - and would eventually be adopted by over 90 countries total, with 2 million units produced.
Such was its ubiquity, the FAL was nicknamed 'the right arm of the free world'.
The FN FAL fires the NATO standard rifle cartridge - the 7.62x51mm.
Magazines are of a standard box type, and in Black Ops are available in both 20 and 30 round capacities.
Damage is high, similar to the M14 in that the FAL will kill in 2 bodyshots out to middle range - but lacking the slightly elevated headshot multiplier.
Rate of fire is semi-automatic, but is capped at 625 rounds per minute - faster fingers may hit this rate, but your shots will prove more effective if you fire more slowly, and allow the recoil to settle.
Recoil is moderate, with the weapon generally kicking upwards and - somewhat unusually - to the left.
Fire too quickly and the recoil is enough to foul your aim at a distance, so moderating your fire rate is wise to ensure accuracy.
At close range, recoil is less of a factor - so a faster rate of fire might be more prudent should your opponent be in the same room as you.
Aim time is standard for the assault rifle category, at 250 milliseconds.
Reloads are fairly average, at 2.5 seconds - but with the lower-than average magazine capacity, this may creep up on you if you're not careful.
It's worth noting that the FAL's hipfire performance is the worst of all assault rifles - so it's best to always aim down your sights, and ideally avoid close range encounters altogether.
The FN FAL is a devastatingly powerful assault rifle that rewards those who can handle a semi-automatic weapon.
Only the M14 bests the FAL's damage per shot in the assault rifle category - and in most circumstances the FAL will kill just as quickly.
Recoil is generally pretty easy to handle, too - boasting a lower degree of kick than the M14, even if it is a little more inconsistent.
The semi-automatic fire mode will limit your effectiveness up close - even with the high damage, it's difficult to accurately direct fire upon a close-range assailant.
This weakness means you have to be mindful of your positioning, and take advantage of cover points to ensure you can place your shots accurately without interruption.
If you fire from the open, a mid-ranged enemy with an automatic assault rifle may very well be able to press their advantage.
Nevertheless, with vigilance as your watchword and in adopting a prepared position - the FN FAL will truly shine.
As long as your shots are accurate, you'll make short work of the enemy - killing in two shots where your opponent may need 4 or 5.
The right arm of the free world's enduring popularity is testament... to FN brilliance.