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Thread: Fabrique Nationale FAL Rifle (Guns and Ammo Review)

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Didn't the NZicon troops have the carry handle replaced with a washer of equal size? Something about not carrying a rifle like you would a purse?



    The other statement that rankles me was about it losing out to the M14icon. That was political, and I completely understand it. Having carried and used BOTH rifles, I have a hard time actually choosing between them. When you examine the characteristics, they're almost identical...I did find the FN came to hand better but I think that's because I carried it for 15 years through thick and thin. Then the Colt...
    Regards, Jim

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  3. #12
    Really Senior Member nzl1a1collector's Avatar
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    New Zealandicon issued a directive that all carrying handles were to be removed from the Army's SLR's and returned to Base Workshops and it was to be replaced with a Neoprene washer of suitable size. This was in the early 80's and is the reason why so many ex NZ rifles have no carrying handles.

    The Rhodesian's did cut the carrying handle off some of their rifles, just leaving the loop in place to fill the slot.

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    The reason NZicon replaced the carrying handle frame assembly according to info from Trentham in the 80's was to extend the life of the rifles pending the introduction of the new rifle. The hard, spring steel carrying handle frame would act as a lathe tool against the slot in the body and would gradually cut away at the slot until the handle became loose and would er..... 'flap around like a bulldogs baxxs' as said among squaddies! You can tighten up the handles by putting a more pronounced bend in the looped end but this is palliative and not a cure. Many of course weren't worn at the carrying handle slot but to remove some and not others woulkd have meant a what we call 'mixed fleet' that is not good. So off they came.

    The NZ rifles had had a hard life in both Malaya, SVN and the various UN duties and stockpiles were low.

    KimW and I discussed this at some length before he passed on to the great REME/RNZEME Armourers Shop in the sky and it was he who confirmed the instruction that we had originated at Trentham. There was/is no mention of a neoprene washer and I can't see that one would be necessary because the carrying handle screw (or the rear gas cylinder retaining screw) will prevent any ingress of rubbish into the gas cylinder.

    Can you comment further NZL1A1 man?

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    Really Senior Member nzl1a1collector's Avatar
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    Pete,

    The Modification Instruction (NZicon 162/Mod 3 Issue) dated 2 Oct 1980. Details the removal of all Carrying Handles, with the destruction of all Wood handles and the remaining Plastic type to be returned to 1 BSB, Trentham.

    Para 8. Stores Required Washer, Neoprene, Oil Resistant, Black, 18 mm x 9 mm x 5 mm.
    These washers are readily available through civil trade sources. It is not intended to codify this item at this stage.

    Para 11. Detail. Remove handle carrying dispose of as per para 9 above and replace with a neoprene washer detailed in para 8 above.

    ---insert scribble-----
    (P.M. ASQUITH)
    Major
    for Director of Electrical
    and Mechanical Engineering

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    Ah, so my info pretty well ties in with what you've said except for the neoprene washer and the actual reason for removal. I can see why the washer isn't mentioned now - because it was not codified (brought into the Ordnance system) but remained a local purchase item

    As an afterthought, unless anyone can come up with anything else, there was no reason whatsoever for the carrying handle in Commonwealth service EXCEPT for light Infantry regiments who carried it like that on the quick march for ceremonial reasons (and I'm not big on ceremonial/red tunics/horses/bulled boots and all that guff..... Just neatly washed and ironed with clean boots or shoes was always good enough for me). Carrying was always by the sling as we've always done or at the ready - as we've always done. The carrying handle doesn't feature in the training manuals at all. It does feature in the EMER of course, just how to keep fixing sloppy ones until the body slot is worn out

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    Really Senior Member skiprat's Avatar
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    a pet hate of mine was the carrying handle sitting with its backside in the air when it was folded... I always fixed mine so it ran parallel with the bore.
    some armourers would bend the loop to fix it then bend the wire to the handle the other way to keep the handle in line. (some just left them as they lay....).

    I found that after a time of use the wire would get bent back, and the handle would become loose again.
    "our lot" would carry 2-3 rifles at a time in one hand using the handles It was never "1 man 1 gun"

    I started closing the loop so it was tight on to the carrying handle nut. it took more work, (it had to be tight, but not too tight to deform the nut, (would prevent gas piston running, or unscrew the carrying handle nut when the handle was used)

  11. #17
    Really Senior Member tankhunter's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=nzl1a1collector;202100]Pete,

    The Modification Instruction (NZicon 162/Mod 3 Issue) dated 2 Oct 1980. Details the removal of all Carrying Handles, with the destruction of all Wood handles and the remaining Plastic type to be returned to 1 BSB, Trentham.

    Para 8. Stores Required Washer, Neoprene, Oil Resistant, Black, 18 mm x 9 mm x 5 mm.
    These washers are readily available through civil trade sources. It is not intended to codify this item at this stage.

    Para 11. Detail. Remove handle carrying dispose of as per para 9 above and replace with a neoprene washer detailed in para 8 above.

    Ah, That would explain a lot to me then!
    I have just acquired an Ex Aussie L1A1 with wooden furniture (Old Spec) & the aforementioned Black washer is in place.
    I had assumed (Incorrectly, as it now turns out!) that someone had removed the wooden carrying handle assembly deliberately.
    Possibley as the wooden section had got crushed/fractured & did not know how to repair one.

    so I want to replace the handle on mine as it was issued originaly. I will keep the washer as another 'Accessory' in the collection as it now transpires this was an official mod!

    Thank you NZL1A1Collector for the info!

  12. #18
    Member RossM10's Avatar
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    For some reason there's a whole bunch of wood carrying handles on ebay at the moment, from a UKicon seller. Fetching quite high prices too.

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