The Commonwealth’s right arm

The ubiquitous L1A1 SLR was the favoured weapon of many riflemen – from the jungles of Vietnam to the rugged rocks of the Radfan. Former firearms instructor Craig Allen profiles Britain’s ‘battle rifle’

 Known as the L1A1 SLR, C1, the Ishapore and occasionally the Inch Pattern FAL, one instantly recognisable British rifle is sure to spark discussion among veterans. While some may have despised its weight and length, most – if not all – would extoll the values of the reliable, hard-hitting SLR.

They perhaps owe their lives to a brilliantly developed Belgian firearm from Fabrique Nationale and its famous designer, Dieudonné Saive. A gun deftly modified to suit British purposes and produced to imperial specifications primarily in London, Birmingham and Liverpool – and also overseas at Ishapore, Le Gardeur and Lithgow.

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