FN FAL, 1991

Adopted in 1961, the Dutch model FN FAL was only slightly modified during its 34 years of service as the primary rifle of the Dutch Army. Starting off with metal handguards and a bipod, the former were replaced by polymer handguards, whilst the bipod was done away with.

The issues with the bipod have been documented by Ing. (Doctor of Engineering) R.L. Landzaat, former employee of Artillerie Inrichtingen: as the bipods were not free-floated, they worsened accuracy considerably, something that had not gone unnoticed by instructors.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Footnotes

FR F1, 1978

Following the cancellation of the FA MAS 62 - a result of focussing on nuclear weapons and the need for modernizing the tank inventory - the French Army was left with the need for both a more satisfactory marksman's rifle than the scoped MAS49/56, as well as the requirement for a competition rifle to replace the MAS 47.
These requirements eventually led to the Fusil à répétition calibre 7,5 mm modèle F1 - FR F1 for short - adopted as the Version A (marksman's rifle) and Version B (competition rifle) in 1966.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Footnotes

Pistole 80 (Glock 17), 1983

The first page of the Pistole 80 manual

Though certainly not the first pistol to employ a polymer frame - being preceded by the HK VP70 by twelve years - the Glock 17 is a pistol with an immense impact.

As the first order of Glock pistols were delivered in 1983, this is quite possibly the earliest military manual available for the plastic "wonder nine".

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Belgian FN MAG manual, 2000"

The cover of the 2000 FN MAG manual

As a follow-up to the recently posted FN Minimi manual, we have the Belgian Army's FN MAG manual from the same year, 2000.

As a bigger brother (tactically, not technically) to the Minimi, the MAG generally was issued out at a rate of one per platoon, though armoured infantry squads of the 1980s were known to have one per fusilier squad.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Belgian FN Minimi manual, 2000

The cover of the 2000 FN Minimi manual

Much like the American Army that adopted the FN Minimi as the M249 SAW, the Belgians used the "Mini-Mitrailleuse" to arm each of their squad's two fireteams.   Later on, one of the Minimis was replaced by an FN MAG/ 7.62mm Minimi.

The Belgian Army is one that is surely to be explored further in a following post, as some solid information is available concerning, for example, the adoption of the FN FAL.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Footnotes

Updates

  • 14th of June, 2018
  • The second article - the Dutch Marine Corps 1978 - has been published.
    Images now open as a pop-up.
  • 7th of June, 2018
  • The first resource - concerning the Vietnamese sappers - is added.
  • 5th of June, 2018
  • Interactive footnotes are added to the Dutch 1963 Marines Corps article.
    The first manual is added.
  • 4th of June, 2018
  • The first scanned postcard is added.
  • 3rd of June, 2018
  • The first article - concerning the Dutch Marine Corps 1963 - is created.
  • 2nd of June, 2018
  • The website is created and launched.