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The FAL, short for Fusil Automatique Léger (light automatic rifle), is a selective-fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian arms manufacturer Fabrique Nacional de Herstal (FN). A widely-used military weapon in the 20th century, it belonged to the arsenal of most NATO countries during the Cold War.
The modern semantic distinction between assault rifles and battle rifles did not yet exist when Fallout 2 was being developed. Assault rifles employ an intermediate cartridge for weight savings and an increased controllability during automatic fire, sacrificing some power and range compared to battle rifles, which utilize full-power rifle cartridges and may or may not be capable of automatic fire.
The variants of FN FAL seen in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics could be classified as either type -- the real-world 7.62mm caliber exists in both full-power and intermediate varieties, and the exact variety of the 7.62mm ammo seen in the games is unspecified.
A select-fire military rifle found in Fallout 2. In Fallout Tactics an expensive burst-capable rifle with a very high damage per round.
FN FAL (night sight)
A modified version of the standard FN FAL, with a low-light scope installed.
FN FAL HPFA
A non-modifiable version of the FN FAL with a higher damage per round and fire rate.