M16A1 V FAL : The Falkland Islands Follow Up

9-Hole’s “Pick One” featuring Bloke on the Range gives us the discussion of SAS deep reconnaissance mission to raid the Argentinian controlled airfield and their combat effective planes.

The discussion, centering on which rifle would you bring for your small recon team, centers around balancing the logistics of a deep multi-day patrol and observation post setup (OP) in poor weather. That is a task that makes the rifle only a small portion of what the team can bring. Given that, given the weight constraints needed to bring gear for the OP near the airfield, the choice between the lightweight M16A1 and the longer legged and optic equipped FAL becomes one you can argue either way.

I came down on the side of the FAL. The reasoning being the OP is not set to sustain a long firefight, due to the mission design with the QRF, but may need to engage at range against the airfield infantry while the SAS assault element spins up and engages. They were waiting until all the planes were home for maintenance, refueling, off mission, etc. in order to cripple the Argentinians most effective weapon against the British Marines, their Harrier air cover, and the Royal Naval ships supporting the engagement.

Both sides GI’s were running FAL variants but the SAS had access to M16A1’s which had proven out very well in Vietnam. 5.56x45mm was becoming the NATO standard, but becoming is the key. The M16A1 was much more range limited with its setup and sighting system and the terrain of the island, especially around the airfield, lent itself to a longer engagement distance if an engagement by the OP became necessary.

A very interesting topic overall. Hit play and enjoy for awhile. Pause and come back. It’s a long video.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Group editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009 he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.