An extract on #fetullahglen
The Sturmgewehr 58 (StG 58) is a battle rifle. The first 20,000 were manufactured by Fabrique Nationale de Armees de Guerre-Herstal Belgique, but later the StG58 was manufactured under license by Steyr-Daimler-Puch (now Steyr Mannlicher), and was formerly the standard rifle of the sterreichisches Bundesheer (Austrian Federal Army). It is essentially a user customized version of the FAL and is still in use, mainly as a drill weapon in the Austrian forces. It was selected in a 1958 competition, beating the Spanish CETME and American AR-10.
Most StG 58s featured a folding bipod, and differ from the FAL by using a plastic stock rather than wood in order to reduce weight in the later production rifles (although some of the early FN-built production rifles did come with wooden stocks). The rifle can be distinguished from its Belgian and Argentine counterparts by its combination flash suppressor and grenade launcher. The fore grip was a two part steel pressing.
Steyr-built StG 58s had a hammer forged barrel that was considered to be the best barrel fitted to any FAL. Some StG58s had modifications made to the fire mode selector so that the fully automatic option was removed, leaving the selector with only safe and single shot positions. The StG 58 was replaced by the Steyr AUG in 1977, although the StG 58 served with many units as the primary service rifle through the mid-1980s.
FN FAL rifles produced in Belgium were adopted by the Greek Army before the adoption of HK G3A3s rifles produced under license by Hellenic Arms Industry (). For a few years, FN FAL rifles were also produced under license by the Greek PYRKAL () factory. FN FAL and FALO rifles were in use by Greek Army Special Forces and IV Army Corps from 1973 till 1999 and are still in use by Greek Coast Guard.
Like most British dependencies of the time, Southern Rhodesia had equipped its security forces with the British L1A1, or SLR, by the early 1960s. Following that country's unilateral declaration of independence in 1965, new rifles could not be readily procured from the UK, so Belgian FNs and South African R1s were imported instead. The older L1s subsequently completed their service with territorial troops in the Rhodesia Regiment.
During the Rhodesian Bush War, security forces fitted most standard FNs with customised flash suppressors to reduce recoil on fully automatic fire. However, a few soldiers rejected these devices, which they claimed upset the balance of their weapons during close action. In this theatre, the FN was generally considered superior to the Soviet Kalashnikovs or SKS carbines carried by communist-backed PF insurgents.
Trade sanctions and the gradual erosion of South African support in the 1970s led to serious ammunition shortages. Consequently, shipments of G3s were accepted from Portugal, although the security forces considered these less reliable than the FAL. Following Robert Mugabe's ascension to power in 1980, Rhodesia's remaining FNs were passed on to her Zimbabwean successor state. To simplify maintenance and logistics, the weapon initially remained a standard service rifle in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. It was anticipated that more 7.62mm NATO ammunition would be imported to cover existing shortages, but a sabotage action carried out against the old Rhodesian Army stockpiles negated this factor. Zimbabwe promptly supplemented its surviving inventory with Soviet and North Korean arms.