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Magazines: survey of FAL magazines for markings

NZ L1A1 Collector

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Survey of FAL magazines for markings

You can blame shadow walker for this request it was his post that has sparked my interest in figuring out markings/versions/types of FAL magazines.

It should be noted that there are two types of side tabs that are folded on the bottom of the case to hold the base plate on. At first I thought this was an indication of FN verse non FN made magazines. It's not, since obtaining a Troop Trials rifle magazine made by FN in 1954 which has the narrow, straight sided tabs it has blown my theory out of the water. I now have to try and figure out when this change over took place.

1 and 2 have the straight version
3 and 4 have the wide tapered version



It appears that at a later stage these tabs were change to a wider version with a taper (most likely because they retain the base plate better and are more resistant to damage).

With some South African contract mags they have a date stamped on them like in the pic that LarryR posted



M-inside-a-U (ground off) for service in Rhodesia
R-C
5-63 (South African made) for service in Rhodesia

M-inside-a-U (possible removed)
4-69 (South African made)

7000 (South African made)

Since I don't have any of these mags and to do a survey correctly you need 100's of examples I need your help. Those of you who have these magazines whether it be 1 or 100's of mags stashed away could you please have a look and post and markings / dates that you find stamped on the magazine and if you know the country of origin of the magazine.


Country of Origin (If Known):

Markings:

Type of bottom tabs Straight or wide/tapered

Thanx for looking and lets see what we can work out about your magazines.
 
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EMDII

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Jeez Kevin! I'm going to have to look at over 100 magazines!

FWIW-
My South African (?) 30x has a 'type 3' body, but the baseplate dimples are quite triangular and go all the way to the edge. IE, they are not inset at all, and the pull-ring at the back edge is type 4 in shape.

No markings to substantiate CoI.
 

M2A2

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I just did a mag cleaning session and I have a 7000 mag. what is so cool about it that it front beek or tit is brazed sold very heavy duty.
 

7idl

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I have 50/50 type 3 and type 4 bottoms.

the newer ones I have are the 3's

the 3's also have three holes in the backs for viewing cartridges


there are no markings on any of my mags (they are all metric btw)

origin unknown to me.
 

NZ L1A1 Collector

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EMDII, that's the sprint.... you probably need to pull them all out and check and re-oil them anyway :p

I've been doing some research into the mags and I have some bad news for you... you know that Libya mag you have I believe it isn't I was looking closely at the Metric rifle were they show the mad and the one they show has a Inch front lug on it. and external floor plate...... check out the pic. I however believe its possible the mag might of come from a SA country? what are your thoughts?

M2A2, Sounds like an interesting mod and probably done at unit level to strengthen the beak.

7idl, it's commonly recognised that the mags with the 'witness' holes are StG58 magazines. there should be some small stamps (inspection stamps) on the magazine case that are oval with a number inside it.

Any more mags out there.............. there has to be a few more owners will to share and learn :)
 

Peter Wells

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Kevin, would you like a sprinkling of SA marked 20rd mags (contract and local mnfr) for the collection? I can pull out a few specimens and get them off to you.

In the meantime, Chris Bara has recently posted some mag pics on the bottom of the FAL SIG page (click on Links and then on SIGs at bottom of page) of the SAAACA site (www.saaaca.org.za). May be of some help.
 
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NZ L1A1 Collector

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Hi Peter, THANK YOU for you offer I will have to send you a email :)

The SITE is very interesting and I find the magazine intriguing as on the top row are L1A1 type magazines (like EMDII's) with the FN Beak but they are listed as being all Aluminium from the ANC!!!! very, very interesting indeed.

There are certainly some well marked SA mags such as the M-inside-a-U.

so lets see......... for the SA markings there are:-

Just a Date stamp eg. 5-63

R-C
(date)

M-inside-a-U
R-C
(date)


M-inside-a-U


7000

Keep the info coming.

It's possible EMDII your mag might be a steel mag from ANC?
 

NZ L1A1 Collector

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Having another look at LarryR's picture ........ I believe that the M-inside-a-U
on the first magazine has been grinded off........ see the grind marks where the MU should be above the R - C. It's possible that is why there are the hammer blows on the second mag to deface the MU.

Just a theory.
 

mr fixit

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Please don't think little of me for the small number of mags I have, but here it is:
All of these are metric
First type: metric, no witness holes
Country of Origin (If Known):UNKNOWN

Markings:none found,

Type of bottom tabs Straight or wide/tapered: Straight

Second type: metric, with three holes in rear
Country of Origin (If Known):UNKNOWN

Markings:under the tab on front of mag isstamped a number in a circle, the numbers I have are; 5,29,10,4,6,19, I have some duplicits of numbers

Type of bottom tabs Straight or wide/tapered: wide tapered

HTH
 

NZ L1A1 Collector

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mr fixit, THANX you for taking the time to look at your mags, I don't mind if you have 1 or 100 mags so long as your willing to take the time and have a look and share what you find. :)

I'll start with the easy magazines first:-

"metric, with three holes in rear

Markings:under the tab on front of mag is stamped a number in a circle, the numbers I have are; 5,29,10,4,6,19, I have some duplicits of numbers

wide tapered


These are Austrian made StG58 FAL magazines.




The first lot you listed are from an early batch, I'm trying to figure out the transition date when FN stopped making mages with the Straight tabs and changed to the wide.


The change over has to be before 1963 as the earliest mag in LarryR's pic is dated 1963.


I need those people who have brought NIW magazines which have a date printed on the packaging to have a look at them. Especially at magazines dated around 1958 - 1960 What date/Tab version do you have. HELP PLEASE :)
 

Peter Wells

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Kevin, I would suppose that the mags with the U/m ground off were amongst those sent to Rhodesia with the rifles. We would probably have sent mags on a scale of about seven (one fitted and six reserve) per rifle as Rhodesia had no manufacturing capacity for mags.

They got both FN made SA Contract rifles (with SA crest milled out) and R1s from us and, for obvious reasons, both parties wanted to disguise their origins - half-heartedly I must admit.

Not sure if the grinding/milling was done in SA before departure or on receipt in Rhodesia.
 

EMDII

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Some of my Variants (I'm going to haunt you Kevin!)


Metrics:
- Hybrid w/Metric beak, blue follower, Inch-pattern base, marked vertically "ST 09773" on RS near bottom
- Hybrid (yes I have two) w/ metric beak, parked follower, Inch-pattern base, NO markings
(BOTH hybrids are steel, BTW)
- EX-1 w/ white stripe, white follower, Type 1 base, FN inspector "4" in small box on back edge near bottom
- EX-1 w/ white stripe, parked follower, Type 1 base, FN 4-in-box AND extra FN inspector "3" in small squares on back edge near bottom
(both of these magazines have provenance to Canada)
- StG w/ witness holes, parked follower, Type 4 base, SDP inspector "24" in small oval on front just below beak (minor variants of StG, all have 3x witness holes)
- Aluminium (5) 20x mags, blue follower, mix of Type 3 or 4 base, FN inspectors' marks except one, which has Y on back near lower edge, "Nowak" hand -scratched on body LS. One of these is unused.
- Several Israeli, mix of parked (Mn or Zn) bodies, some w/ date and IDF mark (e.g. 80YN- where YN is the Hebrew marking), some just YN-in-oval on lower LS back corner of body, mix of Type 1 and Type 3 base
- some VERY smooth plain-janes, blue follower, Type 4 bases, large "O" marking on back (not FN-in-square)
- plain jane, park-over-blue follower, oval insapector mark w/ no internal stamp, and another "4" just below it on the back side. In spite of the oval inspector's mark, NO witness holes.
- German, NATO SN Type 2 base, blue follower, "X" inspector's mark (no box) is typical: hecho vom Deutschelande?

WooHoo! That's a start!
 

NZ L1A1 Collector

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Peter I would hazard a guess that the markings were removed in SA, it would be a rather embarrassing if on route to Rhodesia the truck was stopped and searched and found to contain a heap of SA made weapons! But that is only a guess, you need to hunt down someone who was high up in the Defence force who knows something about these 'deals' and see if our theories are true.

THANX EMDII for both checking your mags and topping this thread.

Something fir you to check........ possibly something you haven't noticed yet. If you check the back of the EX.1 magazines and compare it to other FAL TYPE 1 and TYPE 2 cases you will notice some things are different.

Firstly, there won't be a horizontal 'stake' in the back of the EX. 1 case...... (is there one?.. no :) )

Secondly, the TYPE 1 case (straight side tabs) has only one horizontal 'stake' at 71mm from the bottom of the case.

Thirdly, The TYPE 2 case (wide / taper) will have two horizontal 'stakes', one at 76mm from the bottom of the case and the other is at the top fold above the locking point of the magazine catch.

I have also Just noted that the 2 main types of base plates and that these have specific magazine cases that they should be with.

TYPE 1 base plate should be used on the TYPE 1 Case, why? look at the reinforcing stamp on the base plate it is wide and is designed to be used with the straight tabs. eg. 1 & 2 in my pic.

TYPE 2 base plate should be used on the TYPE 2 Case, why? look at the reinforcing stamp on the base plate it is narrower and is designed to be used with the wide / taper tabs. eg. 4 in my pic.

No. 3 in the pic is a TYPE 2 case and a TYPE 1 base plate. Note how the wide / taper overlaps the reinforcing stamp of the base plate.


Please note, that all the components are interchangeable, just that in terms of 'correctness' I have pointed out these features. (ok I'm anal and have no life) ;)
 

EMDII

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:biggrin:
Not a single staking in sight, FN inspectors' marks (both have 4-in-box, on has another strike from 3-in-box, no 7s), and solid white stripes (a bit worn) 85mm from and parallel to the top edge of the box.
:biggrin:

Follower's "heel" has an opening, contrary to that of other followers I've seen!
:biggrin:

Many thanks to a friend.
 

idsubgun

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Another mark I found, and I'm not sure if this was mentioned already, is a number inside a square "U" on the back of the mag. One from a box marked 1/64 had a backwards 3, others have a 4 inside the U (not backwards). These are the NIW Belgiums. These markings are below the spot weld near the bottom.
I have two other boxes marked with '63 dates, but don't really want to open them as yet.
I'll pull all my mags and give them the once over, but it will take some time.

OBTW, these are the tapered ones. Also, at a quick glance, but not confirmed, is that tapered ones have the baseplate with the small extension around the hole on the end. Like your mag #4. I haven't gone through all of them yet to see if this is a pattern. I see your mag #3 has no extension around the hole on the baseplate.

EDIT: Just found another with the number 6, no "U", has straight tabs. No other markings, but appears to be FN. Also, it's parked.

Israeli mags:

I'll start with these as they were in the four stacks I picked first. These are in no order as to date of manufacture.

First style
Parked.
Straight tabs.
No baseplate extension.
Two takedown holes in baseplate.
Standard Hebrew markings with "oval" around them on side.
No holes on back of follower.
No notch on mag catch.

Second style
Same except:
Blued.
Two holes on back of follower.
Notched mag catch.

Third style (later Izzy's?)
Painted black.
Same markings.
Notched mag catch.
Holes on followers.

Fourth style
Parked.
No holes on follower.
No notch on mag catch.
Straight tabs.
Has usual Hebrew markings, but no "oval" around them and has the number "80" in front of markings.
 
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NZ L1A1 Collector

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idsubgun, thanx for looking at your mags. What I really need is some NIW mag that are dated circa 1958 - 1960 to see when they changed to the TYPE 2 Case and base plate. If you find some marked as such could you open them and save the later dated ones as they will be the TYPE 2.

This pic is from another tread I started about the different followers I have found so far. Ted you will notice the X8E1 mag looks the same as your EX.1 mags.

Note on #4 that the rear of the follower has a different design similar to the X8E1 design. This is probably from a very early (1955) Israeli magazine. As this feature was later changed to the stronger FN/British design.

FAL Followers

1. 1954 X8E1 British trials rifle magazine follower
2. Standard FAL magazine follower
3. German G1 FAL magazine follower
4. Israeli FAL magazine follower

 
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jim west

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I went through a case of fifty Israeli mags,all except four are more or less the same as idsubgun's post. The four mags look like FN mags,no markings at all except a L stamped just below the bottom brazing.I can't seem to find the other case.:(
 

EMDII

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Canadian and Australian variations:

FWIW, I've got several of those NIW Inch mags, and they have no 'British' markings (NATO p/n on body). The stay-dry pouch is marked w/ the following p/n:
1005-21-150-5286

where a British case would have this marking:
1005-99-960-2043

So I obviously have something different.
Body: The body is parkerized.
Front Lug: Rectangular. The front lug is definitely 11/16" long, and 7/16" wide.
Body: It has a small indent ( I presume this is for access to the take-down hole in the lower plate) at the back/bottom edge.
Finish: Parkerized
Date of Manufacture: May 1960 (imprinted on box)
Other data:
Centered 3/4" up from the back/lower edge is a VERY round circle imprint (1/8"), a welding/assembly hole as best I can determine. A similar circle is 5/16" below the follower opening on the back plate.
The rib has two indents, one at 1-1/8" and the other at 3-3/8" up from bottom. These are reinforces IMO.

These appear to be C1 magazines.

Canadian Magazines (manufacturing details)
There are two Canadian 20 round magazines, the first was called the ‘C1’ magazine, which was superseded in 1961 by the ‘C1A1’ magazine.

C1 Magazine (1956 - 1961 approximately)
Markings: Devoid of any markings
Finish: Phosphated.
Manufacturing differences;
Front Lug: 17.4 x 6.4 mm (rectangular section).
Top inside edge: Chamfered edge.
Follower: Bright steel (not phosphated)
C1 Case: Has a small indent at the bottom rear of the case just like ‘metric’ magazines.
Bottom Plate: Has 3 ribs on the reinforcing section and two dimples at the rear of the plate to hold the plate on like with a metric bottom plate


C1A1 Magazine (1961 onwards)
Markings: Devoid of any markings
Finish: Phosphated.
Manufacturing differences;
Front Lug: 17.4 x 6.4 mm (rectangular section).
Top inside edge: Chamfered edge.
Follower: Bright steel (not phosphated).
C1A1 Case: Looks externally like the Australian and British L1A1 cases.
Bottom Plate: Looks like the Australian and British L1A1 bottom plates.


Australian Magazines
Markings: Australian Magazines are devoid of any markings.
Finish: Phosphated over-coated with satin black paint(sometimes referred to as SunKorite)
Manufacturing differences:
Front Lug: 19 x 6.5 mm (rectangular section).
Top inside edge: Squared edge.
Follower: Phosphated

(kiind thanks to Kevin in NZ for many details)
 

EMDII

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An Inch magazine that 'appears' Australian, but is Sunkorited:
- 3/4" (19mm) x 7/16"lug
- top/inside at front lug is squared, not chamfered
- no body markings or follower (platform) markings
- platform appears blued, or else the metal was VERY smooth before parkerizing
- assembly hole in back plate is 3/32", smaller than the 1/8" holes in the Canadian bodies
 

EMDII

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ID: hybrid magazine provenance (to be MERGED)

Well, finally got one of the Tapco hybrid mags down into component parts.
- Body: no marks
- platform/Follower: no marks
- retainer, platform spring: no marks
- plate, bottom: big 9-16" 'BR' on outside and lo and behold
- Front lug WAS a large British (9/19" x 7/16"), removed and replaced w/ a Metric 'beak'

INSIDE of bottom plate
- E-in-D Enfield cartouche
- 60 (year of manufactire)
- 9602044 NATO p/n (in very tiny font! )

Mystery mag solved!
 
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