The L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle, also known as the SLR (Self-Loading Rifle), by the Canadian Army designation C1A1 (C1) or in the US as the 'inch pattern' FAL.[nb 1] It is a British Commonwealth derivative of the Belgian FN FAL battle rifle (Fusil Automatique Lger ['Light Automatic Rifle'] produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal [FN]). The L1A1 is produced under licence and has seen use in the Australian Army, Canadian Army, Indian Army, Jamaica Defence Force, Malaysian Army, New Zealand Army, Rhodesian Army, South African Defence Force and the British Armed Forces.
The original FAL was designed in Belgium using metric dimensions, while the components of the 'inch-pattern' FALs are manufactured to a slightly modified design using British imperial units. Many sub-assemblies are interchangeable between the two types, while components of those sub-assemblies may not be compatible. Notable incompatibilities include the magazines and the butt-stock, which attach in different ways.
Most Commonwealth pattern FALs are semi-automatic only. A variant named L2A1/C2A1 (C2), meant to serve as a light machine gun in a support role, is also capable of fully automatic fire. Differences from the L1A1/C1 include a heavy barrel, squared front sight (versus the 'V' on the semi-automatic models), a handguard that doubles as a foldable bipod, and a larger 30-round magazine although it could also use the normal 20-round magazines. Only Canada and Australia used this variant. However, Australia, the UK and New Zealand used Bren light machine guns converted to fire the 7.6251mm NATO cartridge for use in the support role. Canadian C1s issued to naval and army personnel were also capable of fully automatic fire.