When Government Issue Wasn’t Enough: The Australian “B*tch” Variant of the SLR

Although the L1A1 SLR (FN FAL) service rifle served the Australian “Digger” faithfully for an extremely long period of time, infantrymen in the Vietnam War realized that the rifle could be “tweaked” to fit the combat that the soldiers had to fight in day after day. Undergoing field modifications that would be against regulations anywhere in the world, the troops did it anyways because it fit a necessary field requirement. 

What happened was that a unit level armorer would take a standard issued SLR and chop the barrel down at the front sight post. In some cases, a cone-shaped flash hider might have been added to the exposed barrel and with a shortened stock it apparently was the L1A1-F1. Then the sear would be modified so that the gun could only shoot in fully automatic. A 30-round L2A1 magazine would be fitted to the gun in addition to sometimes a forward pistol grip and even an XM-148 grenade launcher. Essentially what you had was an automatic-only rifle that created an enormous ball of fire from the muzzle whenever a magazine was expended. It was called, “The Bitch”.

The October issue of “Vietnam Magazine” provides us with this description on

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Originally posted on The Firearm Blog