By the late 1950's
the Australian Armed Forces decided to adopt a new self loading rifle
firing the standard NATO cartridge. After extensive tests it was decided
to adopt the Belgium FN rifle, which was already in use by many other
countries and this, with a number of modifications became the L1A1.
version was a self loader only and did not fire bursts, (however an
automatic version, the L2A2 was adopted by Australia and was used
mainly by the Navy as a section light machine gun, but was often unreliable
and prone to stoppages.)
The L1A1 was gas
operated and capable of thirty or forty well aimed shots per minute
and was generally a sound and reliable weapon. Its principle disadvantage
was its length especially in close jungle fighting and operating from
armoured vehicles. The SLR is now out of service and has been superceded
by the new 5.56mm STEYR Individual Weapon.