“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, August 1, 2016

Anybody out there fired the Canadian version of the FN/FAL or M16?

Canadian soldier with C7 variant


  Kymber, who was in the Canadian Armed Forces for several years, wondered if anyone had any experience with the two Canadian rifles she trained with.

One was a license produced version of the FN/FAL, the FNC 1.  I have never fired the Canadian rifle, but I own a Brazilian Imbel, a British L1A1, and an Austrian STG-58.  They are all license built versions of the FN/FAL.

The FAL is a really long rifle. Israel used it in the Six Day War, then phased them out in favor of the Galil.  Although they wanted an Israeli built gun,  the problems they had with the FAL included the length, and the fact that even with sand cuts the bolts would foul with desert dust.

The FAL kicks about like an M14. Chambered for the 7.62X51, it's a powerful rifle with a long reach and lots of hitting power. On the flip side, it's heavy, and the ammo for it is heavy as well.




This is an early Canadian FNC-1 rifle.  The FN/FAL was originally produced with wooden furniture, but shortly afterwards started coming out with plastic instead. The flash suppressor on some rifles was detachable, on others not.  Magazines for the metric FN/FAL won't work with the inch Pattern L1A1 and vice versa.

Updated 0831 2 Aug 2016:

I was surprised when some of the comments, by individuals who had hands on experience, said that you can use metric mags in the L1A1, but can't use L1A1 (inch pattern) mags in the FNFAL.  I have been under the impression that the magazines were not interchangeable either way.  So I went on line, and checked. I found what you would expect to find. Lots of forum posts either way. So, I'm going to bow to experience on this one. I am not, in any way, shape or form, a "duty expert" on modern weapons. I own some, usually because I got a good deal on them, or wanted them for self defense purposes. But my real forte is the old (1890-1945) military rifles.  I appreciate the correction, not least because now I know I can use the metric mags in my L1A1. If I had known that before I wouldn't have paid the outrageous prices I did for inch pattern mags.
Canadian C7

The C7 looks just like an M16.  I think it may have had some peculiarities though, based on some of Kymbers experiences with it.


Canada also produced the Browning Hi Power, manufactured by Inglis, for a number of years. It's a hard gun to find, and I don't have one in my collection.  The gun in the picture is not an Inglis, but it's representative.





39 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I have no experience with the Canadian rifles. What I can say in this day and age is that there is no perfect all around rifle.

    'The mission dictates the rifle'

    That's my mantra now, The mission dictates the rifle.

    I would not be cought dead in the moutains of Afghanistan with a rifle that has a 14 inch barrel. On the flip side of the coin. That 14 incher would be great for the streets of Kandahar.

    There is no easy solution nor will a 'perfect rifle ever be developed in our lifetimes. I gotta mention that bolt action rifles are superior in a great many applications until you are being over run by a group of bad guys with semi-automatic battle rifles.

    That's when the full capacity 30 round mags come in real handy, real fast on an M-16.

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    1. That's why there are continual arguments over the best all around rifle and pistol. Everyone has different scenarios in mind, and then there's the fact that everyone has a personal favorite.

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  2. Ask Aaron over at the Shekel. He was a Canadian once. He also has a nice Inglis Hi-Power.

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    1. I have not heard of the man, but it sounds like an interesting spot to visit. I'll see if I can find him. If I can't I will touch base with you and get the url for him. Thanks for the heads up.

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  3. Haven't fired one, but I heard they have longer lasting barrels than the AR's. I don't know that I could tell much of a difference shooting one vs. the AR. Differences look purely cosmetic to me.

    Would love to have a Hi-Power. AIM surplus has a few used Belgian ones I am taking a look at. --Troy

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    1. AIM had some Belgian made guns that were Israeli police trade in's not so long ago. Good looking pistols and the price was right. They were not C&R listed, or I would have bought one. The C&R lists are pretty serendipitous. One pistol made by one company will be on the list, then the exact same gun, produced under license, won't be on it. Or a pistol made by company X in 1939 is on the list, but the same gun, by the same company, made in 1963 is not.

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  4. Harry - thanks for taking my previous comments so seriously. the FNC1 was a monster - the blowback/throwback for an 80lb girl...you can just imagine. i was ok with it when firing from standing position or in crouch position...but on the sandbag - it threw me a good 15ft with every round of fire. but i did love my FNC1. with a fully-loaded magazine and bayonet it weighed 13lbs. the C7 was a piece of crap. but that was 20 yrs ago and from talking with current military friends...all of the bugs have been ironed out over the years and my military friends are pleased with the latest version.

    i simply have to share this funny story with you and captain crunch....i was on the Base Defense Force (BDF) for ottawa south base - we went out once a year for a weekend to do various training. one year our officer, just out of RMC school and pretty full of himself, marched us to the weapons pavilion to get our ammo for the day. he told me to ride in the jeep with him as he would need someone to "hold" his browning while in the ammo depo. so everyone was marching behind his special little jeep and when he went into the depo, he gave me the 9mm browning that he carried at all times. our officers are allowed to carry brownings on their hips at all times unless at a weapons depo. so i had the "special" browning in my care while he went into the depo...and of course i had to show off - so i was waving it out the window to show all of my buddies - "hey! look! i got the browning!" - bahahahahah! my buddies who were still marching were laughing and cheering...it was awesome.

    guess who spent the night in the digger? thank god it was only one night.

    i love brownings and have excellent groupings with them. most years - 9 out of 10 rounds in a 1 inch grouping, but a couple of years i scored perfectly. i would love to have one now.

    sending much love, as always, to you and yours! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. G day Harry & kymber,

      I used to own and shoot the Aussie version which we just called a SLR (the full name was FAL 7.62 L1A1 SLR).

      That was back in my Military rifle club days, you just photocopied your shooters license and club card and sent it with a cheque to Lithgow Small Arms factory and hey presto back came a SLR and bayonet in a nice box,delivered by courier.

      I'm 6'2 so I didn't have your problems number, but I have to say I always preferred my M14, and I always shot better with it over the SLR. The battle sights on the SLR we're the main problem for me, you had two settings to choose from compared to the fancy sights on the M14. Mind you the SLR was pretty much unbreakable and simple to clean.
      Alas, those days are long gone down here, good thing I got hooked on black powder (if I could just have my M14 as well I would be very happy!).

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    2. Lord, I sure do wish our government had released the M14 to our shooters the way yours let you buy the Lithgow guns. Although the M14 was essentially an M1 Garand with a box magazine, you could buy the M1 from the Civilian Marksmanship Program, but the M14 was never released . Thousands of them were simply cut up at Anniston.

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    3. Kymber, my reply showed up down the column instead of indented like it should have.scroll on down.

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  5. Here's Aaron's site.

    http://shekel.blogspot.com/

    Long-time friend of mine. Totally not a dick.

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    1. I'm always anxious for new blogs to read by like minded people. Thanks.

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  6. Kymber, I am always interested in hearing about other people's experiences in the service, and you are the only Canadian I know who served an appreciable amount of time. It sounds to me like the C7 was similar to early versions of the M16, which became known as the "Mouse Gun" because it was "Mickey Mouse", or the "Mattel 16" after a popular plastic toy company of the time. But they are good rifles now. Seems like the only people who can build rifles that don't go through a long gestation period are the Germans.

    I would image the FNC1 was just too much rifle for a small bodied person. One reason we abandoned the M14 in record time was that smaller soldiers just couldn't handle it. I don't fire my full sized battle rifles much anymore because my ancient frame can't take the beating. But for a young, fit male a 7.62X51 rifle can ring the bad guys chimes. They brought a lot of them back in the latest round of wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    That's a strange rule. We wore our pistols everywhere, including the armory and the ammunition storage facilities when we had call to go armed. I guess it was a safety feature up there, but it's a compliment to you that the fellow gave you his pistol. I have to say, it sounds like you, waving it out the window! At least you didn't have to walk , and could ride in the jeep while you were his "gun bearer."

    The Browning is sweet. I own several, including two in .40 S&W I have never fired because they are just too beautiful. On the day I left the Marine Corps, and drove out the gate for the last time, I went to the PX before I turned in my ID card. I bought a beautiful brushed satin finish Browning with bronze accents, match sights, and pachymeyer grips. It was my trophy, in a manner of speaking.

    I wouldn't be surprised if nobody had the chance to fire the two rifles but you. Canada usually destroys surplus military arms. For some reason, it's also really hard to import any gun from Canada to the U.S. I tried to buy a dozen P-38 pistols (post war P-1 versions) from a Canadian dealer, made the deal, and then went through all kinds of B.S. I had access to a full fledged FFL (my boss let me us his on the paperwork), but they just denied my application, denied my appeal, and never gave me a reason.

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    1. Ask Aaron about the guns that he owned in Canada that he didn't even try to smuggle into the country when he moved here. Only a Canadian would have not done that.

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    2. No gun left behind. That's my motto. One reason I am still here and not living in Costa Rica is that I can't give up my weapons.

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    3. Well, I did have two legal imports approved but then they hosed me and refused to allow the import of a Sistema Colt and a Enfield No1 MkIII - military weapons doncha know? if you want to hear about arbitrary, if the Sistema had been marked "Policia Nationale" rather than "Ejercito Argentino" that it was marked with, it would ahve been ok to import - same exact gun, just a different marking was all it took to ban the import without an importer class FFL, and no importer classified FFL wanted to bother with the hassle of importing two quite common firearms. Ah well, I replaced them both after I got here and more so it's a net plus.

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    4. The government is entirely arbitrary on import permits for individuals. I couldn't bring the Walthers in from Canada, but I had no trouble bringing in seven pistols from England with the same FFL. I think it just depends on whether or not the bureaucrat reading your paperwork is a Democrat or a good guy.

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  7. A while ago the local Cabelas had a pile of the Spanish CETMEs on the rack. Pawed them a couple times but they wanted $1500 for them and there is no way I am paying that much for those boat anchors. Boy were they heavy! Can't imagine lugging one of them around all day.

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    1. Cetme's are good guns. I have one. But I paid under $400.00 for it. Cabelas must know something I don't. The Cetme was the gun the G3 was developed from, and you can get a G3 in good shape for under $500.00. Did they have the wooden furniture. That's highly desirable, mine has plastic, but I wouldn't give that price even then.

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    2. Some had wood furniture some had plastic, but they were all painted green. They never sold a one of them. Everyone that pulled off the rack thought they were lifting an anvil. Even the sales staff had nothing good to say about them. I think they all knew they were way over priced and were embarrassed to try to push them on customers. They sat there for about six months and then one day they all dissapeared. Don't know where they all went. Whoever procured them for Cabelas paid way too much for them. I think they finally realized it and sent them back. I just saw in Firearms News magazine they have de-milled CETME-Ls (the 5.56 version)for about 250$. I know someone out there is selling 80% receiver flats to make your own.

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    3. As far as I know, Century International Arms is selling Cetme rifles at a modest price. They take the parts kits, put their own black plastic furniture on them, and off you go. I know when Century first started doing that about ten years ago, they had some quality control issues. But I have bought the Cetme and a G-3 from them since then, and both function flawlessly.

      Whoever bought those Cetmes at a price where he needed to sell them for $1500 was not doing his homework. He should have invested in a copy of Firearms News, as you say.

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  8. Never shot either of them . . . but now I want to. I'll have to check with my "gun guy." He's a firearms engineer and has a good collection of "reference" guns. You never know what interesting little bit of history he'll take to the range.

    Just picked up another magazine for my little pocket gun, a Ruger LCP 380. Dang, those Ruger originals are pricey. Also picked up some plinker ammo for the little beast.

    I hear gun sales are up again. The so called instant background checks were running slow today. Guess they were having a busy day. That didn't stop anyone, it just took longer.

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    1. I'd like to try the weapons as well. But there's no way anybody up here would have anything so esoteric. Everybody has a rifle here, but it's usually a lever gun of some kind.

      Never hurts to have extra magazines. Especially now, when Clinton will almost surely be the next President and we can expect to see her match her husbands 1994 ban with something more draconian. I don't count on the Republicans to stop them. I did that last time. Went to bed being assured that the Democrats were 6 votes short of passing the bill, woke up the next morning to find that enough Republicans went over at the last minute to inflict that stupidity on the American people for ten years.

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  9. BTW, in case you missed the FAL posts...

    http://lagniappeslair.blogspot.com/2016/07/when-one-becomes-two.html


    http://lagniappeslair.blogspot.com/2016/07/yesterdaybusy-but-good.html

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    1. I'll take a look. By the way, if you want to send me a new address (not necessarily where you live, just where a box for you can be delivered) I will send you another box of 1960's-1990's aviation magazines. I believe I owe you one anyway. My email is harryflashman23@gmail.com

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  10. Yes, I've fired both the C1A1 (at CFB Borden), and the C7 rifles. It's been quite awhile, but let me know what questions you have. I've also shot the C7s with the Canadian Army .22 conversion kit for indoor/reduced range training - downside it was not very reliable except with high velocity .22 rounds, standard velocity made it a jam-o-matic, upside it was a nice way to spend a few hours punching holes in paper.

    I do currently own an Inglis Hi-Power which is a great handgun indeed.

    As an aside, metric mags will work in the inch pattern FALs, but the inch pattern mags won't work in the Metrics - The Brits found this out in the Falklands war and could use Argie mags in their FALs. Basically the notch at the front of the mage for the inch pattern is more pronounced, so the metric mags will work but there will be play in the inch pattern magwell.

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    1. Aaron, thanks for coming by. I heard you were knowledgeable about these particular weapons from a mutual acquaintance. I was curious, based on a comment from Kymber, who was in the Canadian military, how these weapons differed from the same types in the U.S.

      I didn't know there was a .22LR conversion for the M16 type rifle. I have seen AR-15 rifles chambered for .22 LR at gun shows, but they are relatively unusual here.

      The Inglis guns are very nice. I'd like to get one and keep it if I can find one. I check the on line auctions and have made bids but never had the winning bid. It's more likely I'll find one at a pawn shop. I haunt the pawn shops and gun stores in my area and find some nice buys once in awhile.

      I was unaware that the British guns would allow the use of the metric mags, I have changed the post to reflect that.

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  11. Hey Harry,

    and Kymber,

    (captaincrunch)


    I would like to have a Browning Hi-Power. I don't know if I will ever own one or not. I'm in the situation that buying guns as a collector and passing them on to a family member is unrealistic since there is no other family members left.

    I already have quite a few guns and what few I have. I cherish.

    I really dig that CZ 452 and the 1931 Mosin.

    As per military stories similar to the one that Kymber mentioned about babysitting that 'Browning' I don't have any except I was real partial to the M-60. When you absolutely have to get the attention of a 'hadji' point an M-60 (loaded) in their general direction.

    They get the point and they obey.

    One zany story for you guys:)

    A bicycle bandito in Robstown, Texas.

    A not so bright Bandito on a low rider bicycle robbed a convienence store. He rode up on his bicycle with a can of gasoline and pistol. The bandito went inside poured gasoline on the counter freaking out the clerk and then grabbed all the cash out of the register. The bandito then pulled out his pistol and left the store.
    He remounted his low rider bicycle and pedeled off into the afternoon heat.

    First the bandito did this all on camera in broad daylight.

    This guy has the honor of being the dumbest criminal in Texas at the moment.

    'By the way. Robstown, Texas is so bad with theft from the mostly Mexican population that Walmart had to shut down do to rampant employee theft. A short time after Walmart shut down. A copper theft (in broad daylight) got electrocuted trying to steal copper from an air conditioning unit on the roof of the building.

    Another contender for the Darwin Awards.

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    1. Sounds like Gainesville, Ga. Some pretty bizarre things happen there.

      The High Power has become a "prestige gun." They are very hard to find in a regular gun store, because the retail price is so high people will buy a Smith and Wesson or a Ruger instead. Also, they aren't produced in large numbers any more. If you ever decide to buy one, check out Classic Collectors Firearms (http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/) they are a Texas outfit that sells every kind of collectible firearm. Prices are a little on the steep side, but not unreasonable and you can get what you want.

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  12. Harry, The Canadian C7 differed from the M16A1 by having the heavier government profile barrel of the M16A2, and from the M16A2 by having the rear sight of the M16A1. Also if memory serves me right you can use inch mags in metric FAL's but not the other way around.

    Eric.

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    1. Eric, is it metric mags will work in the L1A1 but L1A1 mags won't work in the metric FNFAL guns? Aaron made the same point about one way interchangeability and when I was researching it , that's the way it seemed to be. It would be an easy thing to mix up in your mind. I have a lot more metric pattern mags (which were once easy to fine) than I do inch pattern mags (which were always relatively rare and cost a hell of a lot), so it's good for me to find there's some interchangeability.

      You would have to have some detailed knowledge of modern firearms to know those differences between the versions of the M16. I don't have it, alas, but clearly you do! Thanks for the information.

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  13. Oh and I forgot to mention That in addition to having the M16A1 type rear sight the C7 also has a brass deflector that our U.S. rifles didn't have till the M16A2.

    Eric

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    1. I can remember being sprinkled with hot brass on the line, but it usually came from the man shooting on my left. Kymber mentioned getting hot brass in the face also. It sounds to me like the C7, once the bugs were worked out of it, was a pretty good rifle.

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  14. I have fired the C1A1 C2A2 C7 C7A1 Rifles in my time with the Canadian army. The C1 felt nice to shoot provided you leaned into the butt. One note is that the magazine charger on the dust cover allowed all the built up sand on the breech block to come back into your face. I guess that's why we're drilled to snap two rounds down range in contact dash, down sights observer and then fire. The C2 was heavy. Add to the weigh was a four magazine chest rig called a bra. 150 rounds of 7.62 ready to use. As a C2 gunner you also had the section cleaning kit to hump. When were did the conversion to the C7 C9 it was like night and day for week ght. I must say that I didn't like the sound of the recoil spring in the C7. It sounded cheap. Bayonet fighting drills were easy with the C7,but at a cost.There is a great news coverage of the Oka standoff with a soldier but smashing a person who then grabs the soldiers helmet and pummeled the owner with it. The C9 is a true section fire support system. Hands down far better than the C2. The only problem is that the optics of both the C7A1 and C9A1 are tunnel vision when targets are within 100 or less. There are rubber battle sights molded into the Elcan C79 sight thats both of the above mentioned weapons use. Thanks for the time and I hope everyone enjoys the reading.

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    1. Thanks for that good synopsis on the weapons. I have a friend who was in the Canadian Armed Forces, and she got me interested in them. Getting Canadian rifles for my collection is probably not going to happen, I doubt Canada allows the surplused weapons to be sold on the open market. I've got some Long Branch Enfields and I guess I will have to be content with those. ;-)

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    2. C1 and C2 are prohibited up here and most have been melted down. A few were given to museums but in keeping with the government paranoia they have been welded shut, much to the disgust of the museum curators. I guess history does not enlighten the political elite when they fail to understand what a museum is doing. Preservation of the item. Great Britain bought hundreds of weapons back into service after Dunkirk. The United States also derived the mini gun from a gating gun. As for the C7 and C9, the C7 was released as a semi auto from Colt Canada a few years ago. The C9 will never be. Again politicians are scared of it. I forgot to mention another dubious honour of being a C2 gunner was to throw yourself across wire obstacles to allow your section to be to cross. You would then be flipped over by the section once they crossed. Well I suppose it looked good on paper. At least you would be able to catch your breath eath and provide covering fire as the section did a left or right flanking. You would then provide a second sweep of the enemy position before recognizing and resupply. There were C1 Rifles for sale direct to the public in the late sixes and seventies. There was also a shipment of extra RCMP 8l series Rifles sold to a UK dealer and reimported back to Canada. Not sure of the numbers. Parts for the C1 and C2 are still available but getting harder to find. The rear sights and dust covers being snapped up to convert British and Australian L1A1 and Indian 1a1 to look like C1. Hope this helps.

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    3. That's more information than I could have gotten from the FNFAL forums, and I appreciate your taking the time to write it all down. Not very much is known about Canadian military arms down here, because, for the reasons you delineated, they're rarely seen here . Nor do we hear much about them in our gun press. I saw a news segment some years ago about Enfield rifles of WW2 vintage being used in the far north, but that's about it.

      I enjoyed your comments. I hope you'll feel free to join in any time you want to.

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    4. The Canadian rangers are issued with the number 4 Lee Enfield. Having said that, the current federal government reserves of the Rifle and spare parts are almost exhausted. The can rangers are slated to be given a new Rifle starting 2018.I'm not sure if I can post a link. I will not until I get permission, but if you search Google for it you can get the information. Sorry for my spelling mistakes but fat fingers coupled with auto correct makes for some interesting reading lol. Thanks for your comment. I certainly will keep you posted on any other developments in regards to the aforementioned Rifles.

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  15. I forgot to add that we had a. 22 sub calibre insert for use with the C1A1 and C2A1 C1D rilfes. It consists of the barrel that was inserted into the Rifle barrel, breech and bolt assembly that was used to instead of the breach block and breech block carrier and a modified Rifle magazine. It worked pretty well for the indoor ranges. I fired it in both semi automatic and fully automatic in the C1 and C2 rifles respectively. In regards to the new Rifle system for the Canadian rangers it is based on the Tikka winter.308 calibre Rifle.

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