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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,

If you were going to pick up a FAL, which model, from which manufacturer, would it be, an why?

I don't currently have any .308 in my rack, and I'd be looking for a general-purpose, longer-range arm than my XCR light. I'd probably prefer a longer barrel and an adjustable stock, but can always add those later.

thanks for the guidance

tk
 

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Personally, I would stick with an FAL with a DSA receiver. I do not know your budget but you can get a very nice STG58 for around $1000. You could also try an Imbel Fal for around $900 but the DSA's are top notch due to their high quality machining process and QC. Check out dsarms.com or atlanticfirearms.com for details. DSA also has many accessories. I suggest the Extreme duty scope mount so you can add optics. I hope this helps.
 

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DSA makes a great metric FAL. What I DON'T like on the metric gun is its safety. You must shift your hand to operate the safety, then shift back to fire. :2cents: If I did choose the DSA I would go with the SA58/FAL A2 Hampton receiver with the M16A2 Sight System and install their Extended Semi-auto Safety. :2cents:

On the Australian and English inch FALs the safety in available without this "shift." It's readily available and you don't have to look down or shift to confirm. You might check out http://www.ioinc.us for their L1A1 FAL at $999.95. The inch mags are "beefed up" a bit and are a little more $$. IO has 2 new unissued Australian mags at $29.95. :2cents:
 

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Damn you guys and your FALs. I can't buy one stupid prohibited status. :'(
 

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I briefly owned a FAL about 10 years ago. I'm sure it was made from kit. It was all plastic/metal, no wood. I thought it was great, but that metal front handguard got really hot!! After a mag I had to let the rifle cool down before I could hold it again. Anyone ever come out with a fix for that?

EDIT: I used an oven mitt. hahaha. My buddies LTAO but it worked. I actually still use a mitt to handle my supressors. They're not laughing so much any more, since they all handle their suppressors with mitts too. Just wish the Ove-Glove would come in tactical colors.
 

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I agree about the metal handguard getting hot. I changed them out for the Belgian type and they stayed nice and cool. One more thing, I changed out the original pistol grip for a SAW type and the ergos are much better.
 

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You had a German G1 or the STG-58.... all others use wood or plastic as the hand guard. Go Aussie.... your support hand will love you for it. :2cents: :ninja:
 

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DSA metric with the rear rail adapter, but keep the front ABS handguard. Even consider a wooden handguard if you can find one. L1A1 wooden guards are very comfortable. The aluminium railed handguard gets really hot and I have to use thick rubber rail protectors to keep my hand cool. I went with the para folding stock and an 18" SS barrel. It's compact, accurate and retains good muzzle velocity.

I agree with Gunner regarding the safety, so I put an extended safety on, available from DSA and now my right hand doesn't have to move. My first issue rifle was an L1A1 and on the DSA I didn't like having to shift my grip. The extended safety resolves this nicely.

I also had Bill Springfield do a trigger job on it and the result is a very nice rifle, incredibly reliable and quite accurate with match ammo. Jard also make a nice trigger for the FAL.
 

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I'm definitely with Mr.Chem on this one. DSA are hard to beat for the price. I think they are FN licensed and they use original blueprints. They are regarded as one of the highest qualilty FAL manufacturer, if not currently the best. Imbel's are also excellent but they are usually put together using older surplus FAL kits, unless they were the original Austrian Stg58 kits, which were in excellent condition, or newer parts specifically the barrel.

I (may or may not) have a DSA SA58 Para Congo with the 16.25 inch barrel and HD scope mount. I'm actually going to hunt with it this year. I personally would prefer my 7.62's to have as close to an 18 inch barrel because it is the shortest barrel needed for the most complete powder burn. Not totally sure on the actual ballistics, but the 16.25" barrel will do nicely up to the 300-400 M range. Beyond that accuracy will start to suffer. I'm hard pressed to find enough reason as to why have a 7.62 in a shorter barrel length, only one reason I can think of. If that where the case a 5.56 and 5.45 could adequately do the same job in a lighter and more compact package with different weapon platforms. I'm dissapointed that DSA doesn't offer the barrels chrome lines except for a 21" heavy. Just a personal preference and not necessarily a must. Of course I do have one of those brand new Imbel 17.4" CL barrels I got back when they were $129 and will put on one day :D.

Most FAL's have a 21" barrels. DSA has the heavy version chrome lined, the rest are not. The para stocks but they have a different 'recoil?' spring set up than that of the non-para FALs. They use a modified top cover, spring, spring guide, bolt carrier, and obviously lower. I can't tell if the para model has more recoil than a non para stock which has the longer and stiffer recoil spring captured in the stock. I like the para stock simply due to the compactness feature.

The DSA HD scope mount is beefy and made out of aluminum. It does get banged up pretty bad at the rear of the ejection port. I don't care about that but I know for some it's an issue. It doesn't afect operation but if you must the scope mount does have provision to mount a brass catcher. The mount is secured by 10 screws that clamp it on to the receiver cover rails. The screws are flat head slots, which suck. DSA does offer button head allen screws at $1 each, but they are the same ones you might find at True Value for .30 cents a piece (not Lowes).

This (may or may not) is my 3rd FAL. My first was a Century L1A1 on a metric receiver. I had problems and some of the parts were definitely well used. I ended up giving it to my best friend and he fixed it and he's also taken 2 deer with it since. Short of a castatrophic issue they all are fixable, so you never know that $500 FAL might be a good bargain. But if given a choice I'd chose between a DSA or Imbel, or original FN.

If you do shop for a used FAL check out the barrel carefully, inside and out. Make sure the bore looks good and not full of pits and such typically found from really used parts kits. Look at where the barrel meets the receiver and check that the notches cut out for the barrel wrench are not totally fudged up. This will indicate if it was a homebuild/WESCOG. Some guys know what they are doing and most don't. I do know what I'm doing. That's because I send that part out to be installed by well known FAL smith. They have the proper tools and experience to do that part and I don't.

For the 7.62 the FAL is my favorite. It is the lightest, or feels that way, but definitely the handiest of the bunch compared to the Hk, M1A, and even the AR10. The US should have adopted the FAL (T48) over the 14 when they had the chance. Interesting to see how the XCR adopted 2 features from the FAL, the charging handle location and operation and the bolt release. The weight and feel of the Para Congo is right there with the M16A2. Of course the ergonomics will be an issue for the small handed, but not for me and I don't think it's that much of an issue at all if you do have itty bitty paws.

In my comparison:
I've owned M1A's and although I didn't have a whole lot of issues with them, the higher quality USGI mags, for some inexplicable reason, go for a pretty penny. Starting at $20 while you can find FAL surplus mags starting in the $8 range and maxing out under $20. The Springfield M1A's have gotten crappier in the last 5 years. I've had extractor and spring pop out twice, and luckily found. I think that they are more accurate with nicer triggers but it's funny seeing the current abominations trying to modernize it and make it more like a FAL. BTW any trigger can always be improved by some gunsmith.

The G3 types does a few things the FAL doesn't while it totally flops at the other. The story goes that FRG wanted a FAL version after WW2 and Belgians told them to eat sheissen due to post WW2 ill feelings. The G3 good features are the mag insertion/release and sights. It's operation is more reliable and simple. Ergonomic sucks and it is not gunsmith friendly. Cocking it is ridiculously stupid and no last round BHO. Supposedly it's been said that the Euro's don't believe in BHO and I've heard some wild stories as to why. Let's not forget assault rifles only emerged in the early 40's, the FAL and G3 in the late 40's, so where is the Euro's long standing history scoffing at last round BHO device. I say BS because the FAL has a last round BHO device. I'm not sure if it was originally designed as such but it was nothing to make it that way so I believe that it was in the original design. To adapt a last round BHO to those HK designed rifles would require more work than they deemed necessary. And the G3 types bang the hell out of the brass for the reloading types.

I've owned more than one of each type and shot the AR versions of 308. I pick the FAL over them all although the other will have a feature that the FAL doesn't. I will admit I do get torn between the AR-10/SR25 but when it comes to more bang for the money the FAL wins. Besides the FAL's sight plane/sight over barrel is lower to that than a G3 and AR. The G3 FAL's was a design ahead of it's time that only until now newer designs are merging to finally surpass it.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.


Edited to add:

Thanks to a bunch of kids it took me a while to write my post and since then 6 more ppl have responded. I see MickeyC and I have the same idea about the FAL. I also agree with the handguard issue adding that the stock HG also heats up terribly.

I typically shoot rifles from 100 to 500M scoped or not, 600M max b/c that is the best that I can do shooting at a man sized target w/o a scope and w/o getting too much in to doping. Except for every now and then I don't do much long range plinking but a few times with my old junky Century L1A1 I once played around with shooting at an oversized bear steel gong at 1000 with iron sights on a bench. Took about 8 rounds to find the "sweet spot" with half of the impacts not seen/able to adjust. If given a choice I'd get the sniper, or at least the hunter version of a FAL for 500M+ shots. I will admit that free floated AR10 has been the most accurate rifle I've ever shot aside from an accurized bolt gun. Same gong was hit within the first 2 or 3 shot using irons, benched of course.

I'm thinking about getting those railed HG. Just clarify that with rail covers the heat is tolerable? And how securely are they mounted to the rifle?
 

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Micky, FAL is a beautiful animal metric OR inch. Like you I like the extended DSA or Aussie/English safety. ;D They sure were HEAVY BASTARDS to lug through the bush. :mad:

P.S. Mr Smitty must be licking his lips......
 

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Hey Gunner I agree with you. DSA makes a nice version as they actually bought the tooling from a prior licensee. Yes they are heavy, but they take .308 recoil nicely and it usually only take one shot. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As they say down here in Florida: Y'all rock! That's why this is the best place to talk guns that I know of.

That's a lot of great info, and a lot to digest. Thanks in particular to i303: That must have taken some time.

A couple of questions: What's the difference between the type I and Type II receivers?

When you talk about the "heavy" barrel, are you referring to what they call their "bull barrel?" They have that listed as chrome moly steel, but that's not the same as chrome line (or did I miss something?).

I've long admired the FAL, but after seeing the XCR, I ordered one on the spot. I had hoped to get an XCR in .308 to go with my 5.56 (along with the 6.5 conversion), but it seems like the XCR-M is a long ways off, and I'm uncertain about the election.

tk
 

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Sig, VERY nice rifle. Only one suggestion, buy the extended safety your thumb will love you for it. :2cents: :duh: >:D ;D
 

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As they say down here in Florida: Y'all rock! That's why this is the best place to talk guns that I know of.

That's a lot of great info, and a lot to digest. Thanks in particular to i303: That must have taken some time.

A couple of questions: What's the difference between the type I and Type II receivers?

When you talk about the "heavy" barrel, are you referring to what they call their "bull barrel?" They have that listed as chrome moly steel, but that's not the same as chrome line (or did I miss something?).

I've long admired the FAL, but after seeing the XCR, I ordered one on the spot. I had hoped to get an XCR in .308 to go with my 5.56 (along with the 6.5 conversion), but it seems like the XCR-M is a long ways off, and I'm uncertain about the election.
Type I and Type II recievers have different lightening cuts.

In terms of barrel thicklness there is the light/meduam profile, Heavy profile and bull. Bull barrels usually don't have muzzle devices attached.

Barrel life and accuracy work in opposites. Chrome Lined, Longest lasting, Worst accuracy though that is a relative statement/ Chrome Moly, lasts well and has reasonable accuracy/ Stainless, shortest life but good accuracy.

Mine has an 18" SS barrel and i'll probably go and get a spare upper with a chrome moly at some point later this year. I keep hearing mixed messages about the XCR-M and the FAL hasn't let me down. If it does come out in time I may still get one but like you I want to hedge my bets.
 

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Well since we are showing off our babies....





 

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Shame on you Mr Chem.... that's a "restricted item" where you live in Canada. Good for you!!! :2cents: ;D ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Barrel life and accuracy work in opposites. Chrome Lined, Longest lasting, Worst accuracy though that is a relative statement/ Chrome Moly, lasts well and has reasonable accuracy/ Stainless, shortest life but good accuracy.
Mickey,

I've never heard this put this way before. Good info. THANKS!

So is there an advantage one way or another with the different receiver types?

tk
 

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Shame on you Mr Chem.... that's a "restricted item" where you live in Canada. Good for you!!! :2cents: ;D ;D
Texas is part of Canada? I thought we were part of Mexico. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sigs,

Which model is that? I really like the full-length rails, but the only models I see them on are a couple of the tacticals -- which are in the $4,700 range. Is it an aftermarket add-on?

thanks for the help

tk

BTW: I'm a sig fan myself. Going to a an armorer's class next week.
 
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