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First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FAL

3306 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Chieftain
I finally got to the range today to start breaking in my FAL and try out the new Pmags in the XCR. I had taken off the ACOG to cut out the foam in my Pelican case and this would also be a first try at putting it back on and seeing how far off the sights might be.

During my first range trip with the XCR I had put 200 rounds through it at short ranges up to 25 yds or so. This time I was short of time and only wanted to verify the new Pmags worked while simultaneously firing my FAL for the first time and getting it's gas setting right.

Not wanting to shoot the FAL at the shorter range, I set up my IDPA cardboard target at the Aurora Gun Club's 100 yd range at the 50 yd point. Putting the ACOG back on the XCR and inserting a Pmag and I was ready to let the lead fly.

First, about re-mounting the ACOG, I didn't make any attempt to put it back in the same slot on the rail - mostly because I didn't note where I had it the first time - so I didn't know until getting back home and looking at the pictures I posted previously that I didn't put it back in the same place. Lining up and sending the first round downrange resulted in the empty shell winding up on the bench right next to me. Ditto the next shot. The third one didn't eject and it was then that I remembered that I had set the gas setting down to 1 playing with the rifle and left it there. Fortunately I had a wrench with me and it only took 2-3 minutes to set it to the 3 setting (others have reported it working well at setting 2, but I only had 200 rounds through it so just bumped it down one until it's more broken in). At setting 3, it worked flawlessly and threw the rounds about 10 to 15 feet to the 2 o'clock position.

I was holding for the center of the head area of the IDPA target so that my shots wouldn't hit low on the 100 yd berm and wound up with a nice grouping about 4 inches low and centered about 4 inches left of the center line. Now this was standing up, without benefit of a rest and shooting semi-rapid fire. I would have to say that the POA had definitely shifted a little left and probably down a little bit but since I wasn't shooting at the same distance, hadn't really zeroed it at either distance, and didn't mount it back in the same location the jury is still out about shifting POA when removing and replacing the ACOG.

Now on to the FAL. Even though the TA31F ACOG is calibrated for the 5.56x45 round and has a shorter eye relief than the versions set up for 7.62x51, I wanted to see if I could use it on the FAL. I mounted it as far back as I could, right up against the rear iron sight and checked how much distance between my eye and the scope -I didn't want to get too close since I didn't know how much recoil movement there would be and like my eyes just the way they are without scope scars. I had about 2 inches and figured that would be enough. Following the break in directions I had the gas setting at the lowest number but bumped it up two notches just to get a head start since I only brought 20 rounds for this initial session (I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to tolerate recoil wise and didn't have a lot of time anyway - I was fitting the range session in between a number of other activities). I should mention here that my FAL has the Robar NP3 coating on the internals and I had oiled the bolt rails liberally. The first shot was a revelation. Recoil was negligible - I felt like I could shoot it all day long, unlike my 300 Weatherby - the ACOG worked perfectly on the FAL, and most surprising of all it was really fun to shoot! I didn't have quite the full field of view through the ACOG although the bright red chevron and BC were still clearly visible and the recoil was so light that I was able to snuggle up closer to the ACOG on the next shots and shot off the rest of the rounds I had brought. It turned out the wide open gas setting (1) was able to lock the bolt back reliably but I left it set two notches higher just to be sure. Apparently the NP3 and generous oil made the action cycle easily - I was expecting to wind up somewhere around a 4 or 5. I was also shooting the FAL without a rest and not really concentraing but I still wound up with a nice group in about the same position as the XCR.

To sum up the very short range trip, 1) I love my new DSA FAL, 2) The ACOG continues to impress me and I now don't think I need to worry about getting a separate TA11F for the FAL, 3) the new Pmags work flawlessly in the XCR, 4) I love my XCR and look forward to replacing the gas block with the new adjustable type (even though it only took a minute or two - most of which was fishing the wrench out of the bag - not needing a wrench like the FAL doesn't will be a real plus.
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Nice report...

I'm not sure how well swapping the same scope between two entirely different rifles will work out once you are trying to hold a decent zero though. I think you'll find you will have to make some minor adjustments every time you take it on and off of the same rifle. Then there is the recticle calibration issue.

But sounds like a good time. :) I'm going to rezero my ACOG on Saturday morning hopefully.

I run my FALs on a gas setting of 5, but each rifle is different.
What I plan to do is zero the ACOG on the FAL before my hunting trip and take it along with my 300 Weatherby just to say I hunted with it.

If you check ballistics tables, or in my case Load From A Disk, the difference in trajectories between the .308 and the .223 is small enough to ignore at ranges out to 300-400 yds so the big issue to me was the eye relief. I discovered that wasn't a problem. I mentioned that I didn't have a full field of view but that was with one eye closed and just looking through the ACOG. When shooting with both eyes open as it's designed to be used I didn't notice any problems at all.

What it's really going to do for me is take the pressure off wanting another ACOG. Now I'm thinking about a EoTech or Aimpoint for the FAL and putting the ACOG back on the XCR after hunting season. The rationale here is that the FAL is more of the long range weapon - ie reach way out and touch the terrorists and the quick shooting advantages of the ACOG with BAC isn't really needed.
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Ah, well in that case you probably want to leave the ACOG on the FAL, and put the faster, shorter range Aimpoint/Eotech on the XCR.

I have never really compared trajectories of those two rounds. Please let us know if you ever get a chance to try the .308 with the .223 recticle out to those ranges. :)
You caught me rationalizing. That's the most logical thing given my rationale, except I really like the ACOG on the XCR and was thinking along the lines of an Aimpoint with a magnifier for the FAL or a IOR scope. If I was flush, I'd just get another ACOG and be done with it.
Any decent optics you buy will end up running you about a grand. May as well just get another ACOG!

If you want to experiment, well, I can certainly recommend the Aimpoint/magnifier route, but you'll still have $900 to $1100 in the thing when you're done. The cheapest you might get into a good setup would be through Larue with the M3 package and the Hensoldt magnifier with Larue's tipoff mount. That would be about, oh, $750 or a bit more.

Although I really like the Aimpoint, I can see where I might want some real magnifying optics on my XCR as well (plus I want a second one...). The ACOG is tempting me mightily, but so is the Elcan (even with the ARMS mount) and the Schimdt and Bender. I'd probably go with the S&B if I was pushed on it today, but I like to experiment and other options interest me--and the $2k is a negative factor. :-\
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Re: First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FA

Nice optics are definitely expensive! I sold my NSN model ACOG a couple of years ago to fund a custom knife, and while I love the knife, in retrospect I wish I'd kept the ACOG.

I'm still up in the air on the optics choice.
Aimpoint plus magnifier?
TriPower plus magnifier? (I really like the reticle)
EOTech plus magnifier?
Leupold CQ/T?
Buy another ACOG? The ACOG (any ACOG) is a fine piece of glass.

One of those new Elcan Specter DRs would be sweet, if I happen to come into a ton of money! ;D

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I plan to run a normal, non-magnified CompM3 on mine. I indend it to be a close to medium range, quick handling carbine, with the light barrel.

I'm not the biggest fan of the red dot plus magnifier setup. By the time you buy both optics plus two mounts, you are well into ACOG price range for less overall functionality, in my opinion.
I was really tempted by the EOTech's looks and would like to try one with the BC one of these days. My problem is at close to 61, my eyes aren't what they once were and I really need some magnification.

I'd just get another ACOG but my SO just signed up for an expensive tile job in the kitchen, mud room, and breakfast nook - and that's right on the heels of the master bathroom tile and silestone upgrade, so I'm pretty tapped right now. At least the ACOG I have works equally as well on either rifle until I can get something else.

Regarding the cost of good optics, I know what you mean. Three years ago I broke down and bought a pair of Swarovski 8.5x40 ELs. They were pricy, but after carrying in the field I gave my SO a pair of Swarovski 10x25 compacts for Christmas last year. Fortunately, she lets me use them all the time. ::)
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Re: First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FA

Sigsrule I'm in a somewhat similar situation as you.

I bought a ptr91 before my xcr and had my 2moa aimpoint on that rifle intending to put it on the xcr when I got it.

Now that my aimpoint is on the xcr, my plan is to put something like a nightforce 2.5-10x24 on the ptr. I considered an acog for it, but you can't mount them low enough to work well on the ptr.

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I'd have to compare the pictures of your PTR91 next to my FAL to be sure but it looks like your fixed stock is closer to the top of your receiver than the tubular folding para stock is on the FAL. I had no issues with the TA31F, height wise, on the FAL, so I just lucked out.
The Trijicon mount for the HK should be low enough to use the A2 stock. I don't know if they still make it, but I'd be somewhat surprised in they didn't. SWFA used to have them. It'd probably still need a cheekpiece for an ideal weld, but you might get by. The SG1, MSG90, and PSG1 stocks are all getting scarce and expensive, though.

I've used several mounts on my HK with several different optics. I have an MSG90 stock, however, so cheek weld isn't really an issue (unless you want to use the irons...). Presently, it has a Z24 on it. Good optics, if an obsolete scope. Gives the gun that SG1 feeling, though. For my purposes, it's adequate. If I were to get more serious about the gun (again), I'd probably lean towards the Nightforce 1-4x or the S&B Flashdot. I have a rather unique mount for mine (ARSM mount--not ARMS--ARSM) which uses Warne rings. Slick and low profile, but it still needs a cheekpiece. HKs are just that way. The B&T rail would do basically the same thing, it just uses Weaver rings.
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Re: First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FA

I gotcha sloan, I have a mfi rail for the ptr although it's not mounted in that pic.

This is the rifle with the mfi rail and aimpoint mounted:

As far as stock go, I want to keep the regular a2 stock but I'm going to find a newer one with the hk21 butt pad and a msg90 or g3 heavy buffer. If I feel I need a cheekpiece I'll just use a snap on one I got from robertrtg. If I changed my mine about the stock I'd probably get the magpul stock.

Basically I'm looking to do something like this except w NF glass:
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Looks pretty good!

I was seriously considering the IOR scope myself at one time. Some research turned up a variety of complaints about its electronics, though. The optics were supposed to be quite good and the couple I looked at were very clear.

I like the NF 1-4x myself. I've only ever seen one, but it had extremely good optics. I've heard the illumination isn't daylight visible, but that appears par for the course with these sorts of scopes--the only exception being the Flashdot, which you pay for dearly.

Ironically, the project was canned when I bought my XCR and the Z24 went on just to keep the gun running when I felt like shooting .308. Eventually, I'll get around to fiddling with it again. Just won't be anytime soon.
Re: First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FA

I hear ya...These plans were near the top of my list a while ago, but with .308 ammo costs being so outrageous they got put on the back burner since I shoot .308 very rarely now. My next projects are to build a sweet 10/22, sbr my xcr, and get suppressors for .22/.223/and 9mm.
I've started thinking about bipods. What type is that in your picture? What's the experience with rail mount QD studs for bipods like the Harris?
Re: First attempt with Magpul Pmags for the XCR and more ACOG experience with FA

that's my gg&g bipod on the ptr91... I don't happen to own any harris bipods right now, although they're just fine. If you want a qd system for a pic rail like the xcr, once you buy the adaptor and mount for the harris you're at the same price point as the gg&g. I put some other pics of it in your bench shooting thread.
I don't like a bipod on a light rifle.

I wear Trifocals and I find I am better with an AimPoint M3 vs the Eotech 512.

My weapon is set up primarily for home defense, hence the red dot, Crimson Trace VFG and Larue mount with a Surefire 9P. To be able to engage at range, I did add the Aimpoint 3x both are set up on Larue mounts. One reason for the laser is that I can use the rifle folded in the house if needed. With my lousy eyes, these sighting accessories do help. Of course my BUIS is front Samson Flip sight and rear YHS.

For real long range I have my M1A/M1Garand/O3A3/1917 and my hunting rifle, Remington Model 7 306. I have a nice little compact Burris 3x9 on it. I am thinking of pulling the burris and putting one of Trijicons hunting scopes on it. I need to ponder it for a while.

I am very happy with my XCR. I keep hearing people moan an groan about their XYZ EBR, and I just grin and get the warm fuzzies about the XCR.

Go figure.

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