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Posted: 12/10/2001 9:47:44 PM EDT
Well I own 2 AR's and recently bought a FAL. It's a cheap parts gun FAL, but I am impressed. Sure it's a little heavier than the AR but I am impressed. A friend has his L1A1 scoped with the bipod and all and it shoots well, but it just seems a waste of a good rifle. The FAL is a damn fine battle rifle in my opinion and is as accurate so far (300m) as my AR. The only draw back of course is how much ammo you can carry. The AR has it beat hands down in this respect. Some have talked about the HK roller system and the recoil being less. I actually don't think the FAL has that much recoil? I like being able to adjust the gas. All around I am glad I bought one and will buy another. So what makes the DSA so much better, especially for the price?
Link Posted: 12/10/2001 10:30:40 PM EDT
DSA just costs more. They use their own receivers which are milled out of a solid steel billet. I've built my own FAL's plus bought a Century L1A1.. all work great. My build-up FAL's were all done on Entreprise receivers and assorted parts.

FAL is great, adjustable gas system and very accurate for a parts gun.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 5:24:23 AM EDT
Due to greatly improved milling machines, which DS Arms has, the DSA receiver is closer to spec than even the original Belgium guns.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 5:42:34 AM EDT
Ed --

The FAL is more than a "little heavier" than the M16 . The FAL has an adjustable gas system for the simple reason it needs one to function. One of the few modern military rifles that needs such a kludge.

A lot of folks bought these rifles, but almost every Army that did has since purchased the M16 or another 5.56mm system for it's infantry forces.

The DSA rifles are extremely well finished.

-- Chuck


Link Posted: 12/11/2001 6:50:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chuck:
Ed --

The FAL has an adjustable gas system for the simple reason it needs one to function. One of the few modern military rifles that needs such a kludge.

-- Chuck





I wonder why this comes up. The adjustable gas system is NOT necessary. My FAL will fire all day with the gas port totally closed. However, the adjustable gas lets you bypass some of the available gas to accomadate different ammo and keep from pounding the action around so hard and increasing wear. It's not necessary, just useful IMHO.

Why is it that only certain powder/bullet combinations are recommended for M14 and Garand? Because variations can bend the op rod, slam all the parts around too hard, etc. They were designed for a specific ammo with a know pressure curve and variations cause problems. The FAL gives you an option at least.

I'm sure it's not as noticeable with the AR15 (I have 3 BTW, so I'm definitely not slamming them) but different pressure curves from different ammo has to put varying amounts of stress on the action. It's just built tough enough to handle it (unlike the M14/Garand system).

The FAL has proven itself in many conflicts around the world, as has the M16, M14, and Garand. No need to slam a proven main battle rifle design for a useful "innovation".

5.56 is the ammo of choice because of the number of rounds that can be carried, and standardization for the most part. Effectiveness is debated everywhere, although I'm going to do my dead-level-best to avoid being shot with either!


ed, the FAL's recoil is milder than the HK (and thanks to the adjustable gas can be kept mild will all ammo). DSA's are well put together, but if you want the "ultimate" FAL go over to www.fnfal.com/falfiles, read up, pick a configuration that you like, ask questions, and get one of the smiths on there to build one to your specifications, or build it yourself. George Gouger at WAC, Mark Graham at ARS, Rich at CGW, and Derek at Azex all build great rifles. You'll have a little more in it, but it will be worth it.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 7:37:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2001 7:32:43 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
edblevi,
Comparing a FAL to a .223 is sort of difficult because they are so different.

The only legitimate head-to-head comparison would be a Belgium FAL to an early 1960's ArmaLite AR-10.

As "Hambone" states below the .223 was chosen for lighter ammo, etc.
Also the Army conducted SCHV (Small Caliber High Velocity) tests. The .308 was more likely to go through the target and expend most energy down-range while the .223 SCHV round was considerably more likely to expend its' energy within the target.

This is crude but sometimes we should consider what these rifles were actually made to do. At sufficient velocity the .223 round may kill with a shoulder, arm, hand or even finger hit. The round and accompanying velocity sets up a hydrostatic shock wave the may stop the heart.

Roughly the .223 round is good for 500 yds and the .308 about 700 yds.
When you consider infantry engagement range is assumed to be 125 yds........

I know, I know there's about 10 million exceptions to all of the above.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 7:46:40 AM EDT
Simple Grunt math 1 Grunt+400 rounds +m16= one hit. more ammo=more hits. took like 50,000 rounds in vietnam to produce one VC casuality. grunt=spray and pray.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 11:09:44 AM EDT
Hambone --

Try shooting a FAL at below zero temperatures without diddling with the gas system. Many won't work. Don't forget to change the setting back to "summer" later on.

Armies use "certain powder/bullet combinations" so their soldiers aren't constantly having to rezero their rifles for every magazine. US Army issued M80 Ball for the M14. The M14 and M80 Ball requires no figuring out which gas setting to use regardless of climatic conditions. Likewise the olde M1 (M2 Ball) and the M16 series (M193 or M855 Ball).

However, the FAL excels if you want to use a hodge-podge of surplus or civilian ammo of varying or indifferent powder charges or bullet weights. An excellent rifle for this use.

I remain thankful that US Ordnance bullheadedly adopted the M14 rifle rather than the more modern FAL design. If they'd taken the FAL we might have been stuck with it during my tour in Vietnam rather than the much better M16 and I can't imagine carrying 22 FAL magazines all day long for months at a time.

Trust me, "spray and pray" is an extremely valid technique. Never send a man where you can send a bullet; never send one bullet when you can send two.

The BS 50,000 number would mean it took an entire infantry company (90 men with rifles on the ground) an average of 556 cartridges each to kill one NVA and we only carried 440 rounds each. We were much more efficient than that I can assure you.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:17:38 PM EDT
I really like AR15's, and the M16's I shot in the Army. But the new models now are "almost" as heavy as the FAL's, M-14's and the Garand. And very muzzle heavy. Give me an SP-1 or M-16A1 any day. The FN I bought in 1980 is still shooting fine with no gas adjustment problems. The barrel is probably ready for replacement after many, many, thousands of rounds. Groups are bigger than they were 20 years ago. But it's never failed to fire, extract, eject and load. And no parts replaced yet. The thing I don't like is the FN rear sight.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 12:39:18 PM EDT
Chuck,
Like I said, the FAL will run with the gas bypass closed completely. It'll eject the cases into the next county! And it would throw them even further in the summer! LOL Point is, the adjustable gas is not necessary, but a nice feature.

The Garand/M14 OTOH is an ammo-specific design. You say they standardize ammo to keep from having to re-sight the weapons, which is true, but the truth is, an M14/Garand MUST NOT be fired with ammo that departs from the "design spec" pressure curve, especially if the port pressure exceeds the norm by very much. If you do, you stand to have an unusable weapon in your hands. You didn't address this.

In a "bad" situation when ammo choices were limited, the FAL would be able to adapt better to what is available.


Andrew,
TNT armoury builds para-style rear sights for FAL's that use the M16A2 windage adjustable, dual aperture rear sight. I'm getting one for my next FAL build. A definite step in the right direction!

Link Posted: 12/11/2001 7:05:00 PM EDT
Thanks Hambone..I'll Check it out..
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 7:32:04 PM EDT
After Christmas, when I have time...just for the hell of it.. I think I'll run some different powders through that adjustable gas system on the FN. Just to see if it works or not. I think I'll try some 4198, and some 4831...Bet they both work...I've never tried Black Powder..but I wouldn't be suprised if it works too.
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 7:55:18 PM EDT
I tend to agree with "andrew" on the point of the new AR's being heavy. The FAL I own (well I haven't put them on a scale) but it feels close to my post ban AR and it has a 16" barrel and the FAL is 21"? Now my preban is another story, but then it has an 11.5". Thanks for the advice on the "smiths" I am going to look into that. I'm thinking of a 16.5" on a FAL, could be interesting, HMMMM. We'll see?
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:54:39 AM EDT
I'm getting everything together to build a lightweight FAL very soon (before Christmas I hope). I'll be using a Williams aluminum upper, lightweight lower, lightweight dustcover/scopemount, lightweight folding charging handle, TNT Armoury rear sight, Penguin furniture with an Imbel kit.

I'm using an 18" barrel. It balances better for me than a 16". Also, 18" doesn't give up very much velocity to a 21", whereas a 16" gives up a larger amount. I already have the barrel done. Cut to 18", fake Browning flash hider soldered on, and reparked.

Should wind up about 6.5-7#. Just right!

And I'll keep the gas adjusted just for Chuck.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 5:27:45 AM EDT
H. Bone, now that is an interesting project. Hope you'll come back to the board when completed.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:02:50 PM EDT
Just curious...if you're going for a lightweight project...why the fake flash-hider?
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:26:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 12:24:00 PM EDT by Hambone_22345]

Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:
Just curious...if you're going for a lightweight project...why the fake flash-hider?



Looks and looks alone my friend. I gotta admit a bare muzzle just don't look right on an FAL to me. And I don't like "brakes" for the noise and blast. I'm glad some other folks feel the same way and came out with the "fake flash hiders" so my FAL's will at least "look" right. I have an Stg 58 on Imbel with crowned 21" barrel, and I'm planning to thread it and install an RPB fake Stg FH or Stg Muzzle brake just 'cause it "don't look right." Besides, with a sub 7# .308, I'll probably need the weight out front where it'll do the most good!

Damn SAW ban!
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:27:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 12:20:03 PM EDT by pARallax]
Hey Stimpsonjcat, this is just the subject for us displaced FALfilers, eh?

See you still hate brakes/FH's.

"Turk"

Link Posted: 12/12/2001 12:46:00 PM EDT

I feel the same way about the AR, it just doesn't look right without a birdcage, real of fake.

Link Posted: 12/12/2001 1:29:06 PM EDT
HEY HAMBONE,,

http://www.dsarms.com/safetywarning.htm


did you see the safty warning from DS ARMS about those light weight aluminum receivers?
i saw the warning the other day and then your post, just an FYI, happy hunting. :-)

scott
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 1:53:53 PM EDT
YEP! Williams Arms receivers passed testing before ever being marketed. It's a product slamming stunt by DSA (IMHO). A regular on the FAL board had some friends over and put 1150 rds through a lightweight in just under 2 hrs with NO change in headspace. He has over 2000 rds. through it now. Others have posted that they have several hundred rounds through lightweights with no change in headspace or signs of any problems. DSA either rigged the test or used a highly overcharged round to cause the failure. The lightweight receiver is perfectly safe with "normal" ammo. DSA has done this kind of stuff before. They have top line stuff, but they can't let it stand on its own merits. They have to "dig" their competitors' stuff. Williams is kicking their tail price wise and has a product that everyone has been dreaming of. DSA had to do something LOL. JMHO


I ain't skeered!
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 2:05:24 PM EDT
As I recall the DS Arms receiver failed due to the cut for carry-handle.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 4:39:29 PM EDT
Yep, I can shoot IMR4350 and 190gr bullets out of my FAL without modification. Try that with a stock M14!
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 10:37:30 PM EDT
Hambone, So how hard are FAL's to assemble yourself? I was thinking of doing one myself, then again I don't want to step into a project that I wouldn't be able to finish:) The set-up you are going for sounds like exactly what I would be looking for. Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes, I would like the info, hell may have to have someone build one for me.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 11:53:25 PM EDT
Installing the Barrel and Headspacing are the crucial parts, the rest is fairly easy. Cruffler.com has an article which explains the steps in a homebuild.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 4:55:36 AM EDT
edblevi, check out cruffler.com, the FALFiles (when it gets back up, should be later today), and www.arizonaresponsesystems.com .

FAL's are pretty simple to put together. It requires a few tools which you may be able to borrow if someone in your area has them. The major factor is the headspace which is set by installing different size "locking shoulders" which the rear of the bolt seats against when locked in the breech. Most people use headspace gauges and sizing rods graduated by 1/1000ths of an inch to determine the correct size locking shoulder, then re-check once assembled. The locking shoulder can be replaced if headspace changes to tighten it up.

Several smiths over on the FAL board offer assembly services from as basic as barreling and headspacing all the way to custom assembly in several configurations including refinishing. If you're only going to build one, I wouldn't go to the trouble of buying all the tools. Just send it to one of the smiths for barreling and headspacing and do the rest of the assembly yourself.

The main thing to remember is that the FAL is on the import ban list. Therefore, to legally assemble one from a kit you must replace 7 parts off the 922r list with US made parts. Most people use the hammer, trigger, sear, buttstock, pistol grip, gas piston, and muzzle brake as the replacement parts as they are the most readily available. Also available are handguards, upper and lower receivers, charging handles, mag floor plates and followers, and barrels. Basically what the law says is if the rifle has "no more than 10 imported parts" it's a "US mfg." rifle. The FAL has 17 parts off the list of 20, therefore 7 parts must be replaced. If you use a bare muzzle instead of a brake, you only have to change out 6, since the muzzle device is on the list.

Also, some "preban" FAL's are around for sale, usually over $2000, although the Springfield SAR48 usually goes for a little less than that. A true 50.63 or 50.64 folding stock paratrooper model usually sells for over $3000. If I only had the dough......

Unlike the AR15, on an FAL, the UPPER receiver is the "firearm", the part with the serial number that must come through the dealer.

Check out http://www.fnfal.com/falfiles/old_index.html for several nice sections on the FAL rifle, including the 922r text with the "parts list" that shows what parts can be changed for compliance.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 5:40:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Due to greatly improved milling machines, which DS Arms has, the DSA receiver is closer to spec than even the original Belgium guns.



Great thread, but just a minor note here, DSA does not manufacture in house. It's all sub'ed out.

For spec? The Imbel receiver is still it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 5:55:56 AM EDT
With all due respect to previous postings concerning the Williams/DSA aluminum receiver controversy, the issue is an extremely sensitive one on the FalFiles and is far from being resolved by the parties involved. I have closely followed the various threads on this topic since it first surfaced. Issues concerning the previous histories of both companies, individual experiences of the gun builders, product line allegiances, personality conflicts between those in the know and professional speculation have all muddied the waters to the point that nothing is very clear right now except that a Williams aluminum receiver kaboomed. Everyone is waiting to see when and if another test will be done.
Anyone interested should give a close and unbiased read to the threads on the FalFiles before passing judgment on the issue.
Link Posted: 12/14/2001 10:43:57 PM EDT
Just my $.02. I started out with a Bushmaster AK shorty. I wanted to build, but this was late 1999 and Y2K hysteria made parts extremely scarce. Anyway I bought the upper and lower halves seperately, saved some bucks, and have been shooting happily ever since.

I then decided I wanted something with a .30 calibre punch. The AR-10s and M1/M14s were too expensive, especially magazines. The FAL seemed like the way to go. I had the chance to refinish and rebuild a rifle, so I jumped at it. This has been the biggest pain in the ass of my life. BATF mandates 6-7 U.S. replacement parts on a FAL kit. Two of mine were recalled. I started the project in August. The rifle is still in the shop (Williams Arms) for warranty work. I haven't shot the first round out of the thing. Maybe if I'm a good boy, Santa will bring it to me for Christmas.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 4:59:05 AM EDT
KC strum, I'll have to check out the out-sourcing of DSA receivers. I know these guys have CNC machines and now I wonder what they're used for.
In truth I've had both DSA and Imbel receivers and I'm not smart enough to tell the difference.
My present FAL is on an Imbel.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 6:37:42 AM EDT
5subslr5 -

The inhouse CNC machines are for the small parts that they do in-house. A lot of the Para-trooper stock small parts and US Made FAL parts are made on those machines. I'm still waiting on the DSA paratrooper rear sight assembly.

I'll have to admit though the DSA receivers are tops in fit and finish.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 7:07:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Also the Army conducted SCHV (Small Caliber High Velocity) tests. The .308 was more likely to go through the target and expend most energy down-range while the .223 SCHV round was considerably more likely to expend its' energy within the target.

This is crude but sometimes we should consider what these rifles were actually made to do. At sufficient velocity the .223 round may kill with a shoulder, arm, hand or even finger hit. The round and accompanying velocity sets up a hydrostatic shock wave the may stop the heart.




My question is how much energy does the 7.62x51 dump into its target? For example, if a 7.62x51 hits a target 100m away with 2000 lb-ft of energy and exits that target with 500 lb-ft, isn't that better than a 5.56x45 with 1200 lb-ft of energy @ 100m dumping all its energy into the target? My numbers are 100% made up, but you get my point.

As far as the "hydrostatic shock" effect goes, please don't keep repeating that old and disproven idea. A hit to the finger, arm, leg, etc, from a 5.56x45 bullet will NOT kill, unless the person happens to bleed to death from his wound (or if shock sets in, but that's a whole different critter than "hydrostatic shock.") The closest analogy for "hydrostatic shock" would be the temporary cavity caused by tissue stretching due to the energy imparted to it by the bullet, but other than the heart and brain, most organs aren't affected enough by stretching to cause rapid death. Bullets cause rapid death by destroying the CNS, destroying or severely damaging vital organs (heart & lungs, you can survive quite a while with a destroyed liver, stomach, etc), and by causing the target's blood to leak out too rapidly to be stopped.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 10:59:18 AM EDT
I am a convinced FAL fan. (I have an STG58 kit
rifle) I think the 5.56mm was shoved down the throats of NATO by the U.S. That being said,
still just my opinion, the 5.56mm does o.k.
The FAL assembly, as stated, has the headspacing
as the crucial stage. Once you press in the
part, you could run the risk of getting a loose
part if you choose the wrong size. I would suggest a knowing gunsmith to assemble the
barrel, unless you really know what you are doing. (I didn't)I am speaking of an Imbel
receiver. I think the FAL has been a successful
rifle. Hard to compare with the M14, as we gave up on it too soon, perhaps. Like was said, hauling around FAL mags VS AR mags is no contest. Ar's got a bad rap early on for a variety of reasons, all told by now. All this
leads up for me to say that shooting the FAL is
a hoot, compared to my M14/M1A. The STG fits me perfectly, for some reason. John
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 4:45:59 PM EDT
I like my FN-FAL and my AR-15, but for different reasons. Both rifles serve their purpose well.

My only gripe about the FAL is that it isn't as accurate as I'd like (if a rack-grade FAL was as accurate as a rack-grade M14, then this gripe wouldn't exist for me... but that gripe makes a good M14/M1A win the semi/full-auto rifle wars in my mind as being the best of both worlds... powerful AND accurate). However, in the FAL's favor, they're reliable as hell, they're not finiky about ammo, they're easy to fix, they have a good parts availability, and they look intimidating.

My only gripe about the AR-15 is that the gas system leaves a little to be desired. However, in the AR-15's favor, they're light, they're reliable if taken care of properly, they have a good parts availability, they're easy to fix, and they look intimidating.

The real clincher for the AR-15 for me is their modularity (not sure if that's a real word). If I get tired of it or need it to do a different job, all I have to do is pop two pins and replace the upper. That's it. 30 seconds later and you've got a new gun that you only had to register once.

This is not to say that it's the only gun you can change out. You can swap complete uppers with an FAL... just takes you longer than 30 seconds, it requires tools, and you'll have to have registered two guns.

Nevertheless, if I were to have to grab a gun in tight situation, I may get caught simply because I cannot decide which I like more.
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