I've built a few AR's. Pretty easy when you follow the directions. Very safe when you use quality parts. And, tools are cheap.
How is building a FAL? Do you need a bunch of expensive tools?
How about building on a Rem700 action? ...tools?
Yes, I know this is an AR15 thread/board. I am fishing for info from folks who build AR's and might also have undertaken other projects. That will give me a fair perspective on how to proceed. Don't get me wrong, I want a big shop but I can't aford it... Thanks in advance!
Your best bet in a bolt action is a rem 700 IMO unless you're really, really into another brand OR you're competition bench shooting.
If you don't know how hard 'building' the action is, no offense but you need to leave that to a smith. Unlike an AR, the 700 (and most other bolt actions) have to be headspaced properly, then the whole works has to be blued (or whatever finish, unless you're working with all stainless). I can not do this work for myself - and no insult is intended, it's just something you need a pro to do.
Bolt action customers must choose a few things, but it really all comes down to what you want the rifle to do - just like an AR-15. Decide what you want to do, then decide on a caliber. That will allow you to determine action length, bolt face opening, barrel weight/length/rifling, magazine type etc.
You can get a drop-in stock for most Rem 700 bbl'd actions, depending on bbl contour. You can get semi-inletted blanks from anything from inexpensive plastic to high-grade walnut.
On a bolt-action rifle you will make cosmetic and cosmetic/functional changes you wouldn't bother with on an AR-15. One will be installing matching-colored components like bases and rings. Jeweling a bolt, and even possibly buff-polishing the 'in the white' product before sending it to finish. A functional/cosmetic change would be a large bolt handle on a 'tactical' rifle or changing the bolt handle angle. Possible on an AR (larger latches, side-cock setups, etc) but you can just buy and assemble those. On a bolt gun you'll have to have this work done.
One thing you can do is buy a jewel trigger and install it. This is a pretty straightforward task.
I have no info on FAL's sorry.
Originally Posted By javven:
Your best bet...
Thank you for the info! I like buildin' stuff... Do you know where I can read about re-barreling the action? ...head spacing and stuff?
Why don't you stop by the public library and lbdk at a book on gunsmithing?
You need some way to hold the action without marring it, some way to remove the old bbl and some way to get the other one installed, then headspace.
There are all kinds of tricks to this, heating, restraining the action, various methods of getting a tool on the barrel, etc.
Of late I'm of the opinion that if you don't mind a silver gun stainless is the way to go. No finishing required - just install, adjust and go.
If you build a rifle, start with a geunine rem 700 action. Then go look around for the desired floorplate, which will include the trigger guard, magazine etc. You can stick with Remington's (decent) trigger or upgrade. Then select a barrel. You're not 'set into' a caliber until you get the bbl, and even then you can jsut get a blank and have it reamed to your desired dimensions. For your first gun, I'd start with a chambered bbl that just needed installation and headspacing on your action.
Note that you -could- also start with a pawn-shop beater-gun. If it was stainless already, or if you were going to finish it that'd be GREAT. So what if the stock is a POS? You were going to replace it anyhow. Just be prepared for some man-handling to get the old bbl off. But then you'd have your action, and it'd probably be nice and broken in. If you could get the gun for $200 you'd save about $300, because that's what new actions cost (or more).
The other thing you could do is go the M98 (Mauser) route. Get a new action or new barreled action from Charles Daly or the like. Personally I'd rather see you with a Rem700 or at least a QUALITY M98 (yugo's are decent). BBLs are easilly available to fit the mauser, but bear in mind your action length is going to be set at 'medium' for 308 and similar cartridges unless you spec. buy a long version (which is usually expensive).
1917 Lee Enfield would be another possibility, but I don't really like this action. Others do, however.
The Japanese Arisaka is considered the strongest action in the world, just in case you were ever wondering.
1911s are pretty easy to build IF you REALLY understand how the gun works. If you don't, you could have problems.
In my experience, most AR stuff is pretty much straight drop-in. 1911 parts can often require some fitting. You prolly won't need any "special" tools unless you're gonna install sights, or something of that nature. You can "assemble" a .45 with just common tools and stones, as I said IF you really understand how the gun's supposed to work.