Instead of chasing 2 threads, I thought I'd just do this here. I figure the FAL and HK guys come here, so it's a good place for this topic.
Thinking of doing a G3 or a FAL. I'm really not afraid of anything, but I don't have a machine shop either. A bit of welding or fitting doesn't bother me.
Which would be a good build for me? I've done AK's over and over. I love them, but I want the fun of a new build again. Something that I don't know inside and out.
Haven't given up AK's though, got 2 parts kits on the way.
I'm not really asking which gun is better (unless you want to add that) - I'm asking if the average home shop builder could do either or both, and what complications might I run into with each?
don't know about the G3, FALs aren't too difficult, but you'll need some specialized tools that might make a single build a pain in the wallet.
You will need a VERY strong/sturdy vise, a reciever wrench, the pin gauges and headspace gauges, and in all probablity, a new locking shoulder...it will take an act of GOD for the one in your kit to end up being the right size. the little tool that shaves the barrel shoulder is really handy, too.
You'll need the 5/7 US manufacture pieces for 922 compliance...(5 if you're gonna go the follower/floor plate route, 7 otherwise).
We did a FAL build here in No. VA, and the tools were offered up by several people, so no one person had to spring for it all.
The actual build is fairly routine, but the locking shoulder/headspace thing can slow you down...you have to get the barrel on before you know where your headspace is...then you most likely will have to order the right size...which takes a week or so before you see it. You also want to order you compliance stuff beforehand, so you have it when you need it.
It's not like an AR, you can't build one in an hour.
Here's a detailed link as to what's involved:
I've heard too many G3 build up horror stories, and warnings to attempt that right now. Maybe after I'm all tooled up.
I don't mind having some extra tools. Maybe they could be modified for other projects, or maybe I'll enjoy building the FAL so much that I'll do it several times. No biggie either way.
The link is broken, but thanks anyway.
I haven't attempted an AR yet. Maybe someday. At the moment, I don't know of a good kit.
Good AR kits would be M&A, J&T; Model 1 may be a hair below, but I've gotten 2...one was perfect, the other had to go back, but the did take care of the problem in short order.
Building an AR from a kit is pretty easy...there are very detailed insturctions on how to put the lower together, and most kits have the upper complete in the box.
You really only need to buy an action block and an armorers wrench, you probably already have a brass hammer and set of punches. And, unless you plan on doing barrel installs, you don't really even need the armorer's wrench, although they come in handy for a variety of things.
YOu really can bulld an AR from the ground up in an hour or so, so that might be the way to start. You can get a complete kit and stripped lower for well under $600, including shipping and transfer fee for the lower. If you can get the lower locally, and avoid a transfer fee, that saves you money.
The Model 1 kits are as low as $400, depending on which one you get. Shipping is $17 to me, so I have put 2 rifles together for $517. Of course, one of them I immediately pimped out to the tune of another $350 lol.
Once you realize how easy it is to do this, you'll probably build a couple of rifles...it's easy to get the pieces one by one, and you can build exactly what you want, and plan accordingly.
The only tricky part to doing ARs is the muzzle brake...it makes installing float tubes difficult, since the brake will have to come off. Other than that, the whole process is pretty simple. My suggestion would be to start with an AR, then move on to the FAL.
There have been fairly exhaustive threads in the build it yourself section covering just about every aspect of builds, from what kit to get to what goodies to use.