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Posted: 6/1/2008 5:58:11 PM EDT
Standard out of the box with surplus who shoots better?
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 6:00:25 PM EDT
My experience has been that M1A's have always been more accurate straight from the box than have FAL's.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 6:22:24 PM EDT
With surplus ammo and GI barrels both rifles will shoot the same. Most people find it easier to shoot the M1A accurately, however, because it has better sights and a better trigger.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 6:22:46 PM EDT

Standard out of the box with surplus who shoots better?

I guess we need to know what you mean by better. Reliability, accuracy, running dirty, etc.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 9:29:13 PM EDT
Also, out of the box can be pretty varied.  Like out of the box Century Arms or out of the box DSA?
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 9:43:00 PM EDT
Your concerned about accuracy but you only want to go for a standard?

Do you have something against tuning, because you could always buy a National Match M1A too or have a tuned M14 built?

How about just tuning whichever one you like best even though I've never seen a Fal as accurate as an M1A/M14 can be.  
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 9:44:37 PM EDT
Both of equal build quality I would say the FAL is much more dependable and easier to work on. The M1A is a true rifleman's rifle though, and has more potential accuracy.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 9:54:51 PM EDT
"FAL is much more dependable"

Preferences aside. It's certainly not like the M14/M1A isn't an ultra dependable design. It's basically just an improved Garand. A rifle that stomped across Europe and the M14 is still stomping in the middle east.
Unless someone wants the more precision choice between the two, either is an excellent rifle.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 10:56:54 PM EDT
It would really depend on the particular variant and manufacture.

Generally speaking, FAL's aren't the pinnacle of MBR accuracy, but neither are M1A's. Somewhere along the line, M1A's and M14's obtained this legend of mythical accuracy, which just isn't true. FWIW, the "threshold" of acceptible M14 accuracy was around 5 inches, according to the "real" SA and the Ordinance Department. However, most seemed to range from 3-4.5 MOA with M80 ball.

While M14's can shoot very accurately, M0A or less, depending on ammo, models suitible for defensive use will be in the 3 MOA +/- range, again depending on ammo.

I hate this term, but a "milspec" FAL should shoot 4 MOA or less with standard FMJ ammo. However, civilian FAL's can have quite a bit of variance. It also depends on the model/origin of the FAL. IE: 50.63, Congo, Israeli, FALO, etc....Certain features like an HBAR or improved sights can aide in accuracy. In any event, a competently built FAL composed of good parts should be 4 MOA or less with military FMJ ammo. An FAL made by DSA could be much less, however price will be much higher.

Remember, that the FAL is similar in concept to the AK. Reliability is more apparent than accuracy. Its a battle rifle, not a target gun. I view FAL accuracy like I view AK accuracy, academicly. So long as my FAL shoots the specified 4 MOA with ball ammo or if my AK is "minue of dishwasher" I am okay. Buying an FAL for accuracy is like taking a stripper to breakfast and using your real name, its just misguided and all wrong.

AR's have really spoiled us, as has good quality ammo. AR accuracy isn't the rule for infantry rifles, its very much the exception. Generally, you aren't going to get AR15 accuracy from an MBR without some $$$.

That being said, both the FAL and M14 aren't the most intrinsicly accurate weapons ever devised. However, both have been around a long time and accuracy can be improved. You need to establish how much accuracy is necessary for your mission. Most of the "rack grade" MBR's will be in the 4 M0A or less range, which is plenty for a defensive rifle. If you don't concur, consider the fact that combat distance shrinks every conflict. Both the IDF and DoD have concluded that MOUT engagements take place at around 110 yards, +/-. Civilians engagements will be considerably less....Also consider the dynamics of engaging a moving human adversary at say 300 yards with ball ammo and iron sights. Not very promising, even for a superior shot....

As a DMR, more accuracy will be required, as will another platform. An AR10 is the best choice for a SASR, followed distantly by a G3.

Comparing a "standard" M1A to a "standard" DSA STG.58, I believe the M1A would have a slight edge in accuracy over the FAL. Perhaps around .25 to .50 MOA... Spending more money will get you more accuracy, though. DSA makes some exceedingly accurate FAL's, some delving near the MOA mark or below. Obviously, SA makes M1A's that will accomplish this too. The difference is that an accurized FAL will still be a suitible infantry weapon, while an MOA M14 will not be. This is why the M21 and M25 were abandonned. Ultra accurate M14's are too hard to sustain and lack the reliability of thier "rack grade" cousins. This isn't as true, or true at all, of accurized G3's and FAL's.

IMO, MBR's really come down to personal preference and overall sillyness. As combat weapons, they are nearly as antiquated as a 98K or P.14. They also have similar relative performance in terms of accuracy and reliability. Each has thier own benefits and drawbacks. I would advise you to figure out what your "mission requirements" are and then find a rifle that fits within that umbrella. If you are just looking for a rack-grade MBR, pick one that you like.

As to which one "shoots better", thats entirely personal preference. Personally, I find the M14 to be a much more comfortable "target" gun, due to its excellent sights and comfortable stock.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:26:59 AM EDT
My standard model Sprinfield Armory M1a would shoot MOA straight out of the box, using match grade ammo.

Neither of my FALs will do better than 3 MOA with any kind of ammo tested thus far.

That being said, there is a lot to be said for the superior ergonomics, spare parts availability, and lower magazine cost of the  FAL.  Three MOA is satisfactory for the vast majority of battle rifle tasks.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:44:12 AM EDT
My FAL is pretty accurate but it wasn't out of the box like this:

Link Posted: 6/2/2008 12:49:19 PM EDT
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think I may of asked the wrong question,but from reading all this and doing a little more research I understand now what needs to happen.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:28:55 PM EDT
OTB: m1a...h/w, optics moutning is a heck lot easier on FALs
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:01:03 PM EDT
I do own both, and I won't offer opinion or speculation, just personal experience.

My DSA Stg58 and my Polytech M14/s are about equal in terms of accuracy with any given surplus ammo.  I found that when shooting prone, I get better groups out of my M14/s, because of the trigger and 'C' stock.  Just me.  

I have about 3000 rounds each through both of them, and have had zero malfs of ANY kind out of my M14/s, while I've had two with my FAL that I could not conclusively show were a result of mags, maintenence, ammo, etc.

So for me, my M14 is the better long distance shooter, while the FAL makes a better CQB weapon, which I attibute to the pistol grip and stock design aiding in faster follow-up shots.  While I can and have passed the CQB carbine course my department outlines with both rifles, the FAL has that slight ergo edge when shooting in close.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 10:26:13 PM EDT
Get both
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