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Posted: 7/24/2004 8:13:33 AM EST
If you have been following my "Assault Weapon at cost" thread in the General Weapon discussion you will see that probably 90% of people have recommended I go for a DS Arms FAL. Although I have fired an FAL and handled one too it was my friends CAI POS so I would like some input from the more experienced folks.

The rifle is going to be my "heavy hitter" in my mini arsenal, everything else being of lighter assault rifle caliber. I would like to be able to punch paper at range but also use iron sights. So here are a few of my questions:

1. Best barrel length, full or carbine? The carbine definitely has "sex appeal" but are there any disadvantages to it? I always thought the FAL was a bit nose heavy so I thought the shorter one might be better.

2. Iron sights. Wow, I find them inferior to the AR-15- is there any upgrades available to these? I remeber seeing AR style rear sights available for this, or was I dreaming?

3. Scopes- Any solid way to mount one? or would I be better off with some other rifle for optics?

4. Bipod? How useful is the STG-58 bipod- solid or just fluff?

5. Other- any other hints/tips/etc. people would liek to mention?

Dawg
Link Posted: 7/24/2004 8:36:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2004 8:39:29 AM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 7/24/2004 2:17:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2004 2:18:50 PM EST by falsmitty]
If you are not sure about the barrel length you can alwas go with 18". The only problem with shortening the barrel is you may have to drill out the gas port, to ensure enough gas to cycle the action. One of the reasons the FAL is nose heavy is the muzzle device/weight. IMO you would be better off with a naked barrel. The L1A1 front ends also seem to handle better, if you can find one.

There are atleast two companys that make AR15 sights for the FAL. Vanden Berg custom makes a steel one. There is also a Holland carbine sight. Non of these sights are elevation adjustable, that is what the front sight is for. I have not tried any of these sights so I can not say if they are any good. I perfer the large L1A1 front sight, easier for me to concentrate on. But most people like the smaller metric.

There is several good scope mounts made for the FAL. DSA, ARMS and Tapco all make good scope mounts. They are replacements for the dust cover. I have an ARMS now and it works well. It just slides in place. DSA and Tapcos slide on and lock in place. On my next built I am going to try a Tapco with the stripper clipp guide. It sells for about $30-$40, and Tapco runs alot of sales.

As for the bypod. Forget it. The STG 58 bypod looks cool and sexy. It is also heavy and affects point of aim and accuracy. The only way to use a bipod and have it work well is to free float the barrel. DSA sells free float handguards for about $100. Vanden Burg sells them for about $200 plus iinstallation. DSA's just clamp to the barrel and Vanden Burg attach to the receiver some how? Both are to pricey for me.

The FAL is a tinker's rifle. To get the most out of it you have to play around with it. It is not like the AR15 as for parts and add ons. A lot of stuff just is not avaible. It is a good choice for 308, used by over 90 countrys. It is reliable, battle field accurite out to 600mm and easy to field strip. They also have good ergonomics. The down side is they are heavy. The STG58 fills heavier then it is. The L1A1 fills lighter then it is and handles well. Alot of people do not like the gas adjustment.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/24/2004 6:57:11 PM EST
Wow, a lot of questions here.

My most accurate FAL is an STG that I built on a Coonan receiver, full length barrel with a DSA hooded sight. My R1 clone I built with a Steyr 18" barrel (R1 barrel worn) with VOW ar15 rear sights is a close second in the accuracy department.

Accuaracy is relative tho.
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 2:45:59 AM EST
Dawg, a standard everyday well built FAL is all you need. 21" standard barrel, as it was designed to be and standard FAL sights that tens of millions of soldiers carried into combat for decades. Wait until Buffalo reopens, show up for Blast Fest and you can run a few mags through my DSA babies. But I'm tellin ya know dawg, I will bring a pry bar and I will get it back out of your hands!!!!!

This is IL talk between me a Dawg y'all.
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 6:21:36 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 9:13:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/25/2004 9:14:35 AM EST by Dawg180]

Originally Posted By patriot73:
Dawg, a standard everyday well built FAL is all you need. 21" standard barrel, as it was designed to be and standard FAL sights that tens of millions of soldiers carried into combat for decades. Wait until Buffalo reopens, show up for Blast Fest and you can run a few mags through my DSA babies. But I'm tellin ya know dawg, I will bring a pry bar and I will get it back out of your hands!!!!!

This is IL talk between me a Dawg y'all.



Sure thing, I'll let you try out my Uzi while I give your DSA a try!
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 11:34:19 AM EST
DSA STG58 Carbine, while antidotal, (my wife threw away the target) last session it put 20 Aussie rounds into a 2 inch group at 100 yards - with a hot barrel that already fired 180 rounds.

I am severely pleased with that kind of battle rifle accuracy.
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 2:46:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By dogbert4-1:
DSA STG58 Carbine, while antidotal, (my wife threw away the target) last session it put 20 Aussie rounds into a 2 inch group at 100 yards - with a hot barrel that already fired 180 rounds.

I am severely pleased with that kind of battle rifle accuracy.



Got me beat. What kind of scope?
Link Posted: 7/25/2004 3:36:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By BU2MuktukJoe:

Originally Posted By dogbert4-1:
DSA STG58 Carbine, while antidotal, (my wife threw away the target) last session it put 20 Aussie rounds into a 2 inch group at 100 yards - with a hot barrel that already fired 180 rounds.

I am severely pleased with that kind of battle rifle accuracy.



Got me beat. What kind of scope?



Easily done through the irons.
Link Posted: 7/26/2004 11:19:36 AM EST
Wow! You the man!
Link Posted: 7/31/2004 5:45:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:

1. It's a fullsize battle rifle, might as well bring along another two ounces of barrel to get everything out of those big bullets. This isn't a room clearing carbine.

2. I upgraded the rear sight to a paratrooper model just for the "wings" that protect the rear sight. Again, this isn't a sniper's rifle and the iron sights aren't that bad - plenty good enough to put rounds into an eight inch circle at a few hundred yards.

3. DSA scope mount works well. You simply slide off the stock dust cover and slide and lock the DSA into place.

4. I like the bipod but it is heavy. Having read this I might take it off for awhile and see how it feels.

5. A second on changing out the handguards. The stock steel ones get pretty hot pretty fast, I have used the bi-pod to hold the rifle when it starts cooking like that.



I'd have to agree with Paul. Except I'd leave the bipod and handguards as is. This is a main battle rifle. It needs to be robust in every way. Heavy, yep, I agree, but this rifle will perform under the most disastrous conditions known, I mean, damn look how it's built. If you want something lighter do an AR-15M4 or an AK-47 type rifle.

If the handguards get hot set it down and shoot something else awhile. In a SHTF scenario one would want to wear a light pair of leather glove anyway. And besides, hot hand guards are probably going to be the last of your worries.

If you must do a optic sight, the hot set up, in my opinion, is a DSA type II scope mount with ARMS throw lever rings or mounts and the optic of your choice. When the action gets to where you don't need a scope, pop it off and use the irons right over the top of the scope mount.

Just remember, keep it simple, when under pressure you don't want a bunch of trinkets to fuss with.

My two cents.

Link Posted: 8/1/2004 2:47:09 AM EST
1. My full size STG is just the right length for exactly what it is.

2. If my old blind ass can still use the irons, your ass can too.

3. Oh my goodness. ACOG, ACOG, ACOG. TA01B. nuff said!

4. I like the bipod. A little extra weight, but like Paul said, its something else to hold oto when she gets hot, and she will get hott!

5. Enjoy! I know I do. Damnit, its so sweet it should be banned!
Link Posted: 8/1/2004 3:58:15 AM EST
I have several and the one i shoot the most is an 18", still has enough length for downrange performance and enough weight forward to keep recoil and muzzle flip down. short enough to be handy.

If i shot more with irons i might concider the AR15 type rear sight or others but i use an aimpoint with my 18" and scope with my acccurate 21" (a R! type built on an Imbel).

I started out using a cheap tapco scope cover mount and recently got their gen 4 unit. I don't remove them for cleaning and have never had a problem, period.

the bipod is mounted to the barrel and should change your POC, i have one on my STG58 clone but then that rifle doesn't shoot worth a damn. My opinion is that they add weight at the front end where you don't need it and have no practical use.

I don't understand these folks that complain about the heat, i've never noticed it really even with steel HG with typical range shooting- double taps and non standard response... maybe if i used it in a carbine course or just liked to dump a lot of ammo downstream i might have a different opion. At any rate if it gets too warm i'd just go to a mag hold which is what i use most of the time anyway. You'll want to polish up the trigger a bit (make sure its a FSE unit and not century). There are replacement mag catches and bolt releases that i like as well as replacement grips and safeties that allow you to operate the safety without shifting your grip. About the only thing i plan to add to my 18" is a piece of rail screwed onto the HG for a light and a FS which i alreay have.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 9:45:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By falsmitty:
If you are not sure about the barrel length you can alwas go with 18". The only problem with shortening the barrel is you may have to drill out the gas port, to ensure enough gas to cycle the action. One of the reasons the FAL is nose heavy is the muzzle device/weight. IMO you would be better off with a naked barrel. The L1A1 front ends also seem to handle better, if you can find one.

There are atleast two companys that make AR15 sights for the FAL. Vanden Berg custom makes a steel one. There is also a Holland carbine sight. Non of these sights are elevation adjustable, that is what the front sight is for. I have not tried any of these sights so I can not say if they are any good. I perfer the large L1A1 front sight, easier for me to concentrate on. But most people like the smaller metric.

There is several good scope mounts made for the FAL. DSA, ARMS and Tapco all make good scope mounts. They are replacements for the dust cover. I have an ARMS now and it works well. It just slides in place. DSA and Tapcos slide on and lock in place. On my next built I am going to try a Tapco with the stripper clipp guide. It sells for about $30-$40, and Tapco runs alot of sales.

As for the bypod. Forget it. The STG 58 bypod looks cool and sexy. It is also heavy and affects point of aim and accuracy. The only way to use a bipod and have it work well is to free float the barrel. DSA sells free float handguards for about $100. Vanden Burg sells them for about $200 plus iinstallation. DSA's just clamp to the barrel and Vanden Burg attach to the receiver some how? Both are to pricey for me.

The FAL is a tinker's rifle. To get the most out of it you have to play around with it. It is not like the AR15 as for parts and add ons. A lot of stuff just is not avaible. It is a good choice for 308, used by over 90 countrys. It is reliable, battle field accurite out to 600mm and easy to field strip. They also have good ergonomics. The down side is they are heavy. The STG58 fills heavier then it is. The L1A1 fills lighter then it is and handles well. Alot of people do not like the gas adjustment.

Good luck.



I have a Tapco Stripper Clip Guide/rail Top cover, I don't care for it. It will tighten the receiver to the point of slowing the movement of the bolt if tightened too much. I immagine it would function fine if you lock tighted the screws on it, but that takes away from the ease of cleaning breaking down the FAL, IMHO. I'm sure the DSA full length one works the same way. I would prefer a scope/light rail out on the forearm, ala AR.

If you want falsmity, send me an Email and I'll trade you my Tapco mount for a Mag or 2.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 12:26:38 PM EST
1. I'd say 18" barrel. It handles much better, and FN designed the FAL/Para with an 18" barrel, so it's not like some hack came up with the idea in his trailer home. 18" barrels work just as well as 20" barrels and are just as combat proven (real FALs at least). They don't reduce your sight radius, and they don't add much to the flash and noise like the shorter 16" does. You don't really loose anything but a few FPS in velocity, some weight, and gain much better handling (which is VERY subjective, you might not like it, try both before hand if you can).

2. The FAL rear sight gets worn quickly and starts to wobble around. It doesn't take long for this to happen. The Para-type sights are the way to go IMO. I have a US made one (forgot who) that has a flip with one small and one large aperture, like the A2 does. It's solid and it's fixed. It's all the sight you need.

3. DSA, TAPCO. Don't skimp on the scope either.

4. I don't like them. They add a great deal of weight, and they start getting hot if you are shooting with them folded. Everytime I think, "Yeah, that's a cool idea" and try it, I take it back off. I'd still rather have the cuts on the barrel for one though, as you never know when you might want to use it.

5. Get a second lower that's a Para, so you can have the best of both worlds after the ban sunsets.

Ross
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 3:01:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ross:


5. Get a second lower that's a Para, so you can have the best of both worlds after the ban sunsets.

Ross



Where's the best place to get the para lower?
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 3:07:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 3:07:57 AM EST by DavidC]

Originally Posted By brushdog:

Originally Posted By Ross:


5. Get a second lower that's a Para, so you can have the best of both worlds after the ban sunsets.

Ross



Where's the best place to get the para lower?



There's a lot more that needs to be done than just to swap a para lower on to get a folder. You also need to cut the receiver properly and find a para top cover with spring. Remember that the recoil spring is in the stock , so the para mods do away with it in that location.

Link Posted: 9/6/2004 3:29:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 3:31:24 AM EST by Warrior-Poet]
Originally Posted By Dawg180:
If you have been following my "Assault Weapon at cost" thread in the General Weapon discussion you will see that probably 90% of people have recommended I go for a DS Arms FAL. Although I have fired an FAL and handled one too it was my friends CAI POS so I would like some input from the more experienced folks.

The rifle is going to be my "heavy hitter" in my mini arsenal, everything else being of lighter assault rifle caliber. I would like to be able to punch paper at range but also use iron sights. So here are a few of my questions:

1. Best barrel length, full or carbine? The carbine definitely has "sex appeal" but are there any disadvantages to it? I always thought the FAL was a bit nose heavy so I thought the shorter one might be better.
I shoot a 19" OAL (w/ Muzzle Device) competitively. I also carried an FAL for a few years. For practical purposes, the shorter rifles don't give up anything but a few feet/sec of MV.

2. Iron sights. Wow, I find them inferior to the AR-15- is there any upgrades available to these? I remember seeing AR style rear sights available for this, or was I dreaming?
Any properly-trained shooter can hit e-types at 600m using the aforementioned sights. They have ~1/3 MOA adjustment (actually 1cm at 100m per click), just lack convenience. A guy in Atlanta, Tony Marshburn at M&M Gunsmithing, has made knobs for the sight base that allows for relatively easy windage adjustments. Once zeroed, the slider is fully as functional and quick as ANY M16A2. IF you need a BUIS, get the ARMS rail and try on the LaRue Tactical, ARMS, or other sights.

3. Scopes- Any solid way to mount one? or would I be better off with some other rifle for optics?
ARMS cover or WAC QD-Pro (VERY RARE) are the best solutions. The DSA has internal plates that are a drag, plain and simple. The DSA dustcover/scope mount is MASSIVE, but that is no improvement over either of the aforementioned covers. Scopes themselves are perfectly competent on the FAL, from LER mounted forward, red-dot/HUD, to conventional. The rifle is not as inherently accurate when shooting the irons (backsight is mounted to another 'piece' when compared to the front sight). But a scope is on 'the rail' so to speak, and it points where the barrel points, all the time. Sub-MOA FAL can be made/had.

4. Bipod? How useful is the STG-58 bipod- solid or just fluff?
The StG/other bipods were NEVER designed ofr precision work. Coupled w/ the attachment at the gas block produces a bending moment on the barrel and POI shifts. Serious sub-MOA FAL shooters get a free-floot foreend, but for truck guns and CQB, it's just weight you don't want to carry.

5. Other- any other hints/tips/etc. people would liek to mention?
Buy from a reputable builder, or build your own. Shortcut nothing. The current batch of DCI receivers go together every bit as well as a DSA, at 60% of the price. DSA makes excellent rifles, period. Choose wisely, and shoot until you learn the rifle.

Dawg
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 7:23:18 AM EST
1. Best barrel length, full or carbine? The carbine definitely has "sex appeal" but are there any disadvantages to it? I always thought the FAL was a bit nose heavy so I thought the shorter one might be better.

I have three with 18" barrels and muzzle brakes and find that to be an optimal length.

2. Iron sights. Wow, I find them inferior to the AR-15- is there any upgrades available to these? I remeber seeing AR style rear sights available for this, or was I dreaming?

Correct, the sights are weak but why not mount an Aimpoint or Eotech? That's what I did on two of my three

3. Scopes- Any solid way to mount one? or would I be better off with some other rifle for optics?

You will need a DSA or Williams topcover mount. I have both and find them excellent.

4. Bipod? How useful is the STG-58 bipod- solid or just fluff?

It looks cool and is usefull for prone shooting our bench work if you leave your sand bag at home. It does add a little weight but what the heck. The cool factor wins on this point!

5. Other- any other hints/tips/etc. people would liek to mention?

You may wish to consider buying one from either AZEX Arms or ARS. Both top notch FAL vendors. You might find better pricing with equal or better quality to DSA. I own rifles from both firms. Lastly, consider getting a para stock on your rifle. No impact on recoil and the para is the pinicle of FAL coolness IMHO.

Regards,
Gary
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:28:43 AM EST


Got me beat. What kind of scope?

The scope I use is a cheapo Tasco 3x9 bought at Long's drugs years ago for change. I have DSA's scope mount though which is quality and probably more important than the optics - probably cost 2x more than the scope. After all, if you have a $1000 scope sitting on a crappy mount, it's a hell of a waste of money.

Easily done through the irons.

I'll have to see if I can do that next time. I recently drillled out the rear sight to a ghost ring. I like it a lot better that way. Much quicker. But may not be as precise on paper.

To explain more about the 20 bullits into 2 inches isn't to brag about my shooting ability, it's that these hammer forged barrels are able to do that when they are hotter than hell. I fairly rapidly emptied 9 magazines before I put it to paper. And I repeated the same thing again since.

My old H&K91 and M1A could not do that. They both opened up significantly when they got hot. To me, that's a really interesting selling point that should be considered with these rifles and that I've never seen mentioned.
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