I am considering one of these rifles, and wanted some owners thoughts of them. I have read evaluations on both, but it comes down to first hand experience. I'm not interested in the ArmaLite it just doesn't fit right? hinking.gif
I never found the G3 to be ergonomic. Maybe it was built for the Frankenstein Monster. I didn't like no bolt hold open mechanism on last round. I don't like the charging handle mechanism at all. I was never able to put a good group together through them either - though I've heard tell some sure can. I did "turn" one on though - way back when you could convert them. It put out some awesome firepower and sounded really good full-auto to boot. I never had one jam on me - regardless of ammo used including soft point hunting rounds. I found that the rolling block gas design makes for a sore shoulder after a couple of magazines - recoil is not softened in any manner - and I'm a big fella.
The FN --- I had a Belgian once. It was pretty. I couldn't do much on paper with it either though(if my groups are bigger than two inches, it's a waste of time to me to shoot for groups) The angle of the pistol grip gave the web of my hand blisters after a day of shooting. Now I see all sorts of ergo grips for it. That was really the major complaint I had about it. It never jammed on me. Mags are still dirt cheap. Lots of excessories. I've been tossing about getting a DSA myself, one of those shorty versions with the pistol grip up front too and scope rail dust cover that could mount my comp M on. They look pretty hot and so far have heard no complaints about them.
Yessir, I'd pick the FAL. -Even over the Armalite or M1A. I just am not ever going to pay THAT much for any kind of magazine. If M14 mags ever come down in price for some strange reason, I'd consider the M1A scout over either the FAL or G3. They say that the Scouts are more accurate than a standard length rifle for some reason, and with Tap ammo, there is so little recoil it's like firing a 10/22 - double-tap headshots at 100 M in less than a second! Now that's cooking with gas:)
Oh boy, here we go...
I would encourage you to check over on the FAL site at www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php. Lots of opinions there.
I've never owned a G3 but have owned many FALs and shot them quite a bit. Overall, I like them. The ergonomics are not quite as good as an AR, but not by much. One of the weak points of the FAL is the iron sights, which I just don't like.
One of the really big problems, and this is for any foreign manufactured assault rifle, is the import ban. This limits your choices to a DSA, an expensive preban (which may have been shot a lot), or a kit build. The quality of the latter can vary greatly.
Despite all the negatives, the FAL is a great rifle, they're fun to build or tinker with, and can be very reliable and accurate with a little work.
Get the FAL. Here's my current pet:
I own a HK91 clone; my roommate owns an FN-FAL. I like mine and he likes his :)
Both are about as accurate as each other - we can each reach out and touch a man-sized target at 600 yards with the iron sights. His FAL has jammed, but we found out that that was mainly due to a durability test he was running on it (he hadn't cleaned the poor thing for probably close to 1000 rounds!). We were able to dial up the gas port and have it blow through the crud, but... The HK91 jams occasionally, but that's when I haven't cleaned the mags in a long time (I use thermolds). Open the mag, clean it out, and it's good to go again. The FAL has broken a few parts; nothing has broken on the HK91 yet.
The HK91 is more expensive, and so are accessories. The bolt hold-back on the FN-FAL is a nice touch. The HK91 has a really heavy trigger, but gunsmiths can fix that. Even if you don't.. well, if you get used to that trigger pull, you'll think that everything else is wonderful! :)
The HK91 is a taste easier to clean, but it's harder to get into the receiver to clean all the nooks and crannies. The FAL breaks apart into a lot of little pieces; on the HK91, all te little pins get put into holes in the buttstock.
Overall, I'd say they're about equal. Maybe the features tip out a bit more towards the FAL, but I like my HK91 clone, it's reliability, and it's accuracy.
I've got'em all. Early all military/Winchester M1A, half dozen FAL's, and a nice 1978 model HK-91. They are all good but I would put the FAL as #1 by far. M1A is most accurate off a bench rest but they are all three accurate enough for intended use. I don't see ANY big advantage to the HK-91. It has typical excellent German quality but not as good a rifle as a FAL. I do like the sights as my eyes are bad. Everything for the HK is super expensive except the mags, HK is much heavier than the FAL or M1A, also it is a bitch to clean, trigger is lousy. The chamber and bolt get real carboned up from the blowback action. No bolt hold open on the last round. $2,500 rifle and it doesn't have a bolt hold open??? FAL is very well balanced, ergonomic, very smooth shooting, brand new Belgian FN mags are $10. It has very little muzzle flip by having the gas system on top, gas regulator vents off the excess gas so you only put enough pressure on the action to cycle the bolt. The regulator combined with a coil spring on the gas piston and double recoil springs in the buttstock, nylon stock with a rubber buttpad...man you can shoot all day with a t-shirt on and never feel it. Parts are very plentiful and cheap for the FAL. All the metric rifles were licensed by FN and to my knowledge FN made the tooling for all of them so the parts interchange perfectly. FAL rear sight tends to be a bit loose but it has a great combat sight picture. It can be tightened up by shimming or changing the spring on the pushbutton, or replaced with a para rear sight which has a fixed flip sight like an M-16A1, dove-tailed onto the receiver and adjustable for windage with screws.
I've owned a L1A1 which is basically a FAL parts gun. I still own a G3 parts gun. Both guns are very similiar in feel although the thumbhole stock on the L1A1 sucked. Accuracy on both were similiar. Trigger pull was similiar.
What made me sell the L1A1 was the GD gas adjust!!!! Every time I switched ammo lots/brands/makers I had to readjust the gas. PITA!!!! The G3 is strictly load-n-shoot!!!
Yes, the no bolt hold back on last rd can be weird. So what? Count your rds. Should be doing that anyway. >gg<
G3, hands down.
DeanD, what exactly are you referring to as an "early all military/ Winchester M1A? As in all Win. USGI parts or ? Just wondering.
The M1A is a pretty early one, sn 29,xxx and is made up of all mil-surplus parts on a Springfield Armory receiver. The barrel and most parts on mine are Winchester. The late M1A's are getting quite a few commercial made parts on them. Could be better, could be worse, I don't know but it is hard to beat the genuine US Army M-14 stuff.
I do not own a G3 currently, but owned an HK91... sold it when prices got insane and currently own an DSA STG-58A carbine.
Both are good .308 autoloaders, but there is a fair amount of gambling when it comes to selecting among the clones.
Between the two, I honestly liked my HK91 better, but it was an HK and of much better quality than many of the clones out there. However, as stated above... the prices on HK-branded guns are INSANE. They are good rifles, but $2000+... no way. However, you can always turn it for a profit later. There are always some uber-goofballs who will pay outlandishly for an HK-anything.
I prefer the charging system of the FAL over the HK91... and don't get a HK91 if you like reloading. i think the FAL is better ergonmically.
However, I just like the look of the HK91. I also like that it really feels like you could use it like a battle axe when the chips are down,
An HK or quality clone is a better gun that the FAL.
-No gas sytem
-Mags are cheap right now
-Sights are both on the upper
-Easy to do a collapsible stock
-Easy to do sighting system that will re zero if you have to remove it
-Quick to reload after paddle mag or tac latch conversion
-Free floated bbl
-Sometimes gas system is a PITA
-Mags are cheap
-Reasonably quick to reload in stock form
-Parts are cheap
-Metal handguards heat up damn quick
-Bolt hold open
-Rear sight is on lower, front sight is on upper, I dont care for that
Clone wise, you'd proly be better served with a FAL, a quality gun can be acquired cheaper. However, if money is no object, get the 91 or a good, quality clone, RDTS, SteyrAUG's clones, etc.