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Posted: 5/10/2002 9:05:58 AM EDT
REPORT: I just received my Century Arms FAL. The actual model is stamped R1A1 .308 Sporter. I purchased this rifle online so with shipping and FFL transfer I am in for $455. The rifle arrived from J&G sales in a box filled with newspaper and was securely packed to help prevent shipping damage. The first thing I noticed was the MADE IN USA stamp on the receiver. Of course, that always brings a warm feeling. The rifle was a mix of old and new parts. The U.S. furniture and receiver appear flawless. The rear sights, safety lever and mag release were old with about 80% finish left. Action cycled smoothly and had no snags. 20 rnd. magazine fit very snuggly and needed help with a file before it would ease up. Note: upon disassembly and cycling the action I noticed that some of the finish was already wearing off! This is especially true on all metal to metal surfaces: safety, sight aperature, takedown lever, action lever. I've got 1500 rnd through my AR and my Beretta 92 and they look NIB. Haven't shot the FAL yet, but if you want a Century FAL understand that it may only look pretty until disassembly. Overall happy for $455, but obviously disappointed with the finish.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:11:19 AM EDT
Sounds like it might be a good candidate for that DSA camo job that was posted here a week or so ago.  Think one would look awesome in mossy oak.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 1:33:29 PM EDT
well, have you fired it yet????, i'm looking at the same rifle, and the guy at the gunshop it's at looked at me like i was speaking chinese when i asked him if it took metric or inch mags. which DOES it take? and BTW, where did you order it from? my (another gunshop)transfers stuff on the cheap side, so ordering is not a problem, any help would be appreciated. 455.00 rocks!!!! they want 695.00 at this shop.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 2:44:45 PM EDT
BTT, cuz i need info, dammit!!!!
i loves y'all guyses.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 7:03:54 PM EDT
I have had my R1A1 for a few months now, and have had no problems. Granted, the finish is okay, but far from collector grade. Many posts have expressed that getting one of these guns (CENTURY MFG) is a crap-shoot. My advice would be to buy from a reputable gun dealer, and thouroughly examine the rifle before purchase. My dealer raised his eyebrows when I began stripping it down on the counter, but with a gun "of questionable reputation" I wasn't going to take any chances. Refinishing is an obvious solution to the cosmetic issue, but try to get a gun that is mechanically sound and functions. If you're concerned about the quality, buck up to the bar with some more money and get a DSA. Remember, if you order one of these rifles(century) site-unseen, you might get what you play for.Good luck and good shooting.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 7:35:32 PM EDT
I got one of these R1A1's a while back. Mine came just like yours, SS# tag on trigger guard, two newspaper wrapped mags. Nothing more nothing less.  It has the Century receiver and Black US furniture. (no place to attach sling) I have the parkerised version and finish is pretty good. I added a pin to the mag release so that the bolt stays open on last round. UK did not like the open bolt, due to dirt entry and that is where most of the receiver parts come from. (or AUS) I have taken my apart many times, every thing was very dirty. My mags was VERY tight too did not take file to them, just wore it in after a couple of times to the range. Cool gas system, it's adjustable based on the bolt cycling enough to feed next round. Shoots nice, wish I had the bipod. I am sure it would be tough to control in full auto. Looks mean, makes a big hole, and came in a color that looks good on me.(Black) But AR's are still my fav.

I paid $389.00 with two mags, plus $10 shipping and $10.00 to my FLL.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 7:41:15 PM EDT
If you need to know what mags it takes got to www.l1a1.com and someone just post the receiver differences in the faq section with photos .
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 11:26:06 PM EDT
May I be so bold as to suggest ya'll ease over from a L1A1 to a G3?

I had a L1A1, metric I think. I had to adjust the gas port every GD time I changed ammo lots or brands. The G3 is recoil operated, nothing to adjust!!!! Just load & shoot & there's no inch/metric mag concerns!!!!

My .o2
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:58:20 AM EDT
Yes, I am looking at picking up a G3. What is the opinion on a CETME?

Do I want an alauminum reciver, stainless steel or a stamped steel.  
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 1:22:51 PM EDT
Hey Bob...the FAL has an adjustment for the gas man...want it to act like a G3...just crank it all the way closed.

I'm not into brass throwing competitions...but my FALs will give you a run for the money on ejection if you want.

Link Posted: 5/24/2002 3:28:45 PM EDT

Yes, I am looking at picking up a G3. What is the opinion on a CETME?

Do I want an alauminum reciver, stainless steel or a stamped steel.  

I've got a Cetme and it rocks.Like the HK91 I used to have it will eat anything.You want the S.S. receiver from (believe it or not)Special Weapons.These have the paddle wheel rear sights like the original Cetme,not the drum type as on a Hk.Mags are dirt cheap right now.$6.99 for 20 rdrs from www.tapco.com

As with anything the monkeys at Century put together there are some lemons out there.Mine came with a like new barrel and beautiful wood furniture.I've heard that since Century is reaching the end of the line for Cetmes the current quality is not as good as when I got mine---1 year ago.This is even more reason to pay a little more and buy at a gunshow instead of ordering sight unseen.

All in all,I'm very happy with my Cetme.For everything you need to know about Cetmes check out www.gunboards.com
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 10:48:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/25/2002 10:07:44 PM EDT

Yes, I am looking at picking up a G3. What is the opinion on a CETME?

Do I want an alauminum reciver, stainless steel or a stamped steel.  

CETME is the predecessor to the G3. How much difference there is, I honestly don't know. As for receiver, the new aluminum receivers allow much better scope mounting than the original design, IMO. Personally, I was not aware that there was a SS receiver available.

My G3 receiver is made by Federal & is aluminum. I've no problems with it & it shoots everything I've put in it. It's a keeper, IMO.
Link Posted: 5/25/2002 10:10:04 PM EDT

Hey Bob...the FAL has an adjustment for the gas man...want it to act like a G3...just crank it all the way closed.

I'm not into brass throwing competitions...but my FALs will give you a run for the money on ejection if you want.


If you crank the gas valve fully closed then it beats the hell out of the bolt. The gun was designed to operate a certain way with a certain amount of gas pressure. Making it maximum pressure is a sure-fire way to crack the receiver, IMO.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:05:10 AM EDT
The Century is a metric FAL and takes metric mags.  It's not noted for its quality, but then, what do you expect for $450?  You might also consider this FAL:

Link Posted: 5/26/2002 7:55:06 AM EDT
I am currently researching FAL's and from everything I have found, DS Arms STG 58 is a great way to go.

You monkeys out there agree?
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 8:43:45 AM EDT
DSA makes fine stuff. You may also want to look into the top notch work of Mark Grahm who is selling a bit cheaper now to finance a land purchase; see arizonaresponsesystems.com

Also visit falfiles.com for the FAL version of this board.

I have built two, since I got lucky with local help and equipment.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 10:04:29 PM EDT
i have seen some nice cetmes at shows, for alot more than FAC price, but to see if and play with it first, maybe worth it.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 10:13:25 PM EDT
I bought a FAL from J&G a year ago and it shoots great. It is not exactly the same as your FAL, it has an Imbel receiver imported from CAI. Most US FAL's are metric and I am sure the one you bought at J&G is a metric FAL.
DSA has the 20 round mags for around $7.00 in 95% condition they also have 30 rounders for around $70.00.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 10:52:15 PM EDT
The newer "made in USA" Century R1A1 Sporters as currently sold at J&G Sales ARE NOT built on the Hesse recievers but rather a proprietary Century reciever (built by???) that has been pretty well recieved so far.  As I recall the problem with the Hesse's was not that they blew up, but rather that they were dimensionally AFU which made them tough and frustrating to build properly for reliable function.  If you could get one to work at all they were supposedly strong enough.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 5:48:29 AM EDT
One of the cheapest ways to get a quality FAL is to buy a excellant parts kit--$250-$300,then get a Imbel receiver for $225 or so,either assemble it yourself or have these people do it


These Gunsmiths have excellant reps for fals.Go to the falfiles for all the info you'll need.


You'll end up with a excellant fal for $700-$800 if you have them assemble it.I ended up with one in excellant shape for $725 going this route.  
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