Posted: 12/31/2002 6:31:48 PM EDT
I am looking to widen my horizons in firearms. I have always loved AKs. I have a nice collection of AKs and want to try something new. I am looking at the FAC kits. L1A1, G1, STG58, Imbel. The stg58 seemed like alot of money. Its 2-3times the price of other kits. I thought about the Century gun for under $400. I have heard the quality is a gamble. I am thinking the Imbel kit and Imbel reciever sound good. How dificult are these and what tools are needed other than normal hand tools. CB
What you probably need to do is figure out which FAL you like the best and build one of that style. I have an Imbel, a G-1, and several STG's. Those are all "metric" FAL's. My personal favorite is the STG-58.
The are also "Inch" FAL's. L1A1's, Australian, and Canadian. If you want to build an inch rifle you have your choice of L1A1 and Aussie kits.
And then you have the Israeli (Izzy) kits. They are similar to metric rifles but have some differences like barrel threads, different gas tubes and gas plugs. The sights are taller than metric FAL's also. There are some nice Izzy heavy barrel kits out there now but they are pricey.
If you go metric the best bang for the buck is going to be an Imbel kit on an Imbel receiver. You can get Imbel receivers for $199 from FAC and good kits from Dan's. Dan's has 3 grades of kits. I mention Dan's because he seems to have the highest customer satisfaction.
G-1's are nice. They're basically an STG with a regular long threaded gas tube and wood buttstock and pistol grip(most STG's have plastic buttstocks and pistol grips but some have wood buttstocks). The problem with many of the G-1 kits is that they are WORN OUT. It's hard to find a kit with a non-pitted barrel and most of them have gas block threads that are too loose to reliably hold the gas tube. If you want a good G-1 kit go to DSA.
The STG kits from FAC and DSA are REALLY NICE. Many of them are in new or arsenal reworked condition. They cost more, but you get what you pay for.
Tools you need are headspace gauges (1.632" or 1.634", your choice), a good receiver wrench, and "preferably" a barrel vise. You "can" get by with using a wrench on the barrel flats to torque the barrel down. I built my first one this way. There's a lot you need to know to build one of these things and I would recommend checking out Falfiles.com for more information, unless you want us to guide you through it.
I would stick with DSA, Imbel, and Coonan receivers. It would be best to forget Hesse and Entre'prise unless you have lots of hair you want to pull out.
No matter what you build, the rifle can have no more than 10 imported parts. That means you have to replace 7 parts (from a BATF list) of the rifle with U.S. parts. If you don't use a muzzle device, 6 parts.
Example: One of my STG's has a U.S. receiver, buttstock, pistol grip, muzzle brake, and H/T/S (hammer, rigger, sear).
My G-1, which has no muzzle device, has a U.S. receiver, buttstock. pistol grip, and H/T/S.
I've wanted to get a couple of Fals for months but had little luck finding one locally when I had the cash on hand to buy one. After spending some time over at the FAL Files forum I decided building a few myself seemed like a fun proposal.
I've built two rifles so far and a third will be done in the next couple of days. The first two rifles went together with little trouble.
Two of my rifles are using Imbel receivers from Fac and the third is using a DSArms receiver purchased through a group buy on the Fal Files. I highly reccomend both type of receivers. Another receiver option is one made by Dan Coonan also sold through Fac. The nice thing about using either a DSArms or Coonan receiver is they count as one of the US parts needed to build new rifles. Fac is currenttly having a sale through January on the Coonan receiver for $199.
For the parts kits I bought two Imbel kits from Dan's (www.falparts.com/kits.asp) and have been very happy with them and the service, they were delivered very quickly and were packaged well.
As far as tools that I bought specifically to do these builds: A receiver wrench from www.gunthings.com/, headspace guages (go & no-go), buttstock tool, some plug guages, a gas regulator wrench, and a spare 27mm wrench that had to be filed to fit the flats on the barrel. Total for these tools was approx $150-$170. Not exactly a bargain compared to building an AR-15 so I figured building more than one rifle was in order to offset the cost of the tools. They can be sold after the build to recap some of that money but I will probably just keep mine.
I highly reccomend having a Dremel type tool for removing the demilled receiver peice on whichever kit you decide. A good heavy bench vise is also necessary. Any other tools I used were just basic hand tools.
Building these rifles so far has been a fun project. Both rifles have been great at the range as far as functioning is concerned. I haven't been able to get to an outdoor 100 yard range to do any accuracy testing yet but hope to in the next few weeks.
Finally, I doubt I would have even concidered building these myself had I not first watched a Fal building video set from Arizona Response Systems (www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/) located on the bottom of their Fal Page:
Gunplumber's Guide to FN FAL Home Gunsmithing Video & Workbook. Covers all aspects of building a FAL with your receiver and FAL parts kit. Includes tools, selecting and preparing parts; barreling and timing; adjusting headspace; tuning gas system for optimal performance; customizing; complete disassembly & reassembly, function testing and troubleshooting. Covers Inch, Metric, Israeli and Indian models. 2 Volume digitally produced and edited standard play VHS (5 hours). Workbook compliments video with technical specifications, home-made tool drawings, vendor listings, schematics, and much more. 75+ pages. $60 for the set, delivered.
Please note that these particular advertised kits were imported prior
to the most recent ATF import regulations and CAN be built/manufactured
into a complete rifle, of course being compliant with reg.922(r).
[Present imports can only be used for repair and replacement only and
CANNOT be built into a rifle.]
so if i buy one of these and use seven us parts then i CAN build it into a rifle?