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Posted: 9/22/2004 10:07:31 AM EDT

I'm looking at purchasing a new .308 Carbine and have narrowed it down to these two choices. If anyone can help me decide which would be the better purchase, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Granted, the DSA is cheaper by a couple hundred dollars, in the long run, the money saved would not mean much.

If anyone has any comments on the following:
>Magazine availability
>Accessories; Scopes, rails etc.
>Toughness of design...which will last longer
>Field survibability, long term.
>Resale value, do they hold thier value well
>General comments are also welcome.

Thank you, Mayday.

p.s. yeah, yeah I know, buy them both...but I'm not made of money.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:09:39 AM EDT
the scout style mount on the M1a is very nice, mags for the M1a are kinda expensive though.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:19:43 AM EDT
If you can get the M1A with all USGI parts (or at least as many as possible as I know some would need to be modified)..then they'd be on equal footing. A lot of the newer M1A parts are made by Springfield now, and aren't quite up to the original USGI quality...

FAL magazines are cheaper, hands down, at least right now. For the price of 10 M14 mags, you can pick up easily 2x the number of metric FAL mags.

It's easier to mount a scope onto a FAL (new topcover).

Reliability is a wash; if maintained, both will continue running long after you die.

Accuracy...the M1A is better with irons; the FAL's rear sight is not attached to the upper receiver, and depending on how tight the upper to lower receiver fit is, it's POI could shift. However, the M1A is not really a scope-friendly platform. It's mounts aren't as sturdy as a FAL topcover with a rail would be, nor can it be readily removed and reattached with a guaranteed zero hold. Most M1A mounts are basically "Stick it on and don't take it off" types, though if you get scoperings with quick-detach functionality, it's not a big deal. It just hinders cleaning everything (removing the bolt necessitates removing the scope mount).

Toughness of design...well the FAL is still an active use/issued arm. The M14 is only available in surplus form from the US Gov't, and only given as aid...they're not really an issue arm anymore to anyone.

Field survivability, see above. The FAL is still in use in armies all over the world. It must work pretty damn well.

Resale value on them will probably be about the same (I wouldn't know; I haven't sold either of mine )..
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:21:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 10:35:06 AM EDT by BB]
I wouldn't choose either; 18" barrel is the minimum length in a .308 that I would use. You loose to much velocity in a 16". I'd get a DSA Congo Para (or have one built for a whole bunch less $) or a SA M1A Scout instead. Ergonomics are better on the FAL, especially if you are an AR guy. Now that the general comments are out the way:


Very close but I'd say the FAL has the edge due to the adjustable gas system and enclosed bolt.


M1A hands down for it's sights. On a bench, they will both shoot the same, around 1.5MOA

>Magazine availability

FAL all the way. FAL mags are like <$10 and everywhere. M14 mags are gonna set you back at least $40 a pop

>Accessories; Scopes, rails etc.

A scope is a scope; the mounts will be similar in price:quality, but I like the FAL DSA heavy mount over the M1A mounts myself. M1A has a neat scout mount.

>Toughness of design...which will last longer


>Field survibability, long term.

Both are pretty tough. Slight edge to the FAL for all internal operational parts (piston/oprods/bolts etc..)

>Resale value, do they hold thier value well

About the same I think.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:21:55 AM EDT
Take the several hundred you save on the FAL and invest it into a couple of cases of ammo. (and then shoot it of course)

In the long run, that's making an investment in yourself.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:23:45 AM EDT
Out of those 2 I'd get the Dsa Fal Stg 58 carbine.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:27:28 AM EDT
I like the FAL for the reasons given...had a 21" SA58 cut down to 18" at no extra charge by DSA.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:29:36 AM EDT
remember that FAL they found at the bottom of a lake and they guy got it to work?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:30:34 AM EDT
I would go with the DSA. Mag are cheaper, parts are cheaper, and more reliable.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:30:45 AM EDT
i'd go dsa based on the dozens of glowing customer svc endorsements you can find on this site.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:31:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 10:33:18 AM EDT by M4]
Personally, I'd take the DSA FAL in a heartbeat. Both are exceptional weapons, and there is none better than each of them in their respective catagories. They're BOTH second to none.

That said, I simply prefer FAL's. You can toss the quality aspect out the window in your decision. You can toss the reliability issue out as well. I do like the SOCOM and have heard from a number of people that it's a very functional platform as well. Sweet looking rifle too.

Really, cant go wrong with either. It's almost strictly an asthetics issue/cost of parts issue, rather than which rifle is a better rifle issue.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:32:58 AM EDT
Doesn't SA use cast receivers now and is that a problem or not? I'm not a big fan of castings and would much rather prefer a good forging or stamping.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:34:35 AM EDT
M1A mags are coming down. Type 57 Taiwan mags are currently plentiful and very affordable at this time. Many people are regarding them as G.I.-spec.

Thought I'd take that point off the table.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:38:59 AM EDT
Get the Fal as previously stated if your an AR guy the ergo's will be more familiar. The only major difference is going to be being able to get yourself used to using the charging handle on the correct side for most of us righties. M1A's are nice and if it was several years ago or so I might have considered one, with the now almost non-existant USGI parts being assembled by SA in their M1A's you'd be better served with a FAL. If you can find a used high count USGI M1A you might make out like a bandit. But then again I love my DSA Stg 58 carbine.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:58:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 10:59:13 AM EDT by Evil_Ed]

Originally Posted By 00_buckshot:
Doesn't SA use cast receivers now and is that a problem or not? I'm not a big fan of castings and would much rather prefer a good forging or stamping.

SA has always used a cast receiver for the M1A...that's not the problem.

The problem is the shittily cast trigger group, bolt, gas system, oprod...I think that about covers it. Edited to add extractors! Can't forget extractors.

Most of those you should be able to find USGI replacements for pretty easily, tho USGI bolts have shot up in price for reasons unknown.

Of course, with a USGI bolt, you'd need to have the rifle re-headspaced...
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:59:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 11:08:41 AM EDT
Thanks for thread. This was the exact question I was trying to decide on for my next buy.
I think the .308 is probably my favorite round.

The FAL sounds like the way to go.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 11:10:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 11:11:36 AM EDT

I like this one from Troy Industries.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 11:11:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 11:12:23 AM EDT by M4]
And IMO, if it takes a detachable, hi-cap magazine, it needs a pitol grip.

The SOCOM would be BAD ASS if they gave it one.....but, S.A. doesn't do pistol grips anymore.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 11:12:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 3:43:12 PM EDT
10 years ago the Springfiield hands down. Now. . . The DSA Hands down!!!!
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 4:38:10 PM EDT
Maybe I'm missing something but I just checked the DSA website and the prices are about the same as SA ???
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 4:44:50 PM EDT
Fal ,no contest imo.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:13:18 PM EDT
I love that DSA Congo FAL
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:17:38 PM EDT
FAL carbine. Among other things Springfield appears to be having so major QC issues.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:21:16 PM EDT
Trigger: M1A

Sights: MIA

Ergonomics: Draw

Reliability: Draw

Mag availability: FAL

Ease of maintenance: FAL

Either one would do you right, my personal choice depends on the day of the week but overall I'd probably pick the FAL based on mag cheapness, and get like 20 mags.

I do have like 20 FAL mags, but only 8 M1A mags. Maybe the Taiwanese M1A mags will change this.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:30:15 PM EDT
I have both. And I like Both. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.
The FAL breaks down nicer for cleaning in the field, it has an adjustable gas system, and the mags are cheaper.
The M1A is ergononomically friendlier in terms of using the safety, rapidity of target acquisition (it just seems to "point" more naturally), and the felt recoil appears to be less than the FAL.

In terms of reliability, I think the M1A comes out ahead in a sandy environment. And the M1A comes out ahead in terms of accuracy, due to a heavier barrel, better sights, and a better trigger pull.

On the other hand: the cast parts used by SA is something to be very concerned about.

If money were no option, I would say: get a Chinese M14, and have it rebuilt using USGI parts.

Since I have both and have used both extensively, I tend to favor the M1A over the FAL, simpley because of the better accuracy.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:46:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 7:49:30 PM EDT by JHP]
i have been struggling with this very question....

SOCOM or DSAFAL Carbine...

I think I share the basic interest: you want a 16" CQB rifle that throws a heavy 7.62 round

Nothing wrong with that...more power to you. Don't let the goobers bust your stones about loss of velocity etc....it is a heavy hitting motherphucker and at CQB ranges - taking a tac rifle course with one of those would be a lot of fun.

The SOCOM takes std GI stocks so you could get a WhamoCamo or Karsten camo stock and upgrade the crinkle stock look.

I am leaning toward DSA myself - for several reasons: primarily because I already have an M1A. However, I love the fact that I could use the same mags if I got the SOCOM....I have a shitload of em, but after I shot with a buddy's DSA Tac Carbine w/ aimpoint I was grinning ear to ear

It is a toss up

You'll be happy either way...
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:58:36 PM EDT

Buy the American Way.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 8:11:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
As much as I love my all GI M1A, the FAL is closer in ergonomics to the AR15.

A DSA is on my must buy list to replace the Springfield SAR48 I sold years ago.

My M1A-A1 is the Tits....My DSA 58 (And I agree the ergonomics are like the AR-15)................................HOWEVER the DSA still does not FUNCTION

Need to send back to DSA and spend monies to HOPEFULLY get this resolved

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