The L1A1 worked great! It finally felt like it should. A lot of work went into "tweaking" it, but I do enjoy messing with this stuff. Several at the shoot said they considered buying one of these but they were concerned about the quality. I would give this advice with my experience (and I am not a gunsmith). Look it over close and if you’re not used to working with metal or fine machinery, then get some help. Also be cautious when you remove any metal!
Some things I went through because it just did not shoot “right”:
· Try to rotate the barrel…really twist. (mine was loose and sent it back)
· Look at the insides of the upper to see if the sides that the carrier rides between are straight and do not have milling grooves where they cut too deep or did not remove enough metal. The finish covered most of this on mine so I used a fine steel wool and it had lines where the machining was wavy. (used a straight edge and it was actually curved in and the bolt hung up on it)
· Check to see if the hammer (the US parts) is smooth on the top. My hammer had a nasty casting mark and a rough pitting on the surface, so I polished it. All the friction really added up.
· The rat-tail (push rod on the back of the bolt carrier that compresses a recoil spring in the stock) must clear the machined hole in the lower receiver. I did this by removing the top cover and watching the action to see if the rod hits the sided of the “hole”. The hole in my receiver was machined off to the left and a small amount of metal needed to be removed. Again dragging and more friction. Get a spring tool to work on the stock. It was a lifesaver.
· When I was looking for my problems I also took a very small file and cleaned up the oval opening where the hammer comes through the upper. The bottom of my bolt carrier hit the sharp edges. I also used fine steel wool to smooth some of the parts because after 200 rounds the finish in the moving parts still was not “worn in” and as I know now all the things added up made it really a sloppy, sticky and rough action.
This sounds like way too much trouble, but look at the price. If was almost half the $ of the “higher” FALs and I purchased it to shoot not to collect. It is really a reliable, smooth rifle and a pleasure to shoot. The accuracy is excellent at a hundred yards open sights, don’t give me that sub-moa stuff with you bolt rifle it’s a FAL and ammo is under $5 a box. I hope this will help some who are discouraged and don’t realize that these can be really fun rifles to shoot at the range.
If you want a FAL, get one now. The BATF has issued a ruling that all FAL parts imported now can be used for parts replacement in existing rifles only. I.e. they cannot be used to build a new rifle.
SHD, I think my Izzy FAL needs a better HTS, probably an FSE. The original one from IAI is rough, looks like those found on Century guns. Mine keeps giving me light primer strikes causing multiple misfires. I found out that the side of the hammer was rubbing the rat-tail on its way to hit the firing pin. This obviously reduces the OOmmphh needed to set off the primer. Using a Dremel, I removed some material off the hammer. Hammer is no longer rubbing the rat-tail. Went back to the range this morning. Disappointed. The misfire was still there, although at a much reduced frequency. Looks like I need a new hammer spring and might as well a new HTS set.
If you are buying one of these FALs from Century look for the things SHD mentioned above, and also find out if the hammer is rubbing the rat-tail when it is released.
Don't you just LOVE the way those butt-pumpers make new rulings with the full power of law, without anything as much as a by-your-leave?
Get FAL. NOW.