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Posted: 7/31/2002 10:40:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 10:47:12 AM EDT by hound]
Hello all...need help with a decision...I am going to try to--very cheaply--get into a larger caliber....for ex. buying a FAL parts kit... Need advice on pro's and cons.....and anything else you guys know that I don't......
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 10:47:27 AM EDT
There's a Cetme in the local gunshop here. I'd like to get it. Mags are cheap. But it does feel clunky and awkward compared to an FN. Plus the FN is lots easier on brass if you reload.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 10:59:17 AM EDT
FN-FAL, all the way. I'd start a list why, but I'm sure all the other FALaholics will have posted their reasons by the time I finish this sentence...
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:09:23 AM EDT
ok mcnielsen....is a parts set for around 150 the way to go?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:16:07 AM EDT
If by chance you are left handed the FAL is by far the choice.I'm left handed and the H&K type are just plain akward to me.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:19:22 AM EDT
Check out the Tapco website for a G1 FAL kit. I think it's around $100-$120. They also have the US parts kit to make it a "non-assault-weapon" and lots of other cool stuff. A New receiver ranges around $300. I picked up a Hesse receiver for mine at only $150 and it works great. I've heard horror stories from others about Hesse Arms, but mine has never cracked (yet). [grenade] Tapco also sells 10 mags NIW for $99. Good luck! [beer]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:21:09 AM EDT
Hey, that was my 100th post! YAAAAH HOOO! (I guess I should get back to work, now. Aw, crap.)
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:22:51 AM EDT
No contest, FAL. Go with an Imbel receiver if you're on a budget. Stay away from Hesse.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:29:57 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 11:58:36 AM EDT
Excellent mojo.....I was just looking around and saw some really good deals on parts kits...
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 12:39:01 PM EDT
Go to [url]www.l1a.com[/url] and learn about what is needed to assemble a kit. I like the refinished G1 kits from DSA. [url]www.dsarms.com[/url] and Imbel receivers. If you are going to build the FAL you will need the tools to do so. A receiver wrench is nice, go/no go gauges, pin gauges for setting headspace and selecting a locking sholder. All of this has been gone through time and time again on the FAL board. HTH
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:34:29 PM EDT
No contest. Preban FAL over preban CETME. Postban FAL over postban CETME, especially the current stamped receiver ones. As for postban FALs avoid ALL CAI and Hesse FALs. Beware CAI built many using Imbel receivers, and while the receivers are good the rifles are complete shit. Of the production FALs stick with Entreprise, IAI M444 and DSA. But given the dramtic difference in quality you'd have to be a moron to not spend the extra bucks on the DSA which is my opinion is the best FAL for the bucks. I can't recommend bulilding one. To do it right, with parts in suitable condition would cost almost as much as buying a production FAL but would not carry the warranty of the manufacture. Look into the DSA Stg58. You really cannot build a comparable FAL for less money and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:44:37 PM EDT
I bought a CAI L1a1 and it works fine. [:\]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:52:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 1:54:15 PM EDT by GreyGhost]
I've got both.The current Cetme's are supposed to be definately on the used side.The early ones, below #4000 serial number are like new.Mine was a very low #2000 and it looked brand new.I personally wouldn't buy one of the current crop of Cetmes unless I could inspect it before I bought it. FAC has Cetmes for $299,$395,$449,$595 right now.I love my Cetme but do your homework before you buy one. FAC has G3/HK91 very good kits for $325,good for $216 plus $140 for a receiver. FAC has G1 or Imbel FAL parts kits(good) for $119 plus $189 for a Imbel gear logo receiver. You can't go wrong with either weapon.I like both of mine but because Cetmes can be hit or miss I'd go with the FAL if I had to make a choice.Both weapons have dirt cheap mags right now.FAC is one of the best sources for FAL or Cetme/HK91 parts. [url=www.gunsnstuff.net]FAC[/url] [url=www.gunboards.com/forums/]Cetme Forums[/url]
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 1:55:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: I can't recommend bulilding one. To do it right, with parts in suitable condition would cost almost as much as buying a production FAL but would not carry the warranty of the manufacture. Look into the DSA Stg58. You really cannot build a comparable FAL for less money and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
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I totally agree with this. It will cost as much or more to build an equivilent quality rifle to DSAs STG58. Plus you need to invest in tools. I would only reccomend building if you plan on building more then one or have access to the tools and know what you are doing when headspacing. The FAL is just as easy to build as an AR if you are barreling the AR. Maybe easier. If you want the best fast, buy the DSA58.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 4:10:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 4:26:26 PM EDT
If you're gonna get a parts kit and roll your own, keep in mind it will go a lot better with the proper tools, and these add to the cost of the rifle. Naturally, tool cost can be amortized to nothing if you plan on building many FALs, but for just one it can run up the cost considerably. If you already have the equivalent of a machine shop you're probably set to go, but you'll need, at a minimum: receiver wrench barrel vise heavy duty bench vise buttstock tool extractor tool various punches headspace guages dial micrometer MAPP gas torch BFH There's a couple of good videos to get as well. AGI's FN/FAL Armorers Course and ARS FAL video.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 5:15:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 5:16:05 PM EDT by mike410]
If you get a Century L1A1, buy a replacement US made gas piston. Mine shattered after 40 rounds, and I've read since that I'm not the only one with this problem. Doubt I'll ever buy any Century products again.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 5:35:51 PM EDT
Can someone explain the difference between the different types? FN FAL L1A1 Cetme Several look similar but I don't know the difference.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 7:16:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Attman: Can someone explain the difference between the different types? FN FAL L1A1 Cetme Several look similar but I don't know the difference.
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FN FAL - Fabrique National Fusil Automatique Legre, or Light Automatic Rifle made by FN. Generally a "metric" pattern rifle chambered for .308. However most kits are actually Steyr Stg58 (Sturmgewehr 1958) but are nearlly identical. The Belgian FN metric rifle generally has polymer handguards while the Steyr metric rifle has metal handguards. But virtually the identical rifle. L1A1 - Is the "inch" pattern rifle based upon the FN FAL design. Besides the inch vs. metric config there are subtle differences. The L1A1 has a larger carry handle and usually no bipod. The barrel is also not bipod cut so it cannot use the metric pattern bipod. The L1A1 is also semi only, but since we are talking postbans this is not a factor as they are ALL semi auto only. The Imbel is a L1A1 copy so it is also inch pattern. CETME - Was the predecessor of the HK G3 rifle developed by then Mauser enginners in Spain when arms production was halted in Germany following WW2. it is dramatically different from the FAL type and can hardly be confused with it. As postbans are concerned it should be noted that those built with SW "cast receivers" (early guns) are of a much higher quality and used better grade CETME parts than the current "stamped receiver" (the ones for $299 and up) guns where the receiver is dramtically inferior as well as the condition of parts used. On the topic of CAI FALs and other budget ones. Many people will tell you they own one and they shoot just fine. While they may in fact go bang, and maybe even not blow up and kill the owner, they are dramatically inferior to preban originals or postban DSAs. A Lorcin is more affordable than a Colt 1911 but it don't make a bit of difference. And if Lorcin made a 1911 pattern gun, would you really buy it?
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 7:31:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 7:40:09 PM EDT by omar]
Hound, As Marvl states you will need tools. About $300-400. Most of that you can resell after you're done if need be. Don't scrimp on parts. Imbel parts kits are running $99-250. Don't scrimp on receivers. Use DSA, Imbel or in my case, the US Coonan built FAC Type 1 that counts as a US part. I have another on order for my third build that will be on a 16 or 18" barrel. I am glad that I decided to build vs buy because: I built it, and I put better parts in it than CAI I understand it and how it functions intimately I can do a better job than Century I took far more time and care during assembly I will say that I believe Century has it's act together now, and most reports are overall favorable, but the horror stories are legion on this weapon. This Imbel rifle cost me right about $600, plus another $340 for the scope/mount/bipod: [url]http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44818[/url] Jim
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 7:35:25 PM EDT
By far almost all Imbel receivers you will see are metric. The M444 use a gear logo imbel receiver. The gear logo just looks cool, no other difference than other imbel receivers. The L2A1 is a heavy barreled full auto squad rifle with a bipod. I would go with DSA if you want quality and no worries about US part counts. Imbel receiver is an import.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 7:58:58 PM EDT
I own an HK91 clone but not a Cetme. Nearly the same thing. HK is a bit newer design but similar none the less. I also own an FN FAL. FAR better rifle IMHO. I have worked on both and each has its advantages but the FAL wins hands down. Mine is quite accurate and gives zero trouble. I have helpd several friens assemble theirs and have found each one to be accurate and reliable. Avoid Hesse like a bad disease! Enterprise is a little better. Safe and reliable but harder to assemble. The Williams Aluminum FAL reciever was a disaster with purchasers being burned. I do not agree with the arguments in favor of the DSA and high dollar kits. DSA IS an EXCELLENT gun but at $875 or so, expensive. I doubt it shoots ONE BIT better than my parts gun. MAybe a prettier finish as I just did a nice dark park job on mine; no powder coat on the handguards or anything. If I scratch it I'll just throw the offending part in the tank again. It looks good but is a shooter not a hanger. My opion of FAC could be better. Whatever grade they give to something I find to be one to two above what it is. Judgement call I guess. Harlan is a good guy though. Still the last place I buy. I suggest you buy a cheap kit from Tapco, a $209 Imbel reciever and appropriate FSE compliance parts. If you want a really great looker, buy Ironwood furniture (3 parts). MAny of us can help you assemble it and finish to taste. Somewhere around $150. or so. Century guns are kinda hit/miss. If built on an Imbel they can be fixed but generally need SOMETHING. If the price is real right, go for it, but be SURE you KNOW what you are getting!
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 8:03:13 PM EDT
What Mickey Mouse said. Exactly.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 8:03:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2002 8:25:53 PM EDT by FALShootist]
I've got two Century L1A1 rifles one is built on a Hesse receiver the other on Century's new receiver. Both of these guns are totally reliable and average about 2-2.5 inches at 100 yards for a five round group (some days I get lucky and its a little better, but thats the exception). The black plastic furniture doesn't look as good as a preban FN or a DSA but both of these guns shoot just as reliably and accurately for far less money. Even if I replace the chreap plastic with Ironwood furniture I'd still only have about $600 into the gun. Both of these guns were built on Austrailian L1A1 parts and came with what appears to be new chrome lined bore and chamber barrels. These guns are the best deal on the FAL market. Yeah some people had problems with theirs and they aren't as pretty as some other guns but the are a first class blaster for the money. BTW, Hesse is a problem if you roll your own. If you get one thats already assembled that works they work very well. Mine worked well enough that I bought the second gun. Century's receiver appears to be cosmetically nicer and works just fine. Additionally, Styeraug is mistaken, the imbel is acually a metric gun and takes metric magazines. Further, the top of the line DSA guns are brand new manufactured guns. The lower priced STg 58 is a kit gun with a new DSA receiver and the required US parts for compliance just like all the other FAL variants out their. The lower priced guns are not of a lower quality, in fact the Austrailian L1A1 guns they are built from may have seen less use than their metric counterparts. But in any case these guns are all put together with Mil spec surplus parts. Hardly the Loricin quality that Styeraug makes them out to be. If you want the top of the line buy a brand new DSA for $1,500. If you want a collector buy a preban FN for $2,000+. If you want a good shooter for a reasonable price get a Century or an M444 from Dan's and save a ton of money better used on ammo, range fees and a good scope. If you encounter minor problems they can be addressed at L1A1.com.
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 8:29:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MickeyMouse: I own an HK91 clone but not a Cetme. Nearly the same thing. HK is a bit newer design but similar none the less.
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How is a roller locking gun similar to a gas operated one?
Originally Posted By MickeyMouse: I also own an FN FAL. FAR better rifle IMHO. I have worked on both and each has its advantages but the FAL wins hands down. Mine is quite accurate and gives zero trouble. I have helpd several friens assemble theirs and have found each one to be accurate and reliable.
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Are you comparing a preban FN to a HK knockoff? Also which HK knockoff do you own? I ask because many suck. If you are comparing CAI FALs to CAI HKs then that is a different matter entirely.
Originally Posted By MickeyMouse: I do not agree with the arguments in favor of the DSA and high dollar kits. DSA IS an EXCELLENT gun but at $875 or so, expensive. I doubt it shoots ONE BIT better than my parts gun. MAybe a prettier finish as I just did a nice dark park job on mine; no powder coat on the handguards or anything. If I scratch it I'll just throw the offending part in the tank again. It looks good but is a shooter not a hanger.
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Have you owned or shot a DSA? Given that the SA58 models out perform original FNs leads me to believe you have little or no experience with them.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:04:47 AM EDT
We are certainly rolling on a lot of gun talk about rifles other than ARs....thanks to everyone....I studied a lot and I have gone to every site that you guys have listed...next question....buy parts etc. now and look for someone in DFW to help out with building or wait until Nov or Dec and buy a DSA built rifle....?
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:40:14 AM EDT
A Cetme and HK are BOTH roller locking guns and VERY similar. Designed by the same people. Some parts interchange (with minor mods). The FAL, on the other hand is gas operated. Entirely different gun. Only thing that interchanges is the ammo! Maybe I was unclear what I was comparing. I am comparing "parts gun" FAL to "parts gun" FAL, preban HK and "parts gun" Cetme (CAI). Other than finish and the obvious "evil" features I see no difference in the pre-ban vs parts guns (after the CAI HK was fixed - typical CAI assembly). One of the HK "parts guns" is a Century which took some work to get it operating properly. (Damn Hesse receiver!) Shoots just as good as the preban though. Another HK is one I assembled on an FMP receiver. It also shoots as good as the preban. I like to think my assembly quality is better than CAI but I am no doubt prejudiced! HK's preban finish looks much better. CAI park is a little rough, mine pretty decent. Moly would look more like the preban but I like it parked so that is the way it will stay. No, I do NOT own a DSA. I like them and think they are of excellent quality from looking at them. I have no doubt they are good shooters and would recommend them to anyone willing and able to spend that kind of money. I doubt their lower priced STG58 version, which is a parts gun, will outshoot mine. Outshoot me would be likely, but not the gun! Have no idea about their "top of the line" (nearly all American made) but assume it would be at least as good as the parts gun, probably a little better. I find DSA's finish to be VERY good looking. Have no idea about it's durability but assume it to be good. Some people think only new is any good. Others think a parts gun (assembled correctly) is somehow inferior to a "factory" assembled one. I Disagree. There is no doubt that original preban guns have collector value where postban do not. The postban guns are saddled with some stupid government decreed limitations but that does not detract from their accuracy or (in the case of the FAL) their reliability. Steyr, we have taken hound's thread off on our own direction. The man wants "cheap" so I presume he means postban parts gun. To me that is FAL. Less recoil, cheaper for similar quality gun, easier on brass, less picky about ammo, MUCH easier to clean, easier & cheaper to scope, better parts availabilty, easier to work on. Big advantage of HK is that registered sears ($5000)are available if one wants to do the FA thing. No such animal for a FAL that I know of. If you want to cover 5 shots with a quarter at 100 yards, buy the DSA or spend the bucks for a custom assembled gun of some flavor. Personally I think that is a bit much for a semi-auto main battle rifle; get a bolt gun. Have never had the pleasure of shooting an AR10T but assume it would be as accurate as a great AR15. Rather serious price too! In the end, some choose "form over function" others choose "function over form". Pay your money and make your choice!
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:18:48 AM EDT
MM, first error was mine. I thought you were saying HKs and FALs were similar. And while I'm sure your parts guns are very well built the difference between a factory built HK and a shop built one is dramatic. This is due to how they are supposed to be made. FALS it is not as important. More critical than factory vs. shop assembly is quality of parts, especially the bores. DSAs quality control for acceptable parts (on the Stg58 because the SA58 does NOT use part kits) is much higher than that of any other FAL manufacturer. As for DSA Stg58 vs. CAI, Hesse, etc. there just is no comparisson. Even the ones that have been correctly rebuilt still have well used, often 30 year old parts and just can't compete with the better built, newer parts found in the DSA Stg58. I have shot several and most un reworked CAI guns have problems just operating. And it is not simply a matter of finish, though the DSA is obviously better looking. Basically it comes down to this. To do a FAL using quality parts and building it the correct way you will pretty much spend what a DSA will cost you. And some people just can't afford that. You can get a used G1 kit and a good receiver (Imbel) and put it together and save a LOT of money. But it is not gonna perform the way a FAL should.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:32:27 AM EDT
I agree with SteyrAugs remarks about DSA. Taken as a whole I think the best kits out there are the Austrian ones though they are getting harder to find. The Entreprise STG58C I have looks brand new as I am sure the Austrian parts probably never saw much use. The G1 kits are pretty rough overall but still functional.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:28:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: The G1 kits are pretty rough overall but still functional.
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Indeed. You may need to replace a few things here and there. A new barrel would go along way in bringing a "parts" gun up.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 3:21:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 4:52:21 PM EDT
I just picked up my DSA STG-58A, it looks great. Fit and finish is excellent, it appears to function flawlessly. Just need to get it to the range to make 100% sure. I also bought a grade I kit from Dan's in PA, to be honest.. this kit stuff is for the birds, unless you're going to do a few of them and it's not really worth the effort or time. Just get the DSA, you can't go wrong with it, looks great, etc. I paid 795 + 15 shipping, + FFL transfer fee.. so, I don't think I can put together one or two guns for that price.. :)
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 5:22:47 PM EDT
I first owned a CAI with a Hesse receiver. Functioned perfectly, looked pretty good, fairly accurate. I really had no reason to sell it, but wanted one of the DSA STG58's and could not afford to keep both. The DSA functions perfectly and looks like a new gun. The fit and finish is far and above the Century and probably a new preban from FN. They are a beautiful rifle, and for me that is worth the extra money over a parts kit. I realize that DSA starts with a parts kit but they do a wonderful job.
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