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Posted: 3/9/2002 9:24:27 AM EDT
Gents,

I keep looking at the FAL. I have AR's, AKs, an M1A, and Remmy 700 PSS. But the FAL keeps calling me. Am I losing it?

I originally wanted to just buy more ammo and stuff but the FN FAL is catching my eye more and more. I shot one last weekend and it was a handfull.

Since you guys probably know a lot more about FALs than I do pleas talk me in or out of it gents.

Questions:

Should I buy it?

Should I stick my ARs, M1A and 700 PSS?

Buy more ammo and forget about it?

Is there anything to gain from having a FAL than what my M1A can do?

Any motivating pics?

Anyone else here made the plunge to the FAL?

Thanks for your input

Keep on shooting


Max
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 9:37:08 AM EDT
I think the FAL is an economical way into the .308 semiauto world. If you have the M1A already you have that niche filled. If you just want one, then buy it. You can never have to many guns.

www.l1a1.com/ Lots of good info over here.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 11:04:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2002 11:11:08 AM EDT by Getsome]
If you have an M1a and like it then you may not be happy with the FAL. The FAL has nothing over the M1a other than it is cheaper to purchase. It is heavier, has a heavier trigger pull, worse if not absolutely horrible rear sight assembly and is not as accurate. Having too many guns is OK as long as you like what you have.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 11:27:18 AM EDT
The FAL is a nice looking field gun but won't shoot with an upgraded M1A, much less an AR. Since the FAL isn't allowed in Service Rifle competition there hasn't been much work on making them into match rifles. And their triggers sear up too low to be good match triggers.

They're nice looking though. They belong in a good military collection.

What you have to be careful of is what you get. All the current models are made from surplus parts and some US parts. Some are worth the money and some aren't. None of them really have collector's value and I personally won't touch them. Some of them are REAL crap. Take a look at the prices and you can see. The DSAs are more expensive.

You know those shitty looking parts you see at the gun shows? That's what goes into those rebuilt guns.

Your best buy is a factory original rifle like the FN, Steyr, or Springfild SAR 48 (NOT the 48 with Israeli parts. Those parts are surplus too.)
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 11:31:57 AM EDT
Please keep the input coming. This will help me make an educated decision gentlemen.

Max
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 2:59:54 PM EDT
The FAL runs second to the M1A, IMO. However, they are sexy, especially an 18" carbine. Fun for plinking, spare parts and mags are dirt cheap. If you have the cash, buy one from a reputable maker (DSA, AzexArms, ARS, etc). Stay away from the Century, Hesse, etc. garbage guns. You might get lucky and get a good one, but it's hit or miss. I can personally recommend Mark Graham at Arizona Response Systems very highly. Get an FAL to plink with, save the M1A for serious bidness.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 3:49:10 PM EDT
Input from a Die Hard FAL fan

I bought a brand new DSA 21 inch medium contour barreled FAL with hooded match peep sight about 6 months ago. Brand new on domestic FAL receiver (which is the best production in the world right now, no I dont work for DSA but after I bought this gun I became a believer, Halleleuia!) Go to the DSA website and look at the rest of the great specs on this rifle. Everything is brand new in the rifle and its about $1700. Throw in 50 excellant condition FAl mags made in Autria for about 10$ each and you got yourself a full combat rig for about $2200.

The other posters here are corrent about surplus FALS only in that perhaps 85% of FALS for sale in USA are built on used surplus parts. As far as new production, all other USA manufacturers dont produce a product worth even test firing. The Surplus Frankenstein rifles are risky to buy unless you absolutely know what to look for, and even then you risk getting a real lemon. As I said before the brand new DSA is about $1700, you can get a really good Frankenstein rifle for about $1200 or so. (Arizona Response Systems comes to mind, they also build the rifles on DSA receivers) Paying anything less you are just going to get a 3.0 MOA rifle, if that, with spotty reliability and a crappy feel.

Just a primer, the best receivers, perhaps even superior to the original Beligian manufacture are DSA. Second are IMBEL receivers made in Brazil. You save about $150 to $200 going with the IMBEL. You can get plastic or metal handguards, the plastic dont heat up as fast. The hooded match rear sight is adjustable at the push of a button to 700 meters. DSA also makes THE scope mount for the gun which fits flush with their receviers. The FAL also has a gas regulator knob which allows you to set the gun for the ammo to reduce the battering of the receiver. FALS also come in Metric or Inch pattern. Inch of course going to England and Canada and Metric going to about 91 other countries. Stick with Metric pattern because the Mags are more plentiful. Also you can have an integrated bipod semi permanantly attached to the gun.

As an M1A owner I know you know that the .223 is a pop gun cartridge in comparison to .308. I have fired about 800 rds through the M1A and I think though, that the FAL is slightly more combat ready and useful then the M1A. The criticisms of the gun, in that the trigger is not the best is true, but you can oversome that with practice and familiarity. The 10 pound weight of the gun is a problem only if you are carrying around an extra 25 pounds on your stomach in donuts and beer. BTW the mags are heavy too, all steel. FAL's field strip easily and frankly, the DSA variety is a tack driver as far as combat weapons go. The mag release is well placed as the bolt release and chargeing handle. Much better for combat applications then the M1A, but of course this is entirely subjective. Another thing, the 18 inch barrel is sexy but it wrecks the reason we go to .308. I want to go through both sides of a car and the tree behind it at 500 meters, cutting that barrel does not help. Take out your Bushmaster Dissapator if you want 16 or 18 inch barrels. Plus the report and blow back of an 18 inch is awful.

In closing, if you want a nice rifle to round out a collection at a cheap price, dont do it just buy yourself more M1A mags. The cheap clones are a waste of money at any price.



Link Posted: 3/9/2002 4:20:28 PM EDT
dsafals,

Thanks for the insight. I am still contemplating on the FAL.


Max
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 4:32:42 PM EDT
Nuthin wrong with a FALs , a DSA is the one to get but if its out of your price range the last batch of ones made by Century (I know , I know )
are fine as long as you buy it fromn a local daler with a GOOD return policy . I like my Oly T48 FAL . The only problem I had was the feed ramp had to be touched up . Besides you can never have too many toys , from your list you need to add an Enfield in 303 , a 8mm mauser one of those nice Turkish ones , maybe M44 yugo , and ....... well you can see how many more toys there are to get !
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:16:32 PM EDT
You can get a parts gun put together and buy lots of mags under the purchase price of an M1A.
I bought a DSA upper and a new (surplus) parts kit. Had it put together by Rich at Century Gun Works in Carson City NV. It is perfect! He did an outstanding job.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:18:09 PM EDT
I've been looking at DSA's STG58... built on their reciever and a lot cheaper than the regular models. The guys over at www.FalFiles.com were very enthusiastic about the STG58 being as good as the higher-end models. I'm getting one as soon as Uncle Sam decides to send my tax refund.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:23:09 PM EDT
i have one and really like it. I bought one of the cheap century guns so it needed a little work. Once it was right it was a keeper. It's true they are not as accurate as an m1a, but they were not designed to be. I consider them the ak47 of the .308 battle rifles. Cheap, tough as nails, and very reliable. It's also much more fun to blast away with than an m1a.

I had an m1a and frankly wasn't that impressed with it. the fal is heavier but to me it has better balance. jmho.

mike
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:43:30 PM EDT
I highly recommend the DSA STG 58A FAL. Built from matching serial number Steyr kits with hammer forged barrels on the DSA receiver, the quality of fit and finish is outstanding. You should be able to find one for about 900 bucks.

Like yourself I kept looking at FALS for a long time, and my only regret now is that I didn't get one sooner. I went with metric instead of Commonwealth (inch) because I liked the STG configuration and there seemed to be a better availability of parts and mags.

You can buy NIW Belgian FAL mags for $10 right now, and good Austrian and Portugese suplus ammo is plentiful. You'll hear a lot of people complain about the FAL triggers, but my DSA has a far better trigger pull and feel than my stock Bushmaster trigger so I suspect this depends on the parts kit used to build the rifle. The hammer/trigger/sear combo is usually replaced with domestic parts to get the right U.S. parts content on kit FALs, I have no complaints with the DSA trigger. The standard rear sight isn't the greatest but you can fix that easily by ordering a Belgian hooded sight from DSA for $25.

I don't think you're losing it. My AR's have been moved farther back in the safe so they're not in the way when I want to take the FAL out now. These are fantastic rifles as long as you get one that's built to spec with good components. The only problem with a FAL is that once you have get one you'll probably want another.

You can find tons of information on these at www.falfiles.com
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 6:24:03 PM EDT
You guys are a bad influence. The more I hang out here. The more money I end up owing.


Oh well at least I will have more rifles.

I'll place the order for mags monday and save for the DSA FAL carbine.




max
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 8:22:33 PM EDT
Might I suggest a G3 type instead of a FAL?? The GD FAL has a gas regulator that has to be adjusted every time you switch ammo lots.

The G3 is recoil operated & you just load & shoot!!! Much more fun.

Of course both are readily found as parts guns in the $450-600 range & they also vary a bit in quality.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 8:34:52 PM EDT
i have never moved my gas regulator since it was first set. I have fired everything from milsurp to premium ammo. It has never failed to cycle or suffered excessive recoil. The adjustable gas feature is neat but is also sort of set and forget.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 8:40:35 PM EDT
If you consider that the FAL is one of the most successful MBRs of all time, I would say you should definitely own one. If you want a really good one you're gonna have to put out the bucks and get a good preban, which will run you $1500 to $4000 depending on model.

Since they can no longer be imported and there's few good US manufacturers building new ones (DSA comes to mind) many people resort to building their own from demil'ed kits. This can be very rewarding in its own right, and you can end up with a 3 MOA gun without too much effort.

There's nothing to keep someone from tricking out a FAL like any other gun, there just doesn't seem to be much demand for it.

Here's one of mine, a preban Israeli with a SUIT scope:

Link Posted: 3/10/2002 8:56:22 AM EDT
I have a Springfield Armory SAR-48 I bought many moons ago and have never ever had a problem with it. Believe it or not I actually sold my HK-91 to go with the FN and have never regretted it one bit,other than what the HK-91 now sells for...otherwise I'm a happy FAL owner,the rifle shoots great,never malfunctions and is one mean ass looking rifle
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 8:59:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i have never moved my gas regulator since it was first set. I have fired everything from milsurp to premium ammo. It has never failed to cycle or suffered excessive recoil. The adjustable gas feature is neat but is also sort of set and forget.




I agree 100% with what Beer Slayer says...I set mine once and have never had any problems since
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 10:27:33 AM EDT
maxwell,


I just like you have ARs, AKs, a Remington 700PSS, and have had my eye on the DSA FALs since the early part of 1998.

I read everything I could get my hands on about the DSA rifles. What I came up with is that the DSA FAL is better than the original FAL and I heard nothing but good about DSA's product and service.

After three years of have the DSA rifles calling me in the spring of 2001 I broke down and bought a DSA SA58 Standard, I'm kinda on the short side at 5'06" but this was the most well balanced rifle I had ever held. I would have thought that the 21" barrel would have been a little long for me but the rifles was "just right". I was so impressed with it that in Sept I purchased a DSA STG58 with an 18" barrel and synthetic handguards.

I don't care too much for the 16" barrel because they have excessive muzzle flash and noise. The .308 need approximately 18" of barrel to get a full powder burn. The STG58 is a little heavier than the SA58, but both rifles were worth every cent that I spent on them. You won't be disappointed in a DSA rifle.

Go a head and get a DSA, what's holding you back? Money? Then look at it this way: car payments, morgages, and groceries are highly over rated when you are considering a purchase of a new rifles as nice as these ;-) Here are some pics for you.

DSA STG58 with 18" barrel, short STG58 muzzle brake, and synthetic handguards:


DSA SA58 Standard



Semper Fi
Jeff
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 1:04:09 PM EDT
Jeff-

Those are two nice looking FALs. I have an ARS StG58 and am getting ready to order a DSA. Is the finish on your two guns exactly the same? Is it 'dark charcoal grey' or black, like on the Belgium Pre-bans? Also, what brake did you
get on the SA58?

Thanks,
John
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 1:18:36 PM EDT
John,

I had to look real close because the colors are very close. The barrel on the STG58 is more of a charcoal gray, but the rest of the rifle is a shade or two darker. You can't really tell unless you look close under good light.

The SA58 is the darker color. The SA58 has a 3 hole style brake that is actually part of the barrel, not a seperate brake. It's the standard brake on the DSA SA58 Standard and Carbines. Sorry the pics aren't better or you would be able to see it more clearly.


Semper Fi
Jeff
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 1:43:02 PM EDT
Thanks, Jeff

I guess I'll have to get one of each.

John
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 4:02:42 PM EDT
If you buy one of DSA's SA58's, remember that the price listed is the MSRP. Hopefully you go through a dealer who charges a more reasonable markup than MSRP. When I ordered my standard SA58, I was prepared to pay the $1495 list price (Aug. 2000 price) but my dealer only charged $100 over his cost. That saved me a few hundred bucks.
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