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Posted: 6/26/2002 12:30:30 AM EDT
OK, I have a 16" shorty AR, a Remington 870 12 gauge, a Romanian AK, a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle and an SKS as well as pistols and a few scoped bolt guns. Add to that a Ruger 10/22.

Now, I realize I have no .30 caliber MBR in my collection (I do have an M1 Garand Blue Sky import with Winchester receiver) and would really like to add one to it. I have looked at all the various guns out there. What I really would like to have is an M1A Springfield, but the cost is just too much. So I have settled on the FAL design as my next favorite. I also looked at the various G3's and CETME'S on the market, but have almost ruled those out due to questionable quality.

What FAL type rifles are there out there that are of decent quality? It doesn't have to be the best....just one that functions well and be of good enough quality that I could depend on and be able to trust it. I have looked at the M-444 made by IAI with Imbel receiver for about $675. Is this a good FAL? Also saw one from Entreprise Arms with an Imbel receiver for about $799. How are these? And I also know that the DSA's are probably the best FAL on the market these days, but I think they may be too expensive. What do these go for? I also notice that SOG has a cheap L1A1 rifle they are selling. From what I can gather these things have a poor finish but otherwise work surprisingly well. What do you guys think of these?

Anyway I have have asked to many questions already to be remembered, so I will stop pestering. If you can tell me who offers affordable FAL's with good quality, please drop a few lines in reply. Thanks so much.

---Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:30:35 AM EDT
I have an M-444 that is very good. Compares to std M1A in performance. I have a .308 Saiga that is as good a shooter, but only holds 8 rounds. I have had several re-barrell Garands that were very good. The Century L1A's seem to have gotten better from postings in the FAL files, but I have never owned one. I have owned a CETME, traded it off due to many minor problems. In my opinion, the bargains in .308 are the Saiga, M-444, and Garands that are done right.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:49:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 3:01:58 AM EDT
Iam building my own FN-FAL's (2), great experience i believe, going to make one into a real long range shooter, the other to stock performance to sale to off set to cost a little of the other. This week Century Arms has a sell on receivers for (get this) $139.95.!!.
Probly spend about 20 bucks on two or three tools, I'll be in it
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 3:27:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 3:42:36 AM EDT
Waverunner,

I would love to have a DSA, but I'm just not sure I can afford one of their rifles. My price range is roughly $500-$800. That will get me an M-444 or perhaps an Entreprise. If I can get a DSA in that ballpark, I will be all over them. Seems the prices I saw on their website was more like $1200-$1500 though. That's more than I have or would be willing to spend on any rifle. Perhaps that was only suggested retail price though.

I have been wanting a .308 for so long now, but just can't make up my mind what I want. I wish the .308 field was as clear cut as .223. The AR pretty much has the market, along with the Mini-14. But with .308's it seems there are so many choices. I just want to make sure I get the right one instead of a piece of junk. Otherwise I would just take a chance on it and get a Century CETME or L1A1.

The FAL seems to be the one that stands out as the creme of the crop though in terms of quality and value. I can also now see why these rifles are so popular and why FAL owners never have just one! These things are like Lay's potato chips.....no one can eat just one! No one can own just one FAL. LOL! I will probably buy my first one already assembled. Then later I may get a kit from Tapco and try my hand at building one. I know a fella who has built a couple of his own from these kits so he probably already has the tools. I'll see if he can assist and allow me to use his stuff.

Oh and thanks for the suggestions so far. You folks are always so helpful.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 3:54:10 AM EDT
Get an AR-10.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:06:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Waverunner,

I would love to have a DSA, but I'm just not sure I can afford one of their rifles. My price range is roughly $500-$800.



Thru a friendly FFL (who would sell this to you at cost, if you pay him a $50 - 75 transfer fee) the DSA Stg58A is $795.

There is NO other comparable quality .308 MBR out there.

Do a search on "DSA Stg58A" (in this forum) and you can see some of my glowing reviews as well as range reports.

Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:45:11 AM EDT
What about a VEPR? Check them out at Robinson Armament Co..

223REM
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:17:54 AM EDT
DSA STG-58 "kit gun" $795 dealer cost.



It uses excellect quality Styer used parts off of rifles that must not have seen any use and an American receiver. I inspected this rifle from butt stock to muzzle brake and found but two tiny scratches in the shoulder stock which go un-noticed among the dozens I've added in the field.

It has enough US parts to not have to worry about magazine followers and floor plates so you can use cheap Austrian $5-$8 steel magazines.

I would stay way way away from the Century and other bottom feeder rifles. If you're just going to buy this for a plinker get whatever you want but if this rifle is ever to be fired when it counts spend the extra 30% and get something that you can bet your life on.

You only buy quality once.

PS: I recommend a 21 inch barrel on the .308 rifles to get every ft/sec that you're paying for. The extra 8 ounces of barrel over a 16 inch gun is about 10 rounds of ammunition in weight - you'll not likely notice the difference but you're target sure will.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:55:07 AM EDT
DSA StG58 kit gun or anything built by Arizona Response Systems (ARS). Occasionally you can get good deals through the EE here or on FAL Files.

Listen to Paul and others who tell you to stay away from the bottom feeders.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 8:47:41 AM EDT
Check over on the FalFiles site. www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php I'd go with a good used gun. You might find a good one there,
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 10:08:11 AM EDT
You may want to do a search over at the www.falfiles.com, there is some good info there.

I have read of quite a few problems with the Enterprise receivers, you may want to do a search under the user name "gunplumber" with Arizona Response Systems, he has be quite vocal about the quality control issues with the Enterprise receivers. You may also want to look at the DSA website in the "Magazine Article" section and read the articles by Gun Test and Soldier of Fortune, both article address a heat treat problem with the Enterprise receivers.

There have been some recent review of the M-444's over at the fal files. There have been a few people that have gotten bad M-444s and the company that makes them (Liberty Arms or something to that effect) refuses to stand behind their product.

I did a lot of research before I purchased a FAL and I kept coming back to DSA because of their quility and customer service. I ended up puchasing 2 different DSA rifles and I'm very pleased with both the quality of their product and their outstanding product.

I've always been of the mentality that I'd rather spend a few more dollars now and only cry once and get a quality product, instead of trying to save a few dollars and end up crying twice (cry the first time when you get a lemon, cry the second time when you have to spend another large some of money to get the rifle you should have gotten in the first place). Just my .02

DSA STG58A with 18" barrel, short STG58 muzzle brake and synthetic handguards:



DSA SA58 Standard (USA made FAL)


Good Luck


Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:44:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SP10:
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Get an AR-10.




AR10



Think DSA STG58 for your price range and don't look back. Seriously.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:06:28 PM EDT
I will get blasted for this but oh well,

Century Arms L1A1 Sporter, w/century receiver, Cabela's $499.00, Cabela's has a satisfaction guarantee policy for return of it if you are not happy.

I like mine, works great, looks fine and it has the right parts in it.

dave
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:03:09 PM EDT
I recently wrestled with the same issue and settled on a DS Arms STG 58.

You indicate that you live in KY...well...if you happen to live in Northern Kentucky check out Shooters Supply in Loveland, Oh. I currently have one on order through these guys which they charging me $900 for. Once you get through shipping and dealer transfer cost, it is is roughly the same amount of dough as getting it at cost from someone else. I should note that currently there is a 6-8 week backlog on rifles with a Type I or II receiver, and 4 weeks on a Type III.

As far as Shooters Supply goes, this is one of the best gun shops I have ever done business with. Very helpful, friendly staff. Great prices.

Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:36:28 PM EDT

Snip

I should note that currently there is a 6-8 week backlog on rifles with a Type I or II receiver, and 4 weeks on a Type III.

Snip




Now don't confuse him with receiver types! Don't worry about the receiver type as the differences are mostly just cosmetic unless you're talking full-auto.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 6:51:15 PM EDT
USMC03 -


Everytime I see those FAL's on the rumpled bedsheets, I keep thinking "a FAL with the 'come hither' look."



Link Posted: 6/26/2002 6:51:55 PM EDT
Ok, due to the overwhelming response in favor of the DSA, I have decided to go with one...the standard length DSA STG-58 type rifle. I do want something that is good and will work right without having to invest lots more time and money in it. And since it appears that I may be able to get one for about $800 or so since I have a dealer who doesn't try to get rich off each transfer (about $25 usually), I might as well just get it. Isn't that much more than some of the competition.

Later, I may try to put together a kit with the Tapco G1 stuff and an Imbel receiver. It appears that you can build a quality kit for less than $400 no problem. One of these or perhaps even an L1A1 from SOG could become my plinker and beater...that way I can still have fun and shoot and not worry about damaging my good one which will receive extra special attention.

Someone mentioned an AR-10. I wouldn't mind having one of these but they seem overpriced to me and the cost of magazines is outrageous. I mean I would much rather pay $6-$10 for quality 20 rd. FAL mags than $80 for AR-10 mags!

Also, in response to another suggestion, I looked hard at the Saiga and VEPR II .308's, but the problem I found with these were mag costs also. I wouldn't mind having 8 or 10 rounds of .308 at all, but spare mags of this capacity were usually about $45 each. Just too much for me considering they only hold 8 rounds.

Now that I have made a decision on rifle, I guess the next will be ammo. I suppose Hirt, Radway Green or Portugese will work just fine. Looks like the reports I have seen all say Port works just fine and it seems to be widely available at a good price. I still can't understand why The Sportman's Guide has the muzzle velocity of this ammo listed at only 2,252 fps when it is obviously much hotter than that. Oh well, they have listed all of their .308 surplus as such as long as I can remember.

Thanks to all for the good responses to this thread. You helped me make a good sound decision about a rifle that I had little knowledge of. It is appreciated.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 6:52:52 PM EDT
This is my Century L1A1 Klinton Sporter with the IMBEL receiver, aka, 'BOTTOM FEEDER' -

the pre-ban Dissipator was in Y2K NeighborHOOD config at the time.
The L1A1 I have has been reliable when not using the 'shock absorber' unit I tried.
I like it.
Wouldn't kick a real deal DSA Carbine outta bed, though!
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:17:19 PM EDT
C_H -

While yer burning a hole in yer wallet, you may want to consider two options on the DSA Stg58A.

1. Synthetic plastic injection molded handguard from DSA(the metal one get QUITE toasty warm.

2. A DSA top cover / scope mount.

But don't put off getting teh rifle if these don't fit the budget.


Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:19:22 PM EDT
Bus -

dude.....


Why are your rifles shedding???



Link Posted: 6/26/2002 9:27:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By garandman:
Bus -

dude.....


Why are your rifles shedding???






????
I must be tired or something.
Shedding? ( I'm afraid to ask, but, lemme have it... ) Guessing is beyond me at this hour.
"Me no get, Kemosabe."
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 2:47:59 AM EDT
The mags for the Saigas are $19.99. At $300.00 wholesale for the gun, you can get the gun, a scope mount, a good scope, and extra mags galore for a lot less than any of the high grade FALs. With the scope, the .308 Saiga is very good. The quality of the construction is very good. It is the bargain in this area. On the Fal side, the M-444 is the most bang for the buck. The DSA's are great just as the AR10's, but you pay a lot extra for this privledge. I am not sure where the rumor of IAI not standing behind their products came from, but from all the postings I have read, they do just as good as anyone else. I have never had to test this with mine.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:14:45 AM EDT
Did a quick search over at the www.falfiles.com and came up with these not so good reviews of the M444

www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20618&highlight=M444


www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=41671&highlight=m444


www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20437&highlight=M444


www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20309&highlight=M444

I did a search in the "Reviews" section and got these 4 different review on the M444 off of the first page. Not trying to rub salt in anyone's wound, just seems like going with an M444 is a hit and miss proposal. BTW I have seen some good reviews, but there are quite a few bad reviews out there also.

Good luck!

Link Posted: 6/27/2002 11:39:18 AM EDT
Hello,
I have a Century Arms L1A1 Sporter also , once the bugs are worked out they are keepers , i keep mine set on 5 on the port and it will take anything i feed it .


TS2

Link Posted: 6/27/2002 12:24:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TargetShooter2:
Hello,
I have a Century Arms L1A1 Sporter also , once the bugs are worked out they are keepers , i keep mine set on 5 on the port and it will take anything i feed it .


TS2

]



Out of curiousity, what kind of groups do you get with the scope???

With irons, I was pleasantly surprised to be getting 3-4" groups at 200 yards with the crappy irons.

Link Posted: 6/27/2002 4:34:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BusMaster007:

Originally Posted By garandman:
Bus -

dude.....


Why are your rifles shedding???






????
I must be tired or something.
Shedding? ( I'm afraid to ask, but, lemme have it... ) Guessing is beyond me at this hour.
"Me no get, Kemosabe."


He's talking about the crap on the wall behind the rifles.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 5:07:02 PM EDT
Oh.
Whew.
Good thing I got some sleep!
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:11:50 PM EDT
Id save for the M1A, bare bones ones are going for about a grand. Great buy IMO, Id save and get that.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:22:58 PM EDT
I have an Argentine FN and love it, however if I were to have to buy a post-ban model, DSA is the only way that I would go as far as for a solidly built FN variant. I am getting the bug for a carbine length model ever since I fired one and found that the overall accuracy of the weapon had degraded little, by shortening the barrel and gas tube. You might want to consider the carbine version as well. After an FN variant, I'd look towards an M-14/M1A to add to the collection as well.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:48:02 PM EDT
I think Eagle Arms (Armalite) AR-10 is $999. YES, I know it is out of your budget, but wait a few months, save your money, and get a rifle with a warranty.

I have a SAR-8 (Springfield Armory receiver HK-91). I like it, but it is finicky sometimes...
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 9:07:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 9:11:08 PM EDT by Mickeymike]
A 223 cartride weighs about half of a 308 cartridge. If you are talking about a SHTF situation, you do not want a 308 as your primary weapon. You can carry twice as many 223 cartridges, and this is exactly what you will be doing; carrying it. If you want a bigger cartritge, you are better off having a SECONDARY/BACKUP bolt action in that caliber (and 20-10,000,000 rounds of ammunition) with the option of dumping it if it gets too burdensome.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 10:47:41 AM EDT
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