DSA SA-58: Should I bother?


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lwaldron
July 14, 2005, 12:39 AM
So, I've been considering making an FAL my next purchase. Well, when I get out of **********, that is.
The DSA SA-58 looks sooooooo good, but I keep reading terrible reviews about performance right out of the box. People seem to keep saying they're having to endlessly tweak to get the rifle to cycle, or even having to send the rifle back to DSA to get problems fixed.
I read about having to grind rails in the receiver. I read about sights being a problem.
These are pricey rifles, so I'm wondering if anyone can say whether it's worth the money to buy one. Is it always a problem to get them into working shape? Or can I expect it to work out of the box?

THX

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Cesiumsponge
July 14, 2005, 12:51 AM
I occasionally drool over the DSA FALs like the SA58 in their catalog but I didn't realize they had issues since I never looked too far into them due to their price.

If you did the research and found out they have problems that aren't easily resolved at home, maybe it's worth looking at another platform like the M1A or a .308 AR.

Rebar
July 14, 2005, 02:01 AM
I've never heard of problems with DSA. The problems you stated, I've heard plenty about the Springfield M1A.

rick_reno
July 14, 2005, 02:32 AM
Somneone had one posted for sale at our range - saw the sign tonight. $850 and it came with 6 mags. What do these things cost new? The ad stated "as is" - I wonder if that's a hint of problems?

Coronach
July 14, 2005, 06:32 AM
Is he selling an SA-58, or an STG-58? The STG is a austrian STG kit on a DSA receiver (which should work just fine), the other is an all-new DSA rifle. "Like new", that's a so-so price on a STG. For a like-new SA-58, that's a smoking deal.

If DSAs have problems, this is the first I have heard of them. My STG works great, and DSA has a lifetime warranty.

Are you sure you're not thinking of other makers' FALs?

Mike

Father Knows Best
July 14, 2005, 08:04 AM
The DSA SA-58 has a great reputation. In fact, I'd say it has the best reputation for out-of-the-box reliability of any .308 battle rifle. I have one, and I have friends who have them. None of us have ever had problems.

The DSA is built in the U.S. entirely out of new U.S.-made parts, and it is put together with great care. DSA receivers are universally recognized as the highest quality FAL "clone" receivers available.

There are lots of other FAL clones out there, and they all aspire to the quality of SA-58's. They are made on Imbel and other receivers and assembled using parts kits that are take-offs from used FAL's. Often, they are not well assembled, and may not fit well at all. That's why you go with an SA-58 -- you're getting a brand new rifle with parts all manufactured by one company and assembled with care.

$850 for a used SA-58 is a very good price, depending on configuration and condition. If it's been used a lot and abused, that may be only a fair price. New ones often sell for far more than that. I don't often see them sell for much less.

LeadPumper
July 14, 2005, 08:10 AM
DSA has, in my experience, put out some superior products. But they, like any manufacturer, can have problems.

I can only attest to my DSA STG 58A working flawlessly out of the box, with no tweaking or modifications required.

I have played with, but do not currently own a SA58 (yet), but will probably pick up a PARA one of these days.

DSA does have a lifetime warranty on their rifles, and they do honor it from those that I've read about on the FAL FILES (http://falfiles.com/) .

Here's my current set-up:

DSA STG-58A type 2 receiver with TAPCO T-48 front, Versapod Bipod, VO windage adjustable rear peep, and Falcon Ergo G3 grip.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v502/jgelner/Other/FAL1.jpg

As always, check the individual gun out before buying, but DSA has one of the best company reputations in the FAL business.

-LeadPumper

Father Knows Best
July 14, 2005, 08:30 AM
LeadPumper, that's a nice looking rifle, and GREAT picture. Nice work on the photography.

And I will echo what he said -- even the best manufacturers occasionally let a bad one slip by. Check every rifle out. In some ways, used guns are better than new, at least if you know the seller. That way, there is someone who has shot the gun before and can tell you of any problems with it. With new guns, it's always a crap shoot.

Kestrel
July 14, 2005, 10:30 AM
lwaldron,

I haven't heard that about DSAs. They actually have about the best reputation among the various FAL manufacturers. Their receiver metal finishing is better than the original FNs. (I'm talking about the mill-work, not a surface finish, such as parkerizing, etc. They are good on that account, too.)

Steve

Roadkill
July 14, 2005, 10:39 AM
I've got the STG58, runs like a sewing machine. I reload for it so the gas setting sometimes needs adjustment, but with either the Australian or Portugese ammo its flawless.

rk

wally
July 14, 2005, 11:05 AM
Miltary Gun Supply has been selling some very nice STG-58 built on Imbel recievers for $800. I got one at a gun show here a while back 100% out of the box and I put 5 rounds of surlplus ammo off sand bags into 3" at 100 yrds -- not impressive for most, but with my presbyopia and iron sights its fantastic and the amoung best groups I've gotten with this ammo even with scoped rifles.

They are on the web and will ship to your FFL: Sales@MilitaryGunSupply.com

--wally.

Chuck R.
July 14, 2005, 12:40 PM
Iíve had my DSA SA58 for a little over a year now, and itís been flawless. Iíve shot a little over 1K rounds through it mostly reloads and some Port without a hitch. Itís reasonably accurate for a ďbattle rifleĒ and very easy to maintain.

Find a dealer that will handle a transfer, get him/her to send DSA a letter stating that you can deal directly with DSA, and youíll get the ďdealer priceĒ. I did and my SA58 set me back about $1075 total.

Last month I ordered one of DSAís lightweight ďParaĒ lowers for it. So far Iíve been very happy with the rifle and the company.

Chuck

Kestrel
July 14, 2005, 01:13 PM
By the way, leadpumper - great picture!

taliv
July 14, 2005, 01:13 PM
somewhat off topic: are the gas adjustments in those things enough to permit it to cycle with subsonic 308 ammo?

ny32182
July 14, 2005, 01:37 PM
So, I've been considering making an FAL my next purchase. Well, when I get out of **********, that is.
The DSA SA-58 looks sooooooo good, but I keep reading terrible reviews about performance right out of the box. People seem to keep saying they're having to endlessly tweak to get the rifle to cycle, or even having to send the rifle back to DSA to get problems fixed.
I read about having to grind rails in the receiver. I read about sights being a problem.
These are pricey rifles, so I'm wondering if anyone can say whether it's worth the money to buy one. Is it always a problem to get them into working shape? Or can I expect it to work out of the box?

You were probably reading my threads about my initial "problems" with my SA-58. Let me just first say that since I corrected them, I have not had a single malfunction of any kind. The rifle is also very accurate for a FAL style rifle. I've shot groups of less than 2 moa off of a very crappy rest.

In the end, all I had to do was break the edge of the receiver rails with some fine grit sandpaper, and put on a taller rear sight.

The sighting issue is one that is inherent to the FAL design... with the front sight on the gas block, and the rear sight on the lower receiver, there is lots of room for tolerances to stack up. But, once you find the sights you need, there shouldn't be a problem.

My SA-58 was my first and only FAL, and that is why I posted and made a big deal about the issues. If I bought another one today, I'd polish the rails before even taking it out to shoot for the first time, and if the sights were off, I'd just get the one I needed; it wouldn't even warrant a post to ask about it. :)

So, would I buy another DSA rifle? Yes, I would. If I had more money at the moment, of course. :D

GunGoBoom
July 14, 2005, 01:37 PM
news to me, too - where did you hear bad about the DSAs?

nickthecanuck
July 14, 2005, 01:59 PM
I love my SA58.

The only thing I would have done differently in hind sight would be getting a shorter than 21" barrel. I am going to para-ize it whenever DSA gets their parts in stock and have the barrel chopped to 18"

I have never had any of the problems you cite.

lwaldron
July 14, 2005, 11:33 PM
Yeah, it was likely your posts I was reading. I was also poking around some on FALFiles. There, some folks were complaining about customer service.

I sure like Chuck R.'s idea about getting the dealer price. Should I ever get out of **********, that's how I'd go about purchasing an SA-58, going through a dealer to get one straight from the factory.

DSA's website has a reprint of an article about a 10,000 round torture test. Fun reading.

It's interesting reading what folks have to say about the accuracy of these rifles. I get the feeling my Garand might shoot tighter groups. I'm not really a "group guy", though. I like shooting holes in metallic objects.

JShirley
July 15, 2005, 02:57 AM
DSA has always had the best rep I'm aware of for FAL/STG-58 type rifles.

Father Knows Best
July 15, 2005, 06:29 AM
It's interesting reading what folks have to say about the accuracy of these rifles. I get the feeling my Garand might shoot tighter groups. The FAL platform is not known for its accuracy. An M1 Garand is definitely capable of much better accuracy. Both of my Garands, and my HK 91, will outshoot my SA-58. AK-47's aren't known for their accuracy, either, but you don't get an AK or an FAL to shoot tiny groups on paper.

Coronach
July 15, 2005, 07:22 AM
The FAL is combat accurate. The are, in general, better than AKs in the accuracy department, and have a more powerful, flatter-shooting round, to boot. They are not, as a rule, as accurate as M1s, M14s or AR-15s. They are, however, accurate enough for "social" work.

Mike

MAUSER88
July 15, 2005, 11:06 AM
"Social Work", I like that. I think I'm going to use that phrase!! :D Thanks.

Chairman Meow
July 15, 2005, 05:47 PM
Anybody know how accurate the higher end DSA SA58's are? Do any of them shoot MOA groups?

Coronach
July 15, 2005, 06:36 PM
I'm not sure who coined that phrase, but it really has stuck.

Mike ;)

Drakejake
July 15, 2005, 06:53 PM
How are the triggers on the SA-58 and STG 58A? Long and heavy or short and light? Lots of take-up or none?

Thanks,

Drakejake

Father Knows Best
July 15, 2005, 07:55 PM
Pretty good for a battle rifle. Better than my PTR-91, but worse than either of my Garands or my Arsenal SA-M7.

Chuck R.
July 15, 2005, 08:36 PM
How are the triggers on the SA-58 and STG 58A? Long and heavy or short and light? Lots of take-up or none?

Mineís not great, but itís not terrible either. I stoned my sear, trigger, and hammer a little, did not change any angles, just smoothed things up a bit. Now itís still a little heavy, but there isnít much creep, there still is some travel though. I'd put a spring kit in it, but it shoots pretty well as is.

As Father Knows Best put it, itís really not bad for a battle rifle.

As long as you keep that theme in your head (it's a battle rifle), youíre going to like the SA58. It's not a tack driver and it's not a target rifle, but it is accurate "enough" and very reliable.

Chuck

GI Joe
July 15, 2005, 10:28 PM
Unfortunately, I am one of the few that has a problem with my STG58. It would not reliably cycle any ammo no matter how far I adjusted the gas setting. I could get a magazine to work and think I solved the problem only to have the next one jam. Often times, the first round (the one I would have to manually work the action for the 1st shot) would get stuck and I had to unload the magazine and bang the bolt against the bench to get the round out. Hopefully, DSA will live up to their good reputation for customer service. Considering I waited almost 1 1/2 years to get this gun, I hope the get it to run right.

ny32182
July 16, 2005, 11:18 AM
Anybody know how accurate the higher end DSA SA58's are? Do any of them shoot MOA groups?

Here is my best target, or at least the best one I have a picture of: Gun is a 21" SA-58 standard.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/win_superx.jpg

Winchester 150grain Super-X from Walmart, 100 yards, me sitting on a bench with the forearm supported by a clay pigeion box; stock supported by my shoulder, iron sights, slow fire of course. I was also putting these rounds one at a time into a nearly full mag to avoid vertical stringing.

How are the triggers on the SA-58

Mine is fairly long and heavy, but that is just the nature of battle rifles... I actually prefer it to most of the other ones I've fired, but it is certainly no match trigger.

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