FAL newbie.. semi-ignorant questions inside ;)


March 31, 2003, 11:20 PM
In looking at rifles, I've decided that AR's are nice rifles, but a little overly ubiquitous, and a .308 battle rifle may be in the cards. I like the M1A, but the mag price/availability situation leaves me cold. Initially, I was put off by the looks of the FAL, but let's say I've come around. This leads me to the meat of the post:

1) Inch vs. metric receivers- Any difference besides unit of measurement?

2) How accurate are they, in comparison to the M1A? I realize they're battle rifles, so I'm not looking for 3/4 MOA, but I'd like it to be worthwhile to scope it.

3) What scope of add-ons do I have in comparison to the AR family? I see DS Arms has an upper receiver with a rail and a rail forearm, are there any other aftermarket stock types?

Any help would be appreciated; I know I'm late to the party, but I always liven things up :)

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March 31, 2003, 11:34 PM
About the only difference in receivers between inch and metric is the mag hook cutout at the front of the magwell. Metric mags will fit in an inch cut magwell, but will be loose. Inch mags will not fit in a metric magwell without modification.

There's a fair amount of variety in the different FAL configurations and many of them interchange.

March 31, 2003, 11:39 PM
Metric hi caps are common mags, most current FALs have Metric pattern receivers.

April 1, 2003, 12:12 AM
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/ . This is one of the best resources I've found for FAL information.

1) Inch vs. metric receivers- Any difference besides unit of measurement?

There are several differences, but the most obvious differences are in the magazines. Metric magazines are also a good bit cheaper than the inch type magazines. You can get rifles built in either metric of inch type these days. The ones you see coming from Century Arms in the $400 range are L1A1 build up guns in the inch patterns. Most of the other manufacturers are putting out metric guns.

Just about anything you need to know can be found on the above mentioned site. Just be careful...those things are addicting. The next thing you know is that you'll be spending all of your money on battlepacks of 7.62 ammo!:D

Good SHooting

April 1, 2003, 12:12 AM
There's lots of info to be had over at The FAL Files (http://www.falfiles.com).

Best place to buy a FAL is DS Arms. I have one of their Austrian FALs and I love it.

April 1, 2003, 02:37 AM
Magazine and part availability is much better for metric rifles. Only UK and Commonwealth forces used inch pattern rifles, the rest of the world used metric.

The DSA scope mount topcover is a good, solid platform for mounting a scope. The ARMS is probably good too, as most of their products are, but I have no direct experince with it. The rest are not rigid enough to be effective. I'd recommend blue locktight on the locking bars.

Unless you get a lemon, the rifle will be more accurate than you need in any realistic situation that calls for a battle rifle.

I'd recommend looking at Arizona Response Systems or DSA. Mark Graham is THE FAL 'smith. I've bought 3 FAL's and a HiPower from him. He's a stand up guy and knows his craft.

I'd recommend a low power scope, say a 2.5x Leupold or a 1.5x5 Leupold with the illuminated reticle. The ACOGs are nice too.

If you go with the 1.5x5, you'll need to have the top cover modified. Go to

scroll down about 2/3 of the way for pics.


April 1, 2003, 03:19 AM
When you're ready, too, you can start building your own rifles. I hear it's not hard, just a matter of buying the receiver, the parts kit (while they last) and the appropriate number of US parts. There are some special tools required and a rudimentary knowledge of gunsmithing. If you're completely new to the design I'd recommend having ARS or somebody build the kit for you, or buying a brand new rifle.

Arizona Response Systems (http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com)

DS Arms (http://www.dsarms.com)

Entreprise (http://www.entreprise.com)

April 1, 2003, 02:13 PM
I think that there is a little more accuracy inherent in the M1A say 1.5- 2" for a stock one with good ammo vs about twice that for a FAL. That being said i like my home built FAL more than my M1A, i like the ergonomics and have had reliability problems with my M1A.

The scope mount you mention is actually a cover that replaces the sheet metal cover on the upper rcvr. I have a cheap knockoff on mine that works fine and would suspect the DSA model would be better.

There are a variety of military stocks from a variety of countries both plastic and wood and even folding and some nice ones from DSA and Ironwood. Trigger options are somewhat limited compared to the AR and i can't remember seeing any light mounts for the FAL. Go to DSA and Tapco's websites to peruse accessories, others make them as well.

The FAL is not to hard to put together but more trouble than the AR.

April 1, 2003, 06:27 PM
I'm still waiting for them to put together .223 FAL's like they have done for the .308 caliber and for about the same price range.:)

April 1, 2003, 08:19 PM

I contacted DSA back in January concerning a .223 FAL and this was the response that I got from them.

Dear Kelly,
Thank you for your e-mail. In the future we may possibly produce the .223 but, at this time we are currently in production with the .243 and the .260 models. Keep watching the website for upcoming information. Have a great weekend!


So it looks like for now they are on the back burner, but hopefully there will be enough of an interest in it soon. I think an interesting project would be to produce one that accepted standard AK mags and the shorty gas system that DSA has. Of course it would be chambered in 7.62x39. From there it would be relatively easy to get one to use AK mags and fire the 5.56mm cartridge. It would seem the the tilt/lock AK mags would take the least amount of modifications to the original system.

Good Shooting

April 1, 2003, 08:27 PM
.223 FAL? 7.62x39 FAL? Blasphemy! What next? A modification giving it a direct gas system? "How can we make the FAL more like the AR-15?" Bah.

...Just stirring the pot. Heh. Seriously, I think the FAL design is a bit too beefy/heavy to be a .223.

Though, the Robinson M96 appears very similar to what a .223 FAL would be like, I should think.

April 1, 2003, 09:39 PM
Seriously, I think the FAL design is a bit too beefy/heavy to be a .223. Yea, it would be like shooting a loud 22LR. How cool would that be! ;)

OK, I want one too. :)

April 1, 2003, 10:57 PM
FALs rock.

DSA FALs are basically thought of as the best of the best. I have one of the STG "kit guns" and it is quite nice indeed. I had one problem with it (barrel mis-timed), and they fixed it no questions asked.

Lifetime warranties, too. You can't beat that.


April 2, 2003, 06:18 AM
Yes the FAL would be very "beefy" for the .223 round but its such a "slender" and attractive rifle in .308 caliber, I think you could get away with it and have one of the toughest .223 rifles made. "Form follows function" is brought to perfection in the FAL.

April 2, 2003, 09:21 AM
.223 FAL?
What, no FN FNC's available in the States? :D

If DSA ever did make a .223 caliber weapon, the FNC would be a much more logical (and lighter) platform to build one from.

I'm with Nightcrawler though... A .223 FAL is kinda like asking Armalite for an AR-10 in 5.56... :cool:

April 2, 2003, 10:59 AM
Tam's got a .223 FAL, built on some alumimum receiver, takes AR mags.

Ironically enough, it's slimmer, lighter, and handier than most AR's I've seen. Don't think she's shown it to a person yet that hasn't offered to buy it. :)


April 2, 2003, 11:35 AM

is your fal one of the conversions that came out of latin america in the late '80s??

I remember drooling over those on an older copy of gun digest (87-88 maybe??)

April 2, 2003, 02:11 PM
Tam's got a .223 FAL, built on some alumimum receiver, takes AR mags.

Well that's a whole different story... Sounds like somebody with a little (lot of) FAL 'smithing talent could scoop up all those aluminum FAL receivers that blow up on folks when built into .308's and sell oodles of .223 "FAL" 's.

Now to go check the differences between an FAL and an FNC... just for curiosity sake.

April 2, 2003, 02:33 PM
Certified FAL nut here. Maybe I can answer some questions.

Tamara's FAL is made by a Utah gunsmith who goes by Meeper on the FAL files. He makes FALs in all sorts of nifty calibers including .223, 7.62x39 and .45. Yep a .45 FAL that takes Tommy gun mags. How is that for groovy. :)

The FNC is a very different operating system from the FAL. The FNC uses an AR style rotating bolt (only without the infernal spring loaded ejector) mated to an AK style gas piston. The CAL was the predecessor to the FNC, but it sucked.

Personal opinion, FN went to the FNC method of operation rather than the dropping bolt of the FAL because it required much less machine time.

I love FALs. They are great rifles, and soon there will be some totally new and wicked FALs on the market. Just wait. ;)

April 2, 2003, 02:48 PM
"totally new and wicked Fals"???????????

What, pray tell?????

C'mon; OUT with it!!!!!!!:scrutiny:

April 2, 2003, 02:54 PM
Patience Citizen, patience. :D

April 2, 2003, 02:57 PM

April 2, 2003, 03:04 PM
Citizen, go check out DSA. They've got several new models that are leaving me drooling. Their "hunter" models, especially the SA58 predator, just looks awesome. Plus, they're offering FALs in .243 and .260, with one coming out in .300 WSM this summer.

April 2, 2003, 03:15 PM
I want to thank everyone who's popped in here.. I know for a fact that I want one now, most likely a carbine with the fixed folding stock (to be swapped out next fall :D)

Time to start saving the pennies.. the DSA rifles are outstanding, but not cheap.

April 2, 2003, 04:15 PM
The original .223 FAL was the FN CAL. Some S. American country apparently adopted these (their Air Force, maybe?), but they can't be common. FN built very few.

August 8, 2003, 11:30 AM
Good thread.

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