gimme the dope on the fal?


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colt.45
May 21, 2006, 09:06 PM
i never see them, but they seem like a great next gun so i have some questions.

are they big? i hear they are as long as a garand.
who makes them and can i buy a milsurp version?
what is a cetme?
what is the common price for all the diffrent variants at a gunshow?
why are there inch and metric magazines? does it matter?
what should i know when buying one?

i know how annoying these kinds of posts are, so thanks to all that reply:)

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MTMilitiaman
May 21, 2006, 09:37 PM
1. They're pretty big. Someone can do a 2 sec Google search and get the exact length and weight, but I'll suffice by pointing out the FAL is a battle rifle. There are carbine versions that are smaller, but it will probably never be as small or portable as an assault rifle.

2. DSA makes good ones, though you can find other builders who will build one from a parts kit.

3. The CETME is a precursor to the HK G3 roller lock, designed by former Mauser engineers directly after WWII. CETME is actually an acronym for the Spainish agency that hired the engineers to design the rifle.

4. Couldn't tell ya.

5. Most countries adopted the metric patterned FAL. Some, like the British Commonwealth adopted an inch pattern. Parts are not interchangeable, at least that I know of.

6. I'll leave this and number 4 for someone who has actually bought one...

Azrael256
May 21, 2006, 09:39 PM
Yup. Got a good heft to 'em.
Everybody. You'll find copies from all over the world.
CETME is not from the FAL line. It's the predecessor to the G3, that other auto rifle.
Too many variants to take a guess. Honest-to-Herstal FN models can easily run into the thousands. Imbel models are usually in the $6-700 range. Brit Commonwealth L1A1s are usually similar in price.
There are inch and metric mags because the gun was made by 50 countries. Some use metric, some are imperial. Inch guns will take both mags, although inch mags work the best. Rule of thumb: Brit Commonwealth guns (including India) are almost always inch guns.

Pumpkinheaver
May 21, 2006, 09:49 PM
One of the top 3 battlerifles of all time. Wish I still had mine. They are heavy but you'll like the weight because even though a .308 doesn't recoil much it still gets old after a few mags worth.

Here is a source for everything fal.
www.falfiles.com

DMK
May 21, 2006, 09:59 PM
are they big? i hear they are as long as a garand.

Here's a pic of mine next to my 20" Mossberg. My FAL has the barrel shortened to 18" though.

Mine's a little heavier than my Garand. However, keep in mind that it's got 12 more rounds on board too. Like Pumpkinheaver says, that extra weight (plus the soft rubber butt pad) does dampen the recoil quite a bit though.

http://home.mchsi.com/~davidkoch/myarms/FALnMossy.jpg

Coronach
May 21, 2006, 10:14 PM
are they big? i hear they are as long as a garand.They're pretty large, heavy rifles. Carbine versions exist, but are still large by M4 standards.
who makes them and can i buy a milsurp version?DSA (www.DSArms.com) is the premier maker in the US. Many smaller companies make versions, too, and they can be very very good to very very bad, depending on the quality of parts and quality of assembly.
what is a cetme?A cousin to the FAL, made in and used by Spain.
what is the common price for all the diffrent variants at a gunshow?That really depends. Expect to pay between $500 and $900 for a good "parts" or "kit"gun, $900 on up for a DSA.
why are there inch and metric magazines? does it matter?MOST magazines and most rifles out there are metric pattern, but not all. Use Metric with metric and inch with inch.
what should i know when buying one?DSA makes a top shelf FAL. IMBEL or DSA recievers can be used as the basis for good "kit" guns. Run, don't walk, away from anything associated with "Vulcan", "Hesse" or "Century."

Mike

shark40sw
May 21, 2006, 10:27 PM
DMK, I just have to say that is one sweet looking FN. There is just something very classy about the FN, like a Jaguar. It may not be the newest, fastest, wonder toy of the last 10 years, but anyone who has used one knows what I'm talking about.:)

DMK
May 21, 2006, 10:38 PM
Thanks Shark40sw. :) (although to get technical, it's actually a Brazilian Imbel with a US made receiver, not a real FN)

I agree about the classic lines of the FAL. There is something very elegant about the design, especially when you consider how reliable and effective it is/was. In their day, they sure held a lot of AKs at bay.

ugaarguy
May 21, 2006, 11:28 PM
Run, don't walk, away from anything associated with "Vulcan", "Hesse" or "Century."

Funny, my Century "R1A1" metric rifle works quite well. It had a soft charging lug that my local dealer replaced for free in about 5 minutes. Outside of that It's been a great rifle. Get a DSA if you want top of the line. If you're willing to accept that it may need a tweak/part or two and you're handy with screwdrivers & a punch set there's nothing wrong with a Century. Ohh yeah, they're really fun to shoot too :D

colt.45
May 22, 2006, 12:51 AM
thanks for the info guys! i didnt expect it to be so fast either. i had no idea there was a website devoted to "the fal"

sorry for not being specific on the "sise" question. i like a heavy rifle any-whoo

i have a question that i forgot though. how fast does it heat up? the barrel looks like a scaled up mini-14 barrel.

Coronach
May 22, 2006, 01:11 AM
Funny, my Century "R1A1" metric rifle works quite well. It had a soft charging lug that my local dealer replaced for free in about 5 minutes. Outside of that It's been a great rifle. Get a DSA if you want top of the line. If you're willing to accept that it may need a tweak/part or two and you're handy with screwdrivers & a punch set there's nothing wrong with a Century. Ohh yeah, they're really fun to shoot tooI debated putting Century on that list, as they tend to be better than the Hesse/Vulcan guns by a pretty good margin, but I included them because I didn't know how much experience the poster had in tweaking semi-autos. If you want something that will run well right out of the box, a Century gun is an iffy proposition. If you want something that is economical and you're not afraid to fiddle, a Century becomes a better option.

Mike

ugaarguy
May 22, 2006, 01:44 AM
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=68486

That link should tell ya about FAL durability. I've never had a barrel heat problem with my Century FAL. These things are just good, tough, reliable rifles. Rember that while we (US Forces) were using the M-14 during the "Cold War" something like 90 countries were using, and 10 or so were making, an FAL variant - hence its nickname 'The Free World's Right Arm'. In the world of 30 caliber battle rifles the M1 Garand, FAL, and M-14/M1A are the kings. Some like the Cetme/HK type rifles, but my experience with the first three has been fantastic.

ugaarguy
May 22, 2006, 01:50 AM
If you want something that is economical and you're not afraid to fiddle, a Century becomes a better option.

Mike, you hit the nail on the head - that's exactly why I went the Century. I didn't have DSA money and the FAL is a pretty simple & easy to 'fiddle' with design.

Edit to add; My Century ran great right out of the box until the soft charging handle lug revealed itself after 350-400 rounds. After the replacement it's run great. I think the lug was either soft and or worn from the parts kit and I don't fault the Century assembly.

kentucky_smith
May 22, 2006, 07:59 AM
Does Century still sell these?

iamkris
May 22, 2006, 12:18 PM
what is a cetme?
A cousin to the FAL, made in and used by Spain.


A CETME is not a cousin to the FAL any more than the M16 is a cousin to the AK74. They only things similar is they fire the same cartridge and they were developed after WWII. Nothing else is common in their heredity.

Coronach
May 22, 2006, 12:41 PM
Well, it's a cousin to the G3, which is vaguely related to the FN (in the most general sense). You're correct, though; he share no common design ancestor.

Mike

Foxtrot427
May 22, 2006, 03:42 PM
they are excellent. That is all.

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