DSA SA-58 FAL Standard: Medium Contour or Standard Barrel?


September 1, 2006, 07:01 PM
I'm looking into ordering a DSA FAL SA-58, but have been intrigued with the option of getting either the standard chrome-moly barrel or the medium contour chrome-moly barrel. It is a no cost upgrade and according to the text sounds like a higher quality barrel. I have also seen DSA's medium contour barrels with fluting cut into them.

What are the strengths or weaknesses of these configurations?

Thanks for the help.

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September 1, 2006, 08:18 PM
My first FAL is a DS Arms SA58 medium chrome moly, an early Grays' Lake rifle with Douglas XX barrel (although the barrel's clearly marked "XX", the newer people at DSA "deny" their ever using Douglas barrels!!). I personally wouldn't care for a fluted barrel on a FAL, based on aesthetics alone.

I sent it back once for some trigger work, they did pretty well. The rifle's chamber was a little tight at first, but after about 10 rounds, all was well. This rifle has never, never, never failed me, and continues to impress me. I find its accuracy (especially when well scoped) on-par with a National Match M1A. I was at first, a little put off by the muzzle brake, but...nowadays, I'd never even consider removing it. The brake, along with the added barrel weight, allows great accuracy at speed from a bipod. I have shot 3 shot cloverleaf's at 100 yards with Portuguese surplus, and DSA knows it. It's my personal DM rifle, and that's saying something, as I also own ... a very nice M1A!!

But, as well as I like the medium DSA, and my M1A, they are not quite my favorites.

That honor goes to my FAL carbine built by "Jeff" on a DSA receiver using all Belgian parts legally possible, along with a brand spankin' new FN 18" chrome lined paratrooper barrel and brand new lower receiver. I changed its furniture (Izzy buttstock, Imbel pg with cleaning kit, "Sling Thing" with Snap Sling installed, and STG58 handguards and bipod). The Israeli light rifle buttstock and steel buttplate reduced the carbine's length by another 1" btw. Looks like a G1 carbine...very cool.

That carbine is really all that I would ever actually "NEED" in an mbr, giving good firepower, accuracy, portability, and durability in a 7.62x51mm caliber package.

All the rest is gravy... -FNR.

September 1, 2006, 11:11 PM
Always a big fan of heavy barrels myself, but do have a standard on my Para (also have a regular SA-58 Medium Contour). One other item, no bi-pod cut for the Medium Contour.

September 2, 2006, 12:03 AM
I have an SA-58 with a standard barrel, installed their extreme duty picatinny top cover. With a Simmons 3-9 IR Aetec the rifle is amazingly accurate. Personally I would not want a medium weight barrel if fluting is mandatory. Fluting does absolutely nothing good for a barrel. It looks cool, thats it. I have seen a good many fluted barrels that were tack drivers when cold, warm 'em up a little and it all goes to hell. Just MHO.

September 2, 2006, 01:42 AM
I purchased my DSA FAL in '99, and pondered this same thing. At that time (I don't know if this is still true) the medium contour barrel did NOT have the sling swivel relief cut, and thus my choice for a battle rifle was made for me. One must have a sling upon their battle rifle, eh?

September 2, 2006, 08:18 AM
My Medium does have the front sling swivel. I attached the Harris bipod that's on the rifle, using an adapter (it's Harris, can't remember the p/n) through a bottom vent hole, it's a good fit and solid enough to do the job. I DID go through some angst in finding a means to attach a bipod to the rifle, before acquiring the "adaptor." I believe that the adaptor is also common to AR15's.

I've also seen another (newer) medium with a Versapod attached in the same manner.


September 2, 2006, 11:04 AM
I also wanted the clean looking FAL bi-pod on the SA-58 (my first FAL) but my preference to heavier barrels trumped the decision. My solution was to buy another FAL with a standard profile barrel (a parts gun).

Aftermarket folks today now have all types of add-on attachments to bolt on whatever you want on any gun. The sleek look of the standard lightweight FAL bi-pod is hard to beat though.

September 2, 2006, 11:12 AM
I have (had...left it in Michigan) such a bipod for my FAL. Identical to the Austrian one, all steel, except mine is quick detach.

There's nothing light about it. It adds a pound of weight to your rifle, and isn't especially handy for any real run-and-gun. My preferance for non-bipod-cut handguards negates the use of the bipod anyway. It IS nice, however, that unlike most bipods it folds out of the way. I don't know that attaching the bipod directly to the barrel is the best for accuracy, though. Not much of an issue on a battle rifle, but if you've scoped it it might be counter-productive.

Current DSA medium contours come with a sling swivel mounted to the left handguard. Or, you can buy the part from DSA for like five bucks and mount it yourself. There are also 3-point slings that fasten to the forearm and don't require a sling swivel, I believe.

A DSA Medium Contour is probbly the next rifle I buy. Don't know when it's going to be, but it's definately on the list.

September 5, 2006, 11:33 AM
the medium conture barrel is more of a match grade barrel where the standard barrel is more a general purpose design.

Would that be correct?

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