Fn-Fal as Designated Marksman Rifle


October 15, 2006, 08:58 PM
Can the Fn-Fal be customized into a DMR? :confused: Looking at 500m to 800m range with 7.62 NATO. The bull barrel version of Fn-Fal on the DSA web site got me intrigued. How will this rifle compare to a m14 designed for the same purpose? Thanks

If you enjoyed reading about "Fn-Fal as Designated Marksman Rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 15, 2006, 09:43 PM
For a role like that, I'd get the medium contour barrel. Not too much heavier than a standard. That bull barrel's going to be heavy.

Lots of folks will tell you that FALs are inaccurate. This isn't true. With a good barrel (DSA uses Badger Ordnance) and good ammo, in a well-put-together gun, a FAL will be accurate enough for a DMR role. It takes a LOT of effort to make it into a true sniper's rifle, but a squad marksman doesn't require half-MOA accuracy. And what a FAL has over, say, a nice tight AR-10(T), is reliability in harsh conditions. The tighter the rifle the more likely it is to malfunction when dirty.

October 15, 2006, 09:54 PM
I'll bet my FAL against any of my other rifles at 500 anyways - might not be better than 2 to 3 MOA rested but - it will get the business done! And being a semi - not too hard to get three off fast.

I know we don't usually scope these but - mine does rather well in this config'.


Zak Smith
October 15, 2006, 10:30 PM
The FAL is also not an ideal platform for mounting optics, and the trigger is limiting.

October 15, 2006, 10:45 PM
thank you everyone for your input, I think I was reaching a bit too far with the 500-800 thing. a more reasonable range should be 400-700 although 700 is still stretching it a bit (really at the limit of the 7.62 nato). With DSA's bull barrel and the new adjustable stock for FAL from Magul coming out, will the new toys give the m14 a run for it's money? or is the m14 system just inherently more accurate? I guess what I am trying to say is, is the M14 more accurate because of all the after market accessories, or it's internal system design makes it so.

October 15, 2006, 10:58 PM
Having fired both weapons, you cant go wrong with either, personally I would go with the m14. The m14 and the FAL are both trusted battle rifles, but if you have to have a smith look at it and you are deployed you better go with the m14 due to part availability and smith expertise.

Chris Rhines
October 15, 2006, 11:17 PM
The FAL is not a bad rifle. Way back when I knew a gentleman who was trying to make his FAL into a precision rifle - medium contour barrel, custom steel float tube, scope mount, etc. It's the only FAL I've ever witnessed approach 1MOA.

You can do it, but it's not the right platform for the job.

- Chris

October 16, 2006, 12:15 AM
Despite my long standing affection for the FAL I do have to admit that it's shining purpose is as a battle rifle. A DMR is what I consider to be the single most interesting type of military rifle. The bolt action being too slow for this task and the service rifle (usually) too inaccurate, the ultimate compromise is struck in the DMR. I believe it was Doug Turnbull who proved that even the humble Model 94 winchester could be transformed into a sub MOA masterpiece if enough effort was expended. Being that most of us don't have access to a limitless budget/ labor pool we're more often than not limited by convention and small modifications. To that end the M1A with it's roots in the M1 (an accurate rifle in it's own right) represents a platform that's easier to nurse into 1 MOA precision.

October 16, 2006, 12:58 AM
I'd get one of the semi-auto 308s based on the AR-15 before trying to make an FAL into a precision rifle. Out of the box 1 MOA is not unusual for the AR10s, but it is a feat of gunsmithing art to get an FAL close to that. Big decision: do you want a battle rifle or DMR?; they aren't the same thing in spite of both being chambered for 308.

October 16, 2006, 01:13 AM
A DMR needn't be a precision rifle in the common sense of the word.

There are a lot of tradeoffs in a squad DMR. Is your DMR rifleman doing to use ball ammo or match ammo? His rifle needs to be able to run well with ball in either case. De-linked machine gun ammo. If you tighten it up too much, it won't be reliable with military ball. His rifle is little more than an accurized battle rifle, with a scope that has a little more zoom than the 3-4x standard on battle scopes.

In this role, I think a well built FAL would serve well enough. The Germans had a scoped G3 variant with a set trigger that they used in this role. Otherwise it was prettymuch stock. Box-stock M14s (not accurized or free-floated) have been pressed into this role in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Many were later modified with EBR stocks, but this isn't an accurizing modification.)

And I doubt that many World War II sniper rifles would produce match accuracy by today's standards, but they did the job. The Dutch Army used to issue scoped FALs to its snipers.

There have been other examples of these kinds of "counter-sniper" rifles issued. The Yugoslavians made a long-action AK in 8mm Mauser. The Romanians had their PSL in 7,62x54R. Neither of these rifles are "match grade" by western standards, but they'll do the job. All a DMR has to do is be able to hit a torso-sized target out to six or seven hundred meters, and be mounted with an optic that makes that viable. The Marksman is there for when targets of opportunity present themselves at a distance, and everyone else is using 1x red dot scopes or 3.5x battle scopes.

As a matter of fact, "accurized" M14 rifles have been reported to be prima-donnas in the field, requiring too much maintenance to keep their stocks bedded and keep their accuracy to standard. That's one of the reasons the Army is replacing the M14 crazy horse rifles and the M21 with the SR-25.

October 16, 2006, 03:41 AM
The main problem with a FAL is its a real chore to get the trigger tuned up but it can be done. They will take a scope much better than a M-14 type gun well but about the best you can expect is 1.5 MOA with a good one.

October 16, 2006, 05:26 AM
I'd say go for it with the medium contour barrel. 2MOA (8-14" @4-700) should be sufficient for that role and you ought to be able to get that with a load it likes. Should do 3 MOA with ball ammo...

Look at P95carry's pic again...sweeeeeet!:D

IV Troop
October 16, 2006, 07:42 AM
Anyone here a "Designated Marksman" or active duty military sniper or police sniper?

October 16, 2006, 09:37 AM
This isn't for deployment with a unit, is it?

I believe the Fn-FAL is superior to the M-14 for a SDM. It's certainly much easier to mount optics, and I've heard from others with accurized M-14s that they require too much babying.

Here's what a REALLY good FAL can do...more than you require, of course...



October 16, 2006, 12:09 PM
Anyone here a "Designated Marksman" or active duty military sniper or police sniper?
Training actively in that direction.
Otherwise FN FAL as DMR is an intruiging idea. Not bad at all.

October 16, 2006, 01:15 PM
The Germans had a scoped G3 variant with a set trigger that they used in this role. Otherwise it was prettymuch stock.
Exactly. IMHO the G3/91 makes one fine DMR. You get a couple different mounting options for optics, both pretty good too. Lastly****I have no facts to back this up, just some personal experience***The HK-91/PTR-91 is in most cases a very accurate platform. 1 moa is not uncommon.

Bwana John
October 16, 2006, 02:26 PM
Ive got both rifles.

Id use the M-1a for anything that required precision.

I dont like putting a scope on either.

October 16, 2006, 03:17 PM
I have an early Grays Lake DSA SA-58 FAL that repeatedly shoots dime-and-under sized 3 shot groups at 100 meters. With Portuguese surplus ball. And, with other shooters. It has a medium chrome moly Douglas XX barrel from DSA. Several years ago, I sent it back to DSA for a trigger job, which has been satisfactory. Atop the early DSA 4 plate dustcover mount, a Springfield Armory 1st Generation 4x14x56mm Government Model scope is what I use. It's in Leupold QRW leverlock rings, and has never failed to return to zero when re-mounted.

As said above, this rifle will shoot well under 1 MOA with Portuguese surplus ball, and even tighter with my 165 grain Sierra BTSP handloads.

"Rumor" has it, that similar rifles, along with another model of the same basic platform, are in limited usage in certain exotic places as I type this. And have been, for some time.

Yes, a "built" FAL can be used as a DMR. -FNR.

p.s. And, I also own a very fine M1A.

October 17, 2006, 02:36 PM
Thank you everyone, answered a lot of questions and raised alot of new ones. It is back to the range and field testing time.

October 17, 2006, 02:54 PM
I'm sorry, not to steal the thread or butt in, but the reports I see for the Saiga .308 is 2-3 MOA. Aside from it's ugliness it's also much cheaper, so why pick the Fn-Fal over the Saiga? Is there something else I'm missing? Just personal preference?

If you enjoyed reading about "Fn-Fal as Designated Marksman Rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!