Gunshow purchase, Help FAL experts!


February 24, 2007, 07:19 PM
Ok so I went to a gunshow today and came home with an L11A1 for $400 out the door. It was a rather small show and after walking around a few times I thought for sure I would walk out empty handed. Everything seemed very overpriced and no one seemed to be buying anything as far as I could tell. However just before I left this gun caught my eye. I looked at the price and saw it was $400, so I figured why not?

So tell me about this gun, I'm guessing its inch not metric because its a Century reciever, but I'm just guessing. Is $400 a fair price for one of these? Please take a look at my pics and see if there is anything you can tell me based on the markings. If you can't read the markings on the right side it says "CAI-Sporter" under that "L1A1 - Cal. .308". On the left side it has the seriel number and "UE60" above that.

I appritiate the help, Thanks!

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February 24, 2007, 08:03 PM

Its not a bad looking rifle. Sand-cut bolt carrier...means its at least a partial L1A1 (inch pattern) but it is also called a "franken-fal"...don't take this as a slight...a true FAL will cost at least a few grand. :(

Curious about the figure that is stamped on the trigger...does it appear to be a "D" with a horizontal slash through the middle?

Other than that, you didn't do too could turn it around as we speak and make at least 200 off your purchase.

Get some good replacement furniture and have some fun with an EBR, bro!



closer inspection and it would appear to be built on a Enfield parts kit...check to see what other parts will have those stamps on your rifle...I had one of these and it was a sweetheart...check for the widow's peak on the feed ramp as well...right now, your best resource would be


February 24, 2007, 08:49 PM

It is a D with a slash, the same symbol is on the safety switch, the rear sight and on the hold open catch assembly. It does have a widow's peak on the feed ramp as well. I assume these are good things to find?

I definetly plan on replacing the stock first chance I get. I'm thinking the Tapco SAW parts in black. Although I haven't decided yet.

February 24, 2007, 09:04 PM
The feedramp won't give you any problems, if that is the case.

The SAW furniture is a good buy. Friend has the set on one of his and it looks good. :)

DON'T forget to get the gas wrench and stock multi-tool from Tapco when you get the stock....

One other thing...invest in a good brass-catcher...DSA has them integrated in their top-cover/scope mounts (thats what I use) but there are also others that just sit on top...depends on what you shoot and if you reload...

Again, good purchase. :)


February 24, 2007, 09:11 PM
Its a Century International sporter frankenfal. Some people had trouble with the reliability with them while others have not had trouble at all with them. They had a period of quite questionable quality control.

I do perfer the original buttstock for the Fal design over this one, but thats just personal taste.

Been made from a British L1a1 parts kit so its an inch pattern rifle. That does give you the advantage of using inch or metric magazines but it may be harder to find replacement parts than a metric based fal in the future.

You sure that D with the slash in it is not a crown symbol used as an inspection mark? Thats what it looks like to me anyway.

If it shoots well $400 is a reasonable price for one. I seen them go for alot more at gunshows. Most people tend to perfer Fals though that been built with an IMBEL made reciever.

February 24, 2007, 09:28 PM
Nice looking rifle, but get rid of the sporter stock

February 24, 2007, 09:33 PM
I might be wrong, Limeyfellow, but I am fairly certain it was an Enfield kit.

the UE60 tells that story... UE would be an Enfield, where UB would be a BSA kit.

I didn't mean to make the proof-mark sound like it ID'd it as an Enfield. My bad there.


February 24, 2007, 09:44 PM
Best of the Century FAL's ever, and made with prime British L1A1 kits. Either has an Imbel or Argentine receiver if it says "Made in Canada". Imbels will be marked Imbel, otherwise it's Argy. Try and find an original L1A1 lower, and replace the hammer/trigger/sear with US made parts. Also replace the gas piston, and the floorplates and followers on all your mags. That will give you 6 compliant SB922 parts. Clean the barrel very well with Sweets 7.62. Mine was so fouled, it took me a week to get all the copper out of the barrel. It went from shooting 6 inch groups to shooting 1.5 inch groups at 100. For $400 you did very well, almost as well as the one I picked up 6 months ago for $375! The other one I have, I bought from a dealer in 1995 for $450.

I looked closer at your pictures, the receiver is not marked the same as the 2 I have. It's probably a Century metric receiver. Still a good buy, I would snap up any FAL I can find under $500.

February 24, 2007, 09:58 PM
That will give you 6 compliant SB922 parts.

If it was assembled by Century (a US manufacturer), as it seems, it was 922(r) compliant when it left the factory. You don't have to replace anything.
If in doubt, call Century and ask. But don't buy unneeded parts.

February 24, 2007, 11:27 PM
Looks like mine. The Century L1A1 Sporters were very hit and miss. But the good ones are flat-out good. Mine's an Enfield parts kit on an IMBEL reciever.

February 24, 2007, 11:43 PM
Good buy, about what they were `89-`92.. Early CAI Argy receiver, definately better than the later Century made ones though not quite as well known as the Imbels. Those earlier Enfield & BSA kits were good, too. I believe you'll find the kit is otherwise complete and worth almost what you paid for the rifle.

If you plan on replacing the stock you'll need a grip stud since CAI's assemblers ground them off. Used to be you could get them from The "Inch" stocks are not the same as the rest so you'll have to find an actual Brit, Aussie or Can'nuk stock and grip. Forearms are pretty universal though.

Those Argy receivers take metric mags so don't buy the more expensive L1A1 mags thinking you need them.

Have it headspaced. When they built those rifles they didn't have a lot of properly sized locking shoulders and they tended to grind down the rear of the bolt to "headspace" them. Assuming they needed a smaller diameter locking shoulder.. .it's anyone guess what they did when they needed a larger one :scrutiny:

There are FAL builders all over the place so you should be able to find one with gauges somewhere close by.

February 24, 2007, 11:48 PM
One of the original ads....

February 25, 2007, 12:27 AM
Those Argy receivers take metric mags so don't buy the more expensive L1A1 mags thinking you need them.

I don't know about the Argentine receivers, and it sounds like Pointman is definitely more knowledgeable about this subject than I am, but I have a L1A1 sporter that takes inch mags. The markings are a little different from yours; mine says "L1A1 Sporter cal. .308 Receiver made by IMBEL- Brazil Imported by CAI St. Alb VT"
I've had people try to tell me it must take metric mags, perhaps they are confusing it with the Argentine guns.

That does give you the advantage of using inch or metric magazines

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong here? I have heard this about inch guns being able to use metric mags but mine will not. They fit in, but without the lockup in the front, the mag tilts slightly and absolutely will not feed unless you physically push hold the mag forward while you shoot. I've tried it with several metric mags and it simply won't work for me. It functions fine otherwise, though accuracy much better than about 3moa (even with the best ammo) remains only a fantasy.

Edit: I just reread the thread and think I understand:
Imbel L1A1= inch mags
Argy L1A1= metric mags
Is this correct?

Also, $400 sounds pretty good to me for a good looking rifle. If you need furniture for it, let me know as I have some extra both plastic and wood for an L1A1. The wood is not pretty but it is useable. Or if money is no object, Ironwood makes some real nice looking hardwood sets that are beautiful AND made in the USA for extra parts count. I've always wanted a set but am too cheap.

February 25, 2007, 12:29 AM
Thanks for the info Pointman! I sent gunthings an email requesting that part, glad you pointed that out to me.

February 25, 2007, 12:50 AM
Well, I paid $560 for mine, with two mags. My son and I both love it. Dead reliable with any ammo; and shoots great. I will also be replacing the dorky "thumbhole" sporter stock with original furniture. You got a good deal.

Ian Sean
February 25, 2007, 02:57 AM
Good job! I think you got a good FAL!

Now before you attempt to take off that buttstock you are going to need one of these, it is almost impossible to do without it it.

I would go here for all your FAL tool and part needs, I have done business with him before and his prices are pretty good and he is a good guy.

February 25, 2007, 10:47 AM
fatelk, your experiences with the "L1A1's will take either mag" is similar to my own. The L1A1 mag well is longer and allows metrics to fall off the front ledge. I do have a few metrics that will lockup in my Inch receivers but only a few and even then tend to bounce off under recoil.

To confuse things further there are inch and metric Imbel receivers and later Century's own receivers were made both ways. The L1A1 cut tends to be an actual shelf while the metrics are a small rounded notch though other manufacturers will vary. But once you've looked closely at how the 2 different types of mags are made it becomes much easier to look at a receiver and judge it one way or the other. The mag with the plate welded to the front of it is the L1A1 mag.

Dollar Bill
February 25, 2007, 11:22 AM
$400 is a good deal for a rifle like that but if you don't leave it as it is you will be spending at least another $100 to make it 922r compliant. At the time this rifle was imported by Century and sold (ca 1993) the law was it could not have barrel threads for a muzzle attachment (flashhider) or a pistol grip separate from the buttstock, hence the ugly "thumbhole" stock and naked barrel. Later, in late 1994, the ATF changed it's mind on the importation of military style semi-autos to say they could be assembled with a separate PG and stock but they could be made with no more than 10 specified import parts. So, if you take off the thumbhole and go with a original stock set you will also need to buy some US made parts to stay compliant.

BTW, the "D" with a slash in it is the "E in D" mark of Enfield. It is not uncommon to see these rifles with both Enfield and BSA parts on them.

February 25, 2007, 11:38 AM
The D-with-a-slash symbol is indeed the Enfield mark, meaning manufacture in the facility at Enfield Lock, Middlesex, once called the Royal Arsenal. Don't know if it was still "Royal" when they were making L1A1s in the '60s. Princess Margaret used to hang out there, trying to get dates with the factory girls, until she and that Armstrong-Jones chappie hooked up and went into their Tiny Queers of Kensington routine. (Just thought y'all might like a little local color).

February 28, 2007, 12:24 PM
I also have an l1a1 similar to the pictures posted, it says cai - sporter. The barrel says made in canada - the barrel is threaded, it has the folding charging handle, and takes metric mags just fine. My quesiton is, will us made fal trigger group parts work in this reciever? I bought it alread pre-ban configured, but I cant tell that any of the parts are us made. Also, any ideas on exactly who manufactured the receiver?

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