Compliance Parts Count Risk on Used FAL?


February 25, 2007, 02:07 AM
I'm just curious as to your opinions on the risks of buying a used semi-auto rifle, like a FAL, where there have been a lot of parts kits floating around and a fair probability of private assembly.

How can you be sure that a used FAL is in compliance?

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Ian Sean
February 25, 2007, 02:46 AM
Almost all the compliance parts manufacturers have been labeling their parts with USA or their name.

Most common:

Stock, Pistol grip, handgaurds, gas piston, reciever, hammer, trigger, sear and the charging handle. Sometimes on threaded barrels the muzzle device.

Tapco, FSE and Falcon all labeled thier parts, some of the stock sets weren't labeled but pretty easy to tell they are aftermarket compared to original issue.

Lesser used was changing out the magazine floorplates and followers, that means for those 2 parts to count ALL of your magazines must have the compliance parts.

Actual risk...pretty low, but know what to look for.

February 25, 2007, 11:37 AM
To add to Ian's post the FAL requires 6 US parts if it does not have a muzzle brake or flash hider and 7 if it does.

And not all compliance parts are stamped obviously, for example most Century Hammer/Trigger/Sear are simply stamped with a C.

I wouldn't let compliance issues stop me from a FAL if the price was right. Especially as the market has been tightening on them for a bit now. Even if you have to spend another $100 in compliance parts after buying one the resale value in the next couple of years will more likely compensate you than not.

February 25, 2007, 12:24 PM
The receiver is easy to tell if its US or not. Other parts can be US but not marked as such. I don't recall if my hammer/trigger/sear from DSA has markings. I do know that my Tapco charging handle, my DSA piston, my FSE flash suppressor and my Plastic Penguin stock do not have visible US made makings.

February 25, 2007, 03:07 PM
What does the law say? Does it say manufacture or possession? If you're buying it assembled, you didn't manufactuer it. Has anybody ever been convicted by this law (or even prosecuted)?

Ian Sean
February 25, 2007, 06:49 PM
Has anybody ever been convicted by this law

No flame at all, very valid question.

As far as I know, NO, but, if for any reason you wind up getting investigated for something, you can bet that any agent worth his salt (if they find nothing) will start looking harder at everything you have and scrutinize every little thing. This may rear its ugly head, you never know and I don't want to be the test case.

I would jump on a FAL at a good price regardless and make it compliant on my own if it failed the parts count test.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...and in this case it could mean your ability to ever own firearms again.

February 25, 2007, 07:11 PM
What is the section of Fed drivel that applies
922 18 r ?

(r) It shall be unlawful for any person to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under section 925 (d)(3) of this chapter as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes except that this subsection shall not apply to—

If that's it, does "assemble" have some special meaning in law speak?

Ian Sean
February 25, 2007, 08:08 PM
If you are building it yourself, here is a place that explains things a little better more in laymans terms.

Goes over the law and has the list of applicable parts.

Now, your question falls under the distinction of possession (buying one assembled hopefully in full compliance) compared to actually you assembling one.

I don't know who the burden of proof would fall upon, you to proove you bought a non-922r compliant rifle, or the government saying that you are at fault.

But, court cases have shown, ignorance of the law is no excuse, so it is best to educate yourself and ensure any rifle you have is indeed compliant.

February 25, 2007, 11:27 PM
If a law is ambiguous, then in theory it is supposed to go in favor of the accused (in theory).

Clearly possesion and assembly are two different things. Both words are used in 922 (assemble only once).

I really can't get past "assemble".

evan price
February 26, 2007, 05:38 AM
The market on used FALs has certainly tightened. Receivers are unobtanium nowadays. Century just decided to raise their uppers to the same cost as DSA pretty much (LOL!!!!!! Their quality was improved to the point that they didn't out-and-out SUCK anymore but still nowhere near worth $349 dealer list!!!) and as for other uppers- IMBELs are going for $400-$450 nowadays. DSAs are $400-$450ish IF you find someone who has one for sale.

However I see Century FALs going for under $600 fairly often. Figure a good parts kit is worth $150-$200 (IMBEL) or $250-$300 (StG, or L1A1). And parts are only going up. Add the value of the receiver. If the gun was BUILT by Century it will have (Usually, the more modern ones anyway) Century receiver, Century Hammer/Trigger/Sear, and Century Handguards, Buttstock, Pistol Grip. 7 US parts right from the get go, however Century tends to saw off the threaded barrel and flash hider. Thus only need six US parts. But you are good to go.

Bear in mind Century's furniture while functional, is pretty cheesy quality stuff. The Century H/T/S is kind of gritty and not the nicest trigger feel around. And the Century receivers often have quality issues that need addressed to feed and function well.

I guess what I'm getting at, is that for the right price, I would jump on any FAL regardless of 922(r) compliance parts since I can get a Falcon H/T/S, Tapco gas piston, and Penguin furniture easily and cheaply.

FALs are so easy to strip down, you can usually find out US parts count in a minute or two.

Reciever: Stamped as to origin.
Gas piston, charge handle: Stamped, no tools required to inspect.

Magazine parts: again, should be stamped, but Entreprise had a little thing going where they stamped "US" on imported, used mag floorplates and sold them as US parts. IMHO mag parts are a bad idea for 922(r) compliance especially if you want lots of mags. God forbid you forget to change one floorplate and that's when Officer Smiley from the ATF wants to check your rifle....!

Lower receiver parts: Hammer, trigger, sear: You can split the upper & lower apart by breaking open the action, pull bolt/carrier, then remove the top cover and the H/T/S is right there to inspect carefully. US parts are usually stamped US, or by the maker with a mark (Like "FSE" for FSE, or "C" for Century)

Furniture: US stuff is usually pretty distinctive.

evan price
February 26, 2007, 05:44 AM
Double-tapping for a reason:

IMHO, I advise if you are building semi-auto FALS, that the builder do something to put the lower receiver's function selector to a semi-auto-only configuration.

I know, no safety sear, semi E block, means semi only. But there was a recent stink about an FFL receiving a PARA-FAL, noticing the lower had a selector with Safe, Fire, and Auto positions, saw the selector moved to the Auto position, and called ATF who seized the rifle. Nevermind it was a semi-auto-only upper, a semi-auto ejector block, no safety sear, and the unmodified lower set to the "A" mode, is a single shot rifle. The new owner now has to fight the ATF to get his legal gun back which was sent to BATFE Technical Branch for evaluation.

What you can do is drop a spot of weld on the selector inside the lower, in the center of the groove in the "A" position, then the selector gives you Safe, Semi, and Safe (in the Auto position).

They also make a US pistol grip that blocks the selector lever from moving past the Semi-auto position.

Some guys drill and install a small screw or roll pin in the lower so the selector can't move past the semi-auto fire position. Or use JB Weld on the selector shaft. Whatever.

Again, IMHO only here, I've done it to all the IMBEL kit builds I've done and it takes a few minutes with a MIG welder.

Could save a lot of hassle later on.

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