June 8, 2003, 06:31 AM
I've fallen into what seems to be a common problem regarding firearms purchases: What next? From all that I've seen that fit my particular tastes, I've narrowed it down to two options...the Romanian-made SAR-1, and the CETME, a civilian version of the HK 93. Both the SAR-1 and the CETME have their pro's and con's-- 7.62 x 39 is cheaper, but .308 "just feels right," etc.

I'd like as many opinions/ compare & contrasts/ rants on these two as y'all are willing to offer.

P.S. Or, should I just pass on both, and get something else?

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June 8, 2003, 06:43 AM
Sar-2 or a FAL....

June 8, 2003, 08:16 AM
Unless you've really educated yourself on quality checking a CETME, I'd vote for the SAR.

June 8, 2003, 11:52 AM
I'd go for the SAR-1. The biggest problem that you will have will be with trigger slap, something easily fixed. Even then you might get one without any trigger slap.

As for the CETME, I have yet to find one that was built good enough to meet my standards, even considering that they are milsurp rebuilds on American recievers. Either a weld was bad or it looked terrible cosmetically. My dad purchased a Hesse built CETME which has already proven to be a headache.

Good Shooting

June 8, 2003, 03:11 PM
My suggestion is to go:
1) AK (lots of clones and the design is forgiving)
2) FAL (lots of clones and are pretty easy to put together)
3) HK (lots of clones, but not easy to put together and not forgiving)
The CETME is a cousin to the HK G3, not the HK-93(.223) You'd be better off in the long run with a HK-91 clone, like a SW3 (later), PTR, or FMP.

Mark Tyson
June 8, 2003, 06:48 PM
I have both and while I like the CETME, it's a little finicky. The safety and the charging handle can be a bear to operate. There were production problems in the CETME line, most infamously the mixing of metric and English system parts.
Parts of the bolt assembly on the CETME are also very difficult to assemble and disassemble for maintenance.
The SAR has readily available magazines and is simpler as well as being lighter and handier. I'd get the SAR-1 first, and get the CETME from someone you trust.

June 8, 2003, 09:33 PM
There were production problems in the CETME line, most infamously the mixing of metric and English system parts.
There's no such thing as an English/inch CETME. You are probably confusing the situation with that of the FAL.

The CETME was only used by Spain. Other countries opted for the HK G3 if they wanted a roller-delayed blowback battle rifle.

Once you get the hang of the HK-style bolt, assembly isn't too difficult. Check out this page for a good explanation:

June 9, 2003, 12:25 AM
I own an example of each. For a first battle rifle, get the SAR1. You can learn about it at this link.

Century is having a lot of issues with the CETME. First it was bolt grinding, now it's leaving the compliance cap off. Until they clean up their act, wait on the CETME. CETME forum

Best regards,

Dave R
June 9, 2003, 01:15 AM
I've got one of each (the SAR is actually a SAR-3). I would have to agree that the SAR is probably a better gun for someone not eager to tinker.

To counterbalance the CETME bashing a little, I really like mine. Once I fixed it, it has been reliable and accurate. And it is easy to shoot accurately.

I keep reading good reviews on _some_ of the new CETME's on the CETME forum. I hear the horror stories, too. Someone just did a review of the CETME's at FAC, with synthetic furniture, and said it was great out of the box.

The safest thing with a CETME is wait until you can inspect one before buying. Or buy with the idea that you'll either send it back if it has problems, or be willing to tinker with it.

If you get a good one, you've essentially got a G-3 level semi-auto .308 for $400, and that ain't bad.

June 9, 2003, 09:54 AM
Since you prefer the .308, I'm gonna do something that I HATE to do... and suggest one you didn't mention (although others have).


I bought one a few weeks ago from Red, and it's GREAT! It's already had a barrel shortening (did it myself from instructions on the FalFiles) new furniture, and a scope mount on the way...

All this, and I'm still in it less than $600, and that's NOT counting all the money I recovered selling the bipod and furniture that came on it!

If I wasn't so picky, I could have saved $80 on the Penguin Furniture, as the stuff that came on it was fine.

I bought 4 more BRAND NEW mags from CDNN for $6.99 each, for a total of (8) 20's and (1) 5rounder.

My pre-ban bushmaster is getting downright JEALOUS at all the attention this FAL is getting (at 1/3 the cost).

FAL, without question! :D

June 9, 2003, 12:27 PM
Definietly get the SAR-1.

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