FAL or G3 question


April 23, 2007, 04:54 PM
Is there a difference between the G3 and FAL platforms?
If so what? General answers are best for my Brain
Which do you prefer?

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Nomad, 2nd
April 23, 2007, 04:57 PM
They are totally different rifles.


April 23, 2007, 05:19 PM
There really needs to be a sticky devoted to this...this question or "which one is best" comes up about once a month. Or maybe a "quick search" feature.

CETME/G3/HK91 = roller-locked, delayed-blowback action. Stamped metal receiver and trigger housing. Charging handle in cocking tube in front of bolt group. Field strip by pulling 2 pins and removing the rear buttstock.

FAL = gas operated, tilting-bolt action. Machined steel receiver. Charging handle on left side of receiver. Field strip by releasing takedown latch and "cracking" open upper/lower receiver halves with pivot at front.

In other words, outside of the fact that they both have triggers, barrels and stocks, they are completely different animals.

...and the FAL is superior :neener:

Honestly, do a search...there are at least a dozen threads that specifically answer your questions.

April 23, 2007, 05:41 PM
iamkris nailed it on the head, completely different animals. And while the FAL is more robust, the HK's are inherently more accurate. However, the FAL has better ergonomics...unless you're a lefty. We could go on and on...

El Tejon
April 23, 2007, 06:30 PM
The FAL is more robust, but the G3 is more accurate???:confused:

Only on THR. Of course on THR leverguns are called "robust".:D

MDig, on the Internet the objective is subjective.:D I own examples of both and it matters not, mix them in a bag and I can pick one and that's just fine. The rifle matters very little in comparison to the rifleman.:)

April 23, 2007, 06:42 PM
I have a gunsmith friend of mine who expresses the opinion that the G3 was not designed to be rebuilt. The FN/FAL was. The FN/FAL is actually a very expensive rifle to build, and the next generation of battle rifles were designed to reduce manufacturing cost. The G3 may have been designed under the logic that in a war, it is better to concentrate on building rifles fast, and not dedicate resources to rebuilding busted rifles. This logic was very much in effect in the last stages of WWII. The Germans were losing firearms faster than they could replace them.

The G3 has some very advanced features, is a well designed rifle, but the FN/FAL is the better rifle overall in my opinion.

April 23, 2007, 06:55 PM
The G3 clones (ptrs), are VERY reliable, And mags being available for a buck or two means you can really stock up. When I made my choice it came down to affordability. Good G3 clones are more expensive now and that price gap has closed considerably. Problem with the G3 is mainly the charging handle......its clunky, in the wrong place, and downright loud (think racking a 12 guage pump). The mag release can be awkward for some (there are solutions for its dificiencies). ANd lastly the sights are only graduated out to 400 meters, while the 7.62x51 round is capable to twice that range and beyond.

Had I to do it over again today I might well select a FAL. The FAL is better ergonomically and has slightly better sights IMO. Mags, while not dirt cheap like the G3, are still extremely affordable. To me the FAL "feels" as good as any AR (like them or not, AR controls are ALL in the right spot, no I am not an AR guy:barf: )

Both the G3 and FAl styles are excellent rifles. Like anything there are trade offs. You did not ask about M1A's :neener:

BTW ..... legend has it that the Germans wanted to field the FAL. They approached Belgium about licensing the FAL for the German Army. The Belgians, tired of being invaded, told the Germans to pound sand.....refusing to arm them with the FAL. The Germans then turned to the German engineered Spanish Cetme, retooled it a bit, designated it G3 and used that rifle for some 40 plus years. The G3 has been fielded by the Germans, Iran, Portugal, and others.

The FAL is a Belgian design, it has been called "The Right Arm of the Free World" Britain, Australia, Argentina, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and many other Nato allies fielded the FAL. If memory serves the FAL was also known as the G1.

April 23, 2007, 07:52 PM
I think it is a matter of personal preference, I prefer the FAL because of my familiarity with it. I prefer the ergonomics on an FAL over any other rifle, G3, AR or AK. Left handed bolt in the receiver, right thumb safety, and the slide release and mag catch are perfectly placed. Also the gas system is adjustable for varying conditions and ammo.

While I have played with a G3 before I just never took a shine to it like the FAL, there is a reason that the FAL was used in 90+ countries around the world, and is still in use by police and military units all over the place.

The FAL can do everything the AR AK and G3 can do and in most case it can do more.

Oh and FALs are clean, I cleaned my FAL yesterday and then clean my M4 type, the AR is an absolute PITA compared to an FAL.


April 23, 2007, 07:58 PM
I've had a HK-91 and a FAL. I am probably the only weirdo on this forum that perfers the ergonomics of the HK over the FAL. I even didn't mind the forward position of the charging handle.

I wish I never sold the HK, and I have considered getting a clone such as a PTR-91, but don't they use a polymer lower trigger group housing? I don't know... I'm asking. I think I read that somewhere. While it probably would work fine, it would take a lot from the rifle for me.


April 23, 2007, 08:55 PM
I first picked up an HK-91 in 1976...

I picked up an SAR-48 (Imbel FAL) in 1987...

It wasn't until 2004 that I 'built' my first FAL (from an StG-58 kit on an Imbel receiver)...

Assuming that you have the parts, the FAL is an extremely easy rifle to assemble. The HK-91 is not...

Although I have no plan to get rid of my HK-91, I have to say that the FAL is a superior weapon. It feels better in the hands, is easier to shoot, and is easier to clean and maintain...

Although the HK-91 is extremely reliable, the FAL (with it's adjustable gas system) can be made to work with just about any 7.62mm NATO ammo that's ever been manufactured...

For what it's worth...


April 23, 2007, 08:57 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention...

The FAL is prettier...


April 23, 2007, 09:07 PM

My PTR came with the standard metal housing. The Plastic lower is also sold by ptr91 inc. but I think it is for an "upgraded" rifle package, or just an add on accesory.


April 23, 2007, 09:47 PM
I also slightly prefer the HK (type) over the FAL in unmodified configuration. The grip angle of the FAL pistol grip has a little too much rake for my taste. I replace the ones I have with the Tapco M249-type grip. The PTR is a cery well built weapon. Like the heavy barrel.

April 23, 2007, 09:52 PM

Thanks for the info. May be on my list in the future.


Evil Monkey
April 23, 2007, 09:57 PM
Yeah they have differences.

One is bad-ass and the other is just as bad-ass! :evil:

Get both.

April 23, 2007, 10:02 PM
And while the FAL is more robust
I have a PTR91 and used to have a FAL. I can't think of one point in which the PTR/HK rifle would be weaker than the FAL. If anything, the lack of a gas system is one less thing to possibly go wrong. PTR is very nice - reliable and accurate. And I just LOVE smacking the charging handle to chamber the first round. ;)

April 23, 2007, 10:24 PM
BTW ..... legend has it that the Germans wanted to field the FAL. They approached Belgium about licensing the FAL for the German Army. The Belgians, tired of being invaded, told the Germans to pound sand.....refusing to arm them with the FAL.Actually, FN did arm the Germans with the FAL. The German FAL was called the G1 (not sure what the G2 was, but it doesn't appear that it was adopted). The problems only came about when Germany wanted to manufacture FALs themselves. FN refused to grant them license to do so. It's unclear why, since FN let almost everyone else make their own, but negotiations like that can be funny (read about Ford's attempt to buy Ferrari some time). Either way, the German/Spanish connection obviously went smoother and Germany was licensed to manufacture their own version of the CETME and called it the G3. Many of the German G1s were sold to Turkey, who then surplused them when they were finished wearing them out. A large quantity had their receivers chopped and were sold on the US market as parts kits (and well worn ones at that).

I gotta wonder what HK would be selling today if FN had let the Germans make the FAL.

April 23, 2007, 11:26 PM
A D.S.A. FAL rifle is a thing of beauty.
I have owned several FAL type rifles over the years and currently own a PTR-91/G3 copy and three M1A rifles.

The only reason I don't own another DSA FAL is because I own a PTR-91 and three M1A rifles.

The choices, the choices, and none of them are bad,,,,,

April 23, 2007, 11:46 PM
The Germans preferred the FAL purchased form Belgium but wanted to make their own. The Belgium’s reasonably would not license them to do so do to WWII being invade by Germany had no PC Barney I love you, you love me feelings would not license them to make them.

Germany went to it's old ally, Fascist Spain, who had the CETME rifle (developed by German inventors) Redesigned the CETME to fire the NATO round. Spain then also accepted the CETME to handle the NATO round.

The FAL however was the free worlds choice where it had been tested fairly outside of the USA who went with the failure M14. (Note the very short service life of this abomination)

April 24, 2007, 02:48 AM
(not sure what the G2 was, but it doesn't appear that it was adopted)

My understanding is that the G2 was an early version of the Swiss StGw-57 rifle. And it wasn't adopted...



April 24, 2007, 08:37 AM
The only rifle I have ever sold was a PTR, and I sold it to buy a FAL. Best trade I ever made.

El Tejon
April 24, 2007, 09:09 AM
DMK, is not the answer to your last question--sewing machines? That sticks in my thick head that they made sewing machines before getting the rifle from Spain.

Yeah, here it is: "Founded by Edmond Heckler, Alex Seidel and Theodore Koch, all former Mauser Werke employees, H&K commenced operations in 1948 in Oberndorf/Neckar as a manufacturer of sewing machine parts and gauges for the machine tool industry." http://www.remtek.com/arms/hk/mil/mp5/choice/coang.htm

April 24, 2007, 06:41 PM
I thought the two were different but had some wonk telling the the two were the same platform.
After doing some research I might try cobbling one together, just need to do more research. Sorry I did try searching but the specific answer to "Whats the difference" was what I was most interested in and not finding.
Thanks again for the tolerance regarding a rather noob question.

April 24, 2007, 07:03 PM
i have never owned an HK91 or clones thereof. i have shot very many, however. that's why i have FAL's.

but do not take this to mean i that feel the 91 is clearly an inferior weapon. the FAL is just better for me.

FAL pros... well balanced. better OEM trigger. better 600 meter sights. much lighter recoil impulse. better usable accuracy. better intrinsic accuracy. gas system will adjust for different bullet weights/substandard ammo. brass can be reloaded. brass can be found after firing. hammer forged chrome lined bbl rifling. (imbel, FN) easy bolt dissassembly.

FAL cons...weaker mfgd magazines. more dust contaminant sensitive. even with british "sand cuts" bolt carrier. fore end cross screw likes to work loose in prolonged firings.

HK91 pros...bolt carrier does not fit tightly, so crud is less likely to cause failures. wider range of bullet weights usable with out adjustment (nonexistant, except for replacing of recoil spring). waffle mags are stronger. shorter weapon length. polygon rifling less eroded by propellent gasses. hammer forged chrome lined bbl rifling. fewer bolt dissasemblies needed for cleaning.

HK91 cons...OEM trigger pulls >30" of mercury. trigger not improved much with modification. (about $300 for GOOD drop-in trigger group) WAY too muzzle heavy. above (in a different posting) mentioned 400 meter sight. very sharp recoil cycle. the ejected brass is fast enough to hurt yer foxhole buddy. chamber I.D. is fluted to reduce drag, this makes reloading a BAD idea. overall higher prices for rifle and accessories.


FAL... folding stock entails shorter recoil springs which hurt reliability. QD scope mounts, not repeatable for precise zero. rock solid aftermarket scope mounts available, but are NOT quick disconnect units. OEM trigger easily modified to a pull that is around 4lbs. many pistol grip options, including storage for cleaning kit\ (imbel/tapco SAW). 1913 rail fore ends (DSA). carbine mdls available without federal paperwork.(DSA). israeli style forward assist charging handles available in inch and metric formats.

HK91...colapsable/folding stocks available do not affect function. QD scope mount (unreliable return to zero for precision use). OEM trigger not easily modified, and isn't nearly as good as FAL when done so. PSG trigger group is good unit, changes out quickly, and as noted above is dollar intensive. 1913 rail fore ends available. aftermarket carbine mdls available, HK units are <16", and require special paperwork.

both ARE good weapons...with different characteristics. pick your mission and choose.

either one you decide on, i'd try to find an original HK in the delayed roller block, or an imbel in the tilt block (springfield armory).....yes i have owned an FN, don't wanna hear it.


most of the people you meet who will buy only chevy's, fords or dodge pickups take good care of them. they learn to use them within their design's capabilities. hence, they would like any of the other brands as just well if they used the same care in driving and maintaining them.

April 24, 2007, 09:16 PM
HK91 cons...OEM trigger pulls >30" of mercury.

Eh, that's not too bad if your measuring absolute.

Welcome aboard.

April 24, 2007, 11:04 PM
I love my HK91 clone :) Click for the vid.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b124/jrou111/shooting%2010-6-06/th_PICT0006.jpg (http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b124/jrou111/shooting%2010-6-06/?action=view&current=PICT0006.flv)

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