Okay, what is the difference? FN-FAL, CETME, G1, G3, L1A1?


June 25, 2003, 11:56 AM
They all look sorta alike to me - Is there a crash course out there?

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June 25, 2003, 12:01 PM
FN-FAL, G1, L1A1: basically all the same, commonly referred to as 'FAL' (pronounced F-A-L), L1A1 was the British version made with inch-based measurements while the G1 and FN-FAL are made using metric based measurements. Whole assemblies will interchange between the rifles, but the sub-parts might not (for example, lower recievers, with fire control groups installed, will swap and function, but triggers will not always fit in different lower recievers). G1 has a flash hider held on by a bayonet-action lug (rotate it about 90 degrees to lock onto a big lug on the barrel, doesnt count as threads so you dont have to use a lathe to build a postban G1, just twist and remove the flash hider), while the FN-FAL had a threaded barrel and flash hider.

G3 and Cetme are basically the same, with the Cetme having been designed in Spain by German engineers in hiding after WWII. When they returned to Germany they worked for HK and refined the design into the G3/HK91.


June 25, 2003, 12:03 PM
CETME (http://www.geocities.com/miketheelectrician1/cetme1.html?1006652443870)

FALFAL's (http://www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php)

Links above will have about all you need to know.


June 25, 2003, 06:22 PM



June 26, 2003, 05:15 PM
OK some Cetmes have teak stocks. HK's are black plastic, with the occasional green polymer, oh wait unless you get a Congalese contract stock, which indeed makes the ??? end of an HK look like an FAL.

Confusing enough?

FAL used a gas piston system to operate. You can adjust the amount of gas you get to work the action, so you can use a lot of different ammo. You can also fiddle with it enough to ake your rifle refuse to function.

Cetme/G3 used a delayed roller locking mechanism. No gas regulator, it still eats all kinds of ammo.

Totally different innards, similar outsides. Designed to do similar things, like engage targets at 300 yards.

June 26, 2003, 06:11 PM
but aren't the HK's about 3 million times the cost of a cetme???

Gotta be something different for the big $$$ diff

Inquiring minds want to know:)


June 26, 2003, 07:27 PM
CETME - designed by German weapons engineers who took up residence in Spain after WWII. The wood is Spanish poplar, giving it its nickname El Chopo. Delayed roller blowback action and fluted chamber, stamped sheetmetal receiver, rotating leaf/aperature rear sight...looks nothing like an FAL. Currently only being assembled by Century. They're $300 because they're scraping the bottom of the part barrel right now. Crap shoot whether you get a good one or not.

HK G3 -- Germany's MBR which was a licensed copy of the CETME (first G3's had CETME name on receiver) after Belgium remembered what rifles in the hands of the German army had done to them and decided to not licence the G1 (German variant of FAL). The only real major changes they made to the rifle was replacement of the rear sight with a better drum/peep and composite stocks (and a few dimensional chages). Semi-auto version was the HK91 imported to the US. G3 rebuilds from Century sell for about $450. PTR-91s sell for about $800. Real HK's sell for $2000+ (pay for the name). The "left arm of the free world" being adopted by 50+ countries (minor countries). Looks nothing like an FAL.

FAL -- Lots of variants (STG - Austrian, L1A1 - British, C1 (?) - Canadian and a bunch of others). Gas operated. Sheet metal top cover, forged lower, wood or composite or sheet metal furniture. Right arm of the free world as it was adopted by 80+ countries. Looks nothing like an HK/CETME.

All three -- priceless 7.62x51 MBRs in my book. Add an M14 and you got a Cold War stable.

Ian Sean
June 26, 2003, 09:41 PM
The biggest price discrepancies with these types of rifles have to do with whether they are pre or post ban.

The pre ban rifles are getting a premium price. The post bans, a lot of which are built from parts kits with the requisite number of US parts, minus an evil feature or two are essentially the same.

There are some manufacturers that have put together some rifles of questionable quality on US made recievers. I don't want to bash any of them because my personal experience has been OK.

Educate yourself, and research well before you buy!!!

For Fals and Cetmes check out:

http://cetmerifles.com/forum/index.php (http://)

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php (http://)

I hope this helps!

June 26, 2003, 09:48 PM
The FAL is an ugly, ill proportioned rifle that looks like it was made with stamped sheet metal in a Chinese sweat shop by a three year old. The G3 or CETME(sometimes) is a fine work of art, like a Volkswagen on the inside(Well built, does not stop working) with all the beauty of a Mercedes. :D

As for the real difference I only know about the CETMEs and G3s. The CETME usually has a wooden stock and forearm while the G3/HK-91/PTR-91 have either black or slightly green furniture. The CETMEs from Century have some uh.... quality control problems. But they are cheaper.

Ian Sean
June 26, 2003, 10:19 PM
The FAL is an ugly, ill proportioned rifle that looks like it was made with stamped sheet metal in a Chinese sweat shop by a three year old.

Witch! Warlock! Heretic!

"He turned my Fal into a newt!"

But it got better.;)

I like my Fal and my CETME

In the simplest terms the CETME is the 1st generation HK made in Spain by German engineers after WW2. When Germany was allowed to re-arm, they went back and made improvements and the HK G-3 was born.:D

June 26, 2003, 10:30 PM
:confused: The only major stamped parts on my FAL were the imported handguards (which got replaced with plastic US made ones). I dont know which FAL you're talking about.

Oh, interesting bit of trivia, the reason the HK91's military version is called the G3 is because the Belgians (where FN is located) refused to sell G1s to the Germans (they were still sorta pissed about the whole Hitler and invasion spat from a few years earlier), so the Germans had to search out an alternate weapon.


June 26, 2003, 11:58 PM
I was exaggerating for the sake of comedy. ;) (BTW you know, deep down, that it's true. The FAL is as ugly as it gets. Unless we are talking Kel-Tec. :barf: )

Dave R
June 27, 2003, 01:11 AM
Ummm, one other big difference. The FAL-types are all gas-operated, with an adjustable gas valve.

The CETME/G3 types use roller-locking action. Essentially recoil operated.

The big difference between a G3 and a CETME is that the G3 was not built by quality-challenged Century. Unless its a Century G3, in which case the only difference is a slightly newer design with no major differences, except, I believe, that the CETME opens the action at a higher pressure, so it has less recoil than a G-3.

BTW, I really like my Century-built CETME, after I fixed the couple of production bugs (slightly canted triple frame and a burr in the mag well.) Reliable, accurate (2MOA with the iron sights), easy to shoot well. FAL-o-philes love their FALs, too. I almost got the FAL, but liked the balance and feel of the CETME better.

June 27, 2003, 10:19 PM
No, the FN FAL was introduced in the German army as the G1. But because the Belgians were only willing to sell the rifles and not a license to build them in Germany, the G3 was adopted and then replaced the G1, which in turn were given to police units.

June 27, 2003, 11:24 PM
Had the military mafia not had a stranglehold on the weapon selection process in the U.S. the FAL would almost certainly have been selected instead of the M14. Given the long and successful service history of the FAL around the world, it's very probable that the adoption of the FAL would have prevented the U.S. from switching to .223 and the M16. A move which was prompted by reports of various alleged shortcomings of the M14.

Kind of interesting train of thought, huh? Follow it to its conclusion and it becomes apparent that the selection of the M14 was very probably one of the major steps leading to the rapid demise of 30 Caliber as a standard issue U.S. military cartridge.

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