FAL work


July 10, 2007, 05:43 AM
What all is involved in putting a new barrel on a FAL? Easy enough for someone who has never changed a barrel on anything other than an M-240B, or should I pay a gunsmith to do it? What about replacing the whole frontend? I have a full length handguard/gas system, but I'm interested in the DSA short one. Other than a different look, are there any advantages/disadvantages to the short gas system? I haven't had any reliability issues with the full length gas system on a 16.5" bbl, but I know it makes a big difference on AR's. Maybe not so important on FALs?

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evan price
July 10, 2007, 05:53 AM
To change out the barrel you will need a receiver wrench and a barrel vise. Or else an open end wrench to fit the barrel flats and a good padded vice to hold the receiver in. Unscrew the gas nut from the upper receiver and slide it back on the tube. Then unscrew the barrel. I would take careful notice of how the sights line up to make sure you get the new barrel timed properly.

A short gas system requires you to open up the gas port in the barrel to get more volume in to cycle the action. Going down below a 16" barrel will seriously negatively affect the round's ballistics. .308's like a nice long barrel to pick up speed in. You shouldn't need a short gas system unless you are shortening the barrel even more, in which case I might recommend a lightweight Para would be better than a shorter barrel... if you want lightweight and carbine the FAL was not intended for this and there are better choices out there. Of course I don't know what muzzle device you have right now, just getting rid of a long Steyr- type combo device will save a few inches right there. But then again, where do you need to be to not run afoul of the BATFE "Short Barreled Rifle" restrictions?

Any other barrel than what is there now will require the headspace be re-checked and if necessary, a new locking shoulder will be needed to correct the headspace.

www.falfiles.com/forums is a good resource.

July 10, 2007, 06:07 AM
Thanks. I don't intend to get any shorter than 16.5". I was just wondering if a 16" bbl would benefit from a short gas system. I'm not looking for short and light, I have an AR for that, I just want "short-ish" and "whatever it ends up weighing in the end". It's already got a 16" bbl with a short Belgian muzzle break and the shorter Austrian stock, and I want to keep it about the same length. The reason for the project is the barrel is about shot out, and it's a post-ban rifle (or would it be pre-end of ban? pre-post-ban?) so the muzzle break is welded on. I guess I'll stick with the full length gas system then.

evan price
July 10, 2007, 06:22 AM
Check out Moses on the FalFiles. He does excellent barrel work. You may want to look around for another barrel or front end on the marketplace on FalFiles, have Moses cut and crown it, or check out his excellent Hurricane/Cyclone style muzzle devices.

July 11, 2007, 02:15 AM
After you time the barrel, you'll need to headspace. You'll need pin gauges, or a lot of locking shoulders.

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