Century R1A1


September 20, 2007, 11:55 AM
Hello guys, new to the forum. Need some info on the Century R1A1s. Thing shoots great, even with that crappy Indian ammo. Only thing I am confused about is whether it is metric or inch pattern. I bought some mags for it and didn't realize they were different until I went out to the range. The mags that work have a good size catch on the front of them, the ones that don't have a small dimple and as a result fit very loose and do not feed properly.
Are the mags with the large catch metric or inch pattern?


If you enjoyed reading about "Century R1A1" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 20, 2007, 12:21 PM
inch mags are the large tab

September 20, 2007, 12:42 PM
Thank you, Dstorm.

September 20, 2007, 12:51 PM
The receiver should be marked inside the mag well as to whether it is an inch or metric pattern (CIA/CAI tends to mix and match parts on a good day . . .), but they may have omitted that on yours.

September 20, 2007, 01:02 PM
I will check the mag well out of curiousity!

Anyone out there willing to trade four metric mags for four inch pattern mags?

September 20, 2007, 01:34 PM
Rdeye, ya aren't going to get any takers on that deal as the inch mags generally cost 4 times as much as the metric mags do..... in fact just because of that Issue outa my 11 L1A1s 3 are built on Inch pattern recievers but with metric magwells they are my main shooters all 11 were totally unissued kits imported in 1985 the 3 metric mag ones look and function exactly as the others with one exception...... I also added the BHO pin to them for last rnd BHO

Ya might get someone to swap the 4 metrics for 1 inch mag as the metric mags are about $6 ea versus the inch mags at around $20-$25 ea

September 20, 2007, 01:45 PM
I suppose I could always smith the metric mags to fit, but I'd rather not. Any options open to me?

September 20, 2007, 01:54 PM
I beleive that Imble made some receivers for Century that had metric mag cuts and inch charging handle slots, kind of a mix.

September 20, 2007, 03:45 PM
Redeye, usually the metric mags do fit the inch pattern guns they just aren't as tight

September 20, 2007, 11:17 PM
The metric mags should work the just fit a little loose. If you want some inch mags there are some here for $15 each http://www.impactguns.com/store/century_magazines.html
I just bought a couple and they are in pretty nice shape.

September 21, 2007, 01:51 AM
Storm, in the case of mine they are just too sloppy and will only feed like every other round, if that. I have to rest the rifle on the mag to get any reliable feeding, just way too wobbly.

TIMC, thanks for the link!

September 21, 2007, 03:40 AM
The R1A1s are a classic case of good parts, crappy building. The story is that they hired some guys in Canada to do the builds off of receivers they bought from imbel and kits they got from, well, everywhere. They paid the Canadian gunsmiths $25 per FAL.

You can guess what happened next...

September 21, 2007, 10:55 AM
What are some examples of bad assembly on a FAL?

I know that some rifles that require building (such as an AK) would be subject to poor QC, but other such as AR types are more "assembly" work and I would think be less subject (though not immune) to monkey worker problems?

If that is a basically correct assumption, where would a fal fall into this as far as being subject to assembly competence levels? (I've got a kit or two in the garage myself, just not gotten to looking into the build process.)

September 21, 2007, 11:45 AM
well, if you are getting paid $25 per piece... the faster you work the more you make.... see? A good FAL smith can do one in about 10-15 minutes. If you cut that time down to 5 minutes, you might get a little sloppy.

Barrels might be off-time, headspace on the locking shoulder might be incorrect (wrong shoulder), reciever improperly fixed to barrel.

just a few examples. ive seen good R1a1, and bad r1a1. the thing to remember is that the parts are very good quality. so if the build is screwy but the gun cheap enough, buy it and send it to a gunsmith.


September 21, 2007, 11:55 AM
I have bought guns from Century twice: A CETME a couple of years ago, and a Golani/Galil a couple of months ago.

Neither functioned correctly. I managed to repair the CETME myself, and later sold it. The Galil had to be returned for repairs, just prior to a general recall of the same rifle. It's been sitting in VT for the last two moths waiting to be repaired. Century is apparently in no hurry.

I will never buy another Century gun again - ever. They are hacks who can barely assemble a gun, and have terrible customer service. One might expect this in a $200 gun, but I paid over $900 for my Galil. And according to my information, about 50% of the Galils shipped were defective. I talked to the distributor, and Century had not even bothered to inform him of the recall.

Caveat emptor!

September 21, 2007, 01:39 PM
GunPartsGuy.com was having a sale on inch mags recently, if that helps. Check out his site.

September 21, 2007, 03:10 PM
Yeah, guntech, I meant to ask if you'd got your galil taken care of. I got the alert that mine needs fixin' too. At least mine has worked so far--I'm leary about sending mine back.

September 21, 2007, 04:33 PM
If you aren't having the ejection problems, I'd be hesitant. Check here for other options:


September 22, 2007, 01:44 AM
Well, I am a bit discouraged, to say the least. Outside of the metric mags not working, what should I watch out for with this gun. As mentioned, its been shooting fine, even with crap ammo.

September 22, 2007, 03:00 AM
you got a bad golani? hm.. Shotgun News did a very favorable review of them. the galils are also not supposed to be built by the same monkeys.

that's really too bad. i would have wanted one.

September 22, 2007, 10:24 AM
According to what I read on Uzitalk, lot's of Galil owners are having problems. It seems to be due to the fact the receivers were machines incorrectly so that the locking lugs don't engage correctly.

Century has issued a recall on the Golani. From their web site.

Date: August 29, 2007

Subject: Galil and/or Golani Semi-Auto Sporter Rifle

We are requesting that customers who purchased the Galil and/or Golani Semi-Auto Sporter that have serial numbers between GAL00001 and GAL02393 send in their firearm to us as we have modified the bolt and are installing a new firing pin and firing pin spring to ensure that your Golani offers you the utmost safety and reliability. All Galil and/or Golani rifles that have the letter "F" or "X" on the bottom of the receiver front cut off have already been upgraded and your rifle does not need to be sent in to us.If you are a dealer, please provide us with the names, addresses and contact information of the purchasers of these Galil/Golani rifles. We will contact them directly. If you are contacted by these customers, please have them call us at 1-800-270-2767 to obtain a return authorization. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and hope to have this situation resolved as quickly as possible.

September 22, 2007, 10:33 AM
My Century R1A1 works great, always has. I don't know who cast the receivers in the US for century, but they did a excellent job with mine. Even with the dreaded unibrow feed ramp mine works perfectly.

I didn't know there was supposed to be any problems with these guns till I read it on the net. I usually use inch mags in it but the metrics I've tried also work even though they're a little loose.

The fact is with Century guns if it works when you get it you'll probably never have a problem. But its nice to have a dealer with a good return policy in case you get one that doesn't work right from the start.

September 22, 2007, 12:38 PM
This whole "unibrow" feed ramp thing has peaked my curiousity also. Can someone explain it?

Ian Sean
September 22, 2007, 01:02 PM
When your rifle feeds from the left or right side of the magazine the normal feed ramp "cut" is two distinctive scallop cuts (also called a widows peak)with a high point in the middle (shaped like a rounded W). This allows the round to "funnel" into the chamber easier from the magazine left or right. This is apparently a difficult machining task or more costly to do.

So some of the cheaper manufacturers of receivers had a single rectangular profile feedramp (called "unibrow" in FAL speak:)) and it has been found to be the cause of some of the poorly feeeding rifles.

This again leads to a disease called W.E.C.S.O.G. :D and acquiring a Dremel Tool. Dremeling and changing the angle and polishing will usually cure the feed issues.

Ian Sean
September 22, 2007, 01:23 PM
RedeyeGunner, Northridge ( I have ordered from them before and had good service...no complaints) has Inch FAL mags for $12.95.

See Here. http://www.northridgeinc.com/sp_mags.htm

September 22, 2007, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the info, Ian. Fortunately it appears I have a "widows peak" model. Whew. I polished it anyhow as it appeared to be machined rather crudely.

Thanks for the link. I take it the British L1A1 mags are inch pattern?

Ian Sean
September 22, 2007, 03:18 PM
Yes those are "Inch"...overall it sounds like you have a good FAL...I would also recommend you go over to the FALFiles (you have to register) and read about all the ins and outs..(and print and save :)) all the info you can.

Lots of little maintenance tips to learn like setting the gas system properly etc... :)

September 25, 2007, 03:19 PM
Guys, check it out. Traded the four metric mags for three inch mags at a local gun show. Yee-ha

September 25, 2007, 03:56 PM
I owned a Century CETME for 18 months. 17-1/2 of those months were spent in 3 places...in transit to Century, at Century "Service Facility", in transit from Century.

I will probably own another Century Import at some time (Can you say "Mosin-Nagant"), but own another Century Built ? ? ? ? ?

Less than a snowball's survival chances in Hades of that happening again.

If you enjoyed reading about "Century R1A1" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!