HK91, M1A, or FN FAL?


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alaskanativeson
March 2, 2008, 06:39 AM
I could sure use some advice. I want to purchase a 7.62 NATO autoloader but I'm having a hard time making up my mind which one. I have it down to three choices: The H&K 91, the M1A (probably in a Scout configuration,) or an FN FAL. I've owned an HK, it was a great gun which I was sorry to see go but I needed the money at the time. I'm looking for something I'll use for occasional hunting trips and for personal defense (yes, I already have handguns and a shotgun.)

Are there any real differences besides personal preference? Is one easier than the others to customize? Can one be made more accurate than the others? Is parts availability a problem or benefit with any of them? From all I've read the FN and the M1A are as reliable as my HK was (I never had a failure to feed or extract in well over 1000 rounds) but I'd be interested in hearing any of your opinions about that as well. Thanks.

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Ash
March 2, 2008, 07:02 AM
The cheapest to buy, maintain, customize, will be the FAL. The most accurate will be the M1a (but, in truth, my M1a was never any better than my FAL). The M1a will probably make the best hunting rifle, but the FAL will be the best bang for your buck given the price of magazines, replacement/upgrade parts, etc. Original Military parts will be very cheap, as opposed to M1a original parts, which are very expensive.

Cost may be of little concern to you. If accuracy is your number one consideration, you will want the M1a. If you are looking for the best overall deal, probably the most rugged, with a huge supply chain, the FAL probably is best. (That is not to say the M1a will be hard to get parts for, it will not be hard, but fairly expensive).

Ash

RLsnow
March 2, 2008, 07:05 AM
dont forget, the HK91 looks like the G3, (and the AG3) so...buy that!

H2O MAN
March 2, 2008, 07:35 AM
alaskanativeson I could sure use some advice. I want to purchase a 7.62 NATO autoloader - probably in a Scout configuration.
I'm looking for something I'll use for occasional hunting trips and for personal defense..
Is one easier than the others to customize? Can one be made more accurate than the others?

The M14 type rifle in the 18.0" configuration (Bush, Scout and MK14) is my favorite.
Custom builds can be ultra reliable and they are capable of sub MOA performance.
Many new parts, mags and stocks are available for the M14 and more are on the way.
You can keep the M14 pretty mild or you can go hog wild.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/MK14Mod1-small.jpg

iamkris
March 2, 2008, 08:55 AM
Welcome to the most talked about topic (e.g., there literally have been dozens of threads on this) on the forum...right behind "1911 vs. Glock" and .45 vs. 9mm"

The little SEARCH button up at the top reveals the following

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=337944&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=259340&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=218998&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=158322&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=156983&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=127131&highlight=fal+m1a
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=272249&highlight=fal
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=77898&highlight=fal

AndyC
March 2, 2008, 11:37 AM
I'd say the M1A has the edge in accuracy, but the FAL shines in terms of cheap spares, ergonomics (for me - others may disagree as ergonomics is a personal thing) and reliability.

There's a FAL affectionately called Ol' Dirty here in Texas which hasn't been cleaned in over 14,000 rounds - and its owner regularly hits an 8" steel gong at 400 yards with iron sights.

Southern Raider
March 2, 2008, 01:05 PM
I recently let go of my HK in favor of a DPMS LR308. I like HKs, but quite simply, the design is showing its age with few people making modern accesories for it. In other words, aside from a few new low profile mounts, it's essentially the same design today as it was 40 years ago.

I'd steer you towards the M1A or FAL depending on your preference, but a good running AR in 308 is a hard thing to beat from the point of view of available accessories, ergonomics and ease of optics mounting.

SnakeEater
March 2, 2008, 02:47 PM
Buy the best and skip the rest.

My next rifle, to match my Noveske SPR.

http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/r16ar10_1d.jpg
--16.1" 7.62mm stainless barrel, 1 in 10" twist
--7.62 Noveske Match Mod 1 chamber
--10" railed handguard
--Mid length gas system, 7.62mm
--Extended feed ramps
--5/8x24 threads
--.750" low-profile gas block pinned to barrel
--Beadblasted finish
--Smith Vortex flash suppressor
--Properly staked carrier key
--Mil-Spec receiver extension, staked
--H3 Buffer
--Vltor Carbine buttstock
--Tango Down pistol grip
--One 20 rd mag included
--Flip-up front and rear sights
$3328.98

silverlance
March 2, 2008, 03:03 PM
FAL - reliability, flexibility, and ergonomics supreme.
M1A - incredibly accurate for a semi auto issue weapon at long range.
HK91 - crappy trigger, uncomfortable cocking, but you get to join the HK club and take advantage of $2 magazine sales to help make up for the silly amount you paid for the damn thing.

=P

Andrewsky
March 2, 2008, 03:14 PM
How about a PTR91? Just like HK91s but with heavier barrels and a lot cheaper.

M14s are more accurate and more reliable than FALs. The US Army tested the FAL and the M14 side-by-side and the M14 experienced fewer failure rates.

An M1A Standard for $1250 is a good gun.

Or an Austrian FAL from DSA for $1000.

Or maybe a CMP Garand for $600 is what you need. You wouldn't have to buy magazines, .30-.06 ammunition is much cheaper than .308 if you buy from the CMP, and you get all military-issue parts plus a lot of history.

AndyC
March 2, 2008, 03:30 PM
Andrewsky, the test to which you refer was heavily-biased in favor of the M14 and has largely been discredited. There is a reference to it in Blake's book of the FAL.

Andrewsky
March 2, 2008, 03:34 PM
I'd like to see that without having to buy the book.

rbernie
March 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
Between the choices give, the FAL is probably your best bet; it's reliable, proven in climates the world over, and you can buy a metric buttload of mags for far less than a M14/M1A.

Having said that, I'd also recommend you look into the Saiga 308. Converted back into AK form, they make for a pretty nifty carbine. No household is complete without one. :)

trbon8r
March 2, 2008, 04:00 PM
Andrewsky, the test to which you refer was heavily-biased in favor of the M14 and has largely been discredited. There is a reference to it in Blake's book of the FAL.

Here we go again, the old Springfield Armory "rigged all the tests" conspiracy. This is one of the most often parroted statements on any gun board without anyone offering the smoking gun or even a shred of evidence other than hearsay to back up the allegations.

If the people at Springfield Armory were as good a cheats as FAL fans claim them of being, one would think the M14 would still be our service rifle, and the doors at Springfield Armory would still be open instead of having been closed in the 1960s.

1KPerDay
March 4, 2008, 12:54 AM
I love the M1a, but my primitive caveman brain tells me that the FAL would seem to be inherently more reliable in adverse conditions simply because the bolt/carrier is mostly protected from the crud, while the open bolt of the M1A is fully exposed to the crud.

And I've seen the videos of the M1a that the tubby gun-review guy crawled through the mud with, and it failed after the first shot or 2. YMMV... but like I said it makes sense to me.

tpelle
March 4, 2008, 01:13 AM
I don't have an M14/M1A, but I do have one M1 Garand with another on the way from CMP, and a CETME that's one of the good ones (pretty close to a HK91). I also have an assembled-by-me FAL that's an STG58 on an Imbel gear-logo receiver plus a bunch of top-notch 922 compliance parts. Both of my rifles are equally reliable, and are just about the same accuracy-wise - with my eyes I shoot 3" groups at 100 yards.

My take is this:

The HK-system rifle is pretty rude and crude, with a really bad trigger. Also the ergonomics are really bad. Firing it, you hear this big "schwaannnggggg" noise next to your right ear as the bolt carrier cycles on the buffer. No bolt hold back. The rifle also doesn't seem to balance very well, like it's top heavy. Mags are cheap, though - it's only good point - but all in all I would prefer either the M14/M1A or the FAL over the HK-system weapon.

Now, to evaluate the other two choices (and remember, my M14/M1A comments are based on the Garand, which, except for the en-bloc clips versus a removable box magazine, is pretty much the same rifle):

M14 mags are sooo expensive, compared to the FAL metric mags. Advantage FAL.

M14 gas system is a little fussy with that long funny-shaped operating rod compared to the FAL's straight piston. Advantage FAL.

M14 has a stronger gas system in terms of extraction and cycling, since it's a long-stroke system as opposed to the FAL's short-stroke system. Advantage M14.

M14's gas system is non-adjustable, unlike the FAL's, but with the strong long-stroke operation maybe this isn't such an advantage. I'll call this one a draw.

M14 has a stock that permits use of the sling as a shooting aid, compared to the FAL's barrel-hung front sling swivel. Advantage M14.

M14 is MUCH harder to field-strip than the FAL. Advantage FAL.

M14's sights are several orders of magnitude better than the FAL's. Advantage M14.

M14's sights won't come back and smack you in the eye under recoil like those of the FAL. Advantage M14.

M14 probably has a better trigger right out of the box, but my FAL has DSA H-T-S parts and has a pretty darned good trigger pull as well. I'll call this one a draw, too.

So, here's the score:
M14 - 4
FAL - 3
Draw - 2

Pretty close, and a lot of the criteria that I use for evaluation are pretty subjective. Bottom line is, I don't think you'd be under-gunned with either one.

Somebody suggested a Garand from CMP. Actually, that's a pretty good suggestion. The one I have is 100% reliable, and shoots into a 3" group at 100 yards with my 55 year old eyes behind the sights.

The en-bloc clips are not as big a disadvantage as everyone thinks they are. Remember, with a box-magazine rifle, when you shoot it dry, you have to reach up and find the mag release, remove the old mag, get the new mag, align it correctly, insert it and lock it home, then release the bolt.

With the Garand, when it goes dry, it ejects the empty clip out the top and locks the bolt back for you. All you have to do is grab the new loaded clip, orient it with the bullets forward and one of the skinny sides down (remember, there's no top or bottom), and shove it in until it locks. Sometimes you have to nudge the bolt, sometimes it goes home on it's own. It can really be reloaded pretty fast.

I once read of a comparison test between a Garand and an M14 where they timed two guys firing and reloading as fast as they could for something like 3 minutes (don't remember, exactly). By the end of the time period, the Garand had actually fired more rounds because it was quicker to reload, even though it had to be reloaded more often.

I would also stay away from the "scout" version of any of the rifles, as all the shorter barrel gives you is a shorter sight radius for less accuracy, more muzzle blast, a loss in muzzle velocity, and possibly reliability issues - maybe having to enlarge the gas port, etc.

But the HK91 would be my last choice.

sacp81170a
March 4, 2008, 01:49 AM
I just bought a used AR10A4 carbine last week and took it and my M1A Loaded to the range on Saturday. Surprise, surprise, the AR10 is more accurate than the M1A. I was getting .75" to 1.1" groups with the M1A and .6" to .85" groups with the AR10. The M1A was topped with an SWF Super Sniper 10x42 scope on Burris 30mm Tactical rings that have been lapped and the AR10 was topped with a crappy old Bushnell 3x9 variable with the factory 1" rings from Armalite. Granted, I was only shooting Remington 168gr BTHP match ammo and the M1A might like other ammo better, but I spent $1500 just for the rifle, not counting the Troy stock and the scope.

I'm a believer now. If you want accuracy and are willing to spend the amount of money it takes to buy an M1A, buy an AR10 instead. You won't be disappointed.

(I would say I'm not happy with the M1A, but it's like having two kids. One of them is good at math and the other is good looking. Doesn't mean I still don't love 'em both.) ;)

ALS
March 4, 2008, 01:54 AM
The down side of the HK is has this 10lb bolt that slams into you every time you pull the trigger. The other pain in the butt problem is if you reload you will hate the gun. It chews up your brass and spits it out with full length
grooves burned into the case. Don't get me wrong I like my HK and it is pretty accurate as a battle rifle. I just use the cheapest 147 gn ammo I can get in it.
My M1A's well I just love them. :D
Don't own a FAL so no input on it.

kcmarine
March 4, 2008, 02:16 AM
Well... idk. Do you want an experience out of firing the rifle? If so, the M1A. It's a product of a bygone era... the other two are similar to today's weapons.

iamkris
March 4, 2008, 02:58 AM
the other two are similar to today's weapons.

Huh? I do'n thin' so, Lucy They were designed at the same time.

And don't rely on the fact that the M1A's action is similar to the Garand. The FN FAL is a derivative of other earlier tilting block designs, as is the HK's roller locking mechanism.

Ash
March 4, 2008, 03:12 AM
"M14 has a stronger gas system in terms of extraction and cycling, since it's a long-stroke system as opposed to the FAL's short-stroke system. Advantage M14."

Nope, both FAL and M1a have short-stroke gas systems. The FAL is much more durable because it does not have an operating rod (yeah, the ATF says it does, but it does not). The FAL's gas system is straight-foward, all forces are in line with the gas-port. The M1a is not. The gas port is on the bottom, the operating rod on the side. The short-stroke piston is under the action, which forces the rod back to operate the bolt on the side.

Both actions impart gas against the piston, which either pushes the operating rod on the M1a back (which caries the bolt) or pushes directly against the carrier, which slides the bolt back.

I don't see how the m1a has a sturdier gas system at all.

Ash

TexasRifleman
March 4, 2008, 03:20 AM
I'm shocked but unless I missed it no one has given the obvious answer:
Get all 3!!!!!

It really is tough to compare the 3.

The M1A is probably more accurate
The FAL is probably more reliable
The HK will probably break fewer parts, it's practically indestructible.

kcmarine
March 4, 2008, 03:22 AM
Huh? I do'n thin' so, Lucy They were designed at the same time.

And don't rely on the fact that the M1A's action is similar to the Garand. The FN FAL is a derivative of other earlier tilting block designs, as is the HK's roller locking mechanism.

I'm talking about in the style of the weapon. The M1A has a wooden stock, sling points that allow you to use a sling as a shooting aide, and it just... has that feel.

The HK and FAL are both plastic- stocked rifles with pistol grips. They're great rifles... especially the FAL... but it's not the same feel. It really comes down to preference.

Matt304
March 4, 2008, 03:33 AM
It's funny how the guy asked about 3 specific rifles he's narrowed it down to, and we get the usual bunch trying to begin AR conversation. You AR folks never give it a break!

The M1A is my choice, because of the numerous configurations available, such as sniper stocks etc, each giving the gun very different styles. Yes, there are other rifles with many configurations, but at least this will be one that everyone and their brother doesn't own already. :p

The M1A is also my choice because if I had it, I would do the 458 Win Mag conversion. :) :what:

AndyC
March 4, 2008, 03:39 AM
Quote:Andrewsky, the test to which you refer was heavily-biased in favor of the M14 and has largely been discredited. There is a reference to it in Blake's book of the FAL.

Here we go again, the old Springfield Armory "rigged all the tests" conspiracy. This is one of the most often parroted statements on any gun board without anyone offering the smoking gun or even a shred of evidence other than hearsay to back up the allegations.
I don't care either way, but I'll see what I can find in my copy of the book later on; if something was rigged I'd sure like to hear the information, but I'm sorry you find the possibility so upsetting.

SnakeEater
March 4, 2008, 03:49 AM
It's funny how the guy asked about 3 specific rifles he's narrowed it down to, and we get the usual bunch trying to begin AR conversation. You AR folks never give it a break!
We're here to help.:neener: If he's gonna spend the cash on a rifle, why not get the best? I don't have an FAL, but I do have a LRB M14SA and a PTR-91, both are fine rifles. That being said, the AR-10 is better.

Matt304
March 4, 2008, 03:51 AM
If he's gonna spend the cash on a rifle, why not get the best?

That statement gives me a pretty good idea of the way you guys think. ;)

Ash
March 4, 2008, 04:19 AM
Of course, you can reinvent the wheel or you can observe which rifle is the most wildly distributed throughout the world. The bulk of western militaries made their own choice when faced with this decision.

Ash

Andrewsky
March 4, 2008, 04:35 AM
Of course, you can reinvent the wheel or you can observe which rifle is the most wildly distributed throughout the world. The bulk of western militaries made their own choice when faced with this decision.


Of course, none of those "Western Militaries" tested the FAL against the M14, except for the United States, which is still using the M14 in combat. How many FALs are being used by first-world countries?

:evil:

trbon8r
March 4, 2008, 05:01 AM
I'm sorry you find the possibility so upsetting.

Upsetting? Not particularly. I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't particularly mind if the facts get in the way of a good story. ;)

eldon519
March 4, 2008, 05:48 AM
I've got an M1A Loaded and a DSA StG-58 Carbine.

The FAL is an excellent battle rifle. I'd probably give it the nod in terms of ergonomics. It's also nice that you can adjust the gas system. If for some reason you really depended your life on it, and it started jamming mid-combat, just close the gas port more to get it to cycle harder. The M1A already cycles plenty hard. I might give a slight nod to the FAL for gentler recoil.

The M1A/M14 really is a rifleman's rifle though. The sights on it are fantastic if you ever hope to develop your iron-sight shooting skills at range. The FAL can not compete in this regard, and as far as I know, there are no aftermarket sight options that can give you the range, precision, and control of adjustment found on the M1A sights. The M1A is also properly set up to take a quality shooting sling mounted off the stock. There may be a way to adapt FALs to this, but most of them come from the factory with the front sling swivel hanging off the barrel which changes the POI for the rifle. If you want iron sights, the M1A is simply the way to go. If you want to scope it, the FAL is probably the better way to go since sturdy, low scope mounts are relatively affordable. M1A scope mounts tend to be expensive as well as tall and goofy. For marksmanship, the trigger on the M1A also gets the nod from the factory, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could find a quality trigger set for the FAL. Just take that into account with the price difference if that is something you know you want.

Take from that what you want, but I will throw in that my FAL will be long gone before I ever let go of my M1A.

alaskanativeson
March 4, 2008, 08:46 AM
Well, I must say you guys all gave me some of what I have been looking for. Now that there's been so much good discussion about this let me add a few more things:

I am discounting the HK for the fact that I forgot how annoying the sound of the action was next to my ear. Also the cost of it is significantly more than either of the two (now three) others are.

I plan to occasionally use this for hunting large game. I want MOA (or so) accuracy and I worry about if the FAL is as capable of this (I've seen that concern expressed elsewhere.) I'm a conscientious hunter. I WON'T take a shot over 400 yards and even then it'd have to be the hunt of a lifetime. I'd pass up a world record if I didn't believe I had an honest chance at a one shot kill. I want a rifle that'll help me do that but at the same time I don't plan on going to Camp Perry with this rifle.

I no longer have a twenty-year old's eyes. I'd really like to be able to put some kind of optics on it. The lowest quality scope I have on any of my rifles right now is on my .338 Ruger, it's a Vari-X II 4-12. Good optics are a must, high magnification is a plus.

I'd been discounting the AR design because of a personal dislike. It's an irrational one, I'll admit. My brother, a retired Scout and Armored Cav guy raves on about his M4 that he carried (apart from the pissant caliber.) I've decided that I need to add it into my consideration (only the .308 variety.)

I'm shocked but unless I missed it no one has given the obvious answer:
Get all 3!!!!!


TX, I'd love to. May I borrow your credit card?

Honestly you may be on to something. All three I'm now considering are still good investments. I do have the money as long I can persuade my wife that it's a good idea to spend it.

One more thing: Manufacturers. Which are better? It's a cinch that whatever rifle I get will be sent to a smith to tune and polish it. The two I'm familiar with for the M14 style are Fulton Armory and Springfield Armory. Fulton's more expensive but are they better? Any others to recommend? For the FAL I know there's several out there, are there any stand outs? If it's a Stoner design, I've heard nothing but praise about Rock River Arms and DPMS but is there someone else I'm overlooking?

So many questions, so many answers...

And by the way, thanks for all the thoughts to chew on. I know this may be a topic hacked to death but I'm new to these boards and I'm just getting used to using them. Thanks, iamkris for all the links to check out. I have my reading cut out for the night. I can read quickly but as a teacher I usually go slow and digest the words as I go. What you linked will likely take me all night. Not that I'm complaining mind you... :~)

1KPerDay
March 4, 2008, 01:10 PM
If for some reason you really depended your life on it, and it started jamming mid-combat, just close the gas port more to get it to cycle harder.
Isn't that backwards?

Firepower!
March 4, 2008, 01:21 PM
HK91 without any reservations.

Extremely well built and reliable weapon.

Ash
March 4, 2008, 01:40 PM
No, Taiwan used the M14, too.

But, given the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Austria, Germany (yeah, even Germany), Turkey, Belgium, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil and several others issued the FAL, that establishes every continent of the world save for Antarctica.

And, the FAL had a service life far longer than the m14. Yeah, there are some DM rifles based on the M14 out there, but the M14 was in general use just barely longer than the Krag. Nobody else chose to issue the M14 except for the nation that got all our machinery at bargain-basement prices :what:

Ash

stubbicatt
March 4, 2008, 01:49 PM
I've owned them all, except the AR10. If you intend to put a scope on one of these, choose either the AR10 or the G3 or a suitable clone. Right now you can get a superb optic for the G3 in the surplus Hensholdt scopes available at many online retailers. It is a 4x scope, which will give you all the magnification you need for what you indicate is a less than 400 meter distance of shooting.

They are all good rifles, and I've not experienced any non ammunition related failures to cycle in any of them. They are all stone reliable. The G3 and the M14 seem to handle heat a little bit better than the FAL. The G3 is probably the easiest to clean of the bunch in my experience. The G3 or the PTR91, which I presently own, is a heavy rifle, and perceived recoil *seems* greater to me than the FAL.

And really guys, other than an occasional malfunction, all of these rifles are good rifles. I wouldn't feel outclassed holding any of them.

...Oh yeah, nearly forgot... if you get you a FAL, don't forget your embossed chicken, tactical plaid, oven mitt to hold on to the forend for high volume shooting. I had a predealer sample G1 with the steel handguards that you simply could not hold on to after a mag dump due to the heat. Never had an issue with heat and a G3.

Vaarok
March 4, 2008, 02:11 PM
FAL- right arm of the free world. Field strips with the press of two buttons. Like five moving parts. Inline gas system. Marginally simpler than an AK.

Your other two choices are a blowback subgun mechanism scaled up for a rifle cartridge and made out of sheetmetal, and a barely-modified M-1 Garand target rifle that takes a box-mag.

Ash
March 4, 2008, 02:20 PM
"I had a predealer sample G1 with the steel handguards"

Ah, but I have Israeli wooden handguards and have nary a problem with heat. Ditto for the L1a1 wood or plastic guards...

Ash

sacp81170a
March 4, 2008, 02:41 PM
If it's a Stoner design, I've heard nothing but praise about Rock River Arms and DPMS but is there someone else I'm overlooking?

Armalite, the original. One problem is the cost of the magazines, but they use an M-14 magazine body and you can buy conversion kits if you happen to have any. That's what I bought used, and even in carbine form with a 16" barrel is definitely sub-MOA if I do my part. The problem I had with my M1A was finding a decent scope mount that also gave me a good cheek weld, even if the iron sights are the best in the world. In A4 form, you can use almost any rings you want, the cheek weld is the same for BUIS and scopes, and you can now get it in .338 Federal. That might be a better choice for you if you plan to hunt in Alaska.

H2O MAN
March 4, 2008, 02:49 PM
sacp81170a
Armalite, the original. One problem is the cost of the magazines, but they use an M-14 magazine body

ArmaLite AR-10s now have Gen II mags made by CMI so there is no need to bugger up anymore M14 mags.

If you must mount a scope an an M14 type rifle you should consider the LAW483 M14 MCS from TROY.
This modern stock turns the M14 into a flat top and allows the use of AR butt stocks and grips.
I've tried to like the FAL, but it does nothing for me.

One of my Smith Enterprise, Inc. builds... flawless.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/TDonM14.jpg

MarcusWendt
March 4, 2008, 03:02 PM
No, Taiwan used the M14, too.

But, given the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Austria, Germany (yeah, even Germany), Turkey, Belgium, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil and several others issued the FAL, that establishes every continent of the world save for Antarctica.

Well, there ya go, if it can't stand up to Antarctica, fagggetttabooouttiiitttt! ;)

I think all three have their merits, but I can't believe that no one has mentioned the simple Sexy factor. The M1A/M14 wins that one hands down.

Southern Raider
March 4, 2008, 03:10 PM
Armalite, the original
The Armalite of today is far different from the original Armalite, in the same manner Springfield Armory Inc vs. the original Springfield Armory. The DPMS LR308s will at least use the same mags as the original AR10s. I wonder how much part interchangeability exists between the Armalite AR10s of today and yesteryear...


Back to the topic at hand. Since the original poster expressed the desire for a scope, the HK91 is the last platform I would pick. AR10 rules the roost here as does the M14 in a modern stock such as the Troy MCS. FAL would be second, the M14 in a conventional stock third and the HK a very distant fourth.

I have a saying about HKs: On most rifles, the shooter scopes the rifle. On the HK, the rifle scopes the user. You get very limited options for scope placements and usually have to add cheek pieces, heavy buffers and special buttstocks to make it work right.

There's a reason most HKs have claw marks from scope mounts yet have no scope...

W.E.G.
March 4, 2008, 03:28 PM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/FAL/Hampton-Varela-railonly.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/FAL/Hampton-Varela-EOTECH.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/FAL/Hampton-Varela-scope.jpg

ApexinM3
March 4, 2008, 03:43 PM
Why pick? Get all 3!!!

Seriously, though: All the platforms you mentioned are exceptional weapons in their own rights, and the genesis of each originates many, many years ago from extremely solid designs. You can't go wrong with any of them.

I believe the M1A platform will have less felt recoil than the others, but YMMV. I personally enjoy the M1A, and the 18" scout is an excellent weapon. Especially when mounted to one of the new Troy MCS rifle chassis! The .308 AR platforms appear to be nice but I have no experience with them. Shoot 'em all & pick which one you like the most.

Good luck and just remember: if you get one of anything & find you don't enjoy it, someone here will so don't feel trapped as you can always get rid of it! :D

TexasRifleman
March 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
It's a cinch that whatever rifle I get will be sent to a smith to tune and polish it. The two I'm familiar with for the M14 style are Fulton Armory and Springfield Armory. Fulton's more expensive but are they better? Any others to recommend? For the FAL I know there's several out there, are there any stand outs?

If you buy a Fulton or LRB M14 you won't need to send it anywhere, it will be rock solid day one.

Same with a DSA FAL, it will be ready to go.

One problem you might have is the M14 availability. LRB and Fulton are out of receivers and neither can give a date on when they will have more, so buying one of those rifles new will be a real challenge.

sacp81170a
March 4, 2008, 04:53 PM
The Armalite of today is far different from the original Armalite,

True.

The DPMS LR308s will at least use the same mags as the original AR10s.

True, but the same problem of price and availability still exists.

Back to the topic at hand. Since the original poster expressed the desire for a scope, the HK91 is the last platform I would pick. AR10 rules the roost here as does the M14 in a modern stock such as the Troy MCS.

Also true. I just got a Troy MCS for my M1A and the biggest difference is the weight and bulk. My AR10 is more balanced and manageable. Another difference is the height of the scope's axis above the axis of the bore. With the same height 1" rings, the Troy puts the scope's center axis .25" higher above the axis of the bore. Not a problem, just a difference if compactness and handling characteristics are an issue. I have nothing against RRA or DPMS, I was just responding to the OP's question about alternatives in the AR platform.

Oh, one more point about the Troy, it costs $850 - $1100 depending on configuration and whether you get it on sale, etc. Got mine from Fulton Armory and I'm completely satisfied with it. I wouldn't take it on a hunting trip, though. Jesse Ventura might, but I ain't that big. ;)

H2O MAN:

One of my Smith Enterprise, Inc. builds... flawless.

Niiice. What kind of front sight is that?

H2O MAN
March 4, 2008, 05:00 PM
That is the hooded HK style GLFS-22 from SEI.

sacp81170a Oh, one more point about the Troy, it costs $850 - $1100 depending on configuration and whether you get it on sale, etc.
Got mine from Fulton Armory and I'm completely satisfied with it. I wouldn't take it on a hunting trip, though. Jesse Ventura might, but I ain't that big.

Enjoy your LAW483 M14 MCS by TROY - this is an excellent stock for the M14 type rifle especially if you plan to use traditional optics.

This was mine, but it has been sold.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/SEICHLITE-4XFTS-XR308-MCS.jpg

sacp81170a
March 4, 2008, 05:39 PM
Enjoy your LAW483 M14 MCS by TROY - this is an excellent stock for the M14 type rifle especially if you plan to use traditional optics.

I am enjoying it. I've got the SOPMOD SASS with the Magpul PRS buttstock and the MIAD pistol grip. Great combo with an M1A Loaded from SA. Now I've gotta save more pennies up to stock up on AR10 mags, though, so I won't be changing anything out on the M1A soon.

Andrewsky
March 4, 2008, 08:25 PM
No, Taiwan used the M14, too.

But, given the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Austria, Germany (yeah, even Germany), Turkey, Belgium, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil and several others issued the FAL, that establishes every continent of the world save for Antarctica.

And, the FAL had a service life far longer than the m14. Yeah, there are some DM rifles based on the M14 out there, but the M14 was in general use just barely longer than the Krag. Nobody else chose to issue the M14 except for the nation that got all our machinery at bargain-basement prices

Ash

Actually about 20 countries have used the M14 (and that would be on every continent excluding Antartica, and technically Australia who use their M14s for game management). When Argentina was using the FAL as a battle rifle in 1982, it also had some M14s set up as sniper rifles. Israel took a delivery of 35,000 M14s and made 10,000 sniper rifles out of them. They were replaced in 1997 by M24s.

You also have to keep in mind that none of those countries compared the M14 to the FAL, as the M14 wasn't marketed to other countries.

The only reason the FAL was used longer in service as a standard-issue rifle is because other countries didn't have the same experience in Vietnam that we did. Australians ditched their FALs for M16s in Vietnam too.

M14s are still used in combat as battle rifles and as DMRs. No FALs are being used by first-world nations (which is unfortunate considering the garbage that has replaced them, SA80? NO THANKS!).

A good cure for M14 ignorance :barf: is Different's M14 Rifle History and Development. Just annoys me when people make stuff up about guns out of ignorance.

Ash
March 4, 2008, 08:38 PM
You don't seriously purport to compare distribution of the M14 with the FAL, do you??? The m14 has not seen a tithe of production or distribution of the FAL. (Just the facts, there, just the facts. And I really like the M1a).

Ash

Andrewsky
March 4, 2008, 09:21 PM
You don't seriously purport to compare distribution of the M14 with the FAL, do you??? The m14 has not seen a tithe of production or distribution of the FAL. (Just the facts, there, just the facts. And I really like the M1a).

Ash

Just correcting your false statements.;)

Ash
March 4, 2008, 09:30 PM
No, you are exaggerating your own position. But, as my list was initially limited, if we want to compare adoption by nations...

Metric pattern (actually started as the FAL-Canada)

1953
Canada (FAL Canada, subsequently modified to C1 & C1A1)

1954
USA (test only: X and T-48 models)
UK (subsequently the L1A1)
Belgium
Venezuela (Caliber 7mm Liviano)

1955
Argentina
Libya (cyrenaica)

1956
Luxembourg
Germany (G-1)
Belgian Congo
Syria
Lebanon
Paraguay
Qatar

1957
Kuwait

1958
Peru
Austria (StG-58)
Indonesia

1959
Cuba
Mozambique
Santo Domingo

1960
South Africa (R1)
Chile
Saudi Arabia
Muscat & Oman
cambodia
Ecuador

1961
Holland
Portugal
Ireland (Eire)
Rhodesia
Thailand

1962
India (1A, later their own design)
Liberia

1963
Morocco
Burundi
Ruwanda
St. Lucia

1964
Brazil (IMBEL M-964)
Niger

1965
Greece
Abu Dhabi

1966
Tanzania
Madagascar
Kenya

1967
Nigeria
tunisia

1968
Mexico
cameroon
St. vincent
Sultanate de Raas
Sierra Leone
Bahrein

1969
Dubai
St. Kitts
Panama
Honduras

1971
Lesotho

1974
Malawi

1975
upper Volta
Sharjah
Umm al Qiwain

1977
Pakistan

1978
Botswana
Bolivia


1980
Haiti
Mauritania

Inch pattern- as derived from FN submittals or prototypes

Canada- C1, C2 & C1A1D (and A1 variants)
UK- L1A1
Australia: say OzTrayLeah!!!

and

Australian contracts (isn't capitalism wonderful!)

L2A1-
Australian Army
Australian Navy
Australian Air Force
Barbados
Brunei
Ghana
India
Jamaica
Malaya
Mauritius
New Zealand Army
New Zealand Navy
Singapore
Tanganyika
Trinidad
Uganda
Zambia

L1A1 SLR-
Australian Army
New Zealand
RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force)
Australian Navy
Ghana
ADE Melbourne
Canada (1 only)
UK (1)
Ceylon
Australian Department of Territories
Singapore
Tanganyika
St. Kilda Police
Trinidad
Uganda
Hong Kong
Sarawak
Singapore Police
Rhodesia (1)
Kenya
Bermuda
Rhodesia (contract)
Sabah
Kuala Lampur
Brunei
South Australian Police
Zambia
Barbados
Department of Territories Christmas Islands
Bahrain
British Guyana
ADE Maribyrnong
Cannon Hill Qld
COD BATU
British Honduras
Guyana
Mauritius
West Malaysia
Botswana
Canberra (city)
National Parks & Wildlife (F1 FH)
Papua & New Guinea
Darwin Northern Territories
Gambia
Nigeria
Sharjah
Colombo
MOD London
RSAF Enfield
Belize
United Arab Emirates
Seychelles
State Police Australia
Fiji
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
St. Vincents, West Indies
Nassau, Bahamas
Leeward Islands, WI
SARCO, UK (5)
Tasmanian police
Korea PMC
Italy

Now, what was your list?

Ash

eldon519
March 4, 2008, 09:34 PM
If for some reason you really depended your life on it, and it started jamming mid-combat, just close the gas port more to get it to cycle harder.
Isn't that backwards?

No it's right. The gas port vents gas to the atmosphere and lets it escape from the gas system. By closing up and covering more of the gas port hole, you are keeping more of the gas in the system to cycle the bolt.

Andrewsky
March 4, 2008, 10:00 PM
Ash, why do you insult me?

I've said everything that I've needed to say, and that's that.

Ash
March 4, 2008, 10:27 PM
I'm not insulting you. If you think I have or am, I apologize.

Ash

Vityaz
March 4, 2008, 10:53 PM
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m145/StarshinaTac/license_20080304194033_64576.jpg

W.E.G.
March 4, 2008, 11:18 PM
In before the lock.

Vityaz
March 5, 2008, 12:02 AM
Any of the 3 rifles will work. ;)

zinj
March 5, 2008, 12:07 AM
I thought the trials involving the M-14 and FAL found that they were largely equivalent in both accuracy and reliability. The reason the M-14 was chosen was because it supposedly could use the M-1 tooling.

Andrewsky
March 5, 2008, 12:30 AM
Just going by the numbers, the M14 was slightly more reliable.

Ash
March 5, 2008, 07:48 AM
That makes no sense. By the numbers, the FAL is far superior. Even in the US, the FAL was coming out front. One of the arguments in favor of the M14 was ease of manufacture since it was so similar to the m1. Except this was not the case.

But by the numbers, the FAL was considerably more desirable than the M14. Vastly more FAL's were produced than M14's and were issued to far more nations than the M14, whether by direct number, or in armies who chose it for their main military arm. In the latter role, the FAL squashes the M14 in adoption. It proved very successful in very bad places, where maintenance was not regular. Sub-saharan Africa, India, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, all of these places saw the FAL in action in far-flung places where support was non-existent. They just kept on soldiering on - very much like the AK.

Again, I want to emphasize that I like the M14 type rifle (even paid a bunch of cash for one). But in the end, design-wise, it cannot be said that the m14 was a more reliable rifle. The evidence is simply contrary to that.

(Also again, this is not intended to insult as no malice is intended)

Ash

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 07:50 AM
But by the numbers, the FAL was considerably more desirable than the M14. Vastly more FAL's were produced than M14's and were issued to far more nations than the M14, whether by direct number, or in armies who chose it for their main military arm.

Using that logic... the AK is superior to the FAL.

Ash
March 5, 2008, 07:56 AM
As an assault rifle the AK is far better than the FAL. Not nearly as accurate, but actually capable of select fire. The FAL is not suitable for the select fire role. In that vein, the AR-based rifles are also better. The FAL is heavier, carries less ammo, and cannot be controlled with accuracy in select fire (notice the FAL was never built with a 3-round burst (at least, not that I am aware of)). It is the ultimate Main Battle Rifle, and is also a successful DMR. It is a better main battle rifle than the M14.

It is not a better assault rifle than the AK or AR. In the assault rifle role, it is clear that it is not as good as either. But as the numbers go, most of the nations which adopted the FAL have replaced it either with the AK or AR (or derivatives of either).

Ash

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 08:00 AM
Applying your more is better logic the AK must be superior to the FAL in every way. More have been produced and issued.

Ash
March 5, 2008, 08:03 AM
Eh, no.

Ash

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 08:09 AM
Yep. Strength in numbers is why you champion the FAL, but the total number of FALs is insignificant when compared to the total number of AKs.

TexasRifleman
March 5, 2008, 08:13 AM
Also keep in mind one reason there have been so many FALs produced was simply the availability of the licensing of the designs, both metric and inch.

Durning the boom days FN was selling manufacturing rights to just about anybody that wanted them which certainly made it easier for them to be produced in quantity.

The AK saw the same thing, licensed and unlicensed manufacturers cranking them out my the truckload.

The M14 was just too hard to produce easily.

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 08:19 AM
:) Also keep in mind that the modernized M14 our troops are using today in growing
numbers are much more accurate and reliable that the M14 of just a few years ago.
Neither the FAL or HK can hold a candle to the modernized M14.
This same M14 modernization program is available to civilians :cool:

Airborne
March 5, 2008, 08:22 AM
With respect to the post WW2 rifle trials, I believe the US military also weighed the Manual of Arms heavily in their selection criteria. FAL = left side cocking handle, pistol grip, bolt catch down low, rubber butt plate, etc.

There's nothing quite like the sound of a large section of soldiers simultaneously slamming the steel butt-plates of their heavy battle rifles to the tarmac... "ORDER ARMS"... BANG!:D The present day military honor guards still use M14's for good reason... nostalgic and very impressive in action. Besides, you just can't twirl an FAL. :neener:

I would imagine the Manual of Arms for a G3 is even weirder since the bolt hold open is a notch in the cocking tube and on the left, pistol grip, etc.

Personally, I think theyre all great rifles. Any of them would serve you well. If I had to choose between the three, Id go with the M1A because Im heavily biased in favor of US military nostalgia and because it has a steel butt plate! :D

Ash
March 5, 2008, 08:40 AM
But apples, man, apples. The modernized M14 compared to an unmodernized rifle in its design of 50 years earlier. Come on. Use your head.

As to numbers to numbers, the argument is absurd. The FAL was adopted by vastly more nations than the M14 even after Taiwan received the equipment to produce the m14. Taiwan was unable to flood the market with m14's even though they made them available. When two rifles of the same type, main battle rifles, are compared, numbers, when they are so utterly lop-sided, do provide support to the argement that the FAL was the better combat rifle.

Bandied numbers comparing an assault rifle to the FAL go only so far. As assault rifles, the AK was VASTLY better than the FAL. The FAL, like the M14, are miserable assault rifles. When you have the SKS, FAL, M14, BM-59, FN-49, or AK available, which one, do you suppose, would be considered the best assault rifle? And the numbers will that out.

The AR is a better overall rifle than the AK. In that way, numbers begin to fail as supporting arguments. The AK is better in unsupported areas, the AR is superior for the professional soldier. So, among the nations with professional soldiers which one is issued more, the AK or the AR? The AR, of course. Thus, total production or adoption cannot be used.

But, compare the "professional army" model with production/adoption numbers above. IN the vast majority of industrialized western nations, the FAL was the rifle of choice. Now that is a simple, undeniable fact. Compare that to the M14's adoption and, well, there is no comparison. Take a look at the abused Indian, Rhodesian, or Turkish FAL's and you realize just how much abuse and lack of care the FAL can endure without failure. And that is not just anecdotal evidence. The FAL proved durable in some of the worst #%!! holes in existence. The m14 was not distributed anywhere near as broadly. That is just a fact, neither good nor bad nor biased, just a fact. It matters not at all what we personally think or believe.

Compare the kissing cousin of the M14, the BM-59. It was a failure in Indonesia. Now, that is not a direct relation, of course. The BM-59 is NOT an M14. But given the relatively weak distribution of the m14, we are limited in the amount of anecdotal evidence out there.

I like the M14. I think it makes an excellent rifle and is certainly more accurate than the FAL (but not vastly more accurate in standard configuration). But accuracy does not the better rifle make. The P08 Parabellum was certainly more accurate in WWI than the 1911. Which, however, was the better pistol?

Ash

Ash

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 08:42 AM
I live in the now and live for tomorrow and beyond.
The modernized M14 is what it is and it ain't the M14 of old.

The modernized M14 is made for the professional soldier.

Ash
March 5, 2008, 08:53 AM
I happen to agree with you. And, given the nature of the argument, the M14 in a modernized guise may be better than the FAL. I personally think an FAL can be equally modernized - but comparing a modernized M14 to an unmodernized FAL is not an equal comparison.

In any case, the modernized M14 is undoubtably a fine rifle. It is not, however, the rifle adopted and then quickly replaced by the US military.

Ash

H2O MAN
March 5, 2008, 09:07 AM
Ash I happen to agree with you. And, given the nature of the argument, the M14 in a modernized guise may be better than the FAL.

:cool:

Ash
March 5, 2008, 09:37 AM
Oh, but blinders make it tough to see the whole picture...

Ash

iamkris
March 5, 2008, 09:45 AM
Ugh, this is devolving into an arfcom-like arguement.

In the end, the FAL, M1A and G3 are all fine MBRs. The AR10 has finally come on the scene in large enough numbers for people to wrap their heads around them.

I personally think it comes down to personal preference...where one platform wins, the other loses. If I had to personally chose, it would be FAL, M1A, AR10, G3 in that order (fortunately, I haven't had to choose...I own them all). My ratings are based on THOROUGHLY MODERNIZED (e.g., assume all the collapsible/folding stocks, rail systems, gee-gaws all over the dang thing) versions of the products.

Ranking in order (YMMV):

Ergonomics - AR10, FAL, M1A, G3
Accuracy potential - AR10, M1A, FAL/G3 (tie)
Sights - AR10/M1A (tie), FAL (with stock sights, ties for 1st with new Hampton lower/A2 sights), G3
Fieldstrip/maintenance/cleaning capability - AR10/FAL (tie), M1A, G3
Reliability - FAL/G3/M1A (3-way tie), AR10
Availability of mags/spare parts - FAL, M1A, G3, AR10
Test of time/use - FAL/M1A(tie), G3, AR10

In other words, there is no clear winner on these criteria. For me, the FAL is the most ergonomic, handy, easiest to maintain rifle of the 4. With the Hampton lowers and much better triggers from DSA, there is no longer a gap with the M1A/AR10. The FAL will never be known as a match rifle but mine all shoot 1-1/2 to 2 MOA.

FAL for me. And I'll happily reach deeper in the safe for any of the others.

FuzzyBunny
March 5, 2008, 10:26 AM
Which ever one you get. Be sure to get enough spare parts to last a few generations.

The price could go sky high or be unavailable cheap like they are now with no notice.

Just my opinion!
One is none and 2 is one.

Vityaz
March 5, 2008, 06:49 PM
This thread is still going?

Any of the three will work and do their job well.

Just going by how many countries used a rifle doesn't make it any better than another.

Whatever one you want basically just comes down to personal preference.

Andrewsky
March 5, 2008, 10:47 PM
Ash, the US Army tested the M14 against the FAL (from 3 different manufacturers including FN) and it was more reliable.

Ash, the US Army tested the M14 against the FAL (from 3 different manufacturers including FN) and it was more reliable.

Ash, the US Army tested the M14 against the FAL (from 3 different manufacturers including FN) and it was more reliable.

elmerfudd
March 5, 2008, 11:22 PM
Personally, I'd go with two rifles not on the list. The AR10 and the Saiga 308. The AR10 beats all the others when it comes to accuracy with better scope mounting, and ergonomics better than everything except for the FAL, and it costs less too. For a precision DMR type rifle, this would be my choice.

The Saiga is cheaper and more reliable than any of them and has similar accuracy to an FAL but is smaller and handier. For a beater EOTWAWKI rifle it's hard to beat.

anymanusa
March 6, 2008, 12:33 AM
get a FAL first, AR10 or M14 next. Forget about the HK, and the M1.

I LOVE my FAL and my AR10. The AR10 from DPMS has incredible accuracy with crappy ammo.

H2O MAN
March 6, 2008, 07:28 AM
I sold my AR-10 to fund another M14 build... no regrets :)

silverlance
March 6, 2008, 01:28 PM
This subject comes up so often I should probably write a little piece to simply cut and paste.

The M1A is has sexy curves. The M1A is much more accurate at +200 yards than the FAL, both in stock configuration. The M1A is more ergonomically combat-adaptible - if your idea of combat is belly-crawling along the ground. And, Fudds will like you for not having an "assault weapon". Then again, your front sight is part of your flash suppressor, so if you damage your FS you need a gunsmith.

Now, on to the FAL. It has an adjustable gas system that can be adjusted to adapt to any kind of ammo within reason, anywhere in the world, straight up to grenade launching blanks. hot loads, light loads, no problem. The FAL can be stripped in about 25 seconds. I can do it in 40. The FAL has a much better grip angle, and you can actually carry it at the low ready while opening doors due to the pistol grip. The muzzle attachment on the FAL can easily be switched. Magazines are dirt cheap. Quality parts are easily available. But you won't need them since the FAL is damn near indesctructible.

Both guns are a PITA to scope properly, and will cost a pretty penny to do so.

A good M1A is about 60% more in cost than a good FAL. Parts and mags are at least double in cost.

Kev

alaskanativeson
March 6, 2008, 01:49 PM
Thanks for all the input, you guys have told me most of the things I wanted to know. Everyone has their opinion and for the most part they all agree:

- All of my choices would be a great MBR.

- The FAL is the most widely distrubuted and generally most reliable. It's easy to get parts for and work on but lacks the inherant tack-driver ability of the M14 or the AR.

- The G3/91 is a really tough gun that's also reliable but not as polished as some and is more difficult to customize. Genuine HKs are more expensive but the PTR is a reasonably priced and decent clone.

- The M14 is an American tradition with a more conventional rifle look. It's a good choice to accurize and the action is a strong as hell. Parts and mags are a little harder and more expensive to come by.

The AR is the most accurate and can be made even more so. Parts and manufacturers are on the rise and most are good quality. The downside on this rifle for me is still that I just really don't like the design (it's that whole "personal preference" thing, though I'm sure I'd still enjoy shooting it.)

Did I miss anything?

The bottom line is that none of them are lemons as long as I go with a decent manufacturer. I have purchased a kit from Gun Parts Guy and a Hesse receiver from someone else, but I'm probably going to let the receiver sit and wait for a cheap kit to build. I'm going to go ahead and order an STG-58 from DSA along with one of their type 1 receivers to build my kit with. Over the summer I'm probably going to get an M14 as well.

Anybody think I made a bad choice? (That was a rhetorical question.) I'm excited about it.

AndyC
March 6, 2008, 03:35 PM
The only bad choice was the Hesse receiver :barf:

Ash
March 6, 2008, 04:25 PM
Andrewsky,

Was that really necessary?

Ash

alaskanativeson
March 6, 2008, 04:41 PM
The only bad choice was the Hesse receiver

It was cheap. I'm taking just about anything cheap I can find to stock up on. After what I believe is an impending new AWB the prices will boom even for crap. My DSA stuff will be for me, but I won't turn down anything reasonable. If anyone has some FAL stuff they'd like to part with, feel free to PM me.

AndyC
March 6, 2008, 07:54 PM
Well, you did ask ;)

Hopefully you can get it to run ok.

dscottw88
March 6, 2008, 10:29 PM
I'd be interested in waiting to see if the Magpul Massoud is any good... Oooh I'm shaking in excitement!

Stevie-Ray
March 6, 2008, 11:08 PM
Strange, but those were the 3 choices I was agonizing over about 20 years ago. The forged receiver of the FAL won out over the steel stampings of the HK-91. But as I entered the show, decided on seeking out the SAR-48, I saw that M1A. They were the same price back then, $645. I spent about an hour at the guy's table; I think he sold about 5 guns after I got there and before I left. I did buy the SAR-48, and have never been sorry. I got the Heavy Barrel version with wooden furniture

1911Gunslinger
May 30, 2008, 09:20 AM
I have all four guns and here is what it boils down to, the M1A has better sights and trigger, better inherent accuracy and will function reliably with most all commercial or surplus ammo, mags and parts are ungodly expensive, scope mounts shoot loose and those long goofy op rods WILL break.
FN FAL -so so trigger and sights, better upgrades are available though, very cheap parts and mags, will function reliably with most all commercial and surplus ammo, adjustable gas system lets you tune the rifle for atmospheric and ammunition variables and is very reliable under adverse conditions.
HK G3/91- lighter that m1a and fal, fewer parts, very cheap mags, replacement parts can be expensive, will require more attention due to rollers, locking piece and trunnion wearing, poor trigger and can be very unreliable with some surplus ammo due to the bullet sealant clogging up the chamber flutes fairly quickly.
AR10- good sights,trigger and excellent accuracy, expensive mags and parts and the gas system tends to not be the most reliable under adverse conditions, more of a target rifle than a battle rifle.

Tigerclaw_x
May 30, 2008, 09:29 AM
HK91 and clones are UBER reliable and unkillable. FAL, on another hand, has some problems with sand, as israelis discovered (and adopted an AK based rifle). M14 is simply overrated. Plain and simple. Furthermore, the Springfield ones have some issues with receivers sometimes. Though not often.
I WILL BE THE FIRST ONE TO ADMIT that M1A comes with the best sights out of the box and thus more accurate.
Here is something for you to consider:
C-91 - HK 91 clone. Bought last July. Uber accurate and eats any ammo $600
L1A1 Sporter. Bought this March. Less accurate and eats any ammo $635.
Springfield M1A. $1400 and therefore not bought.

I got TWO reliable rifles for less then M1A would cost me.

MTMilitiaman
May 30, 2008, 04:10 PM
But apples, man, apples. The modernized M14 compared to an unmodernized rifle in its design of 50 years earlier. Come on. Use your head.

I don't know. I think it is just as fair to compare modernized M14s to unmodernized M14s as it is to compare modernized ARs to unmodernized ARs of 40+ years ago.

As to numbers to numbers, the argument is absurd. The FAL was adopted by vastly more nations than the M14 even after Taiwan received the equipment to produce the m14. Taiwan was unable to flood the market with m14's even though they made them available. When two rifles of the same type, main battle rifles, are compared, numbers, when they are so utterly lop-sided, do provide support to the argement that the FAL was the better combat rifle.

Bandied numbers comparing an assault rifle to the FAL go only so far. As assault rifles, the AK was VASTLY better than the FAL. The FAL, like the M14, are miserable assault rifles. When you have the SKS, FAL, M14, BM-59, FN-49, or AK available, which one, do you suppose, would be considered the best assault rifle? And the numbers will that out.

The AR is a better overall rifle than the AK. In that way, numbers begin to fail as supporting arguments. The AK is better in unsupported areas, the AR is superior for the professional soldier. So, among the nations with professional soldiers which one is issued more, the AK or the AR? The AR, of course. Thus, total production or adoption cannot be used.

Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Basically then the numbers can only be used when they support your argument. Any time the numbers do not support your argument, they are invalid, even if the AR arguably never achieved popularity for some of the same reasons as the M14--namely, being comparatively more expensive and difficult to manufacture.

And I don't think Andrewsky ever meant to insinuate that the M14 was distributed in larger numbers than the FAL, just that is was distributed in slightly larger numbers than you originally gave it credit for, and credit is due where credit is due.

Right now, of the three, I tend to favor the M14/M1A over the other two, with the FAL coming in second. The G3 and clones would be tied for last with the AR and its clones. I have an M1A and am currently trying to claw together enough money for a DS Arms Para FAL.

As I've said before, the M1A will appeal to the rifleman in you. If you identify yourself as a rifleman, the M1A speaks to you in a way few other rifles can. The M1A is built by and for riflemen, and to that end, everything is where it should be. The sights, trigger, balance, and ergonomics are all top notch. The rifle is comfortable to shoulder and to shoot. I love my M1A in an almost unhealthy way. It is the only thing that I own that I would run into a burning building to save. Sure, it might be harder to scope and clean, and more expensive than some alternatives, but these are, IMO, minor deficiencies compared to how the rifle feels at the shoulder and shoots. The sights are so good I currently have no plans to scope it, the rifle doesn't require constant maintenance to run and the only thing that has to be cleaned on a regular basis is the gas system. Just use the tool or a 3/8 inch wrench, wipe down the gas system, run a cable with a brush through the bore a couple times, and reassemble, and you're done. You don't even have to take it out of the stock but once in a great while. And this is one of those cases where I feel you get what you pay for--the M1A is, for me, worth the cost. And this is all an unmodernized, cast receiver Springfield. I can't imagine how cherry an SEI must be...

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Guns/M1AandMilSpec2.jpg

The FAL is fine, but as a lefty isn't quite as ergonomic for me. I would prefer an ambi-safety, which is an option I am utilizing from DS Arms, and one reason why my FAL is going to be more expensive than my M1A. I have a lot of respect for the FAL and something tells me when I finally get my hands on one, asking me to decide between it and my M1A is going to be like asking me to choose my favorite child, or decide which lung I can do without.

The G3 isn't nearly as ergonomic for me. It doesn't have the balance. By most reports it has more felt recoil than the other models and can be a PITA to clean. The triggers on the ones I've held were terrible. A roller lock clone would require a paddle style magazine release conversion and a trigger job be factored into the initial cost of the rifle. The sights were okay, but not as good as the M1As. Like paying $800 for a polymer framed handgun with a crappy trigger just because it was designed by HK and therefore somehow makes the user elite, I don't see how it makes any sense to pay $800+ for a stamped receiver rifle with a crappy trigger just because it was designed by HK and therefore somehow makes the user elite.

And I despise the AR. Ergos are fine and I know I can keep them running. But they just don't feel right to me. The sound and operate like cartoons to me. And I know I've said that before as well. I just could never get over the SPOING sound of the buffer tube assembly next to my head. It makes the AR feel like an ACME rocket Wiley Coyote would use, and if I never have to clean another AR star chamber again, it will be too soon.

Gunnerpalace
May 30, 2008, 04:56 PM
I'll say the M1A, for #HTF ammo availability,

I do like the HK's though, I like the charging handle.

BTW has anybody started the "SA rigged the test" line?

GunTech
May 30, 2008, 06:54 PM
The M1a is my current rifle of choice in 308, but I've owned just about every variety of 7.62x51mm battle rifle. I like MTMilitiaman's comment about it being the rifleman's rifle. I like the feel and the trigger and sights are imcomparable. My AR-10 will shoot rings around it, but i still like it better. I found the FAL to be a fine rifle hampered by poor sights and trigger, and lacking the accuracy of the M1A . Then again, the M1A has a whole histopry of being accurized for match shooting and several manufacturers make barrels and other accessories. The FAL doesn't have this advantage, with most parts being either surplus military or aftermarket items purely to make FAL 922R compliant.

I never saw the appeal of the HK rifles or their clones. I've owned a few, and their ergonomics suck. They are a triumph of mass production and were probably popular because for their day they we much less costly than any other western made battle rifle

The FAL is undoubtably more widely distributed than the M1A/M15 because the US and Springfield Armory (the real one) never sought foreign contracts, while FAL sought to sell the FAL to as many countries as possible. It really had little to do with design

I personally find the adjustable gas system to be less of a 'feature' and more of a 'fix'. The constant volume gas system of the M14 allows it to shoot a wide variety of ammunition without adjustment, although the variation are admittedly much narrower than the M14/M1A.

If you plan to leave the rife as is, any of the three rifles mentioned are fine. Pick what you like and that feels good.

If you ever plan on tarting your rifle up, stay away from the HK. It is a pain to work on and their aren't the add-on of the other two. If you want to accurize your rifle, there are far more options and smiths that will work on the M14/M1a than the other rifles.

Good luck.

Buzzbox
May 30, 2008, 10:26 PM
Buy an M14/M1A. It will please you more on the range, with just stock iron sights.

Vaarok
May 31, 2008, 09:41 AM
Read the poster.

http://photos-c.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v288/136/94/500015665/n500015665_912530_7210.jpg

articdog
May 31, 2008, 10:06 AM
An earlier post by tpelle mentioned an M1 Garand as a proven option and the advantages of its enbloc system.

As an option, you can buy an M1 Garand, rebarrel it to .308, use a spacer in the feed system (to avoid charging a 30-06 round) and you've got a completely reliable, durable, and accurate rifle.

The cost will be the rifle (~600-700), barrel (~$200-300), and gunsmith (~$100).

I've had this done twice and not looked back. Best thing to do is shoot an M1 Garand and see how you like it before modifying to .308.

MTMilitiaman
May 31, 2008, 01:49 PM
With the comparatively low cost of .30-06 Greek M2 ball surplus and the utter lack of cheap surplus for the 7.62x51, I have no idea why someone would want to convert a Garand to .308--at least not now. Maybe in the future when we get some relatively cheap surplus back for it, but not now.

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