The Most Reliable .308 Semiauto Rifle


Nando Aqui
August 28, 2003, 05:32 PM
For well over a year I have read five firearm forums almost daily and others less frequently. Some of the forums are tailored specifically for a type or types of firearms, and others are of a more general nature.

At one time or another, every popular .30 semiautomatic rifle has been cited as having experienced some sort of malfunction. This has included FAL types, M14/M1A, M1 Garands, CETMEs, HK91-clones, and others. Less-popular rifles that I am not including are the FN49, 7.62 Valmet and other more obscure makes. I purposely narrowed the assessment to .30 caliiber to keep the exercise manageable.

But there is one popular rifle that I have not become aware of anyone having problems with it: an original manufacture Heckler & Koch HK91. Accuracy not withstanding, even though the HK91 does rather well in this aspect also, it appears that there have been very few, if any malfunctions due to inherent characteristics with this rifle. By the way, my own experience with my HK91 and other rifles reflects what I have just stated, and as of right now, if I had to grab just one rifle, my HK91 would be the one.

What has been ‘your’ own experience with the reliability of the Heckler & Koch HK91? How would you compare it with ‘your’ other rifles of similar type?

Thanks –

Note: Regarding the AK47 semiautomatic rifle versions – Since there are so many variants and manufacturers of these rifles and clones, I decided to exclude the type because I am not familiar enough with them to make the selection of a brand, or type, etc. That having been said, I do know that they are very reliable.

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Dave R
August 28, 2003, 08:00 PM
Don't have an HK, but let's see if I can use some logic here and come up with a decent answer.

-The CETME was the immediate predecessor of the HK-91. Same team, minor revisions.

-My Century CETME has never misfed in over a case worth of ammo since I bought it. I like shooting it a lot.

-Therefore, my CETME is perfectly reliable.

-Since the HK-91 is an improved version of the CETME, it must be even better, and even more reliable.


That was easy ;)

Marko Kloos
August 28, 2003, 11:05 PM
Can't speak for the HK91, but I've used the H&K G3 for four years fairly extensively. Between my issued rifle and all the "loaners" I used while attending different schools, I have never had a failure of any kind in a G3 while using live ammunition. (The blanks were green plastic with brass case heads, and they would melt in a hot rifle and cause jams on occasion.)

August 28, 2003, 11:41 PM
M14 all the way.

August 29, 2003, 12:00 AM
I have several friends in the Danish army. They tried to shoot their G3s to failure. Eventually (thousands of rounds) they started extracting poorly. The Danes put a little vaseline on the next case neck and fired. This blew the gunk out of the chamber grooves and the gun contined to fire for hundreds of rounds.

With metal mags I've never had a jam (and mine is a Greek made gun). Including with softpoint ammo. The design is really breathtakingly simple and doesn't have narrow areas that bore gases can condense in, like a gas piston.

August 29, 2003, 08:25 PM
M14. 'nuff said.

August 29, 2003, 10:38 PM
I have had only good results out of my CETME. I can hold tight groups with the open sights at 100m and parts are available one ebay, gunbroker, etc.

Also there is one heck of a group of guys to help support CETME shooters at

Johnny in Huntsville

August 30, 2003, 10:33 AM
The G3/HK-91 is one very reliable rifle; no gas system to get all full of cack and no external op rod to bend or jump track is a Good Thing. Yeah, it has all the handling characteristics of a pistol-gripped railroad tie, but the M1A and FAL ain't exactly svelte either, y'know. ;)

August 30, 2003, 11:55 AM

August 30, 2003, 02:38 PM
M14. 'nuff said.

Depends what vintage :barf:

August 30, 2003, 03:43 PM
It would be interesting to see a torture test on a HK91/G3 and a AK based .308 like a Galil or Valmet along with all the others listed. Something like that Alaska state patrol extreme cold duty torture test on all the .223 rifles from a magazine a couple years ago (I don't think any of the non-AK based actioned rifles did well). I would like to see how these stack up.

August 30, 2003, 06:54 PM
.308 Galils and Valmets aren't really known for stellar durability; especially .308 Galils.

August 30, 2003, 06:56 PM
Depends what vintage :barf:

Gosh Skunk, out of all the different vintages of M1A's you've owned, which were good years and which were bad ones? Which vintages should we watch out for? Or are you maybe making a generalization based on one lemon? :scrutiny:

August 30, 2003, 07:37 PM
What kind of problems does the .308 Galil have? Haven't read much about them. The .223 Galil won the overall Alaska State Patrol test I mentioned earlier.

August 30, 2003, 11:48 PM

What kind of durability problems have the Galils had?


August 30, 2003, 11:58 PM
Slamfires, kabooms, battering which leads to headspace issues which leads to the aforementioned two. Heard bad things from both the Errornet and from two reputable 'smiths who've worked on more than one busted Galil. Matter of fact, we have one in the shop right now that's being restored after serious damage, under the caveat that it will be a wallhanger after it's fixed. The gun will be returned with the firing pin in a separate ziploc and a note to that effect. :uhoh:

August 31, 2003, 01:50 AM
My first evil black rifle when I was a 19 year old punk in 82 was an HK 93..............that would happily produce a bolt in several broken pieces after the use of some IMI .223 ammo. It became sort of a game between HK and I and eventually they bought the rifle back.

The origional 91/G3 series produced from the Cetme is bulletproof though!

August 31, 2003, 12:37 PM
I was one of the lucky ones to get to carry an M14 in VietNam. 13 1/2 months with a LRRP team and I can attest to the fact that it is one of the best if not the best battle rifle ever made. I have a civilian version in a Springfield M1A and it has never missed a beat. It's about 15 yrs old. I have a Remington 742 that is pretty good if you use the mag. that came with it. Every aftermarket mag I've tried in it would jam. In the 7.62 line, my Norinco SKS is great. Never burped either and I've had it for about 15 yrs too and I've put thousands of rounds thru it.
Anyway, another vote for the M14 or its varients

September 2, 2003, 05:10 AM
Skunky's "tactical one" looks not so tactical now..

And he can't hit much with it.. Is it him or the gun? He'll blame the gun... :D

He says it's a $1500 SKS.. Well, I love "my" $1500 SKS.. :neener:

September 2, 2003, 05:52 AM
I've seen enough Ak-4 (Swedish made H&K G3) fail to extract to know they're not perfect. The fix have been simple though, change the spring that holds the extractor and they have been working just fine again.

The one I was given last saturday worked just fine, and I managed to shoot a 1" 3-shot group at 100m, open sights and issue ammo, even though it's very worn, not much finish left on some parts and dinged and scratched. Must admit that normal groups was more like 2" then 1, but I'm kind of impressed. :)

Joe Demko
September 2, 2003, 10:38 AM
I have a PTR-91 that isn't giving me any problems. Also had a Polytech M-14 clone that was problem-free. Except for those few who are in firearms sales or who were part of a military that issued a .30 caliber rifle, how many of us here are qualified to answer the question with anything but information about the specific individual rifles we own?

September 2, 2003, 11:20 AM

Dad used one when he was in back in the 60's and
I used a M21 from 1982-1984 with the 1/75.

Still use a M1A for calling pred's.

September 2, 2003, 12:29 PM
One of the neat things about a FAL is that if the rifle gets gunked up, you can just reach up and dial the gas system down a notch or two to compensate.
I prefer the ergonomics of the M14, but where reliability is concerned you'd have to give the nod to the FAL. I mean, if the M14 gets gunked up, you just have to stop and clean it.


September 2, 2003, 02:29 PM
I remember reading an gun magazine(SOF?) decades ago subjecting assault rifles to "Crest" test. This is where they literally squart crest all over the action and function test the rifle.

The only one really past the crest was the AK action based. I believe Valmet was represented and passed.

The HK-91 was able to function, but only on single action mode.

I believe most of other weapons failed.

September 2, 2003, 02:52 PM
Good to know if you are ever going to be in a high-toothpaste enviorment!

.........but typical of a lapdog gun rag attempt at a stress test. The fact that seemingly none of the morons were killed by the tootpaste-clogged rifles says alot about the robustness of the designs.

September 2, 2003, 08:43 PM
If you're looking for a rifle that has never skipped a beat, there ain't no such animal. Every post about someones rifle that has never mal'fd is purely anecdotal. From my experience with AKs they are less reliable that Colt ARs and my M1A has been back to the factory twice.

I personally like the FAL and there is a thread on about one that has been horibly abused and continues to function. .. of course YMMV.

Ala Dan
September 2, 2003, 09:25 PM
I toted a M-14 while in the U.S. Army; and I can't
recall ever having a problem with it!:)

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 3, 2003, 02:32 AM
The .223 Galil won the overall Alaska State Patrol test I mentioned earlier.

Your informed except there is no Alaska State Patrol its the Alaska State Troopers and they went with AR15's and M16 anyway. Galil's do do well in the cold however.

September 3, 2003, 02:53 AM
Yes, but the AR-15 is NOT a .308 caliber rifle, and is therefore immaterial to this discussion.

And few consider the AR-10 to be the most rugged when stacked up against the FAL, M14, G3, and Galil.

September 3, 2003, 03:14 AM
Yes, but the AR-15 is NOT a .308 caliber rifle, and is therefore immaterial to this discussion.

The AR10 has many advantages if you get a good one over the FAL and M1A. I sold my M1A when I got my AR10T. The AR10 is more accurate and easier to mount optics to. The FAL is a good gun but shares some of the same problems of the M14 when it comes to optics mounting. Also lighten up I was not the one who mentioned the AR15 first. Take a deep breath and get over it.

September 3, 2003, 10:50 AM
It's no problem at all to mount optics on a FAL. In fact, you can install and remove them in seconds by just replacing the top cover.


September 3, 2003, 12:28 PM
It's no problem at all to mount optics on a FAL. In fact, you can install and remove them in seconds by just replacing the top cover.



If you trust a set screw then its a great set up. Sorry but this system is not near as secure as a flat top AR10.

September 3, 2003, 04:52 PM
I've fired over 1,300 rounds through my H&R-built Garand without a malfunction, what is the source of your information?

Futo Inu
September 3, 2003, 05:13 PM
"And few consider the AR-10 to be the most rugged when stacked up against the FAL, M14, G3, and Galil"

Galils come in .308?

September 3, 2003, 06:16 PM
Yep, Galils were also made in .308. As were some of their forebears, the Valmet.

Other rifles for consideration in .308 are the Beretta BM-59s and the SIG AMT and SIG 542.

In other battle calibers you have the MAS 49/56, FN 49, Tokarev and FG42.

September 4, 2003, 04:07 AM

Did I come across as upset or excited in the two sentences I posted?

And while I'm sure the AR-10 is a fine target rifle, the examples I've examined are simply too tight, in my opinion, for reliable field use when you're down in it crawling through the slop. That tightness, of course, gives the rifle it's accuracy, which is quite good for a semiauto, but as with all things, it's a tradeoff.

With a well made scope mount, few have had any troubles scoping the FAL.

September 4, 2003, 10:05 PM
" And while I'm sure the AR-10 is a fine target rifle, the examples I've examined are simply too tight, in my opinion, for reliable field use when you're down in it crawling through the slop. That tightness, of course, gives the rifle it's accuracy, which is quite good for a semiauto, but as with all things, it's a tradeoff."

my opinion as well based on the experience of one of my fellow carbine class students. He was shooting SA battlepacks and consistently getting FTEs after the gun got a little dirty. He looked at the spent cases and said he could see evidence of a tight chamber, i didn't as i was sucking water and trying not to puke.

4v50 Gary
September 5, 2003, 12:17 AM

Remington Employee
December 11, 2003, 03:14 PM
Any one of the following I would be on my list of guns I would trust my life to.

1) Galil or Valmet
2)M1 Garand
4) M1A/M14 (Early Springfields or my FedOrd/TRW with proper hardening)

Harry Tuttle
December 11, 2003, 03:57 PM
Molot Vepr in .308
Strong like bull,
Smart like rock.

December 11, 2003, 04:29 PM
I've got the most experience with FALs so I'm biased in that direction as far as .308 rifles go. They are remarkably reliable. (unless you happen to have one break at the WC3gun while shooting for Team TFL).

Something to keep in mind, I've done a lot of testing with my rifles in sand. (Utah high desert, so not the same as that fine silty crap in the middle east) I've found that any type of semi auto rifle will malfunction when you get a significant amount of sand in the action. The AK works the best, the FAL works pretty good, and the AR works the least well.

However sand in the magazines is the real killer. I found that FAL .308 magazines were very vulnerable, as were AR .223 mags. If you got sand in there you were screwed. Once sand worked its way between the cartridges you would immediatly begin to get failures. I found that 7.62x39 AK mags worked the best in the sand. I'm not sure why, if it is the design of the follower, or the shape of the round, but they could take the most gunk and still function.

In the freezing cold all of the weapons types seemed to work well and I have never had either the FAL, AK, or AR malfunction due to snow.

Freezing rain and hail same thing.

Haven't used an HK much. Have used a Cetme a little bit, but it wasn't mind so I don't think my friend would want me to drag it through the sand, snow, or mud. :)

December 11, 2003, 04:46 PM
I have a bit of trigger time with a friend's preban HK-91, and it gave me some funky malfs. It would double-feed in such a way that I ended up with two cartridges out of the mag but inside the receiver and with their noses in the chamber. :uhoh: Also had a few failures to feed. On the other hand, he did keep this poor rifle full to the brim of over with grease...

December 11, 2003, 05:19 PM
Never had a problem with the HK91 right out of the box. My first CETME has started (after about a year or is it two) to, on rare occassions (4 total occassions), misfeed the last round of one particular mag. My second hasn't failed yet.

Never had a problem with the Galil out of the box. Don't shoot it much though. A Super Vepr did misfeed a couple of times very early on but has since fed fine.

An occassional misfeed (maybe a handful or two times) with a parts built FAL out of the box up to now (a few months older than the 1st CETME). Did have a few ejection/feed problems with a DSA SA-58 early on out of the box. Of course, just crank down on the gas adjust to fix, but the setting does seem to be a bit higher than that of the other FAL.

Remington Employee
December 11, 2003, 09:36 PM
My choice in sand or snow would be the Galil, and the FAL with sand cuts in the carrier.

Earlier in this thread someone made mention to the "Crest Test" I believe it was SWAT or SOF that ran the test where toothpaste was applied to a mag full of ammo.

In extreme cold I run My G1 FAL dry, no lube except for some spray on graphite.

I use Break Free CLP Mil formula. during all times of the year except in sub-zero weather.

I strip all lube with the cheap carb choke cleaner from Walmart. I don't use gummout carb cleaner any longer because it contains lubricant.

I then use an alcohol based graphite arisol that I bought at Canadian Tire several years ago. This is the best extreme cold lubricant I've ever used!

December 11, 2003, 09:40 PM
Im with the M14.

December 11, 2003, 09:41 PM
Possibly a Saiga 308, its an AK based action, so top that for theoretical reliability.

December 11, 2003, 09:49 PM
I have to comment: I think rock solid, unquestioned reliablility is better than the ability to put doo-dads on a rifle. After all, this is about reliability. Not to bash the AR series, they are a lot better than they were, and that's saying a lot. I view it as a great rifle today, but it is still a little finicky as far as how much you can beat it up. If you take good care of it, it works.

December 11, 2003, 10:00 PM
G3 due to H&K quality control.

December 11, 2003, 10:18 PM
My first M1A was a standard model and it never missed a beat. My current one is a M1A Super Match heavier than a standard model again it has never misfired and it hits where aimed very accurate.

I also have a L1A1 semi-auto by century when I got it I had a gas tube problem sent it back and it currently fires every time. When I orginally got it I didn't like the sights and left side charger but with more shooting I now perfer the L1A1 over the M1A (general use not super accuracy). The accuracy is acceptable for combat. Mag. change in both the M14-L1A1 stinks but lets not forget the AK in the same class.

My training with the M-14 includes basic training and AIT.

Only carried the 14 one time in RVN-68 in coming incoutry at CR Bay used it on guard duty.

I prefer the M-16A1 over the M-14 or any other 7.62 NATO rifle. M-193 ball makes a big enough hole and the rifle and ammo is a hole lot lighter to hump. I carried a M-60 for 4 months so I've used both calibers in firefights.

Of two 7.62 Nato rifles I have used I vote for the L1A1

Have a good day and remember to pray for our troops in harms way.

RVN 68-69
173rd Abn Bdge (sep)

December 11, 2003, 10:54 PM
I don't know if it's the "most" reliable, but I think an FAL's good enough for me.

December 11, 2003, 11:09 PM
Good to hear you like your 742, I haven't been able to get my new 7400 cycling very well at all yet (still must be packing grease in there somewhere, probally guming up the valves or such. I still need to figure out this gun.) Any tips on what to look for? I'm brand new to semi-autos.

December 11, 2003, 11:14 PM
Sounds to me like once you've got a good fal/m1a/m14/G3/HK93, you're pretty much at the plateau were if it doesn't go bang, it's the will of the gods.

In other words, we've identified the acceptable rifles, and now we're splitting hairs.

Oh, my vote: M1A. Thousands of rounds, never missed a beat that I can't blame directly on that crappy India milsurp.

Remington Employee
December 12, 2003, 08:16 PM
I'll tell you from personal experiance that the 742/7400 series of rifles are good for hunting applications, but I personally would not want to go into a situation that my life depended on them.(issues with both the gas system and magazines)

As for your 7400 and malfunctioning, remove all your wood and buy some 78 cents a can carb choke cleaner from WalMart and give both the firecontrol and gas system a good ******ing. that may clear up any problems you have. re-apply CLp as a lubricant, stay away from WD-40 and the orange bottle of oil that comes in the hoppe's cleaning kit.
They'll both gum up the works like you wouldn't believe.

December 12, 2003, 08:46 PM
Well, never had a problem with my DSA SA58 (FAL) Medium Contour Tactical. Lighter than about any .308 semi and it's super reliable. My torture test consisted of 600 rounds over 3 sessions (200 rounds per weekend in less than a couple of hours) with absolutely NO cleaning of any kind. I use FP-10 for lube and Aussie (best) and Port (worst) surplus ammo. Only failures were a few failures to extract when playing with the gas reg (I have it dump my rounds only about 3 feet away). Accuracy is better than I can shoot (use an Aimpoint). REAL easy to clean and maintain- probably the best I've ever seen.
The point is that DSA makes the best FAL's. An original HK-91 or G3 is gonna be good too, but getting one is gonna cost 'ya (also not as easy to clean as a FAL but mags are priced the same). Springfield makes good M14's but Fulton Armory is better (M14 mags are really pricey and I can't stand investment casting for a receiver that was designed to be forged). Galli .223 guns are great but no experience with the .308. Wouldn't buy a Saiga or VEPR .308 as there are no 20rd mags easily available.
Ultimately my choice to buy the DSA FAL over any other .308 autoloader was because it has the best characteristics and quality for the price over anything else that I could find. And brand new mags for under $9 was nice too! :)

December 12, 2003, 09:50 PM
I don't have enough experience to answer this as authoritatively as others here, but let me just tell you I will update this thread if/when my M1A fails.

Hasn't yet.

December 12, 2003, 11:30 PM
FAL, M-14 and the HK are all good in my opinion.

December 13, 2003, 12:17 AM
If reliability is the prime requiste; the HK 91 gets my vote hands down!!!! Only time I had a rifle related malf in 10,000+rounds was when the port buffer I attached caused cases to hit scope and bounce back into chamber. My M-14 and FN-Fal,(or .308 Yugo AK)are real good,but not that good!!!!;)

Remington Employee
December 13, 2003, 01:33 AM
J Man
Why DSA?
Don't you think you could save yourself money by either putting one together from an all matching STG58 kit or having anohter smith build it for you for less money?

My G1 shoots about 2 1/2 MOA and I built it myself.

I've also had 2 other builds by gunsmiths before building one myself, they all had acceptable accuracy at a fraction of the cost of DSA

December 13, 2003, 01:41 AM
No one mention the HK 770 or SL-7's My gun never had a jam in 20 years!!!

December 13, 2003, 02:29 AM
Remington Employee- Thanks for the recomendations. Is there anything I could do to adress (even partially) the problem areas with the 7400?

Honestly, I wanted an AR-10 or AR-15, but the People's Republic of ********** insists we can't have much of anything these days :(

Remington Employee
December 13, 2003, 06:56 PM
There shouldn't be any grease in your 7400 as from the factory.
We use a rust preventitive dip on all parts, not Cosmoline as in military guns.
You may want to pick up some of the older factory magazines without the plastic baseplate if you come by some. (The new ones are made in Italy and not as robust IMHO)

What problems are you having?

A good cleaning with the above method of cheap 78 cents, Walmart carb cleaner (NOT gummout since it has other ingredients) does wonders, followed by Remington CLP or break free CLP oil lightly applied to all metal surfaces usually suffices.

Tell me if you have any further problems, and I'll give you the name of who to send it to for service.

December 13, 2003, 07:24 PM
I got a new 7400 carbine a few months back and couldnt get it to work no matter what I did or what ammo I used. I think some of them are just duds.

Remington Employee
December 13, 2003, 10:06 PM
What specific problems with your 7400?
Failure to feed?
Failure to eject?
Short cycling?
or something else?

I'll tell you right now taht many problems are magazine related, did you try another magazine or magazines?

December 13, 2003, 10:20 PM
Mine would FTE (eject) about 25% of the rounds, and FTC (fail to fully chamber) about 5%.

Like you said, I suspect it was somewhat mag related. I found the trigger actuation arm (Disconnector?) was bent a bit inwards, such that it would be partially wedged between the magazine and slide, instead of following the slide and being fully actuated.

(there are even marks on the magazine from this happening.)

I bent it back such that engaugment would happen when manually cycled.

There is nothing captive in the mechanism to hold the arm in place, so I see how this can easially cause a stopage to say the least!

I haven't made it back out to the range yet to see if my fix was effective, I will let you know of course if I succed :)

I have been using CLP Brake Free, good to know that works well.


PS: do you know if there is an aftermarket mag-release arm made? How about charging handle? They are both a bit small and rough on my wussie hands :)

December 16, 2003, 10:19 PM
Remington Employee
While I agree that building your own FAL is cheap and vary easy to do there are a lot of parts on the DSA Tactical Carbine that are a big improvement over a factory gun. First, all parts are new (some DSA build, some new Steyr). You also get a 16" Badger barrel, short gas system, superior upper receiver, and an alloy lower receiver. Total weight of gun with empty mag is only 8.25 lbs. My setup with the Falcon grip, 4-rail forend, Aimpoint sight, wide ring, and fully loaded mag (150 grainers) weighs in at less than 10.5 lbs! That's right at about some factory FAL's weights, bare and empty.
Yes they are pricey at $1400 but considering their quality (not to mention their warranty) they are a bargain. For a build-up figure about $300 for an excellent condition parts kit , $200 for an average upper receiver ($500 for a DSA), plus build time and you are already over one-third the way to a brand new DSA with much better parts.
Just my opinion...

Remington Employee
December 17, 2003, 02:09 AM
Here's a picture of my 2 FN's

Top FAL is an original (less the US compliance parts) 1952 German G1 from Herstal Belgium on a Coonan reciever that I built last year. ($750.00 in it approx)

Lower is my Big Jim 2002 build on a grade1 Imbel. ($1200.00 new)

If I hadn't sold (pending sale actually) the Big Jim build, I woud've made it into a lwt carbine with Isreali wood.

If you know what you're doing with these guns , you can build yourself one for considerably less than DSA wants for them

December 17, 2003, 08:49 AM
My main problem was it would fail to fully chamber alot, and fail to eject quite a bit as well. I scrubbed the chamber with the crooked handled brush that came with the gun and bore cleaner, but that didnt help. I should have tried gun scrubber.

The last thing to happen was I got a failure to extract, the shell stayed in the chamber when the bolt came back. I had only shot WInchester and Remington ammo in it.

I tried three different factory magazines, and one 10shot Eagle, nothing helped.

I sold it for CHEAP when I found the Saiga 308. I have seen the light.

December 17, 2003, 10:23 AM

I carried the M-14 for a time in the Army and shot them on my divisions rifle team. I like them, and actually would have carried one over the M-16 any day. BUT.....M1A's are not M-14's. I have seen M-1A's lose exractors like you wouldn't believe and the non GI parts particularly bolts, are not well respected.


December 17, 2003, 12:18 PM
I want an FAL, being poor and having to use the tax return I will get an Ohio Rapid Fire FAl for $550, if the wife doesn't come up something else for me to spend it on.
As for CETME, mine was the biggest POS I ever had, and I will never buy anything made by Century again. If I could get one of the originals imported in the 60s, i'd be happy, or even the stainless steel reciever one, but the FAL is just fine.
Also love the M14 - we still had those in the Navy in 89. Love that old fencepost!:cool:

December 17, 2003, 12:35 PM

Reading your original, thread-starting post, I noticed something. You lump all FAL-based rifles as "FAL types", but then split up CETME-based rifles to deduce "Original manufacture H&K" is most reliable. This is not at all parallel.

What did you learn about "Original FN FAL" reliability? Why is it that Heckler and Koch gets its own category, but Fabrique Nationale does not? It could seem that you deliberately had a prejudice when you began your test, and wanted to arrive at your conclusion.

Just an observation,


December 19, 2003, 02:17 AM
Well, I am happy to report 100 rounds through my 7400 today and not a single failure (ok, one, using olympic M2 FMJ that was a bit too long and binded in the magazine even when outside the gun, but I'm not counting that :)

Seems that a through rinseing of the gas system was the needed fix. (that and about half a can of CLP. So far I think this gun likes to be over-lubed.)

I will post additional results, but things are definately looking up!

I also shot 3 3-shot 1.5" groups today as well. (with the Oly M2 ball ammo.)


Ala Dan
December 20, 2003, 12:43 AM

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

December 20, 2003, 07:06 AM
SA58, and no I wasn't worried about saving any money. I just wanted the best. Period

Remington Employee
December 21, 2003, 01:04 AM
Glad to hear your 7400 problems are possibly a thing of the past.

To the DSA crowd of FAL supproters, I agree DSA makes a fine rifle, I'm just saying that someone who knows what they're doing can make a reliable FN FAL or SLR clone with as much reliability.

You then have money left over for those extras that you so love from DSA, Mags, Ammo, or other "kit" as the Europeans call it.

When the opprotunity affords itself, I want to pick up another metric grade 1 kit, either a STG58 or Argentine or Imbel.

I want to build myself a carbime like the one attached:

December 21, 2003, 01:18 AM
Gotta love those Izzy Heavies.

December 21, 2003, 08:49 AM
I am an M1 man and think that one in .308 is hard to beat. But I have a friend with an HK91. As hard as I try not to like that rifle (not the best ergonomically, sheet metal receiver, etc.) the reality is that it is very hard to beat. It runs, period. It is also surprisingly accurate for an assault battle rifle shooting ball ammunition. I have shot his and like it, it is so reliable, that he has never had to use an immediate action drill on it. I have no idea how to even perform one on a G3!

December 21, 2003, 06:03 PM
If anyone was interested in the Alaska State Trooper rifle test mentioned earlier here is a scan of the article: Only a couple .308s tested though. The M1A, FAL, and HK91 failed the last two tests, the .308 Galil was the only .308 to pass... Of course how practical the tests they did would be in real life is arguable...

December 21, 2003, 06:21 PM
The last test seemed a little silly to me. If you spritz the whole gun with oil, of course it's gonna freeze. That's why you only oil lightly.

December 21, 2003, 07:51 PM
The last test seemed a little silly to me. If you spritz the whole gun with oil, of course it's gonna freeze. That's why you only oil lightly.


The Troopers are thick headed when it comes to oil use in real life. I remember arguing with a sert Trooper instructor over the proper way to lube an ar15. He was all for having oil dripping off it. I explained that stops the guns in the gold and in the summer because they collect sand. He lives in an area where he has had no problem with his method. I have seen his method cause problems where I am at.

December 23, 2003, 07:34 AM
7.62 NATO M1 Garand .

God bless

December 23, 2003, 10:09 AM
Brain is leaking, wallet empty, considering stainless steel cast CETME ....I can't get two lemons in a row, can I?:confused:

The Real Hawkeye
April 29, 2006, 10:06 PM
Back in the late 1970s, I purchased a brand new HK 91. I fired it extensively, and never experienced a malfunction of any sort. it was an easy gun to clean and maintain, and was extremely accurate, comparable to a typical bolt action sporter. Purchase price was $600, if I recall correctly. Sold it for exactly that much a few years later, just before the original Bush import ban. Had I waited till after (I couldn't predict that ever happening), I would have made a small fortune on the sale. Oh well. Nowadays, I wish, of course, I never sold it. Here's a picture of it, taken in 1979, along with most of the rest of my collection at that time, none of which I have today.

April 29, 2006, 11:11 PM
I'm going to stick my neck out here.

I have owned or now own
DSA made FAL
M1 Garands in .308
Saiga .308

The only rifle that has not malfunctioned in some form or another is the Saiga.
Every other rifle has choked on some type of ammunition and yes, the malfunctions always seem to be ammunition related.

The Saiga just gobbles up anything I shove into it.
It is THE ONLY .308 rifle that I will shoot steel case ammunition in and not think a thing about it.

The Saiga is not my most accurate .308 and like the M1 Garand it is limited by an ammunition capacity of eight rounds, but it is the only rifle that will fire and function with any ammunition I shove into it without any adjustment of any kind.

I can, and do, get my other rifles to function with the reliability of the Saiga but I must be very ammunition conscious to do so.

Now if this big thread is limiting the choices to selective fire battle rifles only then I will cast my vote hands down, without question, for the German made G3.

April 30, 2006, 02:47 AM
I have shot 2 CETME's, 1 h&k 91, 1 fal, and one Valmet(it was a .223 thought). I the CETME's, mine broke the firing pin, which was replaced by a H&K firing pin which was about twice as thick. My uncles CETME was very pickyon the ammo he shot from it and would only fire ball ammo. His Valmet would often times double fire when it got dirty. His hk 91 broke the bolt back in the 70's. His FAL has never failed, but it is his newest rifle. He paid $375 forhis H&K 91 and about $350 For the Valmet at the same time, $350 for the CEMTE in 2005, and $850 for his FAL in the mid ninetines during the assult rifle ban. i PAID $350 FOR MY cetme in 2005. Through these findings, I see the FAL as the most accurate, but no rifle has had the longjevity of the H&K without over 30 years without a failure.

pete f
May 11, 2006, 12:21 PM
I have shot FAL's M-1 M1a'a 91's and Valmets. i think the valmet was the best. I had the Valmet for a pretty long time, while the owner was in rehab and then until several of us thought he was stable enough to get his guns back. i shot it alot. and it never hiccuped., shot well with the sights on it. and it was very pleasant to shoot.

May 11, 2006, 12:56 PM
DSA FALs are by far the best FAL made right now.. Probably in the world.

Building them up from kits isn't cost effective now, since IMBEL receivers can't be imported (F-TROOP ruling) and kits have gone up in price.

DSA Dealer cost on an STG59 is still under $1000, about what a build by a smith will cost today.

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