Mid-level FAL: DSA Austrian vs. Imbel (Entreprise)


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MyRoad
August 24, 2008, 10:24 PM
For about $1,000, the two mid-priced mid-quality factory FALs seem to be the DSA Austrian -- built with some recycled parts and not coming with the same warranty that the other DSAs come with, or the Imbel FALs built by Entreprise that Atlantic Firearms is selling.

Is there a clear winner? Pros and cons of each?

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Bwana John
August 24, 2008, 11:51 PM
While the DSA might use some used Austrian parts, it is built on a great receiver.:D

Entreprise on the other hand will use all used Brazilian parts and a (IMHO) POS:barf: receiver. If they used a Imbel reciever it might be a closer game.

Ive got rifles built on both recievers, Id get another DSA receiver tommorow, Im probley never buying another Entreprise.

Atlantic Firearms
August 25, 2008, 08:05 AM
We sell rifles built by both firms , DSA is the best out there but the current Entreprise rifles & receivers are good and not a POS . We have shipped approx 60 rifles with only 1 minor issue so far and no customer complaints.

Bwana John
August 25, 2008, 10:21 AM
Lets see... :evil:

DSA receiver- Machined from forged steel, using orgional Austrian (a FN licencee) blueprints.:cool:

Entreprise receiver- Cast, (with known problems of porosity in castings) reverse engineered, no FN blueprints. Known problems with ejector block installment, and bad reciever geometry on reciever feed rails.:barf:

POS in my book,:cuss: (and many others, do a search on the FAL Files)

After many hours of work, and much blood, tears, toil, and sweat Ive got the Entreprise running like a raped ape, and the exterior finish machining on the one Entreprise Ive got is actually nicer than my last DSA, but hey, ever see the exterior finish machineing on a real FN? ;)

While Imbel recievers MIGHT be "better" than DSA (hammer forged from FN licencee vs billet forged from non-FN licencee) I'd rather have the rest of the parts built by a country that I can drink the water in.:uhoh:

I actually should thank Entreprise, the 2 years I spent trying to get their reciever to run taught me a lot, and started my current obsession with the rifle.:p

MyRoad
August 25, 2008, 12:55 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Even if I stick with DSA, is there any reason I should avoid the STGs? Are they going to be less reliable, durable, or accurate than the SAs?

mstirton
August 25, 2008, 01:29 PM
My Stg58 has run about 2k rounds perfectly since I got it in 2003. It is my favorite rifle and I wish I could afford to shoot it more.

Coronach
August 25, 2008, 01:45 PM
Hmm. DSA is now offering the STG series without the traditional DSA warranty?

Mike

MyRoad
August 25, 2008, 02:57 PM
DSA is now offering the STG series without the traditional DSA warranty?

They say: (http://www.dsarms.com/prodinfo.asp?number=STG58C18) "Limited Lifetime Warranty on New Parts"

I've emailed them and requested a list of the parts that are NOT new (and therefore not covered). I did that about two hours ago, I'll let you know if they get back to me.

Edit to add: When they drop the warranty on certain parts, it indicates that they don't have the same faith in those parts as the others. While this is understandable considering they are used, in the mean time it caused me to wonder which parts are questionable.

ny32182
August 25, 2008, 05:17 PM
FWIW, I have both an SA58 and STG-58C factory built by DSA.

I can tell you that the STG is a better bang for the buck than the SA58. The SA58 overall finish might be a little nicer, but $500 better? Questionable. The SA58 has a .308 barrel, and the STG has a 762x51 barrel. That, and the aluminum vs. steel lower is about the only functional difference as far as I can tell.

Overall I have just as much confidence in the function of the STG as the SA58. If you manage to break any parts, just replace them with a US made version... but I don't think that is going to be very likely.

ny32182
August 25, 2008, 05:18 PM
BTW, "used", in my expereience, means "sat in a warehouse and never assembled". I couldn't find any indication of any wear at all on any of the "used" parts.

Bwana John
August 25, 2008, 05:29 PM
Dont be worried about the "old" parts.

Of all the surplus FAL parts out there, Austrian StG's are very close to being the very best. Austria hasnt had a real war for quite some time, and they are a tutonic people used to producing and mantaining fine machinery.

As long as they gauge fine they are usually better than the "new" ones. Some "New" US made receivers have been some of the worst FAL parts ever produced.

You just cant econommicly replace the quality that a state-run arms maker could do the 60's, using the private sector today.

I would take NOS Imbel parts over most new US made parts anyday.

The parts to stay away from are the ones that were used in every single little bush war and insurection that happened on both the South American and African continents. Watch out for the SA kits. The paint is cool but usually they been rode hard and put away wet.

goon
August 25, 2008, 05:42 PM
I'd buy another DSA STG-58 in about two seconds if my bank account could support it.

Ash
August 25, 2008, 06:46 PM
Imbel did produce under license.

Ash

Bwana John
August 25, 2008, 07:41 PM
Imbel did produce under license.
I dont think anybody posted differently.

Atlantic Firearms
August 25, 2008, 08:40 PM
We have sold the DSA STG rifles for years and have 2 demo guns here, we have never spotted any parts that looked worn or used and the demo guns have not missed a beat , 75 % of the DSA rifles we have sold are the STG series and so far so good .

MyRoad
August 25, 2008, 09:19 PM
This might be a stupid question... but is it possible, and if so how difficult is it to take off the bipod and the handle on an STG? I've never handled one of these guns, so I don't know how they are attached.

Bwana John
August 25, 2008, 09:34 PM
This might be a stupid question... but is it possible, and if so how difficult is it to take off the bipod and the handle on an STG? I've never handled one of these guns, so I don't know how they are attached.
Yes its possible, and very easy with the correct tools.

I commend your tastes.

The bi-pod increased my "cone-of-fire" to greater than 8moa (the rifle was 2.5 moa before the bipod.

And as for the carry handle:
It's not a bloody purse!

armoredman
August 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
An STG58C is my dream rifle, when i win the bloody lottery, (to crib from the preious poster.)!

Ash
August 25, 2008, 10:10 PM
"While Imbel recievers MIGHT be "better" than DSA (hammer forged from FN licencee vs billet forged from non-FN licencee) I'd rather have the rest of the parts built by a country that I can drink the water in"

That is what I was responding to.

Ash

Bwana John
August 25, 2008, 10:37 PM
While Imbel recievers MIGHT be "better" than DSA (hammer forged from FN licencee vs billet forged from non-FN licencee)

That is what I was responding to.
Imbel IS the hammer forged receiver built from FN licencee, DSA is the billet forged one from a non-FN licencee. DSA uses the blueprints from a FN licencee, but they are not one.

That is why the Imbel receiver "might" be better.

Entreprise built rifles using Imbel receivers in the past, the current Entreprise rifle uses a back-engineered US made casting (with porosity problems)and they are not even close.

To me a Imbel receivered, Imbel parts rifle would be very close in worth to a DSA recievered, US parts rifle

MyRoad
August 25, 2008, 10:51 PM
Since you guys have been so patient replacing my ignorance with knowledge...

and very easy with the correct tools.

What are the "correct tools"?

And as a side note, this is no longer theoretical, I just won one in an online auction. :)

dscottw88
August 25, 2008, 11:05 PM
DSA is top of the line, and the arguably the best FAL receiver out there next to Imbel, and austrian parts are pretty awesome too. Enterprise is not so much the best, regardless of what kit they are built on. The receiver is a pretty dang important part of the rifle.

W.E.G.
August 25, 2008, 11:21 PM
What are the "correct tools"?

You need to fabricate a castle-nut socket.

Find a socket that is the right size, and dremel slots on the socket to allow it to engage the castle nut.



May still require some heat to make the nuts let go. http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/smileys/dancinguy.gif

Bwana John
August 26, 2008, 12:35 AM
You need to fabricate a castle-nut socket.
Find a socket that is the right size, and dremel slots on the socket to allow it to engage the castle nut.

I got my bi-pods on and off with a BF screwdriver and padded vice-grips. Easy to get off not so easy to get back on. The Bi-pod Castle Nut tool made from a socket makes the job much easier.

The nut that holds the carry handle comes off and installs best with M-14 castle nut plyers. A Swiss army knife bottle opener works well also. There is a special tool made just for it but the M-14 tool works the best. You can also remove it and reinstall it with a pair of vice-grips.:evil:

Dan Forrester
August 26, 2008, 01:25 AM
What's the diffrence between "hammer forged" and "billet forged"? Is one better than the other?

Thanks, Dan

BruceB
August 26, 2008, 02:02 AM
The FN-C1/C1A1 was the service rifle during my time in the Canadian Army. Let me assure you, the carrying handle was used a LOT and was also much appreciated. Army training manuals of the day specifically included the use of the handle for field carry. The rifle balances nicely at the handle whether loaded or unloaded, and the "trail arms" carry mode allowed many options for hauling other gear, and for shifting the load distribution when one position became wearisome.

I carried a C1 for MANY miles and hours, and personally would not have an FAL-type rifle without the handle.

There are times when a service rifle must be carried at the ready. There are also plenty of times when routine marches can make ease of carry very valuable. Even from the trail position, the rifle can be brought into action in very short order by a man who is accustomed to it.

This of course is the opinion of a former infantryman who LIVED with this rifle, and for those shooters without the needs of the soldier, an FAL with or without the handle is simply a matter of choice. My choice is as stated above.

Dang...I need another FAL.

ny32182
August 26, 2008, 10:51 AM
The very first thing I did to my STG58C was loose the bipod and metal handguards. That is a lot of useless weight getting dumped right there. It is easy enough to get off with the FAL multi-tool and the BIGGEST flathead screwdriver you can possibly find. Getting it back on might be a different story, but, I can't see any need to ever do that. Here is what it looks like today:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/STG_2.jpg

MyRoad
August 26, 2008, 12:45 PM
ny32182 - thanks for that picture! I just ordered the DSA "Extreme Duty" scope mount, and while the carry handle isn't as big an issue for me, I definitely want to get rid of the bipod... not that I might not attach a Harris someday...

Well, while this thread is rolling... where should I go to get the plastic handguards, the FAL multi-tool, and magazines for that matter. I was surprised that CDNN is out of FAL mags, and MidwayUSA only carries 5 and 10 rounders (@$25ea.). FAL mags are known for being readily available and cheap.

Mine has the 18" barrel. I decided some time ago I wanted my .308 'battle rifle' to be that length, as this discussion would come up periodically here with M1A's and Saiga's, and I decided that for me the 18 is the best compromise. (The fact that Saiga's don't have an 18" option and that their mags are $45+ and can be hard to come by is what made them less appealing.)

Bwana John
August 26, 2008, 01:45 PM
Well, while this thread is rolling... where should I go to get the plastic handguards, the FAL multi-tool, and magazines for that matter.

The best "plastic" handguards(IMHO) are are factory Imbel fiberglass(Bi-pod cut or non-bipod cut) hard to find in ex condition, followed by NOS Argentinian nylon bipod cut(medium easy to find in ex-condition), Followed by DSA US made plastic bipod cut ones(kinda flimsey compaired to the first 2).

The first tool to get is a buttstock tool, followed by M-14 castle nut plyers, then get the multi tool, then get a extractor tool... if your into it then get a receivcer wrench, then barrel vice, then headspace guages, then pin guages for headspacing, then a timing tool, then a barrel shoulder shaver... you get the idea. I have never needed a tool to adjust gas or regulate the front sight but many people cant seem to do those things without the specific tool.

The best place for mags(and everything else) is the FAL Files Marketplace. Plan on ~$10 a mag. Get many.

I think the scope mount is a waste of money, Id get a rear Para peep sight instead. Glass and battries on a FAL for me are lipstick on a pig. Spend your money on ammo instead.

ny32182
August 26, 2008, 01:50 PM
I got the tool and handguards (and railed cover, of course) from DSA. I hear DSA is also a good source for mags, but mine came from CDNN. My SA58 is 21", to scratch the long barrelled itch when it comes up. :) I have never shot an 18", but like you said it is probably a good compromise. The 21" is pretty long.

Some day I am going to try a SAW grip and ambi selector. That particular part of the stock ergos doesn't fit me very well, though overall I still find it to be the easiest to use of any .308 I have picked up. Granted I've never tried an AR10.

Bwana John
August 26, 2008, 01:54 PM
PS- While your changing out the handguards, keep going and replace the StG strait buttstock with an Imbel "humpback" one, and the stock pistol grip with one from a M-249 SAW.:cool:
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/9637/fal1qo2.th.jpg (http://img134.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fal1qo2.jpg)

Coronach
August 26, 2008, 02:26 PM
They say: "Limited Lifetime Warranty on New Parts"

I've emailed them and requested a list of the parts that are NOT new (and therefore not covered). I did that about two hours ago, I'll let you know if they get back to me.

Edit to add: When they drop the warranty on certain parts, it indicates that they don't have the same faith in those parts as the others. While this is understandable considering they are used, in the mean time it caused me to wonder which parts are questionable.I dunno if this is a change from what it used to be, but I have a STG-58 that I sent back once for a barrel issue (the barrel being a surplus part), and they fixed it with zero questions asked and no reluctance whatsoever. It was out of my hands for a week and a half, tops.

That has been several years ago, though.

Mike

MyRoad
August 26, 2008, 07:55 PM
I sent back once for a barrel issue (the barrel being a surplus part),

I found a 'sticky' in the FALfiles forum from back in 2007, where a rep. from DSA said that because of importation rules/laws (?) the Austrian parts kits could no longer include the barrel, I don't recall if there was a reason or logic to that. Bottom line is that all current STGs use new American made barrels.

Coronach
August 26, 2008, 09:59 PM
This was in 2001. Good catch for the current buyers, though.

In truth, the STG parts kits are top shelf. The Austrians made a darned fine FAL copy. The main drawback of getting an STG is that you can't get it in exactly the config you want (unless you like the one it comes in).

Mike

444
August 27, 2008, 12:43 AM
FWIW:
I have an STG58 parts kit built on a DSA reciever as well as an Imbel parts kit built on a DSA receiver.

Bipod on STG58: I realize this doesn't mean much to anyone but me, but, I regularly shoot in a vintage military rifle match. Actually, two of them. In these matches, you are allowed to use something like a bipod or monopod if it was actually issued with the rifle. The match we shoot (I seldom go, but I HAVE gone) in Boulder City NV is shot on a rifle silhouette range using as-issued vintage 50s or earlier military rifles. At 500 meters (the Ram target), you can shoot from prone. Using the bipod on my STG58 and milsurp ammo, I can hit the ram target every time. That's what ? 547 yards if my memory serves me correctly.
Useless junk ?
Maybe for you, but I would love to see you hit that target from prone without the bipod.

At the other local club I belong to, we also have a 500 meter range where I have set up IDPA silhouettes at 500 meters. From prone, with the bipod, I am almost certain of a first round hit. With an AR15 at that range I basically can't hit it at all (wind) on the first round. I have to make corrections for wind.

Oh, and that is with issue sights also.
Scopes are for.................................aw let's just say we don't use them.

That STG58 really shoots well, and for some reason, I shoot it well. I have two M1As and I can't shoot them for crap. The STG58 that I own is definitely my favorite. The riflemen's quarter mile is no problem with this blaster.

Also, FWIW, I tried a few of the various aftermarket accessories for my FALs and I never found a single one of them that I felt was worth leaving on the rifle. The way it was issued, is TO ME, the best way to leave it. My STG58 is bone stock. My Imbel has some stuff on it that I used for compliance parts but I don't like them (like a selector for example).

MyRoad
September 15, 2008, 11:12 PM
Just picked up my DSA STG58 today!

ny32182 wrote:
The very first thing I did to my STG58C was loose the bipod and metal handguards.

Just as a side note -- mine came with "plastic" (?) handguards. DSA sells "Fiberglass Reinforced Injection Molded, Military Grade" handguards... I guess that's what these are.

There are holes on the bottom where I could mount a stud for a (Harris) adjustable bipod, but its right on a seem where the two halves meet, and at first glance it doesn't seem like it would be a very stable place to mount something.

Overall, the gun is beautiful, and looks brand new inside and out. The FFL who transferred it for me called it in as an "SA58", because that's what's stamped on the receiver (upper) -- I suppose its the same part as the STG uses.

I'm going to try and get to the range one day this week... I can't wait. :D

AndyC
September 16, 2008, 12:55 PM
Congrats - now post pics ;)

MyRoad
September 16, 2008, 01:24 PM
Congrats - now post pics

At the moment it looks just like the one on DSA's website... but I've ordered a few things for it... it will be a bit more unique and more suited to my needs in the next week or two. When the project is complete, then I'll take some pictures.

I found an 'almost new' scope rail/dust cover replacement online, and saved some money on that purchase. Now I'm glad I did, because as others have mentioned, it replaces an easily removable piece with a not-as-easily removable piece, and I'll have to see how much that interferes with cleaning and if its more of an annoyance than a useful addition. At some point I will scope it, even if its only for one trip to the range, just to see what my best groups are at 100 yards.

Predictably, in so far as I know myself pretty well, I'm not surprised that I haven't even fired this rifle yet and I already want another one. My safe is starting to look like Noah's Gun Ark - I'm collecting everything in pairs. Maybe I'm harboring some latent hope that if these guns become 'banned', I'll be able to breed mine and make more? LOL. :D

AndyC
September 16, 2008, 01:28 PM
I know exactly what you mean; my own "next project" is a para-style - just pondering on barrel-length between the 21", 18" or 16":

http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/4580/falparaia2.jpg

MyRoad
September 16, 2008, 01:46 PM
just pondering on barrel-length between the 21", 18" or 16"

Here's my take on that... and I'm not expert, this is just MHO.

This is a "battle rifle", for me that means being portable in various conditions including thick brush. Since the FAL is a fairly accurate rifle but not 'sniper rifle accurate', and based on that ever-widening group, (even with a scope) I don't consider this rifle to be optimal over 200 or 300 yards -- so all that said, 21" seems like wasted barrel length to me. On the other hand, 16" seems to be a bit short for .308 in general. 18"-19" inches seems to be a good compromise, so 18" is what I have on my STG.

That said, my next one, should there be a next one, would probably also be a Para. And, in that case, if I'm going for the folding stock and ultimate 'portability', I might just go all the way and get the 16". I would definitely not get a para with a 21", that just seems contradictory.

Bwana John
September 16, 2008, 03:03 PM
I like 17 3/8" and 18" barrels on my FAL's

The FAL is not a precise enough weapon to justify 21", and 16" 7.62's can have alot of flash and bang.

I wouldnt cut down the barrel of a M-14, and AK's are best as short as possible, but the FAL just feels right for me at ~18".

MyRoad
October 15, 2008, 01:35 AM
I dunno if this is a change from what it used to be, but I have a STG-58 that I sent back once for a barrel issue (the barrel being a surplus part), and they fixed it with zero questions asked and no reluctance whatsoever. It was out of my hands for a week and a half, tops.

That has been several years ago, though.


Yes, apparently that's changed. I'm having problems with mine, it seems to be gas system related, I was told by their tech. rep. that I could send it to them (at my expense) and they would fix it, but they would charge me parts and labor since the gas system is not new parts and therefore not under warranty.

jrdale84
August 16, 2011, 09:45 PM
On the carry handle side note - the US Army specifically identifies the 'carry handle' on the M16/4 series of rifle as a "carry handle" however god help the poor private caught carrying it from there. As such I'd be happy without it on there.

For all of you putting together 'para builds' while stationed in Haiti with Argentine Paratroopers [and 'swapping'] they are issued their FALs with 21" barrels. At first I thought it was kinda strange to have the full barrel with folding stock but they seemed to think it was better than the 18" barrel. Actually such logic inspired me to forego my planed 18" and go with the 21". After all most shooters extend everything that folds or telescopes when shooting ...

Art Eatman
August 17, 2011, 01:16 AM
Ah, necrothreadia!

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