HELP- my new FN-FAL won't cycle


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General Disarray
October 14, 2008, 02:40 AM
As the title indicates, my newly built Israeli HB on an Imbel won't cycle rounds. I started with the gas adjuster on 7 and one round in the mag, and proceeded to fire, adjust down, etc until I got all the way to .5 on the dial. So now even dialed all the way down I can't get it to throw the bolt back and lock open on the mag. I was shooting 168gr. PMC's.

I bought this through the paper in another town far away, so before I drive 3 hours one way to have the guy who built it start messing with it I figured I'd ask the experts here. What can I do? :uhoh:

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Ash
October 14, 2008, 06:04 AM
Check to see if your gas plug is installed correctly. If it is inserted upside down, the port will be blocked. The plug is what you remove to remove the gas piston and to clean the port when you break down the rifle.

Ash

db_tanker
October 14, 2008, 07:39 AM
as Ash has suggested make sure the grenade launch feature is turned off. I remember the first trip I made to the range with my fal...<sigh> thought I had a fancy expensive single shot battle rifle. :(


Second...if it is a FRESH build, then you might have to have the gas port on the barrel opened up. look into this ONLY after you have made sure the gas plug is installed in the correct position though.


Hope this helps.

D

Mikee Loxxer
October 14, 2008, 09:28 AM
Are you only loading one round into the magazine? If so are you sure that the bolt hold open device (assuming your rifle has one) is functional?

General Disarray
October 14, 2008, 12:13 PM
Check to see if your gas plug is installed correctly.

Oh. Um, I know you're referring to the thing above my thumb, but it's in hebrew or something, and I was guessing it was the safety. There are three positions and I didn't know which was which, so I dialed it all the way forward turning it counter-clockwise. Could I get a brief tutorial on this. :o

TexasRifleman
October 14, 2008, 12:18 PM
Um, I know you're referring to the thing above my thumb, but it's in hebrew or something, and I was guessing it was the safety.

You guessed correctly. The 3 settings are safe, semi, and full. If you have one that works on all 3, lucky you :)

The gas adjustment is on top, by the front sight post.

Should be a knob there on the backside with numbers, and one in front that only has 2 settings, normal and single shot (grenade).

Here is a link to a manual.

http://www.ar15.com/content/manuals/fal762.pdf

The procedure to adjust the gas settings is in there.

kfranz
October 14, 2008, 01:22 PM
No, the gas plug is in the muzzle end of the gas block. The gas block is where your front sight post is. The gas plug can be set for normal operation or grenade launching operation. If it is set in the grenade launching position, your rifle will act as a single shot. On the pdf that TR posted a link to, page 19 has a bad picture of the gas plug. In the picture, there is an A on the plug, which is the position for normal functioning. Your izzy will not have an A mark on the gas plug.

Actually, come to think of it, you can see the plug in the picture you posted earlier. If it is still in that position, that is not your problem. Have you checked to insure that you have the correct gas piston?

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=85369&d=1222629776

When you tried it out, did you get ANY movement of the bolt?

Coronach
October 14, 2008, 03:58 PM
ASSUMING the thing wasn't set to grenade (BTDT), did you notice any difference at all in the cycling when you made adjustments? There should be a difference in where the rifle throws the brass (how hard/far), and the cycling should 'feel' and sound different, too. If there is absolutely no difference between the max settings, that's a clue as to what is wrong.

Or, wait. actually, here's a better question: does it eject the chambered case? Or do you have to manually cycle the bolt to even eject the brass?

Mike

rino451
October 14, 2008, 05:15 PM
Does the rifle actually have the bolt hold open pin? Some are manual bolt hold open only and the little pin that actually engages the bolt is missing/removed.

Take it apart and check. Bet that's the issue. If that's an Izzy, it probably doesn't have the auto hold open. You have to engage by hand.

ETA Try the falfiles.com for all things FAL.

Ash
October 14, 2008, 06:25 PM
Hey, wait. Did you have it set on full auto? If so, then it will be a single shot as the hammer will follow the bolt forward and you will have to manually cycle it.

Ash

kfranz
October 14, 2008, 06:46 PM
Every Izzy I've run across has had the bolt hold open pin intact. Not that the bho pin has anything to do with "throwing the bolt back".

Coronach
October 14, 2008, 07:09 PM
Yeah, but if he was only loading one round, it would explain why he could not get the gun to lock open on an empty mag.

Mike

General Disarray
October 14, 2008, 07:35 PM
Did you have it set on full auto?

Is that what it's set at when dialed all the way over counter-clockwise? Then yes. Should it be in the middle? Doih.

I took the gas piston out and it's the same length as the entire gas tube; not shorter like was suggested. How should the grenade setting be for when I do take apart and reassemble the gas tube?

I didn't know about the full/semi setting; I hope its as simple as that. These are the types of things I just don't know or have anyone around to show me. I just like how it goes boom. I guess I should be grateful I haven't blown myself up yet, right?

kfranz
October 14, 2008, 08:21 PM
Well, moving the selector to the correct spot would certainly be the easiest issue to fix. If the spent round is ejecting, that is a possibility. If the spent round is not ejecting, that won't be the cause.

ROMAK IV
October 14, 2008, 09:26 PM
SAme thing happened to me, on the same type of rifle, It is safe on one setting, operates normally on another, and apparantly on the full auto setting, the bolt would follow the hammer down. It was odd, and it took me a couple of days to figure it out.

chris in va
October 14, 2008, 11:08 PM
My friend had the same problem. We put $200 worth of 308 through his new FAL and still couldn't get it to cycle properly, no matter what fiddling we did with the gas valve. I think he eventually got it to break in though.

General Disarray
October 15, 2008, 12:58 AM
I guess I didn't answer all the questions that were raised regarding possible issues. No, the spent rounds are not ejecting. No the bolt is not moving at all no matter how low I dialed down the gas regulator. I can't believe I didn't think to try the different settings on the safety. I couldn't take 'er out today; I've only tried firing it with the selector dialed all the way forward, which I'm gathering from Ash's comments is the full-auto? That would cause this? Like Bugs Bunny would say, "what a maroon". :o

powermad
October 15, 2008, 05:47 AM
If it is fired with the selector in the auto position it will fire and extract the spent shell and chamber a fresh one, but the hammer follows the bolt and it will not fire again.
You would then have to eject the live round to reset the trigger.

If the gas plug is turned 180 deg out to the grenade setting it will be a single shot. You will have to manually cycle the bolt for the next shot.

This is a good read. Better get comfortable.

As posted by Blood of Tyrants in 2004 on the falfiles.

Among the most common symptoms of FTF/FTE (failure to feed, failure to extract) are the following:

1. Bolt riding over the cartridge either causing a jam or missing the cartridge altogether

2. New cartridge only partially chambers, spent casing extracts and may or may not eject

3. New cartridge jamming against back of receiver

4. No apparent movement of bolt or carrier regardless of gas setting

5. Partial extraction of spent casing regardless of gas setting, casing jams hard in chamber

6. Gas tube blows out of gas block

7. I've done all the stuff to get more gas but my FAL STILL won't cycle properly.

8. Bolt closes easily on headspace guage but will not chamber round. Jams up tight.

FIRST, have you checked and made sure that your extractor hasn't broken?

I will deal with them in order.

Before you do anything, ensure that the rifle is assembled correctly and there are no broken parts.

1. Bolt riding over the cartridge – This is a FTF problem and can almost always be traced to three common problems.

a. First, check to see if the magazine is being held in the mag well tightly. If it is loose, your problem is most likely a mag catch that is too short. The solution is to replace it with one with an extended mag catch. Tapco offers extended mag catches for about $10. Alternately you could weld a small bead on the end. In either case you will have to “file to fit” for a good tight hold.

b. Second, take the bolt and carrier out and remove the dust cover and close the rifle. Insert a mag with at least two cartridges into the mag well. Now look at the mag from the top of the receiver to see if the mag looks like it is symmetrically positioned in the well, especially near the front. Most often it is well used mags that have this problem which will manifest itself as a FTF from one side of the mag or the other. Also, check the mag for a weak spring. In either case. Get a new mag and throw this one away. (Yes, you can replace a weak spring if you have another bad mag laying around but at $10 each for new mags, it is hardly worth it.)

c. Third, look for long fairly deep scratches in the cases of cartridges that have jammed. This is usually caused by sharp edges on the feed plate at the top of the mag well and more often on cartridges that feed from the left than the right. Polish the edges of the feed plate with 400 grit wet or dry or finer.

2. New cartridge only partially chambers, spent casing extracts and may or may not eject

a. If the spent casing eject reliably, check to see if the bolt carrier moves easily in the rails. Imbel GL (gear logo) receivers are well made but a common problem is that the receiver rail is directly beneath some of the lettering stampings and occasionally gets distorted from an over zealous machine operator. Gunplumber suggests taking a small bastard file and gently but firmly filing the “hump” off.

b. If you have an aftermarket HTS (hammer, trigger, sear) combo installed, remove and replace them with the pieces that were provided with the kit for troubleshooting. Century is not known for tight adherence to tolerances and their HTS will often cause FTF problems because they drag on the bottom of the bolt or carrier.

c. Make sure that the recoil tube is straight and undamaged and that the spring and recoil plunger are lightly greased. A small amount of grease will not cause the rifle to lock up.

d. Check for weak recoil spring. R&R as necessary.

e. Perform gas checks in Number 4. c, d, e, f, and i.

3. New cartridge jamming against back of receiver

a. This is most common with Century receivers. I have bad news, there is a problem with the design of the feed ramps that cannot be fixed easily. Polish the feed ramps with a felt tip and rouge on a Dremel and it may fix it. Others have suggested MIG welding or brazing a small ramp and Dremeling it to shape. Proceed at your own discretion.

b. This can also be a problem caused by a slightly out of spec barrel. The barrel around the chamber cut should have a bevel about 1/8" wide. You can widen it slightly with a small file and polish it with fine sandpaper and then a felt tip and rouge on a dremel.

4. No apparent movement of bolt or carrier regardless of gas setting

a. Check that the gas plug is in the “A” position.

b. You DID remember to put the gas piston back in, didn’t you?

c. Check to make sure the gas tube is pinned in place and has not rotated. Ideally, the exhaust ports in the gas tube should be at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock but if they are at 10 and 2, it will not affect operation.

d. Ensure that the gas port is not obstructed.

e. Check that gas piston is not undersized or worn. Proper diameter is between 0.429” and 0.431”.

f. Excess leakage around gas tube, see No. 6

g. Check that the bolt carrier “rat tail” is straight and in the recoil plunger detent and not jammed against the back of the lower receiver when closed.

h. Take the gas piston spring out and roll the piston on a flat surface to check for straightness. Reinstall the gas piston with the bolt and carrier removed. The piston should fall freely through the gas cylinder and gas nut. If not check gas tube and gas nut for roundness and damage.

i. Check for cracked gas block.

j. Make sure you haven't put a metric gas plug in an inch gas block. A metric gas plug is about 3/16" longer than the inch plug. The gas plugs are not interchangeable.

5. Partial extraction of spent casing regardless of gas setting, casing jams hard in chamber

a. This is most often a problem of not enough gas. What is REALLY happening is that the spent casing is going back a small distance and then being pushed back forward into the chamber and shares solutions with No. 4. c, d, e, and f above.

b. Check that the gas piston moves freely. See 4. h above.

c. Check that carrier moves freely. See 2. a, b, and c above.

6. Gas tube blows out of gas block. This is a common problem in the G1 kits and the solution is both simple and cheap.

a. First, clean the thread of the gas block and gas cylinder and spread a small amout of solder flux on the threads.

b. Install and pin the gas tube with the exhaust ports at 4 and 8 o’clock on the rifle as if you are preparing to shoot it without the gas piston or spring installed.

c. Using Mapp gas, heat the threaded area and apply silver solder (preferably high temp silver solder because it is stronger) until it flows into the joint.

d. After the area cools, clean the excess flux off the area (some flux is acid based) and you may file the high spots off the solder with a small file if your solder job isn’t too pretty or interferes with the gas regulator.

e. With a Dremel cut off wheel, cut the gas tube off about 2 inches from the back of the tube (the end closest to the receiver) and discard it. Use sandpaper to smooth the end off.

7. I've done all the stuff to get more gas but my FAL STILL won't cycle properly

a. Okay, one more trick to get more bleed gas. Remove the gas plug, piston, spring and tube. put a 1/4" wooden dowel down the barrel.

b. Starting with a #41 or so drill bit insert it BY HAND through the bleed hole in the gas block and use it to determine the size of the gas port hole in your barrel.

c. Once you have determined the approximate diameter of your gas port hole, take the next larger drill bit and use it to ream the hole out. Keep the drill speed slow and use plenty of cutting fluid and you will be less likely to break your drill bit off in the hole.

d. Test the function of the rifle once you have gone up a couple of sizes. You should see some improvement. You can increase the size of the hole up to about 0.125" untill you get enough gas for proper operation.


8. Bolt closes easily on headspace guage but will not chamber round. Jams up tight.

a. Does a cartridge fit into the chamber when you feed it by hand?

No. Clean chamber thoroughly. Ensure cartridge is in spec. Lastly, you may need to ream the chamber slightly.

Yes. It could be the top rear edge of the bolt binding up against the top inside of the carrier. Put a piece of Playdoh or some other putty on the inside top rear of the bolt carrier and then put the bolt in the carrier. Put them both in the receiver and try to push it closed with a cartride in the bolt until it binds. Pull the bolt and carrier out and observe the Playdoh. Is it pinched all the way to the carrier? If so, file a small amount off the top rear of the bolt until it clears.

charadam
October 15, 2008, 09:51 AM
Are the gas piston and spring present?

Bwana John
October 15, 2008, 10:54 AM
Is the gas tube pin present?

Cannonball888
October 15, 2008, 12:50 PM
HELP- my new FN-FAL won't cycle
As the title indicates, my newly built Israeli HB on an Imbel won't cycle rounds
It's not an FN. There's your problem ;)

Tyris
October 15, 2008, 01:11 PM
It's not an FN. There's your problem

FN does not sell FALs in the USA.
How is that his problem?

-T

silverlance
October 15, 2008, 02:20 PM
GDisarray, if all else fails at home, give us a call. We can fix it for you, and test fire it as well. Let them know I sent you and they'll cut you a deal as well.

Kev

General Disarray
October 15, 2008, 06:32 PM
I'm almost too embarrassed to post this, but as so many helpful people have come forward and offered their know-how on this, I've gotta give my range report, and hopefully the lesson can be passed on for future newbies that you all might come across.

These Israelis don't have the A and G on the end of the gas regulator; they just have a hebrew marking on one side (i.e. the correct side for firing) and blank on the grenade side. I had this upside down after reassembling it so it was set to the grenade launcher side unbeknown to me. To further ensure my confusion, I was putting the safety selector to full auto (all the way counter-clockwise), inside of on semi (all the way clockwise). I got it firing normally in 2.5 seconds after it was set to these correct positions. I'm kinda bummed that my reloads wouldn't cycle, but my factory stuff was flawless, although I now have a dozen brass kisses on the receiver. What the hell's that all about?

But nevertheless, my perdy new FAL is my new favorite toy. Thanks so much to everyone who offered up advice.

TexasRifleman
October 15, 2008, 06:45 PM
I'm kinda bummed that my reloads wouldn't cycle,

Glad you got it running easy enough. Your reloads will probably work if you will back down the gas adjustment.

iamkris
October 15, 2008, 06:46 PM
although I now have a dozen brass kisses on the receiver

That is a sign that you are actually shooting your rifle instead of just taking pictures of it to post on the internet. All FALs do that. Learn to love it.

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