I know that these "Which is better" format questions get a bit hackneyed, but I'm asking one anyway :-)
I'm familiar with the M16A2 series of rifle, thanks to Uncle Sam and a particular island off the Eastern coast of the USA. I enjoy the rifle, the various addons and accessories, the ergonomics and, admittedly, the aesthetics.
I simply won't discuss the caliber, it must be a .30.
That said, what are the major differences between the FAL and the AR-10?
Ideally, I'd like the "full sized" model, with some sort of non-battery operated low-zoom sight (Combat/Standard ACOG) and a flashlight. I know that the accessories don't matter that much, but i'm wondering if they are more specifically designed for particular platforms.
I thank all of you in advance for your assistance with this issue ;-)
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July 28, 2009, 04:09 AM
what are you planning to do with the rifle?
July 28, 2009, 09:38 AM
That said, what are the major differences between the FAL and the AR-10? A lot. The FAL has an adjustable piston/tappet gas system where the AR is direct impingement. Obviously, you should be familiar with the AR gas system. The AR system is said to contribute to its accuracy due to fewer things banging around while you fire. Also the FAL gas system and the way its handguards mount make it difficult to free float the barrel effectively.
Both have good ergonomics and the controls are easy to access from the left side allowing you to keep your hand on the pistol grip while reloading, engaging/disengaging the safety, or charging the rifle.
Mag changes are easier on the AR. The FAL mags have to be rotated in and then locked. AR mags slap straight in. I prefer the AR's mag release right at the index finger. The FAL's mag release is in front of the trigger guard and must be activated with the left hand (like an AK).
The biggest drawback of the FAL platform is the sights are on two separate halves of the rifle. The rear sight is located on the rear section of the rifle which hinges away from the front section for cleaning and maintenance. This means that inherently, there is minute amount of play between the front and rear sights. Some rifles are tighter here than others. The AR has both sights mounted on the same half.
Speaking of cleaning and maintenance, the FAL breaks open similar the AR which makes cleaning the bore and chamber area easy. The bolt/carrier are easier to clean on the FAL, especially since it does not get as dirty due to the piston gas system.
Mounting optics on the FAL used to be a problem, but now there are some pretty decent top covers with a mounting rail. There isn't much available for a front handguard rail though. DSA has one, but it is heavy and doesn't free-float the barrel.
IMO, the AR is easier to use and easier to make accurate. If you want a tack driver, this is your platform.
The FAL is easier to run on a wider range of ammo. It will eat up surplus all day long. However, it is very difficult to get it to shoot very accurately. They tend to string vertically.
I still love my FALs though. I consider it the AK of western battle rifles.
All good points about AR-10 vs. FAL, but what has not been mentioned is that there are lots of good, cheap magazines for the FAL. The issue of the rear sight/front sight is correct, but if you plan to mount a SUIT or ACOG, it doesn't matter. I have 2 STG-58 builds, one on a DSA receiver, one on an Imbel. Both are fine. Stay away from Entreprise, and RUN AWAY from Hesse receivers. DSA and Arizona Response Systems are the gold standard for rebuilt rifles, IMHO. Kit guns from other builders can be hit or miss. <groan>
July 28, 2009, 10:17 AM
The big difference for me would come down to this:
The FAL was produced by the millions and has seen service in dozens of countries.
The AR10, wait, there is no standard AR10. The 7.62 AR type rifle is produced by different companies with no standardization of parts or magazines. Company A's upper won't fit B's lower which won't accept C's magazines.
I'd be surprised if the total number of AR10 type rifles produced by every company that makes them exceeds 1 million.
If you want a military pattern rifle because they have all the bugs worked out of them, get the FAL. As far as the rear sight thing, doesn't the para FAL put the rear sight on the upper receiver also? BSW
July 28, 2009, 11:12 AM
If you want a military pattern rifle because they have all the bugs worked out of them, get the FAL. As far as the rear sight thing, doesn't the para FAL put the rear sight on the upper receiver also? BSW The Para FAL uses a different rear sight, but it is in the same exact location (It is on the lower, not the upper).
Paras are cool too though. (However, this Para has a custom AR type rear sight, but that's about where a standard Para sight would be)
17" barreled Imbel. Not much longer than an AK.
July 28, 2009, 11:14 AM
Thanks. Haven't handled a para FAL in a long time and I wasn't sure about the rear sight. BSW
July 28, 2009, 11:30 AM
Thanks. Haven't handled a para FAL in a long time and I wasn't sure about the rear sight. BSW No problem. That is my biggest pet peave about the platform because I really like shooting with iron sights. I don't know what the Belgians were thinking there.
Obviously with optics, it isn't an issue though (and notice that both my FALs have optics, yet only one of my 7 ARs has a scope and two have red dots that allow me to use the irons through them, which I do often.) I tend to shoot the FALs most often at low power magnification, around 2x-3x.
what has not been mentioned is that there are lots of good, cheap magazines for the FAL. I agree. I got most of my surplus mags for less than $5 ea.
Rock River has a .308 AR that takes FAL mags though. Not sure if it's worth looking at, I have no experience with it.
OK, I need to stop hogging the thread now...
July 28, 2009, 11:47 AM
I shot my FAL for "Zero" this weekend and can attest that it will string vertically as the barrel heats up. But that being said I had fine results at 100m shooting for a seated, on my butt in the sand, position using my knees to support me. My over all group was a little smaller than my hand (4wx7h), yeah it won't win me any national matches, which works for me. All rounds well with in center mass. Like I said this was done for a seated position on the side of a hill in the brush, not from a bench. Add an ACOG 3.5 or 4x and you would have one heck of a field accurate rifle. If you want a rifle that will group with all the holes touching get the AR10. If you want a rifle that will eat rocks and hit what you are aiming at at any reasonable range, (0-500m) get a FAL. And mounting a Para style rear sight on a rail on the upper does away with the sights being on two different parts of the rifle. I need to try that with mine.
July 28, 2009, 04:28 PM
One of them was never acepted as the main battle rifle, and the other one was called "The Right Arm of the Free World".:D
I know what i would get.:p:D
July 28, 2009, 04:39 PM
And mounting a Para style rear sight on a rail on the upper does away with the sights being on two different parts of the rifle. I need to try that with mine. I'm curious how you would do that? For one, I would think that would put the rear sight way too high in relation to the front sight.
DSA makes (or used to make) a para receiver with a rail. But that rail is much lower than a top cover rail.
July 29, 2009, 01:29 PM
But that rail is much lower than a top cover rail.
Looking back at the pic I now see that the rear sight is mounted on the receiver not the rail. Didn't DSA make different length front sight posts? It may be possible with some experimentation, which I can not afford at this point. But even with a taller front sight post I think you are correct about the rear mounted on a rail would be way too high.
July 29, 2009, 03:35 PM
fals are awesome and battle tested and proven mags are cheap and eats surplus what else is there to know lol
July 29, 2009, 05:50 PM
To clarify, XM110 sniper weapon system (AR-10/SR25 system) is gradually replacing Remington 700 and M14 DMR in certain US armed branches. I have seen FALs used by Somali rebels, etc.
July 29, 2009, 05:55 PM
Not sure what the last sentence has to do with anything, given the FAL was very popular in Africa, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, one would expect to find them everywhere.
I would wager that the number of AR-10 rifles produced, in total, is less than 300,000.
In any case, I would prefer the FAL as a combat weapon and it is easier to keep running, given parts, than the AR-10 based rifles. And, even if the US sniper rifle does become the standard in the US military, I would wager that British production of the FAL alone would exceed the total AR-10 based production by any country for any use.
July 30, 2009, 06:43 AM
Is the custom AR sight on your PARA a direct replacement for the rear sight ? Did you have to modify anything in order to make it fit ?
July 30, 2009, 08:36 AM
I have had 2 FALs and have an AR-10. The FAL are full size AK's and the AR10 is easier to get precision out of. Just because no NASCAR team drives a 350ZX , dosent make it a slow car.
July 30, 2009, 08:46 AM
I have owned both a Fal and an AR10. I say AR10 with an 18 or 20 inch barrel. The AR is going to be way more precision. I like the FAL but if you want 1/2" groups go with the AR.
Also if you go with an AR10 I would only go Armalite.That's what AR stands for.
July 30, 2009, 08:54 AM
Of course, the current Armalite has as much to do with AR rifles as the current Springfield Armory has to do with M-14's...
The OP made no mention of precision, but some of the AR fellows here seem to imply the FAL is an imprecise weapon. It is not.
July 30, 2009, 09:33 AM
Is the custom AR sight on your PARA a direct replacement for the rear sight ? Did you have to modify anything in order to make it fit ? It's a complete "A2 Hampton" lower from DSA. I just had to swap all the internals over from my regular Para lower.
DSA A2 Hampton for Para (http://www.dsarms.com/Stripped-SA58-FAL-A2-Hampton-Lower----US061A2HP/productinfo/US061A2HP/) and for standard non-para (http://www.dsarms.com/Stripped--SA58-FAL-A2-Hampton-Standard-Lower---US061A2H/productinfo/US061A2H/)
Also, here's the lower with the rail that I mentioned earlier: for Para (http://www.dsarms.com/SA58_FAL-US-Made-Alloy-Picatinny-Metric-Lower----US061PICP/productinfo/US061PICP/) and for standard non-para (http://www.dsarms.com/SA58_FAL-US-Made-Alloy-Picatinny-Metric-Lower---US061PIC/productinfo/US061PIC/).
Apparently, you need a taller front gas block/ sight mount for the rail lower (now I remember that's why I didn't buy this one).
July 30, 2009, 09:52 AM
The OP made no mention of precision, The OP didn't say that it wasn't his goal either. Many folks want precision accuracy in their rifles. I brought it up so that the OP(or others dredging this up in a search) didn't spend serious money on rifle only to be disappointed. How many Mini-14, SKS and surplus Mosin Nagant threads do we see where someone buys a rifle with unreasonable expectations of tack driving accuracy?
but some of the AR fellows here seem to imply the FAL is an imprecise weapon. It is not. Just look at the number of threads on FALfiles about "accurizing" a FAL and the trials that folks go through. Then compare this to the threads on AR15.com.
The AR platforms are much easier to make into a precision rifle. The FAL has a number of issues that make this a challenge and if this is the goal, then one would best be served researching this on "the Files" because it has been covered ad nauseum over there.
That is not to say that a FAL cannot be an accurate weapon. But it just takes a lot of work most of the time. And precise can also mean different things to different people. I'm happy with minute of cigarette pack out of my FAL (which is right about the best I can get: 2"x4" with match ammo). Others won't be happy unless they get all their bullets touching.
Now here is where a bunch of people will post that their DSA FAL shoots MOA all day long with surplus ammo....
July 30, 2009, 10:17 AM
DMK, and others are correct if you want hole touching sub MOA accuracy then get the AR10. If you want a field accurate, meaning hitting a man sized target with irons out to 300 or a bit more, rifle that will eat any ammo you through at it and is not prone to breakdowns then get that FAL. Both are .308 rifles, that is where the similarities stop.
July 30, 2009, 01:38 PM
My FAL is as accurate as my M1 Garand. It is more accurate than the Hakim I once owned, and was equally accurate as my standard model M1a from Springfield Armory. The FAL has better sights than the L1A1 and fully adjustable peep sights are available. It will be more reliable than the AR.
The AR can be made into a precision rifle. The FAL, less so. But in competition, the AR-15 in 5.56 is king, not the AR-10. Also, for the price of most AR-10, you can get an FAL and a good quality bolt gun. Best of both worlds.
Parts are easier and cheaper to get for the FAL and, importantly, are standardized. High quality magazines are much, much cheaper for the FAL than the AR. Mag changes are not slow for the FAL, either.
I can say this because I own both an AR (ironically a DSA) and an Imbel/Israeli FAL. The FAL is my 308, the AR is my 5.56.
July 30, 2009, 06:43 PM
AR-10 upper and lower receiver wiggle/play can compromise consistent cheek weld for precision work, but this problem is easily solved by an aftermarket tensioning pin. FAL has the same problem with minor play between the receivers, but that problem is not solvable by any aftermarket parts. Counter-sniper .308 semiautos are predominately XM110, M14 DMW, or HK91 variants.
To say that FAL is a reliable AK47 equivalent, I would completely agree on that. But to say that FAL is an accurate platform, I would beg to differ. I have never seen a FAL used for counter-sniper precision applications.
July 30, 2009, 06:52 PM
The FAL is vastly more accurate than the AK. It is an accurate platform. The Israelis developed a sniper based on the FAL, as did the Brits. It would work very well in the DMR role, as well as any SVD. It is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a sniper's rifle. A bolt gun does that just fine, better than any HK or M14 variant. But as a marksman's rifle it works well.
In the end, it is absurd to assume it is inaccurate. As a combat rifle, it is far superior to any AR-10 type rifle. High quality FAL's are also cheaper than average-quality AR-10's.
July 31, 2009, 01:27 AM
hmmm... Are you talking about the Galil sniper system made by the Israelis? They are different from the FAL, and they are derived from AK47. Israel used mauser K98 for sniper use, followed by M14 SWS(DMR), followed by Galil, and then followed by bolt action based stuff. I couldn't find anything to support the use of FAL as DMR.
This is the gentleman who made it.
"This looks like Afghanistan, but it is the USMC high angle range, Hawthorne, NV. This is what a mile shot looks like. Actual range 1604 meters. .408CT, 419 gr. @ 2882 fps. Target is some heavy equipment debris with a three foot circle painted on it with a 12" bull. Four rounds fired. Group size was 27" W by 9" H with 2 in the bull. "
And this is the reason he dropped the FN platform in favor of the AR platform
Retro, I referred to the Israeli FAL sniper, which preceded the Galil, which was similar to the sniper-based FAL used by the Netherlands. Other nations have used them with optics, including the Brits.
As to the article above, read my posts. It might have kept you from posting unnecessarily.
SP Shop Foreman
July 31, 2009, 08:25 AM
Is the FN plaform not exactly the same?
"The FAL is vastly more accurate than the AK. It is an accurate platform. The Israelis developed a sniper based on the FAL, as did the Brits. It would work very well in the DMR role, as well as any SVD. It is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a sniper's rifle. A bolt gun does that just fine, better than any HK or M14 variant. But as a marksman's rifle it works well.
In the end, it is absurd to assume it is inaccurate. As a combat rifle, it is far superior to any AR-10 type rifle. High quality FAL's are also cheaper than average-quality AR-10's."
Sorry for the unnecessary information, but I posted it because I disagree with your comparative assesment between the FN and AR10 platforms. The FN had its day as a sniper platform. Today, no state of the art long distance rifle is based on the FN platform.
July 31, 2009, 06:22 PM
BECAUSE IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE ONE!
It could excel as a DMR, but not a sniper rifle. If you want precision, get a bolt gun. For the price of an AR-10 type rifle, you can get a great FAL and an excellent bolt action rifle onto which you can mount excellent glass.
July 31, 2009, 06:42 PM
I wish I could have got my DSA SA58 Fal to work. It had awesome ergonomics and was the top end FAL, but at $2k I could not afford something that did not want to work, so I sold it. Maybe I will pick one up in the future...maybe not.
The one thing that I hated about the FAL was the location of the charging handle. I thought it would have be sweet spot for one, but in practice it was very hard to get leverage on a stuck shell. So far I seem to like the AK charging position which gives you the most leverage when you need it.
SP Shop Foreman
July 31, 2009, 06:44 PM
Are you hollering, Mr. Ash?:)
Had you read the write up or followed current developmetns you'd have seen that a few semi-autos are indeed in that category, and all of them on the AR10 platform.
July 31, 2009, 07:12 PM
the VERY best shooting FAL i ever had was a springfield SAR 48. chrome bore, hammered rifling. using american eagle 150gr ball [which oddly my FAL's have all prefered], it would get about 1 1/8"-5 shot groups @ 100. from a reasonably clean bore, routinely.
in way of expanding that statement. it was sandbagged and benched when accuracy was the objective. also, with a special "X" target to center the extra heavy duplex crosshairs on an old leopold 1x4. methinx a target grade optic would have beat this some, but not by very much with the "X" target. wouldn't dream of doing so in my worst nightmares, it's a battle rifle.
the FN, hesse, L1A1 and israeli FALs i have owned never came within an inch of the sprgfld imbel for grouping ~consistency~. as in every time i benched them. all with low power leo 1x4 or 1x5 glass.
most any decent AR 10 clone will beat this grouping. especially if they have a 1:10 rifling twist for 165 gr SMK slugs.
that said, i still prefer the FAL for an MBR. the reason is the vastly improved reliability. gotta roll with Ash on this one, if you want a precision 7.62, get a bolt action.
the icing on the cake is they are even more reliable than the FAL or AR 10.
July 31, 2009, 09:57 PM
Well, don't worry about it. 3,475 is enough to end the run around here.
SP Shop Foreman
July 31, 2009, 10:31 PM
Yeahhhh, I guess sheer numbers gives you uncommon insight?:D Right!
We could each consider the other dead wrong, but none of this is that important, is it.
July 31, 2009, 10:43 PM
They are two very different rifles for two different roles.
My STG58 is a rugged rifle that will shoot 2 MOA in strings.
I'd love to own an AR-10 one day, but I'd want one that used FAL mags (Which I have a'plenty). I'm about to attempt making a Stevens 200 into my long range rifle (which will accept FAL Mags).
I would love to have a nice semi-automatic AR-10 that shoots MOA at 1k yards. But I can't justify it while I have a good bolt gun and an FAL
July 31, 2009, 10:58 PM
Out of the two, it depends on what you need. If you need this as a long range rifle that's value is determined by how small groups are, AR-10. If you're fine with something as accurate as an unbedded M14, the DSA SA58/StG58 both do the job admirably.
If you want something modern, and you don't want a piston AR, get the XCR-M when it comes out. A monolithic rail system, .308 SR-25/DPMS LR-308 mags, AK reliable, AR accurate.
Should get sub-MOA if Robinson manages to introduce the new stock and nitrided barrels. Should be just a wee bit heavier then the XCR-L, and it kind of seems like some kind of modern... I dunno. An amalgamation of the M1 Garand, AKM, FAL, and AR-15.
Bolt and operating system modded from the M1 and AKM, ergos like the AR-15, with the FAL's charging handle and bolt-release.
Probably sounds like an ad, but I wouldn't be surprised to see an XCR-M by the end of next year.
August 1, 2009, 12:16 AM
Before I forget, SP Shop Foreman, what scope is shipping with your AR-10 and what scope is shown mounted to the one in your photos? Thanks. :)
i still prefer the FAL for an MBR. the reason is the vastly improved reliability.
So an AR-10 is unreliable? Do you consider the AR-15 to be unreliable too?
All this talk of getting an SA58 and a bolt gun for the cost of an AR-10 ... huh? A top quality SA58 such as the Spartan from DSA costs the same as a top quality gas piston AR-10 such as the SPR from POF ... both around $2,600. The POF accepts DPMS, KNIGHT ARMAMENT, C-PRODUCTS, POF-USA and the original AR-10 waffle magazines and will accept the new MAGPUL magazines once they're available. My FAL experience has only been with the L1A1 and I've always had a soft spot for them, but I'll be ordering the POF.
I noticed this SA58 SPR on DSA's web site .... look at the bottom where it says "this rifle was submitted to the US Army for the SASS rifle trials" ... but the AR-10 platform was chosen so I have to wonder about the supposed reliability concerns with AR-10 type rifles.
Mind you right now the M110 is reported to be a jam-o-matic.
Piston AR10s are more likely to snap their op-rods, mainly because it's such a small one.
The AR-15 and AR-10 are both unreliable when you run them dry for long stretches of time. The FAL does better in this respect.
All in all it doesn't really matter, because every design has problems. Personally, I'd like to see a semi-automatic .308 Winchester rifle that adapts a modified AK47 system that is light and uses SR-25 mags.
Which is kind of why I like the Swiss Arms SAPR and the upcoming XCR-M.
Mind you, the AR-10 will weigh 9 pounds in a configuration similar to a FAL. The FAL would weigh 8.3 pounds, as would the XCR-M.
August 1, 2009, 03:24 AM
$5000 for a FAL...? I'd rather use the money on an Accuracy International or a semi-auto .50 cal Barrett...
FAL cannot be free-floated, M14 can be free-floated 2/3 of way (with SAGE EBR stock), and XM110 (AR10) can be completely free-floated. The inherent accuracy is therefore evident.
Where have you heard about XM110 being a jam-o-matic? Need references.
August 1, 2009, 04:30 AM
I had the same decision to make a while back when I was jonesing for a "battle rifle". I had a budget at the time of around $1200 and decided a Springfield Armory SAR-4800 match was the rifle for me (a rifle that was still manufactured at the time).
Perhaps I'm not the best shot with my Chinese Type 56, Yugoslavian SKS or Norinco “Paratrooper” SKS I used to have, but I am quite a bit better with my FAL. Though I can squeeze some pretty impressive groups with an SKS or AK variant, I notice such “impressive” groups are more consistent with my FAL. I personally wouldn’t put them in the same category as far as accuracy goes. That said, the FAL I have is of apparent superior quality (fit and finish).
I've never entertained the idea of slapping a scope on this rifle since I personally find it changes the ergonomics unfavorably. I view my FAL as a battle rifle and not a scoped precision tack driver. I'm confident this rifle is capable of greater accuracy than I am with iron sights, but that said... I can hit just about anything I can see within reason with these iron sights, so no optics for me. Perhaps I have low standards, but if I can consistently nail a 2 liter at or around 100 yards with iron sights, I’m satisfied.
I would like to point out that an FAL of quality modern manufacture is not an inaccurate battle rifle but rather not the best choice as a scope rifle when precision is the goal. Unfortunately it seems the FAL is so frequently compared to the AR-10, a rifle that enjoys a distinction of inherent accuracy, that it puts the notion in the heads of many that the FAL is relegated to a whites-of-their-eyes category. :confused:
In my view it would boil down to this: if I were to choose between the two to serve as a primary infantry rifle, I would give the nod to the FAL as it’s a formidable beast in its element. On the flip side, if I were choosing between the two for the most effective counter sniper tool, I would opt for the AR-10 for its innate accuracy.
SP Shop Foreman
August 1, 2009, 07:24 AM
1858, its a Hensoldt 6-24 x 72, 2nd Imag Plane scope.
And, Ash........ My disagreement was with the observation that the AR 10 platform stands second to the bolt action as a long range moa and sub-moa platform. Stewart Wilson has proven that to be erroneous many times over.
And Ash my friend, this is an apples and oranges thing. You might find these made by Mr. Wilson interesting. If you're remotely interested in these kinds of firearms, you really should research this gentleman. He's currently active in the field and instructs contract security forces in the use of the .50s in Afghanistan. We were extremely fortunate that he kept his word after a 10 year wait.
(Mr. Wilson) "This is An AR10 in 300WSM. It belongs to a Federal agent who after wringing it out at Quantico in Feb., '08 by two of the FBI Eval team, declared it, "the most accurate shoulder fired weapon system we ever tested". This after three shooters attained all shot under 2 1/2" five round groups at 840 yards. Many have tried to build the AR10 platform in this caliber. None have a done so reliably. I believe I have the only design that is functioning reliably to this date. This has a Lilja three groove barrel.
16" 'Grinder" model. Light weight, quick cycling unit designed for friends who are contractors that wanted 'something that gets inside of vehicles'. Will not function reliably with heavy bullets. Handles only those in the 150 grain range. It turned out, as all successful units are, quite extraordinary in the accuracy department (1/2 moa at 400 yards with a batch of ammo from Lake City with '96 headstamp).
Anyway, just some examples of things I have made in the past few years.
We shouldn't be argueing about these rifles. Both have their place in history and the FN has had it's day. These new 110 types are state of the art, and I intend to have some long range fun.:D
August 1, 2009, 07:43 AM
Looking at the AR-10 rifles is always a pleasure to me, as a kid born in the 60's, anything the military was using then captured my attention - not to mention Marine Grandfathers and Marine Dad training with a rifle.
That stated, my father much prefered the L1A1 he borrowed for a few days to the M14, and for both Grandfathers -the Garand was the ONLY rifle - one of my Grandfathers made a living building those thumb mashers. Ask me how I know:cuss:
The original poster simply asked " What's the major differences between the AR-10 and the FAL?"
I would personally take my FN-49 in 7mm Mauser over both for ease of rapid target acquisition and ergonomics.
I really enjoy the Fal's I have, I love to get new mags for under $10.
The AR-10 is on my wish list, it just keeps falling from the top spot - I don't know why :rolleyes:
I personally have no desire for a 308 anything - I own some 308's - this makes the AR-10 more desireable for me. I want one in a 7mm-08.
August 1, 2009, 11:57 AM
SP Shop Foreman,
i own revolvers, and love 'em. but if it becomes a serious social encounter, gimme my 1911. i would rather have it even if the playing field were leveled, and it would only hold six rounds.
even though i prefer the semiauto, i will NOT contend that it is just as reliable as a revolver if kept clean and lubed properly. even though the same has always been my experience with quality 1911 handguns.
"...The original poster simply asked " What's the major differences between the AR-10 and the FAL?"..."
i believe the difference between a direct gas impingement action and a gas piston IS the crux of the reliability/accuracy disagreements.
back to the OP's question, if accuracy is the prime consideration, hands down get the AR 10. tighter bolt to bolt carrier to reciever tolerances ARE what makes for an accurate semiautomatic platform.
as mentioned in a previous posting, the gas piston is not accuracy's friend. but it will allow the lube in the reciever last longer by not venting extremely hot/high pressure gasses onto the bolt, carrier and reciever. it will also keep powder residue from venting on same and allow the weapon to be reliable for longer periods between cleanings.
if you want a good, but not as accurate battle rifle, get an FAL...
August 1, 2009, 12:06 PM
i believe the difference between a direct gas impingement action and a gas piston IS the crux of the reliability/accuracy disagreements.It's not just that. The bolt designs are completely different. The gas system and bolt of the FAL are very similar to the Russian SKS in design and operation.
The bolt and carrier of the FAL are huge chunks of steel with fairly generous clearances. When it locks, it drops down against a large locking shoulder in the receiver (this locking shoulder headspaces the rifle). The bolt is very tolerant of grit and grime, but does not lock up the same exact way every time. It is believed that this is what causes the vertical stringing. You could blueprint these assemblies, tighten up tolerances and reduce clearances, but that could affect reliability of a dirty gun.
The AR has a smaller bolt that rotates inside a hollow carrier. There is a hole through the bolt for the cam pin. There are multiple small lugs that fit into recesses in the barrel assembly. This design is superior for accuracy. It has very repeatable lockup. Some say it is also less tolerant of dirt and grit.
IMO, the FAL would still be more robust and reliable even if it ran gas impingement instead of a piston/tappet and an AR would be easier to make accurate even if it ran a piston gas system.
I am very familiar with both guns. I have built both of my FALs and all my ARs from their smallest parts (not just slapping major components together).
SP Shop Foreman
August 1, 2009, 12:30 PM
I was multi-tasking when I read and posted in this thread and didn't make anything clear.
Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I meant to say that IMHO, the FN platform is not as stable a platform as the AR10 and secondly I disagreed that a bolt action rifle is more accurate for long distance shooting than all semi-autos. Wilson and a few other companies have debunked that train of thought.
August 1, 2009, 01:56 PM
I was multi-tasking when I read and posted in this thread and didn't make anything clear. I misread your post as well. I believe you are right that most folks get hung up on the piston vs. gas impingement thing. That is just one variable out of many.
August 1, 2009, 03:22 PM
+1, but even the gas piston tube itself is an impediment to accuracy. as is above mentioned inabilty to effectively free float the bbl.
methinx the SKS and the MAS 49 "borrowed" the tilting block design from browning's BAR, just reversing block direction of movement.
i wonder if the rotating bolt, and multi-lug lock up is the culprit as much as the tight fitting carrier. venting cartridge exhaust gasses into the reciever just makes this problem more likely. the AR 180 uses almost the exact same bolt system as the 15/16, but since the carrier rides on recoil springs over guide rods, it allows much more area for crud to clear the carrier upon cycling. they are also more reliable when contamination of external mung and spooh are part of the equation.
"...IMO, the FAL would still be more robust and reliable even if it ran gas impingement instead of a piston/tappet..."
i would have to do some extended shooting sessions with a direct impingement tilting block FAL before i could make the reliabilty call on that mod. while not as tight as the 15/16 bolt carriers, same was a problem for the israelis and brits in sandy enviornments, hence the "sand cuts" carriers they adopted.
August 1, 2009, 03:59 PM
I say that the M110 will jam in any adverse conditions. First of all, the suppressor that is usually attached to it already makes the gun more likely to jam then your standard M16A4 with ACOG. Throw in the fact that 7.62 NATO ends up with more powder residue in the chamber and you get something that likes to jam.
Get the FAL if you want a classic piece of history that is light and is a battle rifle. Get the AR-10 if you want a gun that can shoot sub-MOA but jams if you shoot dry.
August 1, 2009, 09:22 PM
methinx the SKS and the MAS 49 "borrowed" the tilting block design from browning's BAR, just reversing block direction of movement.Possibly. I doubt that FN or Simonov came up with the idea on their own.
while not as tight as the 15/16 bolt carriers, same was a problem for the israelis and brits in sandy enviornments, hence the "sand cuts" carriers they adopted. It appears though, that this was only a problem in desert environments (and the FAL doesn't have a cover plate like the AR to keep the sandstorm out). The FAL was used almost as widely as the AK by numerous countries and fought in jungles, bogs and deserts all over the world, but only Israel and England seem to feel the need to made any reliability modifications.
August 1, 2009, 09:37 PM
"...only Israel and England seem to feel the need to made any reliability modifications..."
haven't had a need for these myself.
August 1, 2009, 10:37 PM
Armalite AR10 vs FAL:
FAL wins knock out in the 6th round.
POF .308 vs FAL:
POF wins knock out in the 2nd round.
If you're after accuracy get a bolt gun. If you're after a battle rifle get any of the many battle rifles on the market today.
The AR10, wait, there is no standard AR10. The 7.62 AR type rifle is produced by different companies with no standardization of parts or magazines. Company A's upper won't fit B's lower which won't accept C's magazines.
Yes there is, made by Armalite and it's been around a long time, I know the AR-10 is still being used in Africa. I don't think there's any standardization of battle rifle from different manufacturers. There's a lot of aftermarket stuff you can get, but if you want a particular rifle you buy it from them.