Why are FAL/L1A1 mags so expensive now ?


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hexidismal
November 12, 2009, 02:38 AM
Are they really suddenly so rare ? It was only a few years ago that perfectly new ones seemed to be easy to find for 10 to 15 bucks a pop. And now that I need a few I'm finding them not only difficult to find but also they seem to be at least $25 bare minimum for the few beat up old ones out there. So what happened here, did everyone just run dry ?

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evan price
November 12, 2009, 03:33 AM
If yo umean real L1A1 mags (Inch pattern) it's because there's not a lot of them out there.

If you mean the Metric ones, well- these are surplus weapons, and the mags were surplus items that are not being produced in bulk anymore (Sure DSA is making new ones now but you pay new price). Since the respective governments paid full price for the mags and disposed of them as scrap we got them cheap. People just bought up all the surplus mags out there, and now there aren't any more. Add to that the possibility that an Obama/Democrat agenda might make them illegal, people bought all of them out.

There's probably more somewhere in depots in other nations but who knows if they will ever surface.

For what it's worth, I cleaned Sarco out of their last surplus mags a couple years ago for around $4 each shipped. :) I saw the KelTec RFB was going to use FAL mags and thought, "Hmmmm.... better stock up now so my FALs don't go hungry."

hexidismal
November 12, 2009, 04:32 AM
Ah, yeah I should have been more specific there. New production mags with cap. over 10 rounds from DSA aren't legal for me because I live in NY. Surplus "pre-ban" mags are all good though. I have an L1A1 pieced together originally by Century on one of their rarer ( and better ) Imbel receiver builds, which I have since improved over the dreaded century build. Anyway, the point is it will take and run both inch and metric mags. Inch mags fit much better though. I've never really found those for cheap, and I understand they are more rare. It's the surplus metric mags I used to find cheap though. I've heard tell of that Sarco deal, but I missed it.

After an issue with some water damage in my storage area that went unnoticed for a long time about a year ago, I only have maybe 3 serviceable mags. :(

1858
November 12, 2009, 05:47 AM
I ordered 10 FAL magazines from DSA a few weeks ago. I decided to go with 5 x 20 and 5 x 25. They're currently on backorder but should ship within a couple of weeks. These are not surplus magazines, they're new stock made by DSA and are around $25 each. Not bad compared to the M1A Springfield magazines (20 rounds) that I bought last month from Midway that were more than $40 each or the AR-10 magazines that I bought in September that were almost $50 each. Magazine prices aren't a big deal for me, availability is more important to me than cost. If they're not available, it doesn't matter how cheap they are.

:)

powermad
November 12, 2009, 04:07 PM
You may be in for a very long wait to see any mags from DSA.
The ones they are shipping are complete crap and do not work at all.
Everyone that has got some has had to send them back.
There is something seriously wrong with them, no amount of fiddling with them will get them to work.
After 60 years someone finally figured out how to screw up a FAL mag.

I would suggest getting mags elsewhere.

I see mags for sale all the time on the falfiles for $10 - $12

1858
November 12, 2009, 04:28 PM
The ones they are shipping are complete crap and do not work at all.
Everyone that has got some has had to send them back.
There is something seriously wrong with them, no amount of fiddling with them will get them to work.
After 60 years someone finally figured out how to screw up a FAL mag.

Do you mean the magazines made by DSA are "complete crap" or the ones that they ship not made by them are "complete crap"? Their website states that the DSA ones are "coming soon". I took this to mean that they haven't sold any DSA manufactured magazines yet. If this in incorrect, I certainly appreciate the heads-up. I have time to cancel my order if I can confirm that the DSA magazines are indeed rubbish.

http://www.dsarms.com/SA58_FAL-Magazines/products/19/

:)

powermad
November 12, 2009, 07:20 PM
Yes the "new" 3 USA parts DSA mags have been out for a bit and are a big fat fail.

They are suppoded to be looking into it.:rolleyes:

Go to the falfiles and search for DSA mags.
There are threads in the FN forum, review forum and gunsmithing forum about them.
W.E.G has a multi page thread on trying to get them to work in the gunsmithing forum.

Mags
November 12, 2009, 09:23 PM
If you look hard enough you can find used mags for about 6-8 bucks a pop. Found some on this forum as well as Gunbroker for around that.

AmEngRifles
July 8, 2010, 12:00 PM
To help answer hexidismal's original question, it is the nature of the "surplus" market that things start out cheap and then become non-existent or very expensive.

Now the FAL mags have been on the market for some years. This includes L1A1 magazines. As the various countries put their surplus arms and accessories up for bid and disposal, many of these items find their way to our shores and are then advertised by distributors. Depending on supply and demand, some things start in great quantity and a correspondingly reasonable price. Things in the market change and sometimes their demand heats up.

Even if that is not necessarily the case, eventually stores get distributed to smaller buyers and those items either get consumed as in the case of ammo, or they go into hiding as part of a collectors stash.

These things can go in waves or cycles like any consumer commodity. Before anyone had envisioned a semi automatic Bren gun, those kits were dirt cheap and plentiful. But as ingenious folks started to realize they could make them into reborn rifles, the demand for all things Bren started to heat up. I recall for quite a few years, IMA used to offer Bren tripods, at a very reasonable $100 dollars or so (maybe less in earlier days before I became aware of them). Well, once the 1919 semi auto and even Bren semi autos (to a much lesser degree) started to appear, the tripods became a hot commodity after YEARS of being very reasonable. I bet now you can't touch one for under $500. That is when the game is on. Now the hunt is to find someone who doesn't realize what they have and sells it off at a garage sale for $40 bucks.

But it is tedious work to find those single units that have been squirreled away by the individual collector, who may have passed away and along with him, the knowledge of what he has and what its worth is. For the rest of us "collectors" there are trades and sales among the learned, but not usually great deals!

Hindsight is always with 20 year old eyes. :-)

Dobe
July 8, 2010, 02:03 PM
After 60 years someone finally figured out how to screw up a FAL mag.
DSA is having real problems now. I'll go with a kit next time around.

W.E.G.
July 8, 2010, 02:20 PM
I received four newly-manufactured, USA-made DSA 20-round mags a few months ago.

Those mags malfunctioned badly in my IMBEL-receiver FAL.
This has been my "go-to" FAL for years, because it runs without any problem whatsoever, and with all types of ammo, when non-DSA mags are used.

The issue with the mags was that the sides were too close together, causing the ammo stack to be pinched as it tried to move upward during cycling. The pinching caused repeated bolt-over-base malfunctions.

If you can get the FAL Files site to load, I have a long thread on this subject in the gunsmithing forum.

DSA acknowledged that those mags have issues, and they intend to tweak the equipment on the next run - whenever that may be.

EdLaver
July 8, 2010, 02:24 PM
The demand went up from all the people who anticipated the release of the Kel-Tec RFB :)

Balrog
July 8, 2010, 05:39 PM
DSA had a warehouse full of Stey FAL mags a couple of years ago, and I loaded up the closet with them for about $7 each. They function perfectly and were nearly new. Ya'll didn't get any of those???

Jeremy2171
July 8, 2010, 07:00 PM
LOL glad I still got a foot locker full of about 50 Imbel mags still in the wrap!

goldie
July 10, 2010, 03:28 PM
i bought about 20-25 mags about 10 years ago, some made in israel with israeli printing on wax paper, + a bunch of steyr mags,+ surplus mags,too when they were around,im glad i got them when i did...

jeepguy
July 10, 2010, 11:29 PM
i would have thought dsa could have just bought some old fn licensed tooling to make mags. probably could have bought it for a good price and not had to reinvent the wheel.

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