M1A vs FAL (yet again, but not really)


January 21, 2003, 08:30 AM
Okay folks, help me out.

I have the opportunity to buy either a Springfield M1A or an Imbel LAR rebuilt on an Imbel receiver (laws are weird aren't they?).

*Both use a 20 round mag.
*Both fire .308/7.62
*Barrel lengths are comparable (21 vs 22)
*While the Imbel has a pistol grip and maybe better ergonomics,
the M1A has a flash hider and is probably more accurate.
*Mags are much(!) cheaper for the FAL

Both would be used for target, plinking, home defense, SHTF, etc., etc.

Question 1: Would you prefer a flashider to a pistol grip?
Question 2: Can you tell me how hard it is to mount a scope on either?

Thanks in advance.

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Chris Rhines
January 21, 2003, 08:55 AM
1.) Not as such, but I do greatly prefer the handling and controls of the FAL to the M1A.

2.) Easier on the FAL, but not hard on the M1A. Use a good scope mount.

- Chris

January 21, 2003, 09:05 AM
I agree with Chris^^^.

Jim V
January 21, 2003, 09:07 AM
Mounting scopes: The M1A has a scope mount that attaches to the receiver and is detachable. I don't know if they ahve ever gotten the mounts to stay firmly attached or not. IIRC, they loosen up in use and the mount moves.

Mounting a scope on a FAL, no matter of who's make, is done by replacing the top cover. Just don't go for the cheapest one on the market. My Springfield SAR-48 has a scope on it and it has never lost zero (as of yet anyway).

I think that Springfield convinced the ATF that their "flash hider" was/is a muzzle brake. And an FAL barrel can be fitted with a brake too.

The price of magazines is something that you will have to consider if you want to have more than a couple. FAL magazines prices make them much more desirable than the M-14 magazines. You can get several FAL mags for the price of one M-14/M1A magazine.

January 21, 2003, 12:28 PM
Generally speaking, i would prefer a flash-hider to a pistol grip because you can prolong your hiding spot better that way. Once the BGs get within 75m you'll probably want to change to a CQB weapon if possible anyway (this one will have a pistol grip).


January 21, 2003, 12:34 PM
The M1A is a very sweet firearm. However, I would get the FAL at this time.

I think the M1A will be available virtually forever; The FAL, although not currently on borrowed time, will probably become harder to find.
You will not be dissatisfied with the Imbel recv'r.

2nd Amendment
January 21, 2003, 12:47 PM
For the cost of a single Springfield M1A Match I've gathered together all the components to build five FAL's. I've gathered up about five times the magazines I could have, also. Now I just have to put it all together. :(

If cost is a serious concern then the FAL rules. Having said that, the M1A is still a much better rifle.

edit: Duh. I have the components for five, I only managed to get it all together for three of them at the cost of one SA. Spreaking creary id nut mi thtrong thute.

January 21, 2003, 01:25 PM
Neither - I'd buy the DSA...

Shot one four times now, and have fallen in love!


January 21, 2003, 01:35 PM
Seeing that I reside in CA, my only choice is in the Springfield. But, I wouldn't think I was settling. The Springfield is a nice rifle. Now, if I were open to the two choices, at this moment in time, I would get the Springfield.

January 21, 2003, 01:40 PM
I would like to volunteer to settle this debate. Please send your FAL's and M1A's to me and I will shoot them, clean them, and give them a good home. I will then post the results of my experiences for all to see. No sacrifice is too great. I'm doing it for the board.


January 21, 2003, 01:41 PM
Don't be crazy get the FAL.


January 21, 2003, 03:33 PM

Someone set me straight here... Jack19 is asking which ONE to get? FAL or M1A?

Sounds like you are asking the wrong question.
The correct question is "Which one to get FIRST?" :D

January 21, 2003, 05:03 PM
Buy the FAL but skip the Imbel. Unless it is a preban original it was probably built by CAI and while the receiver is fine they use crap parts kits.

Get the DSA Stg58 for $995.00 and it comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY.

Shoots tighter (but not by much, the M1A is damn accurate) and mags and accessories are cheaper.

M1A mounts are kinda a pain and I hear the current Springfield mount sucks.

For FALs there is only one to consider the DSA heavy duty mount which replaces the top cover. Too easy.

January 21, 2003, 08:42 PM
If you want the long barrel and a scope I would stay with the fal. All I know is dsa and I like mine and will eventually use their mount since it gets great reviews unless you ask about weight.

I really want a springfield scout and they have a place to mount a scope way forward. But I don't know if you want to lose the barrel length.

Another option, one I recomend if you ever see it, is to get a brush or bush m1a with a folding stock. Springfield turned some out with choate folding stocks, these are pre-ban rifles. It has a pistol grip and all the nice stuff at the end of the barrel. There are also some surplus folders but I have never seen one to know if I would like it. The choate is nice with the thick rubber butt pad on it.

I think when you scope the m1a you lose the use of the stripper clip feed thingy. While mine is not easy to use, I still need some quality stripper clips, it is a nice option on a rifle with expensive magazines.

To be fair, I got my fal first due to the cost of the magazines.

January 21, 2003, 09:21 PM

You want to read this before you buy ANYTHING from Springfield Armory.


January 21, 2003, 10:56 PM
SteyrAUG, where did you see a DSA STG/58 for $995.00? I was checking them out on DSA's website today, and they listed a price a little higher than fifteen hundred bucks (even for the California legal model with the fixed ten round magazine). I've been wanting to buy a M1A for a while, but I figured I'd check out what else was available in California. If I could pick up the California legal variant of the STG/58 for $995.00, I'd jump on it. That's two to three hundred bucks cheaper than an M1A sells for around these parts...

January 21, 2003, 11:12 PM
DSA offers two standard models:

The SA58 $1395.00 which is all DSA manufacture


The Stg58 $995.00 which is the same receiver and a combination of DSA and NEW (not surplus worn out 20-30 year old **** parts) Steyr manufactured parts.

The only Kali legal one is the T-48 (fixed mag version) $1,575.00 This is the ONLY Kali legal variant FAL cause it has a retractable top cover that allows stripper clip feeding into a fixed non detachable magazine. All other FALs are a no no.

January 21, 2003, 11:16 PM
I just checked, and you are correct SteyrAUG. I guess I should look before I post... Mea culpa, mea maximum culpa...

January 21, 2003, 11:32 PM
Not a major problem, but not something I'd want to have happen to my $1000+ rifle, either. Springfield, Inc. will make good on that one, though. Pretty easy fix if it's just the extractor on that particular M1A, nor is it indicative of the breed as a whole.

I must be missing something - HS/LD,why is a person crazy for not buying an FAL clone? Having owned both, and having ditched the Imbel FAL in my collection while keeping my M14NM, your statement should at least be qualified with a rationale. What you posted sounds more to the effect that if your favorite color isn't purple, you're crazy...

My Imbel FAL clone was a loose, 2 MOA or worse gun. I even spent the extra money for a Hythe rear sight (anybody remember those?), but it just didn't help much. In the local 200 meter High Power matches, the gun just couldn't place against the AR-15's, M1 Garands, and M1A/M14's.

Jim V, the M1A/M14 scope mounts work loose when they're designed and built poorly. The original Leatherwood ART scopes and mounts, as well as the more recent Brookfield Precision and ARMS M14/M21 Mount Foundation, have been trouble free. So trouble free as to garner a NSN for government use. As for the Springfield mounts, I have seen too many of them work loose. Think they're up to 3rd Generation on them now. :(

January 22, 2003, 11:02 AM
I had forgotten about the DSA StG58As....I think I'll send them an email.....

Anyone know what DSA's deleivery time is on the StG58A?

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