STG58 vs. SA58 (DS Arms comparison)


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DannyinJapan
March 7, 2011, 12:19 PM
Can anybody tell me if the extra $500 is worth spending on the All-American SA58?

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Z-Michigan
March 7, 2011, 12:42 PM
I own examples of each, and my opinion is no. The original Steyr parts are excellent and not very worn. DSA's US-made parts are fine, but not necessarily an improvement. The barrel is the only part that is likely to be a noticeable improvement, and even there DSA's barrel isn't the best (look for a new surplus hammer-forged barrel made by one of the FN-licensed countries for the best).

Search my username and FAL or STG-58 for more comments.

ny32182
March 7, 2011, 12:58 PM
I like my SA58 better, but $500 better is a stretch.

DannyinJapan
March 7, 2011, 02:24 PM
It looks like ALL of their rifles use the US made barrel, so I don't have much of a choice in that regard.

DannyinJapan
March 7, 2011, 02:28 PM
I have another question: will the Austrian pebble-leather mag pouches fit on a USGI pistol belt?

Z-Michigan
March 7, 2011, 03:21 PM
I have another question: will the Austrian pebble-leather mag pouches fit on a USGI pistol belt?

They should. I have some here and their belt loop is about 3" tall. Looks like it should fit a moderately thick 2" pistol belt (like the USGI 1980/90s belt) or a thinner 2.5-3" wide belt.

There are better options for carrying FAL mags if you're willing to spend $20+ though. I like the 308 mag pouches from Tactical Assault Gear, and all the major US gear makers have similar products. FAL mags are a fairly standard size for pouches, like 20rd AR-10, G3, or M14 mags.

Z-Michigan
March 7, 2011, 03:26 PM
It looks like ALL of their rifles use the US made barrel, so I don't have much of a choice in that regard.

DSA's current production STG-58 uses a US barrel as they ran out of the original Austrian barrels. Austrian Steyr barrels in excellent condition are considered among the best FAL barrels ever.

DSA's US barrel for the STG is 4140 steel and button rifled - about as good as what you'd get on a Springfield, Inc. M1A, a lot of middle tier AR-15s and various other guns.

DSA's US barrel for the SA-58 is 4150 steel, broach cut rifled and cryo treated. In theory those all improve it, although cryo treating is controversial and not generally viewed as proven to have a benefit. The 4150 steel and broach cut rifling* are a little better than 4140 and button rifling, but not enough that I would pay much extra for it.

*broach cut rifling is an obsolete process, and somewhat different from single point cut rifling used on very high end match barrels. It's the process widely used in the US through WWII. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm a little puzzled why DSA uses it.

DannyinJapan
March 7, 2011, 03:34 PM
Let's say you never expected to shoot at anything more than 200 yards away with a 16" barreled rifle. STG58 or SA58?

Z-Michigan
March 7, 2011, 04:03 PM
It would make no difference. None. So the STG-58 on cost.

BTW, 16" FALs with standard length gas systems are not the most reliable FAL setup. An 18" gives you increased reliability and velocity for just 2" and hardly any additional weight.

axeman_g
March 8, 2011, 01:44 PM
please go 18". You will not like the 16"... loud, unreliable and flashy. Like my Father in Law.. I dont like him either.

HorseSoldier
March 8, 2011, 04:38 PM
With DSA's carbine length gas system, there's no loss in reliability on 16" barrels -- I've run my DSA Para with 16" barrel harder than most, and never had a stoppage with it at all. Which puts it in about the same category as the real .mil StG-58s I trained on (no stoppages, but handguards occasionally falling off if fired on auto a lot without checking the bolts) and my full size FAL built on a Rhodesian parts kit (stoppage or two with heavy use).

Motega
March 8, 2011, 05:54 PM
Axeman that is HILARIOUS!

Z-Michigan
March 8, 2011, 06:28 PM
With DSA's carbine length gas system, there's no loss in reliability on 16" barrels

No argument, IF you buy DSA's proprietary carbine-length gas system. I don't think that was ever offered on the STG-58, but I've seen STG-58's with 16" barrels and standard gas setups.

iamkris
March 8, 2011, 09:05 PM
While it is just one data point, my SA58 Para with 16.25" barrel and standard gas system has been flawless for 1000+ rounds. Nary a hitch. I don't find it necessarily louder (maybe people next to me would disagree) and certainly not less reliable.

I like my StG58A also but the Para is my favorite DSA.

http://i31.tinypic.com/2w1xz0i.jpg

ny32182
March 11, 2011, 09:39 AM
My 16" also has the standard gas system; I do have to turn the gas up further on the dial to make it run than I do with the 21", but it is still in the middle of the dial far from maxed out. I doubt it starts extracting any earlier than the shorter proprietary gas system considering the port location. I assume it is a shorter pulse, later in the chamber pressure curve. I'm sure some will say this "batters the action" more than it has to or something, but... at the end of the day, this is an FAL folks. There isn't really anything in it that I can see getting broken very easily at all. There is a large piston, large carrier, and large bolt, in the large steel receiver, and that is it. You could probably beat someone senseless with any one of them. No polymer "wear item" buffers in sight, nor relatively small cam pins, etc... my feeling its that it can take any amount of battering I want to dish out.

Z-Michigan
March 11, 2011, 10:38 AM
ny - with a full length gas system, as the FAL barrel gets shorter the maker will drill a larger and larger gas port to allow enough gas into the piston before the bullet exits the barrel and pressure drops. This means a shorter, somewhat sharper impulse. The sharpness of the impulse is not much of an issue (as you say, the FAL is built tough), but the shorter impulse means that the pressure at the port becomes more critical, and firing ammo that's low pressure at that point in the bore may cause malfunctions that wouldn't happen with a 21" setup. The same result could happen with normal ammo fired in extremely cold conditions. Firing especially high pressure ammo may cause a relatively violent strike, which ideally you would adjust the gas regulator for, then resulting in marginal function if you switch back to lower pressure ammo.

Sure, it may still work in normal use, but it becomes more finicky and more prone to malfunction when conditions are at an extreme (hot, cold, high or low pressure ammo).

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