DS Arms FAL/SA58 .308


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CGRifleman
March 27, 2011, 09:17 PM
I had a chance to shoulder one of these a few days ago and have been thinking about buying one. I have a few questions for SA58/FAL owners or users.
1. Accuracy with 16" or 18" barrel?
2. Worth ~$2k?
3. Reliability/ general likes or dislikes?

Please only answer if you have firsthand knowledge of this gun. Thanks!

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jeepguy
March 27, 2011, 09:28 PM
i had an imbel reciever with l1a1 english upper. i didn't care for it at all. i found the accuracy to be lacking not horrible but not what i would want. mine was 18" with a muzzle brake. i already had a m1a ss loaded which was more accurate. i still think they are a good rifle and well built. if i were in the military i would prefer a fal over a m16. the fal looks cool, but for me i love the m1a, for someone else it may the opposite. i would say try and find someone who has one and try it, to make sure it's what you like.

BigBore
March 27, 2011, 09:33 PM
Erm 2000.00 dollars? Shop around..
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rlz=1C1_____enUS420US420&q=SA58&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=9941117787655000138&sa=X&ei=qOSPTfKZDIKasAPd5smsBA&ved=0CC0Q8wIwBA#

As for accuracy they are not that great..Like most the shorter based .308's accuracy is sacrificed for weight..I own a 18 fal and although its quite fun to shoot its not the rifle I would grab if I wanted accuracy..

MiniZ
March 27, 2011, 10:08 PM
The accuracy is battle acceptable, which is what the rifle was designed for. 3-4 inches is pretty normal with milsurp ammo. You might find one that shoots better, but it would probably be the exception, not the norm.

2k is too much. Shop around, you can find better pricing in the 1100-1400 range.

The platform is very reliable.

Birdmang
March 27, 2011, 10:09 PM
Ive seen them on aim for $1200 i believe

Z-Michigan
March 27, 2011, 10:17 PM
I own two of them, and some other FALs. Many recent threads about the SA-58 in particular.

I wouldn't pay more than $1500, tops, for a standard version, whether 21", 16" or 18" (para and the short gas models are worth more).

There are a LOT of nice rifles to choose from at $1500+, so be sure you want an FAL.

They are very good rifles, possibly the best FALs ever made. But for a good shooting FAL I would suggest the STG-58 or "IMBEL Rifle" models from DSA, same receiver and furniture, military surplus parts and a lot less money.

mshootnit
March 27, 2011, 10:45 PM
Short 308's don't give up accuracy. You just haven't tried the right 308 yet.:D

Motega
March 27, 2011, 11:32 PM
I am obsessive when it comes to researching stuff and after a month of research I purchased one new from DSA- 18" standard stock. It hasn't been delivered yet. I think maybe you are looking at the prices on their web site and adding in some options to get to $2000, right? Well they don't actually charge anyone that price, the base price is about $1100-1200 for the standard stock SA58's in most configurations. I got the upgraded trigger, Robar finish on internal parts, and a few other upgrades like a SAW grip and the total was around $1700 I think.
My research cruising message boards (you HAVE seen the 'Fal Files' blog right?) all over the place indicate that with the right ammo, time, patience, and perseverance you can be shooting the black out of 1-2" bullseyes at 300 yards which is all I think I need.

CGRifleman
March 28, 2011, 12:37 AM
I think maybe you are looking at the prices on their web site and adding in some options to get to $2000, right?

Initially I was looking at the para model which is closer to $2000 on the DS site. Now I'm leaning towards the standard 16" carbine, which seems more reasonable, especially if (as Motega said) I can get one for $1200.

dacavasi
March 28, 2011, 12:53 AM
I bought the DSA Congo model (18" barrel) with an "extreme duty" scope mount, for just over $1500, a few years back. I mounted an Eotech on it and it will routinely shoot 1.5 MOA with most varieties of mil-surp 7.62 ammo. It is without question one of the nicest, slickest semi-auto "black" rifles I have ever owned. DSA takes pride in their manufacturing and workmanship, and it shows! The DSA-built rifles are ground-up manufactured, they are not some Imbel receiver model that has been recycled, and that is the big difference. The quality really shows in the fit, finish, and function. Of course, these are not the same as the universally-drooled-over varieties of 5.56 ARs out there, these are true battle rifles, they have some heft, and they deliver some very significant punch. I would highly recommend any of the DSA-fabricated variants, you will not be disappointed!

grumpy66
March 28, 2011, 01:54 AM
You can get an Imbel kit for around $350-$400, a Coonan reciever for about the same and build one to your liking for a lot less than DSA.
Not to mention the wait time(they got your money, you got no rifle...yet).

PLUS...having an intimate knowledge of YOUR rifle.

Motega
March 28, 2011, 06:23 AM
They don't charge you until it ships so no, they don't got my money

iamkris
March 28, 2011, 07:37 AM
I have 2 DSAs...both the full size StG58 and a 16" Para SA58.

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

1. Accuracy with 16" or 18" barrel?

Accuracy has nothing to do with barrel length...I don't know why this myth persists. FALs in general are 2-3 MOA guns with surplus. Mine are better than that with good ammo. What is relevant, however, is handiness, muzzle flash and velocity. The 16" will be very handy, will be loud and will give up about 20 fps per inch over the 18/21 inch. Completely up to you as to what you are trying to achieve.

2. Worth ~$2k?

Only you can say this but there isn't any reason why you should pay that much. I ordered my SA58 completely custom direct from DSA and paid $1800 to be set up exactly what I wanted.

3. Reliability/ general likes or dislikes?

Incredibly ergonomic (especially for the time it was designed), very reliable in the kind of use we put them through, full power battle rifle. The 16" is very handy, many people say the 18" is the best balance of length/velocity.

lmccrock
March 28, 2011, 09:01 AM
SA58 and STG58 are different models from DSA, the STG being made from more surplus parts (about $1200 base), and SA from more new parts (about $1700 base), although the STG now have new barrels. So if you are comparing price, be sure to compare correct models.

Yes, there should be no inherent accuracy differences between 16 and 18", just depends on how well the barrel was shortened.

I like the AR ergonomics better, the FAL safety requires a longer thumb than I have, so I have to ungrip to flip the lever. But there is something awesome about an FAL, hard to explain.

Lee

Z-Michigan
March 28, 2011, 09:54 AM
You can get an Imbel kit for around $350-$400, a Coonan reciever for about the same and build one to your liking for a lot less than DSA.
Not to mention the wait time(they got your money, you got no rifle...yet).

PLUS...having an intimate knowledge of YOUR rifle.

Ya know, most people asking about buying a factory rifle aren't looking to build one instead. Builders are usually more experienced and on their 3rd+ rifle of that type. Yes, the FAL is reasonably easy to reassemble, but you need to have a number of tools, some basic gunsmithing skills, headspace gauges and a solid understanding of headspace. Without those things you rifle probably won't be completed at all, and if it is it will probably be unreliable or dangerous, or even both.

This sort of advice is given on many topics here, but rarely is it sensible. I think I'm going to try giving it out next time someone asks me about a new car, or a washing machine. "Hey, forget that Ford F150. Buy a Chevy frame at a junkyard, get a Dodge drivetrain and wrench it all together, in a couple weeks you'll have an even better truck for 10% less (not counting value of your time)!" I would say computer, but there are even more computer types who would provide that advice than there are gun types. And it works fine if you know what you're doing, but it's a far different topic than simply wanting to own and use the item.

CGRifleman
March 28, 2011, 10:42 AM
You can get an Imbel kit for around $350-$400, a Coonan reciever for about the same and build one to your liking for a lot less than DSA.
Not to mention the wait time(they got your money, you got no rifle...yet).

PLUS...having an intimate knowledge of YOUR rifle.

+1 to what Z-Michigan said. I appreciate the advice, but I don't have the experience with FALs to want to build one right off the bat. Besides, IMHO you learn more about a gun by shooting and cleaning it than you do putting it together.

mister2
March 28, 2011, 11:54 AM
1. probably no difference from a full length barrel. The most common issue with shorter barrels is relaibility due to altered gas operation specs. The original paras had full length barrels, if that means anything. Also remember this is a battle rifle with a tilting v rotating bolt. Expect no more than battle rifle accuracy. And watch those muzzle devices everyone likes to hang in front of their rifles. Some of them can actually destroy whatever inherent accuracy the rifle started with.

2. if the rifle is whispering your name, only you can determine its true worth. But is it worth $2K to me? Haha, you're kidding, right?

3. see #1 above. The FAL, like the 1911, has so many iterations and frankengun combinations that tolerances tend to stack up, not to mention something really put togerther in a ham-fisted way. I understand going to the factory to get a better chance of coming out of the gate problem-free, but it's no guarantee. Remember too, that the magazines (which can be critical to flawless operation) out there range from rusted, bent field pickups to newly parked unissued mags. In my experience, the best is somewhere in between. Again a major part of this adventure is managing expectations. Keep it real!

My best advice? Go to http://www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php?s=
do your research on what's currently good,
be prepared to deal with initial issues,
plan some range time.

Repeat until you're happy.

And good luck!
MR2

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