Century CETME or L1A1?


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Milsurplover
June 3, 2011, 04:10 AM
So..I have recently gotten the urge to get a semi-auto .308, mainly because I just like the cartridge, and I like semi auto :D the 2 contenders that immediately popped into my head were the L1A1 and Cetme. Now, I know they both come from Century which would make some turn tail and run. However, I got a WASR 10/63 from them last summer and it has worked flawlessly and is quite accurate. These particular guns, however, seem to potentially have many problems (mostly reliability). I understand they will need work most certainly but how much? Also, if any of you guys own one (or both) of these rifles, input on how you like them is highly appreciated. My MAIN uses for the gun will pretty much just be plinking, and maybe as a survival rifle and for hunting. I would like to get an M1A but that's a bit too expensive for me right now.

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wayne in boca
June 3, 2011, 07:15 AM
Well,I do actually have a Century L1A1 and two Century Cetmes,and they all needed quite a bit of work to get them to work correctly and reliably.In my opinion,the L1A1 is way ahead of the Cetme in every way.If you don't mind doing a lot of home gunsmithing,you can get a nice rifle inexpensively.I view Century rifles as a course in gunsmithing where you get to keep your project.

Dreamcast270mhz
June 3, 2011, 07:51 AM
The cool thing about delayed blowback guns is that they can extract even if the extractor breaks, makes it easier in survival situation.

Animal Mother
June 3, 2011, 07:57 AM
I've considered picking between those two for a long time but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've read that its much harder to get a CETME to run reliably compared to a L1A1, but that's hearsay, and not actual experience.

db_tanker
June 3, 2011, 08:42 AM
I'd go with a FAL.


once upon a time, I had an Imbel receiver'd Century FAL.

I kick myself for trading that rifle off. It was a sweetheart.

I now have an Imbel parts kit on Imbel receiver. That one will never leave me.


Most of the time with a FAL or L1A1 you will find the issues in the magazines...easily solved with new springs. Second will be the feed-ramp. If you know what to do with a dremel tool, problem solved. Otherwise, the FAL Files message board is where to go.

I reload ammo so I never really showed interest in the CETME rifles...I have seen what they do to brass...makes a scrounger like me weep. :(

Vaarok
June 3, 2011, 09:28 AM
FALs are easier to set right if something's wrong, the CETME is more a warranty lottery. Also the FAL is a better rifle.

lumbergh
June 3, 2011, 12:19 PM
PTR 91 GI is $899 (CDNN or Atlantic).

Night and day quality difference better than a Century anything (CETME).

FAL is great too, if you get a good one (pretty much anything other than Century). FALFiles is your friend here. Lots of good FALs in their marketplace. No better resource than FF for the FN/FAL.

nwilliams
June 3, 2011, 03:28 PM
I'd go with the Century FAL over the Century Cetme.

I've read far more complaints about the Cetme and G3 than of the FAL. If you want an HK clone then spend the extra money and go with the PTR-91.

DesertVet
June 3, 2011, 03:57 PM
I have both but FAL is probably better rifle. I prefer M-14 type M1A from Springfield Armoury for most of my semi auto .308 needs these days. LOL. I do think the L1A1 is a little better rifle then the CETME.

MistWolf
June 3, 2011, 07:01 PM
Between the two, I'd go with a Century FAL. It'll be easier to get up & running than the CETME. Also, the FAL is one rifle that once you get it right, it stays right.

You could save yourself a bunch of headaches and get a DSA Imbel FAL and skip the built-in drama of an Angry Beaver rifle

Sunray
June 3, 2011, 10:54 PM
Wouldn't touch any rifle Century had anything to do with myself. They assemble 'em out of parts bins with zero QC. Either rifle will be a crap shoot as to whether or not it'll function properly. Unfortunately, if you want a Cetme, Century is your only option.

armoredman
June 4, 2011, 12:38 AM
I had a Century made Cetme. I will never again do that again. Run, don't walk, away. The only CETME I would buy is one of the very few CETME Sporters imported in the late 60s from Spain.
I second the notion of a different maker if you can find one in your price range. Good luck!

Ignition Override
June 4, 2011, 12:52 AM
Doesn't Century's gun warranty begin when the gun is shipped from the factory, even if it sits for months in a gun shop before you buy it?
I read a long report by "Sturmgewehr" about his AK-74 (5.45x39) from Century.

His main problem was Century's use of many barrels which they acknowledged had bores which were too large, causing bullets to keyhole at 100 yards.

If their warranty has changed, that's good.
If this has not changed, does this indicate a lack of confidence in their own products' reliability?

amd6547
June 4, 2011, 12:55 AM
I bought this Century CETME back when they were cheap. I must have got lucky as it has always worked perfectly, and has very good accuracy, too.
I was thinking of selling it, since 7.62 NATO has gotten so expensive. I hadn't shot it for at least a year.
Put 40rds through it a couple weeks ago...perfect function and excellent 100yd accuracy...I guess I will keep it...
http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h61/amd6547/CETME/DSC01903.jpg
http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h61/amd6547/CETME/DSC01905.jpg

armoredman
June 4, 2011, 01:01 AM
I am glad yours works well - mine failed after the first magazine.
Century's warrantee begins the day the rifle is made, not when it is sold. If it sits on a shelf for over a year, like mine did, it is out of warrantee when it is sold, as I found with mine when I tried to return it. I sold at a loss.

theotherwaldo
June 4, 2011, 01:42 AM
Listening closely - keep it coming!

A black 7.62 NATO is next up on my list.

4thPointOfContact
June 4, 2011, 02:20 PM
Had an H&K 91 several years ago, wasn't impressed by the ergonomics - safety is way out of reach in the firing position unless you have orangutan hands as well as the magazine release. The mag release can be fixed with a Tac-Latch, but the safety is what it is :(

I switched to an L1A1 (actually a FrankenFAL on an Imbel receiver with mixed Inch and Metric parts). Safety is convenient as is the magazine release and the hold-open is something most Americans are used to having on battle rifles. Mine wears a Canadian 'disk' sight mostly for looks and the Canadian top cover even allows feeding from stripper clips (and makes it look weirdly different when the action is back.)

Between the two, the L1A1/FAL turned out to be the 'keeper.'

Milsurplover
June 4, 2011, 11:09 PM
With the L1A1 I have heard problems with the normal bolts, however the sand cut bolts have better reliability..is there a way to get a different bolt with the sand cuts? or does it really not matter as long as you are not dragging it through the mud, etc?

Vaarok
June 5, 2011, 11:23 AM
If your rifle is getting dragged through enough sand and dirt for the cuts to matter, you're probably screwed already.

If you just change the bolt body into a different (eg, sand cut) carrier, the headspace shouldn't change, I think.

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