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AR15 or FAL??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by LegalAlien, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. LegalAlien

    LegalAlien Well-Known Member

    I am busy saving up to purchase an EBR and I am caught in a quandry.

    Should I get an AR15 or FAL?

    This EBR will be for HD with my handgun(s), will also be used for range practice and then also just because I want one :D.

    If the bug really bites hard, I might consider getting into rifle competition shooting (not bulls eye type) as well. The purpose of this would be for fun and honing my skills, more than for the competitive spirit.

    I cut my teeth on the South African R1 version of the FAL back in the late '60's during my South African military training and had extensive exposure to shooting the R1 as part of the company rifle team during practice and competitions and also regular army handling (no combat interaction during my term). I really enjoyed shooting my R1 during this time and have missed it's soft recoil - it just bruised my cheek from kicking up - not recoil back into the shoulder.

    I really like the .308 round due to my familiarity with it in the '60's, and am thinking of either a FAL or AR in .308 cal. I have fondled the AR15 and am intrigued by it's compact size and lighter weight and would also consider the AR in .223 (5.56).

    For anybody that owns and/or have shot these two EBR platforms extensively, can you please comment on your perceptions, likes, dislikes, pros and/or cons of the FAL vs AR platforms.
  2. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    By all means go for the fn fal. The 7.62x51mm has MUCH going for it as compared to the varmit round of the ar. I own an ar but it's used for plinking and yotes only, the m1a is meant for serious or social events.
  3. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    For home defense, I'd choose the AR15 hands down. A .308 rifle is just too big and will penetrate too much.

    I think the FAL is more reliable. The AR15 has better optics mounting options and sights. Otherwise, ergonomically they're both excellent. As far as typical AR15's and FAL's go, you won't see much difference in accuracy, but if you decide to free float and scope them, the AR15 will generally be more accurate.
  4. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    if you are more comfortable, and lethal with the fal, and you know it best i say go that route. I am better with the ar, and therefore that is my first long gun choice.
  5. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Again, self defense is about the ammo, not the ammo delivery system.

    .308 is a perfectly viable home defense round.

    The 110gr Hornady TAP is designed specifically for this type of situation and performs very well.

    Don't make a self defense choice based on the weapon, it's the ammo that saves your life.

    You are trained in the FAL and with the proper ammo you'd be in great shape. I say go for the FAL.
  6. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    If I had your background, I'd go with the FAL.
  7. 22lr

    22lr Well-Known Member

    Im a huge AR fan. And 308 is a little big to be shooting indoors.

    I wont get started on the whole AR debate though, I love mine and would chose it over any other rifle platform out there. But if you already have experience with FAL platforms, maybe you should look at them.
  8. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    Even with the TAP ammo, I just see the .308 as being at a significant disadvantage vs. the AR for home defense. Within your home distances probably aren't more than 15 yards and at that range the 5.56/.223 is a more than adequate manstopper. The AR will also kick much less, weigh much less, carry more ammo and be much shorter.

    Outside the home it might be a different story, but for home defense I'd still say the AR15 hands down.
  9. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    And we have an OP with significant background with the FAL, including military and competetive shooting.

    Why abandon all that training and experience? Doesn't make sense to me. The argument that .308 is just "too big and will penetrate too much" isn't true.

    That the AR is more than adequate was never an issue. Sure, the AR is perfectly fine but for the OP the FAL seems the obvious choice.

    Software always trumps hardware.
  10. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    I have four ARs and two Fals and they are all damn fine guns. My heart felt suggestion - get a Bushmaster M4 and a full sized FAL (DSA) and be done with the decision. Use the M4 for HD and the FAL for 300 yds out. That way you have compact size with large magazine capacity and the .308 for larger sized targets at a distance. Then start reloading for them.
  11. goldie

    goldie Well-Known Member

    i have an sar48 match, you should also know its pretty long,that might be a problem in tight hallways & parts of the house.thats why the british developed their bullpup rifle,during the northern ireland conflict, their fal's was hard to use in indoor urban environments.
  12. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

    you just have to be more aggressive with an SLR:D
    having served in Ulster we did zero room clearing in 2 1/2 years so thats a moot point
    If your used to using the SLR get one a man's weapon not an effeminate plastic toy:D
  13. Erik

    Erik Well-Known Member

    The term right tool for the job comes to mind. The AR15 manifested as a light carbine not only fits the bill, it practically defines it.
  14. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    I like both of these rifles and cartridges very much and own both. That said, I would pick an AR over a FAL for home defense. The AR is lighter, smaller, more maeuverable, and at inside the house ranges, the 5.56 mm round has plenty of power to leave intruders dead and ruint.
  15. DarkCharisma

    DarkCharisma Well-Known Member

    FAL is going to be too big of a caliber for home defense. It will probably be more reliable then an AR-15 if dirty, but for HD I don't anticipate you wading through any swamps or crawling over sand, so AR-15 would be perfectly reliable for you in an urban situation. .223 with a good 55gr hollowpoint will have virtually no overpenetration (There's always going to be the "but I read..." story) and be a suitable round for HD, assuming you're awake enough to aim well.

    The AR is also smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable.
  16. LegalAlien

    LegalAlien Well-Known Member

    DARN IT!!!!

    Pretty good arguments for both of them.

    Will just have to save more and buy both!!!

    Thanks for all the valuable input. Much appreciated.
  17. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Thats more or less true, but needs some qualification.

    First, for home defense ranges, I think 223 and 308 are both going to leave the intruder pretty well ruint, so I don't see a particular advantage of 308 in this situation.

    However, the OP has a lot of experience already with the FAL. I agree that he should use that experience.

    Overall I would favor an AR, because its lighter and more maneuverable, and has enough power for the intended purpose. But, I agree it might be better for the OP to stick with the FAL since he is already well experienced with the FAL and 308.
  18. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's that big a deal to switch rifles. I spent 6 years using M16's. Later on I bought an AK and learned to use it, then a couple of FAL's and then back to AK's again. If you practice with it for 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks and then get out to the range once a month or so you'll probably be more proficient with whatever weapon you choose than most soldiers are.
  19. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    Here's what you need to do. Buy an AR-15 now and an FAL soon after. Decide which you like best and sell the other in 2010 used for more than it cost you new after the new president and congress restrict the manufacture and sale of both. Consider it an investment. :)
  20. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    I'll vote for the AR, but the FAL's caliber certainly would be more effective for HD, theoretically.

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