1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

FAL: What number setting do you put the gas valve on?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Real Hawkeye, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. I started shooting it at 4.5 and it was reliable for fifty rounds, and then started malfunctioning (I take it the gas system was getting a little dirty by then). Set it up to 5, and the problem got worse. Set it down to 4 and the problem went away. Is that about where it should be? Does the lower number mean that more gas is directed against the piston head, or less? Thanks.

    Also, do I need to worry about corrosive 7.62 NATO mil surp ammo, i.e., is there any such thing? Is it all non-corrosive? Thanks.
  2. m39fan

    m39fan Well-Known Member

    Your settings will vary with different rifles and different ammo even in the same rifle. Generally 3.5 or 4 is considered good. Anything less often signifies a gas leak. The lower the number the more gas is used for the system. Irregardless of the numbers, you can tell when YOUR rifle is dialed in by the distance it chucks the empties. Normal ejection should be 5-6' give or take.

    I honestly don't know how much of the .308 is supposed to be corrosive, but I have first hand knowledge that some is (chewed up my gas piston pretty good). Now I just assume everything is and spray everything down with Windex before I head out. Clean and oil normally later and you won't have any issues. Good ammo for the FAL's include Aussie, Port, South African and Pakistani. The last two are my favorites, the first for reliability the second for price. The Pakistani is good, reliable ammo and shoots close to POA in a gun set up for SA but is the dirtiest of the bunch. AVOID INDIAN AMMO IN THE FAL!!!! Personally, I would avoid it in anything but it can be especially bad/dangerous in semi-autos.

  3. Is that assuming that I am standing upright when I shoot, prone, sitting, bench? Naturally, how far the brass travels will depend on how far the rifle is from the ground.
  4. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Well-Known Member

    Mine is set at 3.5 using Argentinian surplus. Anything higher turns it into a single shot. I have only shot the Argentinian in it so far, but it seems like the gunshow people I have bought from are out of it now. They do have some SA battlepacks now, so I guess I'll have to pick some of that up and see how it works.
  5. Is that the stuff in the green cardboard boxes of 20?
  6. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Well-Known Member

    It was packaged in open topped brown cardboard boxes inside the ammo can, 20 per box.
    Headstamp is 7.62 X 51, 12 FLB 81. I have had to pull some rounds do to corrosion, no more than 20 per 400.
  7. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    The lower the number, the larger the port opening and the more gas is used to operate the rifle. The higher the number, the more gas is expelled to the air.

    The trick with the FAL is to load one round at a time and find the setting where the bolt will reliablely lock open. Then open up the gas port two more settings to ensure reliable operation. (If it locks open at "6" open it up to "4" for normal function.)

    My STG is set on "5". It locked the bolt open on "7".

    Different ammo may require different settins. A dirty gas system can also require a lower numbered setting to put more gas into the system as well.
  8. carebear

    carebear Well-Known Member

    Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the receiver, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most gas valves go up to ten?
    Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
    Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's more powerful? Is it any more powerful?
    Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one more powerful, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be shooting at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your FAL. Where can you go from there? Where?
    Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
    Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
    Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
    Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One more powerful.
    Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten more powerful and make ten be the top number and make that a little more powerful?
    Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
  9. ROBO4642

    ROBO4642 Member

    I cast my vote for South African. I have shot thousands of rounds of South African through my L1A1 and never had a problem. Prices are on the rise and my ammo dealer tells me they are only going to get worse. Evidently the price of zinc is through the roof and that is why the prices are going up. He said its something like $6 dollars a pound. Too bad you cant find scrap zinc laying around anywhere.
  10. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member


    My FAL is set to 5 for shooting South African surplus.
  11. BBstacker

    BBstacker Well-Known Member

    My FAL is metric and it operates with the gas port wide open. My numbers only go to 5.The izzys may go to 10. But Trebor is right on how to ajust the settings. You can damage your FAL if you close your gas port all the way.The port in your barrel may smaller or larger than another.Witch is under the front sight.
  12. Remington788

    Remington788 Well-Known Member

    My L1A1 is set at 5 and I shoot SA surplus most of the time.
  13. Like I said, mine, when clean, was shooting 100% at 4.5 until I got to about round fifty. When I stepped it down to four, it started running 100% again, so I am assuming that means I should keep it at four.

    Since my gun does not hold open on the last round, I cannot use the method you suggested, i.e., single loading, and adjusting down till it stays open. I don't know why it doesn't hold open. I has all the parts that are supposed to make that happen, but it doesn't do it. It is an STG 58 built on an Imbel receiver.

Share This Page