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Just bought a FAL... What do I have?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Miami_JBT, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Well-Known Member

    I just purchased this Century Arms FAL for $800. Came with six 20rd magazines, Condor "Tactical" sling, forend rail, and twenty five rounds of Lake City 7.62x51mm NATO. I haven't shot it. Everything is nice and tight on this rifle and the finish is excellent. Just a few dings in the stock and a little parkerization is worn from where the charging handle is.

    Anyways... some pics and explanations.



    The receiver has the following on it. The IMBEL Gear logo followed by...

    On the upper rear (just below the rear sight) of the lower it has a serial number of 226527


    The serial number on the IMBEL receiver is FAL14XXX. What's interesting is that "FAL" is done by electric dot and the numbers are not and "FAL" is just off line and is not aligned with the numbers. It appears that the "FAL" part of the serial number might have been added after the receiver was made and the numbers were struck. The numbers are in the same font as the information stamped on the receiver.


    Inside of the magwell it's stamped "2004".


    The IMBEL receiver is marked "Cal. 7,62mm (.308)". The lower has the following selector markings. "S", "R", "A". No other marking are on the lower. The selector switch will not move past the "R" but I am not sure if this is due to the selector switch itself or simply the pistol grip.


    The rear sight is graduated from 200mm to 600mm.


    The front sight post has "0", "4", "8", "12" stamped on it. The gas selector has no markings on it.


    There is an "A" stamped on the gas plug.


    There are no other marking on the rifle. I took the forend off and there are no markings on the barrel. The bolt carrier is stamped with a number that does not match anything else.
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    You have a parts gun. Most of these FAL's are parts guns. I suspect because the BATF considers once a full auto always a full auto, that Century Arms had to destroy original receivers on the FALS they had.

    So given all these parts, they built up FALs around receivers.

    Yours is an IMBEL receiver, one of the good receivers. An IMBEL receiver is one of the best receivers per a buddy of mine who built a FAL for me.

    As long as the parts are tight and the rifle functions, you are good to go.
  3. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    As Slamfire1 said, you have a parts gun - most likely one built (or really, re-assembled) by Century. The IMBEL receiver is very good as later Century receivers were not so good. You have a metric pattern gun, which appears to be 100% metric rather than the mish-mash atrocities that Century has made more recently. Your 2004 IMBEL receiver is one of the last years when they were imported or used by Century to build FALs.

    Your quadrail is not factory (neither any FAL factory or, to my knowledge, Century) and is probably a Leapers/UTG part. If you like it, great, if not, new handguards are $20-30 but you may also need a rear handguard retainer which is another $20 from DSA (they make a 2-piece retainer that can be installed without removing the gas block). If you post a photo of the quadrail-receiver junction I can tell whether you would need a handguard retainer or not.

    Shoot it and see how it works. Read up on adjusting the gas regulator before you do, because the action will jam up tight if you set the regulator too open and let the bolt re-feed a fired case.
  4. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    Yep, the Imbel receivers are known to be pretty good. For the selector, you're better off having it not slide the whole way to the FA setting - which you don't have the internal parts to make happen anyhow. I put semi-auto selector switches on all of the ones I've owned to prevent them from going past that. Not that it matters from a legal standpoint - it doesn't affect function. It's just a PITA.
  5. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    I would have worked on the price a bit more as you paid at the upper level of the actual value.

    As for parts guns, I woudn't fret. Most of the parts come from actual factory rifles. DSA even sells parts guns with the STG 58 series. What counts is that it works 100%.

    Get some good ammo or even a DSA scope mount and have fun. Oh...and stay away from Indian Surplus.
  6. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Well-Known Member

    I did work on the price.... it was originally $1,200. :eek:
  7. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    The Imbel "gear" logo FAL are probably the best that Century has ever made. Imbel supplies the Brazilian military and make the 1911 frames that end up as Springfield Armory.

    I've never heard anything really bad about them (unlike ones made by Hesse/Vulcan), mine has worked 100% from day one, although its not seen heavy use.
  8. vaupet

    vaupet Well-Known Member

    - The A stamped on the gas-plug has to be on top, if you turn the part, a Gr should appear, wich is used to launch grenades
    - The numbers on the front sight are used to regulate elevation, by moving the front sight,
    - the 3th position on the selector switch is for full-auto and is usualy blocked. To enable full auto, normally, you have to change the entire trigger group. Shooting a FAL on ful auto is only for the best (4th round will end up in the cealing)

    don't knowanything about parts build FAL, mine is an original 1959 Enfield build L1A1.
    have fun

  9. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    suprised no ones said this yet...

    you bought a FAL, what do you have?... umm, an FAL
  10. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Glad your s work . I ve shot my friend's new CAI Fal last Saturday and it will not strip the round if you fly the bolt. We tried to make sure the mag is locked up tight and still its a hit and miss. I was sorry he was so disappointed as he spent about $800 . I advised him to return it and get his money back.
  11. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    I don't think Century has had Imbel receivers in a fairly long while I've no idea what they are using now. If its not an Imbel receiver, all bets are off.

    Ah yes, the electric pencil, sort of a Century "trademark" :)

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