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M1A and FAL - ultimate decision - I need an answer ASAP!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Timradcliffe345, Oct 18, 2008.

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  1. Timradcliffe345

    Timradcliffe345 member

    Feb 21, 2007
    God Bless America
    Please convince me to get a M1A or a FAL. I need to get one ASAP!!

    How does the M1A and FAL serve as a MBR, in terms of reliability, accuracy, and access to parts and magazines? Which one would YOU take into the woods when the SHTF? Thanks and vote for McCain.



  2. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    I could never decide so I got both. I can't tell you which I prefer because I haven't shot them yet :(
  3. MikeKeyW

    MikeKeyW New Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Strongest choice, the M1A, it was designed for the 7.62x51 from the start(or downsized from the M1/30-06) while the FAL ( a robust weapon in its own right) was a stretched version of an intermediate round design. That being said, I love both.
  4. Vityaz

    Vityaz New Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    West Virginia
    Go with the M1A. ;)
  5. navajo

    navajo Member

    Mar 29, 2003

    Have both. Prefer the M1A. Zero malfunctions in 30 years of owning 7 different M1As. Can't say that about the FAL.
  6. az_imuth

    az_imuth Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Estado de Lone Star
    Get the M1A... or you'll always wish you had.
  7. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    I had a friend who shot a National Match M1A for a while, and have shot matches next to FAL's on occasion.

    Personally, I like the FAL better. I like pistol grip stocks, and my friend's NM M1A was finicky (he eventually sold it and bought an AR).
  8. natescout

    natescout Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    prescott, AZ
    both are great MBR, i have a M1A, and my brother has a FAL, never had a problem with either one
  9. Roadwild17

    Roadwild17 Participating Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    As long as were comparing apples to apples here I dont think it will really matter. (By apples to apples I don't mean a century fal compared to a Springfield NM loaded model)

    Personally they both have strengths and weakness, but I think the m14s strength give it a SLIGHT edge over the fal. Think like spare parts avability, I doubt your going the find m14 parts hanging around, but im pretty sure you'll find more m14 parts than fal parts. Same thing for mags and so on.

    Either way buy quality and you shouldnt regret it, or you can give me the $$$ and I can suprise you, you know so you dont have to make the choice. :p
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  10. BammaYankee

    BammaYankee New Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    M1A all the way! Why asap??? You know something we don't?
  11. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    Dec 16, 2007
  12. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    I consider the DSA FAL to be the best .308 MBR out there at this time. When Robinson Arms brings its new .308 XCR-M out early next year, I am willing to be it will be a contender for the top spot.

    Relax and catch your breath. You've got probably a year or so before any seriously restrictive gun legislation gets passed if Obama wins and the House and Senate have Dem super majorities.
  13. Rifleman 173

    Rifleman 173 Member

    May 24, 2007
    Central Illinois
    I'd go M1A over the FAL. M1As are a LOT more accurate and can outdistance a FAL in shooting range. They can use the same ammo. FALs have a minor problem with barrel harmonics that limits their maximum distance in some cases. A good M1A can do a 900 meter shot in many cases. FALS are often limited to about 550 or 600 meters for a maximum shot distance.
  14. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    In my experience, which isn't extensive by any means, they are both fine weapons and in some areas, the FAL might be the better weapon, but the M1A/M14 is the better rifle.

    Both are reliable and durable enough that a well built example of either rifle should have many problems in either category.

    The FAL might have better parts availability and cheaper magazines. The FAL can be taken apart for cleaning without tools.

    But I find the ergonomics and balance of the M1A to be better than on the FAL. The controls are better placed for me as a lefty as well. The M1A has much better sights as standard, as usually has the better trigger. Everything on the M1A is where it should be and works as it should, and its combination of mechanical accuracy combined with its balance and ergonomics means that many will find it easier to hit with. I don't think either rifle will have much of a problem concerning effective range. While the M1A should have a theoretical advantage, either will be about equally effective to the same ranges given the limitations of most shooters. It would take an exceptional rifleman and probably decent optics to appreciate any advantage in effective range offered by the M1A. But the shooting qualities of the weapon show the care that was given to its design and separate it as a true "rifleman's rifle." Take that for what it is worth.

    Aftermarket mounts will probably have to be used to mount optics on either rifle, but these mounts can be cheaper for the FAL.

    Those who prefer the M1A/M14 usually do so because of its shooting qualities, predominantly. It is just a sweet shooting rifle. So here's another vote for the M14:

  15. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Senior Member

    Oct 21, 2006
    I prefer the FAL of the two.
  16. powermad

    powermad New Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    There are two types of gun owners. Those that have a FAL and those that don't.
  17. Golden Hound

    Golden Hound Active Member

    Apr 26, 2008
    How can this be? The FAL was used by like 20 different countries - the M14 was used only by America, and only briefly, at that. There have got to be more FAL parts around than M14 parts.
  18. VE2RF

    VE2RF New Member

    May 23, 2008
    For less than $1200, you can probably get a better FAL copy than you can an M14 copy. You can get a nice Para or even a Greek made SAR8 for that kind of money. Under $1200 you can get a Federal Ordnance M14A or an Armscorp import.

    If you have more than $1200 to spend, go ahead and get the M14 copy. You can get a Springfield with a lifetime warranty.

    The first .308 gun I had was an HK91-copy with a Greek receiver and all the rest of the parts were real German HK's. I priced it ridiculously high(I paid $600 for it) and someone actually bought it.

    That's when I decided to get a SHTF rifle that would double as a range plinker.

    For what I sold the HK-91 for, I bought a Federal Ordnance M14A and an Armalite AR-10 complete upper and complete lower.

    The Fed Ord gun is an early production gun with the only non-MilSpec part being the Federal Ordnance receiver. Fulton used to have a page up describing two problems they believed to have endemic to the FedOrd guns, and I printed off that page and had my gun inspected by two different smiths who retired from the Armory at Fort McClelland, and they found neither of the faults that Fulton specified. Basically, for the same price as a MilSpec parts kit, I bought a firing rifle in excellent condition.

    I started to buy another FAL copy, and was set on getting an STG Para. I tried out a couple and found out I didn't like having to tune the gas system to my ammo, and even worse, I found that guys who'd owned the guns several years still had difficult tuning the Para gas system. Oddly, this wasn't a problem with a beat-up FN, or one of those "icky"(at least to the purists) parts-kit guns built with Portugese and South African parts or even a Dan Coonan receiver gun.

    I'm not attacking the Para's, it was just something I didn't want to deal with, and I'm describing how I ended up going with the AR-10. It put me off the PARA and I found it odd that it wasn't a problem with three really beatup or "low cost" FAL copies.

    So I started looking for an AR in .308 platform. I tried a DPMS and I learned of some of the owner's problems with the receiver and overall I just wasn't impressed with the DPMS- especially as a $1000+ gun.

    Next I hunted down a couple of Bushmaster BAR-10's and they all had some common quirks and issues. The FAL/L1A1 mags didn't seem to seat right and the guns had common problems with feeding. The bolt being less supported and one of lugs being deleted to get the FAL mags to work was also a bit of worry issue for me.

    Now that RRA is producing the BAR-10 as the LAR-8 they said they have all that fixed, but a friend of mine owns BAR-10 and his brother bought a LAR-8 and when we stripped them they looked exactly the same, piece for piece inside the lower. Ironically, during teardown Tim discovered the BAR-10 had a problem developing with the way the bolt was traveling and he was able to get that fixed(for the time being).

    So finally I found an AR-10B to try, and I really, really, really, really, really, really liked it.

    I couldn't afford a "finished" AR-10 and I sure couldn't afford the 10B model, so I bought a pair of lowers, and a guy named Brent gave me the deal of a lifetime on a part of new, never used complete Armalite AR-10 uppers.

    If I could get my money back out of the Federal Ordnance M14A, I'd build a third and fourth AR-10, that's how much I like them.

    The AR-10 carbine keeps up with any M1A or M14 that comes out to the local firing range, and the one I have with the competition barrel can knock all but the very best($2500+) out of the water.

    A lot of people still look down on the AR platform, but it has developed into a splendid performer and it's earned much if not all of the legend that it has built up.

    I know that I originally wanted an M14/M1A because I looked down on the AR guns. Had I had enough sense to fire them all before I made the purchase decision, I would have three AR-10's, and wouldn't have bought the M14A. Still, the M14A is a classic, and it's a lot of fun to shoot. However, dollar for dollar the AR-10's are superior in my experience and perception.

    So between the FAL and the M1A, buy the AR-10, :p If an AR-10 isn't happening, go for the M1A.

    Best of luck. The nice thing about the decision you're making is that you're sure to enjoy your purchase no matter which one you choose.
  19. steveracer

    steveracer Participating Member

    Jun 10, 2005
    VA Beach
    I bought the M1A scout/squad model (18" barrel) and it ate and ate and ate and ate and ate whatever ammo I fed it. I LOVE this rifle.
    I have a couple of ARs, and I had a DSA FAL para, and liked it a lot, but as was previously stated, the M1A is just a sweeter shooting rifle. I have shot whitetail, black bears, and 600 meter steel plates with it, and they all went down the same. Mine has a 2X scout scope on it, which enhanced its utility a bit, but the sights on this rifle are so nice that it's hard to get excited about optics. All told, a fine, fine rifle. I carried an M-16A2 for a year in Iraq, and if given the choice, I would have carried the M14. In a New York minute.

    BIGRETIC New Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    I love the Fal....shoots great(head shots on zombies @100 yds are no problem LOL)I do have a M1A that I have not shot much.I really need to dial it in.Either way ...buy one and shoot it...save up cause you will want the other one!!!!!:evil:
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