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Ar-10 v dsa fn/fal

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by travellingJeff, Jul 28, 2009.

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  1. travellingJeff

    travellingJeff Member

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    I know that these "Which is better" format questions get a bit hackneyed, but I'm asking one anyway :)

    I'm familiar with the M16A2 series of rifle, thanks to Uncle Sam and a particular island off the Eastern coast of the USA. I enjoy the rifle, the various addons and accessories, the ergonomics and, admittedly, the aesthetics.

    I simply won't discuss the caliber, it must be a .30.

    That said, what are the major differences between the FAL and the AR-10?

    Ideally, I'd like the "full sized" model, with some sort of non-battery operated low-zoom sight (Combat/Standard ACOG) and a flashlight. I know that the accessories don't matter that much, but i'm wondering if they are more specifically designed for particular platforms.

    I thank all of you in advance for your assistance with this issue ;-)
     
  2. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    what are you planning to do with the rifle?
     
  3. DMK

    DMK Member

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    A lot. The FAL has an adjustable piston/tappet gas system where the AR is direct impingement. Obviously, you should be familiar with the AR gas system. The AR system is said to contribute to its accuracy due to fewer things banging around while you fire. Also the FAL gas system and the way its handguards mount make it difficult to free float the barrel effectively.

    Both have good ergonomics and the controls are easy to access from the left side allowing you to keep your hand on the pistol grip while reloading, engaging/disengaging the safety, or charging the rifle.

    Mag changes are easier on the AR. The FAL mags have to be rotated in and then locked. AR mags slap straight in. I prefer the AR's mag release right at the index finger. The FAL's mag release is in front of the trigger guard and must be activated with the left hand (like an AK).

    The biggest drawback of the FAL platform is the sights are on two separate halves of the rifle. The rear sight is located on the rear section of the rifle which hinges away from the front section for cleaning and maintenance. This means that inherently, there is minute amount of play between the front and rear sights. Some rifles are tighter here than others. The AR has both sights mounted on the same half.

    Speaking of cleaning and maintenance, the FAL breaks open similar the AR which makes cleaning the bore and chamber area easy. The bolt/carrier are easier to clean on the FAL, especially since it does not get as dirty due to the piston gas system.

    Mounting optics on the FAL used to be a problem, but now there are some pretty decent top covers with a mounting rail. There isn't much available for a front handguard rail though. DSA has one, but it is heavy and doesn't free-float the barrel.


    IMO, the AR is easier to use and easier to make accurate. If you want a tack driver, this is your platform.

    The FAL is easier to run on a wider range of ammo. It will eat up surplus all day long. However, it is very difficult to get it to shoot very accurately. They tend to string vertically.

    I still love my FALs though. I consider it the AK of western battle rifles.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  4. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    All good points about AR-10 vs. FAL, but what has not been mentioned is that there are lots of good, cheap magazines for the FAL. The issue of the rear sight/front sight is correct, but if you plan to mount a SUIT or ACOG, it doesn't matter. I have 2 STG-58 builds, one on a DSA receiver, one on an Imbel. Both are fine. Stay away from Entreprise, and RUN AWAY from Hesse receivers. DSA and Arizona Response Systems are the gold standard for rebuilt rifles, IMHO. Kit guns from other builders can be hit or miss. <groan>
     
  5. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    The big difference for me would come down to this:

    The FAL was produced by the millions and has seen service in dozens of countries.

    The AR10, wait, there is no standard AR10. The 7.62 AR type rifle is produced by different companies with no standardization of parts or magazines. Company A's upper won't fit B's lower which won't accept C's magazines.

    I'd be surprised if the total number of AR10 type rifles produced by every company that makes them exceeds 1 million.

    If you want a military pattern rifle because they have all the bugs worked out of them, get the FAL. As far as the rear sight thing, doesn't the para FAL put the rear sight on the upper receiver also? BSW
     
  6. DMK

    DMK Member

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    The Para FAL uses a different rear sight, but it is in the same exact location (It is on the lower, not the upper).

    Paras are cool too though. (However, this Para has a custom AR type rear sight, but that's about where a standard Para sight would be)

    [​IMG]
    17" barreled Imbel. Not much longer than an AK.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  7. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Thanks. Haven't handled a para FAL in a long time and I wasn't sure about the rear sight. BSW
     
  8. DMK

    DMK Member

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    No problem. That is my biggest pet peave about the platform because I really like shooting with iron sights. I don't know what the Belgians were thinking there.

    Obviously with optics, it isn't an issue though (and notice that both my FALs have optics, yet only one of my 7 ARs has a scope and two have red dots that allow me to use the irons through them, which I do often.) I tend to shoot the FALs most often at low power magnification, around 2x-3x.

    I agree. I got most of my surplus mags for less than $5 ea.

    Rock River has a .308 AR that takes FAL mags though. Not sure if it's worth looking at, I have no experience with it.

    OK, I need to stop hogging the thread now...
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  9. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    I shot my FAL for "Zero" this weekend and can attest that it will string vertically as the barrel heats up. But that being said I had fine results at 100m shooting for a seated, on my butt in the sand, position using my knees to support me. My over all group was a little smaller than my hand (4wx7h), yeah it won't win me any national matches, which works for me. All rounds well with in center mass. Like I said this was done for a seated position on the side of a hill in the brush, not from a bench. Add an ACOG 3.5 or 4x and you would have one heck of a field accurate rifle. If you want a rifle that will group with all the holes touching get the AR10. If you want a rifle that will eat rocks and hit what you are aiming at at any reasonable range, (0-500m) get a FAL. And mounting a Para style rear sight on a rail on the upper does away with the sights being on two different parts of the rifle. I need to try that with mine.
     
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    One of them was never acepted as the main battle rifle, and the other one was called "The Right Arm of the Free World".:D

    I know what i would get.:p:D
     
  11. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I'm curious how you would do that? For one, I would think that would put the rear sight way too high in relation to the front sight.

    DSA makes (or used to make) a para receiver with a rail. But that rail is much lower than a top cover rail.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking back at the pic I now see that the rear sight is mounted on the receiver not the rail. Didn't DSA make different length front sight posts? It may be possible with some experimentation, which I can not afford at this point. But even with a taller front sight post I think you are correct about the rear mounted on a rail would be way too high.
     
  13. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    fals are awesome and battle tested and proven mags are cheap and eats surplus what else is there to know lol
     
  14. Retro

    Retro Member

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    To clarify, XM110 sniper weapon system (AR-10/SR25 system) is gradually replacing Remington 700 and M14 DMR in certain US armed branches. I have seen FALs used by Somali rebels, etc.

    FYI.

    :cool:
     
  15. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Not sure what the last sentence has to do with anything, given the FAL was very popular in Africa, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, one would expect to find them everywhere.

    I would wager that the number of AR-10 rifles produced, in total, is less than 300,000.

    In any case, I would prefer the FAL as a combat weapon and it is easier to keep running, given parts, than the AR-10 based rifles. And, even if the US sniper rifle does become the standard in the US military, I would wager that British production of the FAL alone would exceed the total AR-10 based production by any country for any use.

    Ash
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  16. Slvr Surfr

    Slvr Surfr Member

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    DMK,

    Is the custom AR sight on your PARA a direct replacement for the rear sight ? Did you have to modify anything in order to make it fit ?

    Thanks,
    SS
     
  17. jpcolt76

    jpcolt76 Member

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    I have had 2 FALs and have an AR-10. The FAL are full size AK's and the AR10 is easier to get precision out of. Just because no NASCAR team drives a 350ZX , dosent make it a slow car.
     
  18. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Member

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    I have owned both a Fal and an AR10. I say AR10 with an 18 or 20 inch barrel. The AR is going to be way more precision. I like the FAL but if you want 1/2" groups go with the AR.

    Also if you go with an AR10 I would only go Armalite.That's what AR stands for.
     
  19. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Of course, the current Armalite has as much to do with AR rifles as the current Springfield Armory has to do with M-14's...

    The OP made no mention of precision, but some of the AR fellows here seem to imply the FAL is an imprecise weapon. It is not.
     
  20. DMK

    DMK Member

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    It's a complete "A2 Hampton" lower from DSA. I just had to swap all the internals over from my regular Para lower.

    DSA A2 Hampton for Para and for standard non-para

    Also, here's the lower with the rail that I mentioned earlier: for Para and for standard non-para.

    Apparently, you need a taller front gas block/ sight mount for the rail lower (now I remember that's why I didn't buy this one).
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  21. DMK

    DMK Member

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    The OP didn't say that it wasn't his goal either. Many folks want precision accuracy in their rifles. I brought it up so that the OP(or others dredging this up in a search) didn't spend serious money on rifle only to be disappointed. How many Mini-14, SKS and surplus Mosin Nagant threads do we see where someone buys a rifle with unreasonable expectations of tack driving accuracy?

    Just look at the number of threads on FALfiles about "accurizing" a FAL and the trials that folks go through. Then compare this to the threads on AR15.com.

    The AR platforms are much easier to make into a precision rifle. The FAL has a number of issues that make this a challenge and if this is the goal, then one would best be served researching this on "the Files" because it has been covered ad nauseum over there.

    That is not to say that a FAL cannot be an accurate weapon. But it just takes a lot of work most of the time. And precise can also mean different things to different people. I'm happy with minute of cigarette pack out of my FAL (which is right about the best I can get: 2"x4" with match ammo). Others won't be happy unless they get all their bullets touching.


    Now here is where a bunch of people will post that their DSA FAL shoots MOA all day long with surplus ammo....
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  22. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    DMK, and others are correct if you want hole touching sub MOA accuracy then get the AR10. If you want a field accurate, meaning hitting a man sized target with irons out to 300 or a bit more, rifle that will eat any ammo you through at it and is not prone to breakdowns then get that FAL. Both are .308 rifles, that is where the similarities stop.
     
  23. Ash

    Ash Member

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    My FAL is as accurate as my M1 Garand. It is more accurate than the Hakim I once owned, and was equally accurate as my standard model M1a from Springfield Armory. The FAL has better sights than the L1A1 and fully adjustable peep sights are available. It will be more reliable than the AR.

    The AR can be made into a precision rifle. The FAL, less so. But in competition, the AR-15 in 5.56 is king, not the AR-10. Also, for the price of most AR-10, you can get an FAL and a good quality bolt gun. Best of both worlds.

    Parts are easier and cheaper to get for the FAL and, importantly, are standardized. High quality magazines are much, much cheaper for the FAL than the AR. Mag changes are not slow for the FAL, either.

    I can say this because I own both an AR (ironically a DSA) and an Imbel/Israeli FAL. The FAL is my 308, the AR is my 5.56.

    Ash
     
  24. Retro

    Retro Member

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    AR-10 upper and lower receiver wiggle/play can compromise consistent cheek weld for precision work, but this problem is easily solved by an aftermarket tensioning pin. FAL has the same problem with minor play between the receivers, but that problem is not solvable by any aftermarket parts. Counter-sniper .308 semiautos are predominately XM110, M14 DMW, or HK91 variants.

    To say that FAL is a reliable AK47 equivalent, I would completely agree on that. But to say that FAL is an accurate platform, I would beg to differ. I have never seen a FAL used for counter-sniper precision applications.
     
  25. Ash

    Ash Member

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    The FAL is vastly more accurate than the AK. It is an accurate platform. The Israelis developed a sniper based on the FAL, as did the Brits. It would work very well in the DMR role, as well as any SVD. It is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a sniper's rifle. A bolt gun does that just fine, better than any HK or M14 variant. But as a marksman's rifle it works well.

    In the end, it is absurd to assume it is inaccurate. As a combat rifle, it is far superior to any AR-10 type rifle. High quality FAL's are also cheaper than average-quality AR-10's.

    Ash
     
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