FAL or M1A?

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Aug 10, 2011
Looking for a fullpower cartridge semi-auto rifle. Which of these would you prefer and why?

CETMEs any good?
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The CETME is not a version of the FAL. The CETME is the the rifle the HK91 / G3 was based upon.

Of the two you list I'd rather have the FAL for ease of maintenance. Leaving that list I'd rather have an AR-10 or SR-25 based rifle for far better accuracy, much easier mounting of optics, greater modularity, and even easier maintenance.
Oh man... this is one of them "never to be settled" kinda questions. Just to be a wanker, I prefer the Sig PE57/AMT. :D

CETME FAL? There's no such animal. The CETME is the father of the H&K G3.

My friend has both and I shoot them fairly often. The M1A is MUCH more accurate and fun to shoot, and the one I would buy.
.45 or 9mm?


I prefer the M1A out of those two. But that's my preference. The market is trending towards AR pattern 308s and with reason. The OBR is a monster, as is the SR25. And my friend built his own 308 AR, and it shoots just as tight and just as reliably as our mutual friend's OBR.

If I were looking PURELY on objective criteria, I would go the AR route. But shooting is not purely objective. And I bought myself a really nice M14, because something about it speaks to me. It was one of those situations where I dropped to the sitting position, hooked up the sling, threw it in my shoulder, and it felt like someone, somewhere, designed and built that rifle for me and me alone.

So when the time came, I went about as high end as one could go on custom-tuned builds. I am very, very happy with my decision.

Now, given my explanation above, you can see my bias. You might have the same experience with a FAL or CETME.
To throw another one into the mix: SCAR 17S.

You get a modern design that's ambidextrous, rugged, designed for optics, lightweight, and dirt resistant.

Of course, you will pay for these features.

No real experience with the M1A but I built a FAL and have zero desire for an M1A. It's nothing to go 1,000 rounds or more without cleaning and zero worries, very reliable, best most fully tunable gas system ever produced, and available in a folding stock version to boot. No pistol grip or folding stock without mega bucks in the M1A. I can imagine I would be happy with an M1A though had I gone that route, they seem to be a great rifle too. The FAL was just a bit cheaper for me to acquire.
M1A! We have original M-14s on my boat and they are a BLAST to shoot and in the right hands more capable than the m16 in my opinion. The FA capability was taken away a few months after i arrived to the boat but not before i had some fun. Something about this gun is just addicting to me.
If you are not budget limited and want the penultimate .308 battle rifle get a 17s.
While I think the FAL is an outstanding battle rifle, I prefer the M1a.

Better sights, in the match version, outstanding accuracy, I like the open top design and having the ability to positively close the bolt. My M1a triggers are outstanding, I have never felt a stock box FAL trigger as good.

The basic problem in comparing is that the advantageous features found in one are not duplicated in the other. So it really is, do you like chocolate or vanilla for your ice cream?, because you can’t have both.

So when it comes to that choice, I will take the M1a.
For a scope and better ergonomics: FAL

For iron sights and better trigger: M1A

For the best of both, a 308 AR variant. Scope or irons, good ergonomics, great trigger.

I own M1 rifle (like a long internal mag M1A), STG-58 (Austrian FAL), and LR-308 (308 AR). I grab the LR-308 most of the time.
I love the 14s, they are accurate beyond believe and a Blast to shoot, I own three of them, but if I had to use a Rifle for Combat, my choice would be an FAL, btw I own one of those!;)
Get both! I got both and the M1A is prettier. However, you can't go wrong with a FAL either.

You mean an FN 49 in 30-06? ;)

I'd say that BM-59 posted earlier (box-fed Garand) is a close runner-up (if you can find one under 3000$). There's a variant of the FN 49 that also has a 20-round box-mag in .308. My FN will be getting some more attention once I stock up on some .30 after the election craziness, it's been functional so far, though :)

Check out the FNAR or any of the BAR series as well; near-bolt action accuracy, for a good deal less coin than a 308 AR or even nice M1A rifle.

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