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FAL or M1A?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AJBarney, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I have both, and enjoy shooting both. I dont have a preference. They are both damn fine rifles. I do not feel one is better than the other, though they are a bit different and if you get used to shooting AR's, I think the FAL is more similar in operation and manual of arms.
     
  2. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Member

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    I have several of both rifles,and they are both excellent rifles.The M1A is certainly prettier,and a tad more accurate,but the FAL is no slouch.No wrong choice here.
     
  3. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Between the two of them, if cost were the same, I'd choose the M14. Each is not designed to take a scope well, so that is a tossup. But the M14/M1A has better ergonomics, and won't set your left hand ablaze after a couple of mag dumps like the FAL. The sights are much better.

    In the end, however, the one YOU like will be the best choice for you. Shoot them both, compare and contrast, and pick the one that speaks to you.
     
  4. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    This.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I have both and the answer is "it depends".

    If you want accuracy and the traditional blue/wood ergonomics, the M14 type rifles can be made to be much more accurate than a FAL.

    If you want robust dependability that will function with a remarkable range of ammunition quality and pistol grip ergonomics, the FAL is what I would recommend.
     
  6. Dave1965

    Dave1965 Member

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    I have both plus and hk and scar. I like the fal but prefer the scar.
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    All things being relatively equal, the FAL just seems to be a better fit in terms of the design and balance of the rifle.
     
  8. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I shoot left handed so this is a no brainer for me. I greatly prefer the M1A because I like the traditional rifle ergonomics and the controls are better placed for me. If I shot right handed, I might have given more thought to the FAL, and no doubt, it is a fine rifle. Now that I own an M1A, it's not even a contest. I haven't handled or even looked twice at a FAL since I got my M1A. The M1A has the best sights ever put on a battle rifle, an excellent trigger, is more ambi than the FAL, and tends to be a little bit more accurate. Also, for the sake of history, anyone who says the FAL is more reliable than the M1A is full of it. The US government put that argument to rest when it tested both designs in the early 60s and adopted the M14.

    Also, I've cleaned ARs and have to call bullpucky on the first post that stated the AR is easier to clean. No contest. The AR is easier to take apart for cleaning, which is good because you have to do it a lot more. In terms of actual ease of maintence, my M1A is orders of magnitude better than any DGI AR, and that is a fact.

    I wouldn't even consider an AR in .308 either. Even a piston one. Better off with a 17S, as suggested--designed from the ground up not to crap where it eats, fully ambi, has a folding stock, actually comes with excellent sights (as opposed to a lot of ARs, which require you to buy sights after spending $2500 on the rifle), and the SCAR is lighter.
     
  9. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    Google "ol' dirty FAL" and then tell me how many times someone has put 15k+ through an M1A without cleaning it.
     
  10. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    You realize the M16A2 sights were developed by the AMU as a replacement for the sights on the M14. The elevation drum is located differently, but M16A2 and M14 sights otherwise function identically.
    90 of our allies disagreed, and the ordnance dept at the time was heavily biased against any rifle that wasn't developed internally - much less a foreign developed rifle.
    ARs are extremely easy to clean if lubed properly. Of course almost every M14 worshipper tries to treat an AR like an M14, and that causes problems.
    The crap where it eats cliche is tired and false. ARs aren't even true DI, and the gasses are directed into an in line piston formed by the tail of the bolt and the interior of the carrier. Their chamber fouling is no worse than any short or long stroke piston rifle.
    You can get fixed sight ARs, ARs with very sturdy back up sights, or ARs which are set up to run optics exclusively. You can save money by purchasing the rifle the way you want in the first place.

    Also, if the M14 was such a superior rifle why didn't Springfield Armory, SEI, Fulton Armory, or some other manufacturer resubmit it for the SF and DMR competitions? Why were those won by the FN SCAR and KAC SR-25 (adopted as M110) respectively? Why did our Canadian allies also select an AR (Armalite AR-10), and our British allies also select an AR (LMT MRP) after their own DMR equivalent trials?
     
  11. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    20 years ago I would have said M1A.
    M1A-02.jpg

    10 years ago I would have said FAL.
    Hampton-Varela-EOTECH.jpg

    Now I say DPMS LR-308.
    DSCN4983.jpg

    M1A and FAL are still excellent.
    Although, parts are becoming more expensive, and the choices of configuration-options have always been quite limited.

    LR-308 offers all the configuration options of any AR15.
    Parts are abundant and affordable.
    The design is now solidly in the "proven" category.
     
  12. nulook45

    nulook45 Member

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    Fal or M1a

    Literaly love both of them . that being said i have personaly seen a Fal go thru 30k of ammo with No Cleaning Whatsoever. it was dirty grimy and just full of gunk . cannot say i have ever seen a M1a do that . if i could only have one it would be a Fal but i would prefer to have both :)
     
  13. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    I'm not really sure why I'm replying... I love both! I also love the HK91/PTR9, which is the route that I went (That's the good deal I found). Ignore the CETME... Out of the two you mentioned, and the others presented by others, the CETME is the only one that I wouldn't want. I'm sure you can get a good one, but the reputation is inferior the others.
     
  14. mf-dif

    mf-dif Member

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  15. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    The M14 has great target sights, as have most rifles designed by US Army Ordnance. Unfortunately, battle rifle sights need different characteristics than target sights.

    The US FAL vs M14 trials were rigged. The evidence is pretty clear that US Army Ordnance wasn't going to approve anything they hadn't designed.

    As to design, the M14's exposed action is much more vulnerable to debris when compared to the FAL, the White patent expansion cut-off gas piston is a joke, and why does a post WWII service rifle require tools to strip? Besides, they built the M14 upside down. Putting the gas piston under the bore forces the muzzle up with every shot, more so than the FAL's design (or the AK, or AR, or SCAR).

    M1As are decent target guns, but the record of adoption in foreign service speaks volumes when trying to compare it to the FAL.

    BSW
     
  16. Ash

    Ash Member

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    A good FAL can be had for several hundred bucks cheaper than an m1a. But, the M1a allows for better lefty shooting. I've owned them both, and I must admit I was disappointed with the M1a's accuracy. My Garand was more accurate.
     
  17. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Owned several M1As over the years. Finely accurate rifles when tuned and bedded correctly. But, I had too many issues with the ones I owned...not the least of which was the Reese brothers and SA.

    Have owned six FALS and currently own four. They will always get my vote for a top notch battle rifle.

    Good luck.

    M
     
  18. siglite

    siglite Member

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    Heh, I see the religious war has started. :D

    Pick one, buy it, and learn to shoot it. That's the beauty of .308. It's a 1000yd cartridge in the right gun. And little in the world is more satisfying than hearing the ring of steel SIGNIFICANTLY after the muzzle blast. One of my favorite things in the world is ringing 20" steel @500 with 308. I know the AR rifles will do that with boring monotony, as will my 14. Dunno if the FAL will, but I've been told it'll do that just fine.

    Pick one. Learn to shoot it. I mean.. REALLY learn to shoot it. You kind of can't go wrong here. My advice? Shoot both. Then do what I did. Buy the one that speaks to you. The 14 speaks to me. It's almost zen settling down behind that thing. Hell, it is zen. I am at peace behind that rifle. Focused and peaceful. And god help anything I can see through the optic.
     
  19. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I much prefer the FAL to the M1A. The ergonomics and controls are way better on the FAL. The M1A seems to be a lot more finicky on ammo and not as reliable as the FAL. The FALs adjustable gas system is really nice. If it starts to jam, just crank up the gas pressure.
     
  20. AJBarney

    AJBarney Member

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    :D didn't mean to start any wars here, I'm just conflicted. I love milsurp weapons, collect them, and the military history of both the M14 (M1A, so to say) and the FAL speak to me. By the same token, for whatever reason I just don't want an AR-based 7.62 rifle. Its irrational (fam with AR-10 history) but its there nonetheless.

    I appreciate the input. Every story, every experience with either/both of them helps me make up my mind :)
     
  21. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    I promise you won't regret whatever you choose, FAL or M1A. I can hardly think of a cooler military style rifle than those two. My recommendation is a matching numbers STG-58 Fal with the full length barrel built or sold from someone reputable. It's accuracy, handling and ergonomics, collectibility and history, ease of use and maintenance will greatly please you.
     
  22. azgsmith

    azgsmith Member

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    I would pick the M1A

    CETMES are hit and miss no punn intended. I would take an M1A over the FAL. The M1A has more parts availability, I believe it is a bit lighter, I have worked on both and the M1A is also simpler to maintain and repair and you can pick the scout, socom or the full length version. Good luck with your decision.
     
  23. Ash

    Ash Member

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    M1a does not have more parts availability. Indeed, if you want to use original military parts, the FAL is a far better choice as M14 parts it seems exceed their value by weight of gold. It is absurd to pay $300 for a TRW trigger group or bolt, $200 for an oprod, etc. The vast majority of M1a's these days are almost 100% commercial production. That's really fine, no problems there when you get down to it, but milspec replacement parts for FAL's are far cheaper - vastly cheaper.

    Of course, with the M1a, Sec 922r doesn't come into play, so it is easier to color between the lines with an M1a. For me, were the M1a the same price as an FAL, I would get the M1a first every time.

    But at $500 or more cheaper, the FAL is cheaper to buy and cheaper to dress. For the price of a decent m1a (or other m14 clone) I could get a good FAL and a good side arm or FAL and 1,000 rounds of ammo. There is much to be said for that.
     
  24. txgunsuscg

    txgunsuscg Member

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    Sold my FAL, bought an M1A...
     
  25. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Amazing to think that anyone with net access believes the M14 legitimately won the trials. :D

    Just examine your motivations. The M1A is a fine rifle if you plan on using iron sights, and/or want its classic zenith-of-the-type (WW2 battle rifle) lines. Don't buy it because you believe some nonsense mishmash that a lack of national commitment and enough .45 and .30 "lost Vietnam". :rolleyes:

    If you want to scope your rifle, a FAL is a better choice.
     
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