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FAL versus M-14/M-1A versus AR-10/SR-25

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Anthony, Dec 26, 2002.

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What is your favorite big bore battle rifle in .308 Winchester (7.62mm NATO)?

  1. FAL

    40 vote(s)
    35.7%
  2. M-1A/M-14

    51 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. AR-10/SR-25

    19 vote(s)
    17.0%
  4. Other

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
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  1. Anthony

    Anthony Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    What are the pros and cons of the following three designs of big bore battle rifles in 7.62mm NATO?

    DSA FAL
    Springfield Armory M-14/M-1A
    Armalite AR-10/Knight SR-25

    I'm looking to invest in ONE of the rifles as a fighting rifle, but am having trouble narrowing my choice. Currently my only rifle is a Colt AR-15 Sporter that has been lightly customized for fighting.

    Thanks for the advice.

    - Anthony
     
  2. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    FAL: Proven design & still in use in much of the world. Lots of inexpensive parts, too.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    You forgot the G3/HK-91/Cetme group!


    Feh. Only a slightly more interesting poll than AK/AR.
     
  4. telewinz

    telewinz Member

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    I have the M14/M1A and it outshoots my FAL but I feel the FAL is the superior rifle/design and if I were offered two "hand inspected" FAL's I'd trade the M14 in a heartbeat (after all I paid over twice as much for the M14):)
     
  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    A whole lot of people worldwide seem to think the FAL is pretty workable design and I couldn't disagree. I think if I had to have one of those listed as my bet-my-life-on-it rifle, the FAL would be the one.
     
  6. MiniZ

    MiniZ Member

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    The FAL and M14 are neck and neck as far as my preferences go. The FAL definately gets a big thumbs up for cheap parts/mags availability.
     
  7. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I personally like the FAL, although the M1A is next on my list of "must haves".

    I really like the ease of filed stripping by shotgunning the weapon and easy gas regulation for different loads and weapon conditions. Couple that with easy to obtain spare parts and you have a winner.

    Best of all you can get a DSA product and have a lifetime warranty.

    Good Shooting
    RED
     
  8. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    G3/HK91
     
  9. Schuey2002

    Schuey2002 Member

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    Ditto.

    Where are the HK's? Both the G3/and HK91 should be on this list.

    I feel left out. :( :( (I'll get over it.)

    So, that leaves the FN Fal as my top vote-getter. ;)
     
  10. *8*

    *8* Member

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    FAL and G3. ;) I like the M1a and AR as well but mine sits in the safe most of the time, I prefer the FAL though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2002
  11. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I think as long as you get an "original" gun, and not one of the clones, you'll be alright with any of them, FAL, M1A, HK. The FAL is the worst of the lot accuracy wise, but fine within reasonable ranges. Personally, I'd take the M1A over the others, it truly is ambidextrious, and is easier to snap shoot than the others. All in all, its really just a matter of preference and practice. Whatever you get, if you practice, you can overcome any of the "overblown" problems that seem to present themselves here. They all work, just stay away from the clones.
     
  12. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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    M14 v/s FN FAL

    The M14 was by far the totally superior battle rifle and here are just a few reasons why. Although both guns were total failures in regards to their original roles which was to do double duty not only as an infantry weapon but to as well to replace the squad automatic rifles like the American BAR and the British Bren Gun they did turn out to be premier semi-auto battle rifles but total failures in the full auto mode.

    Stock design: The M14 stock design far supassed the awkward straight designed stock of the FAL. This type of stock is only needed for full auto rifles and being that both guns were total failures in full auto the convention stock of the M14 allowed quick snap shooting v/s the akward stock of the FN FAL that actually had to be carried but up over the shoulder to allow soldier even half a chance to snap the gun to their shoulders.

    Safey lever.: Again the FN was not a well thought out design. The safety is so far forward almost all have to shift their grip to snap it off in a hurry v/s the in the trigger guard and lightning fast safety of the M14.

    Gas System. Again a failure in the FN FAL. The gas system in both the short tube and long tube FN FALs has given the gun nothing but touble. The short tube versions have a really bad habit of of coming loose due to recoil or just plain rusting away of the ultra thin tube that is only silver soldered on to keep it from leaking. The long tube version has no soldier and leaks even when new. Once it gets loose and starts to leak the weapon will malfunction. The troublesome adjustable gas system at first glance would seem to be an advantage over the M14's non-ajustable gas system but one of lifes great surpises is that the M14's non-ajustable gas system would work with under as well as full power ammo with no problem while the FN's system is so finicky that if it is not ajusted just right to the ammo used it will either not eject the cases strongly enough to prevent jamming or it will eject them so violently that it will start to batter the weapon to death. As a matter of fact the ejection pattern of the FN is also very poor. It will throw one emty close to the weapon giving rather weak ejection and then the next case will be thrown almost 20 feet away. The M14 does not have this design problem.

    Reliablilty in Sand and Cold temperature: Once again the FN FAL fails compared to the M14. In tests conducted by the U.S. army the M14 proved the superior weapon when used in extremely cold environments. The British had so much trouble with their FN's in the desert that they had to put sand cuts in the bolt of the FN to get it to work somewhat more realiably in the sand of the desert and one of the main complaints of the Israilies is that they to could not get the weapon to work when it got sand in it. The M14 worked 100 per cent better when contaiminated with sand because of its rotating bolt that actually threw off sand rather than trap it like the bolt of the FN Fal.

    Strip down: Although the FN looks like a dream to strip down it is anything but a dream to strip. The stock if broken must be removed with a special tool and even using this tool can be a nightmare to the person who has seldom done this job. Contrast this to the instant take down of the M14. The trigger group on the FN must be taken out piece by piece for cleaning if the rifle is really full of mud or sand compared to the instant modular drop out trigger of the M14.

    Sights: Here again the FN fails as compared to the M14. You will not find better or more instantly ajustable precision made sights on any battle rifle like the M14. The crude sliding rear sight or the other model flip up sight of the FN Fal is fine for blast em quick senarios but for precision long range shooting the fully ajustable rear sight of the M14 is superior to the FN which also must have a special tool to adjust the front sight.

    Trigger pull: ON average almost all the M14 rifles I have personally fired had better trigger pulls than any FN Fal rifle I have ever fired.

    Accuracy: Both rifles can shoot very acurately but the M14 has it all over the FN Fal and when the M14 is used in its sniper version called the XM21 it is by far one of the worlds premier sniper weapons. The FN Fal can be made in an all heavy barrel as opposed to the M14 that usally because of its gas system must have only a half heavy barrel to clear the operating mechanism, so some heavey barrel FNs may, if tricked out with a good trigger shoot very accurately indeed.

    Scope mounting both night vision and daylight scopes: Here again the M14 is superior to the FN Fal. The FN being a hard gun to scope and it provides a less than stable plantform when the thin sheet metal dust cover is used as a base for the scope mount. A mount could be designed that would be attached to the side of the reciever like the M14 for quicker and more stable mounting but it seems that most of the popular military mounts were on the unstable and loose fitting top dust cover. Screws have been installed on some civilain mounts buy they are a pain to loosen up to remove the scope and once this is done the rifle may loose zero.

    As far as the AR15 7.62x51 is concerned:

    This weapon is notorius for being subject to stoppages when it gets dirty from its open gas sytem that sprays burnt powder all over the action and when mixes with rain water you have real problem with them. It is also know for being unreliable in sandy conditions. It has also been known on average to have a very creepy trigger pull. Of course there are civilian match triggers availble for this weapon. On the plus side in its heavy barrel configuration it is a very, very acurate weapon but due to its reliablity I rule it out for serious military applications. Its a great rifle for the pristeen , immaculate , civilian target range but not for the battlefield.
     
  13. USMC

    USMC Guest

    I have gone with the AR10TNC (16' barrel).


    Reliabilty

    I have a friend with a DSA (FAL) that thought the AR10 was not reliable, so while at the range we had a little competition. We used the dirtiest old ammunition we could find. We also used to some of the best reloads I could make. The end result after 250 rounds and no cleaning,

    AR10 - one failure to feed

    DSA – one failure to extract


    Accuracy

    We used Federal 168 Match ammunition, 3 round group.

    AR10 - .52 @ 100 yards

    DSA – 1.68 @ 100 yards



    Cost of the Rifles

    AR10 target Navy Carbine 1650.00

    DSA (FAL) 1450.00


    The real difference in cost is the fact that my AR10 is the target model. SS barrel, 2 stage trigger, and free floated.



    End result. They both did great considering the fact we dropped all the ammunition in the dirt before we started. As for myself, I think I will stay with the AR10tnc. Some people say that AR10 is not a combat type rifle, I would disagree. Also during the Gulf War and my time in the Marines, I just got confortable with the AR. I will always keep my pre/ban AR-15's but the AR-10 just gives that extra kick.



    BTW - BH9P, They do not make a AR15 in 7.62X51. It is called a AR10.



    Hawaii
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2002
  14. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

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    My favorite battle rifle in 7.62mm NATO is the HK G3. No gas system to need tweaking or give trouble, near-bombproof construction, and extreme reliability. The only bad thing about it is the price for a pre-ban HK91 these days.
     
  15. telewinz

    telewinz Member

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    Over generalization

    I have an Imbel clone and even so I'd prefer it to an M1a or M14. I think alot of owners of the clones be they CETME's or FAL's feel they got an excellent value not an inferior want-to-be.
     
  16. armabill

    armabill Member

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    Having carried the M14 for 4 years in the Marine Corps, I'd have to pick it because of the familiarity.
     
  17. beemerb

    beemerb Member

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    I wish I would have known about all the things wrong with the FN's before I bought 3 of them.Now that I know all their faults I guess after 8 yrs of use I am going to start having problems with them.Guess it was just a lack of knowledge on my part that has kept them working for the last 10,000 rds.
    Sure would like to see verafication of all these faults just to make sure in my mind.
    Bob
     
  18. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    beemerb,

    I'm glad you got a couple that shoot. Of the three I had, two kits and a commerical FAL, none would shoot a group, and the kit guns were nothing but frustration. I spent to much time, money and aggravation on them, and they still would not shoot a group. FAL's have a nasty tendancy to "string" their shots. I've owned FAL's, M1A's, and HK's, my personal order would be M1A, HK, and FAL. I own an Armalite in .223, with the way it shoots and functions, I dont see a problem with the AR10, as long as getting mags weren't an issue, then it would prbably, be the M1A, AR10, HK, and FAL. With all guns alike, (original manufactuer), the FAL just doesnt make it in the accuracy department, for me personally. In this respect, from what I've seen from its baby brother, the AR10 would probaly be the winner.

    Realisticly, for a "battle rifle", none of these can really compare to the lighter gun/caliber combos out there now. All the 7.62x51 guns are heavy and dont lend themselves well to CQB type shooting. The AK and AR/M16 series guns win out here. If all your shooting would be 200 yards plus, then yes, they have an advantage, but 150 and under, I really dont see it. In this realm, I think the 7.62x39 actually has it over all the rest, mostly because it will penetrate cover the 5.56 wont and still have enough "oommph" to get whats on the other side. With faster recovery from recoil, and higher capacity mags, they leave the 7.62x51 lacking.
    If your planning on using this as a long range, standoff type gun, I'd take a scoped AR10 or HK. A flat topped AR with a low mounted scope will be hard to beat and probably the more accurate. Both the AR and HK have the capability to have removable, no zero loss scopes, that have a practical head position while shooting, and have the accuracy to make use of them. Of course, they are also the more expensive guns.
    The problem here is, there is really no one gun for everything. Your going to have to compromise somewhere, or decide just what you want to accomplish with it, and then decide.
     
  19. USMC

    USMC Guest

    Magazines for the AR10

    When I purchased my AR10tnc, I also purchased 20 magazine conversion kits at the costs of the 30 dollars per kit. I then went to the local gun show and bought 20 M1a magazines. I bought the cheapest ones I could find. From one table I bought 10 magazines of 25 dollars. These magazines were dented and unusable in an M1a but could be used for the conversion kits. I found 10 more that were in about the same conditions for a good price. Total cost per 20 round complete AR10 magazines was 42 dollars. Still costly but not near 100 dollars. (note to self buy more conversation kits and resell at higher price)

    Now Armalite will take any M14 or M1a magazines for trade. I think Tapco sells cheap M1a magazines for 9.99 each. If you buy these send them to Armalite they will send you back a new magazine body. They keep crap magazine and send you a new lifetime warranty Magazine. Total cost, about 41 dollars a magazine.

    I don't have anything against any MBR out there. I have just found the AR10 is a quality MBR.



    :D

    USMC
     
  20. beemerb

    beemerb Member

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    AK103K;
    I agree with you on the 7.62x39.It is far better then the 223.How ever I will disagree with you on comparing assult weapons with main battle rifles.They serve two different roles.
    My Fn's will group at 1.5 min at 100 yrds which is good for a MBR.I bought all kit rifles from J&G in Prescott AZ and none of them worked well when I got them.A AGI tape and internet research gave me the knowledge to take all the bugs of of them.
    I have allso worked on 3 others that friends of mine have pushased after shooting mine.They have all turned out to be good shooters.I agree they are not match rifles but they are accurat enough for what they where designed for.
    I live in a state where shooting would be longer range and I need something with more range then a AK or AR.
    I am sorry you had the bad luck to get a couple of bad ones.It does happen but I think it is not normal.
    Bob
     
  21. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    FAL/LAR.

    I personally feel that, if the M21 really was "by far one of the worlds premier sniper weapons" my company would be using it, instead of the good 'ole M24/Rem 700.

    G3 was designed because FN wouldn't sell license rights to Germany. Yeah, it's accurate, but they feel clunky as hell to me. AR-10 is a target rifle.
     
  22. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    Carried a M14 for 1 1/2 tours in the Nam. I worked in detachments which allowed me to not go to the rear and swap for the Mattey Mattel.

    A Brigadier in spring 69 finally ordered me to get a M16 and had his Aide take my name. My M14 was a fond history.

    So as an earlier poster said, familiarity.

    other reasons:

    Went bang everytime! regardless of weather or terrain.

    Accurate with great sights

    Good to great trigger.

    Easy to maintain

    and the biggist of all, kept me alive!

    So I have a pre ban M1A, rack grade, and I would not, have not, and will never be undergunned with that weapon.

    Are there other good weapons, sure. But none put the package together like the M14.

    When you care enough to use the very best, M14/M1
     
  23. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    BHP9,

    Excellent post: informative and detailed, Thank You.

    I read that the FAL actually beat the M14 in the US Military trials, but the M14 was selected because it was made here and that our soldiers were already familiar with it's basic operation from the Garand, is this true?

    Thanks
     
  24. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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    I read that the FAL actually beat the M14 in the US Military trials, but the M14 was selected because it was made here and that our soldiers were already familiar with it's basic operation from the Garand, is this true?

    Not to my knowledge. It was the M14 that won. You could also go to the library and get Steven Blakes gigantic masterpiece on the history of FN FAL. It costs about $130 dollars and worth every penny of it.

    When FN lost they did cry foul because they claimed the M14 had been specially prepared for the cold tests but in reality little was done to the M14 that would have given it a big edge to the FN.

    In my opinion the basic design of the FN proved that over the years its rectangular, tipping and horizontally moving bolt had a lot more contact with the reciever rails than the small contact area of the rotating M14 bolt. What all this boiled down to is that it was just too easy for dirt and frozen moisture to get trapped between the FN's bolt and its reciever. This is exactly why the British put grooves called sand cuts in their bolts. It was a desperate attempt to keep the gun functioning a little longer in sandy environments.

    Don't misunderstand my post, the FN was not a bad weapon , I think it was one of the better assault rifles of the past 50 years but it in no way ever could compare to the M14. The M14 was just a much better thought out design. Despite all the urban lengend stories the U.S. Armed services knew what they were doing when they adopted the M14 over the FN FAL.
     
  25. Anthony

    Anthony Member

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    Wow!

    You guys are really making me think about this. Thanks for all of the great input...please keep it coming.

    How many of you choose to mount optics on the .308 battle rifle you use? If yes, what kind of mount and scope do you favor?

    If not, how do you feel the iron sights of these rifles compare to one another?

    - Anthony
     
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