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Got an FAL, seems like a good rifle but I think I hate it?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by handloader357, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    I'm not Robert, but.....

    My DSA SA58 has the DSA "Extreme Duty" top cover scope mount. It works VERY well, having seen over 500 rounds since I mounted the Bushnell 3200 sight and no problems do far.

    Note that this replacement cover is NOT a slide-on, slide-off item. It's held to the receiver by no less than TEN screws, which use Loc-Tite to keep them where you put them. The Picatinny rail on the cover is thus located very solidly in place, and if you remove the scope for whatever reason, it returns to zero quite reliably when re-mounted. ( I use QD rings... maybe Burris? I'd have have to go look, but anyway they do return nicely to zero.)

    Without the scope, the iron sights can be used effectively. It's a matter of seconds to remove or replace the glass sight..... best of both worlds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  2. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Like Bruce, I have the DSA Extreme Duty scope mount. It replaces the dust cover and locks into place very securely. I also have the DSA float tube on my FAL. I use my rifle in a few competitions and am hoping to keep the barrel, and my hand from burning up. Though it is a heavy rifle now because of the add ons it is not so heavy it is unusable.
     
  3. bozzman3

    bozzman3 Member

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    Handloader your barrel looks fluted?Is that a US barrel?
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    DSA does that on some of their barrels.
     
  5. handloader357

    handloader357 Member

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    Yep, its a fluted barrel. Thought it looked pretty slick... The whole gun seems to be made by DSA, so I would guess its a US barrel as they are in Illinois?
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Here’s mine DSA SA58 Para, Type 2 receiver with DSA Extreme Duty scope mount and Larue mounts. The top cover/mounts retain zero, and the para spring removes easily for cleaning while the top cover remains in place.

    DSC00051.jpg

    I was an M1A guy, but really found the FAL ergonomics more to my liking. The charging handle to me is a great feature as it does allow you to maintain your firing grip. I generally set the gas on 6 for my reloads and 4 for surplus and just leave it alone. I’ve yet to have any issue with my folder, probably one of the better designed folding stocks IMHO.

    Handloader, yours looks like the “tactical carbine” with 16” fluted barrel and shortened gas system/forearm.

    Chuck
     
  7. handloader357

    handloader357 Member

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  8. Gunner11

    Gunner11 Member

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    Carried one in the army for several years, became like an extension of my hand, telekenisis summed it up well, left hand cocking leaves your master hand free, and the charging lever folds flat leaving nothing to catch in the bush. It's also dirt water and mud friendly cover it in crap,pull the trigger and it'll still go bang, though water in the barrel makes for an awful thump in the shoulder. Our instructors called it a thoroughly reliable, gas operated semi automatic weapon, and that's what it is, in my opinion at least. Bought two when they sold them off and moved to the styer AUG.
     
  9. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I have a number of ARs and only one FAL but I like the ergonomics of the FAL. I also like the different ergonomics of the AR despite some of the flaws. I like the effortless accuracy of the AR platform and the vastly superior trigger in the form of a Geissele. I'll have to post a photo of my PARA this weekend. I have the scope sitting quite a bit lower than others shown here. Cheek weld is perfect. I'm going to order an M249 grip and a free float tube.


    • Charging handle is more ergonomic/practical than the AR platform
    • Mag release isn't as good as the AR platform

    • Dropping/inserting mags is easier/faster with the AR platform for sure

    • Never thought too much about the sling swivels

    • Slide lock is more ergonomic/practical than the AR platform

    • Adjustable gas block has never been a problem and I consider it to be a desirable feature
     
  10. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I have a lot of trigger time on most modern and even historic battle rifles.

    I was a skeptic on the FAL until I got one. OMG I love the ergonimics. Better than nearly every rifle. Charging handle is on the left, which is perfect. Mag change is simple. Stock, trigger, sights.... fantastic rifle.

    If you decide to sell it, let me know!
     
  11. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    +1. I'm a big fan of the FAL, though its ergonomics are generationally kind of midway between the older, less optimized pattern of weapons like the Garand/M14 and the AR.

    The left hand charging handle is where it should be for a right handed shooter to run a fighting rifle, though on the metric guns I've used (real StG-58, plus a Rhodie parts kit gun and a DSA Para) the charging handle can dig and bruise as you move with it using a modern sling. The mag release is more awkward than an AR, but workable, as are the rock and lock motion required for mag changes versus the direct in/out of an AR. The sling swivels aren't anything I've ever used -- with a VTAC or Vickers sling, I use the front swivel and then attach the sling to the wrist of the stock.

    The adjustable gas block is kind of over engineered for a military service rifle where you will only ever be shooting M80 ball or its equivalent (though it does allow for the rifle to keep chugging along if it gets really crudded up), but it's a nice feature for a civilian rifle where you might want to shoot a range of bullet weights, loads, and such. Plenty of Garand shooters have had to retrofit adjustable gas systems onto their rifles to avoid bending an op rod.
     
  12. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    I carried a FAL for many years in combat in the Southern African arena, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe to be precise. You have one of the finest combat weapons EVER produced for bush war. You ask why?

    - They outperform the AK47 in the hitting power department.
    - The AK47 magazines were too long, this resulted in geurillas laying prone to shoot over our heads. Our magazines allowed us to shoot low and parallel to the ground resulting in more kills.
    - The guerillas were petrified of the FAL.
    - Small trees used as cover would stop an AK round but we shot straight through them.
    - They NEVER experienced stoppages.
    - They are accurate.
    - You can dial in variable recoil on the gas setting. Removed all the oil from mine, from the slides, from everywhere and used talcum powder as a lubricant. Don't laugh, did this on my Bren as well. Used to shoot my FAL on a gas setting of 5.5, no recoil.
    - Extremely comfortable to shoot, the forearm is both solid and comfortable as is the stock arrangement.
    - Easy to strip and clean, solid construction, you had to be very special to break one.
    - The smaller peep sight at the back allowed one to use this in initial contact situation as an open sight and at close range you did not need to look through the peep to get a kill.
    - We later were issued with 5.56mm weapons just as I was leaving the military, a huge step backwards for any bush war. Our FAL's shot 150gr. bullets at 2750fps, this assured minimum deflection in the bush, the 5.56 simply was not in the same league. In an urban setting would opt for the 5.56.

    Now don't you be talking bad about my FAL see:D.
     
  13. handloader357

    handloader357 Member

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    You've all got me excited to go to the range... Just wish my ammo would get here already!
     
  14. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    What's hard about scoping the M1A. You remove the charger bridge and install the scope mount with two or three screws, depending on the maker. You now have a Picatinny rail to attach the scope too.
     
  15. DesertVet

    DesertVet Member

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    Makes me want to get my FAL L1-A1 out of my safe and go to the range!!!!!
     
  16. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    My only big gripe with my FAL is the shape of the stock. That silly bump up to the receiver smacks me in the cheekbone each shot. And, that's even with a 1" buttpad to add to the LOP so the rear sight isn't resting against my glasses. I guess I've got a long neck though, because the rear sight on mt AR hits my glasses when shooting cross legged seated... I'm about ready to get a chunk of lumber and make a straight line stock for the rifle then figure out how to get the sights higher up.

    Regarding the charging handle, I guess the left side handle works well for some types of shooting, but is awkward elsewhere. When shooting prone it is much easier and less disruptive to your position to do mag changes and work the charging handle with the right hand because most of your weight is on the left elbow (assuming right handed shooter). It gets more inconvenient when using a sling as a shooting aid. I guess since the FAL is a .308 battle rifle, mostly with a 20" barrel, I see it more suited to longer range stuff, shooting from field positions or rooftops vs the room-to-room kind of combat where an intermediate caliber carbine and the "firing hand never leaves the rifle" strategy works better. Of course, there is room on the right side of the receiver for a charging handle as well. Wonder how hard it would be to have ambi charging handles? Inch style preferrably, to keep the rifle slim.
     
  17. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I've wanted an FAL for years... Seems everyone wants $1200+ for them though, and that's out of my budget.
     
  18. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    They are good designed rifles. I never really liked the ergos. Bought a M1A Scout Sauad instead of the FAL. If you don't warm up to it, at least right now, you can get your money back in full or trade it for something else.
     
  19. SpentCasing

    SpentCasing Member

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    FAL was adopted by over 90 some countries. If you cant get it done with a FAL well.. thats not the rifle's fault. However, if it isnt for you thats fine, but a FAL is a darn fine battle proven rifle.
     
  20. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    All the FAL's I have ever seen here had the cocking lever on the right.

    We made our FAL's under license to FN. We called it the R1 and used it from the 1960's.

    R1 = Standard FN FAL
    R2 = FN FAL with tubular folding butt.
    R3 = Standard FN FAL with semi auto mode only, for police work
    R1HB = FN FAL with heavy barrel and bipod for support fire, never saw one.
    R1 Sniper = Accurized FN FAL, never saw one.
    R1 Para Carbine = Shortened and more compact version with IR sights

    In 1975 we introduced the R4 which was a 5.56mm based on the Israeli Galil assault rifle. The R5 was the shortened carbine version.

    On the side some trivia, an unofficial test of strength among the soldiers in the SA Army was to take a standard FAL with empty magazine and to grip it in the hand on the flash eliminator only with the arm straight and unbent. Then one had to lift it to parallel with the ground and back again without snatching or dropping it, without arching the back, basically being in the "attention" position.
     
  21. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    Andrew;

    If you will go to

    www.FALfiles.com/forums and select the very first forum on the list

    there is a "sticky" on that page, about seven from the top, devoted to the South African and Rhodesian FAL rifles.

    There are quite a few photos there of SA R1 rifles, and every single one of them has the cocking handle on the LEFT, just like every other FAL I've seen or handled. take a look.
     
  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I bought a couple a dozen years ago. They were not what I was used to ... but quickly became a favorite of mine. Shortly thereafter, I built-up a few from kits+receivers.

    I still have 3 (one of them my original FrankenFAL acquisition) and enough parts to build-up 2+ more.

    Here is a pic of my favorite, my "carbine". I shortened the barrel and, because of that, had to open the barrel vent a bit:
    FALCarbine2.jpg
     
  23. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    The last time I handled a FAL was in 1980. I phoned my brother and we had a long debate, his first reaction was also that it was on the right. We then went through lying on the range etc. and realised that it was indeed on the left. Bolt action rifles have muddled the memory. I cannot believe that I could have got it wrong, was also a weapons instructor :confused:. Ah the ravages of time 33 years later and i'm useless :eek:.

    Will go to the site for interest, thanks for pointing the site out to me.
     
  24. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    "the ravages of time..."

    Boy howdy, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I was first issued an FAL in the Canadian Army in 1961 which is a few moons ago. I still keep a very nice DSA SA58 for old times' sake, and always enjoy using it. This one has lovely semi-fancy walnut in butt, pistol grip and hand-guards; much prettier than most issue rifles.

    The British South Africa Police were recruiting me pretty hard when I left the Canadian Army in the '60s, but I don't do very well in heat so declined the invitation. Could have had some interesting times in Rhodesia (or gotten my young *** killed .....).
     
  25. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    I play bagpipes with a gentleman that was Rhodesian SAS, he has very fond memories of the SLR as he calls it.
     
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