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Standard or Para FAL?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Timradcliffe345, Jan 2, 2008.

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  1. Timradcliffe345

    Timradcliffe345 member

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    Soon to be in the market for a DSA FAL. Ive been looking at the 16.25 inch and the 21 inch models. I cant make up my kind on what barrel length to go with. I primarily plan to use it as a SHTF type and for plinking. Probably mount an EoTech type sight on it. My questions are:

    How much velocity will I loose if I go with the 21 inch over the 16 incher?
    Is there a large weight difference?
    How does recoil compare between the two models?
    Is the fixed stock more comfortable than the para stock?
    Which model can I mount a scope on?

    Please also feel free to share your experiences with either the 16 inch or 21 inch FAL rifles. Thank you
     
  2. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Get the para with the short gas system.

    You can get a full-size FAL anytime.

    You lose about 50 fps per inch when you start moving away from the standard 21" barrel.

    You can mount a scope with equal ease on any FAL.
     
  3. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    As far as velocity goes, the most significant losses occur when going from an 18" barrel to a 16" barrel. The losses going from a 21" barrel to an 18" barrel are less significant. This is all assuming you are using milspec ammo. With commercial ammo the velocity differences are more dramatic going from a 21" to a 16".

    The weight difference is not that great but the balance shifts forward somewhat with the para stock.

    The recoil is more a function of how the gas system is adjusted than anything else. Properly set, the FAL is the most comfortable to shoot 308 out there. Set incorrectly it pounds you silly.

    The fixed stock is more comfortable.

    You can put a scope on either assuming you replace the top cover with a scope mount. I recommend DSA's scope mount. However, due to the comb of the stock, you may find an Eotech is too high. I suggest an Aimpoint instead because it can be mounted lower.

    The FAL's I own have 21" barrels because I want maximum performance with commercial ammo. I also have 16" rifles in 5.56 for confined spaces. If the FAL you are getting is to be your only SHTF rifle I suggest the 18" barrel with the para stock.
     
  4. LeibstandarteAdH

    LeibstandarteAdH Member

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    Para carrier with sand cuts
     
  5. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I have a DSA SA58 Para with the 16.25" barrel and folding stock. I love it, but if I was starting over I would've gone with the 18" barrel. The extra two inches of barrel make a big difference in performance with .308 ammo.
     
  6. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    I, like FKB, have a 16.25" Para. I debated quite a while between an 18" and a 16". I went ahead with the 16" for it's overall compactness, given the mission of this rifle was to be as "handy" as possible in a major caliber. Given that I don't consider it to be my long range rifle, I believe the tradeoff is worth it (pretty easy to make the arguement the other way, also) In addition, I already have a StG58 in 21", a PTR in 18" and wanted to "try it out" with a shorter barrel.

    The one really extraordinary thing I can claim with the 16" barrel and the lightweight receiver is that the rifle handles and balances like a dream.

    Also, I know I've posted these quite a bit, but here's comparison photos of the 16" Para against some of the major platforms.

    4ullpva.jpg

    6c5uz52.jpg

    6gl6hs7.jpg

    4vfizuu.jpg

    680xppe.jpg

    4zxxawg.jpg
     
  7. Timradcliffe345

    Timradcliffe345 member

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    Which models have the short gas system?

    What about the 13"?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  8. Timradcliffe345

    Timradcliffe345 member

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    iamkris: Thank you for those pics. How would you rate the recoil out of the 16.25" relative to the 21"? Also, does the para stock fold in?

    I couldnt find the model with the 18" barrel and para stock. Do you have to have it custom made? Thanks again.
     
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    I see/feel no difference in felt recoil or controllability.

    Yup, folds to the right (toward the ejection port). Also, the FAL Para stock has a better "feel" and cheek weld than any other standard collapsible stock I've used (not counting the new SOCOM/VLTOR, etc). With optics, a cheekpiece is recommended.

    Also, I'm switching over to a Millett DMS-1 1.5-4x scope. That extends the usability of this rifle out to where it is better...300-400 yards. Still usable at CQB distances with an EoTech-like reticle at 1.5x

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I mounted an IOR Valdada 1.1-4x tactical scope on my SA58 Para, and I love it: [​IMG]
     
  12. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    How much velocity difference is there between the 16.25" DSA "carbine" barrel and the standard FN-spec 17.75" "Para" barrel? We're looking at all of an inch and a half in difference.

    Couple of gun rags I've read have chrono'd .308 from a 16" barrel. Standard NATO ball averages around 2,600-2650 fps, if I recall correctly. It does, what, 2,750, 2,800 from a 22-24" barrel?

    You get a big velocity boost going up to the 21" barrel. But then your rifle is 43" long. Anything over about one meter long (39" or so) starts to get unweildy if you have to do anything BUT carry the rifle, in my experience. (My experience includes searching cars with a full length M16 and operating in and out of vehicles with same.) That's why I got the 16" barrel; I wanted it to be short and handy.

    I'm actually going to trade the Belgian short flashhider for something else. It's too long and doesn't do all that much. I'm thinking about a YHM Phantom.

    I've often considered that my next FAL might be a Para carbine. Is disassembly complicated with the Para when using DSA's para optics mount?

    Also, DSA will custom-shorten your para stock to whatever length you want. I'd get mine cut down to a 13" length of pull. The standard FAL LOP is like 14.25", which is a little on the long side. I mated a steel buttplate to my plastic stock in order to cut almost an inch off the LOP, on my rifle.

    iamkris, how much does that Millet scope run? I've often thought that a low-powered variable might be tops for a shorty .308.

    You can order a "carbine" model from DSA with the standard 16" or an optional 18" barrel. You'll have to have your dealer specify when ordering if you want the longer one.
     
  13. Timradcliffe345

    Timradcliffe345 member

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    Another question, please bear with me. What is the whole deal with metric versus inch FAL's? Which one is preferable? Are the DSA FAL rifles metric?

    ANd lastly, what is the main difference between the type I and II receviers? Is one preferable over the other? Thank you for the help.
     
  14. mikec

    mikec Member

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    Metric vs Inch, the Aussie, Canadians and British used what we call the Inch pattern guns, the rest of the world used metrics. The DSA rifles are indeed Metric spec. DSA does also make an Inch receiver, need to get mine built up. The Inch guns have some slight differences. After you get your DSA you may want to think of an Inch gun, just to have a slightly different version.

    As for Type I vs Type II, the first metric version was the Type I. In full auto there were some durability issues with military training weapons. Think about using an FAL as a BAR or Bren replacement. FN's answer was the Type II. In civilian usage there is no real difference other then appearance and a slight weight difference.
     
  15. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Tim -- Here's the note I sent in to your PM...pretty much the same as mikec said

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=
    It's easy to become confused...honestly one of the better resources is the FAL files forum. There's a FAQ thread that is extremely helpful. http://www.falfiles.com/forums/forum...?s=&forumid=19

    Back to your questions. Inch pattern was made by the Commonwealth countries...essentially a converstion of the metric dimensions to inches...except parts aren't interchangeable. Metric mags fit Inch receivers but not vice versa.

    Personally I like metric for 1) the history and 2) the parts/kits are more available.

    Type I is the original receiver...together with the attractive but expensive to manufacture lightening cuts. Type II added some stress relief cuts to the stress points in the receiver that were problems with high round count full auto rifles (not a problem with the kind of shooting that 99.99999% of us do today.) The choice is mostly aesthetic. Type III is ugly IMHO but was developed as cost savings as they didn't have the lightening cuts...most Imbel receivers are Type III.

    Here are some comparison pics.
    http://dsarms.com/departments.asp?dept=13

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
     
  16. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Nightcrawler

    I'll tell you in a few days...I've got a cronograph on its way to me from MidwayUSA and I'll test them back to back. Well, I'll test a 16.25" Para against an 18" PTR-91...not completely apples to apples but we'll see what happens.

    I have that on my 16" Para...great FH. Even with the short barrel it really breaks up the flash signature.

    4zsw0w2.jpg

    I actually think it is EASIER than a standard FAL (if that is possible). The Para recoil spring is a cool nested affair that fits up into the the bolt carrier and the spring guide fits up into a notch in the top cover/optics mount (I use the DSA Extreme Duty mount). I think it's a much better system than the stock BC rat tail.

    MidwayUSA has them on sale for $199 right now. I ordered some Leupold QD rings to go with it. The scope is getting pretty good reviews so far on a few forums. I'll have it by the weekend and will give a range report as soon as I can. I'd love to get that IOR that FKB posted but the price gave me a bit of a heartattack...maybe someday. I'm still recovering from the price of the SA58 right now.
     
  17. wideym

    wideym Member

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    If you call DSA they will build your rifle with any features they currently carry. Their customer service and technical dept are the best out there. I bought a DSA Para Congo about three years ago and love it except for the stock being a little too long.

    Instead of having to order a new stock or sending mine in to have a shorter one put on, they carefully explained how to shorten it myself. (which is easy to do)

    Also they told me they are currently adding sand cut recievers and carriers to all new DSA FAL rifles as a standard feature.
     
  18. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    One thing to take into account with the metric and inch fals, the inch pattern fals can handle metric magazines, but the metric pattern can't handle inch magazines. The inch pattern magazines tend to be a little cheaper to buy. Its a little thing but noteworthy nonetheless.
     
  19. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    '

    Boo-yah!

    Now if they'll just replace the tiny Belgian magazine release with the roundy-type Israeli one that's much easier to use... :D (I tracked down one for my carbine and love it.)
     
  20. kfranz

    kfranz Member

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    Just the opposite, actually.
     
  21. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Like iamkris said, disassembly is a snap.

    The stock on my Para is definitely a little too long for up drills on the range and other CQB sort of shooting, though it's a good length for shooting from the prone. I'd like to put an adjustable LOP on mine, at some point (money permitting).
     
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