Author Topic: FN FAL  (Read 6386 times)

Offline newone

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FN FAL
« on: September 01, 2010, 05:34:13 AM »
Well, I was at the recent (very nice range) shoot in Ramah and the fellow next to me had an FN FAL.  It seemed to be a nice shooter, and Boston seems to highly recommend it next to the M1A.  Anyone want to comment about on 7.62x51 battle rifles in comparison other than the M1A/M1 Garand (30-06)?  I have heard a recommendation on the AR platform like a DPMS, but Boston's Gun Bible is dead set against them...  I haven't fired one, but from what I hear, they aren't too bad, especially if the gas system is adjusted for the ammo your shooting...

I think I would like to pick one up, so if anyone has any local sources for a FTF sale, I would appreciate it as well :-)
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Offline zonkertx

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 06:28:00 AM »
My favorite kind of rifle!

The adjustable gas is nice, since the rifle will adapt to different ammo types.  The downside is that you can forget to reset it when changing ammo!

There is a wide variety of FALs out there.  Most are very reliable and accurate.  Avoid Century builds that use Hesse receivers. Their Imbel-based builds are better, but watch out for poor workmanship like mistimed barrels / canted sights.  It's not too hard to build one from a parts kit and receiver, although the parts supply is drying up.  If you don't want to build your own, you can get new ones from DSA.  If you get an STG58 kit on an Imbel receiver, you'll be happy!

This site has a lot of good info about FALs:
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/

Offline Old Dog

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 07:55:58 AM »
I have a FAL.  Most folks who try it out return it to me with a smile on their face.  Magazines are getting harder to come by these days but are still out there at times.  Some parts are available (being made here in America) but some of the smaller parts may be harder to come by.  I can't really say parts are harder to come by than parts for an M1A because I've never bought spare parts for it (except for a gas piston and aftermarket stock/handguards).

If you were to buy one and not like it I doubt you'd have trouble selling it.  Lots of folks like them.

Offline Fred

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 08:46:32 AM »
Well, I was at the recent (very nice range) shoot in Ramah and the fellow next to me had an FN FAL.  It seemed to be a nice shooter, and Boston seems to highly recommend it next to the M1A.  Anyone want to comment about on 7.62x51 battle rifles in comparison other than the M1A/M1 Garand (30-06)?  I have heard a recommendation on the AR platform like a DPMS, but Boston's Gun Bible is dead set against them...  I haven't fired one, but from what I hear, they aren't too bad, especially if the gas system is adjusted for the ammo your shooting...

I think I would like to pick one up, so if anyone has any local sources for a FTF sale, I would appreciate it as well :-)

   newone, a good lesson to learn in life is that when an expert - like Boston - speaks, you listen.

   And it doesn't matter what you 'hear' anywhere else on the range, on the 'net, or wherever - unless you come across another 'expert' (not someone who says he's an "expert", but someone who can show you he's an expert, like Boston does in "Boston's Gun Bible").

   Nor should your standard in rifles be "aren't too bad".

   Not being critical at ya, here. Simply trying to impart some guidelines to decision-making. I see way too many people being influenced by some self-promoting yahoo on the 'net who likely doesn't know beans, but the 'net allows him to trumpet his [worthless] opinions to all and sundry.

    The 'net is a blessing, no doubt about it. But it can also be a curse, if you're not careful.

    PS: This post certified to not being made by a worthless internet yahoo, so you can trust the opinions contained herein. :) :)
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Offline posterboy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 09:31:45 AM »
I can add my 2 cents to the mix and share my experience with FALS

I shot my first rifle man score with a FAL. No doubt it is a fine rifle but as I got better and better I wanted more and I spent the money on an M1a like I should have in the first place. A FAL will never have the irons and trigger that a M14 / m1a can have. I shot my DSA SA58 ( sweet rifle btw) back to back with my loaded M1a at 500 yrds and it wasn't even close in the number of hits I got. Now this was MY experience..I could just hit easier with an M1a. I would also ask do you wear glasses ? because I do and my proper checkweld made that FAL rear sight hit my glasses no matter how I tried to lengthen the butt stock or get my glasses back. Pretty much a deal breaker right there for me. I pained me to sell it but I sold her to my 2nd cousin ..another appleseeder so it didn't hurt so bad.


hope this helps but you should shoot BOTH if you can. Buy it nice or buy it twice

pb

Offline ksuguy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 09:40:58 AM »
I have an M1A and several FAL's.   I prefer the FAL over the M1A for a few reasons.  

1.  They are cheaper.  However, the price difference isn't as great as it used to be.  FAL magazines are no longer $2, and the M14 magazines are no longer $75.  Fortunately I have a couple hundred of them stocked up.
2.  Easier to mount a scope.  
3.  Easier to clean since you can break the upper and lower apart,  no going in from the muzzle like the M1A.  Also makes it easier to break it down for transport.
4.  Looks cooler.  Yes, I know that's not a great reason.  :)
5.  Spare parts are easier to find, but neither rifle is really difficult in this area.
6.  Magazine changes are a little easier.

The M1A does offer better iron sights, but there are aftermarket replacements for the FAL that will fix that.  Some people also prefer the traditional stock on the M1A.   It really comes down to personal preference.  Either rifle will be fine for you, you just have to use both of them and see which one you like better.  

I wouldn't recommend a CETME or G3.  I have one of those too. It's accurate and reliable, but it suffers from poor ergonomics, mediocre sights, and it absolutely destroys brass so you won't be able to reload.


Offline Gordon

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 10:29:22 AM »
...
 I would also ask do you wear glasses ? because I do and my proper checkweld made that FAL rear sight hit my glasses no matter how I tried to lengthen the butt stock or get my glasses back.

...

Same experience re. glasses. (With the very same rifle, in fact --- PB's).


Offline ksuguy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 10:36:07 AM »
On the glasses thing, I have found that is an issue with the Austrian style straight profile stocks DSA uses.   If you have a humpback style stock like the Belgian or Imbel rifles, the problem goes away.

Offline dragonfly

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 10:59:14 AM »
Hey newone, M14/M1A O0 Boston's got it right, But if you know someone that has one ask to try it out  :~ . Thats the best way to know what work's for you. To me the M14 just feels right.

Good luck,
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Offline newone

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 11:52:42 AM »
Thanks everyone, I guess I should have started out by saying that my current Battle Rifle is a M1A loaded.  I have the rifle well setup and was hitting steel at 300 yards the first time we have shot at that range.  As an aside, the other gentleman also shooting an M1A was also hitting steel at 300, and I don't think the FAL was.  However, I have my M1A setup with a Sage MOD1 stock and modified to use a national match rear hooded site.  To setup another rifle this way is fairly $$, so I was thinking of going with a less expensive 2nd battle rifle in the FAL.

How many FAL owners out there regularly shoot a full range 300 + yards and reliably hit target without optics?

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Offline ksuguy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 12:21:40 PM »
I have only had a chance to shoot mine at long range a couple of times.  That was about 8 or 9 years ago before I had any instruction at appleseed and I was very new to shooting in general.

With iron sights and delinked malaysian MG ammo I was able to hit at 500 meters about half the time.  I'm sure I could do better now that I actually know how to shoot. 

The second time I tried with optics and I was able to hit almost every time.

If I wanted to go with iron sights, I would probably install an aftermarket thinner front post and one of those new rear sights that have adjustments like the M1A.

Offline posterboy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 12:27:15 PM »
I have my M1A setup with a Sage MOD1 stock and modified to use a national match rear hooded site.

  :o

well you've out FALed the FAL then ! hard to beat that set up. Yeah It's expensive. Ask me how I know lol  but like many things in life there is no "perfect" system especially in case of .308 battle rifles. If they could have bred the FAL and the M14 it would have been perfect off spring. Sounds like you need to go shoot some fals...see for yourself but from a SAGE to a fal ....that is a leap. I say stick with one system that way you won't have to buy two differents sets of parts mags etc...Get another M1a you can find them pretty reasonably used then you throw that one in the SAGE if your other rifle dies for some reason plus you have another set of parts to take off it it all else fails. Even w/o the SAGE it is still pretty darn sweet and functional.       

Again nothing wrong with the FAL..it's like arguing Blondes and Brunettes.

pb

Offline mtmisfit

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 12:31:27 PM »
I wouldn't recommend a CETME or G3.  I have one of those too. It's accurate and reliable, but it suffers from poor ergonomics, mediocre sights, and it absolutely destroys brass so you won't be able to reload.


Why do you say the G3 destroys brass? I have a PTR-91 and reload brass from it with no issues.  It looks bad after firing because of the fluted chamber but loads and shoots fine.

I have an FAL, PTR-91, DPMS in 7.62. I like the DPMS for accuracy, it is by far the most accurate. I like the PTR because it is not gas operated. Less trouble cleaning when shooting corrosive ammo or cast lead bullets. I got the FAL because I wanted one, it has been the most disappointing.  It's fun to shoot, has an adjustable gas system but is not as accurate as the PTR or DPMS. Yes it easily makes the 4moa with decent ammo but that's about it.

Being an NFA guy I would love to have a select fire M-14, G3 and FAL. The budget just won't allow that at this time.

300 yards isn't that far so most any decent rifle will do. As the distance gets further or the targets get smaller that's where you will see the difference in rifles.

When your usual targets are 3" wide by 9" tall at varying ranges (200 - 500+) 4moa targets are big.

Offline posterboy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 12:34:27 PM »
If I wanted to go with iron sights, I would probably install an aftermarket thinner front post and one of those new rear sights that have adjustments like the M1A.

Yes the hampton lower that has the A2 sight....but if you buy a decent FAL, get trigger work done, buy the hampton lower ($200).. for a couple hundred bucks more you can have a M1a

just saying ..again blondes and brunettes. What matters if it works for you and nothing else.

pb

Offline ksuguy

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 12:42:41 PM »
Why do you say the G3 destroys brass? I have a PTR-91 and reload brass from it with no issues.  It looks bad after firing because of the fluted chamber but loads and shoots fine.

Mine and every other one I've seen puts giant dents in the side of the cases and/or mangles the case mouth.   Not an issue if you are using berdan primed stuff, but it is a problem if you want to save reloadable brass.

Offline Old Dog

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 01:20:02 PM »
While its great to be able to shoot farther there are large parts of the country where 100 yds. is a long ways (things called trees, mountains, buildings get int the way :().  Folks get way to wound up in tiny little groups and spend piles of money trying to make a MBR into a match rifle.  Quite often they try to buy accuracy (only a certain amount of accuracy can be bought - most of it has to be earned/learned).

The FAL has a rear aperature sight - so does the M1A.  The FAL has a post front sight with protective ears - so does the M1A.  The FAL rear sight does not have a good easily adjustment for windage.  It has elevation adjustment that is repeatable.  One of the big issues is the rear sight is on the lower receiver and the front sight is on the barrel - so if the lockup of the two receiver halves is loose/sloppy you've got a problem.  

As far as scope mounts go...I've never had a single issue with my single point scope mount on my M1A in over 30 years (despite all the naysaying on the internet about single screw mounts).  The FAL uses mounts that clamp onto the sides of the upper receiver (I bought one but I've never been confident all those little screws will hold as the receiver halves are open/closed/open/closed since an the mount - which is also the action cover - makes contact with the lower receiver.)  I orignally bought a SUIT and mount for the FAL but the mount kept shooting loose on the cover so I gave up on it.

Triggers?  Man, I've "felt" some pretty lousey M1A triggers and the guys still shot rifleman scores with them.  Creepy, draggy, jerky..but we adapt and overcome and still hit the target.  However, a nice trigger is "nice".  I couldn't stand AR15 triggers when I started shooting them again a couple of years ago.  Now I accept them and just learn to shoot the rifle in spite of the trigger.

As some folks have already said.  Try to shoot both and make your decision based on what fits you and what you shoot best.  Good luck with whatever you end up with.  One of the often quoted things about FALs on the internet is something to the effect of about 90 countries (was it 90 or is that too high) adopted the FAL over its lifetime as a frontline military rifle.  If has to have some good things going for it for that to happen.

Oh, remember, too that the .308 is not as affected by wind as some cartridges with lighter bullets so most of the time you don't have much need for windage adjustments - unless you're shooting a long ways off on a windy day.  Those here that have shot full distance AQTs, did you take the time to make windage adjustments with those nice M1/M1A rear sights or just "hold off" a little?

What is that statement?  Something about "better is the enemy of good enough", or something to that effect.

Offline PHenry

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 01:27:17 PM »
Boston offers a lot of great info. I only disagree on a couple items and his disdain for the Armalite AR10 would be one. I know of a 16" version that is a "hand-held, tack-driving, cannon (has muzzle break). It has been through thousands of rounds without a single malf of any kind. Out of respect to K R's opinion, I ran 1100+ rounds through it without cleaning anything but bore (pics to prove it) and not a hick-up.

He must have got hold of a bad one. I cannot say good things about the DPMS version as I have seen a lot of malfs with them on line and at my local range - may be a mag issue - I don;t know the why, but the Armalite I know of personally runs flawlessly and I cannot say that about any other auto-loader I know about personally.

The Armalite AR10 I know about eats any ammo and with an Eotech and BUIS, is a force to be reckoned with - even in my hands.

I have never seen any significant problems with a properly built FN FAL either. The M1A is great, so long as it is well built and works well for normal sized men (tough on little guys like me - I prefer pistol grip).

That's my .02,
PH
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Offline 4 MOA or Bust

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2010, 01:29:48 PM »
Well, I was at the recent (very nice range) shoot in Ramah and the fellow next to me had an FN FAL.  It seemed to be a nice shooter, and Boston seems to highly recommend it next to the M1A. 

I was the FAL shooter.  :)

My FAL is a DS Arms SA58.

I bought it primarily based on two things:  1.  Boston's recommendations.  As Fred accurately points out, when an expert says something, you listen.  I did.  2.  Left hand controls.  I got sold on these from my Steyr USR.  It's just more natural to me to be able to work the action with your left hand.  Thus, FAL over M1A.

I was my first extensive experience shooting it.  I had previously put about 120 rounds through it indoors in two separate sessions.  Being out in the dust and wind at Ramah really sold me on it as a platform.  It works.

With that said, I did have some issues with it.  I had three failure to extracts.  Fortunately I had read up on FTEs over at the FAL Files (http://www.falfiles.com/forum) so I knew how to "pogo stick" the rifle to get the case to extract.  I was also having a devil of a time getting a decent cheekweld.  I think that's the reason I was so inconsistent with my groups.  Now that I'm home I'm going to do some more dry fire and see if I can resolve that.

I have the rifle well setup and was hitting steel at 300 yards the first time we have shot at that range.  As an aside, the other gentleman also shooting an M1A was also hitting steel at 300, and I don't think the FAL was.

The FAL wasn't hitting steel because I opted out of the steel shoot.  I made a very rookie mistake and didn't bring elbow pads or a shooting jacket that weekend.  My elbows were raw hamburger by the time we got to the steel shoot.  That's also why I didn't shoot the AQT for a score on Sunday afternoon.  Pain is a great teacher, and I've learned my lesson.

If you want to try out a FAL, I am happy to let you give it a go on mine.  Send me a private message and we can sort out the details.

Offline Thor's Hammer

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 01:33:49 PM »
I own a FAL. I've shot M1A's. I have arthritis, which makes my hand curl slightly, so rifles with op-rods don't agree with me. Both are great, but I don't like bleeding at my fingertips, my problem, not the rifle's.

The FAL does have major shortcomings in the sights department. With $$ this can be remedied. As far as hitting targets with iron or optic, I have both, I have never had a problem. My rifle strikes sub 1-MOA groups with both.

I was unfortunate to end up with a CAI with the Hesse receiver. Being a handy person, I remedied the shortcomings of the improperly machined receiver. No more problems now.

My ultimate suggestion is, get down on the line with one and form your own opinion.

TH
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Offline newone

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 01:42:35 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the feedback. 

@4 MOA or bust, thanks for the offer, and it was nice shooting next to you on the 25 yard line.  I didn't mean in any way to disparage your shooting skills, it was the only first hand exposure I have had to the FAL.  I know we had a few discussions about it over the weekend!  I hope to see you at another shoot soon  :)

On M1A rifles, has anyone owned both a Loaded and Scout?  I would be interested to hear firsthand opinions about how the rifles compare having different barrel lengths, and sight radius, especially at longer distances (300 - 500 yards) with iron sights.
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Offline 4 MOA or Bust

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2010, 01:50:16 PM »
@4 MOA or bust, thanks for the offer, and it was nice shooting next to you on the 25 yard line.  I didn't mean in any way to disparage your shooting skills, it was the only first hand exposure I have had to the FAL.  I know we had a few discussions about it over the weekend!  I hope to see you at another shoot soon  :)

No problem at all.  That's an open offer - no expiration.  :)  That's also true for anyone reading this; if you want to try a FAL, you're welcome to try mine.  It was great shooting next to you as well.

I saw no disparaging regarding my skills.  I just wanted to be sure you knew why I wasn't making hits on steel; it was simply because I wasn't shooting.  :)

I didn't shoot for a score, so I'm definitely coming back as soon as my schedule allows it.  I'll make sure to have proper elbow coverage the next time. ;)

Congrats on the orange hat BTW!

Offline henschman

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2010, 03:41:31 PM »
I don't know whether its just the sights or what, but M-14s are generally capable of better accuracy.  It's not that big of a deal if you're just talking about 500 yards and under, though. 

The only way to know which one you prefer is to buy both!!!   :---

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 03:46:35 PM »
I own a FAL. The FAL does have major shortcomings in the sights department. With $$ this can be remedied. As far as hitting targets with iron or optic, I have both, I have never had a problem. My rifle strikes sub 1-MOA groups with both.

Under Thor's tutelage I ended up purchased a DSA FAL after finding a used one for a price I just couldn't pass up.

Mine currently shoots low, but very consistent (I can cloverleaf groups of Paki ammo while slung up in prone). I'm working with DSA to get it tuned in (getting the appropriate front sight) and replace the rear sight with a Para with the knob-adjustable windage.

I bought mine for the simplicity and ruggedness of the design.  YMMV. O0


Offline colycat

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 11:37:37 PM »
Why can this post generate so many replies, when the call for instructors and students generates nothing.  Its really not about the shooting, guys, its about trying to restore the REPUBLIC, if you can.  Go here and post.

http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?board=320.0
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Offline newone

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2010, 12:26:17 AM »
hmm, well I guess thats off limits to me, so I can't post there...
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Offline colycat

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2010, 12:30:21 AM »
Not meant as a slight to you Newone.  There is business to be carried on at Appleseed.  Get the Orange hat and join us, OK?
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."   T Paine

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Offline NMMI9100

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Re: FN FAL
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2010, 12:40:10 AM »
Newone:

I bring both my FALs and my LRB M14 to Appleseeds...let folks try both out if they'd like.  I like both...I've got two FALs and one M14.  The M14 is clearly the superior rifle but it's expensive.  Mine cost about $2100 used.  But the sights are lovely.

An FAL is an excellent rifle and I love both of mine.  They're accurate enough to do the job out to 500 and you can get a nice one for $900 or so.

Try and find a M1A or LRB for $1000...you won't.  So if you want the best money can buy, capable of shooting out to 800 yards or so in a pinch, the M14 is a better choice.  But you'll be pretty darn dangerous with an FAL...mine will dish out plenty of pain out to 500 or 600 yards.

I would avoid the AR-308s.  They're not the battle rifle an FAL or an M14 or Garand is.

Now...back to bailing!  I've gotta load some 308 to take to Raton for another Appleseed next weekend.

-David
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