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Hi all. Falfiles take forever to activate my account (if it even ever happens at all) so i decided to ask folks here. i'm sure there are FAL aficionados on here as well.

I'm looking to pickup my first FAL. Probably metric - not sure why, but if my preference is misguided please do tell.
Outside of DSA making new rifles and being pretty out there as far as prices go, i do not consider them to be my first go-to place. Just for the budgetary reasons i lean towards used gun. preferably under $1k.

i've seen sub-1k prices on forums and GB but only thing that stops me is complete lack of knowledge on anything FAL. Since i'm not looking to get into hard-core FAL collecting and as far as i understand there is almost as many FAL variants out there as AKs (maybe more) i would rather ask for a competent opinion than spend days surfing forums and digging through crapload useless/irrelevant info.

basically my questions boil down to following:

1. which are good used FALs i should look for when searching in my price range?
2. which ones i should stay away from and why?
3. if i can have something really nice for a couple of hundred above my price range what could it be and what my first, second, third choices should be.
4. is there a version of century-built or imported FAL that doesn't suck?
5. i really like looks of Israeli FALs, these seem to have been showing up lately for reasonable price and people are talking but somehow i can't find any available. did i miss the boat?
6. if DSA ends up being my only option, is there anything i should know about DSA guns that may or may not be desirable, good, bad, etc.

thanks a bunch, y'all!
 

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Hi all. Falfiles take forever to activate my account (if it even ever happens at all) so i decided to ask folks here. i'm sure there are FAL aficionados on here as well.

I'm looking to pickup my first FAL. Probably metric - not sure why, but if my preference is misguided please do tell.
Outside of DSA making new rifles and being pretty out there as far as prices go, i do not consider them to be my first go-to place. Just for the budgetary reasons i lean towards used gun. preferably under $1k.

i've seen sub-1k prices on forums and GB but only thing that stops me is complete lack of knowledge on anything FAL. Since i'm not looking to get into hard-core FAL collecting and as far as i understand there is almost as many FAL variants out there as AKs (maybe more) i would rather ask for a competent opinion than spend days surfing forums and digging through crapload useless/irrelevant info.

basically my questions boil down to following:

1. which are good used FALs i should look for when searching in my price range?
2. which ones i should stay away from and why?
3. if i can have something really nice for a couple of hundred above my price range what could it be and what my first, second, third choices should be.
4. is there a version of century-built or imported FAL that doesn't suck?
5. i really like looks of Israeli FALs, these seem to have been showing up lately for reasonable price and people are talking but somehow i can't find any available. did i miss the boat?
6. if DSA ends up being my only option, is there anything i should know about DSA guns that may or may not be desirable, good, bad, etc.

thanks a bunch, y'all!
1. Like AKs. One with most foreign parts

2 Century made

3. SA 58

4. Nope! Well.... technically yes but those are hard to find. Century did import some semi auto rifles. I believe a bunch came in from Canada and theres been a few others.

5. Kinda. I forget who...DSA possibly....got a large batch of Israeli parts kits and built them into semi auto rifles. This was about 6 months ago.

6. NEW DSA are cast receivers. I've read mixed reviews on them and sometimes it's hard to tell whether or not someone just doesn't like it because it's not traditional or because there are functional issues.

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I have one I was debating on selling. It's all Argentinian (metric) semi auto. Only one caveat. It doesn't run. FCG is dead and it needs Argentinian specific parts. I was going to send it to Arizona Response Systems. Mark told me...."Any FAL* hammer/trigger/sear set can be used in an argy lower if the cross bar/rivet in front of the hammer is removed." I took it to a few gunsmiths but none are knowledgeable about FALs and don't want to chance F'ing something up. If you're confident in your abilities let me know. Assuming you live where it's legal
 

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If you can find a rifle built on an Imbel receiver buy that, look for the gear logo.

Imbel receivers were fetching $700 a few years ago but they are made under license in Brazil and are forged.

Older DSA receivers were forged but for many years now they have been cast. They had a problem with QC a while back but seem to have improved it recently.
 

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If you can find an all matching Stg-58 (Austrian FAL) with original barrel built on an Imbel (preferably gear logo) receiver for a good price grab it. Those Austrian barrels were some of the best and the buttstock design makes you a smaller silhouette in the prone position. The gas regulator configuration and shortened soldered gas tube are a definite improvement over the original design. The muzzle brake is also a grenade launcher.
Stay away from ANYTHING Century built!
Stick with metric pattern since they are most prevalent for parts interchangeability. Only the Brits, Canadians and Aussies produced inch pattern FALS. Yes, yes, I know the Indians had a FrankenFAL made up of both inch and metric, but I wouldn't hit a dog in the ass with one. If you can't score an Austrian, try and find an all Argentine or Brazilian. I won't mention an original Belgian unless you've got deep pockets. I would stay away from the Rhodesian kit built Fals since the majority I've seen were pretty much beat to fuck. PM me if you've got questions---I've got a few Fals:wink:
 

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I feel like DSA problems are like L88 corvettes, everyone had one or their buddy did even though there were ever only a handful. I wouldn’t be opposed to DSA if that’s what my budget limited me to as opposed to a preban or nice kit build. If you do, try and get one through Atlantic, and then you’ll be covered by their customer service and you’ll have DSAs warranty.
 

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You don't need a membership to read on the FalFiles. Use a Google search and end your terms with falfiles.com. Works a lot better than the board's search engine.
There's tons of info there, as you may have guessed. Finding it can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. Look over the stickies in all the forums, there's lots of info there alone.
Many of the questions you are asking take years of experience to understand and pages to try to explain. For instance, some DSA rifles suck while others are very sought after and command a premium. Complete 180 of an answer to the question above.
Another example: "Your best FAL will be a kit build on an IMBEL receiver." Again, can be true or can be a giant disaster, you need to know what to look for and that takes pages to explain, trial and error to understand. Few people will be patient enough to type it all out and then also answer the long line of questions that are likely to follow.
My advice is 1) don't get in a hurry to buy your first FAL, 2) use google to search topics you are interested in on the Files, 3) wait on your membership to be approved.
In the meantime you can ask specific questions here if you like. Down in the basement is an FN FAL forum that some of us check on periodically, more often if it's active. Put direct and specific questions there and someone will answer.

Finally, if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket and want to buy now, search out something that's coined as being built by a named gunsmith or company that's very recognizable. Come here with a link to your ad or provide as much information as you possibly can, with pics and we'll help you out. And be prepared to up your max price a little. People who have professionally built rifles generally know what they have and charge accordingly.
 

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You can build one, but I doubt you will come in under 1K. Metric is the best choice, and like JR pointed out, Austrian is one of the best, if not the best. Try looking around to see what people have for sale, because sometimes great deals pop up, especially from the FAL collectors that have 4-10 examples. If your not sure, ask your questions here because lots of us like that original old black rifle.
 

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It took me years to track down what I wanted in a FAL, and that was in the good old days. I'm not sure you're going to be able to swing a sub 1k gun that's worth a damn, but you could get lucky. Like with AKs now you have to be careful about military barrels vs US made ones.
 

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There are some very interesting FALs on GB and look to be fairly priced. One seller has multiple versions.

Several years ago when the SCAR hit a bunch of folks sold their FALs to get one. It seems with more .308 options the Fals has been some what under valued.

If you can bring your budget up to $1500 there are many nice examples to be had.
 

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There are some very interesting FALs on GB and look to be fairly priced. One seller has multiple versions.

Several years ago when the SCAR hit a bunch of folks sold their FALs to get one. It seems with more .308 options the Fals has been some what under valued.

If you can bring your budget up to $1500 there are many nice examples to be had.
Spot on. If your looking to build or buy and get quality, $1500 is about right. I'll also add the fact that 7.62x51 is a bit more expensive, and unless you can afford to stockpile 1K rounds plus more for range sessions, then what's the point? Think of a battle rifle like you would think of a sports car, if you have to ask how much insurance, maintenance and fuel is going to cost, you probably can't afford it.
 
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I haven't seen a decent FAL or SLR for under a $1000 in several years. You might get lucky and find one of the Canadian made "L1A1" Sporter rifles built for Century on Imbel receivers but they are getting harder to find anymore because people want the forged receivers.

One of my best shooting FAL rifles is a DSA Stg58. I believe it has a US made barrel and it's built on the older forged "DS" serial number receiver. It's great fun shooting steel at the 200 and 300 yd ranges. I bought it new from DSA and had some minor issues with it. First, the DSA fire control group was out of spec and caused the hammer to follow the bolt carrier resulting in doubling and no trigger reset. After they fixed that, I was shooting and the receiver latch lever broke in half and fell out onto the bench. I guess they ran out of military surplus parts and starting making MIM parts. Besides those two issues, the rifle has been fantastic over the last 12 years.

 
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On the subject of cast vs. forged receivers, you probably won't know the difference. The forged receivers are stronger, but a quality cast receiver should be strong enough, especially for semi-auto only. I have a Springfield M1A with a cast receiver and it has been an excellent shooter over many years. Very accurate and 100% reliable so far. The scope mount fit perfectly so the dimensions must be good.

 

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Here's an example of the CAI L1A1 Sporter rifles after having the thumbhole stock replaced with some Australian wood and after re-threading and keying the muzzle.


 

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On the subject of cast vs. forged receivers, you probably won't know the difference. The forged receivers are stronger, but a quality cast receiver should be strong enough, especially for semi-auto only. I have a Springfield M1A with a cast receiver and it has been an excellent shooter over many years. Very accurate and 100% reliable so far. The scope mount fit perfectly so the dimensions must be good.

What does "many years" equal in rounds? Not trying to sound like an ass but I know too many people who claim their guns are great over many many years but once you get to the bottom of it it turns out they barely ever shot. Physical ownership does not translate to quality. Ask my dad about his gun.... excellent quality.... excellent function.... never a problem. Ask him how many rounds and in 20 years it's one mag! Literally ..ONE mag! That means on avg he shoots less than ONE round a year
 

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FALs and all their variations can be so hit and miss. Many times one that looks horrible can easily be turned into a great shooter.

I bought an Imbel receiver SA-58 made by Century. Not only were there no part numbers that matched, but I had to be careful buying replacement parts as it was a nice mix of inch and metric. The receiver was an inch pattern, which when I bought it wasn't a problem. As to the part numbers not matching, I went over the rifle carefully and found the Century two piece op-rod was not straight, which could explain why I got it for a great price. A call to Tapco back in the days when they sold to the public purchased a one piece rod and a couple of other parts and I wound up with a very reliable and super accurate shooter. I have no problem holding a 4 inch group at 100 yards using the iron sights, while standing! I can't imagine how accurate it would shoot with younger eyes!

I write the above to let you know that diamonds in the rough are out there. Learn as much as you can so you can tell whether an all numbers matching is really a good buy, or one like mine with no numbers matching but a tiny bit of work to make it a great buy! Your question here is a great start.


EDIT -Sorry for the confusion about the name of my rifle as I hadn't had it out of the safe in about 15 years. It is a Century built Centurion 58. While Century is known for building junk, every now and then they get one right, and I bought that one.
 

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SA58 is a DSA designation and are all metric. You won't fine a DSA SA58 with L1A1 parts. You won't find a DSA SA58 with an IMBEL receiver. You won't find a DSA SA58 made by Century. You won't find a DSA SA58 on an "inch pattern" IMBEL receiver. I think you may be confused.

Two piece pistons were junk, Tapco did sell a one piece stainless unit that was good to go and found their way into many a home build.
 

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Ha! That's a very good point, Arik. I'm the second owner of the M1A and it was "like new" when I bought it. I suppose it has less than 1000 rounds through it. I've put hundreds down the pipe, not thousands. Still, I would expect any casting flaws to show up pretty quick.
 
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