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L1A1, etc...

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by bigwheel, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. bigwheel

    bigwheel G&G Newbie

    Thinking serious about buying one of the L1A1's or CETME, or the like from SOG or Century. Some say that they are junk and loaded with problems associated with the aftermarket reciever and Century's stellar assembly process. Does anyone have one of these gems? Any horror or happy stories?
  2. Bigwheel,
    I've got an older Century L1A1, built with an inch kit on a metric receiver. It looks ok now after I replaced the lower, the dust cover and the furniture and installed an FSE kit to make it legal. Not a real efficient use of my time or money, I think. In contrast, my brother-in-law bought a new Century CETME last summer; had to send the first one back because it was a real POC, and is now very happy with the one they sent in replacement. It's been reliable, accurate and good looking, though not up to HK finish standards. All in all not a bad deal considering what it cost him. So I guess if you go with Century you pays your money and takes your chances. Might be better to save up a little more and buy a DSA Fal.
    Hal Beatty

  3. I have a CETME with a 5000-series serial. It has the cast stainless receiver, and is a reliable and accurate rifle, when the magazine fits correctly. Recoil is minimal, but the damned thing is LOUD because of the ATF-appeasing muzzle brake. I had a few problems early on with mags that weren't locking solidly in place, and would fall out when a shot was fired. Fortunately this is easily fixed. Mags are cheap at, and will allegedly fit the HK as well. Some HK mags will also "lock" in my rifle, but I haven't actually bought one to try in live fire. The wood on my CETME had lots of scratches and was pretty rough, but some sandpaper, steel wool and tung oil helped alot there. The bolt and other parts were "used" but in great shape. Bore looked pristine. I can already see that spare parts will be a challenge to find in the future, and the parts kits that are for sale lately are pretty rough, I hear. They seem to be nearing the bottom of the barrel parts-wise on these guns. I saw a few nice CETMEs at a gun show here a few weeks back, and my advice would be to try a show, rather than buy a pig-in-a-poke with CAI. I ordered from SOG through an FFL, and think I made out pretty well, but your milage may vary. My advice if you order one is to make sure it lives up to your expectations (and their representations), and if it doesn't, send it back and demand they make it right. You want to make it clear to them that it is definitely in their best interests to make you happy. Short version: B***h till they fix it. I bought a CETME because I like the wood, and because CETME was the ORIGINAL G-3 design, not a "HK contract gun" as some claim. Beware, Century's "new type stamped receiver" has been getting lambasted on the boards of late, everyone seems to agree the cast stainless one is far better.

    My two cents


    "A good plan executed now, is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - Patton
  4. Tinman

    Tinman G&G Newbie

    DirtyThirty...........have you seen the camo CETME. Actually looked very nice at the gun show. What was your accuracy at 100 yards?
  5. Bigwheel, my comp glitched just now and I lost all I sent. Well here it is all again. I have a Metric L1A1 with a CSI reciever, It works well/shoots great/will knock the head off a bowling pin at 100 yards. My only compaint was it had the "wrong" OP's slide. The one it had on it had dented the rails a little(found this out when I tried to install the correct one) Well worth the lolly ya know. Check out the shows and be able to look at what you buy...
  6. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    CETME/G3 feedback

    Be prepared to pay about $500 for a respectable .308 semi. I would recommend a G3 clone over a CETME because parts are much easier to replace and as I understand, the rifle is easier to take apart. Sure the CETME is original, but I think the G3 is an improvement. Plus, not all CETMEs are on the same specs.

    If you want to go the route of a FAL, I've seen a very respectable looking L1A1 at a recent gun show for $450, which is a decent price for one you can check out before you buy and avoid shipping/transfer fees. I paid $500 for my G3 used, but it had a wide forearm and extra mags and case.

    As far as deciding between G3/CETME and FAL/L1A1, pick a few up and see what you like. FAL is gas operated, G3 is recoil operated. FAL is normally more accurate, G3 can survive worse elements (mud, etc). Parts and accessories are more common and less expensive for FAL. It also has an adjustable gas valve. And oh yeah, the G3 has the nastiest charging handle I've ever used. It takes a real man to crank it. Don't get me wrong, I love the G3, got a 1.5" group last saturday with match ammo... But it's not for everyone. It'll just keep firing when everyone elses clogs up.

    Shop around:
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2002
  7. REM 303, I've never heard of a metric L1A1, you must have a real rare FN. I do remember the original field trial C1 (the Canadian L1A1 type) and they were Herstal built metric FNs; but they were never general issue and were withdrawn, deactified and issued to cadet units as DPs. Perhaps you have one of those???

    Bigwheel I have agree with Battlerifle G3, look, taste and smell the two different rifles, I prefer the L1A1/FAL myself; but she carries quit a kick. I don't agree with G3 with regards to the assessment of the L1A1 and mud. I've had some pretty heavy grit in the one I carried, and everytime I wanted a round down range, she would deliver, and normally on target, well as close as a tired pongo who was wet, dirty, smelly and hungery could get to being on target.
  8. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    I've heard of dirt being piled into a G3, FAL, and M14, then shaken through the action. All three were fired, G3 kept firing. Also, it's harder for dirt to get into the action of a G3, there's less exposed. Glad to hear FALs hold up though. I'd like to get one some day and have fun with it (in engineerese, that means change all kinds of stuff).
  9. Don, I bought this rifle from my local gunshop. Metric mags are the only ones that fit and funtion. I have a book that shows all kinds/types of FN-Fals. the configureation that mine is in closely resembles the Canadian verson. Is there some numbers/markings/ECT I can look for? Like i said in the other post it is all on a CSI reciever, probably a "parts" kit put together. Please let me know.
  10. REM 303: It sounds like you have a metric FAL or perhaps an Indian FAL/L1A1 or at least a metric reciever. The Canadian FNs serial # were 1LXXXX to 8LXXXX with manufature dates of 1959-1968, all built at Long Branch. The early field trial FALs (C1) were metric FALs without the slotted tube flash eliminator and had the large knob charging handle instead of the folding handle. All C1A1s were issued with the charger guide body cover, the breach block carrier did not have the sand groves and the breech holding open device worked on the final round. I hope this helps.
  11. I'm like Hal & have an older Century L1A1 inch pattern with Imbel metric receiver. the finish isn't too hot but is accurate & shoots good without any problems so far.
  12. I have a CIA L1A1 i bought about 2 months ago and I've ran 500 rounds through her for familiarization. Not a kink or flaw yet that i can find, no jams, or otherwise unsettling functions. Luck i reckon....