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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well... I went back to the next gunshow and this time I was looking around for a rifle I've wanted for quite some time. The FAL rifles struck me as being a potent and robust rifle I could get my use out of and would make things more interesting since I'd now have both the communist Kalashnikov and the "Free World's Right Arm." I'd been looking at what seemed to be an inch pattern L1A1 for while but it was sold by now and I was sort of lost, going about the show hoping to find a decent deal on a similar rifle. For $600, I ended up with a rather unique piece that I'm pretty excited about, but I'm still yet to take it out and shoot it. I thought I'd look for some friendly advice and/or shared experiences with such rifles since that's what I usually do when I get a new gun that I'm just getting aquainted with.

http://img238.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mewithl1a15cl.jpg

Good grief, I look like a bum. Anyways, it's a kit rifle built from what he called a "Steyr parts kit" which I really don't how to determine the manufacture of it's individual components to say that this is true but.. okay. The lower reciever is about identical to that of an STG58 which I've seen in pictures.

http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fallower6eh.jpg

The reciever is by PAWS ( Police Automatic Weapons Service ) based out of Salem Oregon, and I've neither heard nor read very much about them but on close inspect it seems to be a pretty solid steel reciever with pretty clean cuts and the tollerances seem correct ( or at least very close ). There's nothing that catches or binds or shows any of the buldges and sloppy machine work that plague some. I won't brag on it until I've put it into action but it looks like a quality product. At least it's something different than the sea of Imbels, Century Arms, DSA, etc.

Basically it's an inch rifle but it has some metric components mixed in. A FAL collector would probably be dismayed at such, but personally I don't mind so long as everything works. And being that the FAL has had such a long history in so many countries, it seems neat to me to have a gun that brings together the inch and metric components with attributes from both rifles. For instance I like the more slanted and smooth pistol grip on this rifle as opposed to the rather squarish one on many L1A1's. But I do like the finger grooves in the carry handle more than the old style ones. And in general, I like the L1A1 the best which is basically what this rifle is although it has the metric charging handle with a rather odd shiney aluminum knob that looks a bit out of place on a black rifle but... it's character, right? I could always replace that with the more proper folding inch pattern version.

I really just like the FAL with iron sights, though this one does have the QD Pro scope mount that replaces the standard dust cover. I'm probably going to have someone look at my rifle before I make any major changes such as having it finished over to match and such. But I would like to have the standard cover to switch out for the scope mount and perhaps have a rather simple sighting system mounted to it so I can have it as a optional slide-on, slide-off type deal. I'm not too concerned with extremely long range accuracy, but at some point I'll determine what it's capable of.

The muzzle attachment seems to be a military flash hider with the bayonet lug so I'll probably leave that be and get a bayonet for it. It seems like parts for these rifles aren't too pricey, which is sort of surprising since it strikes me as being a "fancy" gun, at least compared to my AK. But, really it's a robust and fairly simple weapon and I'm really impressed with it's design, though with the return spring being in the buttstock, I'm curious as to how they pull off those folding stocks and FAL pistols I've seen. I take it there's a more compact spring mechanism designed to be used inside the reciever.

Oh, and my bolt catch seems to work but I have metric magazines and I guess it requires the correct inch pattern mags to lock back the bolt after the last shot.

Some things I'm curious about, does anyone know any good sights on the FAL? I've only found a handful and sometimes I can't find the parts for sale that I want. I figured out which way the gas plug had to be turned to fire and which way was the grenade position, since it was another one of those things that I couldn't find explained for me. The gas setting goes from 0 to 11and I have it on 6, since from what I read it says they seem to work well between 7 and 5 but I'll just have to see once I shoot it. I know the magazine loads kinda tight so you absolutely must let the bolt slam shut hard on it's own when chambering a round or it'll jam every time, which you should do with any semi-auto ( though there's many guns with which you could get away with riding the bolt forward without but the FAL simply isn't one of them.) It seems like a gun that likes it rough and takes some strength to operate like my M1 Garand. It does a real number on the shell casings it ejects, too.

It's a vicious weapon in a civilized sort of way. Just my kinda girl. :right:
 

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It does appear you may have a FrankenFal...Need to see some closeups of the bottom of the receiver and the gas system/flash hider( it looks like an Inch pattern Slotted from what I can see) and do you know which Barrel you have ??? The Steyr hammer forged Barrels are the best I have seen so far besides a Heavy Barrel, All in all, The rifle Looks Nice and I too have never heard of that Receiver, who knows ! Congrats
p.s. I Love My STG 58 !
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
http://img47.imageshack.us/my.php?image=falparts3js.jpg

I put together a mess of a picture of some of the different parts of the gun. I didn't have time to label anything so, at the top is the rifle taken apart and to the right is the flash hider, below that the magazine well and the gas system, the inside of the reciever, and the numbers on the side of the barrel though they don't show up too good. I can get some better pictures of a part in particular, of course the gun has a lot of numbers and such and I'm not sure what they all mean and what the brand names and such are. He said it was a Steyr barrel, but I don't know the markings to see if it is or not.

I had remembered seeing your STG58 in your pictures before, Mooseman. I'm not sure if I mentioned wanting a FAL then or not. I also saw one of those Cetme rifles at the show for around $500 but I stuck with the "FrankenFal" I think the pictures said you built the STG58 yourself? It's always helpful when someone's had an in-depth look at the rifle so I know I can get an expert's opinion. I didn't show the magazine's well's slot in the front but it's wide and goes all the way across so it's an inch pattern. I just have metric mags because it came with one and when I went to find a spare, I naturally got another one like what it came with that fit tightly enough.
 

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Yessir, You have an STG58 lower, what appears to be a Steyr Barrel( hard to reaallly Tell) but an Inch Upper, what appears to be an Inch Gas system and an L1A1 flash hider ! I have the same cover/scope mount on mine and I used High see thru mounts to use the Peep sights as well...The Peeps are a very good set of sights, so try them before you think about changing them ! The Aluminum Knob is kinda Gaudy, Mine is Black Plastic! You can Coat that though! Let me know how it shoots when you try it !
Yes I built Mine from parts , Primarily STG58 with compliant stuff ! But, I stayed with Metric !
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm glad I was right for the most part. It may be a hybrid but I like the combination. The STG58 is the legendary FN FAL so it's nice to have a part of that in my rifle. I think that's why at the gunshow a gentlemen looking at my rifle seemed awfully surprised. I think he thought I got lucky. But then he was like "OH..that's an L1A1!" But I suppose with the metric parts it's not so obvious at first. That's why when my friend asked me if I had an inch or metric I was sort of confused as to how to explain it. But basically, being an inch reciever it's an L1A1 at heart. I take it the STG58 lower is metric.. since as far as I know all the early Belguim-made FAL's were metric. Would my barrel be considered metric by being a Steyr? What makes the barrels the best? Are they the most accurate? The barrel was a big part of me taking the rifle as it was, since I did check the bore before I even considered it and it was shiney and sharp so I thought it seemed like a decent investment. The FAL enthusiast who looked at my rifle before I left even seemed to be interested in buying it. It got a lot of attention in just my first 30 minutes of owning it. Actually, I had my little sister carry it around for me for awhile!

And I like the peep sights just fine. I grew to like the sights on my old Enfield and on this rifle the sights are just as easy to see, though the peep-hole is perhaps just a little smaller. So, I don't plan to change very much but it might be nice to clean the rifle up sometime with a new matching finish, perhaps that nice "satin black" HK color. The stocks don't look it, but they have quite a few stratches and dings so if I refinished it, I'd have to get a nice set of furniture to complete the look.
 

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The Steyr Barrels Are the Best by far ! Hammer forged and Accurate ! Yes the lower is Metric, and if that is a Steyr Barrel it should be Metric as well but lots of parts interchange, But mainly the Magazines are different, Is Your bolt Slotted with "Sand Cuts" or just Smooth ?
Tapco may still Have the Stock Set like I have with the Hook In it .They have some Regular ones too.
http://www.tapco.com/product_list.asp?dept=121&last=115
If you are interested!
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My bolt has the sand cuts. I noticed it and asked the guy what they were because I'd never noticed them on FALs before. He said it was "sand clearance" so I figured it was something added on later models to allow room for grit. And I've seen those buttstocks before. Those are modeled after the M249. I'd probably just stick with an L1A1 configuration. I want the same style stocks I have but just black and smooth and without the scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nah, I didn't get a cleaning kit but the bottom of the pistol grip is hollow and I was kinda wondering what went in there. I didn't notice until recently that they had those cleaning kits that fit in there. I want to get a regular dust cover and a bayonet for it, two other things I haven't seen for sale yet. Or well I may have seen the bayonet listed in the Shotgun News... hm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The ammo I bought for this thing was awfully cheap and said to be "NATO". The boxes hold 10 and marked "CARTON SA" "O.F.V. 1973" and of course 7.62mm NATO BALL, M-80, etc. and in red numbers it seems to be dated 29-7-74. So this stuff was made in the 70's? The brass looks old, but so does that Korean 30-06 I have and it shoots great. I got this stuff for $1 a box of 10... 200 rounds for $20. I paid the guy and ran. Now I wish I'd bought more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I went shooting today and of course, I'm having a problem. The FAL goes off with a blast that rivals my M1 Garand. Unfortunately, the gun doesn't cycle at all, no matter how I set the gas. The grenade launching mode is not turned on and the gas plug is set open like it should be and the bolt doesn't come back whether the gas is set 11 or 0. Nothing. The spent round stays in the chamber and the hammer remained uncocked. I took out the gas piston and the plug and cleaned things up a bit and I could tell gas was getting to the piston, but the action isn't opening. I'd have to pull back really hard to get the bolt back and eject the spent case. I took everything apart and I couldn't find anything wrong. The action worked manually works fine and everything's lubed and slick. I fired it in every possible gas setting and the action doesn't budge. ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hm... well I feel dumb asking but, how do I get it unplugged? Even with the gas plug and piston out, I can hardly see the hole.
 

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Very stiff wire small diameter , Remove the front gas plug, remove the piston, Go in from the front where the gas plug was and down thru into the barrel, A stiff pipe cleaner may work, or a small bent paper clip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've got a small wire I pushed through there and it went through like nothing was in the way. I'm not seeing anything falling out..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I shined a light down the bored and peaked through the little port behind the gas adjustment dial and I can see through to the bore. I'd thought I rammed a very skinny nail through those ports and reached through the gas port before I went back to shoot it again and still nothing worked.
 

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The Only other thing would be installing the gas plug in wrong and cutting off the flow of gas to the piston ! make sure the gas piston will protrude thru the receiver to activate your Bolt carrier, The FAL is noted for its Reliable gas system, so something is not right!
I posted pics of the Gas plug positioning at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mooseman684-guns/

Rich
 
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