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Scholar & Shooter
11-27-2011, 3:01 PM
Hi everyone. I've lurked here for some time and have finally decided to join.

Like many people, I'm somewhat confused by the assault weapons ban. As I understand it, it's perfectly legal to build your own AR type rifle with "evil features" included, as long as you include a bullet-button or other magazine lock and a 10 round magazine.

If I am correct regarding the above, is there a similar method for building a CA-compliant FAL?

Richard Erichsen
11-27-2011, 3:18 PM
Hi everyone. I've lurked here for some time and have finally decided to join.

Like many people, I'm somewhat confused by the assault weapons ban. As I understand it, it's perfectly legal to build your own AR type rifle with "evil features" included, as long as you include a bullet-button or other magazine lock and a 10 round magazine.

If I am correct regarding the above, is there a similar method for building a CA-compliant FAL?

The old way to do a FAL was with a stripper clip top cover and a fixed (usually screwed in) 10 round magazine. Now the options include bullet button with 10 round magazine but all the "evil" features you can heap on it, or going featureless with pre-ban 20 round mags and a grip strap from Solar Tactical or of your own making. I went the grip strap route, I hate bullet buttons.

In addition to the usual CA compliance bits, if you are building from a kit, there is the Federal 922r to keep in mind, but it's not hard to meet with a little planning. My FCG is all US made (Falcon), US furniture and a US gas piston so I can keep pretty much everything else original.

Go to FALFiles for more details on FAL building and interesting problems you may find with your FAL along the way.

R

BHPFan
11-27-2011, 6:03 PM
The old way to do a FAL was with a stripper clip top cover and a fixed (usually screwed in) 10 round magazine. Now the options include bullet button with 10 round magazine but all the "evil" features you can heap on it, or going featureless with pre-ban 20 round mags and a grip strap from Solar Tactical or of your own making. I went the grip strap route, I hate bullet buttons.

In addition to the usual CA compliance bits, if you are building from a kit, there is the Federal 922r to keep in mind, but it's not hard to meet with a little planning. My FCG is all US made (Falcon), US furniture and a US gas piston so I can keep pretty much everything else original.

Go to FALFiles for more details on FAL building and interesting problems you may find with your FAL along the way.

R

+1 :hurray:

Regarding the Federal 922r for Compliance parts, you need minimum of 7 US made parts. These US made parts can be:
Furniture (3 parts: stock, pistol grip and hand guard)
HTS (3 parts: Hammer, Trigger and Sear)
and
either Gas Piston (1 part) and/or barrel (1 part) and/or Muzzle Brake (1 part).

I'm not certain if the US made Bolt Carrier as well as US made Bolt can be considered Compliance parts, but DSA mentions that they certainly are for their complete Para lower receivers.

zfields
11-27-2011, 6:06 PM
FWIW bolt carriers are considered on AK style weapons.

Scholar & Shooter
11-27-2011, 9:05 PM
Thanks a lot guys for the great information! I'll keep you posted on what I decide to do!

crazychinaman
11-28-2011, 6:37 AM
It is easier/cheaper to buy a Fal than build one.Unless you have the rights tools (receiver block,head space gauges,extra parts).I know my friend used to build them for a living .He built all 7 of mine.If you buy the recivers,buy Imbel or DSA. Do not buy Entreprise arms or century if you are going to buy one..

Dirtbiker
11-28-2011, 6:43 AM
I just picked up a kit myself and I'm slowly working my way towards putting one together. DSA has type I and II receivers on sale right now for FAL files members. Go there and sign up.

-hanko
11-28-2011, 7:39 AM
I've done a dozen-plus for me and a bunch for others.

First, get ye to the FAL Files and do your homework.

I'd rate receivers first-to-last as DSA if you want a type i or ii receiver, Imbel with DSA second if you're needing a type iii. Coonan also does good work, and the BS about cast v. forged is a non-issue with the FAL.

I'd avoid Entreprise...yeah, their in CA and local to some; yeah, they have a lifetime guarantee but with "quality" all over the place it's the only thing that might keep them in business...that's their rep over the last 5-6 years and it hasn't changed. IF you get a working weapon from them it should continue to work, so a used shooter might be viable. Resale value will bite compared to DSA/Imbel/Coonan.

The best non-factory guns I've ever seen and shot come from ARS;).

-hanko

Richard Erichsen
11-28-2011, 9:24 AM
+1 :hurray:

Regarding the Federal 922r for Compliance parts, you need minimum of 7 US made parts. These US made parts can be:
Furniture (3 parts: stock, pistol grip and hand guard)
HTS (3 parts: Hammer, Trigger and Sear)
and
either Gas Piston (1 part) and/or barrel (1 part) and/or Muzzle Brake (1 part).

I'm not certain if the US made Bolt Carrier as well as US made Bolt can be considered Compliance parts, but DSA mentions that they certainly are for their complete Para lower receivers.

BHPFan,

I ended up with 9 when I bought a short muzzle brake, but compared to barrels and other parts, it was a low cost item and above and beyond the minimums. The bolt and bolt carrier count as well, but I got an original "sand cuts" carrier and fit the bolt into it - they fit perfectly. Bolt carriers and bolts cost a lot more than the other parts, probably second only to a quality original barrel. Of the barrels out there, the StG58 barrels are probably the best in terms of quality and consistency with some improvement in accuracy possible if you do your part.

1) Receiver (DSA forged type 1 without carry handle cut)
2) Furniture (DSA sourced) a. pistol grip b. buttstock c. handguards
3) FCG parts (Falcon sourced) a. hammer b. sear c. trigger
4) DSA "short" muzzle brake
5) gas piston (Falcon sourced)

To the OP:

In my case, the lower is from an incomplete mixed serials G1 kit, with an excellent StG58 21" barrel. I bought all new springs (also Falcon Arms sourced), extended length selector (DSA) and a top cover rail (also DSA), upgraded rear A2 style aperature sight (yep, DSA) and a KNS front dual-crosshair sight). Frankly, there isn't much left in a "kit" if you go low cost replacements for 922r compliance. I just bought a stripped lower and a barrel and some small parts knowing everything else would probably be US sourced.

I'll probably be sending my FAL to ARS in a couple months for fitting an L1A1 mag catch (it's a frankenstein anyway, why not?) and apply Metacol III surface treatment to it. The L1A1 catch is a bit larger and easier to manipulate, though it will take other modifications to reliably seat the L1A1 magazines (not a goal at the moment), whereas any L1A1 can seat FAL metric mags as well.

The FAL is a great rifle and while it will never be a sub MOA weapon neither is a typical hunting rifle bagging game year after year. Take care of it and it will last a lifetime. Enjoy it!

R

Richard Erichsen
11-28-2011, 9:36 AM
It is easier/cheaper to buy a Fal than build one.Unless you have the rights tools (receiver block,head space gauges,extra parts).I know my friend used to build them for a living .He built all 7 of mine.If you buy the recivers,buy Imbel or DSA. Do not buy Entreprise arms or century if you are going to buy one..

Very true and agree - AVOID Entreprise for any but the most low-brow work on your weapon and avoid their receivers (poor QC by most accounts). DSA is running a promo at $310 each to FALFiles members, a process which takes 5 minutes to complete.

For a good rifle with a warranty, buy from DSA with confidence. Build it if you want to know it inside and out, which has it's own reward. The tools are a bit costly to do assembly, but you can usually borrow one from a local FALFiles member or find a semi-local gunsmith to put one together for you for about $160-200.

To the OP, my rifle cost about $1400 to create, but that's not typical and involved some negotiation, some deals on auction sites and some clearance items that don't come up much. More often it's a $1600+ proposition. DSA sells comparable rifles for $1500 or so, so while you won't save much, if any money, you can also build one for a comparable cost if you are comfortable doing most of your own troubleshooting and repairs yourself. If your yankering for a FAL is just for fun, buy one. If you want to understand the rifle intimately and enjoy the build process itself, buy the tools and build several to make your investment in tooling make sense.

R

-hanko
11-28-2011, 12:19 PM
I'll probably be sending my FAL to ARS in a couple months for fitting an L1A1 mag catch (it's a frankenstein anyway, why not?) ...
R
The Brit mag catch is a drop-in, but you'll need a Brit mag catch screw and (iirc) a Brit spring.;)

-hanko

Richard Erichsen
11-28-2011, 2:43 PM
The Brit mag catch is a drop-in, but you'll need a Brit mag catch screw and (iirc) a Brit spring.;)

-hanko

Hanko,

I've got the spring and catch, but I haven't found the screw yet. I'll check Sacrco and Numrich's again. If I can't find one there, do you have one?

R

Monticore
12-05-2011, 1:34 PM
I decided to use this thread to pose a question since my situation is similar to the OP (getting a foot in the door of the FAL world. I hope you don't mind OP!

I've seen the "So you want to build an AR15..." guide, but is there a similar resource for the FAL?

I have a kit, and will be buying a working rifle, and want to make sure both are good to go before I start the process for each.

I have the kit and saw that a few of the pieces have matching serial numbers.
How many parts should I look for the number to match?

How can you tell if it's an STG58 or a G1? To me the lower half looks the same.

Since I'm scatter-brained at work I'll throw these out for now.

Thanks.

Richard Erichsen
12-05-2011, 2:54 PM
I decided to use this thread to pose a question since my situation is similar to the OP (getting a foot in the door of the FAL world. I hope you don't mind OP!

I've seen the "So you want to build an AR15..." guide, but is there a similar resource for the FAL?

I have a kit, and will be buying a working rifle, and want to make sure both are good to go before I start the process for each.

I have the kit and saw that a few of the pieces have matching serial numbers.
How many parts should I look for the number to match?

How can you tell if it's an STG58 or a G1? To me the lower half looks the same.

Since I'm scatter-brained at work I'll throw these out for now.

Thanks.

Head over to the FALfiles for the questions above. There are a number of tutorials, pics of upper and lower receivers, stocks and the likes to help identify where parts from a mixed kit may have come from and the differences between the (G1 prototype) BSG, G1, StG58 (Austrian licensed FAL), the British inch pattern L1A1 and the standardized metric FN FAL models.

Good luck.

R

Monticore
12-05-2011, 3:05 PM
Head over to the FALfiles for the questions above. There are a number of tutorials, pics of upper and lower receivers, stocks and the likes to help identify where parts from a mixed kit may have come from and the differences between the (G1 prototype) BSG, G1, StG58 (Austrian licensed FAL), the British inch pattern L1A1 and the standardized metric FN FAL models.

Good luck.

R

I just signed up over there at FAL Files today.
But I trust my fellow CalGunners more!

Now I need to learn my way around their site.

One more question before I go:
How do I ensure that I only have a semi auto kit?
Do the same tests apply from an AR?

thedrickel
12-05-2011, 4:21 PM
I decided to use this thread to pose a question since my situation is similar to the OP (getting a foot in the door of the FAL world. I hope you don't mind OP!

I've seen the "So you want to build an AR15..." guide, but is there a similar resource for the FAL?

I have a kit, and will be buying a working rifle, and want to make sure both are good to go before I start the process for each.

I have the kit and saw that a few of the pieces have matching serial numbers.
How many parts should I look for the number to match?

How can you tell if it's an STG58 or a G1? To me the lower half looks the same.

Since I'm scatter-brained at work I'll throw these out for now.

Thanks.

Usually the only serial numbered parts on FALs are the upper, lower, bolt, carrier, and sometimes barrel, occasionally flash hider (G1's mainly).

If the lower is Belgian made, and has a serial # higher than ~25k, I would assume it was a G1. If there are Austrian proofs (number in oval stamp), it's STG. If it has no Steyr markings and is lower than 25k, it could go either way, but you should be able to tell by the rest of the kit.

Most FAL kits are strictly semi auto. If you have the safety sear and/or full auto ejector block, you can throw them away.

Samtech79
12-05-2011, 4:42 PM
I'd check if sarco still has any numbers matching argy kits left. I got one awhile back and it was perfect and unfired. Coonan makes an argy receiver and will custom number it for you to match the kit.

Monticore
12-05-2011, 11:56 PM
Usually the only serial numbered parts on FALs are the upper, lower, bolt, carrier, and sometimes barrel, occasionally flash hider (G1's mainly).

If the lower is Belgian made, and has a serial # higher than ~25k, I would assume it was a G1. If there are Austrian proofs (number in oval stamp), it's STG. If it has no Steyr markings and is lower than 25k, it could go either way, but you should be able to tell by the rest of the kit.

Most FAL kits are strictly semi auto. If you have the safety sear and/or full auto ejector block, you can throw them away.

Matching numbers (102742) on:
lower
bolt
carrier
barrel

With no muzzle device on the barrel measures out to right about 21".
I have a 4-prong flash hider and a muzzle break with 2 holes per "side".
The barrel is marked:
7.62x51 VCL 140

From what I've learned from the FAL Files so far, what's left of the milled upper is metric. Due to the differences in the recoil plate, I now know the lower is a Type 1. Once I get access to the complete rifle I will be able to do similar research on it.

When aligned as if firing, the left side of the lower, up by the rear sight, there is an oval 11. On the right side, just above the pistol grip, there is an oval 3. The trigger may have an oval 6. The hammer has oval 21.

The more sites I research the more this is looking like a Austrian Steyr Stg.58 kit. Now I need to figure out what to swap out for 922r compliance.

thedrickel
12-06-2011, 7:52 AM
Matching numbers (102742) on:
lower
bolt
carrier
barrel

With no muzzle device on the barrel measures out to right about 21".
I have a 4-prong flash hider and a muzzle break with 2 holes per "side".
The barrel is marked:
7.62x51 VCL 140

From what I've learned from the FAL Files so far, what's left of the milled upper is metric. Due to the differences in the recoil plate, I now know the lower is a Type 1. Once I get access to the complete rifle I will be able to do similar research on it.

When aligned as if firing, the left side of the lower, up by the rear sight, there is an oval 11. On the right side, just above the pistol grip, there is an oval 3. The trigger may have an oval 6. The hammer has oval 21.

The more sites I research the more this is looking like a Austrian Steyr Stg.58 kit. Now I need to figure out what to swap out for 922r compliance.

Definitely sounds like an Austrian Steyr kit, all the #'s match, and if the bbl measures 21" w/o the flash hider then thankfully nobody cut the muzzle threads off. If it's in good cosmetic shape it would be worth about 800-900 bucks in the current market. Just for the kit!

Monticore
12-06-2011, 9:40 AM
Definitely sounds like an Austrian Steyr kit, all the #'s match, and if the bbl measures 21" w/o the flash hider then thankfully nobody cut the muzzle threads off. If it's in good cosmetic shape it would be worth about 800-900 bucks in the current market. Just for the kit!

The stock has a bunch of nicks, but I think it adds character.
the barrel has some scuffing where the collapsed bi-pods rubbed on them while the hand-guards where off.

I guess, among other things, I should order up a kydex grip wrap to make this a featureless build. I still need the 922 compliant parts too, right? And an upper.

Are there decent priced tools around for me to do the upper swap work on my own? I'm leaning toward having a pro do the work since I have know idea what to do about headspacing.