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superhondaz50
02-28-2007, 3:24 PM
I want to build a FAL, and from what I know it isnt that difficult. the only thing I have a question on is head spacing. How important is it? I've seen guys spend hundreds of dollars on tools and locking shoulders to get it were they want, yet I see other people use a single round and some masking tape to check there headspace. Also what would happen if I assembled the gun and tapped in the original locking shoulder and then fired the gun, would it work of blow up? any help?! :confused:

anotherted
02-28-2007, 3:27 PM
Headspacing is very important. Dont mess around.

rssslvr
02-28-2007, 3:44 PM
+1 if you value your safety make sure the headspace is right.If you are planning on doing just 1 FAL I would suggest having a FAL smith do it for you as the tools will cost you about the same as the labor for the smith,and you will know it is done right.I used Rich at CGW and am very happy with his work and he is a great guy.

Outlaw
02-28-2007, 4:55 PM
Headspacing is very important. Dont mess around.

+1
Very important. If you need guages you can barrow mine, I'm in Orange County.

NSR500
02-28-2007, 5:28 PM
Improper Headspace is a Kaboom thing... Be safe and use the right tools and process or send it out for barrel & headspace work.

superhondaz50
02-28-2007, 6:17 PM
alright, glad to know these things. I'm almost thinking about going in a different direction and build something different. Like a remington 742 in 308, then chop the barrel down to 11'' and weld on a 5.5" mini-30 muzzle brake. well see though

SemiAutoSam
02-28-2007, 6:23 PM
Superhondaz50

There are also a few different directions you can go. For instance you can purchase a HK41 or Hk43 rifle all ready assembled. the HK41 is the predecessor to the HK91 as the 43 is to the 93 rifle.

also there are a few Actual Belgian made FN FAL rifles you can purchase that are not on the banned list. These choices are not for the faint of wallet as a good HK41 will set you back on average 2500-3000 to start and the 43 is even more.

If you want more information just ask. and or check my sigline for the Hk41/43 info.

DrjonesUSA
02-28-2007, 7:56 PM
I want to build a FAL, and from what I know it isnt that difficult. the only thing I have a question on is head spacing. How important is it? I've seen guys spend hundreds of dollars on tools and locking shoulders to get it were they want, yet I see other people use a single round and some masking tape to check there headspace. Also what would happen if I assembled the gun and tapped in the original locking shoulder and then fired the gun, would it work of blow up? any help?! :confused:



I've done a ton of research on buying vs. building a FAL & here's what I learned:

- It is significantly more difficult than assembling an AR.

- As noted above, the headspace is very important.

- If you are only going to build one FAL, it's not worth it to buy all the tools as they will run you at least $200 or so.

NSR500
02-28-2007, 8:09 PM
Dude... Don't give up and go to another platform. FAL's are Cool as Hell! Short Gas, Long Gas, Para, Std, HB, STG, Izzy, Argy... You get the drift.
Give Rich@CGW a call. His price for Barrel & Headspacing is very reasonable. http://cgwgun.com/fnfal3.aspx
$125 Only! You can't beat that with a stick... ;)

fal_762x51
02-28-2007, 9:50 PM
Not hard at all! It is quite easy. I'll post the rest after I get out of the library, stupid paper. Anyway, I'll show you the simplest and correct way to do it for under $40 (give or take). My FALs were done this way and "Morales" can testify too it. Over 3 years and 2k fired of goodness. Once again it is not hard, trying to get the semi PPSh41 to work is.

-Pat

cornholio1
02-28-2007, 11:18 PM
Super Honda...Larry Hirotas your man. $100 bucks assembled out the door (includes the correct carry handle)

Worth every penny

Edit: Was tired last night. I mean correct "locking shoulder"

Pryde
03-01-2007, 12:17 AM
Super Honda...Larry Hirotas your man. $100 bucks assembled out the door (includes the correct carry handle)

Worth every penny

Or if you just want barrel and headspace, Larry will only charge you $80.

fal_762x51
03-01-2007, 12:20 AM
Ok, if you want to do it for satisfaction that you can build it, here it goes. This is regarding the headspacing.

Get a set of drill bits, cheapo Harbor Freight ones will work.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/calegal/hs1.jpg

This is the hole you want to put a bit (all the way to the other side) into. Note: the shoulder is already in my rifle, there will be a hole on a bare receiver.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/calegal/hs2.jpg

As you can see, the idea of the drill bit is the same as the tool that has different sizes, measure the headspacing. The orange is what you are looking for, the blue is where the bit should be.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/calegal/hs4.jpg

Now remove the extractor and firing pin. Insert the go gauge into the chamber and insert the bolt as if it were in the locked position. Get a bit and insert it into the shoulder hole, but small enough to bypass the bolt so you can reach the other side of the receiver. If you have a bit that is too small or too big, file the bigger one down slowly at a flat angle. Keep doing it till you can snuggly get the bit in. Remove the bit, the bolt, and go gauge. Insert a no-go gauge and bolt, try to insert the bit you filed and see if you can get it to go to the other side of the receiver, if not you are good.

After that, take a caliper and measure the drill bit you found to work. Go online and find the one, chances are you are going to have to get a locking shoulder bigger then it.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/calegal/hs3.jpg

Once you locate a shoulder of the size you needed, file slowly and measure often the shoulder. Once to get to the size of that bit you used, you have the right size. Remember to file at the angle the shoulder came with, no rounding, nice and flat. Insert the shoulder with a drift punch and hammer. The shoulder might not go into the other side, so watch as you are pushing the shoulder in that everything is lined up.

After that, take your stripped bolt and the no-go gauge. Insert no-go into the chamber, and follow with the bolt. If the bolt does not lock into the shoulder and recess in the receiver that is good. Try again, but with the go gauge. If it locks into the bolt and the recess you are in good shape. Repeat this with the bolt in the carrier, you'll know when it doesn't lock, the carrier won't be flush with the receiver face. Try it next with a variety of surplus 7.62 and commercial .308 (without the firing pin in the bolt). They should close on them.

This is how others and I do/did it. I am not responsible for your smithing abilities, so if you are not comfortable doing this, get it done by someone else.

-Pat

Outlaw
03-01-2007, 12:29 AM
fal_762x51, good post.

fal_762x51
03-01-2007, 12:43 AM
Oh yeah, almost forgot. Get the receiver barreled and aligned properly before you do this. Any questions on barreling and other materials just ask.

-hanko
03-01-2007, 7:01 AM
Ok, if you want to do it for satisfaction that you can build it, here it goes. This is regarding the headspacing.

................snipped.....

This is how others and I do/did it. I am not responsible for your smithing abilities, so if you are not comfortable doing this, get it done by someone else.

-Pat
That's generally how to do it. I'd suggest getting pin gages. Why??--For around $30 in pins you can control the exact headspace...tighter for match rounds, looser for surplus ammo. Drill bits don't give you the control that gages do as individual sizes are farther apart.

I'd also recommend putting the drill/pin into the locking should hole first, then seeing if the bolt closes over the go and no-go gages. Far easier and much better feel.

As to filing the locking shoulder...if you have zero or just a little experience in filing steel to a set dimension, PRACTICE on a picece of scrap rod until you can get an area about an inch long pefectly cut within 0.0005" (half a thousandth). If you can't do that, buy the correct locking shoulder on the web.

The drill bit method works if you know what you're doing; the pin method is a little more precise & lets you adjust the headspace range. I've worked with most "big-name" fal smiths; none use drill bits. Though not saying you can't.

Best summary I've ever read is at http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=194761
Nitty-gritty is in posts 10 and 16.

Incorrect headspace can possibly cause physical injury. If it's something you don't think you can accomplish, find someone who's built a few fal's or send it to a smith.;)

-hanko

Sydwaiz
03-01-2007, 7:49 AM
Well, I did mine a little differently. I also have plug gauges.
1. Remove extractor and firing pin
2. Insert go gauge into chamber
3. Insert a plug gauge into locking shoulder hole
4. Try to close bolt with "two thumbs" pressure.
5. Keep trying different gauge pins until it's right. Bolt should not "fall" closed but you shouldn't have to stand on it either to close it.
6. Try no-go gauge to make sure it doesn't close.
7. Install CORRECT locking shoulder. I personally wouldn't file on it. Any slight incorrect angle or radius and it will wear faster on your locking shoulder and bolt.

My .02. On one of my builds, I did have a locking shoulder that was oversize for what I needed. I ground it to size in my surface grinder keeping the angle unchanged and the surface completely flat. A luxury not all will have but correct locking shoulders are cheap. Plug gauges can be had for under $3.00 a piece from Mcmaster-Carr.

eta: hanko beat me!

-hanko
03-01-2007, 8:20 AM
My .02. On one of my builds, I did have a locking shoulder that was oversize for what I needed. I ground it to size in my surface grinder keeping the angle unchanged and the surface completely flat. A luxury not all will have but correct locking shoulders are cheap. Plug gauges can be had for under $3.00 a piece from Mcmaster-Carr.

eta: hanko beat me!
I wish I still had the use of a suface grinder...makes it very simple;)

The 2-thumbs method is what's called out in military manuals.

Forgot to mention an extractor tool is almost a necessity. Second, filing works if you're capable for a few thousandths' decrease in locking shoulder size. Any more than that, get the correct size from the gitgo.

-hanko

superhondaz50
03-01-2007, 7:07 PM
has anyone ordered a imbel kit from entreprise arms? are they matching numbers? I also found a "grade C" imbel kit on gunbroker that seems pretty nice, I dont see any reason for it to be bad. any input?

Sydwaiz
03-02-2007, 8:26 AM
There is no point in matching numbers IMO. Imbel barrels don't have numbers, and the numbers on the lower will never match your upper anyway. Sure the bolt carrier and lower maybe, but why. Wait, did the bolt carrier even have numbers? I haven't looked at mine in so long I forgot! I wouldn't buy parts from Entreprise, receivers sure, but not parts. Better deals are to be had elsewhere.

rorschach
03-02-2007, 3:51 PM
If you visit the Entreprise shop in Irwindale, they will allow you to hand pick your parts.