What FAL? What HK clone? Urge to scream rising..

Dangerous TDangerous T Member Posts: 119 ✭✭
edited June 2007 in Ask the Experts
There are quite a few FALs out there. Some are made by DSA and are HIDEOUSLY expensive.
Others are made on "Imbel receiver", but can be bought here, on Gunbroker for 700-850 bucks. Which FALs should I stay away from?

The hunt for HK clone frustrates me more and more. For each person that tells me one thing, there is another that tells me quite the opposite.
I have people telling me "If headspacing on CETME is checked and bolt is not ground, it is a great rifle". ANd I have people telling me "Stay the hell away from CETME, they are bad no matter what."
I have people tell me "FA91 is a fine rifle, I have one and have no problems with it." and yet I have people telling me "FA91 will fall apart in your hands, you will need to replace the receiver on it in a few years"
Yes, everyone says that PTR-91 is good. Nobody can tell me where I can get $1000 for the thing:-) And even then, I had people tell me "PTR is just a clone, much like FA91, and all clones are pretty much the same."
I am not interested in M1A. Period. I just need to know which clone of HK91/CETME I can buy safely and for a reasonable price and which clone of FN/FAL I can buy safely and for a reasonable price.



  • rawhide54rawhide54 Member Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Regarding FALs, I've got an FAL I bought some years ago built on an IMBEL receiver by Pacific Arms. I've had excellent luck with it but have replaced some parts with DSA parts. I spoke with the folks at DSA about FALS and they told me I had one of the few good FALs on the market, that the Pacific Arms/IMBEL models are good. Most others have dubious reputations. If you decide to get one, stick to metric. The British inch models are more difficult to find magazines and parts for.

    Doesn't answer your CETME question but hope it helps on the FAL issue.
  • iwannausernameiwannausername Member Posts: 7,131
    edited November -1
    For FAL, avoid Hesse/Vulcan. Newer century guns are OK and probably the least expensive. Century on Imbel, no issues. DCI are good, DSA is good, Imbel, FMAP, or any of the original licensed makers.
  • ern98ern98 Member Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You might try finding a rifle smith who is good at building quality clones rather then taking pot luck at an online aution. Too many offerings have problems that need to be fixed for reliable use. The down side of the rifle smith idear is that by the time you gather quality parts and pay to have them properly assembled you may likely have most of the money into the project to buy a DSA. If you go the pot luck route then make sure you have a money back warranty with an ok to dump a couple hundred of rounds thru it to check function. Personally you will probably be best off if you just save up for the DSA of your choice. There sometimes are good reasons to buy the name brand and not the plain wrap. I'm sorry that I can't give you current info but I got my HK ( a real german made gun ) and L1A1 fal (kit built by Enterprise Arms ) seven or eight years back and haven't had to deal with any of this since. So I don't know who is doing good work and who isn't anymore. Good luck.....
  • tsavo303tsavo303 Member Posts: 8,553 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    good advice
    I have a AK built by arizona response systems that is top notch. ohio rapid fire is pretty good also.
    just get one used and shoot the hell out of it, if you dont like it sell it
  • artvlsartvls Member Posts: 163 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As far as a HK type, your best value/reliable rifle would be a low mileage Springfield SAR-8 with metal Greek receiver (the latter ones had the aluminum receiver). This will still cost $1000 to $1200, but these are on par with a German HK. I know you don't want to spend that much but your better off with a more expensive rifle that works than a low cost one that causes problems.

    NOT one like this

    LIKE this
    Although that side folding stock is crap

    You can find better deals but will have to be patient and look at shops, gun shows and/or private adds to find a good deal.

    Also keep in mind that these need to be 922r compliant.
  • muttermutter Member Posts: 122 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you want to call me and get the scuttlebutt then call, if not then stop gripein! Ask and I'll give you my number.
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,798 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    artvls gave some wise advise. But you can still sit tight and find a real Hk-91 or sr9 gun for under 1800 . Spend the difference and get the real deal. They will appreciate quicker.
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 21,878 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My FAL carbine was built by Ohio Rapid Fire a few years back. Receiver is an Imbel imported by Century.

    I had a Cetme it was ok. Accuracy was good but the bolt handle was really really stiff. I sold it off awhile ago. I plan on getting another HK 308 someday and it will be a PTR91. The PTR91 has a silky smooth operation. Apples and oranges different compared to the Cetme.

    If I were looking for another FAL I would go with a DSA or build my own on a DSA receiver.
  • horselipshorselips Member Posts: 18 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Imbel FALs are great - that's who made the excellent SAR48. CETMEs were imported by the zillions awhile back but lo and behold you never see more than a couple available at any one time now. A decent gun show might have one or two. If you're lucky. Which means most everybody who bought them likes them. Accessories like scope mounts are usually under $50, mags are cheap, what's not to love? DSA, HK, and PTR are ridiculously overpriced as far as I'm concerned - rack grade service rifles should be priced accordingly and I don't want to hear their side of it.

    If you want a .308 battle rifle that's dirt cheap to buy, dirt cheap to accessorize, reasonably accurate and reliable, and you don't mind an 8 round magazine, get a Saiga.

    I was saving up for a DPMS LR AP4, around a grand, with HO Scale railroad tracks all over the forend, but the $60 a pop for mags turned me off. Rock River Arms is coming out with an AR M4 style .308 configured to take cheap FAL mags, so I'll wait for that. Any year now, any year now...

    KelTec will soon introduce their bullpup .308, and if it's like other KelTec products, it should be decent and cheap. I don't like bullpups, but that's just me.
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 21,878 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There's a company selling 20rd Saiga 308 mags. I have seen one in person and wasn't overly impressed. Looked kinda flimsy. They go for about $50 each.
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