Friday, July 15, 2016

When one becomes two

Not quite two years ago, I acquired This FAL from a seller out of state.

Nice enough rifle, but not quite what I wanted. I wanted an 18" folding-stock model and I got one with a 21" barrel instead because the seller didn't know how to work a tape measure. But it was nicely built otherwise, and it shot wonderfully, so I kept it on. But it wasn't quite what I'd wanted so I was never completely happy with it.

Actually, I really wanted two, because while I liked the utility of the short folder, I also really appreciated the full-length straight-stocked "traditional" FAL. And this one, thought a great shooter, was right in between, neither fish nor fowl.

Then last year, DS Arms had a really nice sale on new FAL receivers so I bought one and decided to fix the problem once and for all. I took an extra FAL lower assembly that I had floating around and put it on the receiver with the long barrel. I also had to replace the bolt carrier, because the carriers for straight-stocked rifles and folders aren't compatible. A bit of fiddling around and I had this nice traditional straight-stocked FAL, just half of the combo that I wanted. And once I'd tweaked the gas regulator and re-zeroed the sights. it shot just as good as it had before, which is to say that it shot excellently.

Then I took the folding stock assembly from the old rifle and mated it to the new DS Arms receiver and the old bolt carrier. I was all set to send it off to DS Arms and have them build it onto a new 18" barrel assembly and had even called them and gotten a quote for the work when suddenly I got the nod to move down here. Time and money got tight so the project got shelved for a while, and the parts came with me and just sat around until the recent Democrat screaming for gun control and the banning of "assault weapons" started getting loud again. I read that writing on the wall, coupled with the specter of a Hillary presidency, and I shipped the parts off to DS Arms along with the quote they'd given me and I sat down to wait for the "5-6 weeks" that they said it might take.

Three weeks later, I got a UPS ship notification and an e-mail from DS Arms stating that it was on the way to me. Even better, from my point of view, was the price. Between the time DS Arms gave my the quote and the time I sent it in, they'd bumped their prices on the barrel assembly and a few other odds that it needed. But being a class act, DS Arms honored the old prices in the quote AND turned it around and got it done even cheaper than quoted. Nicely done, DS Arms!

It showed up today in a nice new hard case, and I'm in love.

Not only is it shorted, both with the stock extended and with it folded, but the balance is much more to my liking.

Here they both are, the original "traditional" FAL top, and the new para model below. Quite the pair. The shorty has a brand new barrel and the original style has a barrel that gauges as near-new. And they share magazines and other kit.

I got the new one done for a lot less than DS Arms would have charged me for a factory-assembled "New in box" model and it looks almost as good. the only used parts on it are the folding stock lower and the bolt and carrier. The barrel assembly and all of the internals are brand new.

So how short is it really? Well here it is above an AR with a 16" barrel and the stock fully collapsed.
It is a bit shorter than the AR. And although it's a bit heavier, it also fires the 7.62x51 round, and that's a plus to dinosaurs like me.

So after starting out with one FAL that didn't quite please me and adding a few new components to the mix, I now have two FALS, one in each configuration. And I can't wait for a range day.


  1. Hey Murphy;'
    You done good on that one. And with the cries of gun control from the left side of the aisle, it is good to stock up and gear up if it becomes necessary.

  2. Nice rifle, Murph!

  3. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Very Nice