Got up early Saturday morning and headed for the bar. (This is New Orleans, folks...it's seriously how we roll.) Just had a couple of cups of coffee--no booze--and headed out to Pear River to do some more shooting.
I took these two out to fine-tune the zeroes on them.
The lower rifle reflects my philosophy modernized--it's that custom FAL that I had done by the nice folks at DS Arms. It's shorter and more utilitarian than the M-1A and much handier for work in an urban setting, IMHO. It's got it's new Blue Force Gear Vickers sling on now.
Using the 25 yard range, I zeroed both for 200 yards, and then played around on the 100-yard steel plates at the range. I think that they're actually 8" discs, and impossible to miss with the M-1A. I could hit them regularly with the FAL too, but I needed to use just a bit of hold-over and really concentrate on trigger press since the sights aren't as adjustable as the M-1A's and the trigger is definitely not as smooth. But that's the difference between the two. The FAL is a fighting rifle, period. It's made to put rounds on man-sized targets out to a reasonable range and do so even when wet, muddy, frozen, etc., It's not quite "AK-47" rugged, but it's a lot closer than the M-1A, which is more of a precision weapon with it's crisp, "break like glass" tuned trigger and superior adjustable sights.
Both rifles functioned flawlessly and put the rounds pretty much where I wanted them to go. I wish that I could have gotten another turn on the FAL front sight tool to get it down to 100 yards, but it bottomed out at 200 and a touch high at that. So it goes...
They do handle totally differently. The FAL is more ergonomic and comes onto point quicker, but the M-1A has sights and a trigger to die for.
Now I'm thinking seriously about a Springfield Scout. or a SCAR Heavy, which I also have a bug for, thanks to Old NFO letting me shoot his. I want compact and reliable and fast-handling and precision all rolled into one. The search for the perfect rifle goes on.
Then it was home for at minute to lock up the rifles and change, and off to a free self-defense seminar put on by a guy who is setting up a new MMA and self-defense school here. Hey--free and a chance to pick up a trick or two--what's not to like? (Esp. the "free" part.) Did that, came home again, took a nap on the couch, then joined my neighbors down the street for a block party that they'd kicked off because--hey, it's New Orleans...it's how we roll.
Then as I was walking home, all full of good food and beer, I looked at the front of my house and saw this: