So it was off to the range today with friend John. He wanted to work with his new DPMS Recon, a truly nice rifle that I neglected to get a picture of. Not to be outdone, I brought out a new (to me) 7.62x51mm shooter, this being a Para-folder FAL that I just acquired.
I stumbled across this one a couple of weeks ago. The dealer who had it knew nothing about FALs and didn't normally handle them, and I got it off of him for a good price indeed, although I was a bit miffed to find that it sported the full-length 21" barrel instead of the 18" barrel that I'd thought was on it. (Apparently friend dealer measured it without taking into account the barrel inside the receiver and the flash hider.) He's willing to take it back and cover shipping, and I was going to send it back, but after looking it over carefully, I realized that whoever had built this one had done a nice job indeed, even to the point of using a part set with all numbers matching except on the receiver, so I decided to see how it shoots first.
Before shooting it, I broke it down for inspection and lube. I couldn't find a bit of dirt or grime on it; whoever owned it last either got insane about cleaning or else they never shot it. I also noticed that the adjustable gas system was set on 7, which made me look askance at it. My builds all needed to be dialed down to around 4 to shoot reliably. If this gun was smooth enough to shoot on 7... Just to see what would happen, I left it set at 7. And sure enough, it functioned flawlessly, ejecting the brass and throwing it well clear of the rifle but without damaging it. (OK, I was impressed.) And after a bit of fiddling with the sights, front and rear, I got it centered up pretty nicely at 100 yards.
After shooting it, I think that I'm going to keep the rifle. The only question now is do I keep it as a 21" para folder, cut the barrel to 18", or buy a new 18" barrel and keep the 21" for another rifle build because I would like a full-size full stock version too. Decisions, decisions...
It feels good to have a FAL back in the gun safe again.