Monday, September 01, 2014

Shooting the new rifle on Labor Day.

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.
Once upon a time, I had four FALS, all builds that I did. Needing money, I sold them all, and I've lamented letting them all go ever since. I truly love the FAL as a combat rifle and believe that if it had better sights and a better trigger, it would have been the perfect fighting rifle.

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.
Not the best target ever, but considering the sights and trigger on a FAL, I'm pleased. That inner orange circle is 6" across. (The nice little group at twelve o'clock was shot with John's DPMS. It shoots pretty good, too.)

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...
I don't really another full-sized .308, because I've already got the M-1A. The shorter folder would be nice for back-country hiking where I want the reach of a .308 but not such a bulky carry rifle. And admittedly, even with the 21" barrel, this folder's neat. It's not the shiny new DSA para folder that I've dreamed about for so long, but then again, it was half the cost of a new DSA.
And now I've got a use for all of those spare FAL mags that I had sitting around.

It feels good to have a FAL back in the gun safe again.


  1. Very nice. Congrats on the new acquisition.

  2. "so I decided to see how it shoots first."

    I didn't have to read down to the part where you said you were going to keep
    it. As soon as I saw that, I knew it was a lost cause.

    Nice rifle.

    1. Eve though I really wanted one with an 18" barrel, I was pretty much sold when I saw how well this one was built. I've built half a dozen FALs for myself and for other people but none ever turned out this tight or this slick. Someone who knew their stuff built this one.

      Still, if it had shot poorly, it'd been sent right back. But it shot better than any of my builds, so it's a keeper.

  3. LOL, and you talk about me??? :-) Nice rifle!!!

  4. Nice! Can't wait to shoot it.

  5. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Sweet rifle