cetme good or bad? - Shooting Sports Forum

FN-FAL Talk Tech Talk about the Fabrique Nationale FAL and it's variants.

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Old 03-04-2005, 08:00   #1
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i've ben thinking about geting a new assault rifle and its a taus up betwean
an ak or cetme. the thing i like about the cetme is it fires the .308 but i have three questions, one whats its reliability i have a friend that has a HK G-3 and that thing cant even eat through a ten round mag with out jaming i'm prety shore its from the hexogonal rifiling of the berral, dose the cetme have a hexogonal berral, how good is its accuracy. and can i put a HK retractable stock on the cetme. any ideas or 2cents would be help full.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:17   #2
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they all are different
but mine is very reliable, and not very accurate
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Old 03-05-2005, 07:26   #3
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The problem with a lot of CETMEs that are sold now, are that theyare put together from surplus parts by the thumb fingered monkeys at Century Arms. Of course if you have several thousand dollars lying around and you can find a MARS, or original CETME than you're lucky. Anyway the HK stock will go on the CETME with just a little modification. If you get a good one the are fun to shoot, the accuracy isn't the barrel, unless it's warped than it has to be replaced, but can be due to the alignment of the front sight. Any place that you decide to buy a CETME at, just make sure that there is a way to get it returned to Cntury for a fix if needed.

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Old 03-05-2005, 12:28   #4
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You may want to go the way I did and get a PTR-91. When I was comparing the CETME to the PTR in the store the PTR was just better made. The welds were neater and the quality of manufacture was just on a higher level. I have only had it on the range once and put 120 or so rounds through it. I had 2 or 3 failures to feed due to mag problems after the inside of the mag got dirty and caused the follower to stick. Once I wiped out the mag it was working fine. The key is to get a late production model SN over 800 or so and to look for an A infront of the SN. An A means that PTR made it a B means its their receiver assembled by someone else.

I wanted a good 308 rifle I tried the Saiga but wasn't happy and an M1A was still priced out of sight. The PTR was a good compromise. Also living in NJ limits availability of other rifles, no FALs. Accuracy is good, I haven't shot for groups at 100 meters but I was able to hit an upper torso target consestantly and break clay pidgeons on the ground at 50 meters.

The info on the PTR I have has been gleaned from other gun websites all over the

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Old 03-30-2005, 16:43   #5
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"The problem with a lot of CETMEs that are sold now, are that theyare put together from surplus parts by the thumb fingered monkeys at Century Arms."

Thanks, that made my day!!
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Old 03-31-2005, 14:19   #6
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I don't know what "accurate" is, by your standards, but my CETME shoots 2.5" at 100 yards with NATO surplus. Maybe 6" at 300 yards. I've never tried to sight it further than that, and that suits me fine for a $350 rifle.

I'd think that it will be more accurate than an AK, at least past 100yards. 7.62x51 is a lot more $$ than 7.62x39 though. AKs have lots more accessories of course, and higher cap mags are readily available, with CETME you are limited to 20 or 30, and 30's are harder to come by. Also, mine weighs about 9 pounds, no mag. AK would be more fun to carry, if you were walking far.
Neither has a empty mag bolt hold open or an easy to manipulate saftey. I like the CETME's better, but it goes the wrong way.

If I had it to do over again, I'd prolly pony up a few more $$ and get a cheap FAL. At least then I could build it a little at a time.
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Old 10-31-2005, 15:49   #7
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I've had 2 Century built cetme's and both were crap(ordered them at the same time).Ground bolts,canted trunnions,horrible welds.The other three I've seen were all the same way.My brother bought one when they first came out(ss receiver)and it's put together correctly and functions great.Accurate too.I guess they can't f%$k everything up!
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Old 10-31-2005, 20:11   #8
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My Cetme was a POS so I got rid of it, I now have 2 PTR-91's and havent looked back. Some people get lucky with Cetme's and at $400 they are a good deal if the one you get will work.
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:59   #9
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my opinion

first off... century's are garbage stay away from anything made by them....cetme's are crap owned one sold it the same week not worth the aggravation......the ones that century sells are probally the worst (put together by monkeys with blow torches) hk-91's are not worth the money in my opinion horrible to clean and not reliable (all had feed issues) not all that accurate. I've owned 3 of them and never again .....m-14 great gun (owned 4) good accuracy easy to clean but expensive very expensive.....fal's on the other hand good accuracy very reliable easy to clean cheap parts and cheap mags that work....I've owned 14 or 15 fal's and still own a couple probally one of the best weapons platforms out there....last but not least the ak-47 cheap easy to maintain and clean moderate accuracy 100-150 yards ultra reliable (mud dirt snow sand) not jam prone at all plus it eats all ammo types ...i've owned 30 or 40 different types of ak-47's over the years and still own 5 great gun.....just my opinion hope this helps......
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:07   #10
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I had one that I got from a friend and I could not get past 5 rounds without a jam.

Could have been the ammo (Indian)

I sold it. I was honorable I told the guy it had concerns. He gave me a Chinese SKS and 85 bucks. Good trade in my opinion.

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Old 11-09-2006, 23:15   #11
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They are put together using used parts from different rifles with different amount of wear. Most problems aren't major and can be fixed with a little knowledge and basic tools, some problems can't, but don't count on CAI to fix them, from what I've seen your on your own. If you don't want to mess with correcting the problems, don't buy a CETME, buy a PTR, of course the CETME is less then half the price. Try not to buy one made on a Friday or Monday

Here's what to look for when buying a CETME.
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Old 11-12-2006, 17:39   #12
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You have to think of the Century Cetme/G3 Sporters as project guns. They may need work and new parts to get into spec and even to function. Century will readily take unsatisfactory rifles back for examination but there is no guarantee that you will get the rifle back or that they will make it work. Some have reported that Century told them that a rifle could not be repaired and gave a $200 voucher for it. I have two Cetmes and both had problems, although they both worked fine. I have bought about $300 in parts to bring them up to standard. I think the basic design is much more problematic than, for example, the FAL. But Cetmes have many fans.

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Old 11-18-2006, 18:06   #13
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Total luck of the draw, do not order one sight unseen. I had one that was fantastic once I cleaned it rigorously and buffed up the trigger group, but some friends got some absolute junk. PTR is awesome, almost better than the original. I don't think a hex barrel would cause a jam, and it should buy you 50-100 fps. The CETMEs don't have them as far as I know, only a true HK parts kit would.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:20   #14
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I got lucky and bought a CETME with an unground bolt head overhaul good quality. I wouldn't suggest buying one.
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Old 01-22-2008, 17:35   #15
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It's a real toss of the coin with CETME's. I have one that's built on one of the cast stainless receivers, and by and large it's been a decent rifle - with the proviso, as stated above, that you have to think of it as a project. I did, however, have to send the trigger frame off to a gunsmith to have the "clip" replaced. The one that Century put on was a cheesy little piece of angle that looked like it was made out of an old piece of Fresca can, and one day when I was shooting the gun it slipped off of the shelf on the receiver and jammed the whole thing up. The 'smith replaced Century's clip with a substantial block of steel, and no more problems after that.

I also, at one point, made a new ejector for mine out of an old G3 ejector, and bent it a little so that it rode up into the slot on the bolt more like it was supposed to. This is a common problem with the cast stainless receivers, as their walls are thicker which causes the trigger frame to mount a little lower than on the sheetmetal receivers. This was just sort of a Melvin thing with me, as in fact mine ejected fine before the mod. Best thing was that it still ejected fine after the mod!

Mine looks good, takes all mags, from original CETME mags to steel and aluminum G3's, feeds from 'em all. The bolt was unground, and the clearance was on the tight side of in spec. I since replaced the locking rollers with oversized ones to open it up a little.

In looking at a lot of these rifles, I've seen where a lot of them are built on formed and welded sheetmetal receivers (which, of course, is how the real CETME's and G3's were made), but on most the welding looked pretty rough, and the sheetmetal was sometimes visibly distorted when looking up into the mag well.

I'm also a FAL owner (and builder), and can say that, of the two, I like the FAL much better. The ergonomics of the FAL are so much better - every time I take that CETME to the range I come home bleeding from some place where the danged thing has taken a bite out of me somewhere. It's also the dirtiest non-muzzle-loading rifle to shoot that I've ever seen! That fluted chamber really dumps fouling back into the receiver! I've named mine "el Cochino". Ask someone who speaks Spanish what that means.

Here's mine:

Last edited by tpelle; 01-22-2008 at 17:40.
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Old 03-13-2010, 23:10   #16
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The Cubans call it "Baja de Cochinos".
We call it the Bay of Pigs.
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Old 03-15-2010, 14:01   #17
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I happen to love mine. I had to replace the bolt head on it, now it's in spec and works great! It's pretty accurate considering the heavy trigger, I've gotten 2" or less at 100 yards with mine. It's no match rifle, but it goes bang every time and it flings brass into the next county. Reminds me of a Mini-14's Big Brother.

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Old 05-15-2010, 23:00   #18
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I appreciate you guy's frank comments about Century's CETMEs.

The comments here and on a few other gun sites convinced me months ago to never pursue the rifle, but partly due to being a relative novice (with guns), ammo prices and brass/reloading issues.
Prices for 7.62x39, surplus .303 (a year ago) and surplus 8mm solve those problems.

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Old 05-26-2010, 12:30   #19
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Don't have much experience with FNFAL's and Cetme's but a close friend has one of each. Both go bang everytime you pull the trigger but the FNFAL is consistently more accurate.
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Old 09-03-2010, 00:14   #20
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Pardon the revival of this old topic.

Acquired my first Garand (CMP: Service Grade), and what a battle rifle!
Am very glad that the news about Century is quite widespread and you guys helped me avoid CETMEs. Thank you very much.
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