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

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Old 12-17-2010, 15:56   #1
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DS Arms SA58 FAL range report

My first impressions of the SA58 were very good. The rifle handled very well, shot well, was well balanced, and had very little recoil. The first couple of times I shot the FAL, it was just to make sure the rifle shot ok – “yep, it shoots” kind of thing. But now it was time to take the SA58 FAL to a gun range and see how well it shot. Now its time to take the rifle to a range, use a bench rest and see how well it can shoot. Not to mention, I needed to sight the rifle in for deer hunting.

Luckily for me, a buddy of mine has a 100 yard range setup behind his house. When he heard that I needed to sigh my rifle in, he invited me over to use his bench rest and range. He was also nice enough to give me a box of Hornady 308 Winchester 168 grain BHTP (Boat Tail Hollow Point).



We set the targets up, went back to the bench and set the rifle up.

Weather Conditions:
Air Temperature – around 65 degrees
Wind speed – gusting around 15 – 25 miles per hour

Ammunition:
Hornady 168 grain BTHP
Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point (PSP)

Test rifle:
16 inch barrel with flash hider
Bipod
Solid stock
20 round magazine
Synthetic buttstock
Synthetic pistolgrip



We started off with the Remington 150 grain PSP – the first couple of rounds hit maybe 4 or 5 inches low. The elevation on the rear sight was adjusted, and a couple of more rounds fired. Th next rounds hit a little low, but not as bad – elevation adjusted again. To finally get the rounds level with the bulls eye, the rear sight had to be adjusted to 600 yards. The instruction manual is not real clear on how to adjust the elevation of the front sight – which is probably what needs to be done. But since I did not have the special tool that the manual says is needed, the front sight could not be adjusted.

The Remington 150 grain PSP performed well, usually hitting the target a little to the left of the bullseye. On average we were getting 1 inch groups with open sights at 100 yards, and with the wind gusting up to around 25 miles per hour. Even though the Remington 150 grain rounds were making 1 inch groups, 2 back to back rounds hit inside the same hole, for around a 3/8 group.

Remington 150 grain Pointed Soft Point



On average we were hitting 1 inch to the left with the Remington ammo. While shooting the Remington 150 grain ammunition, we did not have a single misfire or malfunction.

Next up is the Hornady 168 grain BTHP. While shooting the Hornady ammunition, we did not have a single misfire or malfunction. I don’t know if the BTHP just likes the FAL better then the Remington ammo did, or if the BTHP design is more resistant to the wind,,,,, but the Hornady ammo hit about 1 inch below dead center, while the Remington ammo was hitting to the left.

Hornady 168 grain BTHP



While at the bench I noticed that the trigger is a “little” heavy. With my cheek against the stock, and as I was squeezing the trigger, I could hear the metal parts of the action sliding against each other. Overall, I think the action is what you might expect from a modern day sporting rifle. The action of the SA58 might even be a little better then what came on my Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle.

One of the reasons why I picked the FAL is because your supposed to do everything on the rifle without ever having to re-position your right hand. Your supposed to be able to charge the weapon, change the magazine, release the bolt and turn off the safety. The safety is also supposed to be within reach of your right thumb. Well, being able to work the rifle with your left hand is correct. Being able to reach the safety with your right thumb is a not correct – unless your thumb is longer then mine. DS Arms just happens to make an extended safety to put the lever close to the right thumb.

If your planning on putting a cope on your SA58, be sure to order a rifle with a rail on the dust cover. The basic model that I ordered does not have a rail or scope mounts.

I think my next step is to order a dust cover with a rail, and get a scope mounted on the rifle. My longest shot is maybe 100 yards, so a 3X9 will probably the size scope that gets put on the rifle. Or, I might just use the rifle with open sights.

This weekend my daughter and I are going deer hunting. I'll have to see how the SA58 does with open sights before I make my final decision on the scope question.


Last edited by Kevin; 08-11-2011 at 19:35.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:53   #2
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Sounds like you got a shooter, Kevin. are you going to hand load for it?

I just finished re working my frankenFAL, (again) cut the bbl back to 17," added a vios varmint break, and swapped the 6.5 X 25 X50 Simmons for a leepers 2-7X32 5" eye relief scope.
I highly recommend the Phoenix spring kit and a bit of polishing in the FTG. There is a great tutorial over on FAL files.
Mine is now crisp @ 5.2 lbs, long takeup 2 stage, not a target trigger by any means, but pretty good for a MBR. My group size dropped from 1.625" to .986" average" @ 100 yds.,from the bench, with my pet 168 Gr SPBT load for my Rem 700 in .308. (the long eye relief scope and the brake work better offhand, than off the bench. This one was purpose built for working off the side of the jeep or buggy, (predator control work, not hunting) so the accuracy exceeds the need, LOL) I'm still working up a 147 Gr HPBT load , just for jump shooting hog's with the FN.

Paul
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:55   #3
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Originally Posted by red caddy View Post
Sounds like you got a shooter, Kevin. are you going to hand load for it?

l
No reloading at this time - my bench has not been setup for a couple of years.

My next items to add are a dust cover that has a rail, get a scope mounted, front sight adjustment tool and I'am looking at adding a low light sight.

Or, instead of a regular scope I might install some kind of reflex red dot scope.
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:28   #4
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The best I consistently do with my sa58 18" para is 3" at 100 yards.

An inch at a 100yds with a standard FAL is exceptionable.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:41   #5
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My frankenFAL was my first build, rebuild actually. I think most of the improvement was in the trigger work and the muzzle crown. It came to me with a neutered STG58 "target grade" marked barrel that I didn't feel bad about cutting. I used the weight of the brake as a barrel tuner (harmonics) and it is at it's best with 150 Gr. boat tails at ~ 2600 FPS. Lots of cut and try and tweeking, but I think it shows what the gun is capable of.

A 6.5 X 25 glass was used for the bench work, and has been replaced with a 2-7 X 32 for general use. My range buddy shot a 5 shot 1.118" group with it, but my best with the lower power scope is 1.288", good 'nuff for a fat old man...

Paul

Last edited by red caddy; 01-07-2011 at 19:42. Reason: Missread the previous post
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Old 02-15-2011, 18:14   #6
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Originally Posted by Dane17 View Post
The best I consistently do with my sa58 18" para is 3" at 100 yards.

An inch at a 100yds with a standard FAL is exceptionable.
I'am hoping to do better then 1 inch after I get a scope on the rifle
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Old 02-18-2011, 23:13   #7
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Excellent review Kev! Did you get it out and do any deer hunting with it yet?
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Old 06-21-2011, 16:13   #8
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Originally Posted by Dane17 View Post
The best I consistently do with my sa58 18" para is 3" at 100 yards.

An inch at a 100yds with a standard FAL is exceptionable.
I'd call it avg myself. The rifle is capable of sub moa, but is the shooter? LOL


Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I'am hoping to do better then 1 inch after I get a scope on the rifle
I can see it happening, no problem. I was going to ask if it had a scope option. Deer get pretty small after a few hundred yards using iron sights.
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Old 06-21-2011, 17:33   #9
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Originally Posted by SublimeBoa View Post
I can see it happening, no problem. I was going to ask if it had a scope option. Deer get pretty small after a few hundred yards using iron sights.
No scope on the rifle yet. I need to order a dust cover that I can mount a scope to.

The 2011 - 2012 deer season, I am hoping to use the FN/FAL as my primary deer rifle.
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Old 06-21-2011, 21:04   #10
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Originally Posted by SublimeBoa View Post
I'd call it avg myself. The rifle is capable of sub moa, but is the shooter? LOL

I can see it happening, no problem. I was going to ask if it had a scope option. Deer get pretty small after a few hundred yards using iron sights.
Sorry SublimeBoa, sadly we dont live in a world where FALs average an inch. It can be hard to get a FAL to shoot MOA.

From DSA'a own website.

9- What kind of accuracy can I expect from my FAL?
Using a good commercial grade ammo with 147 gr FMJ bullets approx. average 3" to 4" at 100 yards. However, much greater accuracy has been achieved and reported by many customers including MOA. This depends on many variables that are too lengthy to list in this section.

http://www.dsarms.com/text/faq5.htm#9

I'm real happy for Kevin that he got an inch gun, but I stand by my original statement that that is exceptional for an FAL, especially out of the box.

I'll still hunt with mine occasionally despite its 'mediocre' accuracy. 140# Boar at 80-90yds in tall grass. 18" sa58 para with leupold mr/t 1.5-5x
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Old 06-21-2011, 21:15   #11
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This falcon arms trigger kit was a great upgrade. My pull from the factory was a gritty 10-12 lbs.

Best 15$ I ever spent on a gun.

FN/FAL Metric, Trigger Pull Reduction Kit New
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:17   #12
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Well, I don't know much about DS Arms to be honest. But I've shot FN FAL's in the past that I know would shoot MOA or better consistently. Even my old HK G3 which was just a mediocre rifle, would do 1" groups at 100 yrds about half the time.

Haven't shot either for years, so I'm outdated admittedly, but I intend to have me one, which is why I'm even reading this forum. The FAL is one of the favorite rifles I've ever shot, and accuracy was one of the things I liked about it.

Has quality really gone down hill that much over the years? We'll have to see how Kevin does when He gets that scope on I reckon.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:30   #13
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Originally Posted by SublimeBoa View Post
Well, I don't know much about DS Arms to be honest. But I've shot FN FAL's in the past that I know would shoot MOA or better consistently. Even my old HK G3 which was just a mediocre rifle, would do 1" groups at 100 yrds about half the time.

Haven't shot either for years, so I'm outdated admittedly, but I intend to have me one, which is why I'm even reading this forum. The FAL is one of the favorite rifles I've ever shot, and accuracy was one of the things I liked about it.

Has quality really gone down hill that much over the years? We'll have to see how Kevin does when He gets that scope on I reckon.
DSA makes a nice tight rifle. Only my LWRCs come nicer from the factory. fALs have always been "battle rifle" accurate, not precision guns.

I would recommend one in a heartbeat as long as you can accept you probably won't get as lucky as Kevin on getting an inch gun from the factory.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:45   #14
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Didn't mean to suggest they were sniper or match rifles by any means. But for a battle rifle, they are pretty accurate from what I've witnessed. I'll probably save my pennies and get a Belgian made when the time comes. We'll see what I learn till then. LOL
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:37   #15
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I think a lot of it has to do with the types of ammo that is fired through the rifle - the remington made a lot tighter groups then the Hornady.

When I was at the 2011 shotshow in Las Vegas, I dropped by the DS Arms booth and talked to one of their people. The guy said their FN/FAL was not designed for heavy bullets, such as the Hornady 168 grain BTHP. The guy from DS Arms was surprised that the rounds would load in the magazine or the bolt would even close.

So far I am happy with the rifle. I can honestly say its a pleasure to fire.

This summer I am hoping to build my own gun range and get some more time in with my FAL.
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Old 08-07-2011, 00:52   #16
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FYI: DS Arms SA58s are custom-made rifles and, in fact, can be match accurate if designed to be.

Mine has a 24" heavy target, free-floated barrel and a 4.75 to 5.0 lb trigger hand-lightened by the DS Arms armorer who built it. It groups within half an inch at 100 yards with top-of-the-line Black Hills 168-grain moly-coated ammo. It has a .308 match chamber. It also weighs 15 lbs. and has match sights.
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