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Old 08-12-2011, 09:26   #1
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PTR-91 vs FN/FAL

Take your pick, the PTR-91 or the FN/FAL. Which one would you choose and why? Both rifles have a quality reputation, both fire 308 winchester, and both rifles are "about" the same price.




The PTR-91:

From the PTR website PTR G.I. model - Item # 915300 Suggested retail price: $999.00 flash hider, H&K navy type polymer trigger group, original HK OD Green furniture, parkerized only finish.

Since the PTR-91 is based off of the H&K91 design, lets use the H&K91 as a reference to the military service of the PTR.

H&K91 service from wikipedia:

Years of service: 1959 - present

Military service:
Portuguese Colonial War
Rhodesian Bush War
Six Day War
Carnation Revolution
Iran–Iraq War
Salvadoran Civil War
Northern Ireland Troubles
Turkey-PKK conflict
Sierra Leone Civil War
Ethiopian Civil War
War in North-West Pakistan
Operation Enduring Freedom/ISAF - Afghanistan
Second Gulf War



The FN/FAL:

From the DS Arms website SA58 FAL Standard Rifle - SA58 FAL Standard Rifle, .308 Cal. 21" Premium Bipod-cut Barrel with Threaded Belgian Short Flashider, Standard Synthetic Handguard & Pistol Grip, Standard Synthetic or X-Series Buttstock, Type I or Type II Receiver.

FN/FAL service from wikipedia:

Years of service: 1954–present

Military Service:
Suez Crisis
Malayan Emergency
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Indonesian Confrontation
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Six-Day War
Portuguese Colonial War
South African Border War
Northern Ireland Troubles
Rhodesian Bush War
Falklands War
Gulf War
Balkan Wars
Cenepa War
Sierra Leone Civil War
Yom Kippur War
Rwandan Civil War
2011 Libyan civil war

Both rifles have a detachable 20 round magazine
PTR-91 magazines cost less then the FN/FAL
FN/FAL is easier to charge then the PTR-91 from the prone position.
PTR-91 does not have a bolt hold back on last roundfired
FN/FAL has a place for a built on bi-pod

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Last edited by Kevin; 08-13-2011 at 05:13.
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Old 08-12-2011, 22:02   #2
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I had the pleasure of shooting the PTR-32 (7.62x39).

A bit heavy, but generally accurate. And the cool factor is extreme with that weapon -- HK bolt-slap ftw, lol.
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Old 08-14-2011, 23:32   #3
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Never touched an FN-FAL, but in the last two weeks purchased two CETME (the lower end versioin of the PTR-91) and then the PTR-91 (traded two of my Mini 14s, 20 mags and 1,000 rounds of ammo for them).

Even though I'm a lefty, charging isn't an issue. This rifle breaks down easily,puts back together easily. I'll get a chance next weekend to clean them and take them to the range to break them in.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:58   #4
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I have never handled much less owned a PTR-91, but my FN-FAL rifles are accurate and reliable. Right now, spare parts are somewhat plentiful, and while magazines for the FAL have stabilized in price around $20 apiece. That is a decent price for a magazine that you can more than likely trust your life to.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:01   #5
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When my buddy and I were comparing rifles, there were some good and bad points for both.

With the ptr-91, spare parts, accessories and magazines are a lot cheaper then the FN/FAL. My buddy pays around $1 - $3 per ptr-91 magazine, while I pay close to $20 for my FN/FAL magazines. He can get a box of magazines for what I spend on 1 magazine.

I much prefer the location of the FN/FAL charging handle, has compared to the PTR-91 charging magazine.

The FN/FAL carry handle is nice, but its nothing to "really" brag about.

With field stripping, I think the FN has the PTR beat, because there are no pins to lose. You just push a lever, and the rifle beaks open. With the ptr you have to remove several pins to break the rifle down. The FN has a retaining cap on the end of the gas tube, but it does not have to be removed to clean the rifle.

The FN seems like it would be easier to fire in a prone position then the PTR, because the rifle rotates on the bipod to the left, which makes replacing the magazines easier, and the charging handle is on the receiver, instead of up by the forearm grip.
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Old 08-17-2011, 19:50   #6
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Originally Posted by wonderdog451 View Post
I have never handled much less owned a PTR-91, but my FN-FAL rifles are accurate and reliable. Right now, spare parts are somewhat plentiful, and while magazines for the FAL have stabilized in price around $20 apiece. That is a decent price for a magazine that you can more than likely trust your life to.
hey, in my eyes, they're both pretty.

i've heard from century arms, three gunsmiths in two countries, scorpian arms, two gun stores and one ammo sales place that CETMEs are now fine weapons. century even admitted they had issues but have straightened them out. all others said that a few years back they were hit and miss,but now the only thing you may want to get is a trigger job.


THIS weekend i can go out and shoot. two are clean,just the newest CETME to clean. all can shoot zinc coated steel ammo (NATO specs beyond the steel) and that comes relatively inexpensively.

i can't wait to have my 8 rifles. of that,two will be CETMEs in 5.56 since I still have several thousand rounds of that. LOL.
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Old 08-18-2011, 16:59   #7
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FAL, no question. For all its Germanic Uberweaponness, the HK (like all HKs) is overpriced, bulky, clunky and has horrid ergonomics. I've never been impressed with any HK product.
Although they are functionally the same length and weight, the FAL handles like a smaller, lighter rifle, while the PTR / CETME feels like I'm wrestling around a hunk of 2 x 10 lumber. The CETMEs at least have some nice wood and a better recoil buffer, the PTR has neither.

As a certified magwhore, cheap mags are certainly attractive, but they don't make up for all the other shortcomings of the HK design.

As a reloader, the FAL is far gentler on brass than the HK. If you want, you can even turn the FAL's gas completely off, and cycle the charging handle to gently drop the empties on the bench. Can't do that with a roller-locked delayed blowback design.

The FAL is a much more refined design, which is not surprising, because it is a postwar design. The HK's design goes back to 1944/45 Germany, with its attendant shortage of raw materials, maximum use of stampings, minimum use of skilled labor, and primary goal of turning out the maximum number of rifles to hold back the Soviet hordes. Being based on those design parameters, the HK should really only cost about 1/3 of what it does. But there's that magical Teutonic Gnome Premium that makes a rifle that is conceptually similar to the AK (yes, I know the operating systems are different) somehow worth 3x as much. Sure, they work really well, but so do AKs.

I've kept one CETME because I like the wood; all the other HK designs I've gotten rid of, because those who like HKs will appreciate them far more than I do. I keep adding FALs, however.

Anyone remember the old "HK: Because you suck. And we hate you." rant?
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Old 08-27-2011, 13:36   #8
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I like both but I actually own the PTR-91..., well sort of.
I have a HK-91/G3 type rifle that was custom built on a PTR-91
receiver with a HKPARTS.net barrel;

HK 91, G3 US made barrel, HK g3 barrel - HKPARTS.NET

I wanted a barrel with HK spec 12 chamber flutes for reliablility and
hammer forged for durability. This system is so reliable, it will almost
function without an extractor! The flutes cause the brass to nearly be
blown out of the chamber. This rifle is a little hard on brass but with a port buffer it is not that bad.

Derek at Azex Arms in Arizona built the rifle and it is a work of art.
The trigger is as smooth as my custom Rem 700 target rifle.
He used HK internals and modified a full auto, to semi auto, 3 position navy style trigger group that works fantastic.

I installed a recoil buffer;

HK Heavy Buffer - HKPARTS.NET

I also added a picatinny rail and a nice scope.

I bought a bunch of various spare parts in case they get scarce in the future. Right now, the mags are dirt cheap! I bought 40 mags for $40.00!
I also bought a bunch of new mags in both steel and aluminum. Not sure why I need 70 or 80 mags..., I guess I just I got overly excited since every other weapon I own, the mags are $20+!

Doing research on the weapon I purchased the "Full Circle: A Treatise on Roller Locking" book that will tell you all you ever wanted to know about this system.

Some do not like it because of the stamped receiver. This weapon WAS designed to be cheaply produced. The neat thing is the brilliance of the design allows for it to be manufactured inexpensively and still be stone cold reliable. Wow. The HK,FAL,AK's are legendary because of their RELIABILITY, not necessarily their accuracy (although this one is plenty accurate).

I've always wanted a HK-91 and missed my "cheap" chance back in the 80's when I could have purchased them for appx $400.00.
I realize this as a custom rifle, and is not cheap. I just wanted a reliable rifle, with the best parts, assembled by a master gunsmith. I believe my rifle approaches the accuracy of the PSG-1 without the $10,000 to $15,000 price tag.
I love this rifle and hope to keep it for the rest of my life.

Speaking of the PTR-91; I think they are fine rifles but may be ammo sensitive. Some have reported their weapons do not like mil-surp ammo.
This may be due to the barrel chamber with only 8 flutes?

I truly respect the FAL and also the AK and will most likely add one or two of them to my collection in the future, but I've always been enamored with the delayed roller locked bolt of the HK. No one, not even the guys that really do not like them (I guess because of the ergonomics. I have a 6'2" 230lb linebacker build and it fits me great!) questions it's RELIABILITY. It goes bang every time. Time after Time. No matter how dirty the chamber gets (and believe me, it gets plenty dirty), no matter how dirty the gas system gets...Oh.., Wait a minute..., it doesn't have a gas system to get clogged. I guess that is why it kicks like a mule. Glad my recoil buffer and the Heavy Rubber Buttpad took care of that. Except for the weight, it is almost a perfect rifle now. Or at least, perfect for me...

Hope this helps someone.

Blessings,
Brian
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Old 08-31-2011, 14:12   #9
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The point about ammo sensitive in the PTR is true. I have talked to guys that had one and they couldn't even empty their mag with German DAG before the gun stopped feeding. My understanding is that PTR tightened up the grooves in the chamber to increase accuracy, but since they are smaller, they get filled with the tar sealant that is used in most Milsurp ammo.

PS: PTR does make a specific rifle now that will shoot Milsurp. I don't remember what the model is but it actually works.
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Old 08-31-2011, 19:20   #10
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Originally Posted by storage_man View Post
The point about ammo sensitive in the PTR is true. I have talked to guys that had one and they couldn't even empty their mag with German DAG before the gun stopped feeding. My understanding is that PTR tightened up the grooves in the chamber to increase accuracy, but since they are smaller, they get filled with the tar sealant that is used in most Milsurp ammo.

PS: PTR does make a specific rifle now that will shoot Milsurp. I don't remember what the model is but it actually works.


It's the PTR 91 G.I. Built to looser tolerances, so it can fire anything.
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Old 08-31-2011, 19:31   #11
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I figure it like this: 'accuracy' if based from a bench, is meaningless in the 'real world'.

if folks are talking a SHTF scenario, then what you want is a basically good rifle (both PTR and FAL are that) that can throw enough rounds toward the enemy to kill him or slow him down so your pal can kill him.

the guys you shooting at will be moving...so your sub-MOA performance pretty much goes out the window. if you hit him ANYWHERE on his body with a .308, he's either dead or in a world of hurt.


so it ultimately comes down to PREFERENCE. neither rifle is really objectively 'better' than the other. they're tools. if you're a lousy shot with a $500 rifle, you'll be a lousy shot with a $5,000 rifle.

reloading SOUNDS nice,but in a SHTF situation,where you have to be on the run, bringing your press may prove daunting. throwing 20 boxes of ammo into your truck may be a bit easier.

i'm not into 'tacticool' stuff,so i don't need all the rails. if there is to be a SHTF issue, i don't see myself doing 'house to house fighting' at night, so no need for a flashlight. i mean, really?

basic rifle with good eyes gets the job done out to 200 yards or so. 9.9 out of ten, beyond that range, i don't need to shoot anyone. i'll stay hidden.


either rifle will hook you up for whatever you're really ever gonna need to protect yourself in a shtf/wrol issue. all the extranneous stuff may be cool to have,but fairly useless for 99% of us out there. no matter what we think of our shooting skills, there's a reason why snipers are few and far between.
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Old 09-01-2011, 16:29   #12
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I like both the PTR-91 (H&K91) and the FAL.

I've owned both, I've used and carried both.
They both work.

After that it all comes down to ergonomics and economics.

The FAL is more ergonomic for me.
I can do all the work myself on it with hand tools (I built it that way).
Parts are fairly easy to fabricate if needed.

The 91 isn't as easy to build, the requirement to weld takes it out of the running for me.
But mags are cheap, and spare parts (the ones that wear out) are easily found.

Realistically, the prices are comparable for good versions of either model.

I've considered converting completely to the PTR in the recent past, several times in fact, but the welded receiver still puts me off, I like to build my own (what gunsmith doesn't) and the 91's aren't as friendly to build.

I can build a FAL in an afternoon, if I refinish it, it takes a day working slowly.

Everybody worries too much about accuracy.
Both are accurate enough to do what's needed.
Realistically, a 4" group at 100Y is plenty good for whatever you're shooting at, as long as you can do it from every position. Standing, prone, sitting, etc. Any gun that will consistently shoot into 4" or better regardless of ammo, position or hot/cold is a keeper and worthy of defensive and hunting use.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:12   #13
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I think my choice would be the FN/FAL. I think the FN fits me better I like the place to mount the bipod for the FN the charging handle for the FN. I think the FN is easier to break down to clean. And I'm not a fan of the H-K sights plus the fluted chamber on the HK is hard on the brass cartridges if you reload.
Now I can get an FN/FAL ($799.00) cheaper than an H-K ($1,195.00), but mags & parts are more expensive for the FN but the $394.00 difference I can buy a few magazine.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:30   #14
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I prefer the FN FAL due to the way the PTR eats the brass. .308 ammo isn't cheap so I try to maximize by reloading.

I would like to get a couple PTR and a 100 magazines. Would make a good grab box rifle.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:52   #15
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The PTR does not, in fact, shoot the .308. It shoots 7.62 NATO. Same with the FAL. The gas system is timed for NATO spec ammo, and the PTRs ejection system requires the thicker NATO brass. I run Silver and Brown Bear ammo through my CETME, which is what the HK rifles are based on, with no issues. I don't know if the FAL's gas system can take the dirty Bear ammo, but my CETME runs like a top with it.

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Old 10-08-2011, 22:00   #16
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Owned them both.

FAL's adjustable gas system can be tuned to run anything.

HK/PTR rollers need to be kept clean and oiled or they will rust and lock up tighter than a clam. Ask the Contras in Central America.

Make mine a FAL any day. Currently own four.

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Old 10-13-2011, 23:05   #17
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Lmao

Originally Posted by PigBat View Post
FAL, no question. For all its Germanic Uberweaponness, the HK (like all HKs) is overpriced, bulky, clunky and has horrid ergonomics. I've never been impressed with any HK product.
Although they are functionally the same length and weight, the FAL handles like a smaller, lighter rifle, while the PTR / CETME feels like I'm wrestling around a hunk of 2 x 10 lumber. The CETMEs at least have some nice wood and a better recoil buffer, the PTR has neither.

As a certified magwhore, cheap mags are certainly attractive, but they don't make up for all the other shortcomings of the HK design.

As a reloader, the FAL is far gentler on brass than the HK. If you want, you can even turn the FAL's gas completely off, and cycle the charging handle to gently drop the empties on the bench. Can't do that with a roller-locked delayed blowback design.

The FAL is a much more refined design, which is not surprising, because it is a postwar design. The HK's design goes back to 1944/45 Germany, with its attendant shortage of raw materials, maximum use of stampings, minimum use of skilled labor, and primary goal of turning out the maximum number of rifles to hold back the Soviet hordes. Being based on those design parameters, the HK should really only cost about 1/3 of what it does. But there's that magical Teutonic Gnome Premium that makes a rifle that is conceptually similar to the AK (yes, I know the operating systems are different) somehow worth 3x as much. Sure, they work really well, but so do AKs.

I've kept one CETME because I like the wood; all the other HK designs I've gotten rid of, because those who like HKs will appreciate them far more than I do. I keep adding FALs, however.

Anyone remember the old "HK: Because you suck. And we hate you." rant?
I like all the coments PB has a way with words.
With all that has been said, I agree with the picky on ammo points and I like the FAL/FN Feel too. I would take either if given to me (incase you need to unload yours)....LOL
Also Kev made good videos and the new rail/cover is nice.
Also what M1key said!!!! Adjustable gas = ammo flexability. Good for shtf!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:38   #18
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Originally Posted by chicagoan View Post
It's the PTR 91 G.I. Built to looser tolerances, so it can fire anything.
From what I have heard YES
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Old 10-19-2011, 16:58   #19
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I have my PTR set up as my SHTF go to rifle. I put a POF plastic handguard on it to replace the machined aluminum one more for looks than anything. It functions the same as the stock PTR handguard, but I have alswys thought HK rifles were the sexiest thing ever, so mine had to look as authentic as possible. I have a 4x henslodt scope with claw mount that I just zeroed 2 weeks ago. The rifle shoots very well with it and I think the claw mounts are the only realistic mounting options for a PTR/HK unless you get ther PTRs with the flat top piciatinny rails on top, which in hindsight I would rather have, but I am happy with my setup. I also have the bayo adapter plug and a bayo also. WHile bayos may be immpractical, they are still cool, and if a certain gun can easily accept a bayo, I don't see why one wouldn't own a bayo for that gun. One thing I like about the PTRs is the way they ride on an HK style sling. It is very comfortable to wear the rifle across the front of your body and swing it up fast, as the sling is mounted on the side. You can attach a bipod to a PTR if you get one of the original HK or POF handguards. SOme of them come with a bipod mounted or you can order the bipod separately. I do not presently have a bi-pod because I cant find one in stock nd I really don't need to spend $250 on a factory original bipod. When someone has the POF bipods in stock, im going to grab one. I have 40 mags and a pretty exrensive spare parts kit for my PTR. It is pretty easy and inexpensive to aquire quality PTR/HK parts and accesories. As for the ergonomics of the PTR, I an reach the saftey laver and mag release relatively easily. It is hard to reach the charging handle on the rifle while still keeping the muzzle downrange however. I have the heavy barrel model (as I believe all are, except the GI model) o the rifle is front heavy so when I take my hand off the handquard it i difficult to keep the rifle pointed downrange but not impossible. The sling makes it much easier. I find myself pointing the muzzle at the ground more frequently when I am changing mags and charging. This is something I have to work on. I have no experience with the FAL but a lot of people like them and they have a good reputation.
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Old 10-21-2011, 23:51   #20
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Originally Posted by StevieGuns77 View Post
I have my PTR set up as my SHTF go to rifle. I put a POF plastic handguard on it to replace the machined aluminum one more for looks than anything. It functions the same as the stock PTR handguard, but I have alswys thought HK rifles were the sexiest thing ever, so mine had to look as authentic as possible. I have a 4x henslodt scope with claw mount that I just zeroed 2 weeks ago. The rifle shoots very well with it and I think the claw mounts are the only realistic mounting options for a PTR/HK unless you get ther PTRs with the flat top piciatinny rails on top, which in hindsight I would rather have, but I am happy with my setup. I also have the bayo adapter plug and a bayo also. WHile bayos may be immpractical, they are still cool, and if a certain gun can easily accept a bayo, I don't see why one wouldn't own a bayo for that gun. One thing I like about the PTRs is the way they ride on an HK style sling. It is very comfortable to wear the rifle across the front of your body and swing it up fast, as the sling is mounted on the side. You can attach a bipod to a PTR if you get one of the original HK or POF handguards. SOme of them come with a bipod mounted or you can order the bipod separately. I do not presently have a bi-pod because I cant find one in stock nd I really don't need to spend $250 on a factory original bipod. When someone has the POF bipods in stock, im going to grab one. I have 40 mags and a pretty exrensive spare parts kit for my PTR. It is pretty easy and inexpensive to aquire quality PTR/HK parts and accesories. As for the ergonomics of the PTR, I an reach the saftey laver and mag release relatively easily. It is hard to reach the charging handle on the rifle while still keeping the muzzle downrange however. I have the heavy barrel model (as I believe all are, except the GI model) o the rifle is front heavy so when I take my hand off the handquard it i difficult to keep the rifle pointed downrange but not impossible. The sling makes it much easier. I find myself pointing the muzzle at the ground more frequently when I am changing mags and charging. This is something I have to work on. I have no experience with the FAL but a lot of people like them and they have a good reputation.
I love my CETMEs and PTR-91 (AW series,so it can take call kinds of ammo). Just ordered my first PTR-91 GI so I can still run any kind. No more CETME kits

I don't know what's the issue for the mag release and charging handle. Oh, I'm left handed, so both are easy. I'm already holding the handguard with my right, so charging and pointing it downrange/up is no big deal. Of course mag releases are easy.

The only two good thing about being a lefty and shooting I guess. LOL.
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:14   #21
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I have both, PTR-91 would be the 1st choice for SHTF rifle and preference. I just picked up a SIG 556. I have alittle over 800 rounds thru it, no hiccups of any kind. It my be a great SHTF rifle.
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Old 01-06-2012, 17:46   #22
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Have owned a few FALs. Owned a G3 kit for a while, sold before bothering to build it. Probably could have been a decent rifle but I had two FALs that ran like Swiss watches that I was able to build myself so saw no reason to pay someone a lot of money to weld up a G3 for me. Sold the kit and never missed it. FAL and M14 clones for me.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:07   #23
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The second one looks quite better. It can be gripped better. Just personal opinion.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:02   #24
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Fal all the way

The PTR-91 has a fluted chamber due to the roller locking system. As a reloader the brass fired from the PTR is a pain to deal with when reloading. I also believe the PTR has a sheet metal receiver and the Fal has a machined receiver. The Fal might be a little heavier than the PTR but for the 308 win. that might be better.
For me it's the Fal all the way.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:24   #25
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I've always been a fan of the HK's and have owned them in many configurations and calibers, 9mm, .223, 7.62X39, .308, pistols, rifles, carbines, full stock, collapsible stock, select fire, semi auto, Vector factory registered SBR, custom, etc.. They're like the AR platform as far as versatility and available accessories are concerned.
Given all of that, my SHTF weapon is a DSA Para Elite Compact.









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