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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I've been looking hard at a serious-business .308 semi-auto to help round-out the collection.

At first I was looking at a Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad, but decided that wasn't really what I was looking for after all. I don't want an AR-10 either; I imagine at one point I'll end up building an SR-25 clone, but that's much farther down the road.

So then I looked at a PTR-91, which has the advantage of cheap mags, but everything else you could hope to put on it seems way overpriced. So that's probably out.

So I stumbled onto the DS Arms FAL's. They're almost twice as expensive as any of the other options, but everything I've heard about them so far seems to be very positive.

So, I have a couple of questions about them. Such as, other than the small change in velocity, and I'd imagine a slightly quieter report, is there any reason to go with the 18" barrel over the 16.25" version? Also, what's the difference between a "Type 1" and "Type 2" receiver?

And on the DS Arms site, it says not to shoot steel-cased .308 out of these rifles. Is this the usual manufacturer's liability thing, or will it actually hurt the FAL to digest Wolf on a not-too-regular basis? I'm budgeting in buying a couple 1k round lots of DAG or Lake City .308 as the main practice ammo as I can afford it, but the Wolf is a little cheaper, and after all the DAG/Lake City gets bought up, it might be the only cheapie .308 around for a while.

I'd like to use this rifle as a sort of "serious" fighting carbine for <500 yards, which is about as far as I'm comfortable shooting out to with irons. After that I'm really more comfortable using some kind of optic, so I guess I could track down a SUIT to go on top.

What say you guys?
 

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So, I have a couple of questions about them. Such as, other than the small change in velocity, and I'd imagine a slightly quieter report, is there any reason to go with the 18" barrel over the 16.25" version? Also, what's the difference between a "Type 1" and "Type 2" receiver?

And on the DS Arms site, it says not to shoot steel-cased .308 out of these rifles. Is this the usual manufacturer's liability thing, or will it actually hurt the FAL to digest Wolf on a not-too-regular basis? I'm budgeting in buying a couple 1k round lots of DAG or Lake City .308 as the main practice ammo as I can afford it, but the Wolf is a little cheaper, and after all the DAG/Lake City gets bought up, it might be the only cheapie .308 around for a while.

What say you guys?
Some say the 16.25" barrel guns are a little less reliable because of the shorter barrel and timing issues. I don't have any personal experience with this, just read a few posts regarding this. I have my eye on a 18" conversion to my DSA 21" (50.61 model) as I think this is the ideal length myself.

I am curious about the Wolf ammo thing too. I tried to call them last week and ask about it but got hung up on "hold" and finally gave up waiting on them. I would love to shoot the cheaper stuff if possible but won't until I know the risk.

The DSA para is an excellent gun. Well worth the money in my book. :)

ETA: Forgot to add the link to your question about the receivers. http://www.dsarms.com/text/faq5.htm#2
 

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Get a Type 2 receiver, they are stronger, stiffer & IMHO the best looking receiver made for a FAL - A Type 3 is the strongest, DSA doesn't sell complete rifles with Type 3 receivers but they have Type 3 receivers for sale, mine just came in this week & it is machined flawlessly, i test fit a new FN lower & a mint Steyr carrier & they fit perfect - Buy a like new STG 58 kit, a Type 2 receiver & have it built by a well known smith & you'll have a better rifle than you can buy from DSA - Good luck, Jon
 

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I spoke with them about the Wolf .308 and was told it can rupture in the chamber because the chamber is a 7.62 chamber but the Wolf is .308. I was told the case will expand too much and can rupture with a catastrophic failure of the gun and possible injury to the shooter.

I was cautioned to not do it, period.
 

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Interesting. I wonder what Wolf has to say about it. Granted, 7.62x51 NATO chambers do allow a longer headspace than .308 Win, so it could potentially be a problem with the less-malleable steel cases.
However, since headspace is a tolerance range, and the ranges for .308 and 7.62x51 overlap, it is entirely possible that a DSA-built FAL headspaced for 7.62x51 is actually within the acceptable .308 Win headspace range.
If you were to decide for some reason that you did not want to reload (which is way cheaper even than buying Wolf), but were going to use Wolf instead, you'd have to ensure your FAL headspaces right in the middle of .308 / 7.62x51 overlap so you could shoot both .308 and 7.62x51.
You'll need a set of headspace gauges, some pin gauges, plus the desired size locking shoulder.
Measure the headspace in your rifle. It might be exactly where you want it. If so, be grateful and go forth and shoot.
If not, drive out the existing locking shoulder and measure it with your calipers. This will tell you whether you want a larger or smaller locking shoulder to get you into the "overlap" range. Use the pin gauges and headspace gauges just as you would if you were building or rebarreling your FAL, figure out what size locking shoulder you need, and order one from the usual vendors.
I'd also get another extractor or 2; steel tends to be hard on extractors. Might want to pick up the DSA extractor tool, too: changing them is a huge PITA without the tool.

Honestly, though, you'd be much farther ahead setting up to reload. You're already planning to buy Boxer-primed, brass-cased ammo, most of the cost of which is in that brass case. Get a brass catcher or big cardboard box and keep that brass. You could even turn the gas plug to "G" (for grenade) and use it like a straight-pull manual repeater to drop the brass right on the bench.

As to the other questions:
Go with the 18" barrel. You lose too much going from 21" all the way down to 16". The 2" is not going to make a para that much handier. A friend of mine has an M1A SOCOM; he's getting velocities not much better than 7.62x39 with factory ammo, along with a lot of blast. My 18" FAL, in contrast, is a pleasure to shoot.
I'll second Hillbilly's vote for the Type 2 receiver. They just look "right", especially with a para lower. My full-size FALs wear Type 3s, my new para will be built on a Type 2.
As far as optics go, a SUIT is hideously expensive; why not put a DSA scope mount topcover on it and something like the Leupold 1-4x20 in QD rings? You'll not be getting better than 2-3 MOA out of a FAL, anyway: that magnification range will cover everything from muzzle on out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Indeed it seems like reloading is going to end up being my only serious option; particularly because I can't seem to find any .308 loads using a particular bullet design I want to experiment with.

So I'm going to have to brew it up myself.

So really regardless of if I want to or not, I guess I'm going to just have to bite the bullet and get set up for reloading.

Woe is me. :D

And now I'm also stuck at an impasse, due to a buddy mentioning that I could get a Norinco M14S, shoot it for a while, then send it off to Smith Enterprises and have them build a Mk.14 Mod 0 clone out of it. :angry:
 

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And you havent given the thought of an AK platform in .308 any consideration, WHY?

Or is that not an option in your current situation??

the Saiga .308 can be reconverted into true AK configuration relatively simply and cheaply... and they shoot VERY well... 16 or 21 inch barrels. wood, or synthetic furniture... They are about $450.00 or so nowadays... Might be able to score a used one a bit cheaper...


:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, because, my first "evil black rifle" is probably going to end up being an AKS-74. Or a self-converted Saiga 5.45mm. Haven't decided which yet; the cost of converting a Saiga to be what I want it to be is almost the cost of a quality-built S-74 clone. Plus parts can be a pain in the butt to source, but that's a different thread.

And because I'd rather have an AK (Well, SVD really) in x54r than .308.

Even though the .308 Norincos are disturbingly accurate for a rifle of that design, it just seems, well...unnatural to have one in .308.

Like an AR-15 in 7.62x39mm. There's just something vaguely not right about it that I can't get over.

There's certainly nothing wrong with Saigas and such in .308 though. Just can't wrap my head around the concept.

So if I was going to end up with a .30 cal AK-ish rifle, it'd be a Norinco NDM-86 in x54r. Not a Russian one, because for what a Russian SVD goes for, I could buy an NDM-86. And around 3 pallets worth of surplus x54r to shoot through it.

The ownership of which (the NDM) is actually a life goal for me. :eek:
 

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I've got a Sa58 with the 18" bbl and love it, I think it's the way to go. A perfect compromise between 21" and 16". If you get that bbl length you'll be happy with it.
 

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I've been thinking about getting a US made FAL at some point, but I wanted to point out that I have shot Brown Bear 7.62x51 steel cased ammo out of a CAI CETME with no ill effect. And this is with a fluted chamber! It is labled .308 Win, but I had no problems with shooting it in my 7.62 NATO rifle.

Jim
 

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to your topic , i have the M1A type , i have an AR10 type , i also have the FAL , IMHO the FAL is the go to for close quarters to mid range , my M!A is fitted with a leupold and serves the long range side , even tho the AR is set up with a 24" bull and LR leupold its definetly the bench gun ,

ive handled the AR in a 16" carbine but not yet had the chance to shoot one , the guys i know that shoot three gun in heavy metal seem to swear by them
 

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If you are thinking of reloading, the FAL and H&K type rifles are really hard on brass. The FALs have generally been hardest on brass in my experience, pulling really hard on the cartridge rim during extraction and bending it backwards slightly in one small area on 2 out of the 4 rifles I've shot a lot. With the 2 bad actors, I tried everything, including opening the gas vent as much as possible, chamber polishing, stronger piston spring, and undersize piston, and nothing helped.

The H&K rifles make cases look awful, but the cases actually size and shoot fine, usually.

M1A rifles have rather violent extraction, and cases should be discarded usually after their 4th firing.
 

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that sounds like your gas regulator is open too far.I have 4 fn-fal rifles and I don't have any of those problems.I do agree that the fal is my go- to weapon for most situations out to at least 450 yards, any further than that and I am in the wrong fight!
 

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Howdy I've had a Belgium FAL since 85 and love it. I own a NM M1A longer and it is a little more accurate but it takes longer to clean. I shoot ball or LC Match reloads. It likes 168 BTHP the best. Or for plinking 147 fmjbt. Ive shot a 16" Para FAL and really liked the way it shot about the same recoil. One other plus the mags are cheaper and yes I own a .50/90 Sharps.
 
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