Building an FN FAL - Shooting Sports Forum


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

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Old 02-18-2016, 19:19   #1
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Building an FN FAL

Aside from the Head Space issue which I would bring to a gunsmith, how hard is it to build a FAL?
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:06   #2
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In New York, it would be against the law to build such a rifle. Other than that I don't think its terribly hard. Should be plenty of build sites out there.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:29   #3
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Well the thing is the only thing that would make it illegal is the pistol grip and if it has a flash suppressor. The flash supressor which is easy to fix as long as the barrel is longer than 16 inches. I put a post up about building one without a pistol grip. As I have not handled one in almost 10 years I'm not even sure if it is even possible. There are some NY compliant AR's. They are ugly but they work.

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Old 02-25-2016, 13:40   #4
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If Legal To Build Then ...

The FN is easy to build. All you need is a gunsmiths barrel shim washer kit and the necessary set of three head space gages. If you have the patience, just one head space gage is actually needed. I do not know the torque value on FN barrel installations. Easy to find out.

The locking shoulder is the critical part. It must be in good smooth condition and be very tight in the receiver. Or ... you might just get lucky and run up the barrel to the index marks once and find your bolt head spaces up just perfect. But it won't. You will need the shim kit.

Or ... you can put a NO GO gage in the chamber, run up the bolt carrier group and start torquing up that barrel gently until you feel the resistance. Go easy with the torque. Then check the head space with your GO gage. The FN build is different from an AR15 build. Fun.

Forget to say you will need the specific FN armorers kit and tools. Easy to find. Good luck.

Last edited by HB of CJ; 02-25-2016 at 15:35. Reason: added sentence.
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Old 02-25-2016, 17:47   #5
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Do you think one could be built without a pistol grip and still be functional?
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Old 02-25-2016, 18:28   #6
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Im not sure easy is the word. You need to learn the weapon. then theres your parts count, etc. It is fun though. I did an Austrian STG-58, and a FAL-O (izzzy or Israeli FAL). Sadly they had to move out of state. A big factor on the barrel is its age and condition. My Austrian just had to be torqued down, no washers. The FAL-O is a different creature, but I doubt thats what you will be building.

As far as a FAL w/o a pistol group, never seen one, and wouldnt want to. The receiver has a long stud you would have to remove, then some bizarre grip, which might or might not be legal would have to be put on, if one could. In Kali people have come up with a bunch of really stupid, ugly, and uncomfortable grips to try to skirt the issue. Dont know the legality of all of them for us. I will stick to my AR-15 with its bullet button.
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Old 02-25-2016, 19:34   #7
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Originally Posted by Scorpion of Mars View Post
Im not sure easy is the word. You need to learn the weapon. then theres your parts count, etc. It is fun though. I did an Austrian STG-58, and a FAL-O (izzzy or Israeli FAL). Sadly they had to move out of state. A big factor on the barrel is its age and condition. My Austrian just had to be torqued down, no washers. The FAL-O is a different creature, but I doubt thats what you will be building.

As far as a FAL w/o a pistol group, never seen one, and wouldn't want to. The receiver has a long stud you would have to remove, then some bizarre grip, which might or might not be legal would have to be put on, if one could. In Kali people have come up with a bunch of really stupid, ugly, and uncomfortable grips to try to skirt the issue. Don't know the legality of all of them for us. I will stick to my AR-15 with its bullet button.
I was curious past up an R1 for 400 years ago and an FAL for 800. Now I'm regretting because they are illegal. My wife and I are looking to buy a house. Then kids. Hoping at some point being able to get some property in Pa while it is still a free state. If that happens maybe Ill finally get my FAL fix.
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Old 02-25-2016, 20:06   #8
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Ah, a good point to bring up, get or build a metric pattern FAL, not an inch pattern (aka commonwealth)

Good luck with the house and kids.
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Old 02-28-2016, 14:41   #9
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Thank You Scoripon Of Mars ...

Thank you. I forgot the difference between Metric And SAE FN LAR rifles. Whatever kit you decide to get, be sure it is Metric. SAE FNs like the British are OK but we have found most after market goodies and parts SEEM to only like the Metric versions?

Not all but most. Some parts interchange. I have forgotten which. Also one OEM mag type will go both ways with a little tweeking, but the other mag will not go the other way. Again I have forgotten. You will have fun building and shooting your own.

FN parts seem to be quite precise. Be sure you are legal. Lots of select fire parts work fine in a semi auto FN build, but may not be currently legal inside a rifle. Your local, county and state laws may enter into it also. Be sure what you get it legal.

Some parts can be owner modified. Some can not. Some parts like the full auto ejector block assembly, safety sear assembly, bolt carrier and change lever may not be legal even to possess much less have inside your New York legal FN. Have fun.
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Old 02-28-2016, 15:05   #10
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Go to DSARMS they got everything FAL, and theres also Entreprise arms.
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Old 04-02-2016, 14:55   #11
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Originally Posted by Scorpion of Mars View Post
Go to DSARMS they got everything FAL, and theres also Entreprise arms.
Entreprise is out of business. Back in the day they were a good company. I don't know what happened but I read some time back that the service and quality went downhill. Probably what led to the closing.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:33   #12
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Originally Posted by dh1633pm View Post
In New York, it would be against the law to build such a rifle. Other than that I don't think its terribly hard. Should be plenty of build sites out there.
If he removes psitol grip and collapsible stock, and doesn't havyle a bayo lug or threaded flash hider shouldn't he be good to go? Or he can just pin the mag into the well and keep all the other features?
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Old 05-04-2016, 13:34   #13
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Legalities aside (I don't know what NY law says), building a FAL is pretty easy. Apart from NY-specific stuff, 922r must be followed. This means using some combination of U.S. made parts (fire control group, furniture, and magazines are commonly replaced items) to get below the magic number (10, IIRC) of Evil Foreign Parts. You can google it, or go to FALfiles.com, which has multiple threads on the topic.

The very first thing you must do is buy the Gunplumber's Guide to Gunsmithing the FAL and L1A1 Workbook and DVD from Arizona Response Systems. It is the best $70 you will spend.
http://http://www.arizonaresponsesys...ars-misc.shtml

Any receiver you get these days will not have the select-fire ejector block in it, so no worries there. Your parts kit might have one; throw it away, keep it, sell it, whatever: you won't need it or its pins.

The "big" issue is barreling and headspacing. These are intimidating if you've never done it, but really not anything magic or even particularly difficult. You will need a solidly-mounted bench vise, a FAL receiver wrench, .308 Win or 7.62 NATO headspace gauges, and pin gauges. The Workbook and DVD will walk you through the whole process.

Definitely build on a metric receiver, preferably Imbel or Coonan. All the really "good" inch-pattern bits (selector, rear sight, mag release, folding charging handle) will either fit directly on a metric pattern receiver, or need only slight modification to do so.
The real reason to build on a metric receiver, however, is magazines. It is said that metric magazines will work in an inch-pattern receiver. Maybe they do. Regardless, metric magazines work better in a metric receiver, and there are a lot more of them around than inch magazines. Surplus mags work, unless badly beat up. Moses mags work. Korean mags might work. DSA mags might work.

As to parts, that might take a bit of searching, but they're out there. The old (infamous) Century Arms "butthole" stock might satisfy NY rules against pistol grips, or you might have to get creative. Unless you're really lucky, you'll be buying a new locking shoulder to fit your particular receiver/bolt/barrel combination. Everything else that's necessary should be in your parts kit.
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Old 05-16-2016, 19:51   #14
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Thanks for the info Pigbat. Thumb whole stocks are illegal as well in NY. Going to hold off on this. I just got married in November and we are looking for a house. Idealy Id like to get some property in a Free state most likely PA where I can get and keep these without an issue. Who knows when that will happen. Right now I'll enjoy what I have. Even if there is a Republican in Albany I don't think the SAFE act will be repealed. At least I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 07-21-2017, 15:37   #15
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Originally Posted by Darts2116 View Post
Aside from the Head Space issue which I would bring to a gunsmith, how hard is it to build a FAL?
The hardest part is getting your barrel dialed in perfectly. It took me 2 hours on adjusting the barrel on my rifle. It is a tack driver and I have no bullet drift at all.

My brother also built one and didn't get his barrel correctly lined up. When using his iron sights he has drifting problems and has to compensate for it constantly when shooting different range lengths. But now he only uses a scope which eliminates the drifting.

Also it is wise if you are not sure about your locking shoulder and timing to take it to a Gun Smith. I did all my own but I have experience from working in armories when in the Marines.

One other thing. Have a good heavy duty vise! I busted a vice while putting a barrel in for a friend.
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Old 07-10-2020, 21:22   #16
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Falfiles.com is a good resource for FAL and related rifles there Darts2116, unfortunately Falfiles and AKfiles are down ATM.
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Old 12-26-2020, 20:49   #17
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Falfiles is back up and running. If you want to build a FAL, go to this site, become a member, and read the posts in the forum. There is a a lot of great info there, especially in the stickies, and you will learn a lot.
Good luck
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