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View Full Version : Identification- Unthreaded barrels: what countries used them?


Heisler
January 19, 2005, 23:54
I've been away from FAL's for a while. (work) Digging in again I find I have what appears to be a brand new barrel with gas block and sight base, bayo lug, but un-threaded at muzzle. I'm trying to remember if any countries used un-threaded barrels? Did they? Who? I'm thinking with the bayonet lug, my barrel may have had the threads cut off, but it sure looks original. Seems mine originally should have had a flash hider in order to mount the bayonet.

How do I distinguish if this is an Argentine barrel?

If it is, they require a different front sight, right?

I didn't think I'd forget this much...sorry.

Thanks for any help, Dennis

Mr pogo
January 20, 2005, 03:01
If it is an open eared gas block its more than likely going to be either Argy or Izzy, former more common. Describe any markings to pin it down.
Argy open eared gas blocks use the same sight post and retainer as Israelis. Closed ear Argies use later style metric front sight post, retainer and spring i.e. G1, Stg, Imbel etc.

FAL guy
January 20, 2005, 08:43
Another train of thought. It could be a G1 barrel and the lug on the barrel is the "accessory" lug used to mount the flash hider, grenade launcher, and blank firing device. The G1 did not have a bayo but the Turks designed an one for it "ersatz".

Mr pogo
January 20, 2005, 13:23
I thought that also but
A. no bipod cut mentioned
B. The G1 will have Kal 762 stamped pretty prominent on the barrel

FAL guy
January 20, 2005, 13:27
Originally posted by Mr pogo
I thought that also but
A. no bipod cut mentioned
B. The G1 will have Kal 762 stamped pretty prominent on the barrel

Good points I hadn't considered.

Heisler
January 20, 2005, 15:53
Thanks guys. Based on the points you brought up, here are more details on my mystery barrel. No markings at all that I can find. Open, "eared" front sight guards (i.e., side windows so you can look through the guards side-to-side). I looks like this was park'd, then blackened for finish. Blackening is similar to British stoving, and flat/non-reflective.

I found I had a brand new G1 flashhider, so I opened that and although the barrel will slide into it the lug will not silde into the flashhider notch. From front of the bayo lug on this to muzzle is 3.25 inches. In front of gas block/sight there is only one groove/ring for only the sling swivel. (No second groove for bipod)

I have an R1 (FN logo) used barrel here that is the same length as the mystery barrel, and the R1 does have threads. R1 bayo lug is at least one inch closer to muzzle too. Kind of suggests to me that my mystery barrel has not been cut back.

"Ears" or sight guard on the mystery barrel stand about 3/8 inch higher than R1 barrel, but sight post itself seems very close to the same.

Does this help to identify this odd barrel??

Thanks, Dennis

EMDII
January 20, 2005, 16:01
- early Canada-FAL
- early Argentine
- early Israeli

Usual suspects

Falcon
January 20, 2005, 16:40
Most likely an Argentine... one way to distinguish between an Argy versus Israeli is by the gas plug type. Argies have the "only one way in" style with two different sized lugs. Whereas, the the Izzies have both the lugs the same size and easily reversible. As most of you know,Izzies have the early gas system that has a longer gas pistion/tube. Check the front of the gas block and see if the recess for the gas plug lugs are even or uneven. Even is Israeli,uneven is Argentine.

Here's a pic of a FAL `Canada' gas block, note the gas tube pin in the early vertical position, "oil" hole on the side and the "half-notch" alignment feature towards the back. These features are indicative of the earliest FAL variants, which include the FAL `Canada' aka EX1.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1gb.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1bbl.jpg

Heisler
January 20, 2005, 17:12
Ahhh. The photo was good. Mine is nearly identical, but not quite. The, "half-notch," at the rear of the gas block on the photo is not present on mine. Viewed from the same side as the one in the photo, mine has only one gas tube lock pin hole, and it is on the bottom.

Mine also has no pin hole just below the sight window as shown in the photo.

So having no threads on these is normal?? How were bayonets handled? Smaller rings (barrel size) on bayonet?

Dennis

elbo
January 20, 2005, 20:33
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Falcon
Most likely an Argentine... one way to distinguish between an Argy versus Israeli is by the gas plug type. Argies have the "only one way in" style with two different sized lugs. Whereas, the the Izzies have both the lugs the same size and easily reversible. ...Check the front of the gas block and see if the recess for the gas plug lugs are even or uneven. Even is Israeli,uneven is Argentine.
[QUOTE]Yes, I'd forgotten.

Seen here on the left is an Argentine block w/ inch plug, on the right is an Isreali/Israeli.
Note the difference in the gas adjuster location.

elbo
January 20, 2005, 21:01
Israeli/Argentine beyonets included the flash suppressor.

Heisler
January 20, 2005, 21:24
I think you guys solved it. I forgot to say the gas plug has the un-even slots; one larger than the other. So that apparently clinches it, my barrel is Argie. I hope this will work with an R1 lower. I just found out that FSE is evidently out of business? Dang. I liked their THS's and I guess I am now stuck with DSA. Dennis

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 03, 2005, 17:06
Originally posted by Falcon
Most likely an Argentine... one way to distinguish between an Argy versus Israeli is by the gas plug type. Argies have the "only one way in" style with two different sized lugs. Whereas, the the Izzies have both the lugs the same size and easily reversible. As most of you know,Izzies have the early gas system that has a longer gas pistion/tube. Check the front of the gas block and see if the recess for the gas plug lugs are even or uneven. Even is Israeli,uneven is Argentine.

Here's a pic of a FAL `Canada' gas block, note the gas tube pin in the early vertical position, "oil" hole on the side and the "half-notch" alignment feature towards the back. These features are indicative of the earliest FAL variants, which include the FAL `Canada' aka EX1.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1gb.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1bbl.jpg


I've only just seen this post but would like to make some comments. I've just looked at my British Trials rifle made in 1954 and although it has the major features shown in Falcons pic it doesn't have the vertical gas cylinder retaining pin or the oil hole for the foresight.

I think you will find this barrel could of been off one of the first Israeli FAL's and these two features were contract specific item? This is a guess on my part and is an observation of my X8E1 (#5011) compared to Falcons pic.

I think the barrel is a little newer then the EX1/X8E1 rifles by maybe a year.

Falcon
February 03, 2005, 21:39
Kevin, in retrospect I think you’re right, it most probably is contract specific. My assumption’s was that both the EX1 and X8E1 shared this, as well as many other traits due to the closeness of the procurement dates.
I’m almost certain this barrel I have is an EX1 spare, it is new and was covered in cosmoline when I bought it. I also have a lower to match it. Further speculating here… both, the oil hole and the vertical gas tube pin appear impractical. Perhaps the British recognized the impracticality of these two mods and dropped them…more speculation I guess.

I have an early FN contract Israeli barrel and it’s numbered 993. A mixture of FN and Israeli proofs, but share the “half-notch” feature…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1/earlyFALgasblocks.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1/Dsc02816.jpg

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 03, 2005, 21:57
Maybe because of the 'impractical' fashion it's in fact for the T48...... you know what the yanks are like, they just love to have gadgits for all sorts of useless things :biggrin:

Can you post a pick of the markings like Mr Pogo has, i would like to see whats stamped on it.

Cheers

Falfegnügen
February 03, 2005, 22:47
Falcon, are the breech threads on those barrels Metric or Imperial? I'm curious since I'm trying to ID my own early FN barrel.

Thanks

Falcon
February 03, 2005, 23:25
Kevin,
Some of us do make things more complicated than need be!:smile:

The breech face has no markings whatsoever; the only ones are the ELG stamp and a number 4 inside a square on the backside of the gas block. The lower has the same number 4 in a box, as well as, the rear sight, inside of the pistol grip and rear of the lower where it meets the stock. I also have an EX1 lugged firing pin that has the #4 mark.

Edited to add: The threads on both barrels, the Ex1 and Israeli, are metric or 25mm-1.5t

FWIW,my swag (scientific wild ass guess) is an Belgian M1 barrel too. The Belgian M1 orders totaled 14,100 rifles, while no definitive proof, they may have purposely stamped it with the 5 digit serial number, working till they reached the 14,100th rifle. I know it sound like a long shot but… :confused:



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1/Dsc02848.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1/DSC02842.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/EX1/Dsc02847.jpg

Falfegnügen
February 04, 2005, 00:12
Thanks! I'm still pretty puzzled on mine though. As you can see in the pics, it has the same ELG stamp as yours, and the number in a box stamps, inch breech threads, not the half-eared gas blocks, half-moon sight-ear cutouts, and several stamps on the breech face.

My Mystery Barrel Thread (http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=132192)

Ok, another question. Does yours have wide and narrow gas-plug lugs? or even Izzy style? Mein barrel is wide at top, narrow at botton style.


You know, we really need to find standardized terms for all of these FAL features. I'm starting to get dizzy thinking about these hound-eared metric Izzy bitch heads in my face. :rolleyes:

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 04, 2005, 06:39
Falcon,

I was just trolling through the 'bible' and found some pics showing the oil hole in the gas block for the foresight. The prototype rifles have this feature and they show it also on the first FAL that Canada purchased.

Check out pages
119, 143, 153, 155

All show signs of the oil hole.

your barrel I would guess was made in 1954

Falcon
February 04, 2005, 10:09
Falophile,
Both the EX1 and Israeli have an even lugged recess for the gas plug. I can send or post pics when I get home. You indicate yours is uneven and wide on top, narrow on the bottom?...If I'm not mistaken some other gasblocks I have are opposite this, being narrow on top, wide on the bottom? I'll double check when I return home. Nontheless, if the lugs are uneven...now sounds like Argentine contract imo.

Kevin,...yes figure 121 on pg 153 in the metric section shows this feature the best I think.

Mr pogo
February 04, 2005, 14:05
Anybody noticed the difference in the openings of the front sight ears?
Early are round and later ears appear to be taller with a cutout in the opening at bottom making the opening a vaguely oval shape, Falcons pic of both gasblocks is good example.
Looking in Stevens book the round seem to be a trials feature up to around 1956, the inch front sight ears appear to be a direct descendant.

I dont know why yet but when I see that "4" in Falcons pic I want to sprechen sie deutch ;)

Falfegnügen
February 04, 2005, 19:39
Originally posted by Falcon
Falophile,
Both the EX1 and Israeli have an even lugged recess for the gas plug. I can send or post pics when I get home. You indicate yours is uneven and wide on top, narrow on the bottom?...If I'm not mistaken some other gasblocks I have are opposite this, being narrow on top, wide on the bottom? I'll double check when I return home. Nontheless, if the lugs are uneven...now sounds like Argentine contract imo.

Falcon, thanks for the comments. Your observations are correct from my perspective too, all the early FAL's I have are same-sized gas-plug lugs. This one clearly has the wide one on top, narrow on bottom - exactly opposite of the later finalized FN pattern. Again, another reason I'm puzzled by this barrel.

I did just read the latest comments over on my thread, and I'm rather puzzled why you guys think this is Argentine contract. I don't understand why, other than the fact there are a fair number of open-eared Argentine barrels around - with standard gas systems. However this is clearly a very early barrel - with an early long gas system. Could you please explain a little further?

Falcon
February 04, 2005, 21:15
Falophile,
I may be all over the map on this and I'll speak for myself, but my train of thought focuses mostly on the uneven gas plug lugs in the gas block you mention. Although I do think certain other characteristics appear to contradict this. Can you post a pic of the front of your gas block for comparison to these?


Here are pics of an Argentine and the EX1:

Front:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Dsc02853.jpg

Rear:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Dsc02854.jpg

Top:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Dsc02856.jpg

Falfegnügen
February 05, 2005, 00:14
Falcon,
First let me say that I really appreciate you sticking with me through this. I'm quite interested in the history and development of the FAL, and I find mysteries like this are very exciting and educational. I guess I lead a dull life.

Also, I've realized that I may not be describing the "long" and "short" gas system properly. What I'm calling a "long" gas system is the early style gas block that took the long gas piston. However, I've realized that Blake Steven's describes this as a "short" gas block. Certianly this barrel is an early FN barrel, and I'm reasonably confident that it has never had the gas block removed. If it had been, then the barrel was reblued afterwards. So if it is an Argentine, it certianly is not the later style short gas system, long gas block, as you have pictured on the right.

At this point I've beginning to solidify my ideas on where this barrel fits in the chronology of the FAL development. And I believe that is right at the point between the type A1 and A2 gas blocks, or the very point where they were developing the uneven gas-plug lugs. Now where that would fit into date of production, or specific end user's contract configurations, I just have no idea.

Here are some more pics. I sure wish this barrel looked as nice as yours!

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/FAL_Barrels/DSC06783.jpg

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/FAL_Barrels/DSC06784.jpg

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/FAL_Barrels/DSC06786.jpg

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/FAL_Barrels/DSC06787.jpg

Mr pogo
February 05, 2005, 03:42
Originally posted by Falcon
......Further speculating here… both, the oil hole and the vertical gas tube pin appear impractical. Perhaps the British recognized the impracticality of these two mods and dropped them…more speculation I guess.......

Actually I believe the "oil hole" is for the retaining pin for the type A front sight, was not serrated and did not use a pronged spring like the type B. It appears the type A was used on gasblocks with the round opening ears altho I have pics with same early gasblock and retrofitted to type B sight post and spring.

Falophile, rechecking on the usual Argy transition gasblock it isnt even a proper FN type listed in Stevens book.
The FN A2 used the old style long gas piston whereas the Argies used the later short gas piston.
Yours may have been a shortlived variant by an unknown country.

Falcon
February 05, 2005, 09:29
I think your assertions on the gas block are correct.It appears to be exactly like this FN Israeli except for the reversed lug pattern, and markings of course. Circa 1955, the Israeli and the Argentines put in orders with FN. Most likely a post Isreali contract and the earliest of the FN Argentine contract(?). It also looks to share similar proofing,as the underlined A is prevalent on both.

mr pogo,
I think you nailed it,I looked in Blake Stevens book(pg48/fig17/bk1)and read what I missed earlier. "The sight is screwed into the gas block and retained by a pin". No wonder this type B sight was a pain to put in, it also doesn't seem to seat down into the recess. I'll have to search for a type A, and do some more reading after some range time this morning.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Israeli%20FAL/Dsc02877.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Israeli%20FAL/Dsc02862.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Israeli%20FAL/Dsc02863.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Israeli%20FAL/Dsc02872.jpg

John Culver
February 05, 2005, 13:59
This thread needed Eurekafied, or at least stickied.

Thanks guys

Falcon
February 05, 2005, 16:27
I've emailed Anders to ask if he could check and see which configuration his Belgian Congo has, it is from the same era and may give us more clues.
I thought he posted a close up pic of the gas block a while ago...can't find it now. Does any one have it?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/Anderscongo.jpg

Brian in MN
February 06, 2005, 11:46
I do not have a close up of Ander's gas block but I did find pics of H & R and FN made T-48 gas blocks. Both use the later style sight with serrations.

Are round hole sight ears strictly prototype production?

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 06, 2005, 23:00
It appears the round hole foresight protectors are found on the prototype rifles and the early Canadian Troop Trials (EX1) rifles probably those made in 1953. It seem at some stage in 1954 it was changed to the elliptical type foresight protectors.

Mr pogo
February 07, 2005, 02:04
1955, see W. Churchill's presentation Fal.

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 07, 2005, 02:36
Churchill's rifle is an optical illusion and it has the later 'oval' foresight protectors.

Mr pogo
February 07, 2005, 02:48
I dunno, looks round to me in figure 147 :confused:

FWIW my FN B4 manual from 1955 shows both types in the disassembly pics, they reused some of the pics from earlier manuals.

NZ L1A1 Collector
February 07, 2005, 03:11
The rifle shown in the T48 manual has the round hole foresight. I'm guessing the rifle is in fact Prototype No. 48.

A lot of the times they used existing pics for the manuals. Just look at the pics in the British manuals (1959, 1965, 1975) they still use the X14E1 prototype rifle photo's. Simply because they already had the pics.

Mr pogo
February 07, 2005, 03:16
Yeah, I know all about reused pics. I remembered arguing with Ted a few years ago about reused FN pics in Imbel manuals :D

Falfegnügen
February 07, 2005, 23:11
Ok, maybe my "upside down" gas plug lugs were an Australian Prototype? ;)

EMDII
February 08, 2005, 05:06
Shazaam!


This thread needed Eurekafied, or at least stickied.

Thanks guys


er,




Eureka!
:wink:

Falcon
February 08, 2005, 06:51
Anders replied; he is remodeling a room and has everything stacked in front of safes. He can't get to the rifle at the moment but said he'd try.

So...this barrels needs a short gas plug with uneven lugs?

Anyone seen or have one?

EMDII
February 08, 2005, 09:31
I have a shorty. I'll check the lugs.

Falfegnügen
February 08, 2005, 22:43
Originally posted by Falcon
Anders ...

So...this barrels needs a short gas plug with uneven lugs?

Anyone seen or have one?

Not I. But I've got the barrel for it! I do wonder if an Izzy would go in ok. Anyone measured the size of the even plug lugs vs. the uneven ones? Will I have to go play with my gas plugs? Yeah!!!

W.E.G.
April 30, 2006, 22:09
bump!