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View Full Version : ID: variant of FN para lower/stock


James87
January 02, 2006, 21:57
I have what was sold to me as an original Belgian Para stock assembly and lower. I bought it from a member here who got it from a contact in Belgium. The lower is a T3 with a pistol grip bolt that screws into the lower from the bottom. I'm not sure if the lower is original to the stock assembly or not but the internals, FSE pistol grip and rear sight were added by me.
But the stock really is a puzzler to me. It appears to be all steel, maybe aluminum and has no lightening cuts near the stock knuckle. Also has no spacer like the early FN paras but the buttplate isn't like anything I've ever seen before.

Anybody ever seen one of these before? I want to build a rifle with it but would like to know what the heck it is first! Thanks in advance.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010125.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010124.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010126.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010127.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010128.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010129.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/Jmolden87/P1010130.jpg


PS... I need a topcover if anybody has one they'd sell. ;)

NHBandit
January 02, 2006, 22:47
I have a genuine Belgian para from a SA kit I bought a couple years ago.. All Belgian parts. My PG attatches the same way but the lower itself is aluminum. The folder part is also aluminum with the exception of the top tube. That is black plastic. Is yours ? Mine is also a type 2 but keep in mind the Belgians were building there for many years and made several changes during that time depending on what the country ordering them specified, etc. This does not mean yours isn't Belgian.

NHBandit
January 02, 2006, 22:50
another pic before refinishing

EX1
January 02, 2006, 23:17
Hello the folder appears to be a FNC folder. It looks like the ring that is normally on the top of the butt has been milled off.The buttpad/buttplate is from A FNC. Thanks EX1

1811GNR
January 02, 2006, 23:20
That looks like a cast lower. Is the recoil plate a seperate piece? If no and there is an arrow proof on the left rear of the lower it is an Argentine. Don't Know about the butt. Could be one of the units DSA assembled years ago.

bykerhd
January 02, 2006, 23:43
A magnet will tell you which parts are steel.

splattermatic
January 03, 2006, 08:21
i'll take that rear sight if ya wanna sell it..

rob1
January 03, 2006, 09:51
Hey NHBandit, mine is just like yours, got it from MGS a couple years ago. My top tube is aluminum, but has a black plastic "sheath" around it. I had to replace the pivot block because the aluminum was wallowed out, thats when I found that that top tube was aluminum. Yours is the same maybe?

mojo_matic
January 03, 2006, 10:43
Regardless, I think the lower and stock combonation looks cool. A fresh finish, and she should build into a sweet rifle.

As stated above, the lower receiver does appear to be cast? Is there a proof mark anywhere on the lower that looks like a "Christmas tree?"

Does anyone know if Belgium made any cast lowers?

If FN was making FALs at the same time they were making FNC rifles, I would imagine that characteristics could overlap. Considering that the FNC characteristics are borrowed from the FAL rifle, it only makes sense that this was done to shed cost of manufacturing?

bykerhd
January 03, 2006, 11:43
Weren't those Hiduminium lowers Belgian ?
A little Googling says that was some sort of aluminum alloy.

James87
January 03, 2006, 14:38
Hello all. I don't have the assembly with me right now.
Sounds like EX1 is right. It's part FNC, part para FAL. The lower is steel for sure.The top tube is steel or aluminum, but I will test it with a magnet.
The rear sight is not for sale, I'm actually looking for another.

I think the belgians made some cast lowers near the end of production. I was told by the seller that he was 100% sure it was belgian. Also said that the stock was an early model para FAL stock, but the buttplate had me wondering. This came straight from Belgium and the seller I bought it from is a stand up guy.
I'll post more when I get back home and look over the lower closer.

James87
January 03, 2006, 14:44
I like mojo's idea that the design from the FNC could have been encorporated into the FAL. Anybody know if this is possible?
It would be nice to think this was originally produced like this at FN. Or maybe an armory replacement.

splattermatic
January 03, 2006, 14:54
someone pull "the book" out and take a look see..iirc, the first para stocks looked like this one..

James87
January 03, 2006, 16:00
I looked up a couple pics of a FNC and the buttplate looks identical to this one, minus the loop on the top. In the book it shows the early para lowers looking just like the ones today but without the plastic spacer.
The tubes are all aluminum, no plastic shell. The hinge block is steel.

I can't tell if the recoil plate is part of the lower, it looks kinda like it is, but the paint makes it hard to tell.

Anybody want to trade stocks?

James87
January 03, 2006, 16:07
No markings on the lower except for usual SRA. It is unnumbered. It is probably Argy?
How can you tell if it's a cast lower? The recoil plate does look like part of the lower.

hanko
January 03, 2006, 16:42
Originally posted by James87
No markings on the lower except for usual SRA. It is unnumbered. It is probably Argy?
How can you tell if it's a cast lower? The recoil plate does look like part of the lower.
A cast argy lower has a fixed pin across the lower forward of the hammer pin holes. A regular upper needs a bit of grinding to lock up with an Argy cast lower.

-hanko

NHBandit
January 03, 2006, 21:05
Originally posted by rob1
Hey NHBandit, mine is just like yours, got it from MGS a couple years ago. My top tube is aluminum, but has a black plastic "sheath" around it. I had to replace the pivot block because the aluminum was wallowed out, thats when I found that that top tube was aluminum. Yours is the same maybe? Same thing. Mine also came from MGS and the lower was advertised as being Hiduminium.

Steelcore_7.62
January 03, 2006, 21:09
That folder looks FNC to me. I have two unissued cast Type 3 lowers I bought in Belgium. They are para cut on the plate but still have the recoil spring tubes and stock tangs. Seems entirely possible to me that they mixed the FNC/FAL folders that late in production.

I also found two standard Hinduminium (sp?) lowers over there. They both had gray paint over black anodizing which indicates use by the Belgian Army. These are light as a feather and still pretty strong.

Cheers,
Darrell

mojo_matic
January 04, 2006, 08:48
hanko-
"A cast argy lower has a fixed pin across the lower forward of the hammer pin holes. A regular upper needs a bit of grinding to lock up with an Argy cast lower."

Not all of the Argy cast receivers have the cross pin. I have had examples of both. It is also apparent that James's lower is lacking the cross pin.

James, if your lower is an Argy, it will have a proof mark that looks like a "Christmas Tress"...a short blunt arrow pointing upwards. I believe that it is on left side, near the recoil plate. Regardless, the proof isn't hard to miss.

I'm expecting a Belgian type III para lower.

I believe that you have an authentic FN para lower. Considering that the lower is later type III design, I would suspect that thse were replacement parts made during the same time period that FNCs were being produced. It would onyl make sense to me that they wwould adapt the FNC stock for FN lower. Same function and durability, and less manufacturing costs.

I think that it looks kick ass too! ;) :beer:

The steel knuckle is a big plus as well...interesting that steel knuckles were an earlier design? FN cleaning house and implimented them into late replacements?

Brian in MN
January 04, 2006, 11:04
Originally posted by James87
I like mojo's idea that the design from the FNC could have been encorporated into the FAL. Anybody know if this is possible?
It would be nice to think this was originally produced like this at FN. Or maybe an armory replacement.

All but the prototypes of the FAL butts have the reinforcement spacer between tubes. If it were a late production FN factory stock mixing FNC & FAL parts I would expect that spacer to be present. Looks to me like a bunch of parts someone put together.

hanko
January 04, 2006, 11:38
Originally posted by mojo_matic
hanko-
"A cast argy lower has a fixed pin across the lower forward of the hammer pin holes. A regular upper needs a bit of grinding to lock up with an Argy cast lower."

Not all of the Argy cast receivers have the cross pin. I have had examples of both. It is also apparent that James's lower is lacking the cross pin.


Mojo, thanks.

-hanko

mojo_matic
January 04, 2006, 12:35
Brian in MN
"All but the prototypes of the FAL butts have the reinforcement spacer between tubes. If it were a late production FN factory stock mixing FNC & FAL parts I would expect that spacer to be present. Looks to me like a bunch of parts someone put together."

The two characteristics that catch my attention is:

1. Uniform wear on the lower itself.
2. An FNC lower has a welded reinforcement plate. The tubes on this example do not exhibit any evidenve of past welds, or reattachment of folding block or buttpad.

Who knows...maybe it could have been a prototype of some sort?

Even so, it is indeed a bunch of parts put together (FN or other). Who did it, we will probably never know.

Regardless, still a neat lower and will build into a hansome and unique rifle.

James87
January 04, 2006, 12:39
The knuckle on the stock is actually aluminum but the pivot block attached to the lower is steel. I can't find any markings.

Thanks everybody for the input. Now I have to figure out what to do with this stock. Im usually more of a purist when it comes to my FALs.

James87
January 04, 2006, 12:43
I will admit that it looks kewl though.

:cool:

mojo_matic
January 06, 2006, 11:14
Question: Has anyone ever seen an original Belgian type III para lower, of any type?

We do know that FN made type III receivers as well as lowers...though they are fairly unheard of outside of commercial export. Maybe the lower in question was actually destined to be a commercial export or replacment as the FAL line was being phased out in favor of the FNC? I find this subject very interesting...especially since I have an identical example inbound. The lowers in question came directly from Belgium via. a respectable and upstanding FALfiler.

Intersting how some people want to dismiss the possiblity that other variations, especially late, could be lost in the fold as the FN production FALs were on their way out.

James87, I believe that you have a very interesting and unique lower. Considering the source of the lower, the uniform finish wear, and the fact that the tubes are unaltered (no weled in reinforcement plates), I feel confident that this lower is correct from FN (prototype, commercial replacement, short lived military build...nobody will ever know).

We know the origin of our examples. I cannot think of any concrete reason why we would think that someone assembled these in current configuration, with such high craftmaship.

Just because there is not a spacer block between the tubes, does not mean that it never received one.

James, build it man! :beer:

EMDII
January 06, 2006, 13:04
I owned a Belgian T3 para for several years.

James87
January 07, 2006, 00:13
There are some markings under the pistol grip on the trigger plunger retainer, kinda faint. One of which is a square box and does appear to be the FN logo inside.

1811GNR
January 07, 2006, 11:17
In your fourth photo it appears there is a ring of finish wear on the folder block where the top tube enters. May just be the photo but it looks as if the plastic tube that is normally on these rubbed there. :?

Steelcore_7.62
January 07, 2006, 13:44
Here are some pics of my Type III lowers I found in Belgium. I am curious if James' lower has the same square hole behind the PG screw. Any ideas as to what purpose it serves? The only markings on these lowers are shown in Pic 3.


Cheers,
Darrellhttp://img72.imageshack.us/img72/1030/type3d.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=type3d.jpg)http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6798/type3a.th.jpg (http://img35.imageshack.us/my.php?image=type3a.jpg) http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/2197/dsc00263d.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00263d.jpg) http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/3115/type3c.th.jpg (http://img197.imageshack.us/my.php?image=type3c.jpg)http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/1001/im000346.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=im000346.jpg)

mojo_matic
January 07, 2006, 16:09
The recoil plate on your lowers have the cut to accept para cover. Cool!

James87
January 07, 2006, 16:11
Yup, mine has the same square hole. But yours has a recoil tube attached? I think my lower was a para from the get go.

Mine also has about 3 different tiny markings on the trigger plunger retainer.

James87
January 07, 2006, 16:20
Originally posted by 1811GNR
In your fourth photo it appears there is a ring of finish wear on the folder block where the top tube enters. May just be the photo but it looks as if the plastic tube that is normally on these rubbed there. :?
Okay. I have gotten a lot more info from the person I purchased this assembly from among some of the things he told me was this:

These came from a Belgian Army depot surplus sale. -- Yes, there are more identical to this one!

The top tube has been sleeved to fit in the hinge part.

So the only question in my mind is whether these mods were done at FN or by the Belgian Army.

EX1
January 08, 2006, 20:22
Hello I have a para stock aasembly that is not like any other I have seen.It also came from Belgium. I suspect that these mods were done at a armourer level and not by FN. I will try to post pics of the stock I have later. Thanks EX1

mojo_matic
January 13, 2006, 08:51
EX1, where those pics? Looking foward to seeing them. :beer:

My lower arrived yesterday. Exactly like Jame's example!

The quality of the castlower is impressive...much nicer than the Argentine examples.

I guess that I missed it in the pics, but the hinge lacks the push button. Just pull down and fold. THe FNC buttpad is cool!

mojo_matic
January 13, 2006, 08:52
..

EX1
January 14, 2006, 23:46
Hello these are not the best pics but here they are. The stock is just metal tubing no plastic covering the buttplate is a flat metal bit welded to the tubing.The folding assy has no locking button. The stock is much longer than a normal stock.This had to be made at the armourer level . Thanks EX1

mojo_matic
January 16, 2006, 17:32
Cool, thanx for posting the pic EX1. :beer:

What do you think of the craftmanship? Do you think that it may have been intended to have some type of buttpad installed (or bonded) around the buttplate?

cfm
June 11, 2006, 22:16
I am the culprit who supplied the two "mystery para's" discussed above. I contacted Mr. Blake Stevens for info about these assemblies, and he graciously contacted FN on my behalf. Here's an excerpt from the e-mail we received from FN:

"Blake, The FAL lowers have been made using lost wax casting since the mid 1980's. The casting is finished by machining. The 6 would indicate a batch reference for quality control."

Regarding the folding stocks, they remain a mystery to me. They consist of FN FAL para hinge assy's with FNC stocks attached, and the rear sling loop removed. This has been done very professionally. The upper stock tube, e.g. has been sleeved into the hinge assy. My source had 48 of these, and he stated there were many more. Who made them, why and when remains a mystery. If I ever find out I'll post here.

Regards. cfm.

James87
June 11, 2006, 22:33
That's great that you got a reply from Blake Stevens and he went as far as to contact FN directly! Should've told FN to start cranking out the FAL receivers again at their US factory. I can dream...

I was surprised that you did not mention to me it was an FNC stock. Nonetheless, it was an interesting piece. Let me know if your source comes across any standard para stocks. Thanks.

ruudje-c
June 12, 2006, 00:42
Hello USA , about this lower the following , this receiver is assembled with various parts by some dealers here in Belgium . These are parts dealers , they take whatever they've got at that moment and don't mind ,or don't know the origin of these parts . Whatever fits you can find ! Everything they sell is <of course > original . The problem is that everyone in Belgium know the Fal rifle because they had to do their army time with it , but that does'nt make them experts . I for myself would never buy such assembled parts and these dealers know that . I'm looking around for Fal things for nearly 20 years now and still I'm learning new things , point is who is a expert . For sure not these dealers , all that counts for them is $$$ !
Groetjes

ruudje-c
June 12, 2006, 05:36
Just see that there something wrong in my previous reply. Everything they sell is original . You should read this as ; everything is original in their eyes . It's to the buyer to decide how original it is ! They sell everything from the finest parts to the biggest junk .

Groetjes

Headshot
June 12, 2006, 10:02
cfm, cool...thank you for the research! My lower is currently with Glen Riddle getting worked over...builder her on a DSA type III w/o carry handle cut which will also be cut to accept inch charging handle, pristine STG58 barrel cut to 17", Bonecrusher muzzle device, DSA carrier w/ new Belgian bolt, FSE H/T/S, DSA M16A2 type para sight. Man, she is going to be killer!

Though the buttstock itself is not original, it still looks very nice and unique. MUCH cooler than a DSA remake (which people fall over themselves to obtain...even though these are not original). Drag is that the block that I received from NoNotAgain is too small to fit...so she will have to go blockless for now. I would if the spacer/sleeve used on the early FN49 buttstocks will fit? I have an an early FN49 buttstock that has a servicable spacer/sleeve...I may give it a shot later.

The type III Belgian lower itself is just plain cool. Would be neat to see someone use this with an original Belgian folder for a type III Belgian clone. I ALMOST went this route, but hated to see the neat retro fit folder do to waste!

cfm
June 12, 2006, 16:09
James: I didn't realize they were FNC stocks installed on FAL hinges until you pointed it out to me. The work was done very professionally. I have a few more that I had re-finished. They look awesome.

Thanks for all the info you guys have provided here.

cfm.

ruudje-c
June 13, 2006, 02:03
I get the picture now . Around new year Blake Stevens contacted me with the question if I knew something about cast lowers . I didn't had any info about this . Some days after he contacted me again with the info that FN indeed has made some cast lowers . This was problably done at the end of the production .
These lowers were for sale at fairs up until around two years ago naked ,by those dealers I've mentioned in my previous reply.
About the Belgian surplus sale , Blake also asked this about this . The Belgian army NEVER sell small arms or parts , what they dont need anymore goes to the melter .
There was a big clean up at FN years ago and my guess is that these lowers came from that direction , making their way starting at FN trough the melter to these dealers .
Bottom line is ; This lower is late production FN assembled with various parts by dealers here in Belgium .
Groetjes

Headshot
June 14, 2006, 19:30
Groetjes, your last comment seems a bit hasty. The late FN cast lowers were made for one reason or another. I do not see how it is not probable that FN chose to incorporate the the FNC buttplate into these probable replacement parts? FNC folding buttstock and FAL folding buttstock is nearly identical other than minor asthetics. There is definitely a timeframe overlap between the FAL anf FNC, is there not?

There are a sizable number of these lowers in identical configuration, with uniform finish (from lower to buttplate), that exhibit uniform storage wear post assembly. The craftmanship is top notch.

IF you can offer solid proff that that some dealer assembled all of these tlate type III cast FN para lowers, cool. Until then, anyone would be jumping the gun by concuring with your "bottom line."

HUGE difference between theory and fact. :beer: As far as I am concerned, we are all pissing in the wind on this one. BOTTOM LINE, the lowers are very well made and an interesting variation, regardless of how they became that way. these are all built on parts guns anyway. Instead of crapping in each other's Cherrios, let's just have fun? Personally, I find one of these lowers much more attractive than a DSA remake anyday...

Headshot
June 14, 2006, 19:36
In addition, pics were shown depicting a cast FN type III lower with recoil tube installed. Yet, the same lower still have cuts in recoil plate to accept a para top cover.

If FN incorportated the design of both a para and fixed stock variation into a single cast lower, why is not feasable that FN would have used the FNC buttplate, which can be readily and universally used between both the FNC and FAL rifles?

ruudje-c
June 15, 2006, 02:09
Everybody is free to buy whatever he likes , I have no problem with that .
These receivers are Fn manufactured and when you find them cool , use them . This tread was about identifying a lower receiver , which I pay my contribution . With my replys I just wanted to explain the situation here .
Fn stopped FAL production already long time ago . Parts begin to dry up here , dealers who are specialized in parts find something , somewhere and do something with it . These dealers selling only at fairs and if whatever you buy doesn't fit or is not the correct one , so be it . No refund , maybe a swap , if dealer likes you or knows you .
Stories about army surplus sales , as previous mentioned , forget it .
If you like that lower , no problem , but at least you know what you bought .
Groetjes means greetings

ruudje-c
June 15, 2006, 02:28
About the Fnc butt plate . If you look at the receiver I see no marks ,dents or whatever , this is a first quality , never used lower . Check the fnc butt , dents, scratches and repainted with simple black paint . How can someone abuse his butt like that but keep its lower receiver in pristine condition ?
About the recoil plate cut , maybe , maybe these were manufactured for the Bolivian contract ? This was one of the last ones and it seems logical to me that FN tried to reduce costs by saving as much as possible work . Just a guess from my side , this one .
Groetjes

chrsdwns
June 30, 2006, 11:20
It is reasonable to assume that FN developed an investment cast lower receiver to reduce costs for the FAL as a logical follow on to the Type III cost reduction engineering program.

The lower had provisions for use as both the fixed and folding stock once again to save costs and improve commonality for legacy production.

As FAL production was winding down they no doubt also wanted to incorperate as much current production FNC hardware to keep costs down and still support FAL production to keep the line alive for both spare parts and new gun production.

The cast lower was probably the last FN revision of the FAL design.

This last FN revision was adopted by the Argentines at FMAP. Most late production FMAPs used cast receivers. The Argentine folding stocks were the conventional FAL design but used cast receivers on most of the late model Argentine para kit imports. DSA sold a bunch of these NIW Argy lowers for about $16 each a few years ago.

It would seem that the cast lower design came from FN and is not an Argentine innovation. For whatever reason, it seems that Imbel never went to the cast receiver for their use.