View Full Version : 98% Completed 1st FAL

March 30, 2002, 22:44
I posted a pic last week of my rifle noting that the only thing left to do was headspace it...a week later, same thing!! In the meantime, I do want to blab a little about my building adventure. Hopefully something I say will help a first-time builder get by.

Tons of fun, but had a few situations that left me with scraped knuckles, sore hands, sore forearms, and a couple of close-quarter contacts with a Dremel (actually, my dad's Craftsman rotary tool!!).

I started out with a grade III kit from Dan's (nice man), then 'received' a non-gear logo Imbel from FAC (nice price). After reading a post earlier this week about the non-gear logo Imbels being suspect, I was going to post one in agreement as I had a three day ordeal puttin' a barrel on that bad boy! Rather than go the negative route, I chalked it up to "new-boyitis" and worked it till it worked.

On the third day of the ordeal I got so frustrated with the barrel never hand-timing past 10 o'clock, I forgot to put the bolt carrier and cocking handle in place to support the receiver while in a vise. I didn't have/use a barrel vise or receiver wrench. I fashioned a wooden receiver holder and used a bench vise and big ole filed 1 1/16" wrench.

After succeeding in getting the barrel hand-timed to 11:30, all I needed was about 150 lbs. of torque to finally arrive at my pre-determined TDC!!!! I had to shave the barrel shoulder many times, paying heed to the numerous "little at a time" warnings posted on this board. I think I probably sanded/dremeled/filed, hand-timed, repeat steps, a gazillion times. I even worked on the "secondary face" of the receiver and chamber end of the barrel as highlighted by Gary.Jeter in one of his posts.

I must admit, I felt as though I were working on a Hesse receiver, as described so clearly a number of places on this board.

Anyway, by forgetting to support the receiver with the carrier and handle, my last 150 lbs. caused the wooden thing to twist and I warped the receiver. I got mad, counted to one, then went on the FAL Files and searched for info on how to fix a warped receiver. Now who woulda thought it, but some guy called Gun Plumber had a very thorough post on how relatively easy it is to repair a bent/warped receiver!! I simply found the area that needed fixing and used a hammer and piece of wood to do the job. It worked.

I then spent several hours working on the receiver/bolt carrier relationship that I inadvertantly disrupted when I bent the receiver. I'm happy to say that all is good now. I pray that the headspacing will be an unremarkable journey, and hope to soon have a straight-shootin' rifle that I can boast about on the FAL Files.

My advice to any new builders: use the search feature on this site, and print as much info as you can for study before, during, and after your build. This board is very impressive in its design, function, and content, and I'm greatful for the help it has been to me. Thanks.