View Full Version : What are the minimum tools necessary to build an FAL??
August 27, 2001, 14:29
I want to try my first build, but I want to keep the cost of tools down to a bare minimum. Which tools are absolutely essential? Which can I avoid buying (with the understanding that the lack of these tools will make the build more dificult, but not impossible)? Thanks
August 27, 2001, 14:37
A receiver wrench is the number one tool you cant do it safely without it,a barrel wrench or use a vice to hold the barrel,locking shoulder sizeing rods to determine what size locking shoulder to use,and headspace gauges,this is the minumim you will need,look in your area for others that may have the required tools as it keeps your cost down to use others tools.HTH
August 27, 2001, 15:39
Read through FAQ, as various aspects of what is needed vs. preferable is discussed.
August 27, 2001, 16:31
This is a classic question. Some more back at you: How deep into this are you willing to get? Just one rifle? More? How long are you planning to keep your rifle(s)? Will you always use a gunsmith to fix problems, or tackle them yourself by acting as your own armorer?
If you really don't want to make too deep of a commitment, it will probably be better to have a gunsmith do everything. Just basic maintenance will require screwdrivers which you probably already own, and a front sight adjustment tool, which I wish they would sell with every rifle.
Deeper? You'll need punches (at least a 1/16") which you probably already own, a buttstock tool, maybe an extractor tool. It's possible to make your own of these, though you might find it easier to just get the dedicated tools.
Whole hog? NOW you need to do some board research, FAQ and Gunsmithing, where this topic has been discussed at exhausting length. The short course: Don't risk crushing your receiver in a vice, get a receiver wrench. Headspace gauges and pin gauges. A modified 27mm or 1-1/16" open-end wrench. MAPP gas for heating parts. Various files. Calipers (you may already have) to measure locking shoulders and pin gauges, and automotive feeler gauges (ditto) if you're barreling an Inch kit to determine breaching washer thickness. A modified laser pointer or bubble level or 3-foot rods to determine barrel timing. I've probably forgotten other tools. Oh my! A DREMEL!!
August 28, 2001, 18:59
a VISE and a 27mm wrench. EVERYTHING else can be improvised... oh - and pay the 10$ for Gunplumbers shareware. http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com
I built a dozen FALs with the above tools (add mill/drillpress for other stuff, gas port reaming etc)
August 28, 2001, 20:59
Don't forget a three-sided file (triangle-shaped shaft) in case you need to take the barrel shoulder down a bit.
Don't use a flat file. ...ask me how I know.
August 28, 2001, 21:24
Better yet...I STRONGLY recommend GPs video. Gives a good working knowledge of the rifle and the correct way to assemble it. It may save you some headaches (and money) on the project.
August 28, 2001, 21:39
Thanks for the advice. I've checked some of the faq's, and they've been helpful, too. If I get a kit, I'll do it myself. I may go with the minimalist approach that Gavin mentioned. I'd like to build one, but I can't see spending possibly more on the parts and tools than I would on a rifle that was put together by a good manufacturer or gunsmith. I could see spending the money on nice tools if I was going to build a few kits, but I really don't have the money for the parts to build a few rifles. If I do build, I'm looking at one or two at most(for the forseeable future, at least). I am thinking that GP's video sounds like a must for me.
August 28, 2001, 21:51
Post the general area where you live. a board member might be in your area to help you out with tools they already have.
August 28, 2001, 22:50
LIST OF CRITICAL FAL TOOLS:
..ok...I cant get past the beer part.
August 28, 2001, 23:45
Originally posted by FootLongCuban:
<STRONG>LIST OF CRITICAL FAL TOOLS:
..ok...I cant get past the beer part.</STRONG>
One other critical item 2 boxes of large Band Aids.
August 29, 2001, 10:03
[ September 04, 2001: Message edited by: sixplusone ]
August 29, 2001, 10:48
If you go the minimalist route then pay attention to the receiver that you buy. The quality varies from each manufacturer. You will have the least problems with an Imbel receiver. I already had a decent vise so I use a wooden receiver wrench to hold the receiver in the vise while I crank the barrel with a 27 mm wrench and cheater bar which I got for free (total cost to me 3.00 for oak wood). To check headspace I ordered pin guages .256-.264 (total cost 20.00) and go-nogo guages (13.00 each from lock stock and barrel)[46.00 in gear to headspace]. Some have used the locking shoulder supplied with their kit and checked headspace with it installed using dummy cartridges and have it work fine (cost would only be the dummy cartridge). HTH
August 29, 2001, 17:19
Buy Gunplumbers video and watch it a couple of times. It is the best tool you will own for building a FAL. He shows you how to build one with hardly any tools and how to with a machine shop. Then figure how deep you want to get into it.
August 29, 2001, 23:28
Originally posted by AR-45ACP:
One other critical item 2 boxes of large Band Aids.</STRONG>
September 01, 2001, 03:51
A modicum of intelligence, patience, and a smattering of normal smithing tools. A specialized receiver wrench, a machinists vice, and a couple of hours.
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