View Full Version : Legal: safety sear- used in S/A, or F/A only?

October 02, 2000, 00:37
I have a question....

I was working on my kits last night. I noticed that none of the exploded diagrams indicated a safety sear. Yet, I have the parts in both kits.

I read the FAL TM that I recently bought.. not the users guide, but a book with lots of tech info, diagrams etc. From it, I was able to figure out exactly how the safety sear is installed into the lower receiver, and I was able to verify it's function.

So... my question is...

Is the safety sear used only on full auto versions of the FAL?? I see it in diagrams of the Isreali FAL, and the HB versions, but not in the standard metric FAL diagram.

I understand the function of the safety sear, to prevent firing out of battery, but is that strictly a full auto problem??

Will the safety sear fit in my Imbel metric receiver? I understand that the Imbel has the semi extractor block...

Any comments would be very much appreciated.


[ August 12, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]

October 02, 2000, 01:56
The safety sear is in all MG's. It serves two functions, hence it is a safety sear/auto trip. It does prevent the hammer from dropping before lock-up, but it also drops the hammer when the bolt goes into battery when selected to F/A. Many of the original guns(L1A1, T48)were never used as F/A, but they are still technically MG's(at least in the US) since they do have the sear. Swap out the semi selector for a regular switch and the gun will fire F/A. By BATF standards, if it will accept a safety sear, it's a machinegun, period.

The reason that the FAL is still safe even without the sear is due to the geometry of the hammer/bolt/carrier. If fired with the selector set in the F/A position, the hammer will follow down on the bolt, but the carrier prevents the hammer from smacking the firing pin with enough energy to fire the gun. The gun will just end up with the hammer down on a live round. Don't play with sears and don't experiment with the F/A setting. You won't likely get the gun to fire F/A(auto trip), but you may manage to convince it to fire out of battery(safety sear).

Happy Jack
October 02, 2000, 14:30

That was a great explanation.

I'm relatively new to FALs. I'd be interested in seeing what a sear cut looks like. Do you know of any pics?

All of my FA experience has been with open-bolt type subguns (except M-16). The open-bolt guns that I have disassembled did not have safety sears.

I'd be interested in hearing opinions on the use of FA in small unit tactics. I am not an aficianado of FA for small units - saw too many people waste and run out of ammo in SE Asia on FA. My question is, what do FALers think of FA from an FAL?


October 04, 2000, 05:48
I suppose I COULD slice my L2 receiver in half and take a pic, but I'm not inclined to do that just now. It's really kinda hard to see the cut in the actual gun. A drawing is far better and easier to understand. I'll see what I can find.

The open bolt subguns don't need a sear trip because they're 99% slam-fire guns. As long as the trigger is held back, the bolt cycles back and forth and puts out rounds. The blow-back system doesn't need a delay to allow the bolt to lock before firing since the bolt doesn't lock.

The Assault Rifles and LMG's are different, whether open- or closed-bolt. The bolt must be locked before firing, so they are usually set up for the carrier to trip the sear. The carrier's job is to 'carry' the bolt and either rotate or drop/raise the bolt into battery. The final movement of the carrier(M16,FAL,AK,etc)trips the sear to allow the hammer to fall when set in F/A mode. The op-rod on the M14 and AC-556 perform the same function.

I'm just a shooter with no serious weapons background. I think of guns as interesting toys and historical items. Love the mechanics and ingenuity of the things. As far as general F/A use, I side with you to a point. The point being that F/A is probably a good thing to have available with highly trained troops, but so far that's just a theory since we've never had highly trained troops. General issue of MG's is a mistake that was proven in VN. As far as the FAL specifically, F/A from the bipod with a heavy barrel is very useful. Standard barrel from a bipod less so. Shoulder fired is 99% wasted. The smaller caliber AW's can be fired with some effect from unsupported positions, but once again, it takes more than just a little training. If your trooper knows when to go F/A and when not too, he's probably got the training to be effective.

October 04, 2000, 21:44
I have posted some pics and a short video showing a good look at the safety sear...


August 08, 2001, 14:54
moved to FAQ

August 08, 2001, 18:11
Is the above link any good. I keep getting a message like 404 not found. I would like to see this safety sear pic if possible.

August 09, 2001, 09:37
Nearly ALL kits come w/ their safety sear.

The piece fits on the left side of the pivot recess. Additional cuts are made to access the interior of the receiver. MANY S/A FAL have the sear, but the selctor position is unavailable,either through a stop detent, lump on the selector, or other mod.

The Safety sear ensures that the bolt is full forward during full auto only. It trips when the lug on the LS aft of the BC moves into final position, locking the bolt and tripping the safety sear. Its absence in a semi-auto FAL has no significance.

It will NOT fit in a legal US-made (or IMBEL) post-ban receiver. Makes a nice paperweight. Modification of your receiver/ejector block is ILLEGAL.