View Full Version : New Onyx Owner (I hope)

April 06, 2008, 16:17
Hey Guys, Was cruising my small local gunshow yesterday and came up on the table of one of the bigger dealers that's usually there. This guy sells alot of guns at this show and has been in the biz a long time and is no dummy.........
Well, i'd already seen about 5 different Fals and all of them were either overpriced or advertised as something they were'nt, which is pretty much the norm around here. Any-who, I see that he has a Fal and proceed to scope it out like i always do. First impression was that it was a Century postban Inch gun with a butthole stock. Upon closer inspection I saw the receiver was marked Onyx Arms GTF MT and directly under that was marked SBL ISRAEL and ser # 88xxx.

I did'nt know about the Onyx guns at that moment but knew that if it was an Israeli made receiver it was definitely worth grabbin, Which i did.
After i got it home i started searching on this forum for Onyx Arms posts and uncovered the threads relating to the history of the Onyx Arms guns.

I am just STOKED to have scored this gun but am trying to hold back my enthusiasm until some of the Fal File Gurus and experts chime in with some questions and info .

I took alot of pics of it today starting with it just as i bought it and then tore it down and took detail pics of the various parts and assemblies.

There seems to be some questionable aspects to this gun , such as it is a 100% Metric receiver with a 100% British kit with Bell and Carlson butthole stock and handguard.
The barrel is marked Made in Canada CIA L L1A1 Sporter 308 CAI ST. ALB. VT on the bottom and is 20 3/4 long. It had a cheesy set screw muzz. brake and clamp on bipod that look like chinese crap........

There are no compliant parts other than the furniture ,but would there need to be because it's a preban gun made in 88.

What i'm wondering is how did Century get involved in this deal? When i asked the dealer about the background on it,he said he got it from a buddy of his who got it from Century.

I'll post some pics if there's some interest and i can figure out how to do it.

I'd appreciate any and all information and comments pertaining to this most excellent rifle..................

Thanks in advance

April 06, 2008, 16:43
In the '80's Century was selling Inch rifles with a "Made in Canada" imprint on the receivers as well. They had an assembly operation in Quebec at the time I'm told. The receivers were kinda "mystery origin", not marked as to manufacturer, lots of speculation they were unmarked Imbel, or even Argie. I bought several of these rifles at the time from them. After the Bush the Greater ban in '89 they were sold with the Bell and Carlson Butthole stock on them. They were all Inch at the time, so I'm guessing someone along the line had an Onyx receiver, rebuilt it with a bunch of parts from a dismantled Century '80 vintage rifle, or parts bought from Century in the early 90's when I seem to recall they were selling a lot of parts as well.
Rebuild the thing into a decent rifle and be happy. If it functions and shoots well just get the muzzle threaded, get rid of the butthole stock, add the US parts you'll need and enjoy!

J. Armstrong
April 06, 2008, 16:49
Just start collecting Izzy parts ( better yet a kit ) and rebuild it into true Iz config. I did. Twice. One late style, one early "T48" style. My only regret is that I did it a piece or two at a time, which gets ungodly expensive. Better to find a kit, or even an "Izzy" rifle on some other receiver, and go from there.
You end up with what is as close to a true issue Izzy as any of us are ever likely to own. ( somewhere there is some lucky dog who will prove me wrong on this :biggrin: ).

April 06, 2008, 19:19

Thanks for the info. I'm just tryin to figure out how this receiver wound up on a Century kit. I would've thought anyone that originally had this receiver would 've got it on an assembled inch or metric kit from Onyx.

I'm gonna try and pm Onyx and see if he'll chime in on this............

J.Armstrong, hey, my ol buddy from the"Cadillac Fal Mag Fiasco". How ya been? I've already got all the Izzy parts to build it, except a barrel.

I've got Hvy barrels but no light barrel. Maybe i can find someone to swap a Hvy for a light.

I'm in no hurry to do anything with it for awhile . Think i'll just let it sit for awhile and soak up as much intel as i can and then decide............ Thanks


i checked some of those posts last night. Some pretty neat history on these receivers for sure.................

April 06, 2008, 19:54
Thanks for the invite to play in this thread, L42.

Sounds like somebody swapped a Onyx into a Century gun. I'd like to see pics though, particularly of the receiver.

April 06, 2008, 20:11
Can i post them from my computer or do i have to host them?

April 06, 2008, 21:58

You are a contributor so you can attach pics directly without a third party host provided the attachment is not greater than 102,400 bytes max. You may need to compress the file attachment with a graphics editing program. When forming a reply see the "Attach File" section at the bottm left and click on the "Browse" box to find your image. Attach the image per the directions that you will receive in the pop-up box. Simple once you get the hang of it.

Member limeyinaz has offered you the keys to the Onyx kingdom of knowledge and doubletap has provided you with some solid early Century background. I would agree with Abominog in that it appears that somone used the Onyx SBL receiver as the platform for a Century kit build. Did Century build it or was it assembeled by another individual at a later time?? Unless you can talk to the original owner who can say for certain or offer you specific details of why or when. The bottom line is that you did score a nice Israeli SBL receiver from the sounds of it. I am sure that it would be a good shooter 'as is' or you might want to consider searching for some minty Israeli parts for it and then rebuilding it at sometime. You could always sell the Century parts off in the Marketplace Forum to help fund the new build if you decide to go that route.

Pics would be nice so post away .............................


April 06, 2008, 22:38
Allrighty, lets see if i can post some pics..........

Attach the image per the directions that you will receive in the pop-up box. Simple once you get the hang of it.

I don't get a popup box after clicking on the pic i want to post...........

now what??

April 07, 2008, 00:33
Got to that point and selected a pic from my file and clicked on it ,then nothing happened . No popup box or anything. If i hit preview there's nuthin there either. I don't think they've got my Contributor Switch turned on or somethin....................:biggrin:

April 07, 2008, 05:52
You can e-mail the picture to me and I'll post it for you. windustsearch@aol.com

April 07, 2008, 06:58
When I attach a picture I hit the Browse button, select a picture and then hit the Submit button and it works fine.
When I've tried to use the Preview Reply button it loses the picture. Preview eats the picture.:uhoh:

Try it like I do. If you find it didn't work properly, you can always edit the post.

April 07, 2008, 08:08
Windustsearch, Thanks, if I can't figure this out i'll take you up on that.......

bykerhd, If you do that then you could only post 1 picture per post.

What if you have multiple pics.? Do you have to make a seperate post for each pic? Man, i took like 44 pics of this jewel.......................:D :D :D

April 07, 2008, 08:17
OK, lets try again.....................

It said the file was too big.....................Geez, this pic posting is a PIA.....

I guess i'll try imageshack and resize them and download em there.

The first pic i tried was 2032 x 1354 and 928 KB

April 07, 2008, 08:49
At least if you are getting the file too big thing you are almost there.
I've never figured out how to do multiple pictures in a single post.

I leave my camera set for E-mail size photos. VGA according to the Menu on the camera I'm running now. The size is about right as is so it doesn't have to be resized unless I choose to do it.

April 07, 2008, 08:55
Just downloaded 7 pics to Imageshack. Now if i can figure how to get em here we'll be in biz..................

April 07, 2008, 09:45
Copy the links on imageshack with the [img] on each end and simply paste them in your post here.

April 07, 2008, 10:00
Originally posted by Windustsearch
Copy the links on imageshack with the [img] on each end and simply paste them in your post here.

Thanks, I'll try that

April 07, 2008, 11:12
3rd try....................







Damn, Finally..............................If anyone wants to see any other areas or specific parts LMK...............

The cheesy MB , bipod and Butthole furn are already history...........

April 07, 2008, 15:14
Maybe it's just these tired old eyes but I not recall ever seeing an Israeli SBL metric receiver with feed ramp that looks quite like the one in the first pic. The feed ramp appears to lack the center peak typically found. The SBL receivers that I have seen had feed ramps cut differently from the FN factory specification but still had the center peak. This one looks to be smooth across the entire surface somewhat like the early Century receivers that had the 'unibrow' feed ramp geometry.

I wonder if Century picked up a quantity of unfinished SBL receivers and did the remaining machine work in-house?

Any of the other members here have any thoughts on this or seen another such example?


April 07, 2008, 15:38
This is from another thread and he clearly states that he sold some receivers directly to some dealers..............

February 06, 2007 19:00
Post #19

I owned ONYX ARMS Inc, located in Helena, Bozeman and Great Falls, Montana, USA. From 1984 to 1989

Onyx Arms was an Importer, manufacturer, and NFA manufacturer of Firearms.

I did import Complete L1A1 (A) Semi-automatic Rifles and COMPLETE RECEIVERS from Lithgow Arsenal in Australia, In the years 1984, 1985, 1986. I never purchased or imported any incomplete receivers and finished them in the United States. ALL my receivers WERE 100% made at Lithgow and are proofed as such. The proof marks are all original and are of the same quality as any other Lithgow receivers, they are not substandard in any way, and those of you persons who hold yourself out as experts, you should not assume facts which are incorrect and write it as fact.

ATF. directed my company to mark these Receivers with the designation L1A1A

In 1986 Lithgow informed my company that they were re-tooling and would not be able to make any more semiautomatic receivers, after 1987

In 1987 I then contracted with SBL in Israel to manufacture Complete FAL receivers using FN Belgium forgings. This was done in the Years of 1987 and 1988, these receivers were made in several different styles, type 1,2 and 3, but all marked SBL and Onyx Arms, GTF , MT,

These SBL receivers are in no way connected with any other importer.

The first two digits of all of the receivers Israel or Australian are the year of production.

I did make complete rifles using Belgium, British, Australian and Israel kits that I also imported.

I also sold receivers direct to dealers.

I also did make NFA weapons.

I have seen pictures of several FALís that are marked ONYX but are not my receivers. So someone over the years has tried to fake my receivers.

Should you have any questions you can contact me at this address.

Onyx Arms
FALaholic # 17203

I would like for him to view these pics and comment on this

April 07, 2008, 15:40
Does anyone here have an Onyx receiver to compare it to?

Also could not find any proof marks on this receiver . It has very fine quality machine work, unlike a Century made. I sure hope it's not a fake..

This what the (I hope) was for in the thread title.....................

April 07, 2008, 16:06
Just found this, an earlier thread by Windustsearch. This is a pic of his onyx feedramp (sigh of relief !!!!!!).............


Ya kinda skeered me there KIT....................

April 07, 2008, 17:06
Pulled my Izzy out of the safe. Here is a pic of the feed ramp on my Armscorp-Silver Springs,MD LB FAL made on an Israeli SBL Industries receiver sn: 2108. While the contour of the feed ramp is not typical of the contour which FN used this one does have a peak in the center of the ramp.

Given the pic that Windustsearch posted which is identical to yours I'd say it is most probably correct and that SBL modified the contour again at some point in their manufacturing process.



J. Armstrong
April 07, 2008, 18:47
Both my Onyx type 3 and type "1.5" receivers have the same feed ramp as loner42s'.
I call the one a a type 1.5 because although from the sides the receiver is typical type 1, the radius of the lightening cuts is that of a type 2.
IIRC, Onyx made a couple other unusual combinations of cuts not exactly corresponding to the Herstal standards. The lower I used in bringing this a bot closer to Izzy "home" is made of slightly thicker stock than normal, and took a little fitting ( fairly significant thinning of the locking plate ) to allow stock internals to fit. Has anyone else ever noticed this on an Izzy ?
Many years ago. I had purchased a "good condition Belgian plain muzzle" barrel from Sarco, I think it cost about $75, if that. It came in cosmo soaked cheesecloth, and indeed it was a Belgian barrel - one of the early Izzy contract barrels, early gas block and breech threads, non chrome, and to all intents and purposes appeared new ! It lives on a type 3 Onyx, with a type A Izzy lower and an original T48 type HG. The previously installed furniture was nicer than that originally on the type 1.5, so got transplanted.My only concession to originality was using a really sweet BlueMonster PG and stock set, as I have not (yet) been able to find any nice originals :sad: Still need a correct gas tube also, but that will come !!
Interestingly, the HGs did not have any relief cuts for the typical handguard spacers - I do not know if this was merely a production oversight or if there is any other significance to the omission.

loner,true Izzy lbs are scarce as can be. A lot of guys use the early Argy plain muzzle barrels which are a fair representation. Still, if we could find ya a real Iz it would be a gas !!!!

April 07, 2008, 19:43
I concur, I have several ex. cond. HB's, but would like to put it back as a LB.

Actually i would really like to put it back as a 100% inch gun with nice original wood , like Aussie, but then all i'd have is a nice Inch FrankenFal on a high end receiver..................
So i guess it'll have to be Izzy. Just a matter of which one...............

Decisions, Decisions. Thanks for all the input guys....................

April 07, 2008, 20:02
Somethin else just came to mind. Being an Israelie made receiver I wonder if the barrel threads are 1-16 or would they be closer to the HB thread.

Does anyone know what the Izzy HB thread actually is ? What about the LB ? Is it the same as a HB?? I've been meaning to measure a HB to see but just keep forgetting to.............

I've allways wondered why the Izzy HB'S had a slightly different thread pitch than all the rest. Anybody know that one ?


April 07, 2008, 20:32
I've an 87 SBL and the feed ramp looks like yours loner42. Jeff

April 07, 2008, 21:46
Thunderbred, Most Excellent....................

J. Armstrong
April 08, 2008, 14:26
My Onyxi had "Izzy" breech threads which I believe are 25 x 1.5mm. ( this is actually the original Belgian threading, but they abandoned it early on ). The question arises, was the inch barrel on your Onyx chased to match the receiver, or the receiver chased to match the barrel. No way to tell before disassembly. The odds of finding a true Izzy LB are kinda low, so if you go the Argy route it is of no consequence either way.

April 08, 2008, 20:27
Originally posted by J. Armstrong
The odds of finding a true Izzy LB are kinda low, so if you go the Argy route it is of no consequence either way.

I think Rooster has some.

That's what I would do with this- tear it down and build it as an Izzy.