View Full Version : need some technical guidance FA to semi

November 09, 2014, 11:24
FAL Gurus:

I need to know whether I can remove or substitute some parts to reversibly make a LaFrance FAL FA HB it function ONLY in semi-auto. This would not be an attempt to change the legal staus of the firearm. I do not want to convert this to a semi permanently. This is necessary for me to comply with range rules to shoot at a local range.

I don't know much about the FAL design and while I can do basic work on several firearms I am only beginning to understand the FAL. I could use some advice.

Is it reasonably simple to remove (and to reinstall) the safety sear and will that make it function in semi auto only?

Are there other parts I need to change, for example the ejector block?

Thanks in advance for any information on whether this is doable.

Dave O'Neill

PS. I searched for information on how to do this but did not find a thread on this topic. If I missed one, I apologize in advance.

November 09, 2014, 12:21
The easiest and most reversible way to solve this problem would be to round up a DSA semi-only selector switch. These use the little nub on the side of the lower to prevent the the selector from rotating all the way around to FA.

If DSA doesn't have one for you, post a WTB in the forum Marketplace. It won't cost you much and will not irreversibly alter your rifle. You simply change the selector back out when you want to rock 'n roll again.

the gman
November 09, 2014, 12:26
Go with what easttex suggested or find another range to shoot at.

I wouldn't remove the safety sear as, no matter what BATFE think, its there for a reason, predominately to prevent the rifle firing out of battery and therefore, a fairly important safety feature. The semi selector is a simple and easy fix which is completely reversible and will not harm the value of your firearm.

November 10, 2014, 12:02
Yep, new semi safety is easiest.
Or if you have a spare just weld a blob on at the right spot, doesn't take much.

November 10, 2014, 22:27
I will start looking for one tonight!

November 15, 2014, 22:12
An original semi selector is expensive - somewhere over $100.00 .
Esthetically correct for the gun. You could find a south African / Rhodie selector with the tab removed and have the tab rewelded & shaped for less ?.


AZ Dave
November 15, 2014, 22:34
Install a pistol grip that wont allow the selector to move to F/A mode. Don't remember who made these but I have seen them.

November 16, 2014, 18:35
Well if you want cheap and have a spare safety lever I can weld a nub on it for this for you.

November 16, 2014, 21:36
Why don't you just shoot it in semi only mode while at the range? Is there anyone there who would recognize your rifle as full auto at a passing glance?

November 18, 2014, 00:07
Stimpsonjoe cat: Thanks a lot. I don't expect a problem, but if there is an issue I will get a FA selector and send it to you.

Speedgunner: I gave your idea some thought before I pursued this topic. your might be right. I doubt that anyone likely to look at my HB at the range could read the Hebrew letters and know what they meant, however, the club is small, the prejudice against Class 3 stuff is strong and I 'm known as both a full auto shooter and as an agitator for the club to try some limited full auto shoots (which was not received well.) There are a lot of great guys, the facility is nice (300 yd range) and convenient so I don't want to be kicked out for violating a tabu.

November 18, 2014, 13:51
The Trigger Spring Plunger Guide is different between the semi and selective fire rifles. The plunger guide on the semi rifle rifle has two rings on it while the selective rifle only has one ring on it. With the semi plunger guide, the trigger will not go to the rear far enough to permit the FA parts to engage. With the selective fire plunger, the trigger can travel to the rear far enough to permit the trigger to activate the trip sear. This is one of the parts which must be changes when manufacturing a semi into a selective fire weapon.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t308/i422twains/DSCN0854_zpsa313f9e8.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/user/i422twains/media/DSCN0854_zpsa313f9e8.jpg.html)

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t308/i422twains/DSCN0855_zps4a15cd24.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/user/i422twains/media/DSCN0855_zps4a15cd24.jpg.html)

Get a new semi Trigger Spring Plunger Guide and install it it will be a semi-auto rife even if the selector is set on A. Changing this part is very simple and easy to do.

November 18, 2014, 21:37
Bigboy is correct.

But his solution requires technical explanation.

I prefer not to have long drawn out technical conversations with government agencies...the selector mod fixes that.

Please inquire after Moses for a pained explanation of the former.

November 18, 2014, 22:06

I appreciate your point.

Big Boy, Thanks for that advice. Another avenue to explore.

The main thing is that if the question of whether it is full or semi comes up, I want to be able to put it in auto, pul the trigger and have it go "bang" once.


November 18, 2014, 22:19

I appreciate your point.

Big Boy, Thanks for that advice. Another avenue to explore.

The main thing is that if the question of whether it is full or semi comes up, I want to be able to put it in auto, pul the trigger and have it go "bang" once.


Lee Carpentieri
November 19, 2014, 05:14
Just put a semi-auto selector in it and be done with it. I also have a LaFrance Type 3 upper receivered Fal in the 11 inch barreld OSW form with a folding stock. Leave the safety sear in it. Like G-Man said, Unless your shooting indoors and the indoor range has safety issues with thier backstop or your shooting outside were the range has issues with the amount of lead the backstop can handle due to EPA rules,Then I would find a different range to shoot at.

November 19, 2014, 06:35

I appreciate your point.

Big Boy, Thanks for that advice. Another avenue to explore.

The main thing is that if the question of whether it is full or semi comes up, I want to be able to put it in auto, pull the trigger and have it go "bang" once.


The way I described above, the trigger plunger swap is one way to "be able to put it in auto, pull the trigger and have it go "bang" once". The selector lever swap will not let you put it into the "A" position so that method will not satisfy your requirements.

There are other methods which will satisfy your requirements but entail more work to accomplish. One would be to remove the sear trip lever from the receiver. This would require removing the lower receiver and physically removing the lever from the upper receiver. A task which can be done but not easily.

Another one would be to swap out the selective fire bolt and replace it with a semi bolt. This might require head spacing the different bolt. On the bottom of the bolt is a rail which the causes the trip sear to release the hammer. On the semi bolt this rail is short while on the selective fire bolt that rail is longer. The longer rail length on the selective fire bolt trips the sear while the shorter length on the semi bolt is not long enough to reach the trip sear. See picture below. This would be another way to meet your requirements.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t308/i422twains/DSCN0857_zpse5a591f5.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/user/i422twains/media/DSCN0857_zpse5a591f5.jpg.html)

November 19, 2014, 20:31
Bolt mod doesn't matter in any rifle that can't accept a safety-sear.

Safety lever AND plunger is probably the safest bet.

But if it won't go to FA position, most LEO would be all "meh" at that point.

November 20, 2014, 21:41
I shoot other firearms and the local range and folks are pretty nice, just afraid of losing the community support by allowing gangster weapons. Also my sense is that those with military experience were not all that familiar with most weapons. At one meeting one guy my age stated that submachine guns were uncontrollable in his experience. I don't know what he was shooting but that doesn't fit with my experience. Maybe true of FA blocks and micro uzis for kids but not true for K's Uzis Sterlings etc. Nice folks but very closed minds They did not even discuss a proposal that i allow them to test some suppressed guns that would eliminate the noise they worried about and .22 conversions that anyone could control. I swear that if they actually tried something like a Mk 5 sterling or a SDHKMP5 they would grin from ear to ear and try to allow some fa shooting at least on special occasions but they don't want facts, their minds are made up.

Full auto outdoor ranges are scarce in these parts. The only FA range within an hour of here (that I know of) is now closed due to ricochets off the bedrock in the backstops. The fix is far more complicated than it ought to be and is taking a heck of a lot of time and money.

Any advice from any member about fa ranges in the York PA area gratefully accepted.

I might just have a semi bolt in the spares box. I will need to check headspace if I do.



December 31, 2014, 16:15
After reviewing your input I bought a semi selector switch and used Pc7 filled epoxy to make a "two ring" trigger plunger. Works great, about a 2 min change out. It takes me a bit longer to change out the selector switch.

Thanks to all for the advice and especially the posted photos.