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View Full Version : Oversized FAL Frame Locks - North Freedom Engineering


kotengu
October 01, 2015, 21:42
Full disclosure: John sent me a few parts as a gift to evaluate, and asked that if I liked them I'd post a review. Hopefully everyone knows me well enough to know that I'll call a spade a spade regardless of where the parts came from - but also well enough to know that I'm always on the lookout for good parts.

He has these for sale here: http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=391860

Here are the parts in question: the top lock is a standard model from my G1, and the two below are John's oversized models. I didn't show it here, but I really like how these are clearly marked on the nose so you can tell at a glance which part you have installed without disassembling your lower.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/Locking%20Lugs_zpsuetbd7xm.jpg

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) none of my upper/lower combinations have any slop, so I can't comment on the ability of these parts to tighten an upper/lower fit.

I tried these parts in five different lowers: Two G1 "S E D" marked, serial numbers 4306 and 45295, an "S R A" marked unknown (maybe Imbel?) serial number AD6005083 FTR 71, an "S R A" marked unknown lower (maybe Imbel?), serial number 225806, and a DSA Lightweight Lower, no serial number. Both the +0.010" and the +0.020" models fit fine in all lowers.

kotengu
October 01, 2015, 21:50
The G1 4306 lower and Coonan upper combination had the most worn locking engagement, so I started with them. Here's the lever position with all three locking bodies installed (stock is on the left, +0.010" is in the middle, and +0.020" is on the right):

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/G1-Coonan%20Lever%20Position_zpsijlo9cxk.png

I also checked the lug engagement by coating the upper receiver lug with a sharpie and then opening and closing the locking lever several times. The engagement is the silver or scratched black surface shown where the sharpie has been worn off. This is as much caused by the upper receiver lug geometry as the locking body, so if they don't fit it's not necessarily the fault of the new part. But I was curious.

It's a little hard to tell in the pics, but if you look closely you can see the +0.010" body (center) gave the most engagement, followed by the +0.020" body (right), and the stock body (left) only engaged the very edge of the receiver lug:

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/G1-Coonan%20Lug%20Engagement_zpsfhsuv4mr.png

kotengu
October 01, 2015, 21:52
Just for variety, I repeated the test with the Imbel 225806 lower with a horizontal locking lever, mated to the same Coonan receiver. I didn't bother looking at the lug engagement again since it's the same upper, but here are the lever positions (stock/+0.010"/+0.020"):

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/Imbel-Coonan%20Lever%20Position_zpskzfozrqv.png

kotengu
October 01, 2015, 21:58
And then I repeated the test with an Imbel upper receiver mated to a DSA lightweight lower. This is the infamous "2 MOA" FAL, so I hated to change any part on it - but its locking lever is about out of travel so I figured it was worth a try. Here are the different lever positions (stock/+0.010"/+0.020"):

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/DSA-Imbel%20Lever%20Position_zpsmjuvalgy.png

And here is the lug engagement. The stock locking body (left) had excellent engagement, but you can see by how far up the locking lug is silver that it's almost out of travel. The +0.010" body (center) has even engagement across the locking lug, with plenty of wear left to go, and the +0.020" body (right) is only engaged on the very edge of the locking lug.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac224/mcstennett/DSA-Imbel%20Lug%20Engagement_zpswwzvlsmn.png

Overall I'm very happy with the parts, and decided to leave the +0.010" body in my Imbel upper/DSA lower rifle, and the +0.020" body in my G1 lower/Coonan upper. I have a 3-gun match this weekend with the Imbel/DSA rifle, so that should provide a good test of how well it works in live fire. If my rifle cracks open in the middle of a stage I can promise you I'll be back here to update this thread. :wink:

Mosin Guy
October 04, 2015, 11:24
Hey great review and Thanks for taking the time to post this.

gunplumber
October 04, 2015, 14:39
very well done. Particularly the locking lever angles relative to the OS receiver lock.

I'm stealing the pics to explain to customers what I'm talking about.

kotengu
October 04, 2015, 16:00
Thanks guys - glad it's useful. You cannot steal what is freely given. Hope it helps!

JohnnyJohnsoninWI
October 05, 2015, 13:55
Thanks again for your review, Kotengu. Your photos and notes explain it better than I ever could.

olddominion
November 09, 2015, 12:26
Fast shipping, great product.

Thanks

buddiiee
July 13, 2016, 09:51
"I have a 3-gun match this weekend with the Imbel/DSA rifle, so that should provide a good test of how well it works in live fire. If my rifle cracks open in the middle of a stage I can promise you I'll be back here to update this thread."

So since you never came back to update, can I assume you had no troubles at your 3 gun match? And just for reference, how many rounds 1. do you shoot from your FAL during a 3 gun match & 2. how many rounds total do you have on your fal's that have a replacement frame locking pin?

kotengu
July 13, 2016, 10:19
"I have a 3-gun match this weekend with the Imbel/DSA rifle, so that should provide a good test of how well it works in live fire. If my rifle cracks open in the middle of a stage I can promise you I'll be back here to update this thread."

So since you never came back to update, can I assume you had no troubles at your 3 gun match? And just for reference, how many rounds 1. do you shoot from your FAL during a 3 gun match & 2. how many rounds total do you have on your fal's that have a replacement frame locking pin?

Sorry - thanks for the reminder. It's held fine with no issues. A typical 3-gun match has around 100 rounds of rifle fire, but more importantly for this item is that the rifle gets tossed around a bit and dumped in a plastic barrel several times on the clock. The lock worked perfectly.

I shoot about 2,000 rounds a year through this rifle (so I'm at around 1,700 rounds since installing the new lock), shoot a 3-gun match once a month, and since this review have also run a 10k with it on my back at the Oklahoma Run N Gun. And the way my scope mount is set up, I break open the upper and lower (using the latch and locking body) every time I open or close my scope cap, which is a lot.

All that to say, this part has been well used and has performed with boring reliability. It's good to go.

oleblu72
July 14, 2016, 14:09
"I have a 3-gun match this weekend with the Imbel/DSA rifle, so that should provide a good test of how well it works in live fire. If my rifle cracks open in the middle of a stage I can promise you I'll be back here to update this thread."

So since you never came back to update, can I assume you had no troubles at your 3 gun match? And just for reference, how many rounds 1. do you shoot from your FAL during a 3 gun match & 2. how many rounds total do you have on your fal's that have a replacement frame locking pin?


I kinda think someone would have posted something by now if this part wasn't up to it.

Mark

JohnnyJohnsoninWI
July 15, 2016, 16:30
Thanks for the replies and positive feedback. I've been selling a couple locks every month but seldom hear anything back.

I don't post here much, because I'm just not an expert on FAL's; so I mostly read and learn.

Potshot
July 15, 2016, 21:24
Great product, I like mine thank you.

Would love to be able to spec o.d.

gunshooter
December 07, 2016, 22:19
Posted here so I can find this thread again as well.

Great thread!

:thumbsup: