View Full Version : Federal Arms FA91 problem

February 26, 2016, 20:39
I picked one of these up a few years ago as it was super cheap and sort of filled a niche for an HK91/G3 variant.

It has only been shot a few time since I had it and probably less than 200 rounds, but functioned fine. I do remember one time after it was "warm" after two consecutive mags, the bolt did not want to open without a pogo bump which may or may not be related to my question. This was only once and not the last time it was shot.

It has sat for probably two years since the last time shooting, but was stripped, cleaned, and well oiled when put away.

One evening this week I got it out and the bolt would not pull back. I did a "pogo" on the floor and it opened, but after racking a few times and letting it slam forward, it will still not pull open freely. I stripped it again, cleaned & lubed, although it was already clean and pretty wet when I took it apart. It still will not open without a pogo.

I know zero about the operation of this style rifle. Any ideas on where to start looking for trouble spots on it??

February 26, 2016, 21:16
Does it have a charging handle like the G-3 or CETME? The cocking tube can bend, causing it to bind.

February 26, 2016, 21:38
Does it have a charging handle like the G-3 or CETME? The cocking tube can bend, causing it to bind.

IDK so don't have a direct answer. Does this pic answer your question?

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mlcasson/91-1_zps7x8a6qas.jpg (http://s32.photobucket.com/user/mlcasson/media/91-1_zps7x8a6qas.jpg.html)

February 26, 2016, 23:59
Yep, sure does. Break it open and see if the cocking tube is bent. I had a CETME for a very short time, it did the same thing. Once I straitened the tube it worked fine again.

Tuscan Raider
February 27, 2016, 00:05
Weren't these the alumaboms of the "HK" world?

Paging Dr. Gunplumber.

February 27, 2016, 02:05
There needs to be a few thousandths between the charging plunger and the bolt carrier.


February 27, 2016, 02:31
the problem you are describing is caused by too much gap between the charging handle support and the bolt carrier tube. In those rifles with the aluminum receivers this is normally due to the cocking tube not being welded to the receiver as it would be in a steel receiver gun bur rather attached to the triple-frame usually with a screw. This attachment point can become worn allowing the cocking tube to shift forward and creating too much space between the stop at the front end of the tube where the charging handle pushes against in order to unlock the bolt.

See if the cocking tube itself appears to be loose or if it is immobile as it should be.

February 27, 2016, 11:11
Thanks gents. While I'm not 100% certain I fully grasped some of this advice, I disassembled it again, found everything straight, tight, etc.

Put it back together with nothing being changed and it now cycles fine. IDK.

I've never had any real affinity for this rifle since I got it. I think it may go along to the next gun show and find a more appreciative owner.

February 27, 2016, 12:13
I picked up a FA91 at a gunshow around 99-2000 and it might make it to the range once every 5yrs or so but has never had the issue described. I don't recall any functional issues with it at all. I do need to get it out of the safe to make room for something else. I've been tempted to chop the receiver and sell the kit many times.

February 27, 2016, 21:02
I had an FA91 a while back and mine was one of the "Kaboom" ones. took it back to the pawn shop I bought it at and am glad I avoided that grenade.
Be careful, have fun.

February 27, 2016, 22:34
I remember seeing those at shows in the late 90's.


February 29, 2016, 05:24
IIRC one of the main issues with FA91 is with the barrel retainer pin. Repeated firing may elongate the pin hole in the alum receiver, leading to loss of bolt gap. On the other hand with these being some of the earlier RDB builds, it's likely to have many desirable HK/FMP parts. These paired with a PTR receiver could make them a good candidate for a quality build.