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View Full Version : CAI FrankenFAL mag issues.


Striker1423
November 21, 2017, 09:57
Well, I recently finished paying off my first FAL and took her home without a mag. It's a CAI L1A1 sporter that was built on an 18 inch barrel, given Aussy wood, and an Argy lower receiver. So, shes a metric locker. A quick search on the forums and 4 mags were at my door in 2 days. Awesome as always here! The mags are 2 Belgian, 1 Steyr, and 1 Izzy.

The steyr, and izzy fit and lock into place just fine when full. They also feed correctly by hand with no hang-ups. The 2 Belgians require a bit of persuasion. I'm not hanging off the rifle per se with the mags full, but they require a quick wrist snap to lock in place. A tight fit would seem ok, but the issue is I have to darn near hang off the charging handle to chamber the rounds. I mean, my arms will start to shake, sweat may pour off my head, and I may risk a hernia in places I didn't think was possible.

Oh and then to get the thing to feed the rounds, it requires a rack of the handle twice to get most of the rounds to chamber... if they even make it that far.

I've read these CAI's are a bit of an iffy thing with magazines. Am I just SOL on these mags, or is there some persuasion or dremeling required on things? I am not gonna bubba stuff, so if it requires a smith to look at, then so be it.

Cheers,
-Matt

pistolero1911
November 21, 2017, 10:12
First of all, welcome to Falfiles. Sorry to hear of the mag problems. CAI used several different manufacturers to supply the receivers used in its builds. Do you know which manufacturer made the receiver of your L1A1? Some receivers like IMBEL have stellar reputations, while others, like Hesse are not well received [pun intended]. Knowing which receiver you have can help in analyzing the problem.

Striker1423
November 21, 2017, 12:33
Actually I found the original ad.

Here (http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?813458-WTS-Century-L1A1-308-scope-mount).

Looks like I got a little mixed up. It's an Argy Fmap upper? And a British lower?

pistolero1911
November 21, 2017, 13:01
Argentina made receiver is one of the very good ones, any metric mags in spec should fit. IMO you should check the measurements of the two mags that don't fit. Maybe someone "re-worked" them.

Wolf1952
November 21, 2017, 13:58
You sure itís not cut for inch mags. My CAIís built on an IMBEL upper made in Brazil. It uses inch mags, where I was told when I bought it new, to me it used metric mags. So I set out and bought a bunch of metric mags only later on to find out it used inch mags. A lot of the metric mags wouldnít stay in.

To really be sure what you got is to check the mag well. If there is a large square type cutout thatís inch but if itís a small notch type of cutout then thatís metric. Look at your metric mag, the little spur that sticks out the front of your mag, that is basically what the notch in the mag well should look like

I have two CAIís and both wear built using inch receivers.

Striker1423
November 21, 2017, 14:06
I will take a look at it today when I get home. I thought if it was an inch receiver that metric mags would work? Or am I getting that backwards too lol.

pistolero1911
November 21, 2017, 14:13
An inch magwell will accept metric mags, they just won't seat as well, and may wobble a bit. The reverse is not true, a metric magwell will not take inch mags.

Striker1423
November 21, 2017, 15:45
It's a metric notch cut.

MAINER
November 21, 2017, 19:52
Now, about those Belgian mags. You real sure about that? Any milspec Receiver as your Argy is should accept them without a hitch.
I use all those mags and see no difference in fit or function.

You may have gotten Korean or DSA mags. I don't have any so not sure how to know which is which.

jam762
November 21, 2017, 21:41
I've had a few(5-6) Argy CAI L1A1 SPORTERS and this is the first folding charging handle cut that I've seen. They've either had metric charging handles or inch charging handle that couldn't fold. Is it cut for commonwealth top cover also? It has FAL top cover in pix. I'm always trying to learn more.
Any surplus metric mag should work unless it's been messed with. Don't recall ever reading of any magwell issues with the "C" prefix Argy uppers.
Post some pix of the upper showing the inside, front of inner magwell, and pivot boss when you get a chance. I'm curious.

Striker1423
November 22, 2017, 09:53
My understanding is this riFAL was built by a friend of the sellers off a mostly British parts kit. So, that would explain the folding charging handle, particularly the fact that it only folds somewhat flat, not tucked in like BSA's I've seen. I also understand the barrel was threaded and the flash hider secured. The odds of it coming off as others have I hope are nill. Wont know until I shoot it.

The top cover does not slide underneath the receiver and has a dime thick gap on the left side. I don't know how common that is or isn't, but it does not interfere with the lockup, just the look (really dark black).

The bolt carrier slides freely in the receiver channel and no visible modifications appear to my eyes have been made to make it work.

Given this, the rifle also has some significant twisting wiggle when you grasp the front handguard and pistol grip. I chalk that up to frankenfal parts and the FAL's "break in the middle" design.

I'll post pictures today after work of the areas suggested. The Mags were bought off the forum here from a member and were sold as Belgian. If they aren't as such, I wouldn't know the difference and some info on that will be necessary. I won't call anyone out because of my ignorance.

MAINER
November 22, 2017, 18:04
My understanding is this riFAL was built by a friend of the sellers off a mostly British parts kit. So, that would explain the folding charging handle, particularly the fact that it only folds somewhat flat, not tucked in like BSA's I've seen. I also understand the barrel was threaded and the flash hider secured. The odds of it coming off as others have I hope are nill. Wont know until I shoot it.

The top cover does not slide underneath the receiver and has a dime thick gap on the left side. I don't know how common that is or isn't, but it does not interfere with the lockup, just the look (really dark black).

The bolt carrier slides freely in the receiver channel and no visible modifications appear to my eyes have been made to make it work.

Given this, the rifle also has some significant twisting wiggle when you grasp the front handguard and pistol grip. I chalk that up to frankenfal parts and the FAL's "break in the middle" design.

I'll post pictures today after work of the areas suggested. The Mags were bought off the forum here from a member and were sold as Belgian. If they aren't as such, I wouldn't know the difference and some info on that will be necessary. I won't call anyone out because of my ignorance.

Nothing wrong with a L1A1 build on a FAL Receiver, got one myself and it's at least effective if not kosher.

No mods needed to use an L1A1 BCG in the FAL or the other way around either, got one of those too.

There is some play between the Receivers, but it shouldn't be anywhere near "significant". Likely your rifle can use some receiver tab adjustment in the Hinge area. This is a bit tricky as it's quite possible to snap off one of the tabs.
Some tightening can be accomplished by tightening the Hinge Pin also.

If a member here said the mags are Belgian, I would assume him to be correct, but find it odd they don't fit a milspec Argy very well.

RPBII
November 22, 2017, 21:10
Are the Belgian mags painted, the Izzy and StG mag parked only?

Striker1423
November 23, 2017, 09:46
Are the Belgian mags painted, the Izzy and StG mag parked only?

Here's the pictures requested and some pics of the mags themselves. The mag with the three holes is a gray park, the two matching mags with the small holes in the floorplate are painted black, and the other more worn-looking mag with the flat cut floorplate appears to be a painted one as well.

The parked mag snaps into the receiver the smoothest and I get almost no real resistance to chamber the top round on a full mag. The rest are pretty stiff. The mags all seemed to seat into the upper properly with plenty of clearance to the feed lips and feed ramp. So, I don't really know what might be causing it to require gorilla force.

https://imgur.com/a/sLJwU

jam762
November 23, 2017, 11:19
I can see why the charging handle don't fold, bubba only cut the lower charging handle rail. The T nut pin is about to fall out too.
By the looks of the paint on the inside of the magwell & the fact that the STG & Izzy mag fit w/o issue, I would have to say that the paint on the Belgian mags is a little heavy. The paint will wear with use so keep inserting those mags.

You have a couple of options for the charging handle.
1) buy & install a folding metric
2) install standard metric
3) send riFAL to gunplumber to have him fix what bubba done to the rails