View Full Version : New Owner questions...

June 22, 2002, 16:08
Hello, all,

'Been looking at this site for a long time, finally broke down and bought a rifle. Now, I did do a whole bunch of searching through threads for info, and some of it helped while some has totally befuddled me.

I'll start by saying that I passed on a $2,500 Belgian with Browning markings, and bought a $450 (w/ 6 metric mags) CAI R1A1. Here are the details:

Non-gear Imbel upper (Receiver by Imbel, made in Itajuba, Brazil), marked R1A1 Sporter .308, other side has markings "Fz SA 7,62", small mag cut, metric mags fit pretty tight. It has a folding bolt handle, a carry handle, front sight is a thin blade, one-piece gas rod, the top cover has NO tabs at the back, (I guess this means metric upper, but with inch front?!???), mag well has "2000" stamped in it. The lower receiver has no markings at all, except the safety lever markings are S-R-A. It has the CAI (?) muzzle brake with 4 sets of 3 holes, a very cheesy buttstock with a QD type stud at the bottom, a very cheesy grip that's attached from inside the lower. Forend is also a quite cheddary smooth plastic. Barrel/chamber appears to be chromed and looks new.

So, I am pretty confused. I know that this is a Franken-whatever, seemingly built with a metric upper, God knows what lower, and probably inch parts. The bolt carrier has a s/n, the bolt has a different s/n. The upper appears to be parked, while the lower has a darker finish.

I don't really care about the totally mismatched gun as long as it works, but would like to put a better stock, grip and forend on the rifle. My question is: should I get a parts kit, buy separate parts, if parts kit, do I need to find out what the lower is, etcetera. If anyone can make any suggestions, I'd sure appreciate it. While we're at it, if anyone has a clue as to where the lower might have come from, I'd love to know...

Thanks, and sorry about the long (f'n new guy...) post on subject covered ad nauseum in the past.


June 22, 2002, 16:45
GB, we were all new once.

This may help you figure out what you have. From what you have said it sounds like your lower is inch pattern because the pistolgrip screw is inside the lower.inch/metric guide (http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=353599#post353599)

June 22, 2002, 17:26
Thank you, Withergyld. It sure looks like it; it does have the rectangular selector, and the popsicle stick pistol grip. However, the selector markings of SRA point toward metric... I also cannot find any numbers on the lower receiver at all.

I wish there was a bit less variation; lots easier to deal with AKs and ARs. But, I always wanted some kind of LAR...


June 22, 2002, 18:12
Same as my Aussie lower
Serial no AD65183xx

June 22, 2002, 19:07
Right. I found it - AD64xxxxxx. It was very faint, almost impossible to read. Aussie lower it is.

So I guess I could get an inch pattern kit for spare parts for the lower, and a metric kit for the upper. I wonder where the barrel came from; I took off the handguards - no markings on it that I could easily see.

Thanks again for your help,


June 22, 2002, 19:42
Howdy. Welcome to FALoholism. My incurable disease of choice.

I would'nt worry too much about your choice of FALs. In just a short while you'll be telling people, "...and this was my first FAL, but these over here..."


June 22, 2002, 19:59
after you get your kits, just build new guns. don't waste a good kit on an old mismatch.

I can quit any time I want to.

June 22, 2002, 20:45
Thanks for the advice. However, this is an old disease. This is just a new episode in a long history of AKs, ARs, Lee Enfields, 45s, Lugers, etc.. It's good to be sick and know there are many others who share the ailment and sympathize in earnest. My gun safe runneth over. Let me see if this thing works. I've never had a .308 MBR before, so this is something new and exciting. I'll be trying her out soon with the Portuguese (sp?) surplus I got along with the rifle. If she runs, I will probably follow the advice of not really investing much into her, but will rather start collecting pieces for the next one. As I mentioned earlier, I was drooling over an FN/Browning gun that was way beyond my fiscal willingness before I picked up the mongrel.

One last question: can anyone recommend a good starting point for setting of the gas port for the mil surplus ammo? My experience with South African 5.56 mil ammo is that it's pretty hot stuff, and my ARs love it - function flawlessly. Is the Port. 308 also warm?

Thanks again - GB

June 22, 2002, 21:00

I have one just like yours, it's an Australian inch kit on a metric upper receiver. With the exception of metric mags and mag parts, the stuff you want will be inch pattern.

The R1A1 designation doesn't actually mean anything, it is just a marketing thing with Century. The important thing is your IMBEL upper receiver- they are among the best and the receiver is always the heart of a rifle.

I doubt you will need an entire parts kit for spare parts. On the parts kits, the furniture is usually the most beat-up parts. If that is your primary area of concern, I would just replace the furniture. Buying an entire kit will most likely just get you more beat-up furniture.

My R1A1 works just great. I am not enamored with the "cheesy" furniture, either. I bought a nice set of finished claro walnut inch pattern buttstock, handguards and pistol grip from Ironwood. I bought a DSA short brake and am going to send it to George Gouger for a bobbed barrel (18") for handiness and refinish for cosmetic reasons.

You could replace the furniture with British pebble grain nylon stuff, but really nice ones are getting harder to find and that would mean you would have to replace 3 other parts with U.S. made ones.

Welcome aboard!

June 23, 2002, 16:54
Thanks, Buff. I will probably go that route with the furniture once I know it works OK. The finish on mine is about 95%, and I don't plan on getting it re-done. I already have a bunch of carbines, so the long barrel on this will stay, provided it shoots straight. I have seen posts praising the muzzle brake on the Sporters, so I will probably just leave it alone.


June 23, 2002, 23:52

I have no beef with the brake that came on the rifle, either, I just like the looks of the DSA!

The Ironwood stock, handguard and pistol grip are a great choice. The fitting required is minor. If you are at all handy with sandpaper and can brush on an oil finish, you can do it yourself. I was time-impaired and bought them already done.