PDA

View Full Version : ident: Century IMBEL receiver variations - made in Canada, etc.


squid8286
October 01, 2002, 19:27
A couple of years ago, I sold a buddy of mine an L1A1 parts gun that I bought off someone else, but had never fired. It was built on what appeared to be an Imbel Type 3 receiver, but "Imbel" wasn't written anywhere on it. It also appeared to be forged (not cast,) and all it said on it was "Made in Canada." I have a chance to buy it back, and was wondering if anybody could ID this receiver for me. Thought it might make a good shooter.

kev
October 01, 2002, 21:29
We've been arguing about those receivers here for at least three years. Final analysis is,....nobody knows. I've got one; it was my first FAL. There's plenty of argument about whether they're pre- or post-'89 ban, but frankly I've grown tired of all the guessing and don't really care anymore. Excellent receivers no matter where they came from. I'd guess IMBEL, but they could just as easily be Argy.

squid8286
October 01, 2002, 21:45
Thanks for the info, kev. That's mostly what I was concerned about, the quality of the receiver. I guess if I can, I'll probably buy this one back.

kfranz
October 01, 2002, 22:06
Mine works just fine.

idsubgun
October 01, 2002, 22:53
Mine works great also, but when I fire it, it goes, "BOOM! eh?"

Question for those who own these. Mine is cut for an Inch charging handle and an inch dust cover, but is cut for metric mags. Are your receivers cut the same?

L/FN
October 01, 2002, 23:14
The first, but still post 90 ban receivers that Century was using were Argentine. The receivers were unmodified for the Inch parts.
Folding handles hit the rail, dust cover tabs ground off, etc.

Eventually Century was using Imbels and starting making the Inch pattern nips & tucks. Started noticing the "Made in Canada logo about 1996-97 IIRC.

I'm almost positive that the MiC receivers were Imbels by this time.

Larry

Edit: Sorry Kev and thanks for pointing out my date error!
Larry

squid8286
October 02, 2002, 05:34
Thanks for everybody's input. Yes the one I had (may have again) was cut for an inch cocking handle, but it took metric mags also.

kfranz
October 02, 2002, 06:07
Originally posted by idsubgun
Mine works great also, but when I fire it, it goes, "BOOM! eh?"

Question for those who own these. Mine is cut for an Inch charging handle and an inch dust cover, but is cut for metric mags. Are your receivers cut the same?

Yep, mine is.

kev
October 02, 2002, 08:44
Originally posted by idsubgun

Question for those who own these. Mine is cut for an Inch charging handle and an inch dust cover, but is cut for metric mags. Are your receivers cut the same? [/B]

Yes, inch cuts but metric mags. Mine appears to built w/a Canadian C1 kit.

Larry's got me confused. You say first were post-'90 Argy receivers and then later IMBELs, but you remember MiC in '86-87? Really confused by that timeline.

SoManyGun'sSoLittleTime
October 02, 2002, 12:34
yep mine has the inch top cover an C.H. and metric mag:cool:

hagar
October 03, 2002, 00:34
I have one of those, and mine says IMBEL on it (serial # 11161X).

1feral1
October 03, 2002, 04:06
Inch cocking handle, and metric mags? Sounds Indian Ishapore type?? I don't really know, the Inch ptrn FALS I owned in Canada were all matching with original upper recievers. I also had two Indian 1A1's and if I remember, they took metric type mags. They were intact with safety sears etc, as per issue.

Maybe these upper recievers were made commercially for the US market in Canada, patterned off Indian uppers, less the safety sear slot?

Could i be right??

Cheers,
1feral1

recce
October 03, 2002, 16:28
1 feral 1

I recently picked up a 1A1 made in 73 and it is cut for inch mags. You don't happen to remember if yours were made earlier or later than that do you?

1feral1
October 03, 2002, 17:34
Mate, just checking my ole serial number register in my copy of Small Arms of the World. S/N's were BR1133, and CC6168, I know one was made in 1974 for sure, and to be honest, I have been out of the loop since 94 with the odd exception of our SLR and L2 AR which are occasionally encountered here still in service.

I thought for sure, the 1A1 took metric mags, but I must be wrong. They sure were in great shape, cream of the crop rifles which were Century Arms from Montreal, paid $159.00 plus shipping back in about say, 1991 or 92. Before all the mag laws came in etc.

Traded one for a Russian AKM bayonet, in 94, captured by a mate of mine (MiD) CPL Terry Warner, who was in the Gulf attached to a US Engineer Unit. One of a few CF pers to be Mentioned in Dispatches there. Got it with a letter on CF letterhead explaining where he got it. The bayonet was serialised too. I still have it.
Imagine trading a AK bayonet for a SLR. Goes to show you the value of them (1A1s) in Canada at the time. I remember seeing them for $99.95 for 'fair to good' being advertised.


Cheers,

1feral1
Sydney

recce
October 03, 2002, 20:08
Still not too bad in price. I paid $265 for mine and it is in not too bad shape.

I paid $200 for my L1A1 from century in 94. Strange thing was it is all Brit except the upper which is Aussie:confused:

1feral1
October 04, 2002, 03:52
Hey Recce, a few friends and I have established an L1A1 armourer's forum, If you wanna know more email me on feral99@hotmail.com

Its a small thing and a bit of fun with some one of a kind pics.

Cheers,
Wes (aka 1feral1)

Brian in MN
October 04, 2002, 08:51
Indian rifles use inch style mags but the mag body is about 1/4 inch longer than standard inch mags.

The receivers these guys are talking about are type 3 metrics.

L/FN
October 04, 2002, 12:59
There were no Century produced FAL or L1 rifles pre 90 that I'm aware of. I was buying FALs pre & post 89/90 ban and know the Sporters came a couple of years after the ban. I have a issue of: Gun's 1993 buyers guide, that shows the Century L1A1 sporters in it's first configuration.

All the Century Sporters I have seen were built of these parts listed from most common to lesser: British, Australia then Ishapore. I have never seen a Century Sporter with Canadian parts on it in the 10 years I've been messing with them. Could be though??

1st config: Agentine receiver with no mods. Furniture was the solid style made by Bell & Carlson and feature the 4-slot style H-grds. 1992???

2nd config: Not sure when this started. I've never seen a Argentine modified. There may be a few un-modified Imbels as well. Century eventually went with Imbel receivers. First mods were: Notches for the dust cover stop tabs and the charging handle rail cut for the folder handle. Not sure if this happened at the same exact time, but it was close. The receiver still showed the dimple for the metric straight knob charging handle stop detent. 1994??

Somewhere along here Century dropped the Bell & Carlson furniture, made their own molded sporter buttstock/grip combo and used Brit plastic H-grds or Brit & Aussie wood painted black.
Sad thing is they took alot of nice wood H-grds that may have has only a few blems, sanded them down with a belt sander and painted them!! Damb them!! 1995???

3rd config: Same as #2, but the receivers no longer showed the metric straight knob charging handle stop detent. I guess Century told Imbel to save that step as the receivers would be used with Inch pattern parts. 1995???

4th config: Same as # 3 with the addition that the mag well was machined for the Inch patterm mags. I believe the Century started stamping the " Made in Canada" along the bottom of the mag wells outer edge by this time. 1996-97???

I have a friend that actually has a #4 configured Century, but it is a Ishapore parts Sporter!! Maybe they were getting to the bottom of the barrel on parts by that time??
Seriously, IIRC I once saw an add in SGN where Century was looking to buy back L1A1 parts kits and/or certain parts.

There were alot of nice Brit and Aussie part Sporters that came out. Too bad Century didn't take the time to build the rifles with a little more attention to detail and fitting.

Larry aka L/FN

SoManyGun'sSoLittleTime
October 04, 2002, 15:44
century told me mine was made 93-95 it has the folding CH no dimple under it has tabs cut out for inch top cover has Made In Canada stamped across the lower edge of magwell and takes metric mags serial #1022**:confused: any idea what reciever?

L/FN
October 05, 2002, 01:37
If the ejector block has a number stamped on the LH side it is most likely a Imbel. The easiest way to destinguish a Argentine is the dust cover groove machined into the receiver is missing on the RH rear side for about 3/4". This was to aid in installing the dust cover.
I don't think Century used Hesse or any US made receivers until after the bulk of the Inch stuff was gone.

Larry

recce
October 05, 2002, 08:16
So not to confuse anyone, the century guns 1 Feral 1 and I were talking about were the ones century made and sold up here before they moved their HQ down to the States.

W.E.G.
July 25, 2008, 20:35
reference 2008 marketplace thread
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=2316679

W.E.G.
July 25, 2008, 20:39
Originally posted by recce
So not to confuse anyone, the century guns 1 Feral 1 and I were talking about were the ones century made and sold up here before they moved their HQ down to the States.

For the sake of further clarity as to why there may not be import markings on IMBEL upper receivers from Century via Canada, I believe Canada considers the LOWER receiver to be the regulated part.

So, it makes sense that there could be a quantity of imported upper receivers, with missing, minimal, or ambiguous markings, if the receivers were first put into the hands of consumers in Canada.

sturmgrenadiere
July 26, 2008, 07:11
Perhpas this will help prevent history from repeating itself...

1811GNR
July 26, 2008, 10:11
Quoting G2 from the 2008 MP thread:
I think Dunks point is, this receiver came from a Century built rifle. The ad made no mention of it having anything to do with Century at all. And one of the posts refers to these being from Canada and marked accordingly. This one is not. I have no doubt what has been said here is true, it is an Imbel, the point is it is an unmarked receiver.
Snip
End quote

If the part in red is the case with some of these receivers, GP stated in the following post that the barrels were marked "Made In Canada", and one was to acquire such a receiver in stripped condition, would it be unreasonable to consider it a Century built US part?:)

fal fiend
August 03, 2008, 11:53
i bought a L1A1 sporter in 94, came with the L2a1 scope, only marking are L1A1 sporter cal .308 C A I -St Alb Vt serial number on mag well, it has inch dust cover cut , had british frontend , thumbhole lower, i still have this reciever, no imbel markings, (in my lap, looking at it,lol )

shootist87122
August 03, 2008, 13:00
Originally posted by fal fiend
i bought a L1A1 sporter in 94, came with the L2a1 scope, only marking are L1A1 sporter cal .308 C A I -St Alb Vt serial number on mag well, it has inch dust cover cut , had british frontend , thumbhole lower, i still have this reciever, no imbel markings, (in my lap, looking at it,lol )

Got one just like it only it is also marked "Made in Canada" (and no scope). I converted to a 50.0 "Imbel on Imbel" (all metric) and it's one of my faves.

It now has a very nice trigger and a barrel that shoots really well.

pistol5
August 10, 2008, 10:48
Gentlemen-I have one similar but marked slightly differently than any I've seen mentioned so far, but I'm assuming its an imbel rec. Marked L1a1 sporter, but "assembled in Canada" rather than "made in Canada". In VERY light stamping toward front of rec it says"receiver made in brasil" underneath ejection port. Cut for the inch mods mentioned and metric mags. Barrel is aftermarket, inch gas block, unthreaded and seems to be quite accurate. Imbel??? Thanks. Wendell

shootist87122
August 10, 2008, 11:22
Originally posted by pistol5
Gentlemen-I have one similar but marked slightly differently than any I've seen mentioned so far, but I'm assuming its an imbel rec. Marked L1a1 sporter, but "assembled in Canada" rather than "made in Canada". In VERY light stamping toward front of rec it says"receiver made in brasil" underneath ejection port. Cut for the inch mods mentioned and metric mags. Barrel is aftermarket, inch gas block, unthreaded and seems to be quite accurate. Imbel??? Thanks. Wendell

Yes - Imbel.

pistol5
August 10, 2008, 11:57
Thank you sir.

mark 36 hamon
April 06, 2009, 00:42
just so you know it's the upper not the lower which is registered here in Canada ..we can't take them to the range anymore either but we're working on that ..i have a mint C1A1 i haven't used in years gathering dust in my safe .along with my vickers ,bren,sten,mg42 and mg34 1919A4 as well as my Stg44 and my 1928A1 tommygun ..yep i can own them just can't shoot them ..they have all been converted to semi auto only