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stvyrayvhn November 12, 2002 12:22

IMBEL Receivers
Sorry if this has been posted before but I have a question on what the difference is between the IMBEL receivers I have seen advertised. I am building an Imbel Fal, I bought the parts kit from Dan's and the USA parts (Hammer, trigger, sear, gas piston, charging handle from Tapco. I also bought US made Penguin buttstock and handle. Why are some receivers as cheap as $189 @ and others as expensive as $240 at other companies? What are (if any) the differences? Most come with semi-auto ejector blocks installed including

Thank you,

Templator November 12, 2002 12:34

Basically, there's 3 types of Imbel receivers on the market today.

1 Non gear logo for $189 from FAC. These have Century Arms import markings.

2 Gear logo with Century Arms markings from FAC for $209.

3 Gear logo with no Century Arms markings from Dealers Warehouse for $238. Generally considered the most desirable. Imported by PAC

There's been some discussion about the Gear logo receivers being more finely finished. Some say yes,.. some say no. I'm not sure. I've only built on gear logo PAC receivers. I will say that mine seem to be more finely finished than the photos that I've seen of the non gear logo.

All of them are very nice receivers and represent good value for the money. Except for the markings, all are identical. It boils down to a matter of cosmetics,... and the fact that many people don't want a receiver which associates their rifle with Century Arms International,.. which has a reputation for building low grade FAL's.

Radio November 12, 2002 13:26

If I may offer, in a sense there's FOUR varieties.

1) Non- "Gear Logo" IMBELs with CAI (Century Arms International, Vermont) import markings... if there are any NGLs without CAI markings, do they exist? it would be a "fifth" variety.

2) GL IMBELs with CAI markings

3) GL IMBELs with PAC (Pacific Armament Corporation, Modesto CA) markings, post-2000 with factory markings in English

4) GL IMBELs with PAC markings, pre-2000 with factory markings in Portuguese

But it's a minor distinction.

For what it's worth, recent pictures posted of the latest crop of Gear Logo IMBELs display more visible tool marks than my pre-2000 editions. But they're still the last forged, FN-licensed FAL receiver in the world today.


rob1 November 12, 2002 18:42

There are also a few inch cut Imbels still floating around, but have gotten more scarce. These are standard Imbel receivers that have been machined for the inch cocking handles and to take inch or metric mags.

shortround November 12, 2002 18:54

I have Entreprise Arms marked NGL's also.

Harlan at FAC November 12, 2002 20:50

Many of the early to mid-90's rifles assembled by Century probably used IMBEL receivers that were not I.D.'ed as IMBEL. Some of these receivers may have been Argentine.

Hesse Arms also brought in quite a few IMBEL receivers, and I think these may have had the gear logo. I can't remember for sure. There was at least one other importer that brought in IMBEL receivers. I think KY Imports may have sold these.


Templator November 12, 2002 20:54

Yeah,.. I bought a couple of Gear Logo Imbels from Ky Imports. They only had 4 left when I bought my last one about a year ago. I'm not sure if they're handling them anymore.

Radio November 13, 2002 12:38

Ah, now that my memory has been refreshed, I too recall the NGL receivers at Entreprise. If I were to pick up a NGL, that would be my first choice far and above any CAI import.

(I also remember AIM offering IMBELs, but I don't believe they were the importers. Who sold them is not what I'm focusing on, but who brought them in.)

It had been my understanding that, at least for a goodly period of time, PAC were the exclusive importers of GL IMBELs. I believe I received this information from George at GG. Obviously this exclusive, if it existed, has now expired (with the CAI GLs); nor can I guess what may have been available before any exclusive might have been in place (such as KY).

Fun hobby, ain't it.


Derby FALs November 15, 2002 13:01


Originally posted by Templator
Yeah,.. I bought a couple of Gear Logo Imbels from Ky Imports. They only had 4 left when I bought my last one about a year ago. I'm not sure if they're handling them anymore.
PARS Intl. of Louisville, Ky imported some. They have 2002 in the magwell. That's what KY Imports has right now.

Templator November 15, 2002 13:06

They still have some, Derby?

Derby FALs November 15, 2002 13:11

They had a bunch last time I was there.

Snootleather November 15, 2002 13:25

Do they have a website?

EMDII November 15, 2002 13:30

Re: IMBEL Receivers

Originally posted by stvyrayvhn
Sorry if this has been posted before but I have a question on what the difference is between the IMBEL receivers I have seen advertised.
Thank you,

In a word-


Yes, we have answered it before. The external markings vary, but ANY IMBEL always came from Itajuba, in Brasil, and is made to the same standards as ALL its brethren.

Derby FALs November 15, 2002 14:04


Originally posted by Snootleather
Do they have a website?
KY Imports

TANK November 15, 2002 15:16

How do you I.D a non gear logo Imbel? I have a Century Arms L1A1 and it cas no other markings besides the "CAI" markings.

EMDII November 15, 2002 16:14


Originally posted by TANK
How do you I.D a non gear logo Imbel? I have a Century Arms L1A1 and it cas no other markings besides the "CAI" markings.
If it is an IMBEL, it will as a minimum have the "Fabrijca de Itajuba" on the receiver rail. No Itajuba, no IMBEL.

W.E.G. November 15, 2002 16:30

There are some differences.

The where, the when, and the why are the stuff of the conspiracy files.

You decide what is "cosmetic."

Ultimate rant on this thread is at:

Can YOU tell the difference?

(photo ripped-off from Hermit River's post)

ricochet November 16, 2002 01:45

I hope yours is just a bad example. My last 2 Non-gear IMBEL receivers looked as good as my last 2 gear receivers, everything fit up as well, but the barrels timed just a few degrees early (I thought a non-problem).
If there are differences, they appear slight (except on your example). I found so little difference in mine that I would not fear building/buying again on them. The non-gear IMBELs look closer to the originals, so I went with them this time. I see no real quality difference in mine. But I am only comparing visually/builds to 2 examples of each. Any mass produced item sometimes has differences. Perfection is what we expect, and DSA and IMBEL get most right (and Entreprise in my 3). I hate to say I am not perfect either, but I try.

nvcdl November 16, 2002 20:40


Originally posted by Derby FALs

KY Imports

Hmmm.... KY Imports is advertising STG Kits @ $194.99

ket November 16, 2002 21:01

does anyone have working www's to PAC or dealer warehouse

HD99FXR3 November 16, 2002 21:05

gary the one on the left is rough as a cobb, who's is it? what is it?

B3 November 16, 2002 23:58

Dealer Warehouse
Dealer Warehouse has no (www) web page.
4813 Enterprise Way Unit K
Modesto. CA 95356

Last I heard was they were $238.50 + $8 shipping
good luck

dfidler November 16, 2002 23:58

I'm new to the FAL world, and I have a question about the IMBEL receivers. What do you mean about "non gear logo", and "gear logo" receivers? I know that DSA is the top dog, but where do the rest of the receivers fit in? (IMBEL, Enterprise, and Century) I already know that Hesse sucks!



Radio November 17, 2002 00:26

As Ted said, an IMBEL is an IMBEL... mostly. The "Gear Logo" is the factory logo roll-stamped into the left side of the receiver... sort of a "mark of quality" regardless of who imported it, though you'd find some argument here that anything with CAI ("Century Arms International") might have a slight smack of distaste among many knowledgable FALaholics.

A "Non-Gear Logo" is still an IMBEL, but lacking that quality mark... think of it as a generic brand still made by the original manufacturer. For the most part, the Gear Logo's primary value is as snob appeal. (And I'm one of those snobs, and I don't own any NGLs.) Either "flavor" of IMBEL are the only foreign-made new receiver available on today's market.

All the rest are US-made receivers. Only DSA is machined from billet, all the rest are cast.
* DSA The best of the bunch, very high quality, also very expensive.
* Dan Coonan Offered by Federal Arms (FAC). An excellent Type-I receiver, reasonably priced, is building a good reputation. The receiver Entreprise wishes it could be.
* Entreprise Has many fans and detractors. Sometimes suffers from dimensionality problems, needing minor to major adjustment in order to be assembled on. The only Inch-pattern receiver on the market. Also comes in a dedicated Israeli version.
* Hesse One of the true problem children of the FAL world. Will almost certainly require builder adjustment to be useable. Very inexpensive (circa $150) best left to VERY experienced builders with a respectable collection of tools.
* Olympic Not currently in production to my knowledge. Comes from a company already with a troubled reputation in the AR fraternity; their FAL offering was similarly done rather poorly.
* DPMS Another orphan. Also had problems. Ugly logo. Much better use of your money getting an IMBEL.
* Armscorp Rarely seen, has a hit-and-miss reputation. Some receivers assemble without major problems, some require extensive modification. Not many of these out there.
* WAC or Williams Arms. An aluminum receiver, very well machined, that was a total disaster. Not safe for use with .308 ammunition, best used in a minor calibre FAL conversion (such as 22LR or M43 Russian). Some report success with conversions to .223, but I feel these receivers are borderline for that power level.
* Century I have read that CAI makes their own FAL receivers, but I've never seen one for sale and am not sure if they are offered to the public. Even if so, this company is infamous for its Angry Beaver approach to slapdash manufacturing. I am happy to buy ammo and some C&R stuff from them, but I wouldn't trust a receiver from these people as far as a child could throw it.

Did I miss anything? :wink:


"Say, that's a mighty fine M249 you've got there." -Thomas Jefferson

dfidler November 17, 2002 00:51

Radio, Thanks for the info. That cleared up all of my questions. I have a hand picked G1 kit from Tapco that I want to build. I would really like to keep it as original as possible. I just need to get a receiver for it.

Thanks, Dfidler

Radio November 17, 2002 01:40

Glad to help.

Some more info I just though of: receiver types.

IMBEL all are Type-III
DSA Type-I, Type-II (only manufacturer to offer this)
Coonan Type-I
Entreprise Type-I, Type-III, Inch, Israeli
Hesse Type-III
WAC sort of a cross between Type-I and Type-II (best fits T-II lower)
Olympic, DPMS unsure, Type-I ???
Armscorp, Century ???

To find what kind of receiver your kit originally came with, look at the bottom corner of the recoil plate on your lower.
* If a square-cornered sharp-angled notch, Type-I (most StG, G1 kits)
* If a round-cornered radiused notch, Type-II (typical South African R1 kits)
* If no notch, plate edge straight from top to bottom, Type-III (most IMBEL kits)

Of course other considerations such as quality and/or price will probably play the greatest role in your receiver purchase decision, but if an original look is very important to you, perhaps the above will be helpful.


nitsa February 27, 2007 11:30

just bought a Imbel FAL, trying to figure out what I have.
Its a gear logo Imbel imported by Enterprise Arms of Irvindale, CA, its has what I believe is a short serial # 1Bxxx. Is this gun an early one ?
is it a type 1? Other rec. markings on left side - Fz SA 7.62 mm C -3A . Rifle was put together by a Allan Richmond of Gardena , CA
does anyone know his reputation ? Thanks

Abominog February 27, 2007 13:26

It's a Type III metric receiver made by Imbel and imported by Entreprise. It is not "an early one", standard ubiquitous Imbel.

Court in Fl February 27, 2007 23:41

As I recall those receivers came in to the US in the summer of 2000.

They where $189.00.

I only bought 11, and sold them all.

They are good receivers.

Court in FL.

Radio February 27, 2007 23:48

Wow, what an old thread. I'd totally forgotten about Olympic Arms, which is of course a fate they deserve anyway.

Don't those old prices just kill you???


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