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Old January 02, 2017, 13:13   #1
STGThndr
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Cutting barrel length on FAL

I have an Imbel FAL that was built from a kit some years ago. I like it a lot and intend to keep it.. but the rifle is a bit long in the snoot for carrying around and in and out of vehicles.
My question is what sort of issues can be expected from shortening the barrel to (say) 18 inches? Will the gas system adjust to the shorter barrel by gas system adjustments, or is more required? Should I go this route the work will be done by a competent 'smith who knows these weapons but am curious as to what exactly will need doing. Thanks, Dun
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Old January 02, 2017, 13:56   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flypaper View Post
You can go down to 17.3 inch barrel with no problems and not drilling out the gas port.
Depending on condition of the parts that make up the gas system, yes.


Not always the case.

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Old January 02, 2017, 14:23   #3
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I recently cut an Imbel build to 18" and had to open the gas port to .116" (number drill 32) for proper function. From my research and advise received, .116" to .118" is pretty common.
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Old January 02, 2017, 14:27   #4
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Cutting original barrels used to be all the rage. We hacked 'em down like truffula trees. They were cheap then. These days I'd be more inclined to buy a commercial 18" barrel and set aside the original, especially if numbers match. I wont judge you if you cut it, though.
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Old January 02, 2017, 15:23   #5
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did one, did not have to open the gas port
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Old January 02, 2017, 15:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flypaper View Post
I stand corrected.

I've only done a couple and had no issues...
Not saying it is one way or the other, it truly depends on a lot of factors.

Personally, I like to keep FAL barrels at a minimum of 18 inches.


YMMV


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Old January 02, 2017, 16:00   #7
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Is not a problem. I have all mine at 16'' and drilled gas port. Even at 18'' I would open it and adjust any over pressure at adjustment.
Opening port is easy, remove front sight post and you can drill there.
Be sure to put metal dowel in barrel when drilling so you don't hit rifling with bit.
Good luck.
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Old January 02, 2017, 20:24   #8
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Mine was cut to 17.3", only change I had to make was tuning the gas plug another 2 numbers down. Other then that...pretty happy overall with it.
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Old January 02, 2017, 20:58   #9
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Cutting original barrels used to be all the rage. We hacked 'em down like truffula trees. They were cheap then. These days I'd be more inclined to buy a commercial 18" barrel and set aside the original, especially if numbers match. I wont judge you if you cut it, though.
This +1. No butchery.
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Old January 03, 2017, 08:04   #10
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I start at .116 for anything 16-18" and then if I don't get 10' ejection on 3.5, open to 3mm.
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Old January 03, 2017, 23:02   #11
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Thanks, guys, and thanks for the details, Mark. Getting a dedicated shorty upper might be worth the expense.
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Old April 16, 2018, 08:20   #12
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sorry to resurrect this old thread, but i had a question about who to send my fairly recent dsa para to to shorten and re thread the 21 inch barrel to 18. since its the registered part, who can i send the upper to without having to go through a FFL, and how much should i expect to pay for a shorten and re thread? thanks
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Old April 16, 2018, 10:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldolds442 View Post
sorry to resurrect this old thread, but i had a question about who to send my fairly recent dsa para to to shorten and re thread the 21 inch barrel to 18. since its the registered part, who can i send the upper to without having to go through a FFL, and how much should i expect to pay for a shorten and re thread? thanks
You are the owner, you don't need to go through a FFL to send it to, or receive it from a gunsmith, since he'd also be a FFL.
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Old April 16, 2018, 12:16   #14
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Buy a barrel 18 inch long and have it installed.
Now you have a full length barrel in hand.
Time to start gathering parts for the next build.
You know you want another FAL.
This one will be full length and with bipod.
Resistance is futile.
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Old April 16, 2018, 13:48   #15
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Buy one of Marks' barrels. They're already cut and ready to twist on. I'm quite pleased with mine.
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