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Old December 18, 2018, 17:54   #1
lpcullen
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Lithgow L1A1 kits without barrels

When did these get imported? Does anyone remember what they were going for back in the day? Where can one find a barrel these days? Or are they unobtanium?
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Old December 19, 2018, 00:16   #2
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When did these get imported? Does anyone remember what they were going for back in the day? Where can one find a barrel these days? Or are they unobtanium?
As far as I read, the current inch barrel options for those kits are real Aussie barrels, recontoured metric barrels, and a few months back a run of U.S. made barrels.

I have an Aussie barrel with the chrome-lined chamber that was imported by Century. I still have to see if Century completely killed the original threads before I put it up for sale.
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Old December 19, 2018, 06:38   #3
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I bought several back in 2009ish for $229 if I remember right. The Aussie kits were what got me in to FALs.
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Old December 19, 2018, 07:00   #4
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I wish whoever made the American barrels would make another run.
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Old December 19, 2018, 07:42   #5
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Yeah,

What I truly wish is would someone step up and make some hammer forged chromelined barrels for both inch and metric guns.

Wonder how long a 100 barrel run of each would last at $300 each without a gas block?

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Old December 19, 2018, 07:43   #6
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I wish whoever made the American barrels would make another run.
Go harass Richard from Apex; he is a member here.
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Old December 19, 2018, 08:07   #7
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Apex had the barrels made?
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Old December 19, 2018, 08:12   #8
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I have been considering it - I just need to find a barrel maker who gives a shit what the results are. Any idea who did them for Pat? I only have about 20 of those left.
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Old December 19, 2018, 09:05   #9
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I have been considering it - I just need to find a barrel maker who gives a shit what the results are. Any idea who did them for Pat? I only have about 20 of those left.
I believe it was DEZ Arms out of Wisconsin.
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Old December 19, 2018, 09:21   #10
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I believe it was DEZ Arms out of Wisconsin.
I sent them an e-mail, but were they the manufacturer or a middle man? Edit, look like they are the manufacturer, so they must do it somewhere else as their showroom does not appear to be a machine shop.

Got the gas block drilling fixture in from John yesterday, to I can see about mounting these NOS gas blocks (already got the stop pins pressed in).

Then of course, there is the question of what (if anything) to change from the original prints (which I have).

Chrome lined 1-12 6 groove? 1-11? Six groove? CHF, or cut? Are we at a point where barrels are scarce enough to move up a step above GI grade with a corresponding increase in cost? Do I start with a price point and work backwards to what to make?

Original UK 1986 spec is a 1-12 6 groove chrome lined
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Old December 19, 2018, 10:24   #11
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I sent them an e-mail, but were they the manufacturer or a middle man? Edit, look like they are the manufacturer, so they must do it somewhere else as their showroom does not appear to be a machine shop.

Got the gas block drilling fixture in from John yesterday, to I can see about mounting these NOS gas blocks (already got the stop pins pressed in).

Then of course, there is the question of what (if anything) to change from the original prints (which I have).

Chrome lined 1-12 6 groove? 1-11? Six groove? CHF, or cut? Are we at a point where barrels are scarce enough to move up a step above GI grade with a corresponding increase in cost? Do I start with a price point and work backwards to what to make?

Original UK 1986 spec is a 1-12 6 groove chrome lined
Mark, FWIW If you're seriuosly doing research You might look into Criterion barrels. They have a working relationship with Krieger and provide the m1 barrels to the CMP program, also make M-14 barrel. Small enough to consider this type of project.
Another place I would check is Green Mountain. They supply a lot of barrels and blanks to all the major manufacturers amd have excellent quality control. May need a pretty big run with them though.
Added that DEZ could be sourceing their barrels from criterion as both are in Wisconsin, as well as Kreiger

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Old December 19, 2018, 10:27   #12
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Mark, FWIW If you're seriuosly doing research You might look into Criterion barrels. They have a working relationship with Krieger and provide the m1 barrels to the CMP program, also make M-14 barrel. Small enough to consider this type of project.
Another place I would check is Green Mountain. They supply a lot of barrels and blanks to all the major manufacturers amd have excellent quality control. May need a pretty big run with them though.

Steve
I have been very happy with Criteron Garand barrels - that's a good idea.

I have had a bad experience with Green mountain on two occasions. I am hesitant based on that. But the presumably green mountain CAI barrels that have been fine.

I should probably contact AK-builder as well, to find out who is doing his barrels. They have been small runs and very good.


Lothar walther has also been superb in the customer service side, on some 5.45x39 project ideas, that unfortunately did not materialize. They do tend to be on the higher end price-wise.
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Old December 19, 2018, 10:45   #13
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I have been very happy with Criteron Garand barrels - that's a good idea.

I have had a bad experience with Green mountain on two occasions. I am hesitant based on that. But the presumably green mountain CAI barrels that have been fine.

I should probably contact AK-builder as well, to find out who is doing his barrels. They have been small runs and very good.


Lothar walther has also been superb in the customer service side, on some 5.45x39 project ideas, that unfortunately did not materialize. They do tend to be on the higher end price-wise.
I've only ordered Ar and black powder barrels from Green Mountain and have had good experiences. I've talked to them at length and they do a double heat treat and can offer chrome lining. May be a one stop shop wear as Criterion may have to outsource Chrome plating which might make it prohibitive. I do know that Criterion and Kreiger are just up/down the road from each other and collaborate: and as you well know Kreiger is one of the finest custom bolt rifle barrel makers out there.

What little I know about Lothar Walther is that they have been around a long time in Europe I believe and their US operation is an off shoot. Could be a source for a hammerforged barrel though as they might import blanks from their homebase in Europe and countour/chamber here. Could explain the cost. I looked into them as a source for CZ 527 barrels.

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Old December 19, 2018, 10:46   #14
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I sent them an e-mail, but were they the manufacturer or a middle man? Edit, look like they are the manufacturer, so they must do it somewhere else as their showroom does not appear to be a machine shop.

Got the gas block drilling fixture in from John yesterday, to I can see about mounting these NOS gas blocks (already got the stop pins pressed in).

Then of course, there is the question of what (if anything) to change from the original prints (which I have).

Chrome lined 1-12 6 groove? 1-11? Six groove? CHF, or cut? Are we at a point where barrels are scarce enough to move up a step above GI grade with a corresponding increase in cost? Do I start with a price point and work backwards to what to make?

Original UK 1986 spec is a 1-12 6 groove chrome lined
Maybe send an email to these folks ? From what I've been reading they bought the barrel making equipment including hammer forging equipment from Parker Hale and Parker Hale made L1A1 barrels back in the day. It can't get much more authentic than that. No clue if they would do small runs. http://www.armalon.com/public/contact
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Old December 19, 2018, 10:53   #15
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GP,

I dont know what the twist is but the most accurate barrels I have are the hammer forged chrome chambered 4 landed Lithgow Black Mountain branded barrels. I have an NIB one waiting for my son that I'd be happy to loan it to you for measurements if needed.

I also have two 85 dated Enfield and one 86 dated Parker Hale L1A1 barrels that are chrome chambered and 4 landed, not sure if they were hammer forged but gman has a couple of Brit armor manual extracts that lead me to believe they are hammer forged. I believe that in the mid 80s the commonwealth countries still making parts went to hammer forging en masse.

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Old December 19, 2018, 10:54   #16
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Maybe send an email to these folks ? From what I've been reading they bought the barrel making equipment including hammer forging equipment from Parker Hale and Parker Hale made L1A1 barrels back in the day. It can't get much more authentic than that. No clue if they would do small runs. http://www.armalon.com/public/contact
They appear to be in England. The reason the L1A1 kits are without barrels, is the Republicans have banned the import of barrels for "assault rifles"

There is a loophole, for unfinished barrels. Like Radom could bring AK barrels in, because they were not threaded and did not have extractor cuts, so they were "blanks" despite the AK profile. But I still think I would be better off with a US made barrel (922 bonus).

I've sent a message to DEZ and Criterion. And to Curtis, because his excellent AK barrels are in a variety of profiles, so I assume he is able to get very small runs. Maybe he just buys blanks and does the profiling in-house.
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Old December 19, 2018, 11:06   #17
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GP,

I dont know what the twist is but the most accurate barrels I have are the hammer forged chrome chambered 4 landed Lithgow Black Mountain branded barrels. I have an NIB one waiting for my son that I'd be happy to loan it to you for measurements if needed.

I also have two 85 dated Enfield and one 86 dated Parker Hale L1A1 barrels that are chrome chambered and 4 landed, not sure if they were hammer forged but gman has a couple of Brit armor manual extracts that lead me to believe they are hammer forged. I believe that in the mid 80s the commonwealth countries still making parts went to hammer forging en masse.

Thorack
My understanding is that hammer forging is very expensive setup but low per-unit cost.

I have no preference on 4 or 6 groove. I too have heard great things about the Black Mountain barrels, but I wonder if it is because they are 4 groove instead of 6, or because they had commercial sales in mind so a higher quality standard than "mil spec". Or that they were using new machines and tooling, and not Lithgow's obsolete 1940s machines.

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Old December 19, 2018, 11:14   #18
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Barrels

Dez arms is the manufacture of the barrels that Pat had made. Dez made the barrels and RDO out of Island lake installed the gas blocks. Ron from RDO is out of the gun business at this point and will not return calls/emails for personal reasons.
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Old December 19, 2018, 12:09   #19
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Who does rim county manufacturing’s hammer forged HK barrels?

https://rimcountrymfg.com/product/rc...rel-chf-blank/
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Old December 19, 2018, 13:25   #20
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Who does rim county manufacturing’s hammer forged HK barrels?

https://rimcountrymfg.com/product/rc...rel-chf-blank/
They source that barrel from Lothar Walther

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Old December 19, 2018, 17:33   #21
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Circa 19992 Lithgow SAF were using Pratt Whitney cut rifling machines for their Black mountain Target rifle barrels and were only using the Hammer forge machine for IW Steyr etc barrels.


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My understanding is that hammer forging is very expensive setup but low per-unit cost.

I have no preference on 4 or 6 groove. I too have heard great things about the Black Mountain barrels, but I wonder if it is because they are 4 groove instead of 6, or because they had commercial sales in mind so a higher quality standard than "mil spec". Or that they were using new machines and tooling, and not Lithgow's obsolete 1940s machines.

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Old December 19, 2018, 18:43   #22
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They source that barrel from Lothar Walther

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Thank you Steve.
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Old December 19, 2018, 19:36   #23
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They appear to be in England. The reason the L1A1 kits are without barrels, is the Republicans have banned the import of barrels for "assault rifles"

There is a loophole, for unfinished barrels. Like Radom could bring AK barrels in, because they were not threaded and did not have extractor cuts, so they were "blanks" despite the AK profile. But I still think I would be better off with a US made barrel (922 bonus).

I've sent a message to DEZ and Criterion. And to Curtis, because his excellent AK barrels are in a variety of profiles, so I assume he is able to get very small runs. Maybe he just buys blanks and does the profiling in-house.
Forget Armalon. Several years ago, I spoke at length with the owner, a fellow Brit whom I met once many moons ago. He isn't interested in exporting L1A1 barrels to the USA as he fears the liability laws here. Shame but he didn't want to lose his business if someone was injured and decided to sue him.

Chrome lining is yesterday's technology and has easily been surpassed by nitride. Chroming a barrel was about $1 an inch over a decade ago and has only gone up since then. Nitride barrels run less than $10 in a reasonable quantity. To properly chrome a barrel requires material be removed from the bore than chrome added back to it to take it back to spec. I know of only two locations in the US that can do it. Call US Chrome and ask for pricing, you might be shocked.. https://www.uschrome.com/
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Old December 19, 2018, 19:53   #24
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I couldn't care less about chrome lining, the originals weren't chrome lined, Pat's barrels weren't chrome lined either (at least I don't remember them being chrome lined and it's been a while since I've looked) and they shoot well

Would be nice to have an option for inch barrels and who knows one could dream that a stash of Brit or Aussie kits pops up like the Israeli kits did.
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Old December 20, 2018, 09:18   #25
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Chrome lining is yesterday's technology and has easily been surpassed by nitride. Chroming a barrel was about $1 an inch over a decade ago and has only gone up since then. Nitride barrels run less than $10 in a reasonable quantity. To properly chrome a barrel requires material be removed from the bore than chrome added back to it to take it back to spec. I know of only two locations in the US that can do it. Call US Chrome and ask for pricing, you might be shocked.. https://www.uschrome.com/
Interesting, because I consider "nitriding" to be the latest gimmick to separate fools and their money.

The first thing I do with a nitrided part is blast that crap off so I can coat it with something that actually works. DSA's rusting "nitrided" pistons and plugs are an example of why I despise it.

On the other hand, I actually value your experience and am open to further education.


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I couldn't care less about chrome lining, the originals weren't chrome lined, Pat's barrels weren't chrome lined either (at least I don't remember them being chrome lined and it's been a while since I've looked) and they shoot well

Would be nice to have an option for inch barrels and who knows one could dream that a stash of Brit or Aussie kits pops up like the Israeli kits did.
Originals were chrome lined, Pats were not.

Now the earliest Aussie (and presumably brit) were not chromed - I don't have a date for start of chrome but early 50s.

My 1986 blueprints call fro chrome.
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Old December 20, 2018, 23:15   #26
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Dez arms is the manufacture of the barrels that Pat had made. Dez made the barrels and RDO out of Island lake installed the gas blocks. Ron from RDO is out of the gun business at this point and will not return calls/emails for personal reasons.
Sorry to hear that. I'd been wondering.
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Old December 20, 2018, 23:18   #27
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Circa 19992 Lithgow SAF were using Pratt Whitney cut rifling machines for their Black mountain Target rifle barrels and were only using the Hammer forge machine for IW Steyr etc barrels.
Anybody know if Lithgow/Black Mountain still makes 7.62mm NATO barrel blanks? Thought I'd heard at one point that they did.
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Old December 21, 2018, 00:47   #28
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Back to the OP. Those kits seemed to be PNG configured and used. They came with S short butt-stocks and PNG flash suppressors. They were not well maintained and had a lot of rust under the wood.
For what it's worth, my early '60s Aussie barrel is not chrome lined, neither is my 1987 Parker Hale.
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Old December 21, 2018, 04:24   #29
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Back to the OP. Those kits seemed to be PNG configured and used. They came with S short butt-stocks and PNG flash suppressors. They were not well maintained and had a lot of rust under the wood.
For what it's worth, my early '60s Aussie barrel is not chrome lined, neither is my 1987 Parker Hale.
But a lot of these kits were also not well used/fired much. I have also found a lot of nice wood (after cleaning) and replacement parts in these kits. They came be really dirty and greasy, but they can turn out really nice for the $$$. A couple of my kits also came with NZ carry handles.

I think that most average shooters will tangivly find a preference between a S and N stock... the length difference is trivial and modern war fighting actually lends itself to a shorter stock.

There are enough of these kits out there that a run of inch barrels would be embraced. The Malasian kits came with gas blocks,

Yep, pitting under pistol grip, though it is often not seen with grip installed. Thee lowers clean up nice with blast n' park.
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Old December 21, 2018, 08:06   #30
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Yeah, they looked really rough coming out of the packaging but cleaned up pretty nicely. The only damage to the wood on one of my kits was from the wood just being thrown in with the rest of the metal and not being wrapped separately. The two dents that were in the buttstock were obviously from the packing/shipping.

Colorado Gun Sales had the last of them, I bought a couple and then when their stock online showed sold out I called to see if they happened to have any left laying around and the guy called back about an hour later and said they found one last one on a return shelf so I bought it. Nothing was wrong with the kit other than being dirt/grease covered when I got it.
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Old December 21, 2018, 12:34   #31
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Chrome lining is yesterday's technology and has easily been surpassed by nitride. Chroming a barrel was about $1 an inch over a decade ago and has only gone up since then. Nitride barrels run less than $10 in a reasonable quantity. To properly chrome a barrel requires material be removed from the bore than chrome added back to it to take it back to spec. I know of only two locations in the US that can do it. Call US Chrome and ask for pricing, you might be shocked.. https://www.uschrome.com/
I understand (proper) nitriding results in a barrel that is more corrosion-resistant and longer-lasting that chrome, without the accuracy issues that can occur with chrome lining.

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Old December 21, 2018, 12:42   #32
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I never said or implied these kits weren't worth the effort to do a build on. Mine got a decent early Lithgow barrel and DSA Aussie upper and the short butt-stock is like new. The so called normal length inch stocks are barely long enough for me. The short is simply too short. It is however, longer than the PARA. The PNG flash suppressor is my choice for any inch build. Tho the Kiwi carry handle is less common, they are also less comfortable. Mine stays in the part bin. It may go on with my Kiwi hand guards and sling swivel for pictures to inform others what a New Zealand SLR looks like. The Britt and Aussie carry handles, I do use, are the most comfortable of any FAL. The prospect of new Aussie style US made barrels is discussed above.
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Old December 21, 2018, 15:21   #33
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There are loose new old stock Lithgowe barrels out there, at least one vendor was still retailing them in the early 2000s but even then they were not cheap
like $190 odd bucks sticks in my mind.

There is another source of high quality hammer forged barrels in Europe
Verny-Carron in France.
Whether they would turn them to dimension I can't say however their blanks have been imported Stateside. VC sourced barrels are used by a number of higher grade Euro manufacturers. I'd rate them easily as wonderful as the Lothar Walther blanks and somewhat less expensive.

In my opinion chroming is not necessary with a ".308"
reality is most folks don't shoot any corrosive in that chambering
it's different with old Comblock chamberings
Seriously, is anyone clambering for chrome lined Garand barrels ?
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Old December 21, 2018, 17:10   #34
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Originally Posted by kysjck View Post
I never said or implied these kits weren't worth the effort to do a build on. Mine got a decent early Lithgow barrel and DSA Aussie upper and the short butt-stock is like new. The so called normal length inch stocks are barely long enough for me. The short is simply too short. It is however, longer than the PARA. The PNG flash suppressor is my choice for any inch build. Tho the Kiwi carry handle is less common, they are also less comfortable. Mine stays in the part bin. It may go on with my Kiwi hand guards and sling swivel for pictures to inform others what a New Zealand SLR looks like. The Britt and Aussie carry handles, I do use, are the most comfortable of any FAL. The prospect of new Aussie style US made barrels is discussed above.
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Old December 22, 2018, 04:28   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raubvogel View Post
Go harass Richard from Apex; he is a member here.
APEX had some US made L1A1 and FAL barrels.
We didn't have them made, they came to us thru the purchase of a large lot of FAL and L1A1 parts.
I don't have prints for these barrels.
I am happy to stock good quality barrels (like my CETME barrels) that are available from a manufacturer.
Going thru the time and effort to have barrels made is not something I want to do.
If Mark / Gunplumber was to offer me barrels he was having made I would be happy to carry them.

Richard
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Old December 22, 2018, 08:53   #36
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well, the gasblock drilling fixture was the thorn in my side, but with help from John at NFE I can get NOS gasblocks mounted in about 20 minutes. Still sub optimal but a heck of a lot better than the old method.

And swapping the bushings I can switch from L1A1 to FAL to FAL Israel.


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