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Old June 16, 2018, 04:49   #1
Orion the Hunter
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What Upper Should I Use on a R1 Build?

I have all the pieces parts to assemble an Pretoria R1...but am stumped on what to use for an Upper Receiver?

I have a few Type III Imbel Uppers left, but have those earmarked for other builds...and would like to consider using a Type II to match the Pretoria Lower.

I have heard that there are DS Arms Uppers to stay away from...and there are ones that will work ok. Any thoughts?

I have heard various reports on other manufactures...none of them really good. I guess Coonan (or whomever) that made the "R1 Stamped Collectors Upper" no longer makes them?

Any suggestions on what would be a good one to select?


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Old June 16, 2018, 06:04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion the Hunter View Post
I have all the pieces parts to assemble an Pretoria R1...but am stumped on what to use for an Upper Receiver?

I have a few Type III Imbel Uppers left, but have those earmarked for other builds...and would like to consider using a Type II to match the Pretoria Lower.

I have heard that there are DS Arms Uppers to stay away from...and there are ones that will work ok. Any thoughts?

I have heard various reports on other manufactures...none of them really good. I guess Coonan (or whomever) that made the "R1 Stamped Collectors Upper" no longer makes them?

Any suggestions on what would be a good one to select?


Thanks,
Orion the Hunter
Well an R1 upper would be the best if you can source one on the secondary market. DSA LMT-made or from Coonan's run from a while back. I suppose you could take a chance with one of DSA's in-house R1 receivers.

If it wasn't for the different mag well lightening cut shape you could probably modify a Type 2 into the correct configuration, assuming the work was done by a competent machinist.
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Old June 17, 2018, 10:36   #3
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Type 1, 1.5 (R1), or 2 would all be correct for a Rhodesian build, with the R1 being the most common by far.

I have two DSA R1 uppers, and they're fine.
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Old June 17, 2018, 13:18   #4
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Type 1, 1.5 (R1), or 2 would all be correct for a Rhodesian build, with the R1 being the most common by far.

I have two DSA R1 uppers, and they're fine.
Only one is correct for an R1 kit like he describes, though.
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Old June 18, 2018, 01:50   #5
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Is there a picture anywhere of a Type 1 vs 1.5?

I get the difference between a Type 1, Type 2 & Type 3....

But am dumbfounded on a Type 1.5?????????

Does anyone have a pic of a Type 1...Type 1.5 and Type 2 all lined up so we can see the difference?

I ran some searches, but not much luck....
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Old June 18, 2018, 06:49   #6
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The 1.5 is more radiused. You can tell by looking at the recoil plate on the bottom step. The type 1 is almost square.
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Old June 18, 2018, 07:19   #7
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I am or was in the same boat as to the difference and could still be wrong, but from what I could find, the 1.5 upper is lightning cut like a type one, with the one long curved Lightening cut on both sides of the upper. The difference is in the cut itself with the 1.5s. Instead of a 90° angle cuts, the lightening cut is rounded or curved to almost match the curve of the step on the recoil plate on a type 2 lower.

Type 1.5 curved cut

Type 1 90° cut
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Old June 18, 2018, 07:31   #8
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^^^^yep
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Old June 18, 2018, 07:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion the Hunter View Post
I get the difference between a Type 1, Type 2 & Type 3....

But am dumbfounded on a Type 1.5?????????

Does anyone have a pic of a Type 1...Type 1.5 and Type 2 all lined up so we can see the difference?

I ran some searches, but not much luck....
Here is an old that may help you.

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showt...=292116&page=2
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Old June 18, 2018, 11:41   #10
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Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
Only one is correct for an R1 kit like he describes, though.
With the way they frequently swapped parts around, all would work.
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Old June 18, 2018, 12:03   #11
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Originally Posted by lew View Post
With the way they frequently swapped parts around, all would work.
Used whatever was available, to keep them running; especially towards the end of the war.
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Old June 19, 2018, 18:57   #12
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The most "defining" cut on a South African R1 receiver is the one on the right side of the mag well. Belgian type 1s and 2s have a quadrilateral cut; ARMSCOR simplified the cuts and used a larger end mill. The end result is rounded at the front instead of having two angles...it's more of a triangular cut, three machine moves instead of four to cut the outline.

That said, if it would help, Rhodesia did have a FEW type 2 FNs that somehow made it (by hook or by crook) into their hands. They show up on occasion in photos.
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Old June 20, 2018, 03:47   #13
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Used whatever was available, to keep them running; especially towards the end of the war.
Most examples I've seen photos of and most matching parts kits that I've seen seem pretty consistent parts-wise. Maybe a little mixing here and there with smaller parts, but the major parts are typically consistent (they did tend to frequently swap out standard gas plugs for grenade sight ones on rifles that didn't come with them originally, though). I don't get the impression that they were swapping things willy-nilly, but maybe there's a reference about it that I haven't read, yet.

From the photos I've seen, generally, an R1 barrel and lower assembly will be mated with an R1 receiver.
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Old June 20, 2018, 03:54   #14
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Originally Posted by enbloc8 View Post
The most "defining" cut on a South African R1 receiver is the one on the right side of the mag well. Belgian type 1s and 2s have a quadrilateral cut; ARMSCOR simplified the cuts and used a larger end mill. The end result is rounded at the front instead of having two angles...it's more of a triangular cut, three machine moves instead of four to cut the outline.

That said, if it would help, Rhodesia did have a FEW type 2 FNs that somehow made it (by hook or by crook) into their hands. They show up on occasion in photos.
The Belgian Type 1.5s are pretty much the same as the R1s except for that mag well cut that you mention. I think the Type 1.5s and another that is like a Type 1 except at the receiver ring, where it's cut like a Type 2, are transitional receiver types between the Type 1 and Type 2. Probably something already covered by one of the big reference books, although I don't have one to know for sure. Supposedly some of the earlier R1 receivers were sand-cut, too.

Rhodesia had quite the mix. Got m/962s and G-1s from Portugal, I've seen rifles or kits in pictures with Force Publique or ANC markings (some captured from rebels, presumably supplied by the Congo, and as I recall they also inherited some rifles impounded by the Federation from Katangese Gendarmes during the first Congo Crisis), and other FNs. And of course there are the two SA contract types. Someone posted a picture here the other day that appears to show a Rhodie-era rifle with a Type 3 receiver. I think pretty much everything from Type 1 to Type 3 could be found there (not to mention their Commonwealth and Indian rifles).

Type 1s were probably the most common aside from the SA Type 1.5s. At least that's my impression.
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Old June 20, 2018, 11:25   #15
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One of the machine shops i work for will mill your T3 into a T1.5. If you’re interested PM me & I’ll put you into contact with him
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Old July 10, 2018, 19:08   #16
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One of the machine shops i work for will mill your T3 into a T1.5. If you’re interested PM me & I’ll put you into contact with him
Butting in, interesting offer. I have a Type 3 which claims to be R1 and the lower I want to use is a DSA para one, which has that Type 1/2 cutout
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Old July 11, 2018, 18:26   #17
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IMHO, there is no such thing as a wrong upper receiver for a R1. They used what they had in Rhodesia. I have seen pictures of all three types. I still don't get the 1.5 type upper. I cannot tell the differance between a 1.5 and a 1. I have a type 2 on my R1 and there is a picture of a trooper carrying a FAL with a type 2.

So you cannot go wrong.
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Old July 11, 2018, 22:08   #18
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Originally Posted by gunnut1 View Post
IMHO, there is no such thing as a wrong upper receiver for a R1. They used what they had in Rhodesia. I have seen pictures of all three types. I still don't get the 1.5 type upper. I cannot tell the differance between a 1.5 and a 1. I have a type 2 on my R1 and there is a picture of a trooper carrying a FAL with a type 2.

So you cannot go wrong.
As long as it's not a Type 3 (if one has photographic evidence of one in Rhodesian service, by all means chime in), they're all good to go. Hold a Type 1 next to a Type 1.5/R1 and the difference in the radius cut is immediately apparent.
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Old July 14, 2018, 16:39   #19
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Not to hijack the thread - but, what does a Pretorian R1 lower look like?

I've read different things about the radius of cut in the recoil plate, and people disagree about where serial numbers should be.

Horizontal or vertical locking lever?

It's confusing stuff.
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Old July 14, 2018, 16:58   #20
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Do a search for a 1 5 upper receiver. I can't tell the differance between a 1 and a 1.5.
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Old July 14, 2018, 17:10   #21
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It's the lower I'm curious about.
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Old July 14, 2018, 17:47   #22
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Not to hijack the thread - but, what does a Pretorian R1 lower look like?

I've read different things about the radius of cut in the recoil plate, and people disagree about where serial numbers should be.

Horizontal or vertical locking lever?

It's confusing stuff.
As I stated. There is no such thing as a correct R1. Maybe right after they came out of the factory they were correct. But if they went to Rhodeasia, they were repaired with what ever they had. Lew says there were no type 3 uppers. As far as I know, the lowers were not special. My R1 has a factory type 1 lowera and it is a Rhodesian/South African kit. Again, do a search. There are tons of pictures of R1s on the site.
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Old July 14, 2018, 22:39   #23
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As long as it's not a Type 3 (if one has photographic evidence of one in Rhodesian service, by all means chime in), they're all good to go. Hold a Type 1 next to a Type 1.5/R1 and the difference in the radius cut is immediately apparent.
Someone posted a pic of a Rhodesian Type 3 in a recent thread. Definitely unusual. If it's an FN, would it have been shipped to the intended customer with a Type 2 lower?
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Old July 14, 2018, 22:47   #24
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IMHO, there is no such thing as a wrong upper receiver for a R1. They used what they had in Rhodesia. I have seen pictures of all three types. I still don't get the 1.5 type upper. I cannot tell the differance between a 1.5 and a 1. I have a type 2 on my R1 and there is a picture of a trooper carrying a FAL with a type 2.

So you cannot go wrong.
Rhodesia didn't build R1s from parts. South Africa built them to a standard configuration. I have yet to see anything showing the the Rhodesians were swapping uppers with any frequency or jumbling rifles up. Sure, small parts more prone to breakage or wearing out were replaced, but the basic rifles would have remained intact. Absent exceptional damage, there would not have been a reason to swap such major parts.

Rhodesians used a variety of FALs, that much is true (G-1s and m/962s via Portugual, ANC-contract FNs, SA-contract FNs, Indian 1A1s, Aussie and Brit L1A1s, and various others). But an R1 is a specific model, and those came a specific way and didn't usually undergo major changes like replacing the receivers. The correct receiver for an R1 is an R1 receiver.

There are some variations on R1s themselves, such as use of some FN parts on some early ones, some of the first tens of thousands apparently had sand cuts (with the cuts on the bolt carriers being the zig-zag style), the switch from the vertical to horizonatal frame lock lever at some point, rifles that were made sanitized from the factory versus those that were not, and a couple of different styles of carry handle (which the Rhodesians usually, but not always, cut off or removed altogether).
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Old July 14, 2018, 22:51   #25
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Do a search for a 1 5 upper receiver. I can't tell the differance between a 1 and a 1.5.
The front of the receiver is cut like a Type 2. The radius of the cuts on the rails is like that of a Type 2. On a South African 1.5, the magazine well cut has a different shape to it. Triangular with larger radii on the corners rather than quadrangular (Belgian 1.5s had no difference compared to Type 1s). The mag well cut is probably the most immediately obvious difference.

Not having access to the literature on the subject, my suspicion is that the Belgian Type 1.5s were a transitional type between the Type 1 and Type 2. FN also made a receiver that is like a Type 1 but is cut at the front like a Type 2 receiver. Not sure what the reason was for SA to go with the R1 receiver type.
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Old July 15, 2018, 15:25   #26
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Rhodesia didn't build R1s from parts. South Africa built them to a standard configuration. I have yet to see anything showing the the Rhodesians were swapping uppers with any frequency or jumbling rifles up. Sure, small parts more prone to breakage or wearing out were replaced, but the basic rifles would have remained intact. Absent exceptional damage, there would not have been a reason to swap such major parts.

Rhodesians used a variety of FALs, that much is true (G-1s and m/962s via Portugual, ANC-contract FNs, SA-contract FNs, Indian 1A1s, Aussie and Brit L1A1s, and various others). But an R1 is a specific model, and those came a specific way and didn't usually undergo major changes like replacing the receivers. The correct receiver for an R1 is an R1 receiver.

There are some variations on R1s themselves, such as use of some FN parts on some early ones, some of the first tens of thousands apparently had sand cuts (with the cuts on the bolt carriers being the zig-zag style), the switch from the vertical to horizonatal frame lock lever at some point, rifles that were made sanitized from the factory versus those that were not, and a couple of different styles of carry handle (which the Rhodesians usually, but not always, cut off or removed altogether).

My point is simply this. You are correct. They did not build rifles from parts. But when a part broke, it was relplaced with whatever they had. And they probably did have a defective receiver from time to time so it would get replace with what ever they had. I am not suggesting that they jumbled up parts or took new rifles and put different parts on them. I am simply stating that they used what they had on hand with out regard of country of manufacture or brand. Kind of like so many other military rifles. When they get overhauled, the parts are put in a backet cleaned and refinished and the guns are reassembled from what ever parts come out first. The military could not care less about who built what part. They just guns that function.
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