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Old April 06, 2002, 15:41   #1
FALaholic #: 6069
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Lots of ?'s

OK guys i'm new to this site and want an FAL. I have alot of other guns and built my first AR-15, and now I wan't to build a FAL. I read through some of the archives and through the write up on on how to build one but they listed alot of tools that added up to like $1000.00 for just the tools. What I would like is if some one can either give me a good amount of information or point me to where I can find it. I wan't to know the best palce to find a really good parts kit. I plan on using an imbel reciever and wan't to know where to get a good parts kit for up to like $300 that has everything but the reciever and the necessary american parts. By good I mean great bore and good finish and just an overall quality so that the final product is highly functional. The main question is what tools do I REALLY need. I figure I will need headspace gagues but what else? Finally what are the most common parts that people replace to stay legal and is there a kit that I can buy or something with all the necessary parts? I know thats alot of questions but the semi-auto .308 bug has bit me and all the guys at the gun shows want to sell me a CIA abomination.

Thanks Guys.

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Old April 06, 2002, 16:04   #2
FALaholic #: 1095
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: North East Illinois
Posts: 2,804
For simplicity, lets stick with metric kits (which also use cheap metric mags). If you don't want to deal with refinishing, DSA has refinished G-1 kits for $175. If some finish wear is okay, G-1 kits with 50% finish and good bores can be had from Tapco for $100. Dan's also has good grade III Imbel kits for about $100.

For 922r compliance, you can get various combinations of US parts for about $100. FSE, Entreprise, and DSA offer fire control parts, cocking handles, gas pistons, and furniture (P-grip, B-stock, H-guards) for various prices. Penguin and VOW also produce P-grips and B-stocks. The more kit parts you want to replace with US ones, the higher the cost.

For the actual tools, the ones you really can't make are the headspacing gauges (go,no-go, field). You'll need at least the first two at approx. $17 each. For determining the proper locking shoulder size (in combination with the headspacing gauges), pin gauges or locking shoulder sizing rods are also handy ($20 - $90).

For actually barrelling your receiver, you can try making your own receiver wrench or you can buy one. If you buy one, they run from $45 to $75. You can also shop for used tools on this forum. A barrel vise might be necessary depending on the method of assembly you choose.

Other nice tools that are helpful but not absolutely required are:

1. Buttstock/pistol grip combo tool for removing the buttstock without letting the recoil spring fly loose. $15

2. Front sight tool. $8

3. Gas tube nut wrench (also useful for difficult gas regulator sleeves) $10

So it doesn't have to cost you $1000 in tool purchases. The most commonly replaced parts are the fire control pieces (hammer, trigger, sear). You can also replace the buttstock and pistol grip, but for me, that really depends on their condition. If they're beat up, they get replaced by US ones. On most of my builds, the cocking handle is usually pretty ratty so that's another replacement candidate. Tapco has a nice one for $30.

[ April 06, 2002: Message edited by: Wadman ]
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Old April 06, 2002, 20:53   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lexington
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Barrel vise & receiver wrench from Casey Elliot: $200

Tool combination from DSA: $60

Headspace guages from Brownells: $40

Pin punch set from Sears: hell,.. I dunno,.. $15 or so

Big ass hammer and a few screwdrivers: snooze em outta ya dads toolbox next time ya go visit

As for a good kit,.. no comparison,.. get an Imbel kit from Dans Sporting Goods,... they come in three grades according to condition. The highest grade (grade 1) costs $250 and except for a few very minor cosmetic blemishes,.. it's a new rifle minus an upper receiver. I haven't seen the other two grades that he has to offer, but most who have rave about them.

On a serious note,.. if you're serious about building a FAL or two,.. get up off ya wallet and buy the barrel vise and receiver wrench from Casey Elliot. Granted,.. $200 is a bit of a commitment, but these are VERY nice tools built specifically for a FAL. They're a bargain at the price that he's asking for them and when the time comes that you want to sell them,.. stick an add in the "marketplace" section of the forum and they'll be sold in a wink. The $60 set from DSA is also worth the money. Except for the headspace guages, everything else that you need to build a FAL can be scraped together or dug out of a typical toolbox.

Take the plunge and build ya a few of these monsters. They're not going to be around forever.

Oh,... and by the way,... welcome to the group,... you'll find that many on here are bright, entertaining kinda people,... it's a good place to learn about FALs *and* to socialize.
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Old April 06, 2002, 21:45   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,736
Get an Imbel receiver from Harlan at FAC ($200), a Grade III from Dan's ($129 shipped), FSE brand hammer, trigger, sear, magazine follower and floorplate and pistol grip (around $60 shipped). I also bought the Tapco cocking lever for about $20.
As for tools, I bought a used receiver wrench off another member for $40, bought pin gauges in even sizes from .252 - .274 at $3 each from a local source, and go, no-go gauges from Brownells for about $35. I used wrenches, punches, hammers, and a BIG vise I already had. I've built three using these tools and had no problem.

Some members make a serviceable receiver wrench from hard wood. Some even prefer this since it doesn't mar the receiver finish.

You may want to replace the gas piston or other parts with U.S. compliant parts, but the ones I've listed will get you started. You will spend another $20 on paint and other odds and ends. you can see, you investment, including the first rifle, can be in the $500-$600 range, depending upon what tools you already have.
I'd like to spit some Beechnut in that dude's eyes, and shoot him with my ole .45!
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Old April 07, 2002, 04:15   #5
FALaholic #: 1617
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
Posts: 70
If you have the money, go and buy the tools - I'm sure they will make your first building experience a great one.

If not, you CAN make some of the tools or use alternate techniques. (I fall in the latter catagory)

For instance. Instead of a receiver wrench, I used a 2x4 drilled out to fit the receiver; instead of pin guages, I used a n/64 drill bit set and a small hole guage; instead of a stock insertion tool (you don't need a stock removal tool - it comes out pretty easily I used an alternate method that required only a washer on the end of a vise grip.

I put some pictures up on

showing some of the methods I used. If you have access to the right tools, however, it will probably make your life easier.
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Old April 07, 2002, 14:14   #6
FALaholic #: 3085
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You'll need some of these too:

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Old April 07, 2002, 14:57   #7
FALaholic #: 1795
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 616
If your only want one possibly two fals, then dollar for dollar the best bargin is to have assemble your kit. For $150 including return shipping Mark will assemble and make sure it operates properly before it is shipped back. For that price shortening the and crowning the barrel are included if you choose.
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