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How did I do???

Mr. Wonderful

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New here. I had an opportunity to buy a rifle. I was told it was an FAL and that was about it. I kind of had to make the decision on the spot. I paid $850 and got 10 magazines with it. I did as much research as I could on here. The most I could determine is it’s an Imbrel receiver put together by cai. The barrel doesn’t have any markings I can find. I can’t find much about the scope and mount. It seems like a nice scope. It looks like metric lower. Anything else you guys can tell me is appreciated. I think the barrel has been shortened and it looks like a gray finish has been applied over parkerization. Would I be ruining something collectible if I refinished it?

thanks in advance!
 

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Invictus77

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The AD in front of the lower serial number makes it Aussie. The scope and mount are worth what you paid. Ten mags? ($20 -25 each).

You stole this stick in today's market.
 

Hermanthegerman

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British serial #’s are prefixed
BS or BE
May be other prefixes for British
I’m fairly new to FAL as well

I correct myself
I believe my stating BS & BE prefix
for British is incorrect.
UB & UE not BS & BE
 
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Mr. Wonderful

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What about the rifle itself would I be ruining it if I removed the patchy grey finish and did a uniform black on it? Does anyone make a pistol grip at a better angle?
 

enbloc8

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What makes it an ausie lower? I put the serial number in on that website and it said it was made for the MOD in England?
The AD prefix on the serial number indicates the original rifle was made by Small Arms Factory-Lithgow, the Australian government factory for the L1A1. But yes, it was made on a contract for the British Ministry of Defence.

Domestic British production of the L1A1 had ended by 1966 or so, but for various reasons the armed forces had not been fully converted to the new rifle before production ceased. In the early 1970s the MoD began purchasing spare parts from Australia to save money (in addition to already working on a replacement rifle), and in 1972-73 they made several purchases of complete L1A1s from Lithgow, without "furniture and fittings" (no wood parts or carry handle). They were fitted with the then-new Maranyl (black nylon) furniture, and were issued primarily to the Royal Air Force. (Interestingly, recent research on another board suggests that the British also made purchases of unmarked receivers and lowers from Lithgow in the early 1980s, which were then assembled into rifles at RSAF Enfield with British parts.)

The lower is also of interest to advanced collectors because, in addition to its unusual background, Australian serial numbers seem to stop at about AD70 in the US, and anything AD71 or later is very rare.
 

enbloc8

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What about the rifle itself would I be ruining it if I removed the patchy grey finish and did a uniform black on it? Does anyone make a pistol grip at a better angle?
That pistol grip angle is standard for L1A1s, and a uniform black finish is what it would have had from the factory and in service.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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That pistol grip angle is standard for L1A1s, and a uniform black finish is what it would have had from the factory and in service.
Ok so if I strip that grayish coat off I won’t make the collectors upset? I just wanted a nice FN. If this has some sort of collector value I don’t want to ruin it. How does this compare to the actual fn FALs?
 

Mr. Wonderful

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The AD prefix on the serial number indicates the original rifle was made by Small Arms Factory-Lithgow, the Australian government factory for the L1A1. But yes, it was made on a contract for the British Ministry of Defence.

Domestic British production of the L1A1 had ended by 1966 or so, but for various reasons the armed forces had not been fully converted to the new rifle before production ceased. In the early 1970s the MoD began purchasing spare parts from Australia to save money (in addition to already working on a replacement rifle), and in 1972-73 they made several purchases of complete L1A1s from Lithgow, without "furniture and fittings" (no wood parts or carry handle). They were fitted with the then-new Maranyl (black nylon) furniture, and were issued primarily to the Royal Air Force. (Interestingly, recent research on another board suggests that the British also made purchases of unmarked receivers and lowers from Lithgow in the early 1980s, which were then assembled into rifles at RSAF Enfield with British parts.)

The lower is also of interest to advanced collectors because, in addition to its unusual background, Australian serial numbers seem to stop at about AD70 in the US, and anything AD71 or later is very rare.
What do you mean unusual background?
 

enbloc8

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Ok so if I strip that grayish coat off I won’t make the collectors upset? I just wanted a nice FN. If this has some sort of collector value I don’t want to ruin it. How does this compare to the actual fn FALs?
It's a build on a non-original receiver, so it really has no "collector" value beyond being an otherwise-correct group of parts for a particular builder, user, and/or time frame.

That said, yes, nobody will miss that gray coat. In 1973 Lithgow rifles left the factory in black, and in British service all the rifles were in black.

Metric FN-FALs are another matter...some early examples apparently were blued, other early ones were in phosphate gray (and ironically Belgian military examples were delivered in a gray paint), but most FALs left the factory in black paint.
 

lpcullen

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Don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a AD71 lower on a R1A1 built by Century. Had no idea it was rare. Sadly the upper they used wasn't an Imbel.
 

enbloc8

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Don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a AD71 lower on a R1A1 built by Century. Had no idea it was rare. Sadly the upper they used wasn't an Imbel.
I've seen only one AD71 lower, and it was part of a matching-numbers Aussie build on an Entreprise receiver. Went for insane money on GB several years ago.
 

lpcullen

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Interesting. My other R1A1 has a FN 2nd South African contract Rhodie lower with a yards marked grenade sight. I guess I have been lucky with Century as far as getting stuff that is at least uncommon.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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The rifle is worth $850
The scope and mount are worth $850
The mags are the bonus round
You did well Grasshopper.
Is the value in the scope because of its quality for using or is it from it being hard to find with the mount? I’m sure modern optics would have an advantage over this one in some ways. I’m not looking to make a long range sniper rifle out of this but I want the optic to be at least as accurate as I am capable of.
 

Artigas

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I’m not nearly the most experienced L1A1 collector here, but I’ve never seen a lower with the “upside down” serial like that. Was that common?
 

Invictus77

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Is the value in the scope because of its quality for using or is it from it being hard to find with the mount? I’m sure modern optics would have an advantage over this one in some ways. I’m not looking to make a long range sniper rifle out of this but I want the optic to be at least as accurate as I am capable of.
The scope has value as a classic, collectable. I'm sure plenty here (me included) would trade you a more modern optic and mount. Honestly your best bet however is to sell it and buy what ever scope you want for your own purpose. The DSA railed mount is top of the line IMHO.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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The scope has value as a classic, collectable. I'm sure plenty here (me included) would trade you a more modern optic and mount. Honestly your best bet however is to sell it and buy what ever scope you want for your own purpose. The DSA railed mount is top of the line IMHO.
thanks for the info. As long as it’s a quality accurate optic I’d be inclined to leave it on there. I’m kind of liking the retro look rather than something modern on a pic rail.
 

Invictus77

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The only downside to using it is the fact it is really too high above the bore for a good cheek weld. Having said that, the FAL is a 2-3 MOA rifle anyway, so you will not be punching cloverleafs regardless of any optimized optic set-up on top.
 
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