FN-FAL and variants.

Okay. Now on to my favorite MBR.

There’s been a lot said about the FAL, mostly good, some bad but the same can be said for most rifles that came out of that era.

What can be said about a rifle that was adopted by 90+ countries from the arctic to the burning desert? That soldiers on into its 6th decade with no end in sight.

Sure the AK is 7 years older, but its not as user friendly, or powerful.

With a charging handle, mag catch and release, bolt release that all can be operated with the support hand, without taking the firing hand out of position, it was ahead of its contemporaries.

Enough history.
What does one need to look for or watch out for in the FAL?

They like to be wet. Oil not water.
The older designs were designed to be user maintained and lubricated.
This modern concept of running a dry gun because sand or dust may get in it, is a load of hooey. Get a little crud in there, pull the bolt wipe it and its raceway down and oil it. It will run.
Don’t forget to put a dab of grease on the bolt carrier locking cam area and the locking pin (headspace pin) in the receiver.

Make sure you’re not on the ” grenade ” setting, I see this a lot with newbies to the platform who go the wrong way after cleaning.

As far as what breaks, or may go wrong, I have seen less with the FAL than any other platform.

However, if you’re building one, look at picking up a spring kit just in case.
Recoil springs, hammer springs and firing pin springs are the three big ones.
Because people leave the hammer back forr decades, the firing pin spring is thin and the recoil springs may actually have 60 years of use.

The extractor spring occasionally has issues, but its normally either rust or cosmoline clogged.

The FAL benefits from sticking to one type of brass cased ammo. Brass cased because you don’t want to void your warranty (DSA and others) and you don’t want to stress the gun any. Leave the steel case to the AK.

One type, that way you don’t have to mess with the gas adjustment ring on the fly.
Running a heavy bullet hunting load is no problem, but if you switch to ball ammo with a 147-150:gr bullet, not only are you likely to have point of impact changes but also functioning issues, too little gas.

With the heavy load concept, I like to run a recoil buffer.
Keeping an over gassed gun from beating itself to death is a good thing.
Cheap insurance, in thousands of rounds, in several guns, I have yet to have one shred in the FAL.

Second biggest issue? Magazines. Grease and junk filled, bent mag lips, collapsed springs, like every other mag fed gun, mags are consumable. Get spares, the new Moses mags are worth the cost.

More to follow.