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Old May 31, 2010, 08:47 AM   #1
salvadore
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FAL R1A1 Sporter 308 rifle by CAI, synthetic stock, 22in barrel w/ muzzlebrake.

Has anyone had personal experience with this rifle pu together by century and sold by J&G. Thank you.
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Old May 31, 2010, 01:34 PM   #2
wogpotter
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Yes, but not "this rifle", just one like it.
It's a crap shoot!

Mine runs very well, but a different one may not run well, or at all.

Whatever you do IMMEDIATELY replace the gas piston. It WILL, not may, WILL break in the rifle jamming it horribly.

Check the reciever. If it's an Imbel (Itajuba Brazil) marked one you have a good chance, if it's a Century (unmarked one), much less so
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Old May 31, 2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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the early century fal's were kinda crappy, the receiver quality control was not good. they worked out the quality issues and now they are pretty good. the bad news is that it is hard to tell which one is which
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Old June 1, 2010, 08:08 AM   #4
wogpotter
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Respectfully.
The Imbel-receivered FALs were early. It was later that Century switched to the "in house" receivers in at least 2 different versions (widow's peak & Unibrow) which was the cause of the receiver issues.
The Imbel marked (gear logo or not, didn't matter) were perfectly good receivers, even if rifle assembly was a bit hit 'n miss.

IF you know how to read the information stamped on the receivers then it is really easy to tell the various models apart & looking at the feed ramp is a second way to simply define which receiver your rifle was built on.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:27 AM   #5
salvadore
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wog, or smoak do you remember how long ago cia FN's were available. I don't remember seeing any recently. Do you guys own one or have owned one and did smoak have an issue with the gas piston?...Oh yeah, how hard is it to mount a scope? How accurate were the ones you shot?
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Old June 1, 2010, 12:20 PM   #6
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older version ,get some thing like the b-square fn fal scope mount that clamps in place. Accurate very with the right ammo. It's a keeper.

Using 168gr Federal Gold Medal Match this editor managed to coax a .75-moa group from a FAL clone with iron sights.

http://www.6mmbr.com/308Win.html



Last edited by noyes; June 4, 2010 at 12:04 AM.
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Old June 1, 2010, 01:16 PM   #7
wogpotter
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I still own one with the non G/L Imbel receiver.
Accuracy with MilSurp is about 3" per 10-rounds @ 100yds.
Hand loading drops that to 2 1/4" for the same setup. Like "Smoak" I've fond the heavier 165~168 gr bullets are a lot more accurate than the 147~150 gr ones in MilSurp ammo are.

I don't like the aftermarket topcover mounts, they tend to ding brass a lot & I reload.

My preference is the Mil Spec STANAG top covers you can find fairly easily, they can either be used with the 4X Hensoldts as originally, or adapted to Picatinny rail with a simple adapter, & then used with any scope you want.



Failing that I'd pick the ARMS slide-in mount as a good second choice.



BTW the gas piston issue is restricted to the 2-piece pistons, which invariably "pretzel" sooner or later, the one-piece ones seem to be fine.
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Old June 1, 2010, 09:04 PM   #8
smoakingun
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wog seems to be better schooled on this than I, but here we go.

Century Arms of St. Albans Vermont bought one of the first batches of surplus FAL derivatives from the Canadian Army and used parts from them to begin building new rifles combining US and Canadian parts to make "new" rifles in 1991. By 1992, they were hitting the market with mixed reviews. Many had been built with substandard and worn out parts by unqualified low wage employees at Century Arms. To add to the problem, they were forced by legal requirements to use a "thumbhole" stock made by Bell & Carson. I have one with a receiver marked C.A.I. L1A1 sporter. it functions well, with hand loads of 168gr jhp at around 2800 fps it shoots 2 to 3 moa as long as i do my job and the barrel doesn't get too hot, once it heats up it starts opening up. i have the top cover scope mount. a little filing cures the dinged brass, but wogs stanag mount is probably a better solution. my gas piston is one piece, and i have had no troubles with it. as to reading the receiver info and knowing which series was made when, wog will have to elaborate
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Old June 2, 2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Thanks to all of you guys for the info.
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Old June 2, 2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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I had a CAI R1A1. It was a unibrow feed ramp. The gun fed fine but the trigger broker very quickly. I had my smith fix it and traded the gun away getting twice what I paid for it. It shot just fine but after the trigger went the writing was on the wall and the time was right to trade it away.

Last week I made another trade and ended up with an FAL. It's a very early Entreprise with the early desirable receiver (a Buena Park under 900 serial #). Sitting next to that rifle was a Century with an Imbel receiver for about $90 more. The problem was that with my first FAL the problem wasn't with the receiver (even with the unibrow) but what was most likely one of those nagging CAI quality control issues. The Imbel receiver almost tempted me, and I have other good quality rifles that were built or worked on by Century, but it was time for a change.

If you have the $$ go with a DSA. I'd say the next level would be the Entreprise, but you need to do your homework in chosing one. A CAI will do, especially an Imbel, but even with an Imbel you are only increasing your chances of a good rifle, not assuring anything.
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Old June 9, 2010, 01:14 PM   #11
matrxx
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I think Fal from CAI is not so difficult tot it run like HK91 if you have a bad one.

mine put together by local GS with Imbel receiver
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