View Full Version : cloned FAL or HK, which one?

February 4, 2000, 09:41 PM
If you were going to buy one of the clone FALs or HK91s (Hesse, Springfield Armory, Imbel, etc.) which one would it be? FAL or HK?

Stephen A. Camp
February 4, 2000, 09:51 PM
Hello. I much prefer the FAL weapon, but that's highly subjective. I suggest that you look at the new FALs being built by DS Arms.
I seen two and shot one. They both appeared functional and well made and the one that I did shoot worked fine and was doing about 3" at 100 yards with iron sights. Best.

February 4, 2000, 10:53 PM

I had purchased a Hesse 91, and for about a month or so I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, after repeated range sessions, the gun just didn't shoot that well-- 5" to 6" groups @100 meters. The receiver seemed to be made fairly well, although the welds were pretty terrible looking. plus none of the pieces really matched as far as color was concerned--the upper portion had a brass tinge to it. I reluctantly sold it several months ago and used the money for a pre-ban AK. Haven't had any regrets since.

I recently handled a Hesse FN-FAL, and it felt okay, similar in quality to the HK91. However, I have heard some horror stories regarding their merchandise.....the Hesse Rep used to hang out at www.AR15.com (http://www.AR15.com) and they had a Hesse Forum at www.AK-47.net (http://www.AK-47.net) , but he seemed to disappear rather quickly when all the flames started.

If it were me, I'd look for an Imbel FAL.
I have an old Sportsterized FAL that's made in Brazil, and it shoots wonderfully.

Good Luck and happy shopping!

February 4, 2000, 11:13 PM
I've spoken to people who had both, and liked the FAL clones better. If you want to do it cheap look for one with an Imbel receiver. The only ones I saw with Hesse receivers in local stores made me gag.

DSA receivers look nicer still, but they add a lot to the cost... I've seen Imbels advertised from $589-$900 and DSAs advertised for $1200-$1600. I tried to get an Imbel FAL clone in before the BS23 cutoff but my deal fell through...

Oh, and good quality mags are cheaper for the FAL than the G3.


February 5, 2000, 12:19 AM
I bought a Century STG-58 FAL built on an Imbel receiver for about $590 (dealer) plus all fees, taxes, etc. It looks and works fine. I'm very happy with it. I also got some new 20-round FAL magazines for $7.95 each. All ordered from AIM Surplus. I've also seen some pretty poor looking Century rifles, so I think I was somewhat lucky. They also make them on Hesse receivers (which I would be especially careful about). But I like the FAL.

February 5, 2000, 12:29 AM
You can get an Imbel (the best) receiver for $240 from Harlan on the http://www.fnfal.com/falfiles/wwwboard/ web discussion board.

You can buy a South African R1 parts kit for another $150 (also from Harlan). Add $150 for US parts (for sec 922(r)) and $200 to have a smith ([email protected]) put it together and you'll have a very nice FAL that you can depend on for years. If you spend some time just reading posts over at the FAL board (link above), you'll be surprised how quickly you'll get a feel for what you really want.

I have a DSA type01 receiver with STG-58 parts. I paid $450 for the receiver and $220 (from Enterprise) for the parts kit. Another $150 for US parts from DSA and $80 for Triple H Accurizing to barrel and headspace it. At the time (a year or so ago), this was about as cheap as it got and the thing has been perfectly reliable, only malfunctioning when I turned the gas regulator to near off.

I'm also having a smith put together a HK-91 style rifle on a HK liscenced FMP (portugese) receiver. I purchased my receiver from Inter Ordnance for $450, but I understand the price has gone up since then. SW is going to market their new "SW3" that uses the FMP instead of their in-house manufactured receiver and will retail for about $1300. If you're going to build a HK, FMP is about as close as it gets to the real deal for under $1500.

Oh yeah, Hesse has a terrible reputation for quality, or lack thereof. He produces little that doesn't need to go through a smith to work properly.

February 5, 2000, 12:46 AM
You guys mean that Hesse will actually SHIP an order!!?? >:?

I wouldn't trade my SA-58 (DSA) for ANYTHING!. It is utterly reliable and accurate (3/4"@100yrds w/scope). I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of those SW PSG-1 clones, though....
Is that Springfield Armory accurized bull barrel HK-91 clone still availible???

February 5, 2000, 01:04 AM
Just dont buy the US parts kit from Harlan!
"Fed Ord"

I have had to do major fitting to the 2 kits I had put into my 58 and Izzy HB
Off axis pin holes ect..It was so bad I had to grind the left side of the hammer to get it to clear the rec.. slot!

First sons enterprises or DSA for the parts kits

I had GunPlumber assemble and repark the HB and it came out great! Turn around was very fast! good job! :)

[This message has been edited by PEA SHOOTER (edited February 05, 2000).]

February 5, 2000, 03:43 AM
PEA SHOOTER: That's too bad about those parts. All of my stuff came from DSA and the only fitting I had to do was the selector switch. I had to file the retainer nubbin to get it to install and rotate and had to turn down the detent so it would engage without wiggle.

Nyterunner: didn't know that SA was making any HK clones other than on those aluminium Federal receivers.

February 5, 2000, 08:53 AM
We had a thread here a couple of weeks ago that discussed cloned FALs ( http://www.thefiringline.com/NonCGI/Forum3/HTML/001747.html).

I would personally get a FAL for all the reasons others have mentioned (cheap and plentiful mags!). I would also take Destruco6's advice to get the parts and send them to a gunsmith to be properly assembled and refinished. It'll cost you a bit more but the resulting gun will be something you are proud to own. I had an Stg-58 FAL built up on a DSA receiver by
Arizona Response Systems then scrounged up some really nice wood furniture for it. By the time I was done with it, I had something like $1200 invested in it. Its so pretty you want to hang it on the wall so you can look at it all the time. The cheap clone FALs I've seen make you want to hide them in the gun safe.

Take a look at the picture gallery at http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com and http://www.fnfal.com to see just how attractive these rifles can be with a little tender loving care. I don't necessarily recommend that you have ARS do your rifle (others are cheaper and just as good) but do consider having a professional build one up for you.

[This message has been edited by pbash (edited February 05, 2000).]

Futo Inu
February 5, 2000, 12:10 PM
My question is:

How do you KNOW what receiver it has? Is the receiver type always stamped on the reciever? Scenario: "OK, ship it to my FFL. It's an Imbel receiver, not a Hesse, right?". "Yep. Sure thing." I get it - how do I know?

February 5, 2000, 02:25 PM
The maker is usually stamped on the right hand side of the receiver, on a flat. DSA and Imbel put their stamp toward the rear of this area. On both DSA and Imbel, I've seen letter stamps only or name inside a ring of some sort (Imbel inside what looks like a cogged gear).

February 5, 2000, 07:29 PM
I have seen sevral of the FAL clones made with Imbel receivers and STG58 parts sets.
To sum up briefly, they were junk.
The BEST one cycled well, but the point of impact with the sights adjusted to full stop was still 2.5 feet to the left at 100 yards.
The worst one was evidently assembled with a big hammer, because nothing on it worked at all.
These were all "new" right out of the box guns assembled by whoever is ruining all of those parts sets.

The new DS Arms weapons are really superior. Get one of those, you will be very happy.