View Full Version : FN FAL Hesse receivers junk?

January 5, 2007, 07:42 PM
Today I was hanging out at my favorite toy store and my buddy George invited me into the back gunsmith room to look at all the trade-in's and we stumbled across a FAL. I remember seeing the exact same one on the racks a few months ago, and George told me that some spoiled brat of a kid forced his mother to buy him a WASR, and when it didn't shoot like he wanted it too, he returned it and threw a tantrum until his mother bought him the FAL. A week later, he returned it after it would not cycle properly. He paid $450 for it.

George told he he had know idea why it didn't work, and none of the smiths had gotten around to testing it or tearing it down. He said it could just be that the kid didn't adjust the gas system properly, that it was simply dirty, or that it could be a serious issue. The bore looked great and cosmetically everything was excellent. I don't know much about FAL's, but it has the folding charging handle, sythetic fixed stock and hg's, and ghost ring sights. The bolt face looked brand new. It's in line to get checked out by the resident smith in the comming weeks, but George told me that I could make a deal with the store owner, but he said he personally wouldn't go for a Hesse receiver build. I was told that if I wanted a FAL, I should go Imbel.

Anyone know what the story is with Hesse? Anyone have one, and what are the common problems with FAL failure to cycles? If it's nothing serious, what would be a good starting bid?

January 5, 2007, 09:34 PM
Hesse had a pretty bad reputation...

They changed their name to Vulcan Armament and now they have a pretty bad reputation under a new name. :(

wayne in boca
January 6, 2007, 05:53 AM
And when they change their name again,they'll have a bad reputation under another name yet.Don't do it,you'll be sorry.

January 6, 2007, 09:28 AM
Hey Hedley. If you are considering the purchase of that "Hesse" recievered FAL I would suggest you check out www.falfiles.com. The smiths there have accumulated VAST amounts of data on those things. Just register and do a search. Be prepared to read alot and LAUGH alot. Bottom line... if the rifle doesn't work either you or your smith is probably going to be spending some serious time on it IF it is salvageable. You never know what damage could have been done (cross threading, dremelmania, timing overcorrection).

In the old days Imbel was king (for the type 3 reciever). If you are looking for a GOOD FAL heres my reciever rating (JMHO):

1. DSA (manufactures complete rifles and type 1,2 recievers) superior quality
2. Imbel (type 3 recievers) no longer imported but you can find
3. DCI (like finding a needle in a haystack nowadays)
4. Nodak/Spud (not quite ramped up for full production)
5. ORF (not quite ramped up for full production)
6. Century (usually requires expert smith service to assemble) type 3 only
7. Vulcan (close to quality of century)

The guys over on falfiles will help you out too.


January 6, 2007, 01:17 PM
I've got a Century L1A1 built on a Hesse FAL-H receiver. Its always been perfect. I've had it since 2001. Its accurate and doesn't jam, which is somewhat amazing considering the appearance of some of the mags I've got.

Hesse has a bad reputation but their guns can be a good deal if your dealer has a good return policy.

Seven High
January 7, 2007, 07:03 PM
Hedley: Are you allowed to take the rifle out and test fire it before buying it? It would help to know what type of malfunctions the rifle is having.

January 7, 2007, 07:14 PM
No, he told me it would be sold as is if I made an offer before it got to the smithy.

September 21, 2012, 11:35 AM
i've heard bad reviews about Hesse receivers on FALs. I own two St G58s both by CAI and are built on Hesse receivers. They call them R1A1. One of them is not so accurate but cycles very well, the other is a tack driver and cycles very well. Anyone having a problem with their FAL not cycling properly should check the gas system setting. Close it completely, ie. number 1 on the gas regulator. If this doesn't fix the problem then clean the gas plug and piston. Use strike anywhere matches and spit. That's how we used to clean them on our L1A1s, back in the day. Get them shiny! Now if it won't work, oil the running rails for the breech block.
If it still doesn't work, it's a BAD receiver, out of line, or not made to specs. get a new one!

September 21, 2012, 12:10 PM
Hesse were rumored to be one of the OEM suppliers for one of Century's "Angry beaver guns", the ones that didn't work.

There are lots of details not here that make a suggestion difficult to make other than "You don't know enough to be clever, but you do know enough to be dangerous". Not trying to be insulting but you don't seem to know the questions to ask, nor the answers to those questions that would be helpful to you.

Look at the feed ramp. What shape is it? One big square recess or a pair of scallops seperated by a pointy bit?

Is the gas plug set to "auto" or "Gr"?

Where is the gas regulator set (what #)?

What exactly "won't cycle properly"?
Dit it fail to feed, fail to lock, fail to extract, fail to eject, or fail to fire?

Obscure things like grease in the butt can stop a FAL working correctly, who'd think to check something like that out?

It might be fine, but it might not & until you can gain a lot more specialised knowledge I'd run like a madman, or find someone with the knowledge of the FAL & it's foilbles to go with you & actually check it out. Even more so as you seem to be getting it "as is". That drops the price a lot, if nothing else.