View Full Version : What next??

12-18-2008, 09:22 PM
I'm the down hill side of my Cetme build, I've build a couple different types of AK's and an AMD-65 I need something new. I've been thinking maybe a FAL. What do I need Inch, Metric, Imbel??? Who's got good kits at the best price, who has good receiver? What special tools do I need to build a Fal?

12-18-2008, 10:23 PM
I just bought an Imbel Kit and a DSA receiver. I dont know if I want to build myself or have Ken K. barrel/time the thing. Having a reputable 'smith do it will increase the value or make it sell quicker if forced to sell (some dont like to buy homebuilds). But it seems like a straightforward build

okie shooter
12-18-2008, 10:44 PM
I would go metric, I even have been so far to get a inch kit and a receiver, and still am thinking about changing and getting a metric kit, as the compliance parts are slightly easier to find.

12-18-2008, 11:05 PM
Who's a good source for parts kits? Or better yet, who has parts kits?

12-19-2008, 09:52 AM

I was in your position about 6 months ago (before the prices went crazy). I bought an Imbel metric kit that had been demilled and reparked. I still see some kits on gunbroker. Entreprise Arms still lists kits for sale:


Entreprise has receivers, but they are frowned on by some. I went with a Type I DSA carry handle cut receiver. Unfortunately, there is a quite a waiting list and they are spendy. The do offer a discount if you are a member of the FalFiles message board and have a cooperative FFL you can work with.


For compliance parts, besides the receiver, I used a DSA Hammer/Trigger/Sear set, an FSE full auto cut pistol grip, a TAPCO gas piston and Falcon Arms Mag Floorplates.

I had the rifle built by Rich @ CGW. He did an awesome job and the rifle fires great. Since I didn't need the gun refinished, I just had him assemble it. He painted in the letters and numbers on the kit and sandblasted the stock, handguards and pistol grip so that they would all have the same texture/appearance. His prices have come up a little bit, but he was able to get it back to me in 2 months, which compared to other builders is very fast. Here is his site:


I will try and take some pics over the weekend and post them. The FalFiles is full of tons of information, but the members over there can be pretty abrasive if you post a newbie question or poo-poo the wrong person.

Hope this info helps.


12-21-2008, 12:21 PM
You should have bought my recent FAL kit I posted for sale here. It was in awsome condition! I even later questioned myself why I sold such a kit with such a great bore. I'll be posting a couple more in the near future, including a G1.

If you like rolling your own, these make a good build. I don't understand why anyone would send them out to be built, except to get them reparked. You don't need any big tools. And the price you'd pay to have one built will pay for the tools and them some.

Tools you'll need:

*Head space guage: you can get away with using just a go-gauge and adding 2 pieces of scotch tape to the back of it to make it a poor mans no-go gauge. I like mine to just close on a go gauge, a new receiver will stretch about another .0005-.001 after putting some rounds down range. Some people like them a little looser, Nato specs are a lot looser.

*Pin gauges: Most cases you'll only need between .256 thru .266 inch. in .002 increments. I've never needed any thing smaller or larger than that. You'll most likely pay more if you buy them from someone that sells FAL tools. An industrial supplier should have them cheaper. You use these to find out what size locking shoulder to use to get your headspace right. If the locking shoulder that came with your kit isn't the right size, you can sometimes swap with forum members or buy them for bout 26 bucks.

* Butt Stock Removal/installation Tool: These are cheap at about 14 bucks. YOu can get away without one, but at the price, just get it! It keeps the recoil spring under controll. I first used a 22 cal cleaning rod section on my first build. Its a spring guide rod and correct size screw drive built into one unit.

* Action Wrench (receiver wrench). I'm not a fan of AGI's wrenches. I just got one for an M1 Garand from midwayusa and its a POS!!! (midway has yet to post my bad review about it, go figure) Thin 3/8"matial, thin 1/4 inch screws!!! Its already bent to hell on one rebarrel. Spend the extra dough and get one thats beefy. Just sell it when done if you need to recoup the money.

* Modified 1-1/16 open end wrench: You'll have to carfully open it up a little so it fits the flats on the barrel. It needs to be a tight fit, so you have to tap it on from the side. Sell it as a set with the action wrench above.

*Editing in this one: You may, or may not need a barrel shoulder trimmer, or lathe, or local machine shop, or gun smith. It depends on if your barrel under times.

You don't need a barrel timeing sighting tool do-hicky. You can time it by looking down the receiver, sighting down the bore like you would a rifle scope, and see that the front sight ears are perfectly centered within the gas piston hole of the receiver. This works really well, at least for me. My rifles are all right on the money. If it is off when you go to the range you can just put the wrenches back on and give it a tweek. I only had to do this once. I knew it was off by about one degree and wanted to see how for off it would be on the target. Easy fix.

Those are the required tools. I may have missed one, I'm going off the top of my head and its been a while since I've built one up. A combo tool is also useful for adjusting and intalling/removing the gas adj. nut. Use a punch if its sticky. Also get the correct front sight adjusting tool for your particular make rifle.

I'd recomend a metric kit, such as Imbel or Stg (imbel being less expensive). Parts are more available, especially for US made parts. And its easier to swap parts with other makers if/when you'd like to tailor it to your liking.

As to receivers, I think all the makers are now getting them up to par for the most part. DSarms are the best US made ones and will have better resale value. I've heard Entreprise made a valiant effort to get some of thier issues ironed out. My last 2 builds were on Century's. They run great and are pretty accurate. THey're not perfect but for the price..... On these century's, some people say you have to run a tap into the rec. for the barrel to screw on. The threads on mine were tight, I was able to get it snugged up by just holding the receiver in my hand and the open end wrench on the barrel. Once the barrel's been run in once, it will go in and out just like it should, by hand. And it doesn't do any damage to the barrel threads. It seems the rec. threads were just taped/machined with a worn bit, or tap. Not an issue in my book. I also had to file/dremel a little off the locking lug for the lower receiver to lock onto. It only took a few passes to get it right. You want the locking/release lever on the lower not to close completely when locked so it has room for wear.

12-21-2008, 06:06 PM
Daffy, thanks for all the great pointers. I think I'll build it myself, to me that's 75% of the fun. Taking a pile of parts and fitting them together into a functioning, reliable firearm. I'm going to make sure that I book mark this page for future reference.
When you have another kit for sale let me know!

12-21-2008, 06:30 PM
if your only going to do 1 or 2, buying the tools is going to cost more than just sending them to ken kubin. he will install the barrel, locking lug, do the timing, check the head space.. he has the tools and the knowledge to do it. you can do the rest. there is still a lot more to do.

i built a few and then just started sending mine to ken. sold my build tools. i trust ken more than i trust myself on that part of the build.

sorry, i am not much for scotch tape as a tool for building guns. i believe in using the right tool for the job. scotch tape does not cut it.

my grandsons are going to be shooting my guns later and i want them as safe as they can be. but each to there own idea about things. there are several people on this site that have very good talent on things and i have used some of there stuff and there talent.

in fact i get 4 of them back from him tomorrow morning.

12-21-2008, 06:57 PM
Smokehouse...join the falfiles and you get a sweet deal from DSA when you present your member number. I think the last one was $350 for a new type 1 receiver. You will have to wait for it though.

12-21-2008, 11:06 PM
There is one tool I forgot to mention, but might not be needed. I'll edit it into to my above post. Its a barrel shoulder trimmer, or a lathe, or a near-by machine shop. THis is incase your barrel under-times on the receiver. You'll have to trim off just a smiggen so you can get it to time right. For those newbies that don't know what I mean by timeing: The barrel has to be timed (aka: "clocked") correctly once screwed into and torqued to the receiver so that the front sight is at a perfect 12 o'clock possition. Other wise your shots will either be way left or right and you won't be able to adjust the rear sight enough to compensate. And the gas piston my not have neccessary clearance in that notch on the barrel and bind and also not travel in perfect parallelism with the barrel and carrier durring opperation, causing issues and/or premature wear.
If your barrel under times, which is common (I've never had one over time) there is a simple math formula to figure out exactly how much you need to trim off. If it does over time, by chance, you can buy shims to "clock it back". These shims are sold by gunthings.com and maybe a few other places. Dont peen it!! The inch rifles use shims from the factory to time thier barrels.

If your a person who doesn't trust your own work, then for sure send it out. As for me, and I'm sure a lot of other folks, I trust my own work more than a "trained or self proclaimed professional". My AR15 I had barreled about 20 years ago by one of the San Francisco bay area's most recognized "AR15 smiths" at the time F'd up my upper receiver and I had to send it to Bushmaster to have it replaced, he pinched it so the carrier wore out real fast, plus Bushmaster had to cut the upper rec off as it wouldn't unscrew! Way over torqued and didn't use antiseize. Last 2 engines I built, the parts that I sent out for maching came back f'ed up, in more ways than one. I had both cranks come back looking like a monkey did the work and I had to send one out again and exchange the bearings. It looked like he used a file on it instead of grinding it properly, no joke! Wasn't about to have the same company touch it again! My block was bored .001 more than it should have, giving me a huge ring gap and that much more gap between piston and cyl. wall. Pissed me off! This was a rare, early corvette 327 block. I'd do it myself, but that equipment is quite prohibitive in both cost and space other wise I would.
THis is part of the reason US quality took a nose dive and in my oppinion is still drowning in the pool. Too many people just have a job, not so many take real pride in thier work and put in that extra attention to detail like they used to. Or at very least, fess up and address the issue both with the cutomer and within themself. They just show up to get thier pay check, and think its the QA department's job to take care of quality. I've worked with too many of these kinds of charactors. Even way too many US made gun parts I buy are poor quality and sometimes plain junk. "Point in case" Century, Hesse and Special Weapons, to name just 3 big ones off the top of my head. My local gunsmith claimed he can trim my barrel and get it within .003"! WOW! Sheetmon, I can get it EASILY within .0005 and I'm only a hobbyist! My buddy use to love this guy's work, maybe because he doesn't know how to check his work and just goes on faith. I just heard this guy's getting out of the gun business. Go firgure.
God help us. (Not to diss gunsmiths, or any other smith, God knows there's alot of good ones out there! I like to think I'm one of those good "other smiths")

Not to get off topic, sorry.

As to the poor mans no-go guage. Even one of the top and trusted gunsmiths on the FAL suggests this method, if you're a regular on the falfiles and have read his book on building the fal, you'll know who I'm talking about. You should always first measure the tape thickness so you know where it stands. Standard scotch tape is .002. But check it first. 2 pieces would equal .004, which when added to a go gauge makes a perfect no-go gauge. Even if your off by .001 (25%) or even .002 (50%), you're still well within field guage acceptance and even NATO specs. The FAL as with most NATO rifles spec out much looser than commercial rifles. Even so, any good technician would also mic the overall length of the gauge before and after applying the tape to confirm, and yet again after checking headspace to make sure a piece of grit didn't get stuck to the tape, or the tape got folded over some how during the process.

YOu also have the measurement taken from the pin gauges. You should know where you stand by installing both the larger and smaller sized pins in conjuction with the go-gauge. The no-go gauge is an insurance check. The whole process takes but 2 or 3 minutes. If you plan on building more than one rifle of any .308 win, or 7.62 nato caliber, then get a real gauge. They are also REAL handy to have with you at gunshows. You'll be amazed at how many rifle don't pass the no-go gauage at shows. Some guys won't let you gauge thier rifles for sale. I think you know why. If your in the market for surplus rifles at shows, get gauges!!! Took me 4 years to finaly find an FR8 that I liked and passed the gauge test.

To anyone reading this and contemplating building thier first FAL, it has got to be the easist rifle to build from a kit. It was my first many years ago, and it was a piece of cake. Its a great base to learn from. If you have a decent mechanical aptitude its a cake walk. If you don't, but DO have an attention to detail and a little patience, there's a lot of good folks to answer any questions you have.

Sorry for the long post. Its pretty much my standard. :rolleyes:

12-22-2008, 04:06 AM
daffy, he was talking about being a first time builder of the fal, not a person with a lot of experience with them or the tools. like i said each of us have our own ideas about things.
i think everyone may have some kind of horror story to tell about gun building or gunsmiths, but i have found a gunsmith i am happy with and trust. everything he has done has worked well for me. it is just another option for him, that is all.
i have read about the scotch tape and a few other things on the internet, but i still don't think it is the correct tool to be using. if you feel ok with it fine with me.

if you feel you have the knowledge and the correct tools, go for it. good luck.:airtight:

12-22-2008, 08:47 AM
I just bought an Imbel Kit and a DSA receiver. I dont know if I want to build myself or have Ken K. barrel/time the thing. Having a reputable 'smith do it will increase the value or make it sell quicker if forced to sell (some dont like to buy homebuilds). But it seems like a straightforward build::icon_razz:Now after you build it or during the build please post pictures. It'll be fun once you got the building bug you'll have to find another kit to build oh ya did I mention :ttiwwop: Have a BLESS DAY and MERRY CHRISTMAS :America::fn-fal:RULE

Patria Povo
12-22-2008, 08:53 AM
I'm the down hill side of my Cetme build, I've build a couple different types of AK's and an AMD-65 I need something new. I've been thinking maybe a FAL. What do I need Inch, Metric, Imbel??? Who's got good kits at the best price, who has good receiver? What special tools do I need to build a Fal?

Enterprise are about to release an Imperial receiver series - both Brit L1A1 and Aussie SLR (DSA also make an SLR style receiver). I know there are less accessories available compared to Metric rifles (and 922R parts, I've heard), but it would be ultra cool I think and certainly a little different to the run-of-the-mill Imbels.