Taken for granted...

This is a discussion on Taken for granted... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I bought one of the Century L1A1 Sporters back around 1992 because a friend who knew something about battle rifles was getting into a group ...

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Thread: Taken for granted...

  1. #1
    Member Array Jim_Linch's Avatar
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    Taken for granted...

    I bought one of the Century L1A1 Sporters back around 1992 because a friend who knew something about battle rifles was getting into a group buy and asked if I wanted one. Being young and having lots of money to spend on toys I bought one but after a few range trips stuck it in the safe and forgot about it. It shot fine, but I just didn't appreciate it.

    Well, this year I was wanting to do some 3-gun shooting and had planned on building an AR15 with my tax money, but that fell through and the idea to use the FAL once again rose to the top of the heap due to lack of funds. The ammo is a lot more expensive, but with the money I save by using a gun I already own verses putting $1500.00 into an AR15, I think I will be able to reload quite a bit for it.

    The other factor is that in these times, a BOB rifle might not be a bad idea. I'm not a "Survivalist" but I do for see more civil unrest coming in this country and if I was to ever find myself in the situation of guarding my property like those Korean store owners in the King Riots, I would rather have an FAL over an AR15!

    Last night I started on the quest to turn my Sporty into a carbine.

    I was going to be all slick and use the shop equipment to turn the barrel and put a chamfer on it, but the lathes have too long of spindles to turn the barrel with the receiver still on and I'm not good enough to figure a solution to the problem. I'm an Electrician not a machinist. My machinist friend is gone and I couldn't wait so....

    After reading several WESCOG threads on falfiles.com, I got the "just do it" attitude and:

    1. Cut the barrel with a hack saw.
    2. Ground it flat on the belt grinder.
    3. Drilled out a 1/2" Rigid Conduit coupler (ever so slightly) put some tape on the barrel and threaded the coupler on to provide a "file guide".
    4. Trued with file.
    5. Finished with 320 & 1200 grit emery using the "booger picker" method.

    Took it to the range with some 150gr hunting ammo from Wally-world and it function up to #5 on the regulator but was only 100% dependable at #3 so I'm going to have to open the gas port it looks like. I want to shoot minimal powered loads for 3-gun so I was thinking normal powered loads need to operate at about #8.

    The other thing I've done so far is make a quick spacer (black hi-temp moly) to fill the carry handle gap, and grind the swivel attachment point off the stock. For when I replace the thumbhole version. ;)





    Some of the things I want to do are:

    1. Attach light to handguard for QCB searches
    2. Add 3 point sling (probably Wilderness)
    3. Get DSA scope cover
    4. Buy mags and a vest to carry in
    5. Fix rear sight so it stops sliding up scale while shooting
    6. Big dot (bar) front sight?

    Sure there will be more, but that's the intial list.


    (macro lens makes it look worse than in person)

    (experimenting with light positon)



    Just thought I'd share.. :)

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  3. #2
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    Looks like you have put in a lot of work! The hand crowning does not look to bad at all.

    I have had my CAI L1A1 some time now - and had to do some work to improve feeding - mostly improving profile of feed chamfer areas on chamber mouth. Currently I am waiting on a rear sight to suit - that is a long story actually.

    Meantime I mostly shoot my FAL - which is a very enjoyable rifle.





    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Talking

    AWESOME.

    I want one of everything in this thread!

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    looks good even the hand crowning

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Nice work.

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    Thumbs up Crowning By Hand

    There is one really old "Do It Yourself" method of hand crowning a barrel using a small threaded brass ball & abrasive or diamond paste.
    I think that I can give you more info. on that if you want it.

    Also...a local gun smith might have a hand crown cutter.
    They did make them at one time & they worked just fine.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #7
    Member Array Jim_Linch's Avatar
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    P95Carry.
    Nice FALs! Is that a Para rear sight? Info please. :) Mine moves everytime I shoot the thing.

    QKShooter,
    Thanks for the offer, but the hand crown is not permanent. I just wanted to see if the gas system would still function and to play with the shorter gun. I'm going to have a professional crowning and done and thread on a FS.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    If the rear sight is moving every time you're shooting it, chances are you're missing something in the parts department - one of the ball bearings or its ilk.

    When you get a good CAI FAL, they're generally good ones.

    I'd be checking the gas cycling with some good surplus 7.62 NATO rather than Wal-mart stuff, unless you're intending to shoot mostly Winchester or commercial ammo, at which point disregard everything I've said.

    FYI, if you're looking to add to your toolbox, get one of the Tapco gas adjust/front sight tool things if it's a metric front post - it's the only one I've found that actually survives the torque sometimes needed to make the front sights move for the first time in decades. Ask me how I know, said he who threaded the inside of the sight ears on a G1 kit with issues when removing the front sight post. ;)

    When doing the gas system, as you probably already know, add the bolt hold open device that CAI probably left off if nothing else to let you adjust it to FN spec. You don't necessarily need to buy the $20 replacement part since a roll pin works in my experience just fine in the hole in the British hold opens that CAI didn't touch much.

    Also, don't drill anything until you're sure that the system itself is intact and good and perfect - look for fluid leaks by dropping in some Breakfree into the front gas block under the sight and shooting a bit. If it leaks around the seals, you may have a problem. While you're down there, run a pipe cleaner through the barrel hole and the inside of the gas tube and clean out the crevasse in the gas plug. You might get lucky and not have to drill. Regardless, don't re-drill until you do the front muzzle device of choice - because it'll have some impact on cycling and pressure as well IME.

    My STG-58/Imbel built as a dedicated nighttime pal:


    The damnable G1 build where I learned all about swearing and replacing everything in the gas system:


    My Hakko reflex-equipped happy fun-time blaster:


    And my first, the CAI franken-FAL with an almost random mix of inch and metric parts:


    I've since restored the CAI beast to being as close to L1A1 as I can get without ripping off the gas block and replacing it with the extra British one in my parts drawer, but that's a project for next winter - not prime shooting season. ;)

    Now I'm just waiting on the new batch of Imbel recievers to show up to complete a pair of new STG-58 builds. I do not have a FAL problem. Repeat after me.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  10. #9
    Member Array Jim_Linch's Avatar
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    Good stuff rfurtkamp,

    I'll take your advise on the gas system. I did ad the bolt open device (aka rollpin) when I got the gun, can't stand not having bolt open on a gun. I made a cool light mount for the handguard tonight, will ad pic tomorrow.

    Fun to have stuff to tinker with! I also ordered some Argentine Surplus to use for testing later, and $4.00 a box delivered is a lot better that $14.00 at Wally-world.

    Nice rifles by the way!

  11. #10
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    Jim .. re L1 sights. I bought about 18 months ago - some sights from KNS Precision. This included a replacement rear, which gives windage adjustment - and a nifty front sight - a crosshair duplex.

    Only prob was (and sight stays put BTW - I do think ''something'' must be missing on yours to be that loose) - the rear was for FAL (metric) and not L1 - I found the darned thing was shooting way low and even with foresight all ways down - no dice.

    I was put in touch with Dan, at Volunteer Ordnance Works - who I believe had made the sight unit. He said that he would see me right on this as I should not have been given the wrong sight - and that ''they'' were making some for FAL ''soon''.

    Hmmm ... it is now 17 months on and still no replacement sight! I speak with him time to time but always seems some reason nothing happened yet. I am supposedly first in line for a swap but, I am getting despondent now.

    I reckon I will just put original rear back on - but haven't fired this darned rifle in so long - I guess I lost interest. Apart from which the FAL is great and gets all the excercize. Seems CAI offerings can be very iffy - some great, others not so great. Mine was ''OK'' but did need work to improve feeding.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  12. #11
    Member Array Jim_Linch's Avatar
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    P95Carry,

    I think I'm gonna make or buy some kind of ghost sight for mine and use a scope for distance. The existing one is hard to move by hand actually, but rides up the ramp fairly easy when shooting. Will go from 300 to 600 in about 20 rounds. I may be hitting it with my glasses, but can't tell.

  13. #12
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    I must say Jim ... I have considered a scope on my L1 - it works so well on FAL, and not just distance - I work 100yds most times but then scope will let me stretch out to 600 - I just use ''Kentucky windage'' most times.

    I guess I have waited so long for the correct rear sight I reckon I'll hang on a bit longer! Another option I considered too was.. put L1 sights back to std and sell the bugger! The FAL is really all I need now but then - I have this serious (hard to treat) aversion to selling any gun!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Another option for the low metric front sight: buy a Tapco L1A1 gas block for $4. It'll have the sight post intact for the inch gun. It'll fit in the metric holes I've tried and be the right height.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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