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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings!

I'm a forum newb, but a long time gun owner. Recently I shot a FAL and have had a recent jones for a .308 battle rifle to go with my M1 Garand. Anyway, a friend wants to sell this rifle, which he bought purportedly new about 10-12 years ago. I've read a lot of things about Century's rifles, and this appears to be a FrankenFAL, with inch sights and metric magazines. As you can see, there's still a fair amount of cosmoline in the action, but it opens easily after the first initial time, again due to cosmoline in the lever break.

Here's the rifle....
























Anyone have any thoughts and/or adivse on this rifle? Is this one of the Imbel receivers built up with a Canadian parts kit which I've heard some not so nice things about? I put a couple of 30 cal lead slugs in some empty .308 cases to make some dummy rounds, and the action cycles fine by hand with the bolt locking shut no problem.

I know the proof would be in the shooting, but the owner is a bit hesitant to let me shoot it as of yet, but I may be to convince him, especially with some info from the experienced FAL experts out there....

Thanks in advance!

Allan
 

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Welcome to the Forum Allan, I'm sure someone will be able to assist you with your questions. :)
 

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The upper receiver is metric pattern and was made by IMBEL in Brazil and imported by Century. It's an excellent receiver.

The lower receiver (trigger housing) is metric pattern and is from an Austrian StG-58 rifle made by Steyr in Austria. Also excellent.

The barrel is inch pattern, could be Australian or British, need pics of markings on the barrel underneath the hand guards. The flash suppressor and threads have been cut off.

The furniture is all US made.

I can tell you what type of bolt and carrier you have if you post pics of the markings/stamps.

In my opinion, you should buy it. You can always re-barrel it with a metric barrel later since most of the parts are metric pattern.
 

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Who's that?
Me.

I wouldn't pay $750 for it, as it wasn't "new" when the seller bought it. In reality, it's a mish-mash of used parts built on an Imbel receiver.

Sinking more money into after purchasing it would be akin to putting a pink bow on a pig. It's still a pig.

-SS
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well...

At this point, I'm mostly looking for a reliable straight shooter. I don't mind the mish mash of parts as long as it functions properly and I can find parts for it as I need them over time. As a Garand guy. I'm used to rifles that are collections of stray parts. As far as value, I'm just hoping it will at least retain it's value over time as long as I take care of it. Lemme ask this, are the parts currently in it worth $750?

I'll get some additional pix early next week as I'm out of town working this weekend. I have to tear it apart to clean all the crusty cosmoline out of it anyway. The current owner has agreed to let me shoot it, so once I get to the range, I should know for sure. I've been told that some of these parts guns have head space/barrel fitting issues, causing serious accuracy problems. I guess the proof will be in the pudding...

Thanks for all the info so far!

BTW, anyone recommend a good online manual for tear down and cleaning instructions?
 

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Does the lower, bolt carrier, and bolt have matching serial #s? $750 for a mix master.. Hmm the cheapest I can find of something similar is about $1000-1100
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'll post pix of every serial number and marking I can find on tear down...
OK, had a chance to field strip and clean this rifle, and here's what I found...



"P B" or "P 8" on the side of the barrel.






Top of the bolt carrier - sn 44844








Back end of the bolt carrier - two circles, both with what appears to be "4" inside them





"5" with a circle around it on the underside of the bolt carrier





Top of the bolt. Looks like a "P" inside a circle, followed by "29 642"




Side of the bolt with some sort of marking inside a D - maybe "82"




Gap between the receiver and the top housing. Seems like this is a cheap piece of sheet metal.



Gas piston. Far as I can tell this is one piece.



Some corrosion on the gas piston. Cleaned it with a brass brush and some 0000 steel wool. Noticed when I took the gas plug out, the piston didn't bounce out. Had to pop it out from inside the receiver. Once cleaned up it bounces fine....Also found a lot of powder residue inside the gas plug. Don't know if it's because the part was installed dirty, but suspect that this rifle has been shot in this configuration.


Any deal breakers here?
 

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Save your money and get a SCAR.
 

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$750 is a good price for that. I have the same rifle built on a Canadian neutered barrel with an Imbel receiver. Really...you can't build one for that price. Mine is a sweet shooter, and never given me a problem.
 

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receivers alone can push $400 some times $500. i love my imbel. mean machine. cant pass on a workable rifle for that price. its torn down atm for refinishing, when i get it done i'll post pics. trying to do a nice tiger stripe. we will see if my airbrush skills match may machining skills.
 

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The most important question is whether it runs. Does it feed, fire, eject, and if you handload, how bad does it mess up your brass. Century built a lot of decent rifles, and some really bad ones. Of the things you've shown in your picture, the one thing I don't like is your gas piston. I believe it is one of the Century 2-piece pistons. If it is, throw it away and get a one piece US made piston.

All the experts say not to oil your gas piston and cylinder, with the result that seeing rusted pistons and gas cylinders is not uncommon. Ignore the experts, and oil your gas piston and piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright, time for an update. I did wind up picking up this rifle, not for cash, but by trading future labor in another hobby the former owner and I share. I also took it out to the range, and shot it some. The stock sights are way off, so I don't as of yet have an opinion on how it will shoot. It feeds fine, but it was having trouble clearing the empties, several times failing to clear the expended brass, causing it to jam with the brass partially out the ejection port. I decided to invest a few shekels into it by buying an add on Picatinny rail/action cover and replace the cheap POS stamped cover that came stock. The rail has a larger ejection port, so that may help, although what really may be necessary might be a trip to the gunsmith's for some tuning. It could be a fitment problem, an issue with the ejector, or something else. (opinions?) I have a cheapo scope in the parts box and will get it mounted on the rail shortly and run a few more rounds through it and see what happens as far as accuracy and function. On the plus side, it doesn't beat up the ejected brass. Here are some pix....





 

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Congrats on the new purchase.....despite century's best efforts, I have owned two of their FAL's and haven't had any issues. One imbel and a (gasp) Hesse receiver. Not sure if I understand the ejection problem thoroughly, a different top cover will help, but the gas setting can have a lot to do with how it ejects. The method I was taught was to either open or close the gas regulator all the way basically make sure ALL the gas is going back into the piston and not venting....Then with two rounds in the magazine, it shouldn't lock the bolt back. Also make sure you have a bolt hold open, if you don't this won't work. I'll include a picture. Anyways, start firing these 2 round mags, each time turning the regulator collar just one more adjustment. eventually it will lock the bolt back on the empty magazine, and you should be good to go for most ammo. Remember that setting. You can open or close it more for cheap ammo, or when it gets dirty on the range or whatever, but that is your base setting and you shouldn't have any more problems with ejecting with the old top/dust cover thingy..... fal_hold_open_3.jpg
 

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Nice fal. I used to have a Century/imbel such as yours. I never had any major issues that couldn't be fixed with a better mag or the gas adjusted. Look at the gas regulator from the top. You will see how when you turn the regulator, a hole will be exposed or closed off. The more you close that hole off, the more gas goes to cycle the firearm. If I ever had ejection problems, I just turned gas up a couple notches (closing the hole) and she ran perfect. One more thing, you should either check the head space or have it checked. Very important IMO.

Also, if you're still looking, Arizonaresponsesystems has the best fal DVD/workbook on fal gunsmithing. Well worth the $.
 
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