If a build is what you want to do, then start with a DSA or an Entreprise Receiver. Cost is $299-$450. Both are great, DSA is better but costs more.
FN FAL Metric Receivers
FAL-SA58 Upper Receivers-D S Arms
Then buy a kit. My suggestion is to buy a kit without the barrel. Numerous sources for kits are out there, but DSA and Entreprise both have them for good prices and they are known quality sources (at least to me).
If you buy the kit without the barrel, I would recommend this unit. I have not yet used one, but I am seriously considering re-barreling both of my FAL rifles with this unit:
SA58 FAL 21 Medium Contour Chrome Moly Barrel, .308 Cal. - 001H21-D S Arms
I have owned Israeli Heavy Barreled rifles in the past, and they tend to hold groups well even after 50+ rounds. The standard "pencil barrel" tends to wander after 20 rounds or so. Just the nature of the beast. If you like to target shoot, and you have the discipline to let your barrel cool down between groups, then the Pencil Barrel is fine.
FAL rifles are GREAT!!!! With a little work, they are very accurate out to 800 + meters. This means a torso sized target, and 2-3" groups fired in sets of 5 rounds. Optics are doable, and the DSA replacement receiver covers (picatinney mounts) work VERY well. The lesser expensive ones work really well too, but they are not as burly as the DSA ones. Expect to use locktite or equivalent on the cheaper ones. The cheaper ones are made of aluminum and the DSA may be steel depending on the model, read close!!!! They do sell aluminum too!
Good Luck. Post pics so that we can enjoy your triumph as well!!!!!
Originally Posted by jimmy t
I may do some building this weekend.
This is new to me also.
I've heard of guys using blocks of oak as a barrel vise. Has anybody here used this method and have pic's?
I made a barrel vise out of a piece of 1/4" plate and a 1/2" plate 4"x6" and some blocks of oak. It worked, but I had to put a sheet of sandpaper in the blocks so it would grip the barrel better. Make your wood blocks so that the grain goes across the barrel and not with it. If it goes with it, it isn't as strong and will crush more and split. Or thats what happened to the set of blocks I made that were oak. The barrel is tapered and I tapered the hole in the oak to get as best contact as I could. The barrel kept wanting to pop out slightly which would make it very loose. The sandpaper kept it from doing that. I needed to parkerize the barrel anyway, but the sandpaper didn't really mar the surface very much.
Originally Posted by Rikoshay
EDIT: here's a pic. Nothing fancy, but it works.
The FAL has wrench flats on the bbl, I forget the size but a slightly undersize open end wrench is easily ground to fit perfectly. I clamp the receiver wrench in the vise and turn the bbl in with a wrench.
I tried the wrench method to try to remove the barrel from the stub and ended up wrecking the wrench plats on the imbel barrel. Mind you this was before gunco and the easy way of cutting the receiver ring on the stub almost down to the barrel threads and cracking it with a chisel and hammer to remove the stub.
Turning in is a whole lot easier than breaking loose a crush fit bbl that has been in place for 50+ years.
Apex has just listed used STG58 bbls.
WOW!!!!!! gone in the first 24 hours.
I was about to order one.
These modern computers and the information age makes everything easier. Had to figure everything out the hard way when Mikey and I made our own receivers out of 4340 barstock twenty years ago.