Showing posts with label FN-FAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FN-FAL. Show all posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quote of the Day- Jim Rawles on the Economics of an M1A

"For the same money as a "Loaded" M1A with one magazine and no scope, you could buy a PTR91-GI rifle (a HK91 clone), AND 100 spare alloy G3 magazines (under $3 each!), AND a Savage Model 10 .308 bolt action that is sub-MOA, right out the box.

For comparison, 100 spare original M14 magazines would cost you around $2,600. And just a spare USGI M14 operating rod ("op rod") now costs around $250. You should dispassionately consider not just the initial cost of the rifle, but rather the full lifetime cost, including magazines and and a supply of repair parts  (my emphasis, TOR)."
-Jim Rawles

I love the M1A. They are beautiful and accurate though if we are real probably not a gun that should ever have existed. It says something about America that we invented an inferior gun instead of just buying the much superior FN-FAL which if I recall beat the M1A twice in our own tests, which were promptly ignored. However some time ago I came to terms with the fact that it was a gun whose price was pegged (inflation, gun cost increases, etc) above what I was ever going to be willing to pay.

Incidentally at one point I planned to get an M1A and even picked up some magazines. They are the Checkmate 20 rounders which are currently being used by .mil. Brand new still in their wrappers. Think I've got 10 of them. Will sell for $25 a piece plus a few bucks for shipping. Will definitely trade for PMAGS or USGI AR-15 magazines and may trade for other mags or gear. If you've got something else to trade we can figure it out. Shoot me an email at theotherryan@yahoo.com if you are interested.

Mags are pending sale at this time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reader question II- M1 Garand Sale


Hey Guys,

Long time reader and huge fan of the blog, it's literally been part of my daily read for several years now. I referenced this great blog since the very beginning of my personal preparedness journey. Quite a bit has changed for me as my life and preparedness goals and life skills have developed.  One of my earliest consultations I had with you guys was regarding my initial choice of a battle rifle in the M-1 garand, and your opinion on some accessories for the kit I would put together for it.


Since that time,  I graduated from College and my wife and I moved home to Texas where I became a Police Officer. My wife finished nursing school and now we live a comfortable life in the City's suburbs. Like yourselves my values over the years became less focused on gear and the pending  choose-your-own adventure apocalypse scenario, and more on financial security and adjusting my immediate family's paradigm towards preparedness.

My profession has given opportunities to me for more training and skill development  and real world experience(this being the most valuable) than I could have ever afforded on my own.  I have access to gear and weapons that are far more in line with practical real world preparedness. Having rifle vests and gas masks and city issued M4s round out my personal survival arsenal of .22s, Remington 870 police magnum which goes with me everywhere at work, baby glocks for my BUG and wife's concealed carry, P226 with TRL-1 light on my gun belt at all times.. the point is, I discovered that as I placed myself on a career path that helped focus myself on personal development of skills, physical fitness and financial independence all the great gear and gadgets and everything else fell into place on their own. As I continued to grow, I realized that all the gear and panic buying in the beginning was simply an attempt to fill my own insecurities with a cheap, rushed sense of peace of mind.

So all this time, I have this beautiful hardly-used M1 sitting in my gun locker. I have purchased a wonderfully made grab-and-go pouch, butt-stock pouches, and hundreds of dollars worth of surplus 30-06 rounds and enbloc clips. However since the '08 election and the great ammo dust-bowl that it brought, I have always been hesitant to bring it out to the range with me. As my combat training became more focused on pistol and CQB shotgun techniques, I focused my spending and ammo purchases towards my 9MM and 00buck, and now with the acquisition of my city issued M4,  .223 rounds.  It became obvious that the M1 because of its gas system is limited to the type of 30-06 rounds you can fire, which directly impacts the amount practice and range time with the weapon, which is the most important aspect.

I was inspired by Ryan's quest to simplify his collection and refocus it towards functionality and redundancy.  The historical allure and once rock solid devotion to the rifle slowly began to fade as I realized that its' cons outweighed its' pros. However, I'm not sure if I'm at the same point as Ryan was and wish to sell the rifle, accessories and ammo that took such a large investment of time and money outright and refocus the funds towards other endeavors. The other day a friend sent me this link.


I really like the idea of bringing the Garand into the world of the carbine in terms of handling and capabilities, which seemingly fixes many of its' current short-falls. Plus with the modification, the rifle's gas system will be able to shoot modern loads of 30-06. This process also opens up the weapon for more Texas focused hunting scenarios…boar/deer hunting.

So to get to the point of this super long email, I would very much like to hear your opinions on the modification process, whether you believe it's worth the $525 and change price tag. Or should I sell the weapon and kit and move the funds towards purchasing and building my own m4.

Also, one final element to my decision process, over the past year and a half I have interviewed, tested and accepted a conditional letter of appointment to joint a federal law enforcement agency. Which is why I was hesitant to purchase and carry my own personal m4 in the field like I do now with my 870. It is my understanding that during training I will become familiarized with a whole new set of weapons and training, which includes the M4 and MP5. So with my work providing the necessary tools of my trade, I can’t quite make up my mind on what to do with the Garand. Sell it, customize it, or leave it as is which is an occasional shooter/heirloom.

Well, thanks again for the patience it took to read this manuscript of an email. I do very much appreciate the blog and yalls' opinion on the matter.

Happy Thanksgiving from Texas-

 TOR here: Putting my money where my mouth is my Garand has been sold (actually sitting in my safe while the guy makes payments). I sold it because the rifle, while cool, didn't really have a purpose. It is not high on my list for defensive weapons, is relatively expensive to shoot so plinking is out, and is worth enough money that at this time I cannot justify it being a collectible safe queen.
 I would not go with that conversion for a host of reasons. We buy common guns from major manufacturers for very good reasons. I just envision an endless problem with the thing. If you want to own a semi auto .30 caliber then sell the Garand and use that money to start an FN-FAL or PTR-91 fund. FWIW I have heard of folks hunting with a Garand using those Hornady TAP rounds.  Heck the old school FMJ will probably work just fine.
 If I were you the Garand would get sold and the proceeds would go towards a more modern practical defensive rifle. Probably as you said building an M4. Along these lines you should check out the Project AR Upgrade series we did recently.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tons of Firearm Manuals on PDF

Check out this great selection of firearms manuals on PDF over at AR15.com. Hat tip to Commander Zero for the find. Even if you do not own them it is probably not a bad idea to have manuals for common weapons like the AR, AK, FN-FAL, and HK G3 as well as pistols like the HK USP, Glock, Sig, 1911, etc. With so many PDF's available for free there isn't a good reason not to have them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More AK Discussion: Accuracy Revisited and Other Rifles

In response to my recent post on AK's (and Mini's) AZRedhawk44 said: I stewed on this over the weekend subconsciously, and it leaped to the forefront of my mind while I was at a High Power match (I shoot an M14 so I don't have any skin in the AK/Mini conflict either way).
One of Ryan's very valid points was the legitimacy of shooting someone more than 100 yards away. At first, I accepted that premise.

At the match, however, an idea jumped out at me. "Hits" aren't necessarily all good. A 200 yard shot with an AK that tags a leg, arm hip or shoulder might still leave someone functional enough to return fire at me. Yes, it's a hit. But despite the fact that I tried damned hard to make that shot count as best as I could... the platform and cartridge dynamics allowed that bullet to drift 8 to 12 inches more off target than a different platform.

No, I don't want to drag a platform war onto your site. I like FALs, FNARs, AR-10's, AR-15's, DaeWoos, Galils, M1's and M14/M1A's. I like lots of gun platforms. I even like the Mini and AK for what they can do.

The price difference between a self-built AR and a higher end AK or a new Mini just isn't that far, and the AR will (typically) put the lead in the center of the target better.

I just think if you're gonna aim at something and squeeze the trigger, the best possible outcome is for the bullet to impact _exactly_ where you intended to hit.

TOR Here: Thanks for taking the time to ponder this question and then write a reply. Personally from informal experience I believe that the AK platform, given a servicable weapon, is quite capable of hitting dinner plates at 100 meters and a torso sized target at 200 or maybe more. There is certainly a range where the weapons inherant accuracy limitations start pulling shots out of the vital torso and into flesh wounds and appendages.

I don't think anyone could disagree with your statement that "if you're gonna aim at something and squeeze the trigger, the best possible outcome is for the bullet to impact _exactly_ where you intended to hit."

I think there are a few universally desirable characteristics of a rifle:

Reliability- It should go bang every single time you pull the trigger, no matter what. Seeing as firearms are mechanical and even the best mechanical things fail now and then we should seek the lowest failure rate available.

Ruggedness- You want a rifle that can take a beating. Most of us generally take good care of our rifles. However we still definitely want them to work if they happen to be banged around, dropped,  not get cleaned as often as they should or get exposed to the elements.

Adaptability- The ability to change a rifles ergonomics, fit, and sights to your preferences and needs. The ability to employ useful accessories.

Commonality- There should be wide access to magazines, spare parts, accessories and such.

Affordability- Outside of gamers and fanboys in forums (there are some good folks there too) the rest of us live in the real world. In the real world instead of theorizing about what the best possible maker for every single component in the world we have to live in a budget. Be it tiny, modest or pretty decent we all have budgets. We need to consider the cost of magazines, optics, ammunition, useful accessories and other ancillary equipment.

Capacity- More bullets and fewer reloads are better than less bullets and more reloads.

Lastly since you already mentioned it accuracy- A rifle that can't hit stuff you shoot at isn't very useful.

It would be great to have a rifle that is devastatingly accurate out to great distances, holds a lot of bullets and reloads quickly, is utterly reliable and rugged under all sorts of adverse conditions, has great adaptability and parts/ ammo/ mags which are widely available. It would also be great if this rifle and its ancillary equipment were so cheap that an average working class guy could get a few rifles, a big box of magazines and enough ammo to fight a moderately intense guerilla campaign.

Ever heard the building analogy that you can have a job be done fast, cheap and right but you only get to pick two? So it could be fast and right but not cheap. Or fast and cheap but not right. It could also be cheap and right but not fast.

Have you ever played the kind of video game where you get to build your own boxer? You get a certain amount of points to divide among different categories (I remember strength, foot speed, quickness, conditioning and toughness or something like that)? If you put all of your points into quickness you could punch really fast but it wouldn't do much and you were really easy to knock out. Put all your points into strength and your boxer will knock people out, when he can hit them. Anyway you get the idea.

My observation is that some foolish and inexperienced people buy a rifle because they saw it in a movie or know a certain group or unit uses it. However smart and experienced people choose a weapon based upon the best balance of the above desirable characteristics prioritized by their own unique scenario with the limiting factor of affordability. Affordability is a limiting factor because in order to have a rifle you have to be able to buy it.

We also need to consider the cost of multiple weapons. After all if things are so screwed that you need a rifle wouldn't it be a good idea for your spouse to have one also? What about your 15 year old child? Sure the idea of arming them is scary in a lot of ways. However if Rorke's Drift is playing out in your neighborhood then the kid needs a damn rifle. Also remember that two is one and one is none.

Price point is an interesting discussion. I think it is important to compare as equitably as possible. For example comparing a bare bones generic AR some yahoo put together in his basement to an AK that comes out of a highly prestigious custom shop is gaming the scenario a bit. Comparing chevy to chevy and BMW to BMW makes more sense. The difference in price between say a WASR-10 at about $550 and an Olympic or Stag AR at say $750 isn't that much. Mags are about a wash. AK's do however have a real cost edge in terms of ammunition. My observation, and YMMV, is that AR's don't really like steel cased ammo. AK's on the other hand will eat anything. Brass cased .223 costs about twice as much as steel cased 7.62x39. So $200 (I didn't check prices today so please don't nit pick) will get you about a half case of .223 or a full case of 7.62x39.

If you look at say a mid range AR with 10 mags, a case of ammo and a few spare parts/ accessories vs a mid range AK with 10 mags, a case of ammo and a few spare parts/ accessories the actual cost is different. Make it two or three cases of ammo and the cost difference is really significant.




As I mentioned peoples own unique scenario is a big factor here. Do they live in the city or out in the country. On the wide open western plains or the primordial woods of the deep south. Do they have a good budget or is money really tight? How important are accessories and their availability? Do they plan to also hunt with their defensive rifle? Do they have problems carrying long heavy rifles? What about felt recoil? Is their plan to have a CQB machine to keep by their bed, an all around rifle or a precision marksmenship machine. What kind of worst case scenario does this rifle fit into?

When we are talking about modern fairly common magazine fed semi automatic rifles such as the AK, AR, Mini- 14, M1A, FN-FAL, HK 91 series, etc. I am becoming less and less convinced there are any  real absolutes. I don't think it is so much about the right rifle but the right rifle FOR YOU. If cost is a concern and you aren't so worried about long shots an AK could be a great choice. If you really like commonality and adaptability but cost is a factor then maybe an AR is the answer. If you like the power of a .308 but are concerned about the cost of magazines and spare parts then an HK 91 type could be the way to go. If love rifles made of wood and steel, you really want to reach out and touch someone accurately and money isn't a concern then an M1A would be a good choice. A great rifle for one person might be a horrible rifle for another.

Personally I like AR's and AK's. In terms of rifles I grew up on AR's. I have more muscle memory with that platform than any other or any two others combined. I have a lot of experience and comfort when it comes to that platform. I also appreciate that they are easy to use and pretty darn accurate without completely breaking the bank. I got an AK for no particular reason a few years back. For a random spur of the moment (made the decision at a gun store) purchase I couldn't have done better. I am coming to like AK's more and more. They are affordable to purchase, very affordable to equip, utterly reliable and as rugged as they come. Also they are pretty fun to shoot.

I urge you to be realistic about your budget and consider what it will cost to fully (however you define that) equip a rifle. Next think about your own unique scenario. Do plenty of research and fire as many weapons as possible. Seriously reflect on and consider your options for this major purchase and you will end up with a weapon that will serve you well.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Brain Says FN- FAL And My Heart Says Garand- What do I do?

With the whole upcoming democratically controlled government coming up and that $1,000 in inheritance money just sitting around I am in thee gun market. This afternoon we went to a gun shop. It was hopping like one dollar beer and topless waitresses night at Hooters. People seemed to be buying semi automatic handguns and rifles, mostly Glock's and AR-15's. I checked out the AK's but don't really want to get another one.

They had a Century Arms FN-FAL and also a CEMTE. The prices were reasonable at about $800 but the furniture on the FN-FAL was total crap. Buying an expensive gun I immediately need to spend more money on to have it not suck does not appeal to me all that much, also .308 ammo is aweful expensive. That being said since I am doing better money wise now being able to eventually purchase reasonable amounts of .308 ammo (enough to make it worthwile to have the gun) is not the impossible task it was in the past. I know these guns are great but for some reason I've never bought one. Maybe the crap furniture on them just turns me off. That is a pretty superficial thing in the grand scheme of things and is easy enough to change. Once that is canceled out significantly higher ammo prices is the biggest single issue.

They had a couple of M1 Garands on the used rack. They were both Springfields and almost surely involved in WWII. At $699 they seem to be a pretty good price. I know someone is going to say it in the comments section but I am aware CMP sometimes sells them for cheaper. My desire to jump through a million hoops and fax all sorts of stuff around is nonexistent. I need another headacke like I need another hole in my head. I love the history of the M1a and that it is a hard hitting semi auto but doesn't need mags. Not needing to buy 10-20 mags is a big plus.

I almost bought the Garand today but I started having some doubt while waiting in line and decided to sleep on it. Now that I am home I'm really starting to lean toward an FN-FAL. My brain says FAL and my heart says Garand. What should I do?

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