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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 15th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Default STG58 (FAL)

Any FAL builders/experts out there?

I've decided that I need a FAL. I've been doing research for the past few days, and I've decided that it will be an Austrian STG58 (Steyr).

Originally, I thought I could just buy a STG58 from DSA and be done with it. Apparently the STG58's that DSA has been putting out for a while do not have many Steyr parts (most notably the barrel). That's not going to work for me, so apparently what I need is either an older DSA build, or possibly an Arizona Response Systems build, or a nice kit to either build myself or have built.

If I was to build it myself, I have heard that the gunplumber videos provide a very thorough walk through of the process. This would probably be the most rewarding way to go, but I'm just not sure how much of a headache it would be.

Most likely I will be purchasing a kit and having it built by ARS or some other known builder. Does anyone in PA have a good reputation for building these things? If I provide the kit, compliance parts, and receiver what can I expect to pay to have it built?

I'm trying to learn this system and understand the parts, but it is slow going. I know about FAL Files, and I've been reading threads there, but it's a bit overwhelming. I've found out that there are 17 countable 922 parts. What I don't know is what parts are crucial to keeping the build as authentic as possible, and which are typically switched out to US parts for the build.

I'm pretty sure I want the barrel, lower receiver (trigger housing), bolt, bolt carrier, and stock (this is just aesthetic, but it's important to me for the rifle to have a wooden stock.) I'm thinking that receiver, muzzle attachment, gas piston, trigger, hammer, sear, & pistol grip might be the ticket for 922 compliance, but I'm coming from an AK mindset so I'm not entirely sure.

Speaking of receivers, how do I know which one is right for my build? I've heard that I need a DSA receiver, but which one? And what's the deal with inch/metric?

What are some good websites for purchasing US parts for a FAL? How about surplus parts (butt stock)?

I found this picture on m4carbine.net. This is exactly what I want my rifle to look like when it is finished:



I know I have a million questions, and that I'm a complete newbie at this platform and I'm all over the place. I do appreciate any info you might have that could help me out, and I thank you for bearing with me.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

I was going to suggest the FAL Files. That is truly your best bet for all things FAL. The people over there are very helpful and will get you off and running. Just be warned: FAL's are like the famous brand of potato chips -- you can't own just one (AMHIK).

I would strongly recommend for your first purchase that you get a used FAL off the FAL Files marketplace. Nearly all the sellers there are 100% and if you get it there, you will know it is built right. It is also far more cost effective in this market to purchase a completed FAL than it is to build one. FAL kits have gone way up in price over the last few years. An StG-58 kit like you want (incidentally, the pictured rifle is NOT an StG-58; it's probably Brazilian or Argentine, but I would need more pictures) will run anywhere from $600 to $800 depending on condition, matching numbers, etc. A quality receiver will run you $300-$500 depending on maker. Coonan is cast but good on the low end (US made) to forged Imbel on the high end (Brazilian made, the best you can get in any quantities). Throw in another $200 in US parts (usually hammer/trigger/sear for 3, handguard/pistol grip/buttstock for another 3, and choose one of: gas receiver, piston, charging handle, and muzzle device). If you do it yourself, you will also need the necessary build tools, headspace gauges, etc. All total, you're looking at probably $1500 in parts and labor for a nice StG-58. You can routinely find built StG-58's for much less than that. There are other cheaper kit options out there (e.g., Imbel for ~$350)

As an alternative to building a FAL, if you just want a quality FAL that will do what you want it to do without the fuss of 922(r), I would suggest trying to find an SAR-48 (not an SAR-4800). The SAR-48's with the exception of the Israeli heavy barrel version were imported by Springfield Armory (of M1A and XD fame) prior to 1989 from Imbel of Brazil and are arsenal built rifles. SAR-4800's were the post-1989 version of this and are still quality rifles, but they have the hokey thumbhole stock. Current market prices have SAR-48's costing the same as similar DSA rifles, but I would take an SAR-48 over a DSA rifle any day of the week.

As to FAL smiths, try Sean Reed at CDI in Chalfont if you want to stay local. He looked over two of the FAL's I own and was great about helping me get up and running after I bought my own first FAL off the FAL Files.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by y0rlik; March 15th, 2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

Quote:
Originally Posted by y0rlik View Post
An StG-58 kit like you want (incidentally, the pictured rifle is NOT an StG-58; it's probably Brazilian or Argentine, but I would need more pictures) will run anywhere from $600 to $800 depending on condition, matching numbers, etc.
According to the owner of the rifle:
Quote:
Rhodesian R1. This is the basic pattern that Rhodesia and South Africa adopted. The base rifle is a DSA StG-58A, which is built on a new DSA metric receiver with a pristine Austrian StG-58 parts kit. The handguard is a true veteran of the African bush wars.
There are more pictures here: (scroll down to Templar's post)
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=33079&page=6

I am pretty much set on the STG58 (EDIT: and not because of the pictures either, but because of its reputation as the cadillac of FAL's. The things I like about the pictured rifle are cosmetic: the wood stock, poly pistol grip, and metal handguard.) I imagine I could put those on any FAL, but I'd rather have them on an STG58) I don't care about matching numbers, but I do want the kit to be in the best condition possible, especially the barrel. I was expecting to pay $700ish for the kit and $400ish for the receiver. I would be prepared to pay up to $2000 for the finished rifle built by a known FAL smith.

I would consider buying a completed STG58 (used) if I could find one that suited my liking, but I'm don't expect to have the funds together until about June of next year. Right now I am just trying to gather as much info as I can.

Thanks for your info.

Last edited by marinville; March 15th, 2011 at 03:31 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

I have two FAL's sitting in the shop right now- Both are matching # STG58 kits
on DSA type I (no carry handle cut) receivers.

I did all of the assembly work, including the parkerizing. Feel free to stop by and have a look.

Sean
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Old March 15th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

The R1 was the South African designation for the FN FAL. The FAL in the picture now that I get a better look at it is a mixmaster. It has an StG-58 lower (note the S-E-D on the left side of the lower) with a later Belgian horizontal take down lever (the StG-58 lever is vertical) and a Belgian style muzzle device (probably US made as a compliance part). The handguards are definitely not StG-58 (as correctly noted they are original Rhodesian handguards). The remaining parts are probably Austrian as noted. See here for a picture of the StG-58 with correct parts.

If you want an StG-58 kit try here. Reports on the FAL Files have been favorable to the kits now sold by FSE. Back in the day FSE was a well known purveyor of quality FAL parts, until they went bankrupt because people took advantage of the owner's lenient return policy. My guess is they recently resumed business. DSA also sells just about every FAL part imaginable. Also try Sarco, Apex, Gunthings, SLR 5000 (though Pat sells mostly inch parts), and Numrich.

For receivers I would go with either DSA or Imbel (only bad thing about the Imbel is they are imported, but they are the only readily available arsenal made receivers available; Argentine also show up from time to time but command a premium). You can buy Imbels new from seller Parsi on gunbroker (though he's kind of a pain to deal with). There is also a vendor on the FAL Files (SLR 5000) who is organizing a group buy of Imbel receivers right now if you hurry. The budget receiver is definitely the Coonan. They are well-made but are cast, if that makes a difference to you. If you are building your own, stay away from Hesse, Century, and Entreprise as they are lower quality receivers which may be too difficult for a novice to build on (even many professional smiths refuse to build on them owing to the extra work involved in getting them to run). Type I/II/III refers to the cosmetic design on the outside for the lightening cuts as FN made modifications to the original design to improve strength (Type I to Type II) and reduce production cost (Type II to Type III). Functionally, there is no difference aside from small weight differences.

I also just noticed you want a wooden stock. Original wooden stocks are rare as they cracked under use and were replaced with plastic stocks. US made wooden stocks are available from Ironwood Designs or member BlueMonster on the FAL Files.

Refer back to the link you gave me for info on inch vs. metric. Basically, the original version as produced by FN, FMAP, South Africa, Imbel, Steyr, etc. is 'metric'. Rifles produced in commonwealth countries (UK, Canada, Australia) are known as 'inch' pattern because the blueprints were drawn up in imperial (inch) units instead of metric. There are slight variations between the two types, and not all parts are interchangeable.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

Thanks again for the info. That is all very helpful. It seems like a type 2 reciever would be the way to go, either DSA or Imbel. I'd rather have the Imbel, but then I've got to get another US part.

I've still got some more reading to do on the inch/metric thing, but I guess the STG58 would be metric. At least now I know that much.



I've got to say I really don't care for those handguards. I guess that will be one of my US parts right there. I do like that flash hider though. For US parts. I'm thinking trigger, hammer, sear, handguards, pistol grip, gas piston, and maybe buttstock (if I don't go with the DSA receiver.) if I can find a nice wooden one. (haven't checked out ironwood yet.) I've been trying to check out DSA's website for US parts, but their website is not very user friendly. 922 is such a pain in the ass.

I really wish I had the cash now, those FSE kits look mighty tempting. I would hate to have the cash next year and all the kits are dried up.

Thanks again.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: STG58 (FAL)

Yeah, most people don't like the StG-58 handguards, but not for aesthetic reasons. The StG-58 handguards are all metal and get very hot very quickly. Century (?) makes plastic copies, but I don't know how well they hold up. I would get some DSA Belgian style handguards myself.
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