Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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Thread: L1a1 build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Dover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default L1a1 build

    I am thinking of getting a l1a1 kit and receiver. Does anyone know of any good gunsmiths in the york area that assemble FALS? Also does anyone have a good recommendation for what is the best upper receiver to get within financial reason lol

    Thank you all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    Not sure of your $ allowance. Gotta think a complete rifle would be the way to go. Have built two and fine tuned another. Tools are reasonable $ wise, parts can be reasonable as well. Keep in mind most kits could use a extensive cleaning and refinishing. Have had to replace misc. parts in the kits due to being worn out. Looking for a complete gun check out dsa product line. Also can check with Arizona response systems, have dealt with them and they know their stuff on fal,s. Down to the nuts and bolts. If you are going to by the kit and reciever and have somebody do the build save the hassle and order one up from dsa. If you want to exercise your skills and do it yourself that is great. Keep in mind after you by the tools, parts kit, misc. parts, refinishing and reciever your over on $ than buying a done rifle. This is just my opinion but it is coming from one who has built two and rebuilt another. Another thought as well you can't forget about the 7 us manufactured compliant parts that are needed as well. Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    East side of the ANF, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    What red dog said.

    2018 isn't like the heyday of FAL building like 20 yrs ago. The secondary market is not flush with upper receivers, and your choices will be limited to the odd Century, Imbel, or DSA IF AND WHEN one is advertised. They won't be cheap.

    Personally, I'd buy a complete gun from DSA as it will likely be your lowest cost option.

    If you are determined to do a build, consider looking for an assembled FAL with a decent barrel and "rebuilding" it with the parts you want. With a barreled action you wouldn't need a receiver wrench or barrel vise block set. You'd get away with headspace gauges, recoil spring guide tool, and regular common hand tools.

    I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Tioga County, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    I've been weighing up what I want to do for an FAL. Right now at the moment the current Coonan and DSA receivers are not getting the greatest reviews from those trying to use those to put together a rifle. Certainly the heyday of kits and good receivers was over 10 years ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Chalfont, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    Well built complete rifles have been selling at pretty low prices for quite some time.
    A well built rifle will be less expensive and less aggravating than a novice assembling a one off.
    If you check the market place on the falfiles a couple times a day it will not be long before you scoop up a nice rifle.
    Crusader's local #556 South Central Asia chapter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    I am different than most. I love to feed the encouragement of the home builder. While you get the responses, "Just buy a complete rifle, it's EASIER!", I'm yelling, "good stuff man! Let me know if I you need help!" Building has nothing to do with "doing it cheap"! Building firearms and gunsmithing is a passion! I started teaching myself the discipline in the late 90's/early 00's. The process of building and accomplishing your goal is one of the most fulfilling things one can do. It honestly "feeds" your soul!

    Now, you had asked about a gunsmith in your area. If you are looking for someone to pay to just build you one, in the thinking it would save you a buck... well, forget it! Good luck finding a builder who would even want to build, (usingin parts you purchase, and whatnot). Besides that, it WOULD NOT save you a dime! If this is your thought, then I do agree to simply BUY complete.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    (Perry County)
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    Default Re: L1a1 build

    Back in the day, about 1992 or 1993 I built one myself, without special tools and without anything more than a basic book like they had at the gun shows. Admittedly a foolhardy endeavor before I understood things like headspacing. I built it and I shot it without incident. It was ugly with scratches, gouges and white paint on the ugly black plastic stock. Like an idiot, I sold it a few years later.

    Gunbroker has a lot of L1A1 stuff. I've seen whole guns with good receivers selling for a little bit more than virgin receivers. I've been contemplating buying a couple of cheap guns with each having desirable parts and making one good gun. My suggestion--if you're handy at all--is build it yourself and have a competent gunsmith give it a good going over after you're done. With the internet at your disposal (I had dial-up at the time, no videos for me) you should be able to do it without too much drama.
    "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

    "He created the game, played the game, and lost the game.... All under his own terms, by his own doing." JW34

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