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At work we got in a F.A.L. and an H&k G3 to test. I haven't handled or shot either of these Rifles in years since I got into M14 type rifle. Handling these two made it so clear how superior the M14 is in handling. The F.A.L. is O.K. if you are only going to shoot right handed (which is contrary to modern training doctrin) once the F.A.L. is shot left handed, it is very awkward to operate. The H&K is even more awkward to operate regardless what hand you are shooting with. The M14 is truely user friendly in the left or right hand. The M14 also has much better sights and a much better trigger pull, not to mention it is about a pound lighter then either the G3 or F.A.L. Another plus with the M14 is that if it jams you can clear it much easier then the other two rifles because you have good access to the internal receiver and there is no place for a jammed round to hide or get stuck in. At the range I had to strip the G3 to clear one of it's malfunctions. I do believe that the F.A.L. and G3 are "good" weapons, if an M14/ M1A is not available.
 

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Scoutster,
Ditto! Well put and well said. Make mine a M14 any day...

Also, please send me an employment application. If testing rifles is what you do for "work", I'm in the wrong job.... :shock: :shock: --BushRat--
 

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You're worried about a G3 jamming?

I don't know if the HK reps do this still or not, but over a decade ago, it was still used. Ask one to see the "Crest test". If you can get ANY stick to do that, that's saying something.

Basically roll ammo around in Crest toothpaste. Then drop the whole globby thing onto the ground, and roll it around in the dirt. Pick the rounds up and put 'em in mags, and then fire off a hundred or so in full auto, mag after mag. Without a hiccup.

The FAL isn't a slouch either. One of my instructors was 10th SFs back when we were fighting the VC. His personal stick was a Belgian FAL. He's got his reasons too. Personally, I wish that the '14 had a gas regulator like my FAL did. Let's not disrespect our elders (design wise anyway) ;-)

Granted, I believe the '14 is better as well, especially in the desert (where I am), but all three designs have something going for them.

FWIW

-Bravo
 

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The FN FAL (Dutch version) was my personal weapon in the first months of my Army time. I owned one for two yearsas a civilian (L1A1), and I sold it to buy a TRW M14... Why, because the M14 is better as a competitive rifle than the FAL. Mostly because the trigger and the excelant sights. It is also more accurate than a FAL. But I do believe, that the FAL will work more relaible than a M14. Its gassystem will always work, and doesn't require many maintenace. You can drop the bolt with the same hand where you inserted the full mag with, wich is much quicker. It has a pistol grip and bipod. And you can fire riflegrenades without special tools (atleat I can do that with the 'Dutch' FAL). Well, the FAL became a massive succes in the world under all different types of army's, and the M14 didn't. BTW, I wrote in a book - "US RIFLE M14, from John Garand to the M21", that Fort Benning did prever the T48 (FAL) above the T44 (M14).
As a civilian, both rifles are great, and I love them both. The M14 is more accurate, that why I own one. But I prever the FAL as a military rifle.

Greets,

Roger
 

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Dutchman2 said:
But I do believe, that the FAL will work more relaible than a M14. Its gassystem will always work, and doesn't require many maintenace.
No offense meant, but if that's the case, I haven't seen it personally. My FAL and my '14 were same-same for reliability in all conditions in general. For desert usage (sand), the '14 has a slight edge from my experience. Since that's where I've spent the last several years of my life, that's what I know the most. Things could be different in the swamp, I don't know. The gas system on the FAL is tremendous, and I have a difficult time understanding why it hasn't been unscrupulously copied on most all sticks.

Dutchman2 said:
You can drop the bolt with the same hand where you inserted the full mag with, wich is much quicker.
You can do the same thing with the '14. Lock the mag in with the left hand, and rotate the stick slightly counter-clockwise with your right wrist. The left hand goes over the top and pulls the op rod to the rear to disengage the bolt stop, and lets go as you remount. The biggest detraction from this is the fact that it mandates taking the rifle off target, unlike the FAL, where you can keep the sights on as you do a reload. From what I understand (I don't have one of these personally) the aftermarket bolt locks for the '14 correct this. Still, with either stick, since the mag release is under the stick, you've got to keep an unloaded weapon while you reload. That sounds dumb. What I mean is, compare the '14 / FAL system to that of the '16. With the '16, the mag is dropped as the spare is being inserted..... less unloaded time because the two operations are done with different hands, and both hand operations are very ergonomic.. What does this mean to anyone? It means that the doctrine in place at the time the FAL and the '14 were in widespread use was to find cover and load THERE. Shoot and load from cover or at least concealment. That was back when you dropped when you heard a shot, fanned out, and engaged. This modern "stay standing and move forward" stuff boggles my mind, and I'm the last kid on my block to not have a "tactical vest".

Dutchman2 said:
Well, the FAL became a massive succes in the world under all different types of army's, and the M14 didn't.
Production costs can't be ignored in that situation. Look at what you get for your bucks with both sticks. The FAL is cheaper to set up and produce. Since you don't "lose" much, it only made sense as a good, sensible purchase. While we can talk ourselves into paying $400 per stick more for a '14 than a FAL, doing that with 1,250,000 rifles starts adding up ;-)

Dutchman2 said:
BTW, I wrote in a book - "US RIFLE M14, from John Garand to the M21", that Fort Benning did prever the T48 (FAL) above the T44 (M14).
Could be. I haven't read that specific book. There are historical opinions on both sides, obviously. The one that I put the most creedence in (so far) was penned by one of the OICs at the time, 1952 Benning. The statement was made that one particular dust storm cost the FAL, as they were jamming and the '14 wasn't. By this time, both had been extensively refined through repeated evaluation and trials.

I've got a FAL on order, complete with Israeli forward assist and sand cuts on the bolt. None on the carrier. I have, however, been lead to believe that since the sand cuts are present in the receiver, it would be cake to have them added to the carrier a-la L1A1. If so, I will. When it's done, and things get a bit more solid, I'm going to perform my own tests, comparing the FAL and the '14. Sand, mud, river crossings, arctic, and durability. It'll take a few years though, as I want to be as thorough as I can be...... I'm guessing about 30 cases of ammo split between them ought to do it ;-)

FWIW

-Bravo
 
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