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FNFAL, M1A, or HK91?
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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alaskanativeson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

I am considering a rifle purchase. I want an autoloader in 7.62 NATO and I have it narrowed down to three basic choices but I'd like some input from people who have shot one or more of them. The rifles I'm considering are the HK91, the FN FAL, and the M1A, most likely the Scout variety. I owned an HK91 many years ago but I had to sell it because of hard financial times. It was a great gun but I've also heard really wonderful things about the other two as well.

I know that sometimes it just comes down to personal preference but I know there may be other considerations I'm not thinking of. What have your experiences been like? Do you believe there are functional differences that make your choice better than the others? If so, are there trade-offs for the benefit you believe you're getting over the competition?

I teach in rural Alaska, I live on the coast of the Bering Sea. I want this gun for some hunting, home defense (yes, I already have handguns and a 12 ga. as well) and because I feel the need to buy this type of gun before the election this fall.

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roklok
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:10 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Welcome to this fine site, I hail from Fort Yukon, Alaska. Nice seeing another Alaskan on here. I would go with the M1A. Biggest reason? If a cartridge fails to chamber completely it has an easy to use "forward assist" in the form of the Op Rod Handle. I have had enough experience in cold temps with semi-autos to realize this is an important feature. When it gets down to -40 F or so they sometimes just dont work as slick as they should. Of course proper lube goes a long way for reliability. My favorite for way sub zero temps is Break-free. Another option you did not mention but has caught my eye is the new Rock River AR style .308s. From my research it looks like these may be the best of the AR-10 breed.
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alaskanativeson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Thanks, roklok. I'm not a big fan of the Stoner design so I have pretty much already ruled out the AR-15 styled clones.

By the way, I failed to mention that I will be mainly using this gun in the Colorado Mountains, I will retire there in a few years. I plan to leave most of the -40 weather behind me. I am originally from Chugiak in AK but I still feel most at home in Colorado.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

The M1A/M14 just like its father the M1 has the most reliable cold weather trigger unit out there as it was specifically designed for cold weather. And the M14 DMR's in Iraq seem to be working fine in the sand. Whereas the British had enough problems with their FAL's in the desert they cut on the bolts pockets for the sand to get into so the gun wont jam.

FAL's are known for being inaccurate, and with the top cover scope mounting options which are sheet metal on sheet metal they have a habit of losing zero.

Still if it was legal in Canada or if I moved to the US, both a FAL and HK91 would be added to the collection. Smile

Dimitri

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

I also had an HK-91 and had to sell it off for the same reason. I'd buy another any time. One advantage the M1As would have is avalability of magazines. The M1A that I always wanted is the Scout.

Too bad you don't like the AR-10s, DPMS has a few that look pretty interesting. I've been drooling over the LR-260L (.260 Rem) and LR-338L (.338 Federal). Maybe when I hit the lottery...

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Yup Mike, from www.44mag.com you can purchase NEW USGI contract magazines from the current supplier to the US Military for M1A/M14 magazines.

Reason for the plug for 44Mag is well they have the cheapest price as far as I know for the new CMI magazines and I know they buy directly from CMI so they are not fakes which seem to be very common in the world of M1A/M14 magazines.

Dimitri

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alaskanativeson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
...Too bad you don't like the AR-10s, DPMS has a few that look pretty interesting. I've been drooling over the LR-260L (.260 Rem) and LR-338L (.338 Federal). Maybe when I hit the lottery...

You sound like my Principal. Rarely a week goes by that he doesn't mention how much he likes the 260 Rem and wants to get one. He's decided that he wants to wait a little while to see if one of the piston operated guns (like the Sig 556 or the LWRC) will become available in 260.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Alaska,

You a teacher ?? Smile

Dimitri

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alaskanativeson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Yes, I have taught all subjects but my degrees are in Social Studies and English. I'm getting a Masters in Special Ed as well.

So I guess maybe I need to reconsider my dislike of the AR types. All the reports I have seen say that they're prone to dirt much more than the other designs I listed and that their cold weather functioning was questionable. Is this so?

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Thats neat! Smile My mom is a teacher too. Smile

Dimitri

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roklok
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

They do require more cleaning than other semi-auto designs for reliable functioning. However with a dust cover on the ejection port and a forward assist they are a viable choice in cold weather with proper lubrication. I had problems with my AR-15 in cold weather until I switched to using Break-Free. Since then it has been flawless, even at -40. If it gets much colder than that I stay inside. Not all AR-10 style rifles have a dust cover or a forward assist. In my mind the biggest advantages of the AR design are inherent accuracy and ease of mounting optics. I really like the M1A but I am waiting to see a Rock River .308 before I make a choice. A guy here in town has a custom AR-10 in .270 WSM, he really likes it.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:09 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Yep, the .260 is a neat cartridge! I've got one, a Ruger 77 Compact (16" barrel, great for tree stand!) and have been looking for another with a longer barrel. Remington made a 700 Mountain Rifle at one point but no longer. The Model 7 CDL comes in .260 so I might have to find one of them.

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alaskanativeson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:01 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

I'm starting to lean towards the M1A (though like others here I keep getting advice from my brother, a retired soldier, to go with an AR type.) If I do get the M1A, what are some good sources for aftermarket products?

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

Of your three choices listed I would go with the M1A for the sights. The HK and FN FAL sights are hard to use compared to a M1A.

AR-10 platform would be my choice for the money though and .260 Rem may be the round I would chamber it in too. But the .308 is a bit more available commercially if you do not reload.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: FNFAL, M1A, or HK91? Reply with quote

What type of aftermarket parts you looking for ??

Unlike the AR series of rifles there isn't a whole lot to add onto the gun but if you mention the type of things your looking for I can point you in the right direction. Smile

Dimitri

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