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So first the requisite background: I recently picked up a WELL used FAL. It is a bit of a basket case, but the price was right. It's a DS Arms SA58 18", metric, bipod cut, non-handle cut. Don't know the vintage, but it had probably had 5000+ rounds through it since it's last deep cleaning. It came with 3 new DSA magazines (2x20, 1x30). It has the W type dual feed ramps.

The gas regulator was on 7 (read closed..so all gas went to the piston, no bleed off) and had been so for quite awhile, as it had seized up from carbon buildup.

After a good soak, and plenty of elbow grease, I finally got the thing apart, and got it cleaned up proper.

So, got it out to the range to try to set the gas system up right, and started having intermittent feed failures. At first I thought this was because of the gas system not being tuned right. But whether completely closed, or wide open, it still functions pretty much the same..the only difference being how far it flings the brass.

NOTE: The brass gets mangled pretty good. Most ejected cases are dented at the mouth, which seems to be because they are spun tightly upon extraction, and hit the outside of the receiver...as there is a little brass 'stain' right behind the ejection port. This does not worry me. What does worry me is that there are also long striations along the length of some of the brass...more so on cases that experienced a ftf.

NOTE: on every single failure I've experienced, what happens is that the bolt does not grab the case from the head, but from the middle, pulling it alongabout halfway out of the magazine, then jamming with the bullet either against the feed ramp, or halfway into the chamber, and the bolt clipping the case about midway down the case wall...leaving the case head underneath the bolt, and still halfway inside the magazine.


HYPOTHESIS: I think that this is a magazine issue. It seems to me that the feed lips are not allowing the round to exit cleanly, causing the bolt to skip over the case head, but allowing it to still 'grab' the brass by sheer friction, dragging it up halfway into the chamber.

Experiment...I will modify one magazine....sanding/smoothing the feed lips, and maybe bending them a bit to change the geometry, hopefully allowing the cartridges to exit the magazine more freely.


ANY other ideas or input are welcome!!!!

PS: This does not happen all the time..but when it does it is USUALLY when feeding from the left side of the magazine.

PPS: I have fallen in love with the FAL. I WILL get this thing running one way or the other.
 
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Hey Nick I did a little searching and you seem to have figured out one of three common causes for that type of jam. Hope this helps.

1. The bolt is riding over the cartridge – This is a FTF problem and can almost always be traced to three common problems.

a. First, check to see if the magazine is being held in the magazine well tightly. If it is loose, your problem is most likely a magazine catch that is too short. The solution is to replace it with one with an extended magazine catch. Tapco offers extended magazine catches for about $15. Alternately you could weld a small bead on the end of the catch assembly. You will need to fit the modified parts to the rifle for proper operation.

b. Second, take the bolt and carrier out. With the dust cover removed, close the rifle’s action. Insert a magazine with two or more cartridges into the mag well. Now look at the magazine from the top of the receiver to see if the magazine looks like it is symmetrically positioned in the well, especially towards the front of the magazine. Most often a worn / sloppy magazine will cause this problem which will manifest itself as a FTF from one side of the magazine or the other ( left side, right side ). Also, check the magazine for a weak follower spring. When in doubt, replace the magazine with another magazine and try it’s operation.( dummy rounds work well for this tip )

c. Third, look for long deep scratches in the brass body of cartridges that have jammed. This is usually caused by sharp edges on the feed plate at the top of the magazine well and more often on cartridges that were feed from the left side rather than the right side of the magazine. Polish the edges of the feed plate with a 400 grit wet or dry sand paper. Crocus Cloth may be used also.

Surplusrifle Forum ? View topic - My FAL rifle will not cycle
 

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I have a 1959 FAL. Can't say I've ever had any problems like you're describing but they all chew the brass up somewhat. It's the nature of the beast. Mine is an original and may be a little different than a DS. I would give them a call on Monday and see what they have to say about it. Good luck.
 

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If the adjustment nut is set too tight (all the way forward) it causes the bolt to bounce off the back of the lower receiver and move forward at a greater velocity than designed for. This can cause the magazine to not be able to raise the next round fast enough causing the type of jam you describe. The manual states to set the gas system with an EMPTY magazine, with a round chambered. Adjust the the gas system to to point where a fired round with an empty magazine will hold the bolt open. Add 1 or 2 more clicks on the adjustment nut to insure reliability. Too much bolt velocity is also hard on the gun. Remember also, the FAL firing pin is only spring loaded, unlike US military rifles that have firing pin block mechanisms designed to prevent the firing pin from protruding from the bolt face until the bolt is in battery preventing slam firing. A situation, I believe that would be aggravated by the bolt shutting at higher velocities with the FAL design. The gas adjustment feature of the FAL is a wonderful feature for handloaders, different lots of ammo, and temperature variations, and a pain in the a$$ at times. Properly adjusted FAL gas systems will result less recoil. AC
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! I sanded, polished, and slightly tweaked the feed lips of one 20rnd mag, polished, but did not bend the lips of the 30, and left the 3rd mag alone.

I also polished the feed ramps a bit (by hand, with cloth and metal polish).

Am at the range now. Have run 40 rnds. 1st round (loaded via magazine, slingshotting bolt handle) did not fully chamber without help. Everything else has run smoothly.

Will now try unadulterated mag and update later.
 

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Good look Nick. I hope she runs smooth for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a 1959 FAL. Can't say I've ever had any problems like you're describing but they all chew the brass up somewhat. It's the nature of the beast. Mine is an original and may be a little different than a DS. I would give them a call on Monday and see what they have to say about it. Good luck.
Do you know what make/country of origin yours is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Man...i think i got it! Polished the feed lips of the 3rd magazine, and gave a second, more thorough treatment to the feed ramp. Just ran 40 rnds through the newly polished mag without a hiccup.

NOTE: i had been experiencing problems with several makes of ammo. I am not using my precious reloads (worked up for my tikka) on account of the brass getting ruined. Today i have been running strictly steel cased russian 150gr fmj crap ammo, cause its cheap and im 'shooting for science'.

Will run another 40-60 rounds and call it good w/russian crap. Then try various soft point piggie poppers another day.
 

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Life is Good
 
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I've got one from DS Arms (in IL).
It's a "Standard" and I bought it new just after 9-11
I bought an optional upper cover that I think has more clearance so the cases don't get banged when they come out (from DSA)
I had an HK91 before that and like the DSA FAL a lot better.
 

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Nick. If you ever need. I have most of the required FAL tools. Headspace pin and gauges, Buttstock tool, Receiver wrench. Built 7 or 8 back in the day of $150. parts kits and $200. receivers. I have A real nice buttstock I smoothed up nice and covered with Black aluma hyde, Hung it on A nail in the shed to cure 5 or better years ago. Still hanging there. Got some handguards and carry handles. And A few auto sears Somewhere.
 

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My last FAL build. Izzy furniture and forward assist. Muzzel thingy is fake. ( Assault weapons ban thing) It went with the trade for the Harley. Getting A lot more use out of the Harley. Probably should have kept this one. Trying to find A decent pic.
Could not find the good one but you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, Dan. I might take you up on that. Now that I've been messing around with this one, I kind of want to build one from start to finish.

Greg...do they still make the dust cover you're talking about? I dunno if I've seen one with a larger port like you describe. The one I got has a crack in the dust cover at the upper rear end of the ejection port...presumably from being hit by spent brass 10,000x. It doesn't bother my, and dust covers are a dime a dozen, but I'm interested to see what yours looks like, and don't think I've seen anything quite like that on DSA's website.
 
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I just so happen to have A like new top cover Dust cover whatever. Fresh Parkerizing on it. That I would part with for the princely sum of free if you want it. From an Imbell FAL.
Let me know if you need it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm good for now, thank you though. If I start collecting parts for a second FAL (which seems inevitable) I may take you up on that. Don't happen to have a bipod kicking around do you?

As stated above, mine's an 18" with the bipod cut and a handguard to match, so I'm thinking I'll fill that void next. I'm also thinking about getting one of the DSA railed covers. I don't know if I would want to keep a scope mounted on it, but I would like to put some glass on it to see what it is really capable of accuracy wise...you know...for science.

I don't know what it is, maybe because I have an astigmatism, but in all modesty, when shooting at whatever random small object at long distances I can usually hit pretty consistently using iron sights and a gun/ammo I'm familiar with. But if I hang a target at 100+yards, I can never group well without glass. I don't know if the difference is in the particular way my eyes are screwed up, or if it's a psychological thing.

So when I'm putting a new rifle through it's paces, I like to mount glass on it, even if just temporarily, to see what I'm really dealing with.

I found a dust cover with mounts on it at the LGS yesterday, for pretty cheap too...but it was just a plain old dust cover with no set screws or anything to aid in stability...which I don't really trust. The DSA cinches down at a couple of different points to provide a more solid platform. I figure the potential for wasting ammo on a drifting zero would probably justify the cost difference.
 
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So first the requisite background: I recently picked up a WELL used FAL. It is a bit of a basket case, but the price was right. It's a DS Arms SA58 18", metric, bipod cut, non-handle cut. Don't know the vintage, but it had probably had 5000+ rounds through it since it's last deep cleaning. It came with 3 new DSA magazines (2x20, 1x30). It has the W type dual feed ramps.

The gas regulator was on 7 (read closed..so all gas went to the piston, no bleed off) and had been so for quite awhile, as it had seized up from carbon buildup.

After a good soak, and plenty of elbow grease, I finally got the thing apart, and got it cleaned up proper.

So, got it out to the range to try to set the gas system up right, and started having intermittent feed failures. At first I thought this was because of the gas system not being tuned right. But whether completely closed, or wide open, it still functions pretty much the same..the only difference being how far it flings the brass.

NOTE: The brass gets mangled pretty good. Most ejected cases are dented at the mouth, which seems to be because they are spun tightly upon extraction, and hit the outside of the receiver...as there is a little brass 'stain' right behind the ejection port. This does not worry me. What does worry me is that there are also long striations along the length of some of the brass...more so on cases that experienced a ftf.

NOTE: on every single failure I've experienced, what happens is that the bolt does not grab the case from the head, but from the middle, pulling it alongabout halfway out of the magazine, then jamming with the bullet either against the feed ramp, or halfway into the chamber, and the bolt clipping the case about midway down the case wall...leaving the case head underneath the bolt, and still halfway inside the magazine.


HYPOTHESIS: I think that this is a magazine issue. It seems to me that the feed lips are not allowing the round to exit cleanly, causing the bolt to skip over the case head, but allowing it to still 'grab' the brass by sheer friction, dragging it up halfway into the chamber.

Experiment...I will modify one magazine....sanding/smoothing the feed lips, and maybe bending them a bit to change the geometry, hopefully allowing the cartridges to exit the magazine more freely.


ANY other ideas or input are welcome!!!!

PS: This does not happen all the time..but when it does it is USUALLY when feeding from the left side of the magazine.

PPS: I have fallen in love with the FAL. I WILL get this thing running one way or the other.
Greetings - Before I had Marlinitis I was a Falaholic. Still am. Don't think I will recover either. Brass gets dented out of a FAL and that brass shine on the receiver is a badge of honor. I've never had the problems some do getting a FAL to run - even on my POS Hesse. You can always go to FALFiles for help. Welcome to the addiction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Greetings - Before I had Marlinitis I was a Falaholic. Still am. Don't think I will recover either. Brass gets dented out of a FAL and that brass shine on the receiver is a badge of honor. I've never had the problems some do getting a FAL to run - even on my POS Hesse. You can always go to FALFiles for help. Welcome to the addiction.
LOL thanks! When I first became interested in the FAL a few years back, I was looking at a Hesse at the LGS. It had been hanging on the rack for years. I hemmed and hawed, then Sandy Hook happened, and it was gone with the wind.
 

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If that slide in mount is an A.R.M.S. mount for cheap you may give it A try. They had A good rep when I was A Falaholic. Had one in the Izzy clone. Only used it once with A tasco red dot.
Shot 5 or6 shots you could cover with A quarter at 50 yds. High and right. Adjusted the scope and the little dot never worked again. Ever!
 
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