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Thread: Imbel (FN) FAL in .22lr

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  1. #1
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    Imbel (FN) FAL in .22lr

    Well, I splashed out on the .22lr semi auto I've always wanted.
    It finally arrived this week and first impressions were very favourable.
    The rifle is solid and business like (as you would expect) its heavy and long so not one for lightweights I suspect the magazine is the full size steel 7.62 box mag with a .22 mag insude that looks and feels well made rather than knocked together. cocking is as per the fullbore with a cocking handle on the left side, towards the front of the receiver. Nice large ejection port on the right and a heavy sludgy trigger which is what you would expect from a military training rifle. I suspect impromptu drops on the floor would not result in an accidental discharge. The stock is of the folding type which requires 8 hands. push on a small button side ways then push the stock downwards to unlock then swin to the right till it loks in place. Reverse the procedure to extend. Its a substantial stock with a thin rubber recoil pad and looks fully capable of whatever military rifle butss do. There is a nasty gouge in the steel of the stock which looks to be have been there since manufacture so I'll be seeing if that can be replaced.

    The safety on the left is so heavy (at the moment anyway) as to be virtually unusable so its just as well it isnt a match trigger. The receiver locking catch is on the left to the rear of the safety and a good push on this unlocks the receiver which hinges on a pin towards the front. The gun needs to be cocked before opening if the bolt is to be removed. The top cover stays in place for this but the Tapco scopemount/top cover needs to be unscrewed to remove at the same time as the bolt etc. I havent investigated this yet so it maybe resolvable.

    Nice long barrel with a flash hider threaded on which has a serrated end ...looks suitable for punching through walls etc

    Next, whats it like to shoot?
    well I had a quick plink with the FAL last night after putting the scope mount cover on board and fitting a bushnell scopechief.
    The initial results were more inspiring than my first few shots with the AR15/conversion in .22lr which had trouble holding all the rounds inside a 2" circle at 25yds.

    I tried Winchester, RWS and Remington subs through it. the remingtons cycled maybe 2 out of 3 shots. The RWS maybe 1 cycle from every 2 rounds and the RWS was basically straight pull.

    Accuracy with all was surprisingly good considering the end of the barrel looks like it hasnt been crowned
    All shots grouped ok with RWS being best, popping 4-5 inside less than an inch easy. occasional fliers, as was expected with a brand new gun but all still inside the black. So far so good.

    Cycling problem seems to be that although it fires, extracts and strip the next round, either the mainspring or hammer spring (or both) is/are too strong and the hammer isnt cocked. Think maybe I need to get some spare springs and experiment with weakening them slightly.
    It was very quiet to shoot with the subs and I think the local bunnies should be very afraid.

    oh yes and just in case it will accept the standard bayonet for use when the bunnies charge and you are out of ammo

    Overall and so far so

    Updates as the rifle wears in and I get used to it
    Gun control means using both hands.

  2. #2
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    I'll dig the armourers manual out and try to come up with some suggestions for the trigger.

    Weaker hammer spring looks to be all you can do, the disconnector spring doesn't seem to contribute to the recocking force like it does in an AR
    I would buy 2 hammer springs, cut one down till it's starting to light strike, then cut the second one down not so far as the first. Keep the original as a spare.

    I would be cautious about removing any coils from the mainspring. You are messing with the breech timing and can run into problems with feeding the first round when cocking manually.
    Last edited by Sid; 26-10-2006 at 04:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    You really can't start a thread like this and not post pic's .
    PM me if you need them hosted.

    Looking forward to hearing how it shapes up.

  4. #4
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    Gun control means using both hands.

  5. #5
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    WHAT no i'm one mean motherf***er poses.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr smith View Post
    WHAT no i'm one mean motherf***er poses.
    err no I dont do that
    Gun control means using both hands.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by urx View Post

    That FAL is a real beauty.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by urx View Post
    Nice gun, brings back memories of the 7.62mm SLR I used to have in the 80's.
    Webley Vulcan .22, Webley Tempest .177, Beeman Kodiak .25, Beeman R9 .177, Weihrauch HW30 .177, Slavia 618 .177, Colt Commander .45ACP, Browning Hi-Power 9mm, Bushmaster AR-15 5.56/.223

  10. #10
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    Blimey....how much did that cut and shut job cost???
    Looks like an argie folder, of which huge amounts were put into store after being taken off their previous owners for not being used in a responsible manner , even more were run over by 4 tonners and landies in a bid to clear the surplus. Check that stock gouge out, could be a part of history

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by M4 Carbine View Post
    I'll dig the armourers manual out and try to come up with some suggestions for the trigger.

    Weaker hammer spring looks to be all you can do, the disconnector spring doesn't seem to contribute to the recocking force like it does in an AR
    I would buy 2 hammer springs, cut one down till it's starting to light strike, then cut the second one down not so far as the first. Keep the original as a spare.

    I would be cautious about removing any coils from the mainspring. You are messing with the breech timing and can run into problems with feeding the first round when cocking manually.
    I reckon you are right on inspecting the insides...I dont plan to mess with the mainspring but have ordered some spare hammer springs for experimentation purposes.....
    The stock has gone back for replacement and should be coming home over the next 2 days
    Gun control means using both hands.

  12. #12
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    ok..'messing' with hammer spring is now well advanced.
    I've obtained an original CF FAL hammer spring which is ~8mm longer than the .22lr one though the wire guage is identical. I've trimmed that 5mm below that of the .22lr hammer spring and the gun now cycles subsonics with a fair degree of reliability.
    I emptied a box of 50 remington subs with no jams
    50 RWS subs generated 3 'short strokes where the empty case was ejected afresh one chamberd but the hammer wasnt cocked. the gtouping was improved to less than a 10p peice at 25yds on rapid fire.
    50 eley match grouped inside a 5p peice at 25yds with no failures to chamber or cycle the hammer but a couple of failed case ejects (nipped in behind the breech block and jammed the hammer).
    the Winchester subs did the best overall with no failures and a nice consistent group
    I'll continue trialing with a few more boxes and make sure its sorted.
    Most importantly ...no light strikes in evidence

    Looking promising

    next job is to remove the flash hider and fit the SAK mod to see how quiet it is.

    That Flash hider is on bloody tight! got the right size spanner on it and not a hint of thinking about moving
    Last edited by urx; 03-01-2007 at 03:16 PM.
    Gun control means using both hands.

  13. #13
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    Imbel FAL

    Quote Originally Posted by urx View Post
    ok..'messing' with hammer spring is now well advanced.
    I've obtained an original CF FAL hammer spring which is ~8mm longer than the .22lr one though the wire guage is identical. I've trimmed that 5mm below that of the .22lr hammer spring and the gun now cycles subsonics with a fair degree of reliability.
    I emptied a box of 50 remington subs with no jams
    50 RWS subs generated 3 'short strokes where the empty case was ejected afresh one chamberd but the hammer wasnt cocked. the gtouping was improved to less than a 10p peice at 25yds on rapid fire.
    50 eley match grouped inside a 5p peice at 25yds with no failures to chamber or cycle the hammer but a couple of failed case ejects (nipped in behind the breech block and jammed the hammer).
    the Winchester subs did the best overall with no failures and a nice consistent group
    I'll continue trialing with a few more boxes and make sure its sorted.
    Most importantly ...no light strikes in evidence

    Looking promising

    next job is to remove the flash hider and fit the SAK mod to see how quiet it is.

    That Flash hider is on bloody tight! got the right size spanner on it and not a hint of thinking about moving
    Only 15 years too late to the show, but the FAL is reverse twist thread for the flash hider!

    I also have one of these in 22LR, a fixed stock version, serial 50008, it's a lovely rifle to shoot, do you still have yours?

    Kind Regards

  14. #14
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    I do 😊
    Gun control means using both hands.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.o.l.i.n.r View Post
    Only 15 years too late to the show, but the FAL is reverse twist thread for the flash hider!

    I also have one of these in 22LR, a fixed stock version, serial 50008, it's a lovely rifle to shoot, do you still have yours?

    Kind Regards
    50021 just sold at Bonhams yesterday for over 3500!
    Good deals with: Muskett, Dreben, roger.kerry, TALL, Helidave1, Chelseablue, Leeroy7031, Mousemann, pnuk, Practical, NEWFI, HOOGS, Webb22, lazybones1416 and deanw5262 among others. Thanks Guys.

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