Letter Re: Advice on Sources for a FN FAL Clone Rifle

I am a relatively new but loyal reader and can use some advice. I am looking to purchase a .308 battle rifle (eventually five or six of them) and wonder if you have any resources for fairly priced new FN FAL (type) firearms and magazines? Thanks, – Ryan

JWR Replies: If you don’t mind a paper trail, some of the best bargains are some of the “builds” done by individual members at The FALFiles Forums. Depending on circumstances (such as car repairs, loss of jobs, and divorces) they are sometimes sold below cost. For example, here is a very nice L1A1 presently being offered.by a gent that needs to raise cash for house construction.

It is possible to get lucky and find a FAL or L1A1 listed at the FALFiles Marketplace Board that is being sold in your own state, being sold by a private party. Of course any transfers across state lines would have to be processed through an FFL holder. State laws on firearms also vary widely. Research them before you make a purchase. If avoiding a paper trail is a high priority, then I recommend that you make all of your gun purchases at gun shows from private parties, or through GunBroker.com (on-line auctions) or GunsAmerica.com (fixed price sales–usually more expensive). Both of these web sites have search features that allow you to search “by State”, allowing you to find only sellers from your own state. Again, that way you won’t run afoul of the Federal law that prohibits the transfer of a modern (post-1898) gun across state lines, except through a FFL dealer.

You also asked about magazines. Your best source for both metric FAL and inch pattern (L1A1) magazines would be Gun Parts Guy (he currently sells slightly used Imbel FAL magazines for under $8 each and I heard that he also obtained a batch of brand new in the wrapper Australian L1A1 magazines.