FAL Review: FAL India. Parts identification and comparison.

(updated 02-09-2020) FAL India, or 1A1, is a FAL and L1A1 hybrid. India purchased FAL rifles from FN, and L1A1 rifles from Australia and England. They then started producing their own, with steadfast insistence it was “their” design with no royalties due to FN. Here we will examine identifying characteristics of the FAL […]

AK Review: Ohio Rapid Fire Second Generation Galil Receiver

I reviewed an ORF Galil receiver a few years ago, and while it could be built, it had several problems that may made it a challenging build for the even an experienced builder. Todd Grove REVIEW: ORF 2nd GENERATION GALIL RECEIVER (updated 03-17-2020) Introduction I reviewed an ORF Galil receiver a few years […]

FAL Tutorial: RSA & Rhodesian FAL Camouflage & Distressing.

Rhodesian Pattern Camouflage. The popular story behind camouflaged South African rifles, is that captured ANC rebels noted that the black rifles were identifyable at a great distance. This motivated the military to begin camouflaging the rifles. The colors were taken from their vehicles. A blue green, and and a yellow-tan, commonly called “baby […]

FAL Tutorial: Restoring the CAI L1A1 Thumbhole Sporter

Congress banned the importation of “Assault Rifles” in 1989. Certain features differentiated a “sporting rifle” from an “assault rifle”. Features included: detachable magazine, pistol grip, bayonet mount, flash hider, and folding stock. Importers modified their rifles to comply with the law by substituting a thumbhole stock for the pistol grip, removing bayonet mounts […]

FAL Review: Coonan, Inc. 2009 FAL Receiver

Dave Neville, of Coonan Inc., showed me their new Metric Type III receiver at the 2009 SAR show. I received one shortly after the show for testing and evaluation. This review examines the receiver for dimensional correctness, cosmetic appeal, and ease of assembly. I am known in the industry as an incredible nitpicker, […]

FAL Review: Federal Arms Corporation / DC Industries FAL Receiver

Federal Arms Corporation (FAC) Closed its doors in 2005. FAC had been the exclusive reseller of the FAL receiver manufactured by Dan Coonan Industries (DCI). Apparently FAC owned the moulds, while DCI did the finish machining on the castings. Harlan, a former employee of FAC, has opened a new company NODAK SPUD to […]

AK Review: Ohio Rapid Fire First Generation Galil Receiver

(updated 03-17-2020) Introduction The following information may be of assistance to the home builder considering a build on an ORF receiver. The ORF receiver is the only non-IMI receiver of any potential on the market today, but it does have issues that are a challenge to the experienced builder and may be insurmountable […]

Tool Tutorial: Building a Gunsmith Tool Holder

TUTORIAL, BUILDING A GUNSMITH TOOL HOLDER (updated 03-17-2020) Introduction There are some commercial tool-holders sold. None met my specific needs. I made one out of pine similar to the one shown here. It worked well, but I outgrew it quickly and wanted to make some improvements. This is the improved model. It is […]

FAL Review: Century Arms International L1A1 Receiver

Century Arms International makes a cast FAL receiver that was included both on complete rifles and available by itself. Its primary attraction was its comparatively low cost – about 30% less than an import before the receiver-import ban, and now perhaps an even lower comparative price. Review Receiver is finish-machined from a casting. […]

FAL Review: Entre’prise Arms Inc. FAL Receiver

My previous reviews of Entréprise Arms FAL receivers have been unfavorable. Not only were the receivers grossly out-of spec, but the company tried to market the curious dimensions as a bonus – to permit a “match fit.” I don’t buy a carburetor for my Chevy and expect to have to get custom machine […]

FAL Review: Entre’prise Arms Inc. 2007/2008 FAL Receiver

I’ve previously had poor experiences with Entréprise Arms. Its not that ALL of their receivers were bad, bat rather they were not consistent one to another. As a professional builder, my customers expect to know before-hand how much a build will cost. While I have built many with no issues, I’ve had significant […]

FAL Review: Entre’prise Arms Inc. 2009 L1A1 Receiver

Entréprise Arms sent me pre-production L1A1 receivers for review and comment. Over several months I evaluated their changes and recently received a fourth production receiver. It is of the British pattern, which makes it unique, as no other companies have released a British pattern receiver. (Update: Coonan Now offers UK cut). Entréprise Arms […]

FAL Review: Williams Arms Company Steel FAL Receiver

There are several companies that have operated under the name “Williams Arms” or variations. Dwight Williams of Williams Arms Company, in Sisters, Oregon, introduced the Aluminum Combat Elite around August 2001. It did not fare well in real-world and laboratory testing. Several gunsmiths have had success in building these aluminium receivers into .223 […]

FAL Review: Williams Arms Company Aluminum FAL Receiver

Dwight Williams of Williams Arms Company in Sisters, Oregon, produced an aluminum FAL receiver. This receiver was significantly lighter than its steel counterparts an I was hopeful that it would prove to be a viable option. I reviewed my sample in 2001. Review Left side view, nicely machined. Right side view, lettering a […]

FAL Review: Olympic Arms FAL Receiver

Arizona Response Systems received this Olympic Arms T48 2000 “FAL” for evaluation in October of 2001 . He purchased it as a 100% metric rifle from Olympic Arms, but after his examination, he believed it to have inch pattern features. He also noticed some things that “didn’t look right.”I review products for end […]

SCAR Review: FN SCAR-16S & SCAR-17S.

SCAR-17. This is the first rifle I’ve been excited over in years. I have a lot of experience with the FAL and think it is a great rifle, but it is 60 year old technology. Surely there is some tangible improvement? So when the SCAR-17 (SCAR-H) became available in semiautomatic for civilian sales, […]

FAL Tutorial: Repairing FAL Magazines

In the past, FAL magazines were priced at a level that made it difficult to justify spending any time or money in repairing damaged ones. As the price of magazines increases, it may become cost-effective to repair instead of replace. I have designed tooling to repair laterally compressed body dents in the side […]

Misc. Review: Exploring the Individual Combat Load.

How many magazines should I have? How many should I carry? I am asked this question frequently. The only real answer is “it depends.” What’s the mission? What’s your fitness? What’s the terrain? How are you carrying it? How big are you? Are buddies armed with rifles that use the same magazine? Speed […]

Misc. Review: The Remington 870 20g for Home Defense

This started as a thread seeking to identify a really nicely made 20g 870 tube extension. I still haven’t identified it, but I have played around with these 20g shotgun and thought I’d post my observations.Personally, I don’t have much use for a shotgun in a “tactical” role. Other than shooting rabbits and […]

Misc. Review: Fine Scale Models

From doll house furniture, to Dungeons & Dragons figurines, to wooden sailing ships to military aircraft and armor, all my life I have been interested in miniatures. If I could have found a way to make a living building models, I may never have become a professional gunsmith. Building plastic models taught me […]

Misc. Review: ARS Ghillie Suits


AK Tutorial: Saiga Sporter AK Conversion

TUTORIAL, SAIGA RIFLE CONVERSION (updated 03-17-2020) Introduction The recent introduction of the SAIGA SGL-10 has made for an excellent opportunity for an “almost factory” rifle at a great price. Former versions were more difficult to convert. This one was designed specifically to get around the US import ban on “assault weapons,” yet be […]

AK Tutorial: Adjusting the TAPCO G2 AK Trigger

TUTORIAL, AK TRIGGER ADJUSTMENT – TAPCO G2 (updated 03-17-2020) Introduction I had some trouble with hammer-follow using NoDak Spud NDS-3 receivers and TAPCO G2 fire control groups. I contacted TAPCO. They said they hadn’t heard of it happening. I contacted NoDak Spud. Harlan recommended I buy the more-expensive Arsenal 1-claw group. I bought […]

AK Review: Assembly and Dissassembly, PKM Tripod.

(updated 03-17-2020) Introduction This is a work-in progress photo documentary on assembly and disassembly of The PKM Light Tripod. Please contact me if you have any interesting information, schematics, differences in links and Chinese versus European variations. xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx […]

AK Review: Assembly & Disassembly, Ruchnoy Pulemyot Dagtyareva (RPD).

(updated 03-17-2020) This review is for informational purposes only I DO NOT SELL PARTS FOR THE RPD I DO NOT OFFER RPD BUILDS. I DO NOT HELP PEOPLE BUILD THEIR RPDs DO NOT CONTACT ME ABOUT RPDs Introduction This is a work-in progress photo documentary on assembly and disassembly of RPD variants. Please […]

Misc. Review: Czech Vz52 Rifle, Assembly & Dissassembly,

The Czechoslovakian Vzor 1952 rifle, or Vz. 52, is a magazine fed, clip-loaded, semiautomatic, gas-operated, forward-tilting bolt, infantry rifle which entered Czech military service in 1952. It fires the Czech 7.62x45mm cartridge. It was replaced with the Vz.52/57 rifle chambered in the 7.62x39mm Russian Cartridge for uniformity within the Warsaw Pact. Having a […]

Misc. Tutorial: Building a Browning 1919

The following information is for legal manufacturers only. You must have your Type 7 FFL and Special Occupation Tax (SOT) to legally manufacture a 1919 right side plate in standard (full-automatic) configuration. You must have a Type 7 FFL to manufacture a semiautomatic for purpose of resale. You do not a license to manufacture […]

Misc. Tutorial: Building a Beretta AR-70

Beretta designed the 5.56mm NATO AR-70 to replace the venerable 7.62mm NATO BM 59 (US M1 Garand with detachable 20 round magazine). It looks similar to the SIG model 530-1, but there are significant internal differences. The AR-70 also shares some basic similarity with the FN FNC and Armalite AR-18. The AR-70 base […]

Refinishing Tutorial: Firearm Wood Finishing

There are literally dozens of techniques for restoring wood stocks to their original beauty and luster, some methods give better results than the original factory finish. These notes document techniques that I have found produces the best result, balancing time and cost. I use it to renew surplus military stocks in my repair […]

Refinishing Tutorial: Firearm Metal Finishing

I have developed my technique over 20 years, building on a childhood of extensive fine-scale model building. While there are no real secrets, it is as much art as science and nothing beats practice. I recommend magazines for practice, because they are relatively inexpensive and have features (large flats, sharp and rolled edges) […]

Tool Tutorial: Building a Heavy-Duty Gunsmith Workbench

  I needed two new workbenches. My old one was constructed of 4×4 timber and free-standing. Trying to cut something in a vise with a reciprocating saw or even a hacksaw would set the whole bench to vibrating.I wanted a bench that was strong enough and heavy enough to stand alone, but also […]

Tool Review: ARS Fabricated Armorer Tools

It’s hard to do a job correctly if one doesn’t have the proper tools. I have made a hobby of collecting armorer tools to go with the wide variety of firearms that come into my shop. Some I may never use, but are works of art, both in their concept and execution. Others […]

Tool Review: Chinese Armorer Tools

Its hard to do a job correctly if one doesn’t have the proper tools. I have made a hobby of collecting armorer tools to go with the wide variety of firearms that come into my shop. Some I may never use, but are works of art, both in their concept and execution. Others […]

Tool Review: East German Makarov Tools

It’s hard to do a job correctly if one doesn’t have the proper tools. I have made a hobby of collecting armorer tools to go with the wide variety of firearms that come into my shop. Some I may never use, but are works of art, both in their concept and execution. Others […]

Tool Review: East German AK Armorer Tools

Its hard to do a job correctly if one doesn’t have the proper tools. I have made a hobby of collecting armorer tools to go with the wide variety of firearms that come into my shop. Some I may never use, but are works of art, both in their concept and execution. Others […]

HK Review: Pakistan Ordnance Factory vs German HK products

The purpose of this page is to compare and contrast HK rifle parts manufactured in Germany with HK rifle parts manufactured by Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), with particular attention to fit and finish. POF is a licensed manufacturer of parts, accessories, and complete firearms. They are ISO 9000/1 certified and make parts for […]

HK Review: Special Weapons SW5

Arizona Response Systems frequently is asked to fix hack jobs produced by low quality companies. Generally, I refuse. Not only is there the liability issue, but also I value my time too much to waste it wading through substandard parts and workmanship. I did accept a pair of Special Weapons SW5s in for […]

HK Tutorial: Build an SW3 HK Clone

I first prepared this photographic documentation of an HK G3 clone in early 2001. I wouldn’t dream of doing it again. The Special Weapons SW3 stainless steel cast receiver (also sold as a Century Arms International) is simply not close enough to original specifications to bother with. At the time, the SW3 and […]

HK Tutorial: Build a JLD PTR-91 HK Clone

JLD Enterprises purchased the HK equipment from FMP (Portugal) to manufacture HK G3 type receivers in the USA. The company changed organization and is now PTR-91. Trunion PTR-91 receiver after drilling the holes for the spot welding. The location isn’t critical, but cosmetically its nice for them to align and be spaced symmetrically. […]

AK Tutorial: Building an AK Pistol

TUTORIAL, AK PISTOL BUILD (updated 03-17-2020) Introduction These directions are for the advanced builder who already has successfully built and refinished a standard size AK. This project requires lathe turning, milling, threading, welding, and silver soldering. This tutorial does not cover riveting, headspacing, barrel pressing, or wood and metal refinishing. These instructions are […]

Misc. Review: Best Gun – Methods of Evaluation

Many times I have been asked, what is the “best” firearam or the best configuration of a particular firearm. Of course, this is an extremely difficult question as every choice is dependent on many factors. Each of the factors is important and can swing the results to a different rifle. Some factors are: […]

AK Tutorial: Adjusting the Arsenal AK Trigger

(updated 03-17-2020) Introduction This is an extension of the tutorial I wrote on the TAPCO G2 trigger group to address the differences in the ARSENAL trigger group. Please read the other tutorial first as the principles are the same. K-Var sells a single-stage or a two-stage US made trigger. While technically correct, it […]
  • Gary B.
    Just to let you know, I've broken in this barrel and put about 200 rounds through the weapon. Flawless operation, groups have remained tight. I'm extremely pleased, you've done outstanding work. Thanks. I'm looking for another receiver, FMP Interport or a quality piece that YOU will build on.
    Gary B.
  • Kevin M.
    I received the rifle on Wednesday and just returned from the range with it...everything is just great! Looks nice, shoots nice, etc, etc. Thanks again!
    Kevin M.
  • Mark K.
    Good news...my L2 HB FAL arrived this evening and I have to tell you that it is stunning!! I have to say Mark that out of all of the work that you have done for me over the years that this is your best to date. I hate to even put it down to type this e-mail! Also I want to thank you for how fairly you treated me on the price of the job. I simply could not ask for any higher quality or superior service. . . Have a great evening and thank you again for the excellent job that you did for me.
    Mark K.
  • Paige M.
    I have several Gunplumber builds and wouldn't go anywhere else. Two more on the way. Absolute perfection. SAS & L1A1s built by Gunplumber: The best & the best built by the best.
    Paige M.
  • SGT Frank C.
    I received my FAL yesterday evening. I would just like to say that it looks great and it is all that I had hoped. Thank you for a job well done! I will not hesitate to use your services in the future.
    SGT Frank C.
  • Brian K.
    This a.m. I received the finish job you did on my H&K .45 slide and bbl. It is the most professional finish I have ever seen. The guys at my gun club will be envious; I will give them your web site. Thanks you for the great job you did for me. Thanks again for the outstanding work.
    Brian K.
  • J.P.R.
    I'm sending a Sig 225 to you...This will probably be the last one...You've already done 6 pistols for me, but this one is special. It is a gift to my beloved wife...I'm not asking you for anything beyond your always excellent work. However, this is a love offering to my faithful companion to whom I owe more than I can ever repay. I want to thank you Mark...for all the fine work you've done for me in the past...I'm well aware that I'm a small dollar guy...Doesn't matter. From a guy who trusted you to deliver...I am well pleased. Thank you Sir.... BTW, You did the finest work I know on a pistol for me some time ago...an Inox Beretta 92FS that you polished and jeweled for me, barrel and all. If God gives me time enough, I'd like to ask you to do one more for me...You're the best Mark...Thank you...225 is on it's way
  • Peter F.
    I was only able to run about 50 rounds through my new FAL while on a quick trip with friends down to Tombstone. All I can say is OUT FREAKING STANDING! The fit and finish are top notch and the gun runs like a dream. I couldn't be happier with it.
    Peter F.
  • Patrick B.
    Man, this thing looks freaking awesome!
    Patrick B.
  • Tom J.
    Got it. Wow! It looks great. You sure do live up to your reputation. Worth every bit of the wait.
    Tom J.
  • James B.
    I was finally able to pick up my FAL yesterday, and I just wanted to tell you that it is absolutely beautiful. It was more than I expected, and I couldn't be happier with your work. I was able to show it to a couple of friends at the station, and they were in awe. I'm having a little bit of a problem with the break lever, or the lever that allows the rifle to be broken open, on the left side of the gun, right below the rear sights. I'm not able to budge it. I'll have to read the FAL manual.
    James B.
  • Larry V.
    I got the scope and mount today- looks fantastic - very well done; if fact much better than I would have hoped. The finish with the white lettering matches my G series FAL very closely and overall i could not be happier- well done. If you are interested I hope to be doing a Holland FAL repro fairly soon (critical Holland part dependent) - if you are interested I will contact you for the build.
    Larry V.
  • James B.
    Just picked up the STG. I couldn't wait to open the damn package. Anyway, I finally got it open, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks a lot for another beautiful rifle. The wood looks awesome... thanks for the extra coats. I don't even want to shoot the rifles that you've built for me, but I know that's not going to happen
    James B.
  • Gregg V.
    You did an absolutely amazing job which was well worth the wait. You have surpassed your excellent reputation! Thank you!
    Gregg V.
  • Dan
    Myself and my partner (Chicago Police) purchased Bulgarian 74's from you a couple of years ago. I wanted to tell you that they are superb weapons and we enjoy them very much. I don't have to tell you the level of quality since you built them. Also another thanks when you helped me reclaim my money from Lancaster arms when my credit card company called on you, the agent said you had "no kind words" about Lancaster... awesome. My 74 draws a lot of open mouth and few word responses (like Damn! or holy shit!) when I hand it to a friend for inspection. My partner served in the Russian Police and Army and commented how light in weight the Bulgarian weapon is compared to the Russian rifle, but loves it none the less. Just a thank you, and hope all is well. Merry Christmas!
  • John W.
    I received the refurbished Izzy receiver in the mail last night and just wanted to drop a quick note saying how very pleased I am with how it turned out. It is fantastic. Whatever expectations I might have had for how it would look and be finished, were exceeded. Extremely well done, sir.
    John W.
  • Jarrod
    Wow! Got the FAL out this weekend and saw remarkable improvement in reliability, felt recoil, and practical accuracy. I will not hesitate to send more business in the future.
  • Karl T.
    You probably remember I just bought your DVDs and workbook on the FAL... I almost didn't get this. After all, I've built several weapons from parts kits and done a lot of custom machining for them as I have a fully equipped CNC machine shop and 30 years experience in this field. On first glance, the FAL looked to me more like just an assembly job like an AR15, not a real build like my M2HB, FN30, or my planned HK21. ANYWAY, I've never seen such a well prepared tutorial by such a total expert on the subject. Just want to say thank you. Nearly everyone else in this field is tight lipped on their hard earned knowledge.
    Karl T.
  • Nick D.
    I forgot to write you back about this. Its beautiful. I'm very happy with it. now I just need to find some time to take it out to the range. I can't wait to see the LB.
    Nick D.
  • Chris K.
    I just received my kit and looked it over. THANK YOU! You did an excellent job. It was well worth the wait. I plan on sending you more kits this year.
    Chris K.
  • Steve C.
    The FAL was just delivered here by Fedex and, after a thorough inspection, I have to say it's a wonderful job! Careful, skillful, quick, priced right, just exactly as pictured, and the best quality all the way. Looking at my fine "new" rifle leaned up against the wall in a corner, I have to say "Thank you again and again." I wouldn't hesitate a heartbeat to recommend you to my friends.
    Steve C.