I was surprised in late August 2007 to receive a call from Entréprise requesting a meeting. I was sceptical, but in late September, I met with Entréprise for the day. They brought several receivers for me to see, described their short and long-term goals, and new management that would correct any past conflicts. They brought several receivers for me to examine and discussed what they had done to improve their products. They left me with two of their newest receivers for me to build and evaluate. It was a pleasant meeting and I left with a belief in their sincerity to build a good reputation on quality products and customer service.
I completed the builds in late November 2007 and have included the following documentary of the builds.
Traditionally, the full auto slot in the ejector block is blocked off by weld. The ejector block establishes the front to rear distance of the magazine well, and also the relationship of the magazine catch to the back of the magazine. Previously, Entréprise has used surplus ejector blocks and tried to work around all the additional difficulties this entails. On this version of the receiver, Entréprise manufactured their own ejector blocks to obtain consistent fit with their receivers. I think this is a good idea. The fit of the ejector blocks is tight on both the sides and the rear, and the two retaining pins are machined flush to the receiver and are barely visible. The ejector is integral to the block (some FAL variants have the ejector as a separate piece).
I tried 3 different IMBEL barrels on each receiver. All timed short. If there is going to be a variance, it is better for the variance to be short than long. If short, one can simply remove a few thousandths of an inch from the barrel shoulder. If it over-times, then one must turn the shoulder back enough to accept a spacing (breeching) washer as used on the Commonwealth L1A1 rifles. The rear handguard support and the rear gas tube support will then have to trimmed to clear the breeching washer (or use an inch pattern).
While the timing was a little short, I don’t consider it a major issue. Also, the chamber face contacted the inside of the receiver before the barrel timed to top dead center. The solution is to trim the chamber face back a few thousandths of an inch. I just turned it a few times against a belt-sander and then a 3M Scotchbrite polishing wheel. This same phenomenon occurs frequently on IMBEL factory receivers, so I consider it just another step in the build and not a defect.
After installing the barrels, I set the headspace. One receiver required a 0.264″ locking shoulder, which is typical. The other receiver required a 0.268″ locking shoulder, which is uncommon on the large size. It is possible the barrel I used had a chamber that was slightly longer than typical. On a headspace too tight (and non-chrome lined barrel) I can ream the chamber deeper to use a locking shoulder in the more common range of 0.256″ to 0.264″, or file the locking shoulder to fit. Requiring sizes above 0.264″ can be problematic, as they simply aren’t commonly available. Fortunately, I had a few locking shoulders in the less-common 0.265″ to 0.270″ range.
This is the only problem I had with the two builds that was not easily correctable. It added about 15 minutes to the build time to TIG weld the two locking bodies, and another 15 minutes to regrind the correct angles. Although welding the locking body is safer, as an inexpensive part to ruin, if I hadn’t already refinished the receivers, I probably would have welded up the locking lug instead of the locking body. Rebuilding the locking lug is a normal procedure for arsenal rebuilds of military rifles. Having the proper tooling to regrind the correct 10 degree angle is probably beyond the resources of most home builders.
I function tested and zeroed both rifles with 30 rounds each of delinked Malaysian ammunition. Both rifles functioned and zeroed without any trouble.
Only the final issue was of any consequence. Even with these minor issues, I am pleased that the issues were identical on both receivers. Consistency is important. Knowing before-hand what minor adjustments may need to be made make for a smooth build. I expect Entrérprise will examine the issues I have identified. Based on these two receivers, I have no objection to accepting this latest generation of Entréprise receivers for build. With the Federal ban on importing FAL receivers, I am pleased to see there is another viable choice in the domestic FAL receiver market.