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Good habit might have saved me-Headspace

Discussion in 'Rifles' started by Owlcreekok, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Owlcreekok

    Owlcreekok New Member

    I picked up yet another FNFAL this weekend. It is an Imbel kit on a Century Type III upper. I took it apart this afternoon and cleaned it all up. It needed it. The previous owner is known to me and had fired the rifle enough to have plenty of brass kisses on the topcover-receiver and have gunk in the gas system.

    After a thorough cleaning, I took the extractor out and slapped a "GO" gage in.

    Bolt home- SLAP ! Goes into battery with ZERO resistance.

    Hmmmmm,, I sez to self, "Self, this guy built this one kinda loose."

    I break out the NO-GO gage,,,,,,,,,,,

    Bolt home- SCHLLLEEPPPPP.

    OMFG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The thing SWALLOWS a NO-GO.

    I fired an email off to my bud, gently warning him of the fact..I do not think he built this rifle all by his onesies. I think he had a lot of help,,,,help he may need to be careful with.

    Boys and girls, I am SO glad my anal retentive practice came into play this day.

    In God we trust.

    ALL others furnish data.


  2. TexasT/A

    TexasT/A Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    I still need to check the headspace on my '03a3, I've had it for over a year and still haven't shot it yet. I should probably check the M1 while I'm at it.
  3. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Yikes, I think we all want to avoid sloppy chambers.
  4. texaspartsman

    texaspartsman Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Luckily in the case of a FAL its easy to change the headspace by changing the locking shoulder . Your old one has trade in value to someone that builds kits.
    Something to keep in mind is that for a military style rifle that the bolt closing on a NO GO gauge is not end of the line for the rifle. There are three gauges GO, NO GO and FIELD. If it closes on the NO GO gauge it is just at the upper limit of what is allowable but may still be safe to shoot.
    check out this link
    I have a SPR-8 spanish mauser in 308 thats this way. Shoots good. If the bolt closes on a NO GO gauge and wont close on the feild gauge you may still have problems. Check for throat erosion and test fire the weapon remotely. Check the brass carefully for signs that the weapon is developing too much chamber pressure. Bulged case, bulged primer pocket, split case, too much case stretch, etc. Military rifles are built with looser chambers than most civilians would like. But if the gun jams the first time the gun gets dirty you no longer have a rifle, you have a club.
  5. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX

    All the more reason to buy an FAL, they are so long and heavy you can certainly reach out and touch someone.

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