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Thread: HK91-FAL-M1A. Can't decide on a battle rifle.

  1. #11
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    A real HK91 is an absolute no brainer.

  2. #12
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    I am an M-14 fan mainly for nostalgic reasons. It was our last wood-and-steel battle rifle. I will readily admit it is a dated design, but I still have a soft spot for them.

    That said, IMHO ergonomically the FAL is the best of the 3 you mentioned in the OP, hands down. I also think that it has the highest "cool factor" of them. The adjustable gas system I personally see as a plus but others might see it as a detriment. YMMV.

    The HK is probably the most robust of that group. While the roller blowback itself isn't "simple" in design, it is pretty simple in operation, i.e. no gas system parts. The HK also has at least as much kick as the M-14, probably more.

    All that said, I will echo previous sentiments mentioned here: the AR-10 style platform, be it DI or piston, is probably going to be your best bet these days. I don't currently own one but might one of these days (my .308's are M-14 clones). It has the ergonomics of the FAL, the simple operation of the HK (assuming DI), but to me it doesn't ring the nostalgia bell like the M-14 does.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  3. #13
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    Brownell is making AR-10 reproduction.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinzgauer View Post
    Best answer is a real 91 AND a STG-58.
    Have to agree.

    Preban: HK-91
    Postban: DSA Stg58
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post

    The HK is probably the most robust of that group. While the roller blowback itself isn't "simple" in design, it is pretty simple in operation, i.e. no gas system parts. The HK also has at least as much kick as the M-14, probably more.
    Having shot select fire versions of all three, the G3 is the only one that is controllable. The G3/91 actually has the least recoil of the three.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    Having shot select fire versions of all three, the G3 is the only one that is controllable. The G3/91 actually has the least recoil of the three.
    I have only shot one of those three on full-auto, an M-14 at Knob Creek some years back. I actually tried to hit something, a steel wheel maybe 60 or so yards out. I knew enough not to unload the entire mag at once and did bursts. The first burst set me back a little on my rear plant foot so I adjusted by copping a slightly more aggressive lean forward and continued. I was making hits (I could see the sparks flying) each burst. The guy renting it was like "Good shooting!". I just smiled, said thanks, and thought to myself that what he was used to seeing was people firing a whole mag from the hip, kind of in "Yee haw!!!" fashion. It was probably refreshing to see someone actually try to make hits on something.

    All that to say that firing any of those three battle rifles on full-auto was not optimal, despite the mechanical ability of the weapon to do so. I had always heard that the HK was the hardest "kicker" of those listed above. Interesting to hear the opinion of someone who has shot all three of them.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  7. #17
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    I prefer FAL's but I really liked my G3K. It was the ultimate SHTF compact .308 rifle. It was built out of a Greek SAR 3 and I foolishly let it go. I did pick up another HK 91 to turn into a G3K but I've been lazy about getting around to completing the project.

  8. #18
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    I have always used the G3 platform. I first bought an HK41 in the 70s. The 91/41 probably has the most parts availability now and the cheapest magazines. There is also the advantage of modularity. You can easily swap furniture out in minutes etc. It is much easier to install optics than it is on other legacy platforms. That being said...if you want a modern performance 7.62 rifle, probably best to go with the SCAR 17....

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post
    All that to say that firing any of those three battle rifles on full-auto was not optimal, despite the mechanical ability of the weapon to do so. I had always heard that the HK was the hardest "kicker" of those listed above. Interesting to hear the opinion of someone who has shot all three of them.
    Most people who complain about the HK recoil are usually coming from an AR platform.

    There was a time when I regularly shot all three. The M14 was an E2 variant with the front fold down grip. Even with that provision the rifle was challenging in full auto.

    Most of the FALs were all 18" barrel versions, and while I didn't feel a lot of recoil in the shoulder, my cheek usually felt bruised after a few rounds. The FAL didn't walk you back but it was hard to keep it on target.

    The G3 was the only one I could keep on target all through the magazine. Granted part of that is the fact that I had more experience with the G3 than the other two rifles in full auto. Also while I didn't feel like I was getting walked back, the G3 would be the one to make my shoulder feel bruised.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

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  10. #20
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    I've owned and built many examples of all three and shot them all extensively. Your problem is the main problem everyone faces with internet gun reviews and opinions: everyone's advice is wrong, and you have to own and shoot them all yourself to know which one to keep. While some requirements matter in your decision (ability to mount an optic vs. not, ability to suppress vs. not, etc.), most rationalizations are ephemeral (modularity, gas vs. delayed, control on full auto, etc.) and don't impact your enjoyment when it's you, the rifle, and the target. My $0.00:

    FAL/L1A1: Best ergonomics (especially the L1A1's grip and selector), best magazine, worst sights, softest shooting, least accurate unless you've found an ammo/barrel combination that gets along, which'll get you to 2 MOA with the right M80 clone. Wide trigger quality variation. The adjustable gas system is easy to use but that doesn't mean it's a good feature. Many gas system parts are prone to erosion, which should be less of a thing now that the parts kit era is dead. Standard metric rear sights frequently scuffed my eye protection. I never owned one of these without an original barrel (I had/shot FN, Steyr, Lyttleton, FMAP, Imbel, BSA, and Ishapore) so I have no idea how DSA barrels shoot.

    G3/HK91: Less bad ergos than most AR people whine about, decent magazines, love em or hate em sights, tolerate it/hate it recoil impulse. Shockingly accurate (all of mine were 2 MOA with various M80s), bad trigger, always dirty. Huge cool factor, neat manufacturing and operating tech, and made much better with a paddle magazine release. Least terrible optics mount if you're an optics guy. A2 stock punches my cheekbones with every shot.

    M14: Wonderful sights, excellent trigger comparatively. Right side controls nice in prone (but only in prone). Easiest gun to shoot well at rifle distance, but harder to shoot at carbine distances inside 300 m. Unpredictable accuracy (I had one HRA barrel that was 2 MOA with almost everything), "traditional" ergos. Didn't seem as outdated in 1999, but it sure does now. Springfield M1A decidedly not the same as a USGI build. I started shooting using a M1 Garand, so I've always felt right at home with the M14.

    There's also a surprisingly significant degree of individual variation among the same models of these guns. Two seemingly identical FN 50.00s, for example, may just feel and shoot different from each other.

    Buy all three, shoot all three, own all three, sell two, keep one, and remember why. I dumped the FAL, L1A1, and M14 because I didn't like how they mounted suppressors, and I dumped the HKs because I didn't enjoy shooting them.

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