I frequently get asked which battle rifle is my choice for a preferred 7.62mm weapon. I have one of about every type ever made in my personal reference collection, and some are better than others in a given area, but the one I have always liked the best is the FAL. The M14 can be tuned to a higher degree of accuracy and the G3 I would consider the most rugged, but all things considered the FAL as a 7.62mm battle rifle or carbine is, in my opinion, the all around best choice.
I currently own 14 FAL style rifles of different flavors, mostly original Belgian made guns, but I would recommend a buyer look hard at DS Arms offerings if you find yourself shopping for a 7.62mm rifle or carbine vs paying the high price for a pre ban Belgian FAL. In addition DS Arms deserves the lions share of credit of keeping the FAL viable in this day and age and offering more options and varieties than Fabrique Nationale ever dreamed of. I own 3 DS Arms FAL style rifles and I find them well made, more than adequately accurate, and reliable if you know how to treat an FAL. Make no mistake the FAL is not an AK; you cannot abuse it like an AK and expect it to work. If you treat it with the respect it deserves however it will serve you quite well. Jeff Cooper said it well; “The AK is the rifle for the masses and the FAL is the rifle for the classes”. As he so often did Jeff summed up the situation perfectly; and make no mistake the FAL is the rifle for the classes.
Featuring excellent engineering the FAL has always been a weapon that holds a special place in my heart. In addition it features attention to detail and quality construction throughout. I find serious firearms enthusiasts almost always love the FAL for the sake of the remarkable design characteristics. For a serious use FAL my favorite is the tactical carbine offered by DS Arms. With an aluminum alloy lower receiver and 16.25 inch barrel it makes for a very handy 7.62mm carbine. For my particular version I used an Israeli mag release, a Norwegian AK4 style modified FAL bolt carrier with forward assist scallop, and DSA scope mount. I also mounted a Surefire flashlight with a Vltor clamp to a short piece of picatinny rail to the handguard. I topped it off with an excellent Schmidt & Bender Short Dot II scope with a 7.62 mm M118LR BDC. The S&B scope is heavy duty so to keep the weight down I opted against a DSA modular rail system. After I did a radiusing of all sharp edges DSA black Duracoated all the metal and I installed one of my VCAS slings. The end result is a superb general purpose battle carbine. It would be my first choice in a .30 caliber carbine to take into harms way.
There are countless spare parts and accessories available for the FAL on the market. Many of the parts interchange with other FAL variants so customizing your 7.62mm rifle is easier than with any other long gun save the AR family. DS Arms not surprisingly is an excellent source for FAL parts and a simple Google search will reveal several others also.
A few end user tips on the FAL: keep it reasonably clean and well lubed, learn how the gas regulator functions and how to adjust it, and only load 18 rds in the magazine. In my experience if you abide by these rules the FAL will serve you well.
I can recommend the FAL as a weapon and DS Arms as a vendor of guns, parts, and accessories for the FAL. If you are in the market for a serious 7.62mm rifle or carbine, give them a call.