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Old 01-24-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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FAL vs. PTR91

While reading Shotgun news, I came accross the ad for a PTR91. Now I've been planning on getting a FAL for some time. I'm a trmemndous FAL fan. Carried one in South Africa for some time and loved it. The problem? I'm not too clued up on the PTR91 or any of the HK derivatives. Any ideas on this. I realize this forum is a bit biased towards the FAL, but you guys seem to know more than most anyone out there...Andy advice would be appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2005, 11:48 AM   #2
 
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To be fair, and honest, I've never fired an HK91 or any of it's .308 clones. I did, several years ago, have it's little .223 brother - the HK93. I do own an IMBEL FAL.

From just my experience, I simply just don't like the ergonomics of the HK series, the forward charging handle, the trigger, no bolt hold open, nor the sights. The one thing I did like was that my 93 was quite accurate.

I also can't see where an HK clone would be any easier to keep clean than the FAL. I know the FAL is gas operated and the HK recoil but, as I recall, my HK93's chamber seemed to get dirtier than my FAL chamber ever has.

Oh well, just my $0.02 worth.
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:15 PM   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Thank you Swamprabbit - I realize that both rifles will get dirty, but how will this affect reliability on the different rifles? Recoil operated seems a bit more reliable, doesn't it?
I'm very partial to the FAL, but at the price, the PTR91 is hard to beat...what about accuracy?
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Old 01-24-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
 
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Again, can't speak for the HK variant's accuracy but as for reliability of the FAL, well I don't take mine mucking through the mud or throw sand in the receiver but I've never had a malfunction that wasn't related to a reloaded shell I was experimenting with. Accuracy of the FAL? My FAL will normally shoot around 2.5 MOA with ball ammo. If I want more, I'll go to my safe and grab a bolt actioned rifle.
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Old 01-24-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
 
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Very True, thank you Swamprabbit.
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Old 01-24-2005, 03:34 PM   #6
 
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I have owned a HK91 and shot many thousands of rounds in it. On average I think the HK91 will shot smaller groups than the average FN. My 91 would shoot 1 to 1 1/2 inch groups while my FNs go 2 to 2 1/2. Recoil in more with a 91. The stock seems to hit my face. Recoil does not bother me as I shoot a 416 Rigby and like it. As much as I did like my 91 I sold it and have three FNs and have not looked back. Because of the chamber I think the FN is more reliable in the dirt.
Gunseller
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:17 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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G3s are more of a pain to clean, but for folks that like them its not a big deal. There is currently someone who has gone through 7000 rds with a FAL without cleaning it, but he did throw it in a puddle a couple times. He doesnt see any reason why it would fail to function any time soon. The FAL is reliable, even when dirty. I dont know about the G3, but they are probably similar. Accuracy is comparable. The sights are subjective, but many claim the balance and ergonomics of the G3 are poor. They weigh about the same. Some think that dents in the receiver will render the G3 inoperable, which is true, but you probably wont dent your receiver so its a moot point. Same basic gun, same basic price, depends on which you like better.

PTRs are about $600-700, and so is a well built FAL. Stay away from CAI guns.
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:44 PM   #8
 
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If you like the FAL...and you're familiar with the FAL...get the FAL.

They're VERY few advantages to the G3 design over the FAL, and they're absolutely no disadvantages of the FAL over the G3. It is neglibly more accurate, but not so you'd probably notice.

Two disadvantages of the G3 is that often they will mess up brass if you like to reload. They also have a significantly sharper recoil, though it is by no means unmanageable. As a lefty I also have a really hard time working the bolt, and I've pinched my hand more than once in the stamped metal edge.

With the investment of a little bit of time, and some cash you can also make your FAL as accurate as any G3.

My suggestion...get both, though if you like the G3, I'd consider a CETME rifle, as they're quite a bit cheaper, and just as good. I also like the wood furniture better too.
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:31 PM   #9
 
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Big time advantages of the FAL:
Much more familiar and traditional style of design (i.e., if you've cleaned something as easy as an AK, it won't be hard)
Easier to use sights
Adjustable
As long as you don't get a Century or other cheapa-- FAL, it should be reliable out of the box
compliance parts are plentiful

Big time advantages of the G3/CETME/etc:
No pistons or gas tubes to clean out
Magazines are super cheap ($2)
Really reliable once you get them broken in
compliance parts are plentiful

Big time disadvantages of G3/CETME/etc:
Roller locking system is strange and requires some study to understand (e.g. headspacing doesn't work the same)
Cannot use commerical ammo (flutes & extractor tear cases apart)
Cannot use anything other than NATO ammo
If you use tar sealed ammo (like CAVIM or--God forbid--Indian) you'll gunk up the chamber flutes and the gun won't cycle
Century guns tend to have canted sights & cocking tubes and need lots of work. Mine was especially stubborn--I just ended a 2 to 3 month down time period
Century brakes are a pain to remove and sometimes they drill the blind pin through the barrel into the bore
100yd sight is weird
Balance with plastic stock is awful. Balance with wood is nice.
Without a heatshield you will burn your hands

To be fair, most of the CETME/G3/etc problems are due to companies like CAI not having a decent quality control. Though I have never heard anything bad about JLD's PTR-91s so they should be good to go.

Good CETME/G3/HK/PTR forum: (lotsa info on what to look for and get)
http://www.cetmerifles.com/forum/index.php

JLD Enterprises home page:
http://www.jldenter.com/

I rather enjoy working on my CETME, though the down time does get annoying.
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Old 01-25-2005, 04:57 PM   #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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A properly set up HK91 will shoot commercial ammo just fine. Mine shot untold 1000s. Plus many reloads on anything but military brass. The ridges looked questionable but were reloaded many time without problems. It would shoot m1 carbine dup. loads to 200 grain Elk rounds mixed in the mag without problems. It did feel heavy compared to a FN. I like the feel of a FN better plus the $3500.00 that I got out of my 91 a few years ago.
Gunseller
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:19 PM   #11
 
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Post edited:

Experience based content on direct observation and opinion deleted, as it's obviously not my position to save anyone the expense and effort of doing what I've already done myself.

Added:

Buy one of each, and figure it out your own damned self.
Bravo762 is offline  
Old 02-11-2005, 09:08 AM   #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I have owned a HK G3 (Century C91 that was a perfect build...not typical Century crap) and a DSA STG 58A. I still own the FAL and sold the G3...here's why:

FAL wins on the following
1. FAL has overall superior ergonomics for me
2. FAL has bolt open (G3 does not)
3. Couldn't reach either selector without changing grip...can fix that on FAL with L1A1 selector
4. FAL mag release is easier to manipulate (assuming no paddle release on G3, if so then equal)
5. FAL charging handle is in appropriate place (what idiot puts the charging handle near the muzzle of a rifle?)
6. FAL breaks down/easier to clean and maintain MUCH easier than G3. WAY better than the G3 with the clunky pins, removal of the buttstock, trigger pack sitting on a shelf that as to be JUST so.
7. FAL has more simple locking mechanism
8. FAL is "prettier" (subjective)
9. FAL has adjustable gas system (but I personally don't see that as a big deal)
10. Aftermarket Goodies -- FAL hands down. Easy to build (not as easy as an AR) and lots of companies supply aftermarket stuff for them...not so many for the G3


Here's where G3 wins
1. Feels slightly more balanced/handy (subjective)
2. G3 mags are better designed and snap in with more authority

Ties:
1. Weight -- about the same
2. Reliabilty -- HK fans say their system is more reliable. FAL was choice for 90+ countries and piston op gas systems are uber reliable. A wash in my opinion.
3. Cost -- About the same -- Century builds of either ab out $500, PTR91 to ORF / DSA about $700-900, the real deal about the same.
4. Both are accurate for a MBR (2-3 MOA) ... HK fans will sy that their rifle is more accurate but I can find equal number of accurate / inaccurate G3's and FALs from people I know. My DSA will shoot 1-2 MOA with Port surplus
5. Both have similar recoil but impulse is different

That's it...using those criteria, FAL wins hands down for me. YMMV

That said, I will eventually buy a PTR91 (the only decent HK clone...save maybe Ohio Rapid Fire build). I've actually been in love with the HK91 since I was a kid...warts and all.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:07 AM   #13
 
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Post edited:

Experience based content on direct observation and opinion deleted, as it's obviously not my position to save anyone the expense and effort of doing what I've already done myself.

Added:

Buy one of each, and figure it out your own damned self.
Bravo762 is offline  
Old 02-11-2005, 07:21 PM   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 136
Quote:
My FAL was completely reliable as long as I kept oil in it. If I let the oil go, then the muck became less fluid, and I started getting jams, and had to deal with that.
True for any firearm...it's called "maintenance". Lubrication is part of that.
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:20 PM   #15
 
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Post edited:

Experience based content on direct observation and opinion deleted, as it's obviously not my position to save anyone the expense and effort of doing what I've already done myself.

Added:

Buy one of each, and figure it out your own damned self.
Bravo762 is offline  
Old 02-14-2005, 02:35 PM   #16
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 31
Wow, thanks guys...

I've always loved the FAL, but I'm VERY interested in the G3 for simple reason - I'm lloking at getting into some gunsmithing courses and also maybe a design school of sorts (if there is such a thing). The recoil operated and thus, simpler operation of the G3 is really attractive to me...

Imagine a recoil operated 6x45 (based on the 5.56 NATO) in a rifle about the size of a G11 (or maybe M4) but so simple that it could be manufactured very cheaply and easily, while still remaining very light weight, reliable and accurate. I'm not saying this is what I will "build" but I would like to see how the G3 action works and operates - to manufacture something as reliable and cheap as an AK47, while retaining the accuracy of the M16 - with ballistics close to the 7.62 NATO.

My reasons for choosing the FAL will be different. I love the weapon. Did 'n lot of range time with it and really enjoy shooting it. It is an absolute joy to fire a FAL. I beleive that the FAL is very reliable and accurate - at least, this has been my experience. Thanks all for the advice - I think FAL it is for now....then a PTR91.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:38 PM   #17
 
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Posts: 3,362
Post edited:

Experience based content on direct observation and opinion deleted, as it's obviously not my position to save anyone the expense and effort of doing what I've already done myself.

Added:

Buy one of each, and figure it out your own damned self.
Bravo762 is offline  
Old 02-14-2005, 07:31 PM   #18
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 31
Thank you for the tips...

Yes, the FAL, because of lower recoil and more varied appetite for ammo does seem like a bit of a better MBR at close, medium and long range.

FAL it is then..now to find a reliable,clean specimen that won't break the bank!
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:07 PM   #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 136
Quote:
Nope. Some are more tolerant of being run dry than others.
Tolerant doesn't mean it lends itself to reliability. If you neglect to maintain your weapon it's more likely to fail.

Quote:
I have a tendency of doing "unfriendly" things to firearms. I want to know when they'll fail, on my own terms, and why. It's like plotting out the unfriendly neighborhoods........ it's easier to stay out of them if you know where they are.
See above. I hope you don't go into any "unfriendly" neighborhoods with an "unfriendly" weapon.

Quote:
It's not that I don't believe in lube, it's that I want to know how far something will go with just the lube on it, before I start having problems. The FAL requires more / regular lube more than some other designs.
Pretty broad generalization to make, a generalization that belies your avowed experience with the weapon.
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:13 PM   #20
 
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Post edited:

Experience based content on direct observation and opinion deleted, as it's obviously not my position to save anyone the expense and effort of doing what I've already done myself.

Added:

Buy one of each, and figure it out your own damned self.
Bravo762 is offline  
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