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So I am looking at getting either an M1 or an FN FAL.

I like the M1 because its classic and dead sexy, but I've heard you shouldn't feed it modern 30.06.

I like the FN FAL because its classic and dead sexy, but are there any decent ones out there anymore? I don't want a tactical one just classic or Israeli style would be great.

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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If you have a good amount of money at your disposal, I would say get the FAL hands-down. .308 is cheap and plentiful, it feeds from magazines instead of clips, and it has been used by nearly 70 countries at one time or another. The FAL was so prolific that it earned the nickname "the right arm of the Free World." I would generally steer clear of the Century FAL's and opt up for a DSA model. Some of the entry level FAL's from DSA can be had for right around $1000. The extra $250 you spend over the Century model is well worth it.

If that's over your budget, take a look at an AK or AR.
 

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Apples and Oranges.

The M1 Garand is a quality firearm, but lacks in areas where the FAL can make up for.

Can't speak on the modern 30.06 in a M1 Garand.

I would choose the FAL over the M1 Garand, but not over the M1a.
 

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I hope you don't mind if I vote neither.
I have fired M1s a few times but was required to carry, use and qualify on the Canadian FN C1 .308. The ergonomics are terrible on the FN. Both rifles were created for European combat and use in squad and platoon battle actions. Under heavy use the FN starts not liking to reload and you have to start adjusting gas settings. Most units deployed with spare rifles due to the breakdown factor of the FN rifles. Not a good thing in a survival situation.
I know many will disagree, but I think many of these things are bought through lack of experience or just plain for "cool" factor. As an individual trying to survive alone or maybe with a shootist friend or two, I think your .308 should be a high quality bolt action telescopicly sighted rifle capable of hunting and if necessary counter sniper use. For fast cdloser range semi-automatic action, if you feel a need to cover that base, a top quality .223 rifle would be my choice.
I do not venerate Jeff Cooper but he did exhaustively look at this issue and came to the conclusion that a short, light and well balanced (three traits neither of these rifles you suggest possess) bolt action .308 is the best long gun for individuals operating alone or as part of a pair in hostile territory, although I think a case can be made for a quality lever action .30-30 also.
If you will invest in copies of "The Art of the Rifle" by JC or "Survival Guns" by Mel Tappan I think you will see the logic in such a suggestion. I am not saying that either of these knowledgeable shootists found no value in the M1 or FN C1 ( I have no idea) , but they seemed to think the bolt action met the criteria of the General Purpose Rifle, i.e. was much more versatile. Most survival situations in my opinion will not require the use of 1940s and 1950s infantry weapons but they must be utterly reliable.
 

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There are active threads about M1's in recent days.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=99800
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=104554

If you are going to get a FAL.... I don't know about Mike's Canadian experience but yeah, I strongly disagree, and Cooper loved the FAL and the M1 as do all other noted authorities on the subject (Hackathorn, Vickers, Taylor). I have put as much as 160 rds in just a few minutes through my FN 50.00 at Ironman and nary a problem. It gets hot and smoky but what doesn't? That is a serious amount of shooting. Only the very rare military engagement would approach it and probably not in that time span. http://www.mgmtargets.com/ironman/

Acquire the original Belgian made FN. Far and above the quality of any DSA copy. It will cost you but it's a one time purchase. Save your pennies, watch the boards and wait. One will come along. Buy some good mags if you see them.

Wow! A quick check and I found this one. Need a couple more pics but it could be the perfect FAL for you. If it was even mildly used, there would be some scarring on the dust cover right behind the ejection port.

If you can get this one for less than $2500, it will be a great score and will last you the rest of your life.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=164608228
 

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I'm an advocate of the FAL myself.

The Garand is a venerable weapon. But it has it's limitations.
Capacity, floating accuracy and the bloody operating rod being the first three that come to mind.

While I like the original FN's and would love to have a couple, there's no way that one's in the cards unless the lottery is won, and that would require playing.

I'd say, pick up a quality "name" built FAL on a standard model.

The DSA's are very good but have had a few issues with bare receivers in the recent past. If I were going to pick up a new-made FAL, it'd get the nod.

Personally I'd pick up a Entreprise Arms metric receiver, a parts kit (or two) and the compliance parts to build at least one. (Three if I had the cash for that FN mentioned above)
Choosing FN Belgian or Steyr made parts, say from a G-1 kit, you have the same actual parts if not of equal quality parts as the actual FN made FAL.

My Rhodie FAL is FN marked where it counts.
My last G-1 was both Steyr and FN marked.

As far as parts breakage and failures.....
Never had 'em and I've tried.

And then there's Ol' Dirty.

James over at FALFILES put 15000 rounds through his frankenfal before it finally succumbed and failed to extract.
That's with a broken piston spring, and no cleaning.

Legend of Ol' Dirty

It's worth subscribing to see the pictures of Ol' Dirty alone.

But you'll find out more about building and maintaining the FAL than you'd gain anywhere else, over on FALFILES.
 

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I hope you don't mind if I vote neither.
I have fired M1s a few times but was required to carry, use and qualify on the Canadian FN C1 .308. The ergonomics are terrible on the FN. Both rifles were created for European combat and use in squad and platoon battle actions. Under heavy use the FN starts not liking to reload and you have to start adjusting gas settings. Most units deployed with spare rifles due to the breakdown factor of the FN rifles. Not a good thing in a survival situation.
I know many will disagree, but I think many of these things are bought through lack of experience or just plain for "cool" factor.
SACRALIDGE!!!
:D:
i also thought the ergonomics on the L1A1 i once had sucked...but i keep hearing how great it is and that the ergonomics are great and bla bla bla,i thought i just had friggin short arms or something.....your the first guy in recent memory to post from your experience what i always suspected.........
 
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