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FN-FAL Rifles


Building the FAL from a Parts Kit/FN-FAL Armorers course

John Bush is an internationally renowned expert on the pasts military firearms. He is an expert witness and can tell what factory most parts were made in just by looking at them. He specializes in finding and selling parts for these guns for both the shooters and collectors markets. He understands the design, function, and repair of these firearms and has instructed our Armorers Courses on Submachine Guns and the Browning 1919RCMG. We use a cut-away gun to let you actually see how the rifle and all of its components operates. This course also covers building the FAL from a parts kit, barrel installation and headspacing, as well as identifying inch and metric guns.

If you want the quick course on how to get FNs classic select fire Battle Rifle apart, back together, and operating as intended, or building one from a parts kit, then this course is for you (if you want the long course, look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • Rifles to be covered are FNs metric model, the C-1 from Canada, and the L1A1 from Australia
  • After WW II most of the worlds armies wanted to re-arm with semi-autos
  • Most of FNs engineers had gone to Britain when the factory was overrun by the Germans
  • They originally designed the FN-49, and the FAL was descended from that gun, particularly the gas system
  • Original FAL design also included the short cartridge used by the Germans in their MP-44, and was a smaller gun in 7mm Short
  • What is the T-48?
  • FAL was a supremely successful rifle used by almost 80 countries
  • Most of the FN factories designs in the first half of the 20th Century were those of American John Moses Browning
  • After WW I the Germans were forbidden to produce arms so FN (in Belgium) sold Mauser rifles all over the world in many different calibers
  • The final FAL trigger group design was by way of Winchester, out of an American jailbird
  • Quick way to spot an inch and metric gun
  • Metric guns were first, many countries added their own features
  • Who used what versions
  • Which country was the only one to issue the FAL without a carrying handle? 
  • Civilian semi-auto version was built for the American market
  • Early copies of this manual are valuable on the collectors market
  • FN produced the rifle into the 1970s and the common wealth countries continued to produce it until the late 80s. As of the production of this course, it was still being produced in Argentina and Brazil
  • Was replaced solely due to the caliber change to .223, one of the finest battle rifles ever built

Design & Function

  • Basic firing cycle operation
  • Last round hold open
  • Bolt carrier/bolt and receiver interaction
  • Locking shoulder shown
  • The headspace can be adjusted in the field by replacing the locking shoulder
  • Difference in configuration of the ejectors on inch and metric guns
  • Full auto operation, the safety sear and carrier leg length difference
  • Difference between select fire and semi-auto only safety
  • Areas to inspect periodically on select fire guns
  • Gas system operation
  • How the gas volume acting on the piston is adjusted
  • How the gas plug can completely shut off the gas to the piston
  • Areas needing inspection, and what to look for
  • Bolt and bolt carrier operation
  • Correct firing pin protrusion, and 1 & 2 piece pins
  • Operation of the rat tail, where it lives and what releases it


  • Extensive disassembly, with discussion of what the various parts do. Parts not removed have their removal method explained, and/or the reason they should not be removed. Differences in the procedures for inch and metric guns explained
  • Handguard removal
  • Gas system disassembly
  • Carry handle removal
  • Separation of upper and lower receivers
  • Upper receiver disassembly
  • Lower receiver disassembly
  • Rear sight and buttstock disassembly
  • Bolt disassembly
  • You get a good look at how the various parts fit together and interact (particularly the springs) after they are removed from the gun and John "explains" things

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)


  • FAL special tools
  • Bolt and carrier reassembly
  • What to inspect on the extractor
  • Lower receiver and buttstock
  • Trigger, safety and hammer
  • Upper receiver and gas tube reassembly
  • Magazine catch and hold open reassembly
  • Cocking handle reassembly
  • Gas piston, tube, and gas plug reassembly
  • Handguards, bolt carrier and top cover
  • Lubrication and final reassembly

How to Tell Inch From Metric (again)

  • Lower receivers
  • Either type of lower receiver will fit either style upper
  • Barrels
  • Either barrel will fit either receiver
  • Israeli heavy barrel and Indian barrels have a slightly different thread but can be modified to fit the other receivers
  • Magazines
  • Which mags will work in both guns, and which will not
  • Upper receivers

Building an FAL from a Parts Kit

  • Legal warning. HEED!
  • Parts kit inventory
  • Barrel assembly and alignment
  • Using breeching washers

Headspacing the FAL

  • Use a receiver wrench! Failure to use a proper receiver wrench will surely ruin your receiver! AGI has receiver wrenches for sale at a very reasonable price.
  • Tools to use to determine locking shoulder size requirement
  • Differences between military and civilian Go/No Go Gauges
  • Where to measure from to determine locking shoulder size
  • Cross use of all barrels in all receivers, and how to make them fit
  • The three things you need to do to use an inch kit on a metric receiver
  • How to tell select fire receivers from semi-auto receivers
  • Modifications you should make to convert a select fire bolt to semi only
  • Converting the select fire safety to semi only


  • Magazines
  • Mag loaders, the inch model will also load M-14/M1A mags
  • Stocks, wood and synthetic, as well as various size buttpads
  • Scope mounts
  • Replacement gas plugs, with/without grenade launcher sights, etc.
  • Jungle sight guards
  • Muzzle brakes
  • Bayonets
  • Cleaning kits
  • Tools
  • Reference books

Final Thoughts

  • Troubleshooting
  • Gas adjustment
  • Lubrication

Full Auto with the FAL

  • Watch and eat your heart out if you live in a No Full Auto state

If you noticed how often the terms "explanation" and "demonstration" are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any FAL owner, or someone who intends to be.

How much does your Professional Course cost? The answer can be found in our intro pack. We recommend to anyone considering our Professional Course that they get the Introduction to Gunsmithing Packet as this packet includes a video with a sample gunsmithing lesson. It also includes an Enrollment Form that lists the costs of each Course level available as well as the material covered in each level.

Do I have to pay $7 s/h on each retail video? No, we discount shipping on multiple video orders. The new website calculates shipping based on weight and destination. In most cases, the actual shipping is less than listed in the catalog.

Is there a time limit to complete your course? No, our course is self-paced. As you complete sections of the course and submit your tests, we provide certification of completion for that portion of the course.

Can I become certified by taking your retail courses? Answers vary. If you are intending to purchase all the videos in our Law Enforcement Armorer's Course, for example, as long as you buy the test separately you can obtain a Certification as a Law Enforcement Armorer once you complete the testing successfully. Otherwise you would need to purchase one of our certified professional courses in order to obtain a profession Gunsmithing certificate.

What does your Professional Gunsmithing Course Introductory Lesson cover?The Introductory Lesson is one hour and includes complete information on how to get started Gunsmithing. You will also learn how to insure reliable auto-pistol feeding and how to prevent jams, checking and adjusting "range" on Smith and Wesson revolvers, how a gas system works on a Colt AR-15, AR-7 trigger repairs, timing and understanding cartridge stops of a Remington 870 and much more! 

Are your Courses guaranteed? Yes! The American Gunsmithing Institute is proud to offer a 100%, "Bulletproof Guarantee." We are so sure of the quality of our Courses and products that you may return any item purchased directly from AGI for a full refund (less shipping) for up to 90 days after purchase date. Defective DVDs and videos will be replaced for up to 1 year. The only question we will ask is: "How did we fail you?"

Does AGI offer other Certified Courses aside from the Professional Gunsmithing Course? Yes. We also offer a Certified Machine Shop Course, complete with Lathe, Mill and general Machine Shop instruction. Additionally AGI offers a Certified Welding Course and a Certified Locksmithing Course.

What do the Disassembly/Reassembly Courses cover? AGI offers D/R Courses that clearly demonstrate the complete process of disassembly and reassembly step-by-step. The Courses use close-up views to provide comprehensive instruction. Each DVD Video Manual covers one specific model or family of firearms and is indexed to help the user quickly find the information that they are looking for. At the price of only $19.97 each (plus s/h), these video manuals are must have support information for anyone who owns one of these firearms.  

What do the Armorer's Courses cover?AGI's Armorer's Courses teach you how to disassemble, maintain, repair and reassemble your choice of the 51 guns featured. These videos are packed with exclusive information and are equal to a complete Factory Armorer's Course! While our Disassembly/Reassembly Courses contain invaluable information, our Armorer's Courses contain so much more. Master Gunsmith and AGI Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap explains design and function using exclusive factory cutaway firearm models, giving you close-up details of the internal functions you would not otherwise be able to see. All AGI Armorer's Course DVDs include a FREE printable schematic!    

Are your Instructors experienced in their fields? Absolutely. Master Gunsmith and AGI Senior Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap is a widely respected authority in the firearm industry and spent over 35 years as the senior instructor at Lassen College's internationally known Gunsmithing School. Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey is a world class custom gun builder, former world class competitive shooter and current trainer specializing in 1911 and Glock pistols, IPSC limited and open class guns, and high-end custom rifles. Darrell Holland is a well known custom rifle builder, writer and lecturer who is always inventing new performance shooting products. Ken Brooks is a graduate of the renowned Gunsmithing program at Lassen College and continues his journey by working full time for Bob Dunlap. Gene Kelly is the President of AGI and the Gun Club of America. He graduated from Lassen College's Gunsmithing program and worked as a Professional Gunsmith prior to founding AGI. T.R. Graham is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and is a known authority, author and Gunsmith specializing in Glocks and other handguns. Master Armorer John Bush is an AGI Instructor and a consultant to manufacturers and importers of military firearms, and is certified as an Expert Witness in firearm cases.