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Century arms receivers I have a pile of them

Falfitter2

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I have built many many FAL’s in the past

last year I bought approximately 30 to 35 CIA receivers have been going through them finished 20 of them so far and what have found is are these issues without fail the gas tube nut threads and the barrel threads are all out of spec on every single one I had to chase the threads on 20 so far haven’t even looked at the other 10 or 15… The receiver faces seem and appear to be by all accounts that I can determine are perfectly square (not like a mitered Hesse) with the threads… That’s good news but the barrel timing is hit and miss I’ve had everything time out at anywhere from 9:30 to 11:45 In most cases there is a little wiggle room left at the Forward most part of the feed ramp when the barrel times out by hand timing
Some of the bolt carrier rails will have to be hand lapped to loosen them up a bit… Could be a long project for me I ahead here ..
I have a good lead on some kits various manufacturers some are imbel & some R1A1

Trying to decide if I should just try to sell them on GunBroker or build them any thoughts from you guys?… I have literally zero experience with these I only built on Imbel receivers & 1 Hesse crap Paper weight

Man I wish I would’ve bought 1000 Imbel receivers I remember buying them three and four at a time for $199 each boy that was the time!!!!
 

tac-40

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I share your sorrows. I bought two of the 90% CIA receivers and had similar issues. My biggest issue was hand fitting and installing the ejector blocks. I cannot recall checking the threads, I just went ahead and ran a tap through each threaded hole to clean everything up. Both of min hand timed to the 9-10 o'clock position and the receiver face was square with the barrel hole threads. I hand worked both the receiver rails and the charging handle rails to smooth things up. I have the first one on a completed build and now I am in the test firing portion. Build was a short gas system carbine and still tweaking the gas system for 100% reliability. Accuracy appears to be very good but I woun't try to dial that in until it operates without help.

As an asside, the short gas build was also my first attempt to make the Type 2 cuts on a slab side Type 3. While not 100% accurate, it does kind of look like one if you squint really hard.
 

TraFALgar

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I bought a couple of CAI receivers off of GB last year and they had the same issues as yours, plus a lot of other minor issues. The 1-pc ejector block was installed "crooked" on one (yeah, you'd really have to see that one to believe it) - but I was going to swap it out for a 2-pc anyway. That required lots of hand fitting. Burrs on one rcvr preventing proper charging handle, bolt carrier, BHO operation. Also locking shoulder holes seem slightly undersized, but I haven't tried to press a LS in yet.

Just curious, can you tell the manufacturer of yours? Mine have a SN prefix of 'NC' which I've read is North Country Engineering.
Also if you have a line on "cheap" South African R1 kits, buy them all and you can sell them at a nice profit in today's market! ;)
 

Falfitter2

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Oh yeah I forgot to add that I have some with ejector blocks and some without … Of course when they sold them they omitted the pictures showing there was no freaking ejector block… No big surprise there some of them came with various states of rust “patina maybe “lol only had a couple that 150 grit aluminum oxide sandblasting media wouldn’t take care of maybe I could build the rusty ones into a very accurate clone of the South African R1A1 rattle canned rust oleum no finish left on them paint kits that I used to get for $79

Truth be told I actually never built a R1A1 That wasn’t a good shooter they just look bloody awful on the outside

now I use KG gunkote baked on finish on everything very similar to Cerakote

That shouldn’t be a problem now
 

Falfitter2

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Life is too short for shitty receivers.
You were so right about that it definitely takes a shit ton of patients… The problem is our brilliant government banned the importation of quality (you know ouwtaw the good things Like receivers barrels and fire control groups that actually work properly) 👍 I have two builds that I did on Imbel receivers I suspect that I will never sell them not even to family

I never had one of them ever not go together smoothly
Well as smoothly as a FAL can be put together lol NOT LEGOS
 

tac-40

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Yeah, but what if that
For me it was the challenge. I built many FAL's of all types over the years and when using quality products, there were not that many surprises. Not much more difficult than putting together an AR. The two CIA receivers I purchased off GB were very clearly in the rough. And the cost made it easier to make the attempt to build something that works. My cost for the receivers was just above what the FFL fees would be to some people. Since I often help out at my LGS, my transfers are free.
 

easttex

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I've thought about acquiring another Century receiver for a last FAL build. But I don't have a kit set aside like most of you folks so I'd be buying a $1000+ kit to build around a $200 receiver that may or may not work. If I was serious enough to build another FAL, I'd buy a DSA for a little more money (and at least Gunplumber might work on it).

Instead...I kinda want a PTR-91 type rifle. But I've got to clear out some safe space first.
 

tac-40

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With the amount of work I had to do on the two that I bought went way beyond the basic tweeking a homebuilder needs to do on other makes. While I won't disagree with Gunplumber's assessment posted above, my assessment is they were unfinished not even to the 80% point. Even though serialized, there is no way anyone could have put these together out of the box and had a working firearm. They were, and still are, a challenge to my skills and abilities, as well as going a long way on teaching me the finer points of the operation of the FAL and relationship of all the parts.
 

fn ellis

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I just picked up a CIA R1A1 that looks to have been built using a STG 58 parts kit. I will be picking it up this afternoon from my FFL. Unfortunately, the rifle has the dreaded Hesse receiver. I talked to the seller and of course the rifle ran perfectly.🙄 In my neck of the woods it was a good deal at $899. We will see how she runs. CH1291 I will let you know if I am going to DX the receiver. I am hoping the FAL gods are going to be good to me though.
 

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tac-40

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Hesse was one of the black or white receivers with no gray. They either ran like a top or were POS's. I built an STg Kit on a Hesse receiver for my LGS and it shot everything I fed it. Talked to the owner a couple of years later and it was still running good. This said, go into that deal with both eyes open and give the rifle a chance. You might be surprised.

You might want get hold of some decent surplus metric mags. Most aftermarket mags are not reliable and the rifle gets the blame for the mag issues and not the other way around.
 

Enquiring Minds

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FAL uppers, while not Sten-gun trivial, seem so much simpler than many machined parts one finds in the aerospace biz, or even in high-viscosity pumps... aren't the original FN blueprints now in the public domain? What IS the key problem in making dimensionally-correct domestic receivers? :unsure:
 

tac-40

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The official blueprints are not public domain and outside of the FN Belgium are very rare to come across (usually at a high price). The problem with the receivers is they are simple yet require many separate steps to complete. And even with modern CNC machinery, the cost benefits are very slim, if any. The FN receivers were made in the era where craftsmen did all the work and took pride in hand fitting every part to make the whole function. Each step of production was assigned to a dedicated machine doing one single operation and the operator to make the set up. A very inefficient was to make them but that was acceptable back in the day.

Edited to add: Back in the day the BREN receiver was touted to be a great design. And it was bragged publicly that the original billet started out as a 39 pound chunk of steel. After all the machinery work and milling was done, you ended with a 4½ pound high grade steel receiver to build that famous gun.

From the innerweb:

The receiver manufacture alone was an arduous, difficult and time consuming task in itself. The blank, starting life at 39 pounds, was flame cut from 2-1/2 inch plate and, 247 machining operations later, transformed it into 4-1/2 pounds of industrial art. 362 cutting tools were used and a total of 273 fixtures needed to hold the receiver throughout the manufacturing process and 740 gauges were needed in 18 separate inspection operations.
 
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