|I think I'm sold on this rifle. I was so distracted that I didn't even center the picture well|
The complaint about the rifle was that it did not shoot accurately. I had zero experience with FALs, but I do know how to zero a rifle. So I got to work. The first thing I checked was the aftermarket DSA Arms Extreme Duty Scope Mount. DSA seems to offer several variances on this mount, but they all mount basically the same way. I checked to ensure that the screws had not come loose. Nope, that checked out just fine.
I used my Weaver Modular Leveling System to ensure that the scope was level to the receiver.
|As you can see, the level on the scope is off slightly while the level on the receiver indicates the firearm is level with the ground.|
Lo and behold, it was off a bit. I found the left side of the scope rings fasteners were loose as well.
|Both are between the lines. Now we're in business.|
I leveled it all out and tightened it back down. I will probably consider thread locker at some point, but for preliminary evaluation hand tightening and keeping an eye on it will have to do.
I was all set to go out to the range. I loaded up the truck and drove the 40 minutes it takes to get to Pigeon Hill Shooting Range near Saint Joe, MO. I groaned in frustration as I pulled up. Of course, everyone had taken the shooter benches on the 25 yard range. I'd have to either prone out (which I found out was not going to work out well) or stand and do my best to brace against the raised shooters rest sans seats. I took one shot to see where it landed and make sure it wasn't completely off the human silhouette. I then took another three shots to get a grouping.
|My first "grouping" in the 8 ring at 25 yards. Terrible on my part, but at least I knew it was high.|
My first grouping was pretty terrible due to a combination of unsteadiness in my shooting position and user error. The FAL naturally has more recoil than my 5.56 carbines. It took me some getting used to.
I dialed down the elevation assuming that each click on the Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x was a quarter MOA. I slowly inched the groupings down to the point of aim on the bull.
|First two shots were an inch to the right of the bull. The last 3 shots were directly above in a string that angled to the left. Definitely some user error involved.|
After 40 rounds, I was satisfied enough that it was roughly zeroed. However, I was running out of time before I had to return home. I went ahead and packed up for the day. I will be zeroing out to 50 yards for it's final zero and, hopefully, will be able to do so from a much more steady position. It's my understanding that I should expect about 2-3 MOA from this rifle. I'll be happy if I can produce 3 MOA, but I know I need more practice with this rifle. It would help to have a recoil pad on the butt!
I really liked the way this rifle shot. The fact that it was in 308 was a big plus. It's definately a different feeling from shooting a AR-15. I can see why the FAL has a following. I may have to start considering picking this up. The M1A is in the same class, but I haven't researched it well enough yet. The SCAR 17 would be a dream gun, but I can't justify the price. Things for me to ponder. Till next time.