THOUGH the .223 may have been the dominant caliber for…

THOUGH the .223 may have been the dominant caliber for patrol rifles for decades, it never has been the fight-stopper the .308 has proven to be. Its “dominance” has more to do with its lack of over-penetration problems. However, this problem no longer hinders the mighty .308 with recent developments in police and tactical ammunition. Take, for example, Hornady’s TAP (Tactical Application Police) ammunition in the 110-grain version, which penetrates an average of less than 10 inches in ballistic gelatin, generating much less recoil than the standard load. Another is Federal’s TRU (Tactical Rifle Urban) ammunition.

With that problem solved, why stick with a round, with returning reports of dismal performance from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, when you can have the proven effectiveness of the “big kid” on the block? Very innovative and effective ammunition designs have squeezed out every last ounce of efficiency, to be sure, but a .223 simply won’t ever have the energy of a .308. And those design “tweaks” can also be applied to this more powerful round.

The gas piston operating system of the FAL is a long-proven design, which is more reliable than that of the AR15, AR10 and M16, has many less moving parts, will continue working longer when dirty, and is easier to maintain.

This last feature is a big reason I’ve gone to the FAL. The FAL has three major components that need to be cleaned, for the most part, for efficient functioning: the bolt, its carrier, and the bore itself. This process is incredibly simple. Depress the frame locking lever on the side of the receiver, and break the upper and lower receivers open, shotgun style; slide the bolt and carrier out to the rear; separate the bolt and carrier by compressing its firing pin and lifting it out. For the most part, that’s it. The bolt and carrier can then be easily cleaned, as well as the bore. The top cover simply slides off of the receiver once the gun is “cracked open,” making for unrestricted access to the inside.

Occasionally, you should clean the gas tube and piston, but this is not always necessary with every cleaning. Even so, this process consists of twisting the gas plug off, and using a .45 caliber brush to clean the tube, and a standard nylon brush to clean the piston. You’re done. All of the crevices and recesses in the FAL are large and much more accessible. I now spend less than a fourth of the time cleaning my FAL than I did with my AR15.

SA58 Para Tactical Carbine is the ultimate police carbine. (shown here with Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife)

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