When I first saw DS Arms’ FAL pistol, it took me by surprise to say the least. A fan of the company for a number of years, I’ve always appreciated their well-made FAL rifles. For those of you not familiar, the acronym FAL stands for Fusil Automatique Legere, which is Belgian for “Light Automatic Rifle.” The FAL was a Belgian 7.62mm gas-piston rifle design that emerged in the ’50s. While it never took hold with the American military, it was fervently embraced by the militaries of over 90 different countries, and in some cases, is still in service today. One might say I’m partial to the FAL, and that would be an understatement—these are robust, incredible battle rifles that often display great accuracy, in defiance of the fact that they were never designed as such. The FAL’s gas piston action and mere three major components for field-stripping make it extremely reliable and easy to maintain.
David Salvagio Arms (DSA) has taken the FAL platform and modernized it with a number of accessories common to today’s battle rifles, and is the only American manufacturer of these guns today.
Regarding the FAL pistol, I found it surprising because we’re talking about a weapon chambered in .308, for starters. In the FAL carbines I’m so fond of shooting, the recoil, while entirely controllable, is substantially heavier than that of the AR-15 rifle. Secondly, this little beast makes for a heavy weapon, considering that, no matter how you abbreviate it, the upper and lower receivers of a rifle must remain. A fully loaded 20-round magazine weighs more than most pistols. Thirdly, a FAL pistol has been done before, but it’s usually a specialty item built for individuals of eccentric tastes. As far as I know, DS Arms is the only company to ever offer the pistol as a production item.