DS Arms currently manufactures the FAL under a license that exceeds previous military specifications. While not inexpensive, DS Arms rifles have a well-deserved reputation for quality that has made them popular beyond the company’s ability to keep up with orders. I recently had the opportunity to test and evaluate a DS Arms FAL, only because I was able to get one of the guns that the company had on display at the 2008 NRA Show. In the tradition of the strength, honor and character of the Spartan Warrior, DS Arms created the Spartan Series, of which this carbine is part. Designed from the ground up to be a service-grade gun for law enforcement and military alike, it sports some unique features that place it ahead of the pack. In addition, the Spartan Series FAL’s and AR-15’s that DS Arms produces are the signature series rifles of DS Arms’ Law Enforcement Training Division, Team Spartan.
Like all FN-FAL rifles, the Spartan is chambered for .308, but differs from the traditional gun by not having a carry handle. It comes standard with a plain flat receiver, but can be ordered with a rail mounting system instead. My test gun came from the factory with a Picatinny rail system. The lower receiver is made from high-strength aluminum to reduce weight without affecting performance. The 16-inch barrel (it can also be ordered with an 18-inch barrel) was capped with a Steyr short flash hider that not only reduces muzzle flash to almost nothing, but it is internally threaded to accept a blank firing device. The stock and handguard are made from black synthetic material and are similar in configuration to the standard FN furniture. The 1-inch recoil pad does a good job of reducing felt recoil, allowing for longer practice sessions, which as we all know, make for a better shooter. The pad included a single spacer, but more could be added or eliminated as desired.