Did you ever wonder, which rifle could be considered as Western counterpart of ubiquitous AK-47? Weapons aficionados often debate about this question and short list usually boils down to M14, G3 and FN FAL. M14’s active duty was limited to eight short years, so it fails short in service time. Hecker&Koch’s G3 -excellent weapon as it is- wasn’t involved in any truly televised war in fails short in recognition; FN FAL is third candidate, which is by some (author of this review shares the opinion) considered as Western counterpart of Kalashnikov’s design.
It has been in service for over 50 years; its reputation was earned in South Africa’s bush wars; it was used by Rhodesian SAS; it was used by both sides in short but intensive Falklands conflict. FN FAL and its derivatives use a tried and tested classic design, which is soldier proof- which is as good as weapon can possibly get.
There is zero flex or creaking of the parts. Truth to be told, if you exert a disproportionate amount of pressure on fore grip it moves for a millimetre or two, but nothing dramatic.
It is worth underlining that all functional parts of the real gun are here replicated in full detail (gas block, disassembly lever), even if they are non functional. For instance, FN FAL uses unique gas flow system. Naturally, this play no role in the replica, but both gas regulators can be adjusted.
Bolt catch is disengaged with the downward push on the lever, which is located next to the magazine release lever. Bolt will slam into the closed position, making nice metal sound while doing so.
Hand guard is wedge shaped in very comfortable. It offers very positive grip, without any sharp edges to dig into your hands. Black plastic is very even with slight texture.
Currently, only HiCap magazines are available. Capacity is around 330 BBs and HiCap work reliably out of the box. Floor plate on the magazine is secured with a hex screw.
Front swivel rotates around the barrel for the full 360 degrees, making wearing it more comfortable, as swivel adjust to the user. Rear swivel is located on the buttstock and also swivels.
Only part, which is weak link in the otherwise visually very pleasing replica is stock. There is nothing obviously wrong with it, but its walls feel a bit too thin. This is pure subjective feel, so your experience may or may not be the same. It is similarly nicely textured as fore grip. Seam is noticeable, but does not distract.
The catch on the rear of the receiver is used on real ones to lock upper receiver to the lower receiver. It has no function, but it moves.
Gearbox is held by screw on the motor plate of the grip. Once unscrewed, V3 gearbox can be safely removed from lower receiver. We already complimented grip. Again I’d like to mention that while it stores a motor, it still very well replicates a swinging door of the real one.
Parts are standard with no surprises: metal bushings, yellow polycarbonate piston with plastic piston head. Gearbox looks well assembled and I’m glad to say that Classic Army’s Quality control department is doing their job.
Some players miss more Picatinny rails, but others love streamlined and elegant shape of plastic fore grip. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Classic Army announces of one of the modernised version of DSA’s products in the near future.
Now to return to the question about being the best out of CA’s yet. I very much dislike big words. CA DSA58 Carbine is very good replica. We found couple of flaws, which don’t harm overall very positive impression. It is true that its price is a bit high. But than again, I much rather pay more for my primary replica to work as expected. CA DSA58 Carbine is a very sound design an I’m sure that it will prove its worth in the long run.
Test item provided by Action Sport Games