Overall, DSA makes great products. I would say that if you're going to build a FAL or buy one and make it look like a Rhodie, they are a great resource. Two of my FALs have DSA receivers. In my opinion, DSA and Imbel are probably the best receivers you can buy for the money, if you want to build a FAL, with Dan Coonan's cast receivers running close behind.
This site http://www.falfiles.com/forums/index.php is the mecca for everything FAL, and is a goldmine of information. Also, their "marketplace" section is a good source for parts as well as complete rifles. The beauty about using a FAL for Rhodesian reenactment/living history is the fact that there was no "one true model", as the Rhodesians obtained their small arms from whereever they could get them: The UK and Belgium before the arms embargo, and South Africa in later years. Hell, one could even do a "Selous Scouts" impression and carry an AK, and you would not technically be incorrect (kinda like a German soldier carrying a PPSh-41 on the Eastern Front in WWII).
Thanks for all the great information. I have used an SLR before and had a partrooper (side folder FN) in our gun safe as well. I learned that the Brit SLR mags will not fit the FNs.
I also had to get myself a multitool and learn about the gas tude settings. Not ONE of the African soldiers and police I worked with knew, much less could adjust, their settings on the rifles. It was a mess, anyway. The FN-FAL was always one of my favorites, but just one I have never owned or used enough to know the difference.
I am here in Tripoli and NATO supplied several thousand FNs to the rebel fighters here. I have seen many models. I have seen some with beutiful wood furniture and even a one para model.
I will tell you another impression or living history display I have gotten interetsed in, one about Operation Dragon Rouge in Nov 1964. That is a story not too many folks know about but one that had all the makings of a great story. Hostages, savage rebels, International players, U.S. military (USAF, 82nd ABN paratroopers and 2nd ID Infantry), mercenaries, daring airborne drops and flying columns deep into rebel held territories.
So I have an idea to put together a living history display with represenatives form each of the groups involved.
The 464th Troop Carrier Wing out of Pope flew in the congo and was the unit the Belgians used to jump into Stanleyville.
TF LEO (Joint Task Force Leopoldville) was made up of elements of the 464th Troop Carrier Wing at Pope Air Force Base, 777th Troop Carrier Squadron, the 11th Transportation Company (Light Helicopter) at Nelligen, Germany, Belgian Paracommando Regiment, 1st Parachute Battalion, the 2d Commando Battalion, and the 3d Parachute Battalion. 48 paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne's 1st and 2nd Bat 504th PIR.
It seems that each U.S. ground forces unit involved only sent 5 out of each company, I have found information on A company 1st 504 for sure, as well as 1st bn 9th inf, 2nd ID online too. They didn't jump, but were sent to protect the C-130Es being used on the mission, however, they did engage the Simbas and participate directly in operations.
I can't find much in the way of equipment issued but I did find accounts of the U.S. troops having and using M14 rifles and giving PRC-41 and PRC-47 radio sets to the Belgian Para-Commandos. I also located some photos of the LTC in charge on the ground, he was wearing what appears to be an OG 107 Sateen shirt with a white name tape, color patches, full color rank and gold a black 'US ARMY' tag. The hat is the 'coffee can type' with full color LTC rank sewn on.
Anyway, I would like to be able to do multiple impressions with the same equipment. So if you have a suggestion on what type of FN would have been used in the Congo by the Belgians in 60-67 and also found in Rhodesia during the Bush War it would be helpful. You seem to know your stuff on FNs.
BEFO, your safest bet would be a FAL with a Type one receiver. Either the wood stock (like on West German G1s or early Steyr Stg58s) or the more common plastic stock would be correct. British inch-pattern magazines will work on metric-pattern FALs if you file off the stud in the back. Easy modification.