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-   -   Imbel Inch Receiver? (http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318049)

Ramone September 30, 2011 22:16

Imbel Inch Receiver?
 
A friend of mine has an inch kit built on a CAI marked Imbel receiver. The parts are mostly Australian, but the rifle was not built by Century. The receiver was either made, or machined by the builder to accept inch mags. I was told it was built by a smith, but I don't remember the name.

Has anyone heard of these types of inch pattern rifles?

msnyder September 30, 2011 23:34

Century built L1A1 Sporters. Neutered barrels, vg-exc parts kits on a forged receiver. Barrels could be barely torqued on. Headspace out of spec. Ground off pistol grip studs to accomodate the sporter stock. Good candidates to restore.

kev September 30, 2011 23:42

Two different things. The Century built Sporters afaik all were cut for metric mags. Years ago, FAC sold bare Century marked Imbel receivers with inch cuts for the top-cover, folding charging handle, and inch mags. I don't believe Century ever built complete rifles on these 'inch' receivers. Oh, btw,.............they won't be date marked in the magwell. They were earlier than that.

kadyomoto October 01, 2011 00:13

Look at my thread "L1A1 Inheritance". It's kind of what you're talking about. Except that mine consists of British parts and it accepts inch and metric mags.

Ramone October 01, 2011 09:01

Quote:

Originally posted by msnyder
Century built L1A1 Sporters. Neutered barrels, vg-exc parts kits on a forged receiver. Barrels could be barely torqued on. Headspace out of spec. Ground off pistol grip studs to accomodate the sporter stock. Good candidates to restore.
Barrel not neutered, headspace is fine, and no sporter stock. It was built by a known gunsmith.

L/FN October 01, 2011 10:13

Century L1A1 sporter rifles, built on Argentine then Imbel metrics receivers had about a 4 step evolution.
From no mods except ejector block bored for BHO TO mag well cut for inch mags, rail cut for top cover tabs, rail cut for folding charging handle and ejector block bored for BHO.
EDIT: The track for the charging handle slide was, as some point, milled larger for the thicker inch slide.

I have taken fully metric receivers and Century's Argy and Imbel receivers partially converted to inch and cut the mag wells for inch mags. PITA, but it can be done.
I know other smiths have as well.

Ramone October 01, 2011 10:22

I'm waiting for some pics, and more info, and if I get them, will post here. AFAIK, the metric Imbel receiver was modified to accept the folding charging handle, cut to accept inch mags, and the inch cover w/tabs. The rifle is parked, and most of the parts are Austrailan as I mentioned before. The furniture is wood which I'm pretty sure is Aussie made too.

msnyder October 01, 2011 10:30

"AFAIK, the metric Imbel receiver was modified to accept the folding charging handle, cut to accept inch mags, and the inch cover w/tabs. "

Does it say R1A1 Sporter or L1A1 Sporter on the receiver?

Ramone October 01, 2011 16:03

Not sure of the markings, but the pics should tell the tale.

SteelonSteel October 02, 2011 07:34

My Imbel/Century has a Brit charging handle, cut out for clearance (that could be bigger actually), inch mag cut.

It is marked L1A1 Sporter so I'm pretty sure it was built up by Century as a rifle with mostly british part with a few aussie thrown in.

chrsdwns October 02, 2011 12:55

They were marked with gouged electropencil engraving on the RHS

L1A1 Sporter Cal. .308
Receiver Made by Imbel - Brazil
Imported By CAI Inc St Albans VT

Serial numbers on the mag well are in the 127000 range .

The had Inch mag wells, charging handle cut slide and rails for ABC folding unit, top cover rails relieved for ABC style top cover with tabs, larger hole diameter for ABC style BHO.

CAI bought several thousand for the last iteration of it's thumbhole L1A1 Sporter and sold bare L1A1 Sporter receivers until about 1998.

Imbel declined to make any more L1A1 spec receivers for CAI and at about the same time theClinton Administration ruled thumb hole stock the same as a pistol grip and butt stock and not for sporting purposes for compliance so CAI contracted to have Inch feature receivers made in the USA for 922 compliant CAI L1A1 production

These Imbels were really nice receivers and they have the distinction of being the only Mil Spec L1A1 style receivers imported except for a small number of preban Lithgow receivers. Too bad the workmanship standards on the L1A1 Sporters had deteriorated by that time and CA had started doing some really bad repark work on them.

It was the start of the Angry Beaver Era of CAI L1A1 production

On a more positive note - they are all L1A1 parts except for the Imbel receiver and the thumb hole stock and the base parts, especially the Aussie built parts sets, were in very good condition. Head space can be way off so it needs to be checked before shooting - I think CAI just used the first locking shoulder that came to hand and they did not actually measure head space on them.

A nice refinish and repair of the muzzle threads and pistol grip stud can get you a nice enough L1A1 with military barrel if you are into that sort of thing

Ramone October 02, 2011 13:05

I'm all but positive that this rifle was NOT originally built by CAI. The owner stated this was built by a Smith using this type of receiver.
It might be that the Smith reworked it, so I'll ask.

chrsdwns October 02, 2011 13:13

If it has a original threaded barrel for flash hider it was built by a third party using a bare L1A1 Imbel receiver. CAI cut the threads off of all of Imbel receivered CAIs

FAL-13 October 02, 2011 21:49

CIA did build all inch imbel guns. Most were thunbhole stock. Most have been converted to normal stocks. Some used new US made barrels, some did not. US barrels were green mountian.

Ramone October 03, 2011 08:33

Now with pics. The finish is parkerized.
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/1...cture053lm.jpg

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http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/8530/picture055dm.jpg

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I'll try and get the name of the builder from him today.

MAINER October 03, 2011 09:49

Quote:

Originally posted by chrsdwns
If it has a original threaded barrel for flash hider it was built by a third party using a bare L1A1 Imbel receiver. CAI cut the threads off of all of Imbel receivered CAIs

Not quite ALL. At least some that they built in 2000 according to the electro-penciled date in the magwell were built without removing the FH threads. Mine had a CA combo Brake threaded on, blind pinned and tack-welded. Fairly easy to restore to origional configuration, thankfully.



Ramone, that is a fine looking L1A1 you have there! :love:

Inspires me to get my wood stocks finished and on the rifle.

Ramone October 03, 2011 09:51

Its not mine, its a friends. He wanted me to do some checking around about it.

SteelonSteel October 03, 2011 11:04

In that configuration it looks like someone rebuilt it, or at least replaced the century stocks with wood. Might have been a complete build up by an independent builder. Looks nice.

Ramone October 05, 2011 15:04

Just got off the phone with my friend, and he said the rifle was built from an Aussy parts kit on a converted Imbel receiver by a guy named Dano from VOW. More pics to follow.

Ramone October 05, 2011 15:21

More pics:
http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/1130/00358.jpg

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Ramone October 05, 2011 15:27

And a few more:
http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/9452/00268.jpg

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Uplohttp://img257.imageshack.us/img257/8770/0175h.jpg

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L/FN October 05, 2011 21:12

Not sure exactly what else your looking for on info.

Hard for us FALers to know the history of that exact receiver. So many of these rifles have been bought, sold, traded, rebuilt, etc.
What we do know is the receiver is a Imbel imported by Century.

Beyond that, the only thing that can determine the quality of a rifle is the parts used, and the attention paid to the actual building and refinishing.
If your friend is looking to determine a monetary value, he must remember, the rifle will always only be worth the sum of the current parts & labor cost.
Only a factory built rifle of which x number were built will be "collectable".


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