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The L1A1 is made up of english dimensioned parts and magazines, whereas the R1 is made up of metric parts and magazines. The receiver on a L1A1 can take both english or metric pattern magazines, however metric receivers can only take metric magazines. The L1A1 is typically British, Australian, etc. The R1 was a South African metric FAL. As far as how to tell which country your parts were made, you might want to check out FALFiles.com - there are tons of people there that know FALs inside and out. On some of the larger parts such as barrels, you can look for different crests or rollmarks, or on the lower receiver you can sometimes tell based on how the 3 letters are configured for the safety.
 

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Diamond Member with Oak leaves and Swords
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You really need to put up some pics. The L1A1 is Brit., Aussie and New Zealand. C1A1 is Canadian. These are "Inch" rifles. The R1 is South African and was also used in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and is metric. Two very similiar but different rifles.
 

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Mine was an L1A1 made by BSA, except for the metric mag receiver by some unknown US company, an early Century Sporter. Aside from the loose circlip on the gas adjuster (replaced by machine screw and locknut) I had zero problems. It even took a pistol grip stock that supposedly wouldn't work!
 

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Most FALs are mutts but none the worse for being so. Sure, there are duds the same as with any rilfe built, taken apart, then built again to meet 922r. Mine has a six-groove barrel (Aussie?) a very early unmarked Imbel receiver with a bunch of UK internals. Still does what it says on the can. One day I might splash out for a free-floating handguard but it is easily minute of man to 300 yards so I am not too worried just yet.
 
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