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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the better part of the past week reading various threads, and came away with a fair amount knowledge, but still some questions as some information is contradictory or unclear.

In any event, here are my questions. Please excuse those questions that may seem too elementary.

1. Are all USGI parts capable of being swapped with my Polytech M14? If not, which ones are not?

2. Which tools will I require to maintain my Polytech M14S? Do they differ from tools needed from other manufactured M14s?

4. Which spare M14 parts should I try to keep on hand?

5. Is there a domestically manufactured (wood or synthetic) stock and would best/better be suited to replace my current ChiCom stock, so that the pin that holds the op rod spring guide won't will back out. Or am I relegated to replacing the operating rod spring guide pin or even utilize the Popsicle stick method?

6. Does the gas system, in fact, require being scraped of carbon? Or does simply swabbing such down with Hoppes, more than adequate as some have stated?

I'm sure that I will have other questions as time goes on, but these are the first.
 

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I've spent the better part of the past week reading various threads, and came away with a fair amount knowledge, but still some questions as some information is contradictory or unclear.

In any event, here are my questions. Please excuse those questions that may seem too elementary.

1. Are all USGI parts capable of being swapped with my Polytech M14? If not, which ones are not? No sure of the answer.

2. Which tools will I require to maintain my Polytech M14S? Do they differ from tools needed from other manufactured M14s? A military cleaning kit will work as a min. to start with.

4. Which spare M14 parts should I try to keep on hand? I have sent > 17K rounds down range, only replaced the Op Rod spring after >14k rounds. Plus I replace the Op Rod guide. Oh plus two NM barrels shot out.

5. Is there a domestically manufactured (wood or synthetic) stock and would best/better be suited to replace my current ChiCom stock, so that the pin that holds the op rod spring guide won't will back out. Or am I relegated to replacing the operating rod spring guide pin or even utilize the Popsicle stick method? Left to others.

6. Does the gas system, in fact, require being scraped of carbon? YES, 300-500 rounds down range. Or does simply swabbing such down with Hoppes, more than adequate as some have stated? No.

I'm sure that I will have other questions as time goes on, but these are the first.
XXIV Corps
 

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Can't help you with any of the ChiCom info, only the gas system...

If you clean after every shooting session, you can get by with Hoppes or even CLP.

A .30 bore brush is used for the gas plug and front half of the piston, a .22 for the tail. A .45 cal pistol bore brush fits in the gas cylinder.

Be sure to remove all the solvent, leaving it all bone dry.
 

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A few years ago I bought a Poly M14/S from a guy that was mostly USGI parts. The sights, flash hider, bolt, trigger group, and stocks were all GI, leaving only the receiver, op-rod, gas system, and barrel as Chinese parts. I had to glue popsicle sticks to keep the pin from moving, but it took ten minutes to fix. He spent a lot of $$ setting up the rifle the way he wanted, but it probably didn’t need most of the modifications he had done.

Clean the rifle the same way you’d clean an American one, shoot the crap out of it, and don’t obsess over the small things. They are tough rifles once the kinks get ironed out.
 

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You have come to the right place. Poly and Norinco receivers are as good as any produced in the US. You may not need to change anything to have a good functioning rifle. Barrels are nearly perfect and accurate. A new stock can be had from Boyd for one or you can drop her in a USGI with the popsical stick alteration mentioned above.
 

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First thing you need to do is have your headspace checked, as the Chinese M14 clones are notorious for excess headspace. Mine had it. I replaced it with a US TRW bolt, which turned out to be nearly a drop-in (I got lucky).

I've put my Polytech in both US walnut and plastic stocks, no problem at all.

I understand there's some difference between the Polytech gas system and USGI but I'm not sure what it is. This is not all bad, as it makes the Poly legal in at least one state where the SA and others are banned BECAUSE the gas system is non-interchangeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate everyone's feedback. Thank you.

My thoughts are that as parts might require replacement, I would replace them with USGI parts, or newly manufactured parts if USGI parts are unavailable.

If anyone is wondering why I plan to swap out the stock and handguard, is to replace the Polytech faux "flash hider" with a USGI flash hider (that is a better color match than a blued or black item) with bayonet lug. Right now, the faux flash hider is canted to the right that puts the front sight off. So if it has to come off, it might as well be replaced with something that actually has pragmatic use.
 

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Be advised that if you replace the faux flash hider, you'll have to replace a bunch of other stuff with USGI parts in order to stay legal. Otherwise, you've created an illegal foreign "assault weapon." Yes, this is stupid but it's the law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Be advised that if you replace the faux flash hider, you'll have to replace a bunch of other stuff with USGI parts in order to stay legal. Otherwise, you've created an illegal foreign "assault weapon." Yes, this is stupid but it's the law.
As I understand it, replacing the original 1. stock, 2. handguard, 3. magazine, and 4. flash hider with American manufactured parts, will bring it in compliance with 27 CFR 478.39.

I did something similar with a Saiga 12 build some years back, for it to comply with 922(r).
 

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Be advised that if you replace the faux flash hider, you'll have to replace a bunch of other stuff with USGI parts in order to stay legal. Otherwise, you've created an illegal foreign "assault weapon." Yes, this is stupid but it's the law.
I don't think any individual has ever been hassled for 922r violations since the '94 AWB.
 

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my understanding is the differences between chinese and us m1a's are the barrels, gas system and receiver threads are different between the 2 types (metric and imperial?) i could be wrong but im sure i read that somewhere.
update. m14 complete assembly guide states the different threads on p.29
 

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There are two makers and several generations of Chinese-produced M14.

So all answers are kind of "iffy". Dimensionally, they got very close to U.S. measurement and metallurgy specification at the very end. One area where they never got very good: The stocks tended to look like mis-cut lumber. Some folks ground and sanded and filed until they got something "O.K.", then stained it, but at least one importer but theirs in third party U.S. or quality foreign wood.

The very best were the last ones produced by both PolyTech and Norinco.

I had a few upgraded by SMITH (SEI) and the last one was great just as it was, save for the rather grotesque stock. However, I wore out the barrel, and replaced it with a CITADEL heavy.

All were great shooters, but the early ones had some heat treat issues and "sort-of-AK" fitting configurations that weren't to the liking of many of us. The one I am shooting in the second shot was almost all USGI moving parts with a custom barrel.

Thing is, some of the hogwash articles run in "gun comix" were so specious and terrifying, I was able to find them once in a while in the early 90's for very little money, so could lavish care and attention. This little patch of lunacy was one of the first times I realized much of the stuff published in what passes for "gun mags" is/was bought and paid for FICTION originating with competitors who really couldn't compete.

That latter factor, in fact, is why Chinese machined and precision goods of some sorts, especially firearms, were effectively banned.

They were excellent products and evolved and progressed continuously.

The worst of them weren't bad, and they WERE truly forged receiver units.

NOT CASTINGS!!
 

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I've spent the better part of the past week reading various threads, and came away with a fair amount knowledge, but still some questions as some information is contradictory or unclear.

In any event, here are my questions. Please excuse those questions that may seem too elementary.

1. Are all USGI parts capable of being swapped with my Polytech M14? If not, which ones are not?

2. Which tools will I require to maintain my Polytech M14S? Do they differ from tools needed from other manufactured M14s?

4. Which spare M14 parts should I try to keep on hand?

5. Is there a domestically manufactured (wood or synthetic) stock and would best/better be suited to replace my current ChiCom stock, so that the pin that holds the op rod spring guide won't will back out. Or am I relegated to replacing the operating rod spring guide pin or even utilize the Popsicle stick method?

6. Does the gas system, in fact, require being scraped of carbon? Or does simply swabbing such down with Hoppes, more than adequate as some have stated?

I'm sure that I will have other questions as time goes on, but these are the first.
The barrel threads are metric, so the gas cylinder lock and the castle nut won't work on USGI, or US Commercial barrels. Though some say the castle nut MAY work. Main thread at the chamber end are also metric, but close enough to standard M14 threads that they will work. I've rebarreled 3 Polytechs.
USGI connector is longer and slightly larger in diameter, and won't fit into the Polytech hole. However, it can be polished down to work. Easy on a drill or a lathe. If you replace the stock, you must either put a small spacer in the stock so the shorter Chinese connecter won't walk out, or modify a USGI to fit. I've used both the "popsicle stick" and the "epoxy blob" method on a stock. I eventually just modified 3 USGI connectors to fit my 3 Polytechs.
I've modified the gas cylinder of all my M14s with the M25 gas cylinder mod. Which is a 1/16" hole, drilled .210"(IIRC) from the end of the op rod end of the gas cylinder. This allows carbon to be pumped out of the system and keeps it cleaner longer.
The Chinese gas piston is lightly smaller than a USGI/US Commercially made one. So, a USGI made gas piston won't fit into a Chinese made gas cylinder.
The gas cylinder plug threads are probably different, but I don't recall trying to switch them.
The gas cylinder is Chrome Moly steel, not Stainless Steel as on a USGI. Which means it can be parkerized.

Parts that probably should be replaced.
#1. Op rod and hammer spring. Chinese op rod spring is under sized in both length and diameter. USGI works with no mods.
#2. Hammer and trigger. Might as well replace the trigger pin at the same time, thought it's not really needed. Garand parts will work.
#3. Elevation knob. Some of the Chinese elevation knob springs are weak, and won't hold zero. Replace with USGI, but not with another WCE marked knob. Garand knob will work.

Spare parts to h ave, would be both internals. In case the extractors flies out or breaks. Though, that is usually something Springfield M1As do, not Polytechs.
 

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The barrel threads are metric, so the gas cylinder lock and the castle nut won't work on USGI, or US Commercial barrels. Though some say the castle nut MAY work. Main thread at the chamber end are also metric, but close enough to standard M14 threads that they will work. I've rebarreled 3 Polytechs.
USGI connector is longer and slightly larger in diameter, and won't fit into the Polytech hole. However, it can be polished down to work. Easy on a drill or a lathe. If you replace the stock, you must either put a small spacer in the stock so the shorter Chinese connecter won't walk out, or modify a USGI to fit. I've used both the "popsicle stick" and the "epoxy blob" method on a stock. I eventually just modified 3 USGI connectors to fit my 3 Polytechs.
I've modified the gas cylinder of all my M14s with the M25 gas cylinder mod. Which is a 1/16" hole, drilled .210"(IIRC) from the end of the op rod end of the gas cylinder. This allows carbon to be pumped out of the system and keeps it cleaner longer.
The Chinese gas piston is lightly smaller than a USGI/US Commercially made one. So, a USGI made gas piston won't fit into a Chinese made gas cylinder.
The gas cylinder plug threads are probably different, but I don't recall trying to switch them.
The gas cylinder is Chrome Moly steel, not Stainless Steel as on a USGI. Which means it can be parkerized.

Parts that probably should be replaced.
#1. Op rod and hammer spring. Chinese op rod spring is under sized in both length and diameter. USGI works with no mods.
#2. Hammer and trigger. Might as well replace the trigger pin at the same time, thought it's not really needed. Garand parts will work.
#3. Elevation knob. Some of the Chinese elevation knob springs are weak, and won't hold zero. Replace with USGI, but not with another WCE marked knob. Garand knob will work.

Spare parts to h ave, would be both internals. In case the extractors flies out or breaks. Though, that is usually something Springfield M1As do, not Polytechs.
Leave the Chinese op-rod alone, it’s a chunk of forged steel and as solid as the receiver. Real USGI op-rods are stupid expensive right now, so there’s no need in OP spending money if he doesn’t have to.
 

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Leave the Chinese op-rod alone, it’s a chunk of forged steel and as solid as the receiver. Real USGI op-rods are stupid expensive right now, so there’s no need in OP spending money if he doesn’t have to.
I read it as he was saying replace the op rod spring not the op rod.
 
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Correct. That is what I was saying.
I had my gunsmith check out a Chinese M14 I bought once at a pawn shop in Alabama for $200. He replaced the bolt and op rod with new TRW parts and replaced the op rod guide and spring with GI. I was surprised at the excellent quality of the barrel and it was very accurate at the range. I did a shooting comparison against H&R, Winchester, TRW and SAK in my Springfield Armory golden age M1A standard models. My Chinese M14 outperformed the first two in group size, matched the SAK and was close to the TRW in accuracy which was very disconcerting. Save all your Chinese parts so you can put them back if you decide to go in a different direction. Have fun.
 

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I was just reviewing some posts on another forum from more than 10 years ago and "remembered" something I'd completely forgotten: I also replaced the spring guide and spring on my Poly with a Sadlak guide and genuine USGI spring, and the accuracy was improved thereafter. Seems to be a couple parts worth changing out.
 

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I recently replaced a bolt and barrel on a Poly. I had to replace the gas lock and castle nut as the threads were metric. I'm not sure if the gas plug is metric, but I was able to reuse those parts, so no big deal.
 
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