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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking at getting an M14, but the only experience consists of blowing through one 20rnd magazine on somebody else's (plus a lot of D&C time on demilitarized ones). My main goal is to have a rugged, reliable, long-lasting rifle (think SHTF mindset). Obviously I'm going to treat her with respect, but we all know things happen in tight situations. I already know that I want an 18" barrel rather than the standard 22" for obvious reasons. High precision accuracy at long ranges isn't a huge concern, though any accuracy I can maintain while keeping it a robust field-worthy rifle is certainly welcome. Eventually I'll tinker with it, maybe throw an EOTech on top and a Grip Pod on bottom, who knows.

I've decided on 7.62mm based on what I've read (despite the negative), but I have a question on the specifics. I noticed everybody talks about buying their receiver and assembling it with a CMP kit. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of just ordering a full rifle from 7.62? My first guess is a cost difference, but somehow I can't find out much about these kits (where to get them? how much do they cost?).

Due to what seems an absence of people buying a full rifle from 7.62 I feel like I'd risk making a moron out of myself if I did so. I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more for an assembled rifle from them if that were the only disadvantage, due to my lack of experience in M14 assembly/disassembly. Normally, I like to take a rifle apart BEFORE trying to put back together, and while I plan on gaining some skills in gunsmithing, I don't currently have any. I had enough trouble trying to reassemble my Rio Grande .45-70 the first time. (To be fair, they advised me not to fully disassemble it, and I had no documentation to help. I had to resort to a Marlin 336 assembly video on Youtube to figure out what I was doing wrong.)

Please don't hurt me, I'm new here :p

UPDATE 06MAR12: I have started a new thread on the build process, enjoy! http://m14forum.com/pictures/111252-my-own-m14-build.html
 

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you sound like you would be fine with a kit if you can get someone to put the barrel on the receiver. the rest is pretty simple.
 

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From ur other posts I see your a young man just starting your journey into the big bad world. Good luck on your journey! Good luck with becoming a smith!

Money is what it's all about! Money and over all quality.

You say you want a SHTF rifle. I suggest you read Gus' post on just this subject.

I think a Springfield armory M1a is a very good rifle for what you want. They make many different models look them up on the springfield web site.

These SA M1a's are probably the most bang for the buck! Yes there are better rifles! But they aren't so much battle rifles or SHTF rifles! Your not looking for a match rifle and that's good! A SHTF rifle is not a Match rifle! Again read Gus' post on the subject.

Your not looking for scopes and such so the whole issue on SA receivers not fitting mounts is another none issue.

Gun broker and gun shows are a great place to get a good used SA M1a!

iMHO SA M1a is your best starting point, most bang for the buck and will shoot as well as you need and are capable of at this point. Your not looking for a tack driver your looking for a bear killer and a man killer! SA M1a is ur best bet!
 

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SA M1a SHTF rifle is like the F150 of this platform. Sure you can get "better" or the f350 dualy but that costs lots more money and when The SHTF you fix repair the f150! SA has. Lifetime warranty. If it breaks you send it back and they fix it for free. As a young man just starting out I think that is a huge bonus.
 

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Congrats for choosing the M1a platform in the 7.62 caliber.

The 'smith' in you is 'jonesing'( pun intended) for a forged parts rifle, because you regognize the quality that this platform deserves. I'm the same way.

IMO, there's 3 ways to get a forged rifle-
1. buy one from LRB
2. buy one from 7.62
3. build one yourself.

Now, if you have the money, you can plunk down the dough and have a forged rifle right out of the box, but there's nothing quite like buillding one yourself, for a fraction of the cost of the others.

I don't have the money to do any of those things outright, so I have take a stock Socom 16 ( the platform I want) and replace the parts for forged parts as I can. Plus I get the satisfaction of working on my rifle.
 

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I would say LRB all the way, if you want to assemble it yourself.

I did read that you like to get an item, dissemble it then put it back together.
I would suggest a SAI NM. Get it, learn it, love it, tear it down and then save up to get a LRB kit.
 

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Like has been said, if you get a barreled receiver w/headspaced bolt, the most critical work is done (from what I understand) and you can finish assembling with your CMP kit or parts from other sources; at least that's what I plan on doing from what I've learned and continue to learn from this forum. I enjoy reading Gus Fisher's "Walter Mitty" thread, I think this is the type of rifle you are thinking about. Also, I think this is still applicable, 7.62 will assemble your rifle w/your kit for free when you buy one of their receivers.

CMP kits are available from the CMP at odcmp.com and go to their estore. You have to meet the requirements, and you have to hurry; there's only enough for a few more months.

HTH, Deac
 

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Having been issued and qualified with the M-14, my pedigreed conservative tendencies leaned toward a forged receiver manufactured of 8620 steel with all USGI parts in all of my builds. There was only one manufacturer who met my qualifications and I'm accumulating parts for my fourth build. Our rifles typically fire 1,000 rounds in a year and I expect these receivers to be rebarreled several times. After selecting bolt and barrel, I ship them to 7.62 for lapping and headspacing. When they return after about ten days, I complete the assembly myself from hand selected parts. A kit would be much cheaper, but I strive to create the best rifle possible.

What I have learned from this forum is that those who criticize this manufacturer are typically: 1) cheerleaders for the competition; 2) individuals with questionable social skills and actions; and 3) those who have never owned one of these receivers but jump into the discussion anyway. "Ask the man who owns one" is the best advice I can give. Price is at least competitive and the quality will be remembered long after the cost is forgotten.
 

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You dont here much about 7.62 firearms complete rifles. But from the few parts that I have purchased from them seem to be of very high quality. I would also like to hear from somebody who has used one.
 

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LausDeo,

First, awesome user name. I like it. :) And welcome.

So are you thinking about getting the complete rifle that's listed on 7.62MM's site as '18.5 inch chrome lined barrel scout'? If so, you might want to contact 7.62 and ask them who actually makes that barrel and then report back. I don't think anyone has ever actually given a review on here about purchasing that rifle.

I think that a CMP kit along with purchasing your own 18.5" barrel and sending it all to Chris is a great idea. He seems to be turning around his builds in around a month these days. At least that's how long mine took with my CMP kit around Thanksgiving.
 

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"SHTF" and "Lifetime Warranty" should not exist in the same thread, IMHO.

I would add that there are "cheerleaders" on both sides of the discussion, who are just as rabid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Boy you guys do your research, looking up all 2 of my other posts on the forum so far! Thanks for all the advice so far!

Originally I was looking at an M1A Scout Squad, but I'd really prefer to have hammer-forged quality, and I think in the long run it'll be more than worth it.

I missed the "Walter Mitty" thread because I'm too young to get the reference! I was reading Gus's posts all day yesterday, ironically, just not that thread.

I'm thinking I'll get their receiver or a barreled action if their 18 is nice enough. After reading I'd like it to be chrome lined, and I'm not sure theirs it, so I might send them one to slap on there. Or maybe I'll just change it out later. I'm also leaning towards buying individual parts rather than a full kit, because I'd want a better stock than most kits seem to come with, tritium front post would be nice, still looking at flash hiders (really want a bayonet lug, but maybe I can have one welded on); I like Gus's M1 butt plate idea and rear arpeture idea as well. I don't see a need for a recoil pad, if I can handle my 8mm Mauser with just a buttplace, I can handle the .308/7.62. I loved how the .308 felt powerful unlike the 5.56, yet I felt no uncomfortable recoil unlike my Mauser. It was on a short barrel too, probably an 18 but not sure.

Another question: advantages of a hammer-forged op rod?
Also can anyone suggest a part that serves as both a muzzle brake and flash hider, even if it's less effective at one than the other? I'm more interested in the flash hider aspect, but some braking would certainly be welcome.

EDIT: Also, does anyone know what's happened to this stock? http://m14forum.com/m14/44261-aerospace-technology-used-stock-10.html

What do you guys think? Thanks for your input! Maybe I should build it myself after all, it's not like I don't have other rifles in the meantime.

@GreatPlains- Thanks, I was trying to think of a cool username I hadn't used before, and this was the first thing that came to mind. I like how those who understand where I got it from also understand why I picked it.
 

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Howdy and welcome aboard the M-14 forum. You sound like a hands on kind of guy who wants to do as much as possible when it comes to joining this exclusive fraternity of gun nuts.

What I did way back when was to join this forum before I tackled any do it yourself M-14 project. In years past prior to the Klinton gun ban of 94 I bought a Muntz N/M M-14 and I thought that I had the bases covered when it came to the M14. However when the ban came along I had the opportunity to sell my N/M M-14 for an obscene profit. I used the proceeds to buy a new preban M-1A and I used the rest of the proceeds from the sale to buy up cases of Portugese 7.62x51 NATO ammo and I was now good to go, or so I thought. I had been buying up M14 magazines and TRW gun parts, whenever I found good deals on them at gun shows for years even before I bought my N/M rifle.

I had long had an idea rattling around in my head that I wanted to buy one of the Chinese Polytech M-14s and convert it to as close of a copy of a real M-14 as I could at the time. But by the time I got ready to do it our stupid government had banned their importation in this country. So I kind of put it out of my mind and decided to wait and find a clean used rifle for my project. It took over ten years before I found my first heel stamped Poly at a gun show. It absolutely had to be heel stamped because USGI M-14's were heel stamped. I got lucky when I ran across a guy who was selling his deceased pals gun collection for his friends widow. I got my first heel stamped Polytech for $400.00 OTD and I had tons of USGI TRW parts waiting at home in the wings...

The Polytech M14 has an excellent forged receiver, with the correct metallurgy and the proper dimensions, a good chrome lined barrel, and a one piece forged op rod (just like the TRW's). I had long heard that the Polytech receiver's dimensions are as close as you can get to a real USGI M-14 when it comes to a commercial receiver. I've heard all of bad the stuff about their soft bolts, hammers, hammer pins, crappy soft wood stocks, etc, which mattered not to me, since at the very least, I was replacing all of that crappy stuff with NOS USGI TRW parts.

However to me for my purposes, every part other than the receiver, op rod and the barrel on the Polytech rifle was suspect in my mind and had to be replaced with USGI TRW parts. I fitted the TRW bolt myself and the head space turned out very good with good bolt lug contact on both lugs. By the way back when I bought that new TRW bolt I'd paid $35.00 for it at a gun show. Have you priced a TRW bolt these days?

Through the years I gained knowledge and my parts stash continued to grow, since I had branched out and started buying USGI Springfield M-14 parts for a yet unknown future project. Which meant that I would have to find another heel stamped Polytech M14 as a donor rifle for the receiver, op rod and chrome lined barrel.

I have since found the heel stamped Poly M14 that I needed for the Springfield project and have since finished that project too, a couple of years back. I've since found another Poly, this time a side stamped IDE Mich Imports Polytech M14. Although it's not heel stamped, as were my first two Polys, it is brand new, unmolested and unfired, with a very nice Chinese Manchurian walnut stock.

My first two Kengs Imports Polys had the very soft Chu wood stocks that everyone loves to hate and that includes me. I've replaced the factory rear sight on the IDE Polly with a USGI M-1 Garand sight, USGI Springfield trigger group and a nice USGI CMP walnut stock with one of Hawks dummy selector kits to fill in the hole in the stock. Other than that, it has been too cold and nasty too work outside in my shop or walk up to my firing range so I haven't even fired it yet. But she is sitting here next to my computer desk waiting on Spring to get here.

The point of of this long and rambling post is to tell you that you can do the same thing, simply by shopping around and picking up a used, unmolested Polytech or Norinco M-14 for yourself...

Then by making the mods I've touched on yourself, you will save hundreds and hundreds of dollars over a commercial Springfield M-1A with its cast receiver, cast trigger group, gas tube assembly, op rod, etc. In the end you'll up have a far superior weapon than any thing SAI has turned out in many years and end up knowing all about what makes the M-14 tick. Because you will be responsible for and had your own hands on every part that went into building your battle rifle. If you don't like it, you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Granted USGI parts have gone way up but you could still shop around and buy an M14 parts kit from the CMP or LRB and shop around for a Polytech M14 and come out cheaper, especially if you sold the take off parts which would lower your investment in the rifle.

Several years back when dirt cheap USGI parts started drying up, I started buying Chinese take off M14 parts such as trigger groups and replacing their suspect bits and pieces. I also love the Chinese forged steel one piece op rods and I've bought several for spares as well and the same goes for take the off Chinese barrels which are just fine as it. I don't care for their gas tube assembly since they are chrome molly and not stainless steel as the USGI unit are and I don't like their stocks or rear sight assemblies since they weren't any good when they're brand new.

7th
 

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You can't go wrong with any manufacturer of receiver. It all comes down to:

A) what you want the receiver heel to say, M1A, M14 SA, M14 NM, M25, and branding; Springfield Armory, LRB, Smith Enterprises, 7.62MM, Armscorp, etc?

b) how much you want to spend on the receiver and the rifle?

c) do you care about keeping the rifle all 'USGI' or is commerically made reproduction parts okay with you?

You can certainly hunt for the USGI parts, whether they are new in the wrap, like new (re-parkerized), or original take-off. This can be a lot of fun, and will make you appreciate the quality of different parts. Or if you are in a hurry, buy a rifle from whomever you like, and replace the parts as you aquire them.

Match rifles will be for accuracy, SHTF rifles are by definition, anything you can pick up and use. Becuase when it happens, that's what you will be doing.

Buy because you like what you see. In all the years I've been on this forum, I have yet to hear of any manufacturers receiver change history. I have my preference and it is mine. Not anyone else's.

Good luck, and welcome.
 

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Nothing wrong with Springfield, and if I wasn't a fan of forged receivers I wouldn't have a problem with owning one, if nothing else there no BS warranty makes them worth dealing with. That said my preference is for a forged receiver, partly due to the originals were forged and 7.62 makes a very high quality receiver.

I don't know about complete rifles from 7.62, but I would think it's like rifles from any other builder, some are outstanding, some are good, some have issues. It all depends on the skill and quality of the smith more than the rifle. My first rifle had mucho jamming issues do to the fact that the smith basically just put part A to part B with no regard to cleaning up an early production receiver that had a few burs that it shouldn't have had. Took it to an experienced smith and in short order it was running like a top.

My second m14 took me and two others approximately 4 hours to assemble and test fire, and part of that was taking the piston guide off an old barrel and trying to figure out how to install a sadlak scope mount. As an aside, sadlak was great to do business with and talked me through it.

I can speak for the quality of 7.62 parts, but I can't speak for there customer service as I've never had to use them, nor can I speak either way for there builders. All I can say is if I decide to build another rifle it will have a 7.62 receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good story 7th. I have an aversion to Chinese firearms, but I'm open-minded.

My philosophy is that this isn't a rush project, I'd rather spend a little extra on the right parts, but only buy as many parts as I need (as opposed to buying a full rifle and replacing the parts). This way I avoid paying for parts I'm not going to want on the final product. To me that is the best balance between cost and quality for something I want to depend on.

As far as parts go, GI parts are my default. As I chew the cud on what the best custom configuration is for me, I replace GI parts on the list with ones I would prefer, such as tritium front sights. If there is a less expensive commercial part that is truly equal in quality to a GI part (based on my purpose), I'll probably pick the commercial part.

Again, this isn't going to be a National Match accuracy build. Durability/reliability comes first, practicality/utility second, then accuracy.

Building this myself seems the best way to go, except for the barrel. I don't want to screw that up.

Thanks again guys!
 

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If you aren't locked into having a forged receiver then the answer to your search may lie in a preban Springfield Armoury M-1A. There is nothing at all wrong with their cast receivers and the ones with under a 100K serial number are the preferred ones to have, at least according to some they were made better than the later ones.

The prebans (manufactured prior to September 19, 1994) usually have lots of USGI milsurp parts and are excellent rifles. I mentioned in my earlier post that I had a preban M-1A and I still own it to this day and I love that rifle. It has a TRW bolt, Winchester GI chrome lined barrel, TRW op rod and trigger group, etc in a very nice Bishop commercial walnut stock. I have the rifle mounted at the moment in a USGI fibreglass stock that I filled in the selector cut and had the stock professionally painted woodland cammo. It is a thing of great beauty. I have never shot this rife since I brought it home and hung it in my gun vault and probably never will shoot it. Owning it is more than enough for me since I have the three Polytech M-14/S rifles that I mentioned earlier and they are fine, accurate shooters that I can take the credit for building.

Seriously consider searching the web, the guns shows, gun shops and pawn shops for a used low mileage, unmolested preban M-1A if you don't want to go through the hassles of doing it yourself... And live happily ever after with your decision.

7th
 
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