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Build them both, maybe start with an ar or ak. The m14 barrel, receiver, bolt combination should be your biggest problem to overcome in a m14 build. You can do it though, I know you can if you set your mind to it. Just don't half a$$ it! Do your homework, take your time and build them right. Good Luck!
 

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Lowers are pretty easy to put together. I have yet to put together an upper. Regardless of what you decide to build, tools are going to cost you a good chunk of change unless you know someone who has them already.
 

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I gotta love the good natured ribbing and wholeheartedly applaud the original poster’s enthusiasm to take on a build project in whatever direction

don’t be shy about asking questions, or asking for help from one of the smiths here before getting over your head.
there is a wealth of information advice and experts right here
(as well as good natured ribbing to not take too seriously)
 
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Make your first build simple stick to an AR . Easy build minimum special tools needed get a brownells catalog work your way up. It’s just nuts and bolts. Good luck
 

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Buy a complete AR upper.
Buy a complete AR lower.
Put them together and boom Shaka laka. Go shoot and gave some fun. Don’t take on an M1a for your first. Too many special tools you won’t use again unless you intend on building more if the first goes well. Then there is the inexperience factor that could lead to undesired consequences.
How times have changed.

An M14 was the first rifle I ever "built" because it offered the lowest investment in tools and parts . . .
 

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I started with adding custom parts to my 10/22. Next I "built" a full custom 10/22. Then I custom built a ruger MK3, followed by finishing a m14 barreled action. Then, I finally built a M14 from bare receiver. I worked my way up in skills and complexity. Bedding an M14 is what I hope to learn next. There were several other parts swaps and partial builds along the way, but my point was you dont have to go 100% to start. Ease into it, build your skillset and understanding.
 

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I built all mine - ARs and M14s. The latter is the real gunsmithing required - not for the faint of heart. You will most def. need a lathe and a long study of Kuhn..bible.

There is nothing to ARs - I got my barrels from surplus USGI parts still in wick. All the headspacing is done from the factory so just matter of torquing the barrel to the upper. if using flats for uppers easily clamped w/ two chunks of aluminum flats in a vise. The rest is just installing the gas tubes and flash hider, handguards. The lower is even easier to put together. It is very satisfying to build your own stuff.

The M14 is not hard to build but it is very involved. YOu cannot wing it. Good luck.
 

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I was being facetious of course. I started out building M14's with very little to work with. At first I had to have the barrels installed by someone who knew more about it than I did, but it was a learning experience and I did learn over time. I also collected a fine bunch of tools and gages. Over the 45 years I've been doing this I'm sure I have spent at least $50,000 just on the T&G stuff dedicated to the M1, M14, Carbine, and AR15. I may have twice that in parts. It's not something most can put together in one short period. As I get closer to full retirement, I'm wondering who might be able to do that. I have a good source.
 

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I was being facetious of course. I started out building M14's with very little to work with. At first I had to have the barrels installed by someone who knew more about it than I did, but it was a learning experience and I did learn over time. I also collected a fine bunch of tools and gages. Over the 45 years I've been doing this I'm sure I have spent at least $50,000 just on the T&G stuff dedicated to the M1, M14, Carbine, and AR15. I may have twice that in parts. It's not something most can put together in one short period. As I get closer to full retirement, I'm wondering who might be able to do that. I have a good source.
I started inventorying for insurance one time, I stopped at a point because it would have been to price prohibitive to insure and I was way north of your number. Tools ain't cheap
 
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If anyone is wanting to build an M14 from scratch - you will need some essentials. A lathe, set of headspace gauges, clamping tools, torquing tools, knurling tools..the rest are just the usual parts.

You estimate the headspace as described in the Kuhn ...book. if it is lacking ...or too much you most def need a lathe to take off or add material but swagging. Other than timing the barrel for the proper torque draw...there is nothing else. If you time the barrel and receiver to the specs....the receiver and bolt will pass any damn tilt test. The fine-tune comes when there is some kind of discrepancy of the test. then you need to tweak.
I am sorry but there is not a whole lot of tech stuff into these rifles - a moron can put this together and shoot fine. With the AR platform, you can even be dumber and put one together.

This rant may anger a lot or few...but that is my opinion. Take care.
 

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If anyone is wanting to build an M14 from scratch - you will need some essentials. A lathe, set of headspace gauges, clamping tools, torquing tools, knurling tools..the rest are just the usual parts.

You estimate the headspace as described in the Kuhn ...book. if it is lacking ...or too much you most def need a lathe to take off or add material but swagging. Other than timing the barrel for the proper torque draw...there is nothing else. If you time the barrel and receiver to the specs....the receiver and bolt will pass any damn tilt test. The fine-tune comes when there is some kind of discrepancy of the test. then you need to tweak.
I am sorry but there is not a whole lot of tech stuff into these rifles - a moron can put this together and shoot fine. With the AR platform, you can even be dumber and put one together.

This rant may anger a lot or few...but that is my opinion. Take care.
I’m going to take a swag that most people, the average Joe 6 pack, don’t have a lathe sitting around the house. Just curious tho, how does one “add material” with a lathe. That’s a new one on me.
 

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You swage... basically push or squeeze the material. say you over-cut...and need material... well...you squeeze the barrel by rolls and turn the barrel until your material has pushed passed where you overcut. Is this clear?
 

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it is like knurling...but without the knurls. LOL! For the barrel shoulder - you swage to push the corner material out... By pushing it out, you have more meat to meet the receiver.
 
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