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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, say theoretically that I just got a tax refund, and theoretically I can get my wife to agree to my spending a bit of it on an M14 "bush" type rifle. The recent talk of QC issues from SAI have me a bit spooked... though I haven't had any issues with their stuff so far. But I haven't tried anything made in the last 5 or 6 years. I'm not well-read enough to know which of SAIs stuff is considered "good".

So, those of you who have done ground-up builds, and I know there are quite a few of you... what's the damage? Is it worth it to get a CMP kit to start with?

I want a standard, non-rear-lugged receiver to save weight (though I could be talked into a double-lug), an 18ish" barrel, GI stock/sights, and I guess as many GI parts as I can afford. My priorities would be, in order:

1. Reliability
2. Accuracy
3. Minimal weight

I have no personal knowledge if GI is better, but from what I see around here, GI is the way to go if you can.

So... say I started with an "approved year" SAI receiver, assuming I could lay my hands on one...

How much would it take to build this rifle at current prices, assuming I had zero parts (other than stocks with all metal) to start with?

And just for fun... what would using an LRB receiver add to the bill? $900 or so? GI3
 

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LRB M14SA receiver $820
new old stock GI bolt $300
cmp kit unsure
LRB kit$499 less bolt and barrel they have discount on barrels
stock $100
get on the list at LRB
barrel Top of the line Krieger barrel 400 or as I said discounted if you have LRB build a rifle
 

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What 82nd said sounds about right.You can save some on the reciever if you go with a Fulton; catch one on sale for $399. LRB has some parts kits without a bolt or barrel for $469 I think, there were some barrels on Px latley $150-$250. If you are really lucky. Low end $1200. I havn't built one that cheap, but I think it might be possible. $1600-$1800 would be a reasonable figure.
 

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I just bought a bolt 5 min ago from RA. $325 plust $85 for the guts. Prices went up since last time. CMP has their kits advertised as being $600 with no bolt,barrel or receiver. If you dont buy a parts kit, you could easily spend tripple that amount on USGI parts that are NOS.

I wanted a match grade rifle and bought everyting seperately. I realized now that I paid way more than I needed to.GI8

+1 on 82nd ABN's suggestion.
 

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Call Ted Brown

I called Ted Brown. I told him what i was looking to build. I wanted a GI fiberglass stock, all GI parts with LRB receiver. He listened to what I told him I wanted and he said he had one already built with SEI direct connect vortex flash hider and hooded gas lock front sight. I sent him a check the next day and had it in my hands in less than 10 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
now for the $64 question... how much, if you don't mind my asking?
 

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You won't really save any money by doing your own build from a parts kit, but it does help spread the cost over time. I bought a SA Inc. M1A receiver last year at Camp Perry, factory first quality, not a "seconds receiver" for $500. I had a Krieger cut rifled barrel with standard GI contour, and all of my USGI parts, assembled by Ted Brown. I had right around $2k invested in that rifle.
CMP parts kits, while not priced too bad, aren't a real bargain either. Add the cost of a barrel and complete bolt, and you have well over $1k in those parts. Then you need a receiver and the assembly costs, you are in the same ballpark price as my build. But you can say you did it your way and got a quality build you can be proud to own.GI1
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, Sarge. I dunno if I'm cut out for this group anymore... I'm too cheap.GI1

I was lucky to find the M1A standard I bought as new, with scope mount and 100 rounds of Federal gold metal match ammo, for $1100... anything more than that now sounds like too much money to me. *sigh* Damn this scottish blood of mine. LOL
 

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Oh you're cut out for it or you would have been gone a long time ago. I have some of that scotish blood as well. I bought my first one of these things for $900. It came with several xtra stocks and mags full of ammo. Why do I need 4 M1a's? You just have to prioritise.
I have one more reciever coming.(m25 LRB) Money is kinda tight now so I am thinking about using most of the parts from my last build to build this one. My plan is to refine the ones I have a little at a time.
 

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If money is a concern and you don't want to deal with ordering parts kits, (and getting usable parts) then just go for the Springfield (just a note, I am no Springfield advocate) but in long and short of it, it will probably save you money.

If you get a good one, you are "good to go". If there is a problem, you can make 'em fix, at no cost excluding shipping.

While some, and me included, can and have built better rifles at the same cost, you still have to build it. That requires tools. (All the tools you need to properly build one can cost close $600-$1000). Then you have to actually do it and do it right. If you "f" it up, then, well, more money, more time. You also have to make sure all the parts work with each other and are in good shape, worn tabs, bolt lugs, extractors, etc...

If you do the parts process and have someone build it, you will be in for a wait, plus it will probably end up costing the same with all the shipping etc...

You have to decide what your goals are. If you just want a general camp gun, get the Springfield and be done with it. If you want a match rifle, go custom, and be prepared to pay and wait...

Also, a lot can be "read into" on the "GI is the way to go". For some its just the asthetic factor of having GI parts. For some parts, the quality actually matters. For instance, bolt stops. A small, relatively inexpensive part, but cast commercial bolts stops tend to break. But lets look at bolts themselves. Fulton makes a great receiver, but a GI TRW bolt is not going to give you anything that Fulton bolt wont in a Fulton reciever. Its a fine balance. Theres plenty more too it, and Im sure threads that follow will list all sorts of things, but it sounds like you just want a solid workable truck or camp gun and are not planning on shooting competitively with it. So if the asthetic reasons are irrelevant, then go Springfield, and if there is a problem, just make 'em fix it...
 

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Thanks, Sarge. I dunno if I'm cut out for this group anymore... I'm too cheap.GI1

I was lucky to find the M1A standard I bought as new, with scope mount and 100 rounds of Federal gold metal match ammo, for $1100... anything more than that now sounds like too much money to me. *sigh* Damn this scottish blood of mine. LOL
That was probably a steal when you got it. The M14/M1A isn't for the cheap.

I bought an M1A Loaded, and a SOCOM-16 a few months later. Once I had Loaded - which is my "full size" rifle of choice, I was looking around for a shorter carbine gun. Had no intention of spending another $1600 on a SOCOM, but after I started doing the math - I realized that if I went with anything I was remotely interested in BUT a SOCOM, and I end up spending close to the $1600 after the gun, mags, tools, and other junk for a new platform are paid for. Or get the SOCOM that I really wanted anyhow. Once I had her in my hands, and visualized what she would be like in wood furniture, I had to have it. Walked out with it immediately.

Reminded me a lot of the BM59 I passed up years ago. BM59, in a gorgeous English walnut stock, with 10 mags, scope mount, and an AN/PVS starlight scope for $3000. I didn't exactly pass it up - I figured I had time to buy it. Until I didn't. That one hurt. I have a hard time saying 'no' to gun purchases now. That one keeps haunting me.. and probably will until I get equally beautiful walnut stocks for my M1As!
 

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cost ?

Congrats ! You've caught the bug.

1k says he has one already and talking about building another. Good luck with the addiction. GI2
 

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What 82nd said sounds about right.You can save some on the reciever if you go with a Fulton; catch one on sale for $399. LRB has some parts kits without a bolt or barrel for $469 I think, there were some barrels on Px latley $150-$250. If you are really lucky. Low end $1200. I havn't built one that cheap, but I think it might be possible. $1600-$1800 would be a reasonable figure.
These numbers are slightly low I think. But even if they are not. Add them up. What do you get? You still have to pay for shipping. Someone has to build it. If you do it, you need tools, if LRB does it, you have to pay them. Its all a matter of what your budget is and want you want the end product to be.....

If I were going to budget for a full new build today, I would expect to have $2000 set aside, with a couple hundred extra waiting in the wings. Incidentals are just that and they always crop up....

A LRB #3 Barreled Action is, as of today, is listed at $2,244.95 retail...
 

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Old Salt, I don't which part of Mountain West you inhabit, but if I were you I'd squirrel away the $ stash for a few weeks or even months (winter's coming anyway) and watch the newspaper classifieds in your area/region, touch base with the firearms dealers and club shooters, keep an eye out here for a complete rifle that looks like value to you. Ideally, you'd get a chance to inspect it first or return it. You've got a pretty good handle on the issues to be alert for. You could buy a CMP parts kit with a build in mind but its better utility would be spare parts and sale/trade bait, IMHO.
 

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M14sa custom builds are not for the faint of pocket book.
I was collecting parts for an all TRW build and got carried away and ended up with enough extra parts for a second rifle minus a couple. I thought that I would sell the extra parts and be done with it. Came across a great deal on another LRB receiver and decided what the h*ll. I'll build a 3rd rifle all with TRW parts. This last will be a standard rifle with a NOS TRW barrel, NOS TRW bolt, excellent TRW trigger group, TRW op rod, and the rest new or excellent condition GI parts. I don't know if I will keep it or not, but I know I can at least get my money back on it.

Thought I had better address the OPs question. I will have a little over 2400.00 in this last build.
 

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I would purchase an SAI built loaded rifle for about $1500. I bought my last SS loaded model for $900 NIB last year. Pre-92 built all USGI part rifle, except for the Douglas NM barrel. Deals can be found if you look and are patient. I never paid more than $1300 for my 2 NM rifles and $2150 for my Glenn Nelson NIB SM. All have 100% complement of USGI (except barrel and receiver) parts and are all below 90k serial number. I haven't considered a build due to issues with receivers. Last thing I need is a $2k rifle with an out-of-spec receiver. The warranty is too short from some of these companies. I might have 2-3 years from receiver purchase to build completion. No thanks.

I like the warranty. If anything goes wrong SAI will fix it zero questions aked. Peace of mind is worth quite a bit. My most accurate M1A is a stock NM SAI rifle. Even better than my SM.
 

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These numbers are slightly low I think. But even if they are not. Add them up. What do you get? You still have to pay for shipping. Someone has to build it. If you do it, you need tools, if LRB does it, you have to pay them. Its all a matter of what your budget is and want you want the end product to be.....

If I were going to budget for a full new build today, I would expect to have $2000 set aside, with a couple hundred extra waiting in the wings. Incidentals are just that and they always crop up....

A LRB #3 Barreled Action is, as of today, is listed at $2,244.95 retail...
He's right tools and incidentals will add up.This is how I justified building three of them. I've got a box with at least $500 of xtra parts left over.
 

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This thread is kind of funny. The spread of prices to build is so emense. One could build or buy for 1.5K-2K or easily spend over 5K and still not put glass on it for a target version.

This is some hobby we have, good thing ammo is cheap!!GI3
 
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