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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, gents. I’ll probably call Springfield tomorrow to see whether this left them as a receiver, a barreled action or a rifle. Probably also call the seller to get more information on the trigger group, barrel and op rod. Could be a good buy for a vintage (ish) shooter... I do like 70s guns. Have to find a USGI stock for it, though. Anyway... appreciate the input.

mos
 

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Thanks, gents. I’ll probably call Springfield tomorrow to see whether this left them as a receiver, a barreled action or a rifle. Probably also call the seller to get more information on the trigger group, barrel and op rod. Could be a good buy for a vintage (ish) shooter... I do like 70s guns. Have to find a USGI stock for it, though. Anyway... appreciate the input.

mos
The ad says it has a TRW oprod.

The stock is USGI, just reconditioned in the late '90s and stamped with the poorly reproduced DAS. The Proof on the grip was usually sanded off on these.
 

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No need to call Springfield. This came from Elmer at his former San Antonio "Radium" address. Has the original pantograph engraving on the barrel. Very nice stock, but does appear to have been replaced. Easy fix. There were only about 200 "Radium" M1A's built. They were in 2600-2800 SN range. So, that serial number would be correct. It would not surprise me to see that one go for big bucks!

You can also call Elmer for yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just talked to the seller and the barrel lacks any USGI markings, at least where I think they ought to be (right side of barrel and visible when op rod is retracted, like a Garand).

He even pulled his two Devine 3-digit rifles and they too lack USGI markings in that location. One is a 2-line address stamp and the other a 1-line.

What's the deal? Am I (mostly a Garand collector) just misunderstanding USGI M14 barrel stamp locations?

Alternatively, I have been trying to figure out what the possible origin of the barrel is, since it is stamped with the (apparently per the thread responses) correct Radium one-line address.

Can't find anything online about either Canadian Arsenal or Wilson barrels going back to Elmer Balance in TX and being put onto receivers there, but this is definitely Radium stamped.

Anyone have an idea here???


mos
 

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Yes, I have a idea. Look at the bottom of the barrel, many SA. barrel will be marked there. I have had in my possession four new SA. barrels and every one was marked where you could not see it, even with the op-rod pulled rearward.

Other USGI barrel could very easily been marked in this manner, one thing for sure with USGI M14 parts is nothing is a hundred percent.

The SA. barrels were stamped on top.

REN
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yes, I have a idea. Look at the bottom of the barrel, many SA. barrel will be marked there. I havw had in my possession four new SA. barrel and every one was marked where you could not see it with the op-rod pulled rearward.

Other USGI barrel could very easily been marked in this manner, one thing for sure with USGI M14 parts is nothing is a hundred percent.

REN
No barrel markings are visible on any of the three rifles besides the 1-line Devine, 2-line Devine & 1-line Radium stamps, including the right side of the shank, behind the (retracted) op rod where M1 Garand stamps are located.

The seller hasn't taken the handguards off these so its possible they are all stamped on top of the barrel, but I was unaware if that was the most common practice for USGI M14 barrel makers. Is that where the maker markings are usually found?

Still can't find anything about Wilson or Canadian Arsenal barrels going back to SAI in TX to be installed on early pre-Geneseo receivers. Did that happen, or do all the early rifles have USGI barrels (see above re: stamp locations)?


mos
 

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Another possibility, and I don't want to say this is what happened, but... since Elmer Ballance IS still alive, and still has the original engraving equipment, it is possible that the barrel is a replacement that Elmer stamped. Consider the non-GI stock. To my knowledge, Elmer never used anything but G.I. stocks, or other parts.

With regards to Canadian barrels, he did use them, as one of mine Devine's has one.
 

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No barrel markings are visible on any of the three rifles besides the 1-line Devine, 2-line Devine & 1-line Radium stamps, including the right side of the shank, behind the (retracted) op rod where M1 Garand stamps are located.

The seller hasn't taken the handguards off these so its possible they are all stamped on top of the barrel, but I was unaware if that was the most common practice for USGI M14 barrel makers. Is that where the maker markings are usually found?

Still can't find anything about Wilson or Canadian Arsenal barrels going back to SAI in TX to be installed on early pre-Geneseo receivers. Did that happen, or do all the early rifles have USGI barrels (see above re: stamp locations)?


mos
Until you can actually take the action out of the stock you may never know, remove the hand guard as well. If they are USGI they will be stamped, certain of that.

REN
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well.... after finding out that USGI M14 barrels are typically marked on top vs. the side and having the seller walk me through detailed descriptions of this rifle as well as his two Devine rifles I decided to roll the dice.

I bought it last night for maybe a bit more than I ought to have gambled ($3,180), and I'll provide a detailed report to this forum when I get it (hopefully later this week).

Based on comparative rifles sold and on the market, if it turns out to have a USGI barrel... AND if the description was actually correct and it has a TRW op rod and bolt... AND if the trigger group is also USGI... I think I will have done pretty well given the condition (99% w/ original finish, as evidenced by the in-the-white pantograph, etc.). I will remedy the goofy snoopy stock either by refinishing it and sanding the fake DAS off or by upgrading it to an unmolested one from Fred, who is about 45 minutes away from me.

We will see, but as of last night 002713 is mine.


mos
 

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Over the years, I have seen several barrels that were stamped upside down. I have an M1A on Gunbroker right now, built in 1982 that has the stamping upside-down.

Good deal on the rifle, hopefully the only thing hinky is the stock. I bought a Radium a few years ago, and paid much more than that! Elmer told me he only made about 200 at the Radium address.

Good find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Over the years, I have seen several barrels that were stamped upside down. I have an M1A on Gunbroker right now, built in 1982 that has the stamping upside-down.

Good deal on the rifle, hopefully the only thing hinky is the stock. I bought a Radium a few years ago, and paid much more than that! Elmer told me he only made about 200 at the Radium address.

Good find!
Thanks, BarryB! Appreciate hearing that and will post the details sometime over the next two weeks. Assuming all USGI and legit Elmer-built lineage, will look to update some of the record-keeping threads... and to upgrade from snoopy!

mos
 

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I would recommend that after you receive the rifle, you contact Elmer Ballance, and have him send you a letter of authentification. He'll charge you for it, and take a while to get it to you, but down the road, it will help add to the value. He'll need you to send him pictures of it. He is 88 years old now, and once he's gone, no one from the company will have the same level of expertise as the man that started the company.

Colts, with letters from Colt almost always bring more than those without letters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would recommend that after you receive the rifle, you contact Elmer Ballance, and have him send you a letter of authentification. He'll charge you for it, and take a while to get it to you, but down the road, it will help add to the value. He'll need you to send him pictures of it. He is 88 years old now, and once he's gone, no one from the company will have the same level of expertise as the man that started the company.

Colts, with letters from Colt almost always bring more than those without letters.
That is an excellent suggestion, and I will do so immediately upon taking delivery. Thanks again, BarryB. Appreciate it very much!

mos
 
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