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I'm looking to see people's opinions on the LRB bolts vs. USGI. I've heard great reviews on the LRB bolts and understand they are of much better value than USGI ones due to the price difference. I'm wondering however, if price were no object, which is better?

I will be trying to make as accurate a rifle as possible on this build. Thanks.
 

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If I was in need of a bolt I would look to availability. I would not pay the premiums assosiated with NIW usgi bolts on any future builds. Bolts are not a factor in accuracy as long as they are fitted correctly.

Only part that I would insist on as USGI at present would be a trigger group.
 

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For a rifle I planned to shoot alot I'd use the LRB bolt such as a match rifle or a plinker etc... for a wall hanger or collection piece where I wanted matching parts I'd go with USGI from a manufacturer that matched the rest of the build.

I'm with blacktail on the trigger group... too many questions about sheared hammer hooks and doubling rifles to trust anything else other than USGI at this time for me.
 

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I have an LRB bolt in one of my rifles and I am going to use one on my next build. One thing to consider aside from the cost of an LRB bolt vs USGI is that LRB is still in business, the USGI manufacturers are not. In the rare case that you should have bolt problem, you have nowhere to go with the GI bolt. In the end it is your choice, but I am going to put my money where my mouth is and add another LRB bolt in my latest build.
 

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If I were building from the reciever up an LRB-GI bolt would certainly be what I would want.To that end when I bought my SAI std in '03' I began collecting excellent to as new
USGI parts as an upgrade which was/is part of my plan for the rifle eventually.All of the USGI parts except an exc GI TG that has installed, sit unused,including a NIW HR bolt and USGI bolt guts.Except for a M14 buttplate!Stock SAI
rubber pad on GI glass stocks was a crime!
The impression a new SAI owner might get is the stock SAI 'F' (forged) bolt isnt adequate for the job and I dont believe thats true for a minute.Fact is I would be suprised if a properly fitted SAI 'F' bolt is any less strong/ durable than the GI bolt,other than the SAI extractor!
The finish/machine marks leave something to be desired on my SAI 'F' bolt but I have complete confidence in it.So much so Im sure the cast reciever would let go before the bolt!
 

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I have LRB & TRW and they are equaly performance wise but I like the LRB better because I can stroll down there and pick one up in person.
 

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I'm looking to see people's opinions on the LRB bolts vs. USGI. I've heard great reviews on the LRB bolts and understand they are of much better value than USGI ones due to the price difference. I'm wondering however, if price were no object, which is better?

I will be trying to make as accurate a rifle as possible on this build. Thanks.
OK stat at square one:

We do NOT produce the metal to make anything anymore. We import it. The question now becomes how was LRB or any of the other vendors testing for quality control. Do not ask me about metal problems from building collapses to Ruger's fun and game with the metal they get. I know... We talk about it all the time and no, I can't import that dialog here.

Now any and all USGI parts were made to a spec sheet which you can read about in Lee Emerson's M14 book (three volumes I think it is)... very good reading all the way down to the early M1As, with some things I've argued with him about, since I KNEW people making the earlier M1As (the Karnes at A.R. Sales) and a couple I don't want to talk about because they were junk.

So what's best? In reality it's a crap shoot. Given the fact that all the inventory of M14's are now back in duty as DMR's and M25's... the word went out to make close inspections of certain parts due to storage and maintenance.

Me personally? I'd visually inspect the part (USGI) and if there was a question, I'd have it magna fluxed and tested for hardness. I used to have a box full of USGI bolts along with crates of USGI parts. Until the mid 80's, there was never less then 12 USGI NM barrels in the closet. All were new and yes I slugged every one of them. Contrary to publication/documentation, they were all 1 in 12 rifling. I still have a bunch of USGI firing pins floating around here somewhere, I have to sort things out and see what I still have around. I used to go to gun shows and have a sign on my back about buying M14 parts.. brother did I. Got all my barrels out of Texas. Everyone of them has the 779 designation (NM).
 

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I plan on trying my first commercial bolt in an M-14 with my next build. I will use an LRB bolt because I've heard so much good about them here and else where on the web. Previously I've used nothing but USGI bolts so this will be a first for me.

7th
 

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From a builders viewpoint, I have found that LRB bolts are every bit as good as GI bolts for most any build. I have been using them in some of my personal rifles and found no difference in functioning or accuracy. Comparing a new LRB Arms bolt with a NIW TRW bolt, the only significant difference I can find is that LRB has a little more sharpness to the edges in some areas. GI bolts tend to be more radiused. This is evident in their receivers as well. It's not important. What is important is fit and function. Note too that LRB does in fact have every batch of bolts (as well as receivers) tested by an independent lab to insure metalurgical and heat treating quality.
 

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Comparing a new LRB Arms bolt with a NIW TRW bolt, the only significant difference I can find is that LRB has a little more sharpness to the edges in some areas. GI bolts tend to be more radiused. This is evident in their receivers as well. It's not important.
Question, do you believe that the sharp edges or lack of radiuses leave the bolt subject to progressive stress fractures?
Sharp edges can be points of stress concentration, here is a definition from a Mechanical Engineers manual:

Stress Concentration
(in elasticity theory), the concentration of large stresses on small areas adjacent to points of abrupt changes in the shape of the surface or cross section of a deformed body. The factors leading to stress concentration (”stress concentrators”) may be openings, cavities, cracks, grooves, incisions, corners, protrusions, sharp edges, or engraving, as well as various surface irregularities, such as notches, scratches, markings, and irregularities of welded seams.

The bolt in original M14's produced by the Military contractors had cracking issues which resulted in magnafluxing the bolts and the electro pencil "M" on the bottom of the bolt. I have experienced crank shaft failures in Marine Engines from lack of proper finish and radius of journals. This stress failure is real.
Not trying to start a disagreement, trying to learn.

Thank you


Jim
 
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I don't believe that to be the case. LRB bolts do have radiused edges, just not as pronounced as on GI bolts. The edges in question are in low stress areas and not on the lugs which must bear most of the stress. Seriously, if you compare the LRB and TRW bolts side by side, you would be hard pressed to see any significant differences.
 

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I have an LRB bolt and will bs using nothing but LRB bolts in my future builds. They are tested as Ted said. They have been cross sectioned and all ares were hardness tested. I saw with my own eyes the results from the hardness test, I didn't write the numbers down but I'm sure if I asked Lou would give them to me. The external hardness was 54 it was tested side by side with a trw bolt. As with anything Lou obsesses over his product. There were several small runs on the bolt prior to there final release. They went out to leading people in the industry like Ted for there input and comments. They are that good and then some guys. Like I said they will be used in all my future LRB builds.
 

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Though I love their products, the allure of a NIW TRW or Winchester bolt is still too strong for me to make the leap to LRB bolts at this point, for a couple reasons:

LRB's website states "...machined from genuine 8620H steel forgings per mil-spec."

Why not say: "Meets all USGI Mil spec standards." The above sentence does not claim this.

Also, if all USGI specs are met, why not put a hardness/proof dent on the bolt? Seems like a simple thing to do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful for LRB and what they do.
 

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I think the dimple was a proof mark that means the bolt was test fired in a rifle. I don't think the general public would like to purchase something that has been fired. Also the military bolts were not lapped in to the receivers. I don't know if thats because they fit perfect or not. Its funny that you mention GI spec because the first couple of runs were made as per the drawing. There were subtle differences between what came out compared to an actual GI bolt. They came to find out that there were changes made on the drawings that were never placed on them. So Lou made the changes on subsequent runs. Those runs never hit the market they were simply test bolts to get them correct prior to release. I don't know the exact number of prototype runs were made but I think it was a few. They are tested here is a cross section of one of the tests
Its pretty clear how you can see the external hardness. If I remember correctly there were three hardness tests done on this one
 

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OK stat at square one:

We do NOT produce the metal to make anything anymore. We import it. The question now becomes how was LRB or any of the other vendors testing for quality control. Do not ask me about metal problems from building collapses to Ruger's fun and game with the metal they get. I know... We talk about it all the time and no, I can't import that dialog here.

Now any and all USGI parts were made to a spec sheet which you can read about in Lee Emerson's M14 book (three volumes I think it is)... very good reading all the way down to the early M1As, with some things I've argued with him about, since I KNEW people making the earlier M1As (the Karnes at A.R. Sales) and a couple I don't want to talk about because they were junk.

So what's best? In reality it's a crap shoot. Given the fact that all the inventory of M14's are now back in duty as DMR's and M25's... the word went out to make close inspections of certain parts due to storage and maintenance.

I really have to question the above comment, as any special inspection on M14 series rifles would have come from me for anything in the Army inventory and I issued no such special inspection requirements in the form of a MAM (Maintenance Advisory Message).

Second, there are still in excess of 80K M14s in Code A condition in depot storage so they are not all issued.


Me personally? I'd visually inspect the part (USGI) and if there was a question, I'd have it magna fluxed and tested for hardness. I used to have a box full of USGI bolts along with crates of USGI parts. Until the mid 80's, there was never less then 12 USGI NM barrels in the closet. All were new and yes I slugged every one of them. Contrary to publication/documentation, they were all 1 in 12 rifling. I still have a bunch of USGI firing pins floating around here somewhere, I have to sort things out and see what I still have around. I used to go to gun shows and have a sign on my back about buying M14 parts.. brother did I. Got all my barrels out of Texas. Everyone of them has the 779 designation (NM).
Just my two cents worth.
 
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