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Here is the answer...

If an op rod were to be made to the miltary specification, it would require a special steel, 8645H, which is not a common grade. LRB did investigate the possibility of making op rods. The steel suppliers would only sell this grade of steel in quantities of 20,000 pounds (10 tons). That's a lot of op rods... Start up costs would be astronamical.

It would be great if all the parts were US made, but at what price level?
What Ted said. I've spoke with Lou about his efforts to get an operating rod made from 8645H steel. It's not a material that is kept in stock, even in Korea. A U. S. steel mill can make it but it will have to be a full heat. He told me the price of what that would have cost back in 2007. No doubt, it would be even more now.
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