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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have always preferred my M14 rifles to be shorties. I have been happily throwing M14 type rifles into the chop saw for decades, ever since I saw an ad for the Springfield M1A Squad Scout. A shortened version of the M14 made so much sense to me as a versatile, adaptable, effective solution to finding that elusive “ONE RIFLE ”, capable OF PERFORMING CQB well, DOMINATING MID RANGE PROBLEMS, and still with some LONG RANGE ABILITY. But unfortunately the SAI Scout version came with an 18” barrel, which was ½” shorter than legally allowed by Canadian Firearms regulations.

NO PROBLEM!!
I had a beat up M1A 22” barreled standard that had been shot with CORROSIVE ammo and stored away for a few years …without cleaning. The NON-chrome lined bore looked like a water pipe, with very little of the rifling left. So, with nothing to lose, I pulled that barrel, chucked it in the lathe, and cut and crowned it to 18 ¾”. As we Canuck’s say, “VOILA” - I now had my very own Canadian LEGAL shortened M1A. Totally Reliable, and amazingly, even with that washed out bore, it still shot about 2” groups with IVI 7.62 NATO BALL ammo.

So, I started out torturing and traumatizing the M14 rifles to rebuild them EXACTLY the way I wanted them - Shorter, Lighter, better than they were before, and quite often, I added pistol grip stocks and side folders. And the Canadian shooters LOVED these shorty M14s. Over the decades I have personally owned well over 100 of the M14 rifles, and almost all of them were transformed into shorties. In fact, here in Canuckistan, I am probably the person who started the M14 shorty movement, and inspired the Chinese FACTORY BUILT, BRAND NEW shorty M14 rifles we Canucks can buy today. By my best guess, about half the new Chinese M14 rifles sold are now these shortified versions.

Like I said, I have always preferred my M14 rifles to be shorties. And when FRANK, head honcho of M14.CA, and I started out to build the best M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle available, we both saw the short barreled M14 rifles as the foundation for our modernization program of modular /scalable M14 platform modifications. The BLACKFEATHER stock SYSTEM is the end result of our dream for the ultimate M14 EBR. And the Blackfeather SYSTEM is still evolving. I see it as the Ultimate “HEAVY METAL” solution to BOTH CQB and MID-range problems, with some ability to be productive at long ranges as well. If you are contemplating ONE RIFLE to suit ALL tactical scenarios, you might consider the BLACKFEATHER modded M14 as a serious contender.

My personal vision for the Blackfeather, right from the very beginning, has always been with a LONNnnnng SINGLE PLANE combination handguard/scope mount. But this particular part of the system turned out to be a long time in coming. We wanted to get it JUST RIGHT, and I think we are almost there. Here are some pictures of the PRE-production prototype we took out yesterday for range testing. It performed perfectly, and Frank is going to bring this to production fairly soon.







BUT,
As usual,
M14.CA likes to get customer feed back from the potential users BEFORE we set the product in stone.[ or in this case, finalize the programming for the multi table CNC machine].

SO,
How many people out there like the design as is?

What about adding a “sexy” 45 degree angle to the front of the rail?

Who sees this rail as a valid improvement for CQB use of the SHORTYM14?

Who views the rail as useful for something else than CQB, as in they would buy it to install on a 22” barreled M14?

Your comments will be gratefully accepted and seriously considered,

NOTE: at this time, the LONNnnnng railed Handguard will fit ONLY standard barrels.

PS: Now if only I could talk him into my other favorite item, a dedicated SIDE FOLDER butt stock, then my dream of the purrrrfect M14 rifle might finally have arrived.


Lazerus2000,
[;)
 

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That looks reeeaaally good on that blackfeather! One of the m14s biggest drawback is the lack of good rail space and that certainly fills the gap!

I've got to ask what is the stock that you have on the blackfeather?
 

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You've owned more than 100 M14s? ICONEEK
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That looks reeeaaally good on that blackfeather! One of the m14s biggest drawback is the lack of good rail space and that certainly fills the gap!

I've got to ask what is the stock that you have on the blackfeather?
As I have said before, BLACKFEATHER is more than just a stock ... it is an INTEGRATED SYSTEM of MODULAR / SCALABLE COMPONENTS that can be added one at a time, as budget allows.

The butt stock in the pictures is a proprietary M14.CA product and also has a HEAVY DUTY tube designed to purrrfectly integrate with the Blackfeather. A bit more expensive than the usual AR 14 butt stocks, but SOLID, STRONG, Balances well, and looks right with the Blackfeather. Both the H/D tube and butt are available for sale on the M14.CA web site.

PS: the compensator and front sight tower are also available, but with the raised high sight line of the Long railed handguard, the original M14 front sight becomes superfluous as AR 15 style BUIS are now used instead.
[;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Truth IS stranger than fiction

You've owned more than 100 M14s? ICONEEK
ROGER THAT.
I have owned WELL OVER 100 as my personal rifles, and as a Canadian Licensed firearms dealer ... including about three dozen GENUINE M14s.

I also worked on dozens and DOZENS more for paying customers as a Canadian Licensed professional gunsmith, including accurising and reliability tuning. I am now retired, but still do a bit of CONSULTING work.

As of today,
I do NOT personally own a single M14 rifle,
BUT,
have the keys to a gun cabinet with a few choice M14s inside, along with a couple of cases of 168 GR HPBT Match ammo, and some Hirtenberger 7.62 NATO BALL.

Nice to have friends with $$$.
[;)
 

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Looks like with a prs you could run an acog.
 

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This looks good. You guys up north seem to be coming up with new useful products every couple of months. There are a lot of med weight 18.5 in barrels out. Neither this hand guard nor the scout version will accommodate them. Are there any plans to make a railed hand guard that will fit the med barrels out there? Could you make one that would fit a med barrel and then include spacers so it would also attach to a standard barrel? Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good Thought ... but ...

This looks good. You guys up north seem to be coming up with new useful products every couple of months. There are a lot of med weight 18.5 in barrels out. Neither this hand guard nor the scout version will accommodate them. Are there any plans to make a railed hand guard that will fit the med barrels out there? Could you make one that would fit a med barrel and then include spacers so it would also attach to a standard barrel? Just a thought.
The railed hand guards from M14.CA, BOTH long and short are very precisely fitted to mate up with a STANDARD contour M14 barrel. Unfortunately, as you point out, there ARE several different medium wt. M14 Barrels available, with several different contours.

Perhaps at a later date we will deal with this issue, but your idea of spcers does have some merit. BUT, Obtaining the PRECISE fit required with various spacers and barrel dimensions would be so much more complicated.
 

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Laz, First let me tell you how happy I am with my Blackfeather "system" that I have built so far--You guys have done a killer job with this project and the quality or the products I have so far is top notch. With the chassis, but stock and the Hera Arms side folding adapter installed on my SOCOM I am very happy with the weight, feel, looks and function of the rifle--I did remove the AFG and the Bipod just because the rifle feels better and looks better without them---It's an awesome package. Thanks.

Now, about the long railed handguard:

1. As I am a short armed, half blind, fat guy, I went through 3 mounting and scope systems and could never find one I was happy with; primarily due to the 3-4 inch eye relief of most scopes--I just couldn't seem to get close enough to the scope comfortably. Eventually I pulled everything off and went back to irons on my standard.

I might have a different impression if I had your long rail installed as it looks to provide 3-4 inches more rail space to the rear. If I consider a standard scope in the future, I will definitely consider your long rail.

2. I had great difficulty getting even the good scope mounts aligned correctly and I have seen many posts where others have had the same problems. With your long rail, I can see where this would eliminate many of the problems associated with mount installation and alignment.

3. This long rail is ideal for those who would like to mount multiple accessories on the rail; such as an red dot, magnifier and backup sights. most available mounts severely limit this option.

Suggestion---with the variety of M1A platforms, i.e. Standard, Socom, Scout, heavy barrel etc, I think you would greatly widen your market if you could engineer a mounting system that would permit mounting to several of these platforms.

For me: I have recently gained a liking for the forward mounted optic and especially a forward mounted scout scope, so my next addition to my system will be the your Scout Hand Guard---Beyond fitting my needs perfectly, It just looks great with the rest of the chassis.

Thanks for a great set of products you guys have developed for our M1A.

Bob.

One more thing---You guys need a better YouTube presence. The current videos just do not do your system any justice. I will try and put something together, but my video skills are no better than what you currently have. Find someone who can do a series of good videos on your products.

Thanks again.
 

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Might I suggest doing something to fill in the gap between the rail and receiver heel(maybe just leave the tail of the rail machined lower), or to atleast round off those back corners?

Seems like it would be likely to catch on items/break off on impact/cut the user. And would be more aesthetically pleasing. Because what's the point in an ugly rifle?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the kind words ...

Laz, First let me tell you how happy I am with my Blackfeather "system" that I have built so far--You guys have done a killer job with this project and the quality or the products I have so far is top notch. With the chassis, but stock and the Hera Arms side folding adapter installed on my SOCOM I am very happy ....
Thanks again.
Bob,
thank you for the feedback. As I mentioned in my first post, I too am a big fan of a side folder on the M14. Your HERA ADAPTER equipped rig looks awesome. M14.CA will eventually be bringing out their own side folder, but till then I think your rifle with the Hera is one of the finezt examples I have seen.
LAZ
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The space is there to mate up with a future HIGH/ side folder buttstock adapter. The extension is to allow very short eye relief optics, like the ACOGS, a place to mount closer to the eye.

Our first rule in designing gear is that form follows function .... and we hope it looks "purposeful" rather than just "FUGLY".

OF COURSE,
different people have different tastes,
and YPMMV.

Thanks for the constructive feedback .... valid criticisms can be just as valuable as all the positives.

PS: MY ORIGINAL DRAWINGS HAD THE REAR SIGHT PAD EXTENDING ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE END OF THE RAIL. The extra material here under the rail was removed mostly to save weight and make the Long Railed Handguard as light as possible. The pre-production prototype turned out very very light so we may revisit the FUGLY gap issue.

We DO listen to the feedback,
[;)
LAZ 1
 

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I think the design looks fantastic aesthetically. I know that optic height and proper cheek weld is always an issue with the M14 platform, and that looks no different here. For a CQB rifle with multiple optics (magnifiers, night vision, etc) I think it has great potential. What I think would make this setup awesome would be to have a channel machined down the center of the picatinny rail like you do on your CASM mounts. Then have an AR15 style post mount on the front of the rail and a windage adjustable aperture on the back. This would give you a nice back up iron sight setup that could be seen/used under whatever optics were mounted. Just my $.02. Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Great minds think alike ....

What I think would make this setup awesome would be to have a channel machined down the center of the picatinny rail like you do on your CASM mounts. Then have an AR15 style post mount on the front of the rail and a windage adjustable aperture on the back. This would give you a nice back up iron sight setup that could be seen/used under whatever optics were .mounted. .
Yep. This has been discussed.
Perhaps a simple model first and a deluxe model later.
LAZ

PS: we have considered machining at the front to allow embedding a shorter AR 15 front sight, adj for height.
AND
Machining a dovetail at the rear for a pistol type windage adjustable rear sight.

Basically this would give us embedded instantly available BUIS that are MUCH lower than the usual AR 15 flip up types.

BUT
we need to see how much more this extra machining will cost, and if this will be a standard feature or saved for a more deluxe [ and more expensive ] version.

On this subject,
most pistol style rear sights are a simple Patridge style notch.

Would a simple notch rear sight be acceptable?

Or should we make up our own version of a PEEP/Aperture REAR SIGHT?

SHOULD THE DOVETAIL MATCH SOME EASILY AVAILABLE REAR SIGHT, eg the GLOCK??

HMMmmm??
LAZ 1
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Yep ...

So are you saying the side folder buttstock adapter will be more inline with the bore, kind of like the Troy chassis?
Raising the rear buffer tube mounting point a bit would definitely improve the bore to buttstock alignment and minimize recoil force vectors.
BUT,
the proper relationship between buffer tube and top rail / rear sight height will vary from person to person [ does the shooter have a neck like a giraffe or a rhino? ] . This is a VERY complicated issue, and IMHO the simplest answer / default should be to make it match up to the AR 15.

Here is my original prototype side folder using a BUTLER CREEK STEEL butt assembly. We will be making the new side folder with an AR style alloy buffer tube [ lighter and better versatility for fitting various accessory butt stocks ].


The folding mechanism is still being worked on, but unlike most of the other AR style side folders intended for lighter recoil, ours will be SOLID. Here is a side folder I did up for my SKS using an ACE AR 15 type stock.



LAZ 1
 

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A higher buttstock would be good for guys wanting to an run optic, with or without the rail. Guys that want to run an acog would be able to, without a crazy set up.
 

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Try running micro-flip up sights (Troy makes them), they will be a little lower than the standard AR-15 flip ups. Also, the angled portion to the sides of your rails needs to have picatinny sections (or have screw holes so the customer can mount rail sections where they want them.) This way the customer can mount lights, lasers, standard flip up sights as an offset angled sight, etc.....
 
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