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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy folks, thanks for having me! I am new here.

My dad carried an M14 for a while in Vietnam (before the changeout to the M16 happened) and he recently passed away. Been thinking about getting a transferrable M14 machinegun for years and surprising him the next time I visited and we went to his local shooting range but that is money I just didn't have so I was never able to make it happen, and now, it never can happen.

Regardless, as a way to honor my dad in my own way, (we loved shooting and hunting together) I am going to proceed with this project. As transferrable machinegun values have risen, and continue to rise due to ever increasing demand and ever decreasing supply, more than ever I remain unable to afford an M14.

BUT, I recently was able to locate, for a very fair price thankfully, a Smith Enterprises fully transferrable M14 receiver that was forged and registered prior to the May 19, 1986 machinegun ban. It was never built up and is still "new" having sat in a safe for decades. Now with some financial juggling and borrowing from Peter to pay Paul so I speak, I can scrape the money together for the receiver now and then work on building it up as time goes by and as I can find/afford the parts/help that will be required.

So bottom line, I have always been interested in the M14 but honestly, don't know much about them so I will be coming to you guys often for advice and guidance as this project proceeds. I expect to have the transfer of the receiver to me done by about this time next year so I have lots of time to do research and scrounge the parts needed to attempt to recreate, as close as possible, the M14 that was issued to my dad.

Not sure if this is a build that I can handle or whether I need/should have an expert M14 smith handle some or all if it. I will post photos and updates here as this project proceeds, and eventually, video of it with the Fun Switch engaged in my range out back.

In going through my Dad's stuff and getting his house ready to sell, I was able to find two photos of him with his M14. In one photo he is holding it and the other, it is hanging above his cot. A build as close as possible to what is represented in the photos is the goal.

Thanks in advance for all your help and advice!

Chris

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good lord no! I am not from Maryland, I just live here now. Anyone who can own a firearm legally can own a machinegun in Maryland. The Maryland State Police sign all ATF Form 1 and Form 4 applications so long as the background check works out. It is one unexpected nice part about MD gun laws/policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well here is the starting point. I stopped by the dealer today, got my Form 4 executed by the dealer, then dropped off the forms for the Sheriff's signature. Took some photos of the receiver. From what I have been able to research, Smith Enterprises made a couple hundred +/- fully transferrable (before May 19, 1986) forged M14 machinegun receivers. The others I have seen for sale have serial numbers very close to mine. Looks to have never been built into a gun before.

Now to find parts for it and someone to do the build-I think this build is beyond me-the whole barrel timing/headspacing thing has me concerned. It would be a very expensive and potentially dangerous mess if me, a Newbie to M14/M1A builds, messes something up and it blows up! This receiver is pristine and apparently perfect. I don't want to mess it up because of ignorance/lack of build experience!:









 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I mailed the Form 4 package off on September 4, 2014 and called the NFA Branch just now to check on the status and they said it was approved yesterday, April 29, 2015. About 7 months.

Very soon I am going need some expert help putting all the parts onto this brand new M14 machinegun receiver and getting the headspacing right.

As I am in Maryland, I am hoping to be able to get Fulton Armory to help me as they are in Maryland also. I can take a day off from work and drive it down there and babysit the receiver (so no Form 5 or Repair Letter Process needed in such a case) while the magic is performed. That is the goal anyway. Will advise on the next status update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Time for an update. It was a huge problem taking a day off from work during the week to drive the receiver down to Fulton so I poked around for an expert who could help me on weekends. And I found one!!! This fellow agreed to help put it together for me on the weekends at this shop and he let me take photos of this amazing process. HOWEVER, he advised me that he wished to remain anonymous because he does not want to hear from internet people taking issue with his processes/methods. So, I have redacted or chosen the photos so he is not identifiably shown. If you do figure out who he is because you recognize his shop/workbench or something, PLEASE do not out him. I will have the moderators NUKE this thread if that happens out of respect for this national treasure of a gunsmith who has generously agreed to help me. He is a hell of a great guy and a total expert with thousands of documented National Match rifles to his credit. His shop was a cramped but amazing place where he had every tool needed to perform the fitting and measuring required to build one of these great rifles.

My first trip to him I took my registered M-14 machinegun receiver and a pile of new parts I bought from Fulton. The stock I had finished myself with countless coats of 50/50 Tung/Orange Solvent. By the end of that first Sunday afternoon, the M-14 machinegun was built but I still needed to get a few more parts (Trigger group, front stock ferrule, and a selector spring). Those will be fitted on the next trip. It was evident that I was correct in seeking out an expert for help on this project. M-14s are not Lego guns like AR-15s or Ruger 10/22 where you snap the things together and hit the range. These things require specialized tools and the hand of an expert who understands what tolerances are needed and appropriate. This project would have simply been impossible for me to attempt on my own and I did not want to take any chances with an irreplaceable receiver. Anyway, here are some photos from that first trip and the current status of the project, this is about to become a picture heavy thread, sorry!:

The starting point, just parts:





Checking the initial head spacing. I had rolled the dice and bought a Criterion chrome lined barrel so if it did not fit, I was out of luck-no way to ream the chamber for more headspace if needed. I got lucky and the tolerances worked out! Thank God!





Lapping the bolt, this took forever as things were quite tight thanks to the receiver not being in spec. where it needed to be. Still, better to be too tight than too loose. Was a lot of work though. At least 4 sessions back and forth from lapping to checking spec.:





The bolt required a LOT of stoning and fitting to make for a happy marriage to the receiver:





Time to install the barrel! Fitting the barrel into the bench vice/clamp/fixture thingy:






Fitting the receiver into the receiver wrench:






Screwing the receiver onto the fixed barrel:





Making sure the front sight/flash hider aligns perfectly with the receiver during the receiver/barrel union process:






Adding the gas cylinder and fitting other required items to the barrel:









Installing the flash hider and front sight:





Installing the rear sight:






All the full auto/selector parts fit but I did not realize I also needed a selector spring.:






Here is the current status. I have the trigger group now but it won't snap closed- am not going to mess with it. Will wait for the expert to make it all right in this final stretch. Need the front stock ferrule installed and the selector/full auto parts installed. One more trip to my Master Gunsmith and she will be done! Will update soon.

 
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