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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many of you were involved in helping me decide how to plan out my current build project, and I thank you for your support! Even if I did not heed your advice, it was noted and most certainly appreciated. For those who were not involved, this is thread will bring you up to speed on the thought processes that occurred: http://m14forum.com/m14/110184-advice-7-62mm-purchase.html
As a reminder, the target is an ultra-rugged, very functional, ultimate (by my standards) "Walter Mitty" rifle.

Several people expressed an interest in the progress of this project, so I am creating this thread that will cover the lifetime of the rifle, from infancy to death (likely and hopefully MY death DI5).

To recap, here are the updated specs:
  • 7.62mm Firearms hammer forged receiver
  • Criterion 18.5" chrome lined barrel
  • Fiberglass stock, which I will custom camo paint (thanks starjammir)
  • M1 rear arperture
  • M1 buttplate
  • XS tritium bar front sight
  • Scout mount (thanks Dredsen)
  • USGI TRW for everything else, using a parts kit from TreelineM14

Future plans:
  • Trijicon RMR (dual illuminated)
  • Grip pod (lower rail mount near magazine)

Journey to begin in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Stock, spare parts, goodies and paint!

Randy at TreelineM14 was nice enough to offer to send me everything that wasn't going to 7.62mm (i.e. everything but the parts kit) directly to my house, at no extra shipping cost. What was sent to me were a GI sling and all of Gus's tier 1 backup parts. Unexpectedly he included some awesome stickers, which I have to find somewhere to display! I'd put it on my ugly white car, but I don't know how long I'll keep the car around.

I also bought a Battle Arms Development BAD-T1. I figured it was the best idea for the long run. They were nice enough to unexpectedly include a cool hat. I don't wear baseball caps normally, but someday it'll come in handy.

As noted above I bought my fiberglass stock and handguard from starjammir. It was originally black and textured, I think from SAI but he wasn't sure. I kind of like the texture, so I decided to paint right over it instead of sanding it down. It came with a recoil pad that I did not want to keep. It is hard as a rock, .308 recoil does not bother me, and I'd like to have access to the storage compartments.

I also bought a scout mount and compatible handguard from Dredsen. I have painted the base coat on the handguard, but have not painted the scout mount yet. I won't be using that until I get my hands on a reflex sight anyways.

The image files for the first coat of stock paint got corrupted on this computer so I'll have to come back and upload them later, maybe tonight.

ETA: To avoid confusion, the second image is the seller's pic of my stock, and the third is the seller's pic of my scout mount.
 

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I concur, you did good and I approve. I wouldn't change a thing except perhaps a 22" chrome lined barrel vs your shorter one but that's just my personal choice. The main thing in my mind is that you chose all TRW and a forged receiver, all else pales in comparison.

7th
 

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I agree, nice parts choices. I like the Scout length too but I just got it so time will tell more for me, but in a "Walter Mitty" rifle it's a good compromise. If you get a good drag bag that holds two rifles, you could bug out with two M1As, this one and a full size precision M14...
m14brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree, nice parts choices. I like the Scout length too but I just got it so time will tell more for me, but in a "Walter Mitty" rifle it's a good compromise. If you get a good drag bag that holds two rifles, you could bug out with two M1As, this one and a full size precision M14...
m14brian
Yeah based on what I read about barrel lengths and muzzle velocity, etc. scout length is the perfect compromise. Maybe I'll get around to a folding stock one day, or a Rogue if I'm really daring, but for now what I've got is just dandy.

I thought about it, but I think I could use my Mauser for precision. Ammo might become an issue though. That thing ain't so light either. Might go the other direction and supplement with the .45-70. Very lightweight, easy to handle, relaively fast shooting (especially the first shot, I can swing it up from my shoulder and fire pretty damn fast), and most importantly, MASSIVE power to take down any creature I'd come across for food or defense. Obviously I'd be sacrificing a lot of range, but in woodlands that might be okay. They'd both be much less maintenance than another M14, but much less firepower. Hopefully in a "Walter Mitty" type situation I'd have some friends who need guns, so I could take advantage of them all (and maybe still add a precision M14).
 

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You have some decent options for secondary weapons. The important thing is you're building and looking at the 'just in case'. Don't underestimate that .45-70 at short range, my friend has one, and he's designated to perforate heavy cover!
For me, my theory was to get more than one M1A for interchangeability of parts, mags, and ammo. Every choice is a compromise somehow, I don't have an AR so my shorty is a Socom, so I don't have a light rifle, and ammo is heavier and more expensive.
m14brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got a call from Chris at 7.62mm, he said she's all ready, parts look great, and he test fired it in a substitute stock! That call made my day right there. I already contacted the FFL GI6

Yesterday I received my M1 buttplate and rear aperture. The buttplate fits way better than I expected it to, I just have to cut the appropriate piece off my rubber pad to fill in the gap. Unfortunately, I can't find my sling swivel, so I may need to get another.

On a more humorous note, look what happened with the M1 arperture: http://m14forum.com/steel-wood/112133-strange-usgi-m1-part.html

I've been painting the stock, here's an update on that: http://m14forum.com/stock/112143-preserving-camo-paint.html

Expect further updates soon!

I like posts like this. It's like time-lapse photography.

Congrats on your endeavor.

Tony.
That's the idea! A neat diary-type thing, and hopefully educational for anyone else wanting to attempt a build.

You have some decent options for secondary weapons. The important thing is you're building and looking at the 'just in case'. Don't underestimate that .45-70 at short range, my friend has one, and he's designated to perforate heavy cover!
For me, my theory was to get more than one M1A for interchangeability of parts, mags, and ammo. Every choice is a compromise somehow, I don't have an AR so my shorty is a Socom, so I don't have a light rifle, and ammo is heavier and more expensive.
m14brian
No kidding! Before I got mine we shot my friend's .45-70 through several 2x4s, a phone book, and some other thing we laid on top of each other on the ground. We dug at least a foot down to find the pill! That wasn't an angry load either.

I'm kinda in the same thought track as you, except the only practical reason I'd get another M1A is for a buddy to carry along side me, and potentially for a precision-based build (which may be one in the same). Hopefully I can convince my group to get their own. Right now I only have one friend and he's dying for one GI7

The reason I got my Mauser as my first rifle though is because surplus ammo is so dang cheap, and even more punchy than .308. Not to mention I'd been dreaming about having one since the 8th grade GI5
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update on the stock-

Painting's not going so well. I'm thinking what someone suggested on one of the threads I linked above is true: the textured coating may be bedliner. Looks like I'll be spending some time stripping it back down to the USGI stock. No way I'm sticking with a black stock, or a splotched black/tan stock for that matter.

Gonna have to drop another $5 on tan spraypaint too. I sprayed the inside of the handguards where there was no coating, and the paint seems to stick great, so I don't think I need primer. If I paint the metal I'll get primer then.

Also I have an order from Fulton Armory to be delivered today. Pictures of goodies will follow when I get home!
 

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LausDeo.....
Do I understand correctly that you are using a commercial (Springfield) plastic stock. I've had some folks, whose opinion I respect, tell me that that stock is far inferior to the GI fiberglass stock. I'm not being critical here so much as curious since I think you are building a $2000 +/- rifle here? And I, for one, am very anxious to follow your progress. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LausDeo.....
Do I understand correctly that you are using a commercial (Springfield) plastic stock. I've had some folks, whose opinion I respect, tell me that that stock is far inferior to the GI fiberglass stock. I'm not being critical here so much as curious since I think you are building a $2000 +/- rifle here? And I, for one, am very anxious to follow your progress. Good luck.
I was worried about that at first, but the stock came with a chip in it near where the receiver goes, and it's got the USGI color, as does the uncoated bottom of the handguard. Removing the buttpad revealed a material that shed particles almost like particle board when the screw threads rubbed against it. The stock is also very light and very hard, I can't get it to flex like people describe the plastic stocks doing. Also there is an outline on the inside of the stock where the selector switch cutout was filled in, or at least that's what it looks like.

I'm pretty dang certain it's USGI fiberglass, I appreciate the concern though. I was worried about it being plastic myself until I inspected it closely.

And thanks for your support!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Fulton Armory order came in as promised. Contents (as seen in first image):

  • Fleece lined canvas rifle case
  • FS nut pliers
  • 10 stripper clips
  • Stripper clip guide
  • XS tritium night sight for 18" barrel
  • Kuhnhausen's "The U.S. .30 Caliber Gas Operated Service Rifles: A Shop Manual Volumes I & II"
  • M6 Bayonet, USGI
  • M8 scabbard, GI, Smelly

The case is pretty nice. Tritium is pretty cool. Pliers look good. Boy I'm descriptive, huh?

Stripper clips and guide "SEY" all kinds of different things on them GI7. Some are "IVI", "A", and "Lufkin".

The shop manual has some cool pro-gun forewards in it, as well as a thank-you section with some familiar names like "Fisher" and "Ricca" GI5.

The bayonet was new in (worn) wrap. The handle is kinda sticky, might hit it with some goo gone. The scabbard is new and marked "USM8A1/PWH" but only comes in box when ordered by twos. Man is that thing smelly, smelly like my dad's tool chest. There's some green goop on a bunch of the metal. I assume that's for storage purposes. I pictured these next to my M7, which I am fairly certain is a Chicom knockoff, but of worthy workmanship quality (though it does say US Army on one side and has a Dept. of Army eagle on the other). I was going to sell the M7 until I found out they fit on some mini 14s.
 

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In the gilded halls of Valhala
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why buy stripper clips? I have the damn things laying everywhere.

because i buy bandoliers of surplus ammo.
 

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my local gunshop sells Radway green 75 round bandoliers for 36.95... a great deal you should look around. skip some lunches and stock up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
my local gunshop sells Radway green 75 round bandoliers for 36.95... a great deal you should look around. skip some lunches and stock up.
Wish I lived where you do, I'd love to be able to go to a store and grab some Radway Green, DAG or MEN. The only place with low priced ammo round here is Cheaper than Dirt, which is 25 miles from work. Even they don't have good 7.62 surplus, just Silver Bear. I bought BVAC 40 FMJs for testing the new rifle there. Cabela's is a few miles south of there and their low priced stuff is all Herter's, Wolf, and PPU, so I got 60 rnd of PPU FMJ. Nobody's got bandoliers around here that I've seen. And my house is in a middle of a dead zone for firearms... there's no source for anything firearms without having to drive several miles except for WalMart.

Not to mention, going out to lunch during work is a serious time crunch even just going to a restaurant the next street over, due to location. I do all my lookin' on weekends and after work.

Glad I won't be here long!
 

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this same shop has marked their wolf .308 at 25.95... what are they thinking. (they let some college kid handle the ammo sales).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unfilling the cutout?

Alright, so, After 11 or so hours (yeah, I know) of sanding down my commercialized USGI fiberglass stock , I have reached several conclusions:

  • It wasn't worth sanding the handguards all the way down to brown; just to the point where I think primer should allow paint to stick
  • Whatever dark adhesive was used to stick the coating to the stock remains with the stock even after sanding
  • It takes FAR longer to sand those dark parts than the parts that sand back down to original USGI fiberglass
  • It would NOT be profitable to repeat this procedure for money, at least not without power tools, and probably not without doing a custom camo job and letting sentiments open up their wallet
  • This power is nothing like sawdust, and gets everywhere, though washes easily with water
  • This stock is now far too ugly and embarassing for me to take to the range unpainted as I'd originally planned to do
  • This is most certainly a commercialized USGI stock because the selector cutout filling is clearly discernable

This is the only sanding I've ever done that wasn't on wood. I originally intended on using 150 grit, but had 100 grit and 220 grit laying around so I decided to start with 100 and bump up to 220 once I got closer to the fiberglass. As it turns out, sandpaper doesn't bother fiberglass stocks hardly at all, so I eventually started using 100 grit almost exclusively. I used 220 to smooth out some rough spots a bit. All of this was done by hand, no block. Loud music was key to survival (I really didn't mind spending all that time sanding with the music going, until I got to the handguards).

As I mentioned, there are black splotches all over the stock. They're in a pattern that only a person would do (no black on the top and bottom ridges of the butt region). These areas were very significantly much more difficult to sand. Presumably, this is a kind of glue or epoxy used to keep the coating stuck to the stock (I think bedliner as per someone's suggestion on another thread).

The stock is now smooth, which I actually like way better than the previous texture. If it weren't so damn ugly I'd be keeping it bare for a while. It feels much more like an actual rifle now and not a toy.

The selector cutout filling is now clearly visible, as I mentioned above. I don't know what material it is, but it feels no different from the rest of the stock, it's just a much darker color (closer to the epoxy). From what I've been reading around here I'm going to guess JB Weld or Marine Tex, but I have no experience with either. Bottom line is I'd like to get my cutout back, I'm wondering how best I could do this or if it's even feasible. (I'd like to install one of Hawk's ambi kits). Obviously sandpaper is out of the question, but what about filing? Would a drill press work for the circular part? Has anyone done this before? Any help is appreciated.

In restoring the cutout I will have successfully nullified every effort that was made on the part of the person who commercialized this stock, and to be honest, I'm damn proud. There was no reason to screw up a good stock like this in the first place! I hate any black that's not on metal!

Pictures to come later, I'll snag some while I'm at the shop tonight before priming the stock. I need to build me a vertical dowel stand for this, as I saw in someone's stockwork photos. I'm thinking that would take like 10 minutes at Home Depot and 10 minutes at the shop, for a total of 20 minutes.
 
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