M14 Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if Nelson Custom Guns ever built Supermatches with SA parts other than Receiver and wood? SA says Nelson built my Supermatch in 10/95 but IBA shot record states they put a new GI bolt in and Unitized the Gas cylinder in 04/98. My "86" model SM built by Glen also has a TRW bolt and screw and glue gas cylinder. Just wondering why they would have replaced these parts. When did SA start manufacturing their own bolts and gas cylinders? Just trying to clear up the mystery. Anybody got a theory?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,465 Posts
From the canon,

"By no later than 1978, Hillside Manufacturing machined reproduction operating rods, trigger housings, flash suppressors, bolts, operating rod spring guides and barrels. No gas cylinders were made by Hillside Manufacturing or Valley Ordnance. It has not been confirmed but most likely the trigger housing and flash suppressor castings for M1A parts were also produced by Gray-Syracuse, Inc. since Mr. Smith was loyal to his suppliers. Valley Ordnance did the finish machining on cast semi-finished cartridge clip guides supplied to the firm. The reproduction bolts, operating rods and trigger housings were stamped at Valley Ordnance. The operating rod spring guides were made from plate steel using a punch press with progressive dies. The operating rods were supplied to Hillside Manufacturing already welded together. Hillside Manufacturing machined the operating rods to final dimension. In the late 1980s, Hillside Manufacturing made fewer M1A parts as Springfield Armory, Inc. found other sources or did the work itself."

and

"Mr. Nelson and his staff used the same Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A receivers used on standard models to create state-of-the-art competition rifles. They performed the match conditioning work and 90 % of the assembly on the receivers sent to the Nelson shop in Columbus, GA by Springfield Armory, Inc. Mr. Nelson purchased TRW bolts for building all the National Match and Super Match M1A rifles in his shop. Headspace on these rifles was kept between 1.631 " and 1.632 ". The M1A rifles dressed in wood stocks were coated several times with raw linseed oil. The almost-complete rifles were shipped back to Springfield Armory, Inc. for final assembly, test firing, packaging and shipping. Final assembly in Geneseo, IL included installation of the front and rear sights, operating rods, hand guards and slings. Mr. Nelson passed away on February 17, 2007 after battling several types of cancer."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Glen Nelson, another great name from the past. Thanks for keeping history alive Different. Oh, the memories this site brings back. OK, now I have a question. Hillside Mfg. Op Rods. What was the quality of their work? Thanks, Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
To let you know how many of us he may have touched..I have a pre-owned 2002 SA Supermatch.

Their customer service folks confirmed shortly after I got it, that his shop would have built it and he may still have been involved in the daily production.
It still runs like a swiss watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Is there any way to know with any certainty which rifles Mr. Nelson may have personally put together? My brother has an SAI Supermatch that was built April 1994. I told him that it's possible Mr. Nelson might have built that rifle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,679 Posts
Glen Nelson, another great name from the past. Thanks for keeping history alive Different. Oh, the memories this site brings back. OK, now I have a question. Hillside Mfg. Op Rods. What was the quality of their work? Thanks, Mike
Early-mid '80's SAI op rods are as good as USGI unless you want TRW one piece (no weld). Now, those SAI bolts back then, best I recall they all got recalled by SAI. Some trigger assemblies, too, for a safety out of spec.

Glen Nelson was a highly-skilled builder besides being good marketing for SAI. His rifles gave the M1A credibility among civilian Service Rifle competition shooters at a time when the smart $$$ was ordering the receiver only (or one of Smith Enterprise's) and sending it to Fowler, Hook, Roland B, Phil Arrington, etc., to be completed. In '84 or '85 I was still shooting a DCM Garand; a friend who did some "team support" for SAI gave me one of its new M1 receivers (# 70085XX), which SAI sponsored to be sent to Glen Nelson for a tricked-out test build. It came back a superb shooting iron, glass bedded (can't tell from the exterior unless you know where to look) into one of those heavy birch USGI replacement stocks. Still have it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,465 Posts
Is there any way to know with any certainty which rifles Mr. Nelson may have personally put together? My brother has an SAI Supermatch that was built April 1994. I told him that it's possible Mr. Nelson might have built that rifle.
Yes, from the canon aka M14 Rifle History and Development Fifth Edition by Lee Emerson copyright 2010:

"Mr. Nelson began building Ultra Match M1 Garand and National Match and Super Match M1A rifles from his home. However, by 1987 the business had grown such that Nelson’s Custom Gun Shop occupied 5,000 square feet of building space. Over the years he put together a first rate staff of former AMTU match armorers and former Army team shooters. Mr. Nelson and his staff kept up with and implemented the latest accurizing techniques used by the AMTU as time went on. Mr. Nelson built competition rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc. until 2004. Mr. Nelson’s FFL Book had logged over 41,200 entries for rifles received for his gifted touch. When Mr. Nelson retired from business, his machine tools and shop equipment were sold to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ken Corcoran, U. S. Army (Retired) of North Pole, AK. Chief Warrant Officer Corcoran was an AMU armorer himself."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,465 Posts
There's no excuse not to have the latest freebie copy of the canon. When you get it, Ctrl - F is your friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
here is a pic of my Nelson supermatch--

here is a photo of my Nelson Supermatch. it shoots as good as it looks.
bhk308
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top