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Op rod for a new build: what, where & why?

462 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  XM25Ren
I'm working out how to best source all of my parts while I wait for a LRB receiver. I see op rods available from various shops and on auction sites that are all over the map in terms of price, manufacturer, and condition.

I'm going for a "Service Rifle +" type of build; standard GI barrel, walnut stock, but with some subtle match upgrades "under the hood".

I have at least a year before the LRB receiver will get to me, so I have nothing but time. What sort of Op Rod should I be on the hunt for? Refurbished? New old stock?
Winchester, Springfield, TRW, H&R?
Does manufacturer even matter?
Would it make sense to pick up a surplus one (or two) and send to a shop for reconditioning?

I've got a "standard build with premium parts" sort of thing going, so I'm looking for components that are quality.

Thanks in advance.
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I would just ask Lou to supply any needed parts. He is a very fair guy and really likes helping us out. Way too many other rip off artists in the game these days. Whatta Hobby!
I did find (though I have no idea if this is true) that TRW op rods were forged as a single peice, while others were made in parts. Am I correct on that?

If so, does it really matter? Where in the round count would there be an appreciable difference?
 

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In my mind the best bang for your buck is the retabbed USGI op rods from treelinem14 for 170-175. Take one, repark it, and then stone the tab until you have a perfect fitting op rod in mint condition for cheaper than you'd get elsewhere.
Thank you.... now please explain this to me like I'm a 5yr old haha

Stone the tab? What's that mean?

Oh, and while I've got you (since you're obviously knowledgeable) would it make sense to grab multiple and have them fitted to my rifle at the time of assembly in order to have some spare parts that are more or less "drop in"?
 

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Thank you.... now please explain this to me like I'm a 5yr old haha

Stone the tab? What's that mean?

Oh, and while I've got you (since you're obviously knowledgeable) would it make sense to grab multiple and have them fitted to my rifle at the time of assembly in order to have some spare parts that are more or less "drop in"?
I wouldn't say I'm very knowledgable, but if someone as inexperienced as me can pull it off, it definitely is doable!

The most typical part of a USGI op rod that will have wear and tear is the tab,...the square bit that glides along the receiver. Retabbed op rods will have the tab be too large to fit into the receiver. You need to use a file or polishing stone to take some material off to have it fit into your gun's receiver. Slow and steady, lots of stopping to see if it fits without taking too much material is the way to go here.

I am parroting something I've heard from another forum member, but unless there is a defect in your op rod or you are firing loads too hot for the gun, your op rod will outlast the rifle and probably you. The issue with some used GI ones is that these may have seen some heavy auto fire and lots of wear and tear before being sold to you.

But I defer to the experts here. And nfte is right in that LRB will not screw you when advising you along the way. This is just what I would do.

In fact, got a spare retabbed springfield (GI not SAI) op rod from treeline an hour ago.
 

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The two rifles I shoot the most have near new SAI take-offs. Each was under $200 and will probably last a lifetime.

TRW oprods are indeed 1 piece, but the only 2 piece oprod that I have seen come apart was made by Mercury Machine.

Springfield Armory, Winchester, Harrington Richardson and Saco-Lowell made replacement oprods. TRW did not. NOS are still floating around, but prices are high.

Nice used USGI are probably your best option.
 

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I did find (though I have no idea if this is true) that TRW op rods were forged as a single peice, while others were made in parts. Am I correct on that?

If so, does it really matter? Where in the round count would there be an appreciable difference?
This is true, but a broken op rod is a very rair occurance.
No.
Probable 50 to 60K with a well maintained rifle and even then not appreciable. The big op rod tab wear factor on a USGI M14 was the constant banging over the take down notch. Whatta Hobby!
 

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Bula is well regarded by several guys here who know what they're doing if you can't locate one in a almost extinct pool of USGI parts. I was looking for a couple at the same time I heard they were selling their -2/ -4/ -6 .002 incremented bolts which would have spared me a headache at the time. These parts don't show on their website, but a thread here said to CALL them direct 216-218-2396 M-F 9-4:30 EST. I don't see Jeff here anymore and Bula doesn't show as a site sponsor. I bet Art could add to this as he's knee deep in his own builds and has used these parts from them with good results. KEEP checking the PX too as solid ones do pop up from time to time. About a year back a member here listed a NOS SAK Oprod for $225.00 in the original unopened tube. I kid you not. From the stamp I missed it by only minutes, but glad a member here got it.
 

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In my mind the best bang for your buck is the retabbed USGI op rods from treelinem14 for 170-175. Take one, repark it, and then stone the tab until you have a perfect fitting op rod in mint condition for cheaper than you'd get elsewhere.
This is truly your best bang for your buck. Spend some time shaping the tab for your receiver and you’re good to go.
 

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Bula is well regarded by several guys here who know what they're doing if you can't locate one in a almost extinct pool of USGI parts. I was looking for a couple at the same time I heard they were selling their -2/ -4/ -6 .002 incremented bolts which would have spared me a headache at the time. These parts don't show on their website, but a thread here said to CALL them direct 216-218-2396 M-F 9-4:30 EST. I don't see Jeff here anymore and Bula doesn't show as a site sponsor. I bet Art could add to this as he's knee deep in his own builds and has used these parts from them with good results. KEEP checking the PX too as solid ones do pop up from time to time. About a year back a member here listed a NOS SAK Oprod for $225.00 in the original unopened tube. I kid you not. From the stamp I missed it by only minutes, but glad a member here got it.
Mic, I think you are miss taken, SAK new in tube comes two to a tube. So it was more than likely new from tube.

MORE THAN A HOBBY, A PASSION!
REN
 
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