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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,
I'm getting back into picking out the details for my first M14. I had done some research earlier and decided to order a M25 receiver from LRB a while back. I figure my name should be coming up soon so I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the gun. Everyone here was super helpful before.

I am trying to build a very accurate (not hyper accurate) traditional looking M14 (wood stock, non-stainless looking barrel), for recreational and target shooting (no competition).

Couple of questions:

1. Would you get the entire rifle built by LRB, or one of the smiths recomended here? I also talked with Krieger and it sounded like they would put most everything together if I wanted. Is that a good option?

2. Barrel - in concept I want an accurate gun so I assume I need to go heavier than the 'standard' barrel. Kreiger doesn't seem to make a medium weight non-stainless barrel, and I'm worried the heavy weight will be to heavy. Is there any noticeable drop-off in going from the Kreiger Heavy to the Criterian Medium? Any other barrel recommendations?

3. Parts - I want a good quality gun that shoots well and doesn't need constant tweaking/maintenance beyond the normal for the M14. Do I have to get USGI parts? I don't care that the parts are 'authentic', I just want them to work and work well.

4. For good accuracy I understand that I need to have a Boyds wood stock, unitize the gas cylinder, have a good barrel, and _____ ? I want a gun that can be really dialed in later with some work, but that still shoots good now. What things do I do now, and which things to I wait on (glass bedding)?

THANK YOU so much for everyones advice. I don't know this rifle system at all but have always wanted to own one and finally can!
 

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1: What are your accuracy expectations...handloads, USGI/Surplus, Mil-Spec Ammo?

2: What Barrel will deliver those results with the weight bullets you intend to shoot?

3: What's more important, weight of a heavier barrel or portability to carry in the field?

4: Parts are NOT just Parts and while there are plenty of good repro/new M14 parts out there, most purists will argue USGI are always better.

5: Stock: Another balance between weight and portability. Generally speaking, IMHO, the heavier matchgrade stocks hold everything together better than a lighter, easy-carrying stock and are Generally capable of improved accuracy. I may get flamed for this one since it's probably open for quite a bit of discussion.

6: Gunsmiths: Make as many calls as you can, check prices and completion schedules. Discuss your budget and expectations. Go with whoever meets your needs. But understand, depending on who you hear from, there may be fewer than a dozen Master Gunsmiths who work on this platform and lots of 2nd tier local experts who can promise you anything, but may not be able to deliver what you want and what you're paying for.

It's NOT an AR15 and it's not made to be screwed together by anyone with a decent tool cabinet and a few hours over an afternoon.
 

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Choosing an LRB and Krieger heavy barrel are top of the line and IMHO yield the most accuracy. That combo is all I have except for one SM SAI rifle but that still has the heavy krieger barrel. Weight is not a factor for me it is for many here on the forum. It will add a couple of pounds over a standard barrel. If you went with those two parts for a base and GI part with some sadlak part in the mix you will have a winning combination capable of sub moa out of the box without a doubt providing you choose the right ammo or hand loads. If you plan on a dedicated scoped rifle you may want to consider the M25 the integrated rail really eliminates any problems you may encounter with a scope mount. Sounds like you are off to an outstanding start. LRB would and are very capable of building the rifle so is anyone of the smiths listed in the stickies section. I have always believed the most critical part in a rifle for accuracy is the barrel and with a krieger you can go wrong regardless of the contour you choose.
 

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I think I would just let LRB do the job. I would have them put as many USGI parts in it as they can.

LRB has different barrel opitions , so I don't think you can go wrong.

If your just wanting a std. grade rifle but with above std.grade accurate, unitize the gas cylinder, have a trigger job done , I would forget the glass bedding and find a good synthetic stock.

Iam sure other's will have some ideals , to help you decide.

Boomer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the Replys.
To respond to a couple of the questions:
Accuracy expectations - I would like to get "1 MOA" or maybe slightly better. I don't expect to be at 0.5 MOA without significant tweaking by a professional, if that is even possible.

Ammo- No handloads (3 young kids so there's no time!) If target shooting for accuracy, I'd be using Hornady or Federal GMM rounds. For bullet weight, I'm assuming I'd use whatever is standard.

Barrel- I probably care more about portability than hyper-accuracy so I'm assuming the heavy barrel's weight isn't worth the extra pounds? Would you agree? Also, what is the relative drop-off in accuracy from the Kreiger barrel to the criterian? (anybody make a mid-weight Kreiger that doesn't look stainless?)

A few other questions:

What twist is normal/most versatile?

On the M25 from LRB, is there a way to shoot using the irons without removing the scope? I want to be able to do both and didn't know if I would need removable mounts to be able to take the scope on and off (like LaRue).

Is a Boyd's match grade stock the best way to go (strength, looks, etc.)? I don't want synthetic due to the look.

If I just tell LRB to build the whole thing, should I ask for specific tune ups like a NM op rod, trigger work, etc? Or just get the gun, it'll be accurate enough, and add/tweak later?

Would there be a significant price or quality difference in asking LRB to build everything, or getting one of the builders/smiths that have a good reputation on this message board? (I doubt I can afford one of the ultra high-end builders)

THANK YOU again to those that respond. I can't wait to have my first M14/25 in my hand and you guys are helping me figure out what I need!!!
 

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Since you're asking for opinions, I'll give you mine based on my experience only. Everybody will have their own.

Once you get your M25 receiver, go ahead and pop for the extended Picatinny rail (you'll love yourself for it when it's time for scope mounting), then I would call Smith Ent. and just have them build you a M21 Crazy Horse M14. They have built many for the US Army and other services and they can build you a 1 MOA rifle that will last as long as a USGI rifle if you supply a quality USGI bolt with guts, USGI trigger group, straight grained wood stock that fits your receiver tightly, hand guard, NM op rod guide, op rod spring. These are most of what you'll need before shipping. They will supply the rest and tell you what's missing. Their medium wt barrel is 1:10 twist four groove. Send them a box of ammo that you primarily intend to shoot so Andy or whoever will chamber your rifle around that specific round. It will also be test fired with that same ammo. They built mine and I pound the heck out of it and my rifle still looks brand new. The one difference I would recommend from their Crazy Horse rifle is to get the Vortex Flash suppressor with castle nut. This will keep your iron sight distance at what Mr. Garand intended.



Good luck with whoever you choose. It's a fun project.
 

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Greetings,

Hi hapdog! I had started on the same path about 2-3 years ago. I'd owned two M14s (a USGI Fed Ord and a custom Armscorp) and had a bit of experience working on them over some years. Wanting to do a full custom build for a while, I put an M25 receiver on order at LRB and had also been collecting parts for a while. In addition to a USGI parts set from one of our vendors (not the current offerings), I'd kept at the PX section here and gun shows to get a few of everything. While I was waiting for the receiver I re-finished a "big red" stock and installed a Versa-Pod rail on it.

At some point waiting on the receiver, I figured it was probably a good idea NOT to do the barrel install myself, so I called LRB and had them update my order to include an SAK profile medium weight, non-chrome lined, 1:11 barrel and USGI bolt installed and head spaced. By the time the barreled action arrived, I'd gone through my parts stash and picked out the nicest examples of each item for the build. I wasn't concerned about an all TRW, all Win or even all USGI. A few of the commercial parts I used were from Sadlak (op spring guide and extended mag release) and SEI (extended bolt stop). Otherwise, pretty sure most everything else was USGI.

I'd been following every build thread here, asking some questions and reading all the major works on the M14 (Kuhnhaussen, Kulleck, etc.). I had all of my parts picked, checked, lubed and ready to go and then started to put it all together.

I took my time and tried to be very careful and thorough as I went along. The only issue I ran into was the op rod guide to barrel fit. The guide needed to be reamed out a bit, as it was much too tight. I did this by hand using various grit papers wrapped around a tool handle (suggestion of a good friend/gun smith). Otherwise, (and perhaps I was lucky) everything went together perfectly with no significant fitting required.

IMO, the rifle came out very well. It has functioned absolutely 100% and is VERY accurate; however it does NOT like surplus ammo at all. Using FGGM 168g, it consistently shoots MOA if I'm doing well. Here are a couple of picture links:

http://www.analogbros.com/private/Fire Arms/M14/LRB-M14S/DCP_3867.jpg

http://www.analogbros.com/private/Fire Arms/M14/LRB-M14S/DCP_3872.jpg

Best of luck whichever direction you decide to go!

Regards, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jim.
By the way, I love the look of that stock. Is that a black hand guard? I don't think I've seen that before?

Quick question for you and the others. On an LRB (or any other) build where they use USGI (slightly used or just old but unused) does the rifle look to be in a slightly used condition when you get it? Or does the gun look brand new? Stupid question, but I was wondering....
Thanks again to everyone who has responed so far!
 

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Greetings,

The hand guard was a standard brown one that I painted black; I just like the look better and it was kind of beat up to begin with. I'd done that before on another M14 and thought it gave a nice contrast against the stock. The USGI parts I used were from many different sources, some of which had variations in the color and condition of the park finish from storage. LRB supplied the barrel and receiver, which were a very nice match. The other stuff all looks kind of different if you look close though. I'd considered having them all re-parked, but decided function before form and to use the money on ammo.

Regards, Jim
 
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