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I want to quickly address two perspectives:

...versus this perspective:


Fwiw, my first M1A was this SAI M21 Tactical Match made in December 2007. I got it in 2009 as a gift. The only three USGI parts that it had was a hammer, trigger, and trigger housing. I subsequently bought one of the M25 "White Feather" adjustable trigger groups, so now the only USGI part on this rifle is now the hammer. That's it - one USGI part, and the rest are commercial parts. Between 2009 and 2021 I shot over 5k rds thru it over those 12 years - so I had SAI install a new Krieger SS heavy replacement barrel on it, as its stellar accuracy had begun to drop-off. I have had zero issues with all its commercial SAI parts, and this rifle has historically been my most accurate M1A as well.

So, for high-volume "shooter" M1As, I think the SAI parts work perfectly well, and may last longer than parts made way back in the 1960s. My kids will inherit this rifle and I suspect it will be used for decades to come, commercial parts and all... So time will tell, but USGI parts are what I use on my replicas of US military rifles for "period correctness," but commercial parts will work for non-replicas. The larger problem as I noted earlier, is that SAI will not likely ever sell complete "parts kits", and they don't really sell receivers now either. To SAI it seems demand is not quite sufficient at this point, or it was creating too many headaches re warranty work.
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Anyhow, that's my 2cts on the never-ending USGI vs commercial parts topic...(BTW, one could argue that contemporary M1A parts - if made in Taiwan using same machines/processes as originally used for the military Type 57 rifles, and later the civilian SAI M1A rifles - then one could argue they are still more or less mil-spec parts - just not USGI parts. Aside from some bolts that SAI made back in the mid-1980s that were not properly heat treated (which also applied to some USGI bolts back in 1960) and reportedly some problematic unmarked hammers and extractors made in the early 2000s, SAI seems to have produced overall good quality M1A/M14 parts.
RG, I had a 1984 SAI, and I remember a recall in 1986? I remember they sent me a replacement bolt to Germany. I could almost swear the defective replaced bolt was TRW although I might be wrong its been a long time.
 

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I think the problem is two fold:

1) Most “younger” people grew up and served with the M16 and M4. The AR platform is what’s in “style” and what people are comfortable with.

2) M14 is an expensive rifle. I can get a decent AR for half the price or less than a decent M14; it’s just the facts. Plus 556 ammo is 40 to 50% cheaper than 7.62 ammo. In this current awful economy, people are going to go with cheaper things.

With that combined companies are going to cater to the needs of their customers.
 

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It's an interesting list for sure. However, I think one of the problems is the US government doesn't allow the import of military parts anymore. Parts made specifically for the M1A would be considered to be for a sporting firearm, not a military arm. You know how nit picky the gov. can be. On the other hand, SAI used a lot of military parts imported back from Israel in the 80's. Of course they were originally US parts in the first place. The distinction escapes me, but I wouldn't put it past Uncle. I'm sure WMI has the capability to manufacture mil spec parts. I'm just not sure they do that for SAI. Many parts made off shore are made by independent, sometimes small family operations, that don't follow the best QC practices. I think that was the problem I found with an op rod that was 1/8 inch short. It was sold by Red, White, and Blue. Remember them?
 

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It seems that those who like the 14, do because it was a military arm. I am infatuated with it because one was issued to me. As the military continues to slow roll the 14 out of service, the rifle will only be the concern of us die hards. With the way the firearm culture is changing, in my estimation, true marksmanship is not popular anymore. The 14 is a marksman rifle. We have material and cultural obstacles.
I could see Bula coming around, maybe, so people could still roll their own. Or the manufacture of wear parts to keep existing rifles shooting...worse case scenario. I am still in the manufacturing game, building rifle rear sights at the moment. I can attest from my years of building 1911's and building 300m issf rifles, the gun industry is brutal. There are too many barriers to list in one posting. LRB and Bula deserve support.
 

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Remember a few years back (3-4 years) - BULA made available barreled receivers with a head spaced bolt (in various barrel configurations) and you could also buy a “PARTS KIT” that basically included everything else you need to build the rifle (except the flashhider and rear sights) all produced by BULA. I bought 4-5 of these and the parts were excellent (at least for me).

When BULA was offering the part kits I thought they might continue to offer the small parts so folks that like to build or purchase spare parts would have a good made in America source. I think the issue is that BULA is a manufacturing company and they were not set-up to offer and fulfill small orders. In addition, I just don’t think the business model works for them as demand and volumes just would not support the selling of small/separate parts. I still have some of the small parts in my stash! I went up and toured the plant in Cleveland and it was great to see the production of M14 receivers, barrels etc. in process In front of my eyes.

I used one of the parts kits to build a rifle for my nephew -a “Marine” - see thread below as you can see some of the parts from the kit.

M1Army

 

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There will always be M-14 Cult members, just as there are M-1, FAL, Mauser, Lugers, S & W, Shotgun, etc. worshipers. Every firearm type has its lovers. You have to follow the money. AR-10s are The Future for the M-14.

Jarhead
 

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The military is already scaling back, and no longer procuring spares, just relying on stock on hand and reducing the end-item inventory.
I think that if you check, you will find that the govt is still procuring parts and barrels for the M14. Bula Defense Systems happens to be one of the current suppliers.
[/QUOTE]

I did some research and failed to find the contract for Bula. Do they have another name for the company? For example Vortex is actually Sheltered Wings.
 

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Wes
You keep stirring the pot The Future of the M14, Shorty and Cat Puke Camo to hide amongst the Homeless in the PNW. Old is New with 1911’s All I can say this is Beyond this Pfc’s pay grade
Merry Christmas
Pfc out
 

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I've slowly reduced my way down to one, (as of today) and have enough spare parts to keep her running until I'm dead. Now I may get another one tonight to celebrate my B-Day, but we'll see!
 

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If an AR in 7.62mm was the answer, the military wouldn't be having so much trouble with them.
Come on my Brother, maybe not for the mimlitree, but for J.Q. Publik. Almost every military in the non-communist world has replaced their standard service rifle with some form of a Stoner design. The future ones may not be in 7.62 x 51, but a Stoner variant will replace the M-14 as an issued service rifle everywhere. It will live on in Infamy, so long as we we can keep them going. You have to follow the money.

One of the things that kept me out of the AR-10 Coven for so long was a small article in "Soldier of Fortune " magazine written by a Marine Captain on the then "new" AR-10 from Armalite of Geneseo,IL. They were interested in this AR variant in a larger caliber. To their dismay, the upper receivers were "spreading" ( I ass-ume "out-of-spec" or to the point of no-functioning, I don't remember) at 10,000 rounds. For most civilian owners, 10K might be a lot of rounds but we all know that for a Marine Corps owned rifle, it is unacceptable to reach failure at a premature rate. Maybe future ones will have a more durable upper. One of the Moderators on FALFILES.com that does a lot of Match shooting stated the AR variant uppers are to be considered "consumable parts" as they can only take so many barrell changes before the threads won't hold a barrel properly.

Jarhead
Certified Member of the M-14 Cult
 
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I think it'll somewhat continue like it does now. More and more boutique. Harder to find parts, harder to find builders, but to some extent they'll continue to be made and used.

Some things die hard.
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If you can afford the “old school” guns, they beat all the new stuff any day of the week. I have newer striker fired pistols but come range day it’s my 1911 that I take out to play. Steel guns had true craftsmanship which gave them character.

As for “Gizmos” they look cool but they add a lot of weight.

Finally, people talk smack about “Boomers” and “Fudds” but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t say it to their faces.

Sorry for the tangent.
 

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If you can afford the “old school” guns, they beat all the new stuff any day of the week. I have newer striker fired pistols but come range day it’s my 1911 that I take out to play. Steel guns had true craftsmanship which gave them character.

As for “Gizmos” they look cool but they add a lot of weight.

Finally, people talk smack about “Boomers” and “Fudds” but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t say it to their faces.

Sorry for the tangent.
My oldest kid and his friends at the gun shop refer to my M-14s and FALs as "dinosaur rifles". I don't know why; I've never hunted any dinosaurs with them or intend to do so.

Jarhead
 

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LRB M14 SA, Criterion Med Wt CL Barrel, all GI parts with basic upgrades.
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Humbly, speaking, anything collectible, or worth having goes through a life cycle. Say, for instance , I previously finished some upgrades on the old man’s 67 rally sport, and got started on a 57 two-door post. Up until about 1975 new, new old stock or junkyard parts for tri five Chevrolets were plentiful. From that year until the mid 90s those parts were much more scarce; from the late 90s on, you could literally just about order a complete tri-five Chevrolet in a crate and have it shipped directly to your door because companies understood the desire. The key is to keep up the desire. For now, one major comprehensive parts supplier will do. Lou buys Bula? Interesting thought??
 

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I read this post last night and slept on it. They way I see it is anytime you have a vested interest in something that is in limited numbers, it's human nature to be concerned about the supply. We see it in every aspect of life. Hell, I've driven a discontinued 2-Door Tahoe for the last 20 years and whenever I see parts for out there I try to drag them home. I think that there are far fewer of us M14 fans than we think there are. Even fewer of us are on the hunt for that elusive TRW 20-round magazine (I kid). The supply of USGI parts is ample in relation to the people that desire them.

I think we are sitting pretty, fret not my friends.
 

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If you can afford the “old school” guns, they beat all the new stuff any day of the week. I have newer striker fired pistols but come range day it’s my 1911 that I take out to play. Steel guns had true craftsmanship which gave them character.

As for “Gizmos” they look cool but they add a lot of weight.

Finally, people talk smack about “Boomers” and “Fudds” but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t say it to their faces.

Sorry for the tangent.
Whenever I hear someone use the expression "Boomer" I reply, "Oh, you mean like Vietnam Veterans." Give it a spin.
 
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