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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think I've probably caught the bug from some of you guys on here. I think that in the future, I'm going to want to build a rifle. I have a few questions that I want to ask now so I can get an idea of what to expect. I do have the Complete Assembly Guide by Walt Kuleck, but haven't read the whole thing through. I'm thinking of a USGI build and will probably buy a barreled receiver to build on, depending on what I learn as I go forward.

I'm not a machinist, how difficult is it?

What can I expect to spend on tools? I have a few of the minor ones.

I might want to build one with matching parts, which parts do people focus on for a build? Is it bolt, op rod, trigger group, and a few others? Or are there more to consider, like the smaller ones? How can I tell on the smaller ones?

I'm heading to the CMP north store tomorrow, where I will pick up a parts kit to use as spares until I decide to tackle a build project. I also downloaded the parts list from one of the stickies, so I have that to help me out. But I'm open to any advice from those of you who have done it already. Thanks.
 

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You don't have to be a master metal working wizard to build a M14, I'm not and I did about 8 of them..but buying the tools you'll need, it may not be worth $$ cost effective for only one build.. it's money ahead to pay someone else to do it, if you just gonna build one. I'd recommend Ted Brown.. as I like the guy.. If you decide to build one, you'll need a barrel vice, receiver wrench, and head space gauges, Min.. there are other tools that will help ya out also.. If you build a rifle using a non chrome lined short chambered gun you'll need the pull through reamer.. the tools are not cheap.... B2B
 

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Get two more books...

Jerry Kuhnhausen's fine book "The U.S. .30 Caliber Gas Operated Service Rifles" is a great reference book. The other must have book is "The M14 Complete Assembly Guide" by Walt Kuleck and Clint McKee.
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about matching parts? What do people focus on matching when the build a rifle? I've seen posts by people saying that they have a TRW parts kit, but I wanted to know what that included. I only see a few parts with markings on them but wanted to be sure of what I'm looking for.
 

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I'm thinking of a USGI build and will probably buy a barreled receiver to build on, depending on what I learn as I go forward.


I might want to build one with matching parts, which parts do people focus on for a build? Is it bolt, op rod, trigger group, and a few others? Or are there more to consider, like the smaller ones? How can I tell on the smaller ones?

I'm heading to the CMP north store tomorrow, where I will pick up a parts kit to use as spares until I decide to tackle a build project. I also downloaded the parts list from one of the stickies, so I have that to help me out. But I'm open to any advice from those of you who have done it already. Thanks.
If you buy a barreled action & bolt already set up from a vendor, then assembly is really quite easy, and shouldn't require any high dollar tools. After I barreled mine I think it took a whole 15 min. to put the rest together;)

Checking out the CMP kits is prob. a smart move, you'll at least be getting serviceable GI parts. If you can go to the store and look at them and pick the best one, that’s even better. As far as making the kit "matching", that can be tricky, as basically only the major parts (TG, Op Rod, Hammer, Bolt) will have the maker identified. There may be other ways to tell if various GI parts are made by different contractors and which contractors would be correct for a specific manufacturer (like trw, H&R, Winny), but I don't know a lot about that, still learning. I'd pick the kit who's parts were in the best shape, myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate the help. I picked up a CMP kit the other day and need to post a pic of the gas cylinder to see what some of you guys think. I won't try and explain it now, I'll wait until the picture is up.
I was contemplating getting a barreled receiver but we'll see. I'll probably try and lap the bolt myself though. I'd just like to learn to do as much work on my own rifles as possible. It'll be down the road a little bit since I'll be leaving soon to go back on active duty. I just wanted to get an idea of whats a head of me so I can acquire the parts and tools that I'll need.
 

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I like when the op rod, bolt, and trigger group match. The rear sight and stock are just icing on the matching cake. I use only new barrels.

The two things that are best left to the experts are barreling/headspacing your action and doing trigger jobs. The rest can be done safely by the do it yourself. The cost of tools for 1 or 2 rifle builds just don't justify the barreling your receivers and you can mess it up and you are out a lot of cash.

Some things are best left to the experts. I don't cook chicken, do my own taxes, and cut my hair. I can do these things but I don't get what I want in the end result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some things are best left to the experts. I don't cook chicken, do my own taxes, and cut my hair. I can do these things but I don't get what I want in the end result.
Haha. Well put.
 
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