I'm in the minority voice, I like better attention to detail, nice machining, and nice finishes. How does the op rod track look? I've seen many in the "Golden Era" receivers where that specific area looks rough. Some like the 5 line receivers because it says 7.62mm.
Try looking at M1As in the 100,xxx to 150,xxx range, I'm not exactly sure the range parameters but I loosely call it the 2nd golden era. I have a 129,xxx and a 145,xxx and the receivers are in spec, no big flaws, no bolt roller defect, no bolt roller interference on the outer stripper clip guide boss, nicely machined op rod track, nice finish, nice pretty even heelstamp, etc. If I was to get another one it would probably be in this range. I also had one in the lower 260,xxx range and it was nice, I just haven't seen many myself in that range. Early receivers are sought after but not so much by me, the heel was thinner on earlier s/n ranges and some very early ones don't fit other stocks well because there is a step on the right side of the receiver. You can always look around at gun shows and see one in person and rebuild it like I'm doing.
So long as they're right on the surfaces that matter, I don't care if they have some extra character.
For whatever reason, it seems to be relatively normal in this family of rifles. If you were paying through the teeth to get jewelry-quality work done, then yeah, I wouldn't pay for it.
But if you did want to change out the receiver, I wouldn't hold it against you. But you might want to see how it shoots first. If it is a shooter, I'd leave it alone, and buy another rifle to be pretty.
I purchased a SA Socom I believe a year ago, and I sold it LOL because of Cosmetically I just didn't like the finish and I didn't like the stamping Springfield went from ok to worse IMO. But I didn't loose any money.....
My 415,xxx series SOCOM is beautiful , nice finish & no defects I can tell . Some of the Early Bula's were kinda rough also.Its up to you if you want to keep it of off it , I would see how it shoots , as has been said .
These M14 types rifles are expensive, particularly when compared to other rifles on the market, and yet they are some of the worst products I have seen. If buying just a receiver your looking at between $550 to $1000 and the manufactures tell you...you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!
On the CMP forum right now there is a discussion about a particular brand of receiver, though to be honest it could be any of the current manufacturers. The receiver in question is terribly out of spec not just cosmetically. Is this the norm, no but these things should never happen, subpar products should never make it out the door, yet we see it time and again.
I know many folks here do as I do, buy a receiver and start looking for the parts to build that once in a life time rifle. The cost for a quality build will be beyond $2000, thats a lot of jack Jack! When we go to build a year later or more, often times we find that the receiver is not in spec! Now we have a receiver that no longer has a warranty and can't be built until it has been brought into spec, most home builders can't do this kind of work. Now its time to send it back to the manufacturer who says its no longer under warranty, or since you tried to build with it, we won't warranty it.
I will be the first to admit that I am very picky, but none of my builds cost less that $3500 and a couple far beyond that!! So I think I have the right to be demanding, of the quality of the parts being used and the Armors doing the build.
I still have a couple projects to finish and my M14 collection will be complete. I have a builder in mind if he will take the work, I hope he will as he is both conscious of the need to build it correctly and carefully!
You guys buying just receivers. When you get your receiver send it to a gunsmith you trust and have them look it over, make sure its right, that way if it has issues you know to send it back before the so called warranty runs out! That is good advice.
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