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Cast receivers cost less because they don't require 100% of the surfaces to be machined. The areas machined are only those that are required for proper functioning and some external areas to make them look nice. Forged receivers generally require all surfaces to be machined although I have had examples of M1 Garand receivers made in WWII that exhibited areas that were not machined because the forging left surfaces undersized. Wartime expediency prevailed. Even so, some forged receivers will have machining marks that don't get polished out or rough areas that resulted from dull cutting tools, etc. There is no "golden era" when all was perfect. Quality control from some makers has been very off and on.
 

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Cast receivers cost less because they don't require 100% of the surfaces to be machined. The areas machined are only those that are required for proper functioning and some external areas to make them look nice. Forged receivers generally require all surfaces to be machined although I have had examples of M1 Garand receivers made in WWII that exhibited areas that were not machined because the forging left surfaces undersized. Wartime expediency prevailed. Even so, some forged receivers will have machining marks that don't get polished out or rough areas that resulted from dull cutting tools, etc. There is no "golden era" when all was perfect. Quality control from some makers has been very off and on.
Don't forget the worst of the receivers with "areas not machined " (forging voids), those made by Harrington and Richardson M1.

Danny

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LRB M14 SA, Criterion Med Wt CL Barrel, all GI parts with basic upgrades.
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So just use LRB receivers!? Those never seem to have any issues!
 

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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.
m14brian
Brian,
Those are nothing more then milling marks on the 5 lines your talking about. And to be honest there not even that bad i think they add character to the receiver
 
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Heres my two cents, for what its worth
I have 4 rack grades all SAI first one i purchased is 299xxx its the most accurate and goes bang every time. I have fired 1500 rounds through it took it to Perry multiple times let the friends shoot it.. Always works. I did install a TRW TG even know the SAI worked perfect I wanted the forged small parts...
3 others are all post ban (SAI) GI parts.
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I shoot them all just not often but i do shoot them
Why ? Because one day I will die and the next owner who wont care will probably run wolf steel case through them then sell them at a flea market for 100$. I never understood why people build rifles and refuse to shoot them how do you know if that thing works? If you never shoot it. Sorry collector's.
I have data books (High power) with all my rifles and have zeros all written down on the stocks.
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