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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been going back and forth on whether I should build my own or have a smith do it for me. So, I figured I would get advice from all of you here.

First off, I have no experience with the M14, but I do have an M1. I have a CMP grade A kit that's currently being shipped. So, How hard is it to assemble the rifle if I order a barreled receiver and a bolt? Is it possible for me to determine if all the parts are within specs? Would a smith even bother checking to see if all parts are within spec?

If I assemble myself, I would need a gas cylinder wrench (I should get one anyway). Are there any other necessary tools I would need?

Thanks,
Sven
 

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Dude a gas cylinder is just one of a lot of tools you would need to "put together" a M14. These rifles are not AR15's. You need to have some gun smithing skills and a lot of special tools to do it right. I am not saying you can't do this but a lot more research would be needed before jumping into barrelling an action. Good luck.
 

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"Death From Above"
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If you are going to have the barrel and bolt installed, its all down hill from there. You will also need a flash hider castle nut wrench aside from a couple of roll pin punches. Roll pin punches are a little different than center punches in that they have a little dimple on the ned to keep the punch centered on the pin. Roll pin punch starters also help. Brownells sells them. I got my roll pin punches off the snap on truck. If you are going with a new NM rear aperture you may need a little lapping compound, let me know, I'll send you some. I use a 600 grit garnet or something like that. A bolt assembly tool would be nice but a 30-06 case works as well. Fitting it all together can be challenging the first time around but you always have the forum to ask questions if you hit a snag. A flash hider alignment gauge would be nice but a cleaning rod section will get you in the ball park. Have at it! keep us posted.

Bobbyfairbanks I think the op said he was going to get a barreled action and just add the rest which many of the members do.
 

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If you get a barreled receiver with the bolt already laped in, The rest should be just puting the parts, springs, and pins in. The barrel and bolt are the ones to worry about, I say go for it!
 

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Yeah, like 82nd and Al Mack said, the barreled action is the hard part. Next hardest part is getting flash suppressor installed correctly. Other than that, it's putting pins in holes, and springs where they need to be. Not a big deal at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now I'm definitely leaning towards buying a barreled receiver and putting the rest together. Should I worry about the gas cylinder and piston being out of spec? Can I measure them somehow?
 

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Yes there is a special tool used to measure the inside diameter of a gas cylinder. I forgot what the measurements are supposed to be, my firend noexpert would know he recently discovered one of his was out of spec. I don't think you can use a caliper to get the measurement because of the threads. Build it and see how it shoots, if there is a crazy cycling problem, then I would be concerned.
 

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Thats what I am thinking too Al. I remember a when all those kits were arriving into the hands of members last year and nobody made any complaints about out of spec parts.
 

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If you're looking to build your own, be prepared to spend about 1.5K in tools you're going to need. Also you're going to need some good books on the subject. Going to a local smith would be a great idea to if they let you pick their brain. I was lucky enough to spend some time at one of the greatest places to learn from.

You also need to be handy, I mean really handy, careful, and patient. It's not for the faint of heart and if you screw up you WILL end up with an expensive paper weight.

I had no experience at all with the M1A, or gun smithing but I managed it. Hardest and scariest part for me (Financially) was:
-Reaming the camber to the appropriate head space (I did it the hard way and 82nd Airborne)
-Installing the Heavy profile OP Rod guide
-Lapping the bolt

Only thing I couldn't do was adjust the shoulder of the barrel for it to time just right with the receiver. Had to get a local smithie that owned an awesome Lathe that cost more than my car and motorcycle combined!

Edit: Whoops! I see that he's leaning towards a barreled action!
 

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"Death From Above"
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Get with the program Don, lol only kidding. Glad to hear your rifle is back up and running well. DId you swap the spring to the fulton spring again to see if that was the problem? Speak to you soon. Don't leave for Kuwait without saying goodbye!!!
 

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Even Alfred E Newman could put the A Kit on a barrelled receiver. Heck If I can do it anyone can. I have 2 A kits being delivered today and another barrelled action coming from LRB. I have put a few together myself including barrel mounting and headspacing the bolt. It is not that difficult, but why bother when LRB will build it for you very reasonably. All of the A kits that I have received from CMP have been almost new. You should have no trouble assembeling. Have fun.
Semper Fi
 

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As said, the barreled receiver is the hard part and you will be money ahead having a qualified armorer build this assembly for you. It would be far cheaper than buying all the tools and gages required. Note too that assembling the balance of your parts may not be as easy as some infer. Careful fitting of most all assemblies is necessary to insure proper tolerances and functioning. I've noticed that some manuals on the subject can lead the inexperienced builder to ruin some expensive parts. I'd suggest Kuhnhausen's Gas Operated Service Rifle Manual as being one of the best guides.
 

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Ted does have a very good point. read as much as you can and ask as many questions as you feel necessary, we don't bite and the majority of us here are always willing to help a fellow 14 enthusiast.
 

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Totally agree. The only reason why I spent the money and time was because it has always been a boyhood fantasy to build this type of rifle. Otherwise I would have just brought a Springfield Armory or built LRB action. Luckily I have this source to point me in the right direction, and because of it my rifle has over 1200 rounds over the last year and still going strong! I didn't think it was easy, probably because a lot can go wrong especially with me never doing it before.
 
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