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View Full Version : Original GI M14: assault weapon due to flash-hider?


Dr. T
11-21-2007, 11:36 AM
And if a flash-hider, is it easily removable?

I know a party who may be interested in selling one; he says it has a flash-hider on it. Not having an example to look at, I don't know if this is a screw-on, pinned-on, or welded-on piece.

If it is a flash-hider, I presume that makes the M14 an assault weapon under CA law ONLY because of the flash-hider and removable magazine. If it has been registered as an assault weapon, can it be sold as a non-assault weapon if the flash-hider is removed and replaced with a muzzle brake?
If necessary it could be sent out of state for this work to be done.

Thanks for your help.

Cobrarlc
11-21-2007, 11:46 AM
If it is an original M14, who was the manufacter? HR, Winchester, TRW, and Springfield Armory were all select fire rifles and would fall under NFA rules. If it is a non government issued rifle with a flash hider out of state have the owner ship it to your ffl without the fh and install a brake in Ca., then it would be legal. If it is Ca. stay clear of it.

toolman9000
11-21-2007, 11:49 AM
one nut to remove, beyond easy.

Great resource for learning about the M14 type rifle:
http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/

Download Lee's book, the best information for every M14/M1A owner.

artvls
11-21-2007, 12:08 PM
I believe that if it is reg'ed in CA as a AW owner can modify it (i.e. remove the flash hidder replace with break) then contact the DOJ to have it removed as a reg'ed AW. Then you could buy it.

donger
11-21-2007, 12:45 PM
Yes, very easy to remove.

Google M14/M1A castle nut pliers. You're gonna need a pair of those to remove the flash suppressor.

FYI I believe Smith now makes a faux-CA-legal muzzle brake that sort of looks like the original suppressor.

bwiese
11-21-2007, 12:55 PM
I hope this person indeed reg'd it as an AW as you've just "outed" him now.

There is zero anonymity on the net, and interested parties can find out who you are (and thus who the M14/M1A person is) in very short time.

People have been busted for M1As with flash hiders in LA and these matters may in fact may be an ongoing legal situation.

Anyone with an M1A with flash hider in CA that is not a reg'd AW in CA should *immediately* remove the flash hider even with a monkey wrench, even at risk of damaging the gun. [Cost of legal defense is far higher than cost of gun.] It's far more prudent to do this ASAP rather than wait for any special tool or trying to bring it to a gunsmith. (A smart regular FFL gunsmith, as well as an FFL w/AW permit, will not touch an unreg'd AW.) Replacement muzzle devices that are not flash hiders are readily available.

If such a rifle is indeed reg'd w/DOJ as an AW, the offending feature(s) can be removed and/or replaced with non-'characteristic' features - i.e, substituting a muzzle brake for a flash hider. Then, and only then, the owner can request deregistering the AW w/DOJ (and advising that there are no SB23 features on rifle). Once properly reconfigured & dereg'd, the M1A can be sold like any other rifle in CA.

It appears AWs need to go thru a CA AW permittee to be shipped in/out of CA. (It can be driven out & returned directly, however.) However, a Cat III AW can have sufficient evil features removed to render it into non-AW status and then shipped as a normal rifle to, or be returned by, any FFL.

Prc329
11-21-2007, 1:16 PM
Yes, very easy to remove.

Google M14/M1A castle nut pliers. You're gonna need a pair of those to remove the flash suppressor.

FYI I believe Smith now makes a faux-CA-legal muzzle brake that sort of looks like the original suppressor.

Not sure who makes it but I have seen one that has flutes in it to look like a flash hider but no openings. I think it is solid and closed on the end like a muzzle brake but I haven't seen the opening. Smith makes a muzzle brake that looks similar to the vortex but no slots. It has holes instead.

vf111
11-21-2007, 1:21 PM
I hope this person indeed reg'd it as an AW as you've just "outed" him now.



The seller may be out of state- OP didn't specify. I've brought plenty of M1A's into Cali w/o the FH installed - absolutely legal. To the OP, have the seller remove the flash-hider before shipping to you and you are good to go- also make sure he doesn't ship you any mags greater than 10 rounds. If the seller doesn't have the castle nut plier, he can use a punch and hammer- PITA but doable. BTW, he will also have to remove the allen screw that locks in the castle nut.

vf111
11-21-2007, 1:22 PM
Polytech makes a solid faux FH

bwiese
11-21-2007, 1:26 PM
Someone who's a bit more up on M14/M1A stuff than I am please chime in...

...but isn't an as-marked original USGI M14 considered an MG/full auto by BATF?

I vaguely recall MKS got in trouble with some 'rewelds'.

Prc329
11-21-2007, 1:29 PM
Different's site is a great resource. It will tell you the whole history of the rifles and more. I bet the info you see is there Bill. I have read a lot of his site but I do not recall.

J_Rock
11-21-2007, 1:39 PM
Someone who's a bit more up on M14/M1A stuff than I am please chime in...

...but isn't an as-marked original USGI M14 considered an MG/full auto by BATF?

I vaguely recall MKS got in trouble with some 'rewelds'.

Full-auto function of USGI was removed shortly after it went into service. Only the M14E2 which were designated SAWs retained them. Unless he has one of those...

chickenfried
11-21-2007, 1:45 PM
There were only three USGI semi-auto only receivers made. All others capable of full auto. Rifles were modified to be semi-auto only but could be converted back to full-auto. Info from Lee Emerson

Fjold
11-21-2007, 1:48 PM
Full-auto function of USGI was removed shortly after it went into service. Only the M14E2 which were designated SAWs retained them. Unless he has one of those...



The US Navy kept selective fire M14's in service until at least the late 1980's. They were standard issue on submarines.

30Cal
11-21-2007, 1:54 PM
The US Navy kept selective fire M14's in service until at least the late 1980's. They were standard issue on submarines.

We had three with connector locks on the boat in 2000 when I got out.


ATF says all USGI M14's are machineguns. There are two USGI M14NM's that aren't and they've got court rulings that go no further than the current owners.

bwiese
11-21-2007, 1:59 PM
ATF says all USGI M14's are machineguns. There are two USGI M14NM's that aren't and they've got court rulings that go no further than the current owners.

Thank you for that key clarification. I knew there were issues with true "M14" guns and "once a machinegun, always a machinegun".

If the orig poster's contact indeed has a true M14, he shouldn't, and should contact a lawyer immediately and arrange for destruction/legal surrender.

30Cal
11-21-2007, 2:17 PM
i wonder what cmp will have when they start selling m14's

The M14 is a machinegun, so it's not going to happen.

bwiese
11-21-2007, 2:23 PM
The M14 is a machinegun, so it's not going to happen.

Correct. If something like that ever happened, it would require torch-cut receivers to render into non-gun status and then rebuilt on new receivers.

I don't think CMP is set up to do anything like that at all, other than disbursing existing civvy-legal guns (Garands & M1 Carbines).

vf111
11-21-2007, 2:24 PM
i wonder what cmp will have when they start selling m14's

This is the wet dream at M14forums.com......unfortunately, it will also never happen unless the Feds change their mind-set....

mike100
11-21-2007, 2:30 PM
I seem to recall that over 700,000 M14's were demilled during the Clinton administration. There is a bit of a demand for the remaining ones in military service to be kept up due to recent conflicts. Obviously the gov't sold the spare parts long ago, but I would guess that remaining M14 counts are pretty low.

bwiese
11-21-2007, 2:36 PM
did the military ever have semiauto's. it's almost like getting kicked in the ball hearing that cmp won't ever sell civi models

Nope, unless some small unit bought a couple from SA or LRB or some of the earlier specialty commercial versions for test/eval h- which is highly unlikely, as they'd just take a rack gun and fix it up.

So get over ever having a CMP M1A.

Go buy a Springfield or LRB Arms, configure it the way you want.

DoctorCheney223
11-21-2007, 2:37 PM
I had a "real" Winchester GI M14 rifle when I was in college. There was a guy named Lloyd Hahn (Hahn Machine Company) who had ATF approval to "reweld" those demilled M14 receivers floating around in the early 90's. The receivers were saw-cut in the middle and were VERY easy to weld back together.

He removed the lug for the full-auto parts and welded in the recess in the front portion of the receiver where the connector was fit. He did all this PRIOR to welding the receiver back together. Because it was a remanufactured receiver he had to put his info on it but he put it below the wood line. He then refinished it with some blackish phosphate-type of finish and it looked really good. He spent some time on it because you couldn't see any of the weld/grinding marks.

I picked up all new Winchester parts and built the rifle up. A guy up in the Bay Area who was a M14 gunsmith put the barrel on for me and checked headspace and I was gone. I used to take it up to Chabot gun club and I don't know how many offers I had for that rifle.

When I finally graduated college my wife and I (with the 2 kids at the time) needed a house and my $100K student loan didn't make it any easier. I sold the rifle (along with ALL my other rifles) and have regretted that one most of all.

So, there is a chance that your friend does have a GI M14 rifle but it might be a remanufactured one.

thanks,
Ron

Cobrarlc
11-21-2007, 3:07 PM
Doc,
I bet that your receiver was a thing of beauty even though it was a rewelded receiver and ATF compliant. The M14 is a rifle that will stand up to the test of time even if it is used in limited service.


Dr. T,
Could you upload a photo of the receiver heel so that we can determine if it is an USGI M14 or a civilian semi auto version.

Astig Boy
11-21-2007, 5:18 PM
I had a "real" Winchester GI M14 rifle when I was in college. There was a guy named Lloyd Hahn (Hahn Machine Company) who had ATF approval to "reweld" those demilled M14 receivers floating around in the early 90's. The receivers were saw-cut in the middle and were VERY easy to weld back together.

He removed the lug for the full-auto parts and welded in the recess in the front portion of the receiver where the connector was fit. He did all this PRIOR to welding the receiver back together. Because it was a remanufactured receiver he had to put his info on it but he put it below the wood line. He then refinished it with some blackish phosphate-type of finish and it looked really good. He spent some time on it because you couldn't see any of the weld/grinding marks.

I picked up all new Winchester parts and built the rifle up. A guy up in the Bay Area who was a M14 gunsmith put the barrel on for me and checked headspace and I was gone. I used to take it up to Chabot gun club and I don't know how many offers I had for that rifle.

When I finally graduated college my wife and I (with the 2 kids at the time) needed a house and my $100K student loan didn't make it any easier. I sold the rifle (along with ALL my other rifles) and have regretted that one most of all.

So, there is a chance that your friend does have a GI M14 rifle but it might be a remanufactured one.

thanks,
Ron

Everyone always seems to know everything about USGI M14s...listen to yourselves. Everyone needs to stop and listen to Ron here.

There are quiet a few "re-weld" USGI receivers out there. Most are hard to come by as they were done back in the 70-80s. And many M14 enthusiasts deem them unsafe as most were done really bad. But there were a select few done correctly by the right people...those are highly sought after. Again, these are approved by ATF..."machine guns" approved to be sold as semi-auto civilian rifles.

Be forewarned also, there was a M14 company back in the 80s with the initials HRA...they are not the same Harrington and Richardson company that built USGI M14 rifles.

Dr. T
11-21-2007, 10:38 PM
I appreciate all the advice. If I get a chance to take a picture of the receiver heel, I will do that. I'm not in the least interested in getting into any situation of questionable legality. The owner assured me the piece was not select-fire or full-auto. If the receiver really is incapable of conversion, then it appears that conversion to a muzzle brake and selling without a full-cap magazine would make it legal.
I'm also thinking that Mike Krause at Krausewerk in San Mateo might be able to be helpful on this.

adamsreeftank
11-22-2007, 12:24 AM
If this is a real US M14, then the flash hider/muzzle break issue is the least of your problems.

Any rifle built from an actual US M14 receiver is legally suspect. The two people who were given permission from the ATF to keep their semi-auto M14s had to go to court, and the ruling only applies to them and their rifles. They could have wound up in prison. If you post a picture of the back of the rifle, you may get your friend in some serious trouble. I recommend you walk away from this deal and tell your friend to get some legal counsel.

If you absolutely have to have something almost mil-spec, get an LRB rifle. Just to be clear, some companies call their commercial rifles M14s, but they are not built with US government receivers.

Dr. T
11-22-2007, 11:44 AM
Got the message.
Thanks.