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  #1  
Old 12-08-2011, 9:40 AM
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Arisaka Arisaka is offline
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Default HK91 Clone Build: CETME kit or G3 Kit?

Hello, I'm planning on building an HK91 clone in the near future. CETME kits are super inexpensive, G3 kits are a bit more. Here's my question: Is there any good reason to spend $500 on a G3 kit when I can get a CETME kit for $180? I know that the internals are slightly different on a CETME, but many parts interchange. I'll be building this one from a flat. Or would it be worthwhile to try and piece one together one bit at a time? The G3 kits come with a US barrel, the CETME kits do not. The US barrel is $99. What do you think?
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:39 AM
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Richard Erichsen Richard Erichsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arisaka View Post
Hello, I'm planning on building an HK91 clone in the near future. CETME kits are super inexpensive, G3 kits are a bit more. Here's my question: Is there any good reason to spend $500 on a G3 kit when I can get a CETME kit for $180? I know that the internals are slightly different on a CETME, but many parts interchange. I'll be building this one from a flat. Or would it be worthwhile to try and piece one together one bit at a time? The G3 kits come with a US barrel, the CETME kits do not. The US barrel is $99. What do you think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arisaka View Post
Hello, I'm planning on building an HK91 clone in the near future. CETME kits are super inexpensive, G3 kits are a bit more. Here's my question: Is there any good reason to spend $500 on a G3 kit when I can get a CETME kit for $180? I know that the internals are slightly different on a CETME, but many parts interchange. I'll be building this one from a flat. Or would it be worthwhile to try and piece one together one bit at a time? The G3 kits come with a US barrel, the CETME kits do not. The US barrel is $99. What do you think?
What are you trying to build - a fun capable shooter, or a reasonably accurate representation of a given model and marque? Early HK G3 have wood stocks like the CETME, so you can achieve most of the look and feel going that route too. If you don't care for wood stocks, either rifle can use the stocks of the other with minor modifications.

If it's just a capable shooter, accuracy isn't your top priority and you can tolerate some battle wear on the parts kit, the CETME kit with a low cost US barrel will fit the bill. Compared to the average G3 build it will operate and shoot equally well assuming both the HK and CETME kit are equally worn.

Speaking of which, most of the CETME kits are VERY well worn. The Spanish Army got their money's worth on these before they sold them off. You'll need to account for that wear when you press the barrel to achieve your desired bolt gap with the current rollers and worn bolt head. I bought an unissued bolt carrier and bolt which came in well oiled waxed paper wrapped package. If your bolt is very worn, the bolts don't cost much. A whole carrier with bolt can be had for less than $75, bolt heads cost less than $25 for CETME. They are considerably more expensive for HK.

If you use the bolt carrier and bolt in the kit as is (still serviceable condition even if worn) you'll probably want to inspect and replace all springs and any of the hard parts that appear worn. The locking pieces on many used CETME have deeply dented shoulders from where the rollers have impacted them - they shouldn't be dished out. A CETME locking piece can be as little as $7.00 but most of them seem to be as well worn as the ones coming out of the parts kits bolts. A "good" used locking piece should still be less than $20.00.

The extractor spring, possibly the extractor, the firing pin spring, the recoil/action spring and hammer springs should be replaced as a bare minimum. You can buy spares/spring kits cheaply from Robertrtg, Scorpion Arms and others. The wood of the CETME is characteristic, if you really want that look on the HK, the early G3 models carry wood of a very similar design but with a different buffer assembly at a different height to correspond with the differences in bolt carriers.

HK and CETME barrel trunnions are interchangeable - the CETME trunnions are as cheap as $15, while US made ones are generally considered of lower quality and cost between $55 and $90 each. The German trunnions are $90-100 or more.

If you want a good quality US barrel, consider going to HKParts where there are several choices. RCM (Rim Country Manufacturing) makes the best US barrel in the sub $300 range which match original HK specs. HKParts sells a 416 stainless RCM barrel that is already nitrided and ready to go for less than $200. HKParts bought new production PTR 18.5" medium countour "match grade" barrels that do not have the ammo sensitivities of the older barrels and cost a bit less at $190, they are of comparable quality but I still worry a bit about the 11 flutes vs. 12 (granted, they are wider and deeper fluted in the chambers than the old barrels and that seems to have solved the issue according to owners).

The cost delta to get into the true match grade barrels will exceed the cost of the kit many times over and is probably overkill if you just want a capable plinker/truck rifle. The wear is going to demand some replacement of the finish and to do that, you should plan to media blast everything down to bare metal and build back up the finish. Parkerizing and painting over this would be the HK method, the CETME looks fine with a more gray park without a painted top coat.

I couldn't stand the trigger of either the CETME or the HK FCG and opted for the PTR 4 piece trigger group consisting of trigger box, trigger, sear and hammer with all springs and roll pins in a complete assembly for $175. Bill Springifield has a nack for cleaning up the creep, drag and overtravel that makes the stock triggers feel so awful. For around $60 he can eliminate the overtravel and most of the pre-travel and set a clean break at around 5 lbs (normally closer to 10).

Militaryfirearm.com has much of the CETME knowledge out on the net. You'll find a lot of tutorials there.

Good luck,

R

Last edited by Richard Erichsen; 12-08-2011 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 12-08-2011, 2:25 PM
Holescreek Holescreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arisaka View Post
Hello, I'm planning on building an HK91 clone in the near future. CETME kits are super inexpensive, G3 kits are a bit more. Here's my question: Is there any good reason to spend $500 on a G3 kit when I can get a CETME kit for $180? I know that the internals are slightly different on a CETME, but many parts interchange. I'll be building this one from a flat. Or would it be worthwhile to try and piece one together one bit at a time? The G3 kits come with a US barrel, the CETME kits do not. The US barrel is $99. What do you think?
Where are you finding any barrel (US or not) for $99?
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Old 12-08-2011, 5:22 PM
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Richard Erichsen Richard Erichsen is offline
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Where are you finding any barrel (US or not) for $99?
I was wondering that, but then I recalled seeing a few of these from a couple years ago. This could be the last remnants from a batch of the now "infamous" Wilson 10 flute barrels that drove JLD Enterprises's (now PTR) reputation into the dirt.

I wouldn't buy one myself, but they pop up every once in awhile, usually in low cost kits. If there is a less scary US barrel NOT made by Wilson, I'd like to hear about that one too.

R
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Old 12-08-2011, 5:44 PM
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Arisaka Arisaka is offline
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I thought you guys would be more interested in the $499 parts kits The problem is trying to find a reasonably priced HK bolt head. I was talking about $99 CETME barrels, btw but they are interchangeable, correct? Here you go! http://www.floridagunworks.com/Merch...+HK91G3+BARREL
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Old 12-08-2011, 6:14 PM
Holescreek Holescreek is offline
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Originally Posted by Arisaka View Post
I thought you guys would be more interested in the $499 parts kits The problem is trying to find a reasonably priced HK bolt head. I was talking about $99 CETME barrels, btw but they are interchangeable, correct? Here you go! http://www.floridagunworks.com/Merch...+HK91G3+BARREL
I've never had any dealings with FGW and probably never will just because of all the bad stuff I've read. Even if only 10% is true, it's too much. I'm waiting for at least 2 maybe 3 people that posted they were buying cheap US made barrels from Sarco to give a report. 2 years ago you could buy brand new Santa Barbara Cetme barrels for $99 until word got out they were hammer forged. now they're double that.

The only difference between the G3 and cetme barrels is the straight knurl behind the flash hider threads for the G3 flash hider retainer spring. The knurl gets mostly hidden after the flash hider is screwed on. $500 got you an unfired British Enfield G3 kit 2 years ago. Apex had Paki G3 kits for $400 a few months ago. Being a Cetme snob I don't take long looks at G3 kits anyway.
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Old 12-08-2011, 6:35 PM
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Richard Erichsen Richard Erichsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arisaka View Post
I thought you guys would be more interested in the $499 parts kits The problem is trying to find a reasonably priced HK bolt head. I was talking about $99 CETME barrels, btw but they are interchangeable, correct? Here you go! http://www.floridagunworks.com/Merch...+HK91G3+BARREL
Arisaka,

The barrels are interchangeable, which is probably why original CETME barrels are all but gone, they were as little as $50 at one point (when I had no interest in building a CETME, but that's how it usually goes). The low-cost US made HK barrels (my guess) are either Wilson or similarly questionable. A typical problem is in the chamber flutes, but even if those manage to work out the barrel may spit out groups that look like a shotgun blast. You usually get what you pay for, the Santa Barbara CETME barrels and unissued or lightly used early G3 barrels were an exception to the rule. Good luck finding either.

I concur with Holescreek - FGW is to be avoided. I had an order a couple of years ago now that took 2 months to deliver, was wrong when I got it and I had a hell of a time sending it back for a refund having lost confidence I could ever get what I ordered.

R

Last edited by Richard Erichsen; 12-09-2011 at 9:33 AM..
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Old 12-08-2011, 8:29 PM
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FGW are a bunch of scammers and no phone number you can actually call. If a business has no phone number to call, it's better to avoid.
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