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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2007, 7:18 AM
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Default Polytech M14 or Springfield M1A?

I've been thinking about getting a M1A/M14 style rifle, and was curious if you guys can help clarify something for me. I've read that the Polytech rifles are not the best in terms of quality, but IIRC the last few I've seen on GB or other sites for sale were pushing prices over $1k. At that point, why wouldn't someone want one of the Springfield M1As? I'm going to assume that their rifles are higher quality than the Polytech's. They are essentially the same rifle, right? Is there any functional difference between an "M1A" and an "M14"?
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Old 11-16-2007, 7:21 AM
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Main thing I know of is the POLY's do not have cast receivers like the Springfields and make for better custom builds.
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Old 11-16-2007, 7:55 AM
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M1A= semi only
M14= full auto selectable

According to Fulton Armory, all the Polytech needs is better heat treatment on receiver and it is good receiver possibly better than Springfield because Polytech is forged.
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Old 11-16-2007, 8:00 AM
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I'm familiar with what the model numbers indicate (semi vs. full), but I did not know that the Polytechs had forged receivers while the springfields were cast.
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Old 11-16-2007, 8:44 AM
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I'm value-oriented (cheap but quality!), and I'd get a Polytech if it were about half the price of an M1A ($600-700). Much more than that, and it makes more sense to get the Springfield, IMO.
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Old 11-16-2007, 9:05 AM
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Started life as a Federal Ordnance. All Chinese with a us made receiver and a chrome lined barrel. Shoots great.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prc329 View Post


Started life as a Federal Ordnance. All Chinese with a us made receiver and a chrome lined barrel. Shoots great.
Why is it you have one of everything I want!

Next time you decided to sell something just PM me, chances are I'm in the market!
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:29 AM
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I just got a NIB Polytech M14S (preban) side stamped for $850 shipped. My local shop has Springfields starting at $1599 I think. Evenyone seems to talk about how close to original the receiver is but that the bolts are soft and its recommended to swap to a USGI bolt. Its also recommend that you regularly check the headspace. The barrels are chrome lined. On the M-14 forums many people like them for shooters or the base for a custom build.

I just took mine out for the first time yesterday and it shot low and to the right out of the box, but ended up getting it where it needed to be. I may slowly collect some US parts to change into if the chinese ones wear out.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:31 AM
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The Chinese made receivers (both Polytech and Norinco) are made from forgings. A _good_ quality forged receiver should outlast a _good_ quality cast receiver. In all likelihood, you will _never_ wear out either.

Some smiths think the Chinese receivers need additional heat treatment.

Many smiths think the Chinese bolts are junk, and that a USGI bolt should be fitted in it's place. You will probably pay around $200 for the service.

The Polytechs do come with a chrome lined barrel (Springfield does not offer one).

Off the technical considerations and now on to global politics - export Chinese firearms are made in the same factories as those carried by the PLA. Take that however you wish.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
M1A= semi only
M14= full auto selectable

According to Fulton Armory, all the Polytech needs is better heat treatment on receiver and it is good receiver possibly better than Springfield because Polytech is forged.
Yes and no on your first statement...yes the M14 is the military designation for these rifles, no, does M-14 always mean full auto. “M1A” is Springfields attempt to distinguish their rifles from the other rifle makers. So basically, it means everyone else makes M14's (LRB, Fulton, Chinese etc), but Springfield is the only company that makes M1As....Good marketing if you ask me...

As for the quality of the Chinese M14s...I’d take Fulton’s warning with a grain of salt. They say the Chinese receivers are weak and they for a HEFTY sum will correct that problem with a heat treatment…but I have yet to hear of a Chinese M-14 receiver fail or go kaboom (including mine). The only bad thing on a Chinese M14 is the bolt. Get a USGI bolt and you have something that is closer to the original M-14s than the current Springfield M1As.

By the way, Chinese M-14 is milspec, a Current Springfield M1A is not. And Chinese barrels are chromed lined, Current Springfields are not.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2007, 10:36 AM
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Where can you get a Polytech? Are they still being imported?
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2007, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingshelmut View Post
Where can you get a Polytech? Are they still being imported?
They're no longer being imported.

You'll have to scour the sale boards for one.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2007, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50 Freak View Post
Get a USGI bolt and you have something that is closer to the original M-14s than the current Springfield M1As.

+1. I sold my polytech m14 years ago and kind of wish I hadn't.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2007, 1:25 PM
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I have put 500 rounds threw mine and it has been flawless. Only had a couple of hiccups but it was because of the reloads and not the rifle.
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Old 11-16-2007, 1:45 PM
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Its a classic American rifle......buy American.

The Chinese one may be lead tainted.....
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2007, 1:57 PM
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If he's buying a polytech in CA odds are 100% of the funds will be going towards supporting an American .
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Old 11-16-2007, 2:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingshelmut View Post
Where can you get a Polytech? Are they still being imported?
Haven't been imported to the US since the Clinton era. Guess who signed the embargo ban?

Regarding the Norinco M14S rifle, technically the M14S as made by Norinco is select fire. The semiauto version is referred to as the Norinco M305. This is the version that's imported to Canada, where it retails for $400-$700CAD.

Also see XXX.norincoequipment.cn/product_list_English.jsp?activityid=38&cssid=1

Supposedly production is coming to an end as the parts have dried up. According to a poster on Shooter's Journal, the last containers will be on their way soon.
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2007, 2:25 PM
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Yeah, I saw the Marstar ad and I wanted to throw up. $399 for a Norinco complete M14. How is it possible that we can't get something that the canadiens can? Unbelievable.

http://www.marstar.ca/main/rifles.shtm
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2007, 2:44 PM
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Wow, that's just painful. Thank god old Bill saved us from these "dangerous" rifles. Funny, I don't ever recall any liquor store hold ups with M14's.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2007, 2:47 PM
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Could someone explain the difference between a Springfield M1-A, and a M-14 Rifle?
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  #21  
Old 11-16-2007, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King$nake View Post
Could someone explain the difference between a Springfield M1-A, and a M-14 Rifle?
If by M14 you mean Polytech, LRB, Fulton, Armscorps, etc, the difference between the two is just the name.

The difference between an M1A and an orginal M14, is the name and select fire.
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2007, 3:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_92673 View Post
Yeah, I saw the Marstar ad and I wanted to throw up. $399 for a Norinco complete M14. How is it possible that we can't get something that the canadiens can? Unbelievable.

http://www.marstar.ca/main/rifles.shtm
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  #23  
Old 11-16-2007, 3:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King$nake View Post
Could someone explain the difference between a Springfield M1-A, and a M-14 Rifle?
An M-14 rifle was built by US government arsenal or by a contractor. These would be Springfield Armory (government owned - not the current Springfield Armory, Inc. which had nothing to do with the M-14)), Winchester , Harrington & Richardson Arms Co . and Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge (TRW).

The notable difference from the M1A is a forged receiver, a full-auto lug, and the cut for removing the charging handle.

The polytech is also a forged receiver, but the rest of the parts are known not to be of good quality. People looking to build competition rifles were building on the polytech receiver, but that has been mostly stopped now that LRB is offering a high-quality forged receiver. The reason is the cost to check the hardness of the receiver and fix if needed, plus the cost of *properly* fitting an USGI bolt, and a competition barrel puts it in the $$$ range of the LRB receiver. Thus, buyers looking for a high-end rifle are not in the marketplace for polytech any more. Hence, the prices lately.

The ATF's stance that once a machine gun is always a machine gun is why we do not see M14 receivers converted to semi-auto only (MKS).

Did that answer it?
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Old 11-16-2007, 4:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombieKiller View Post
Its a classic American rifle......buy American.

The Chinese one may be lead tainted.....
That is what Springfield Armory Inc would love everyone to think... that they are buying AMERICAN! LOL!

Ever wonder where Springfield Armory Inc gets its "investment cast" commercial parts?...Answer: Wayne Machine Inc. Where is Wayne Machine Inc located???...Answer: Taiwan.
http://waynemachine.com.tw/

If you think your buying a full fledged American built, American made, American parts rifle....think again buddy.

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Quote:
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The polytech is also a forged receiver, but the rest of the parts are known not to be of good quality. People looking to build competition rifles were building on the polytech receiver, but that has been mostly stopped now that LRB is offering a high-quality forged receiver. The reason is the cost to check the hardness of the receiver and fix if needed, plus the cost of *properly* fitting an USGI bolt, and a competition barrel puts it in the $$$ range of the LRB receiver. Thus, buyers looking for a high-end rifle are not in the marketplace for polytech any more. Hence, the prices lately.
Hence the prices???..not sure what you mean by that. The prices are still high for a Polytech/Norinco. Ive been a member on the M14forum for 4-5 years now...there is no stoppage of people buying Polytechs. LRBs are the cream of the crop, but not everyone can afford one. A Polytech w/ USGI bolt still costs LESS then a STRIPPED LRB receiver. From the people I have seen over on the M14forum, most are not in to having ONE almighty LRB M14...they usually own several, and a Polytech/Norinco is usually one or two of them.

Last edited by Astig Boy; 11-16-2007 at 5:06 PM..
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Old 11-16-2007, 6:57 PM
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Default polytech

I have two polytech rifles. One of them was built into a M14S.E. "Crazy Horse" rifle by Smith Enterprise in 2006. The only parts used from the original rifle were the receiver and op rod after being heat treated and melonited. The rest of the parts are TRW/Smith Enterprise/HRA This gun is now mounted in a JAE 100 stock and has over 3600 rounds through it without a single malfunction or noticable wear. I have about $4600.00 in my "cheap chinese rifle" did I mention that it is a .5 moa shooter.
My other is a polytech that ron Smith did a "economy job" on in the mid 90's TRW bolt, modified Chinese barrel and heat treated. this rifle has an unimaginable number of rounds through it. I am thinking 40K+ and the barrel is now pretty much toast. This gun still has the Chinese oprod but like I said it is getting a little rough. I am going to send this one back to Smith for an upgrade into another M14SE but this time a carbine. My experience on the Chinese guns is that with a little work they are great. Want a laugh? my first rifle I paid $299.00 for at a pawn shop in Stockton Ca.(Cassidy's)
it was new in box with 10 chinese 20 round mags and a 400 round ammo can of Norinco .308 ammo.

I think it may be worth more now



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Old 11-16-2007, 7:08 PM
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I plan on picking up another chinese unit to build an M21 out of it.
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Last edited by Prc329; 11-16-2007 at 8:51 PM..
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Old 11-16-2007, 8:45 PM
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Heres what I read from all my internet studying before I bought my rifle. Not sure if its true, as its just what I "read" after countless hours of reading every post i could find on the internet.

A couple years ago people thought the chinese rifles were definitely of lesser quality than the springfields, but people reported theirs worked fine and they were considered good for the money.

Then people started using the receivers from them for custom builds because they were forged and not cast like springfields, but the rest of the rifle was still considered of lesser quality, especially the bolts because people said they were soft, and the headspacing was usually off.

Now it seems divided from what I read. Some people think the only quality things on them are the receiver and op rod; and suggest the rear sight, bolt, and trigger group should be switched to USGI. Others think they are fine and actually quite good quality as is, and that the rumor of the bolts being soft and bad headspacing is just a rumor, and has only been proven in very few of the early heel stamped rifles. Everyone does seem to agree the stocks are ugly and the rear sights can suck.

I have read posts of class III guys saying they have shot thousands, and I mean thousands(like 10k) of rounds through theirs stock and had no problems at all. This combined with a rise of posts of people complaining about their Springfields failing or malfunctioning lead me to buy a Polytech, escpecially at half the price of a Springfield.

That said Springfield has a lifetime guarantee I think and plenty of people love them. I have yet to shoot my Polytech, but the stock is ugly and the rear sight does seem to suck. Sorry for the long post, just had to get my 2 cents in.
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Old 11-16-2007, 9:03 PM
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The rear sight on my Federal Ord did suck and the front sight was really thick. I switched to a set of NM sights, ordered a custom stock from Krasten (the wood was actually really nice looking) and the thing shoots great. I could not miss from 100 to 200 at APS and was 6 for 10 at 400 but that was shooter and not rifle. My buddy shot it to 500 with no problems before the new stock. I have not tried it with the aimpoint on it yet though.

My experience may not be the norm but everything I read basically says that most people talking smack either just don't know and are repeating what they have been told/read or people with M1As and are just made there buddy bought a good rifle for half the price.

Nothing against M1As as they are pretty fun to shoot as well but I think they are way overpriced.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:46 PM
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Default Adding confusion

To confuse the whole M1A vs. M14 nomenclature issue even further, Springfield Armory Inc. of Geneseo IL made a few select fire "M1A" rifles before the '86 ban.

To answer the concerns of the original post; If I could afford only one I would save up for a LRB. It's as close to a GI rifle as we can get. My LRBs are nicer than any other M14 types I've handled, and that includes Chinese, SAI and Armscorp.
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Old 11-17-2007, 3:52 AM
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New people in to M14s and people who are not really in to M14s are the only ones confused about the whole M1A - M14 issue.

Springfield Armory(not SAI) and all the other original M14 manufactures also made a small number of "semi-auto" only rifles...they are listed as M14s.

Most people new to M14s think M14s are select fire only...which is far from the truth. Just like an AR15, M14 can mean select fire and semi-auto only...M14 is just the rifle and design, doesn't matter how it shoots or who produced it.

M1A is M1A and they can be called M14s as well. The "M1A" name solely belongs to Springfield Armory INC...just like the M4 name solely belongs to COLT. LRB, Armscorp, SEI, Fulton Armory, Polytech, Enterprise, etc...none of them can be called an M1A.

Last edited by Astig Boy; 11-17-2007 at 3:59 AM..
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Old 11-17-2007, 7:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunshack View Post
To confuse the whole M1A vs. M14 nomenclature issue even further, Springfield Armory Inc. of Geneseo IL made a few select fire "M1A" rifles before the '86 ban.

To answer the concerns of the original post; If I could afford only one I would save up for a LRB. It's as close to a GI rifle as we can get. My LRBs are nicer than any other M14 types I've handled, and that includes Chinese, SAI and Armscorp.
I looked into LRB, and arn't they like $2500-3000? I'm sure they are nice but that is way too expensive for me. I just want a decent shooter.
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Old 11-17-2007, 7:59 AM
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Look into Armscorp Inc. Receivers are under $600 and then pick up a parts kit for around $750 to $1200 depending on the USGI parts. Good Luck.
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Old 11-17-2007, 8:53 AM
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If you can't afford an LRB, look into picking up an Armscorp or Fulton built with USGI parts. I'd lable that as the second best scenario for a civi M14.

If are new to the platform there's nothing wrong with getting a current production SAI rifle. I have issues with the lack of quality of some of the cast parts they use, including the receivers, but that's just me being anal. I am too far along in my M14 addiction to put up with sub-par commercial parts, but I can afford to be choosy.

If you end up with a Chinese rifle, the first thing I would recommend is for you to get a USGI bolt for it and send them off to Warbird for the conversion. Besides the bolts and trigger groups MOST Chinese rifles are solid. Many (like mine) will have issues with the rear sights also. Receivers that are too soft (and sometimes too hard) have been reported, but are very rare. Even some commercial American manufacturers have had issues with this in the past.

For the M14 novice I would try to steer them clear of Chinese rifles. Unless you feel like getting a crash-course in M14 parts and how they function, Chinese rifles usually end up being too big of a deal for most people. Some guys want a project rifle, but I get the feeling that's not what you are after.

My Polytech rifle is completely stripped down to the bare receiver right now. I'm trying to edumacate myself on how to do the bolt conversion on my own. Also, the barrel is going to need some work before I can put it all back together. But, I picked it up specifically as a project rifle to do this work to it. So far my biggest obstacle is time.

Last edited by gunshack; 11-17-2007 at 8:58 AM..
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Old 11-18-2007, 8:44 AM
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My .02

If you can find a stripped Poly reciever at a reasonable price, go for it. If it's a complete rifle, you'll be paying for a bunch of parts (verything but the receiver) that you'll be dumping.

SA recievers are indeed cast, but if I had the choice between complete rifles, and the SA was made up of GI parts, w/ the Poly being Chinese, I'd take the SA.
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Old 11-18-2007, 9:30 AM
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Saying that everything but the receiver would have to be replaced is a little extreme. Worst case you're looking at bolt, trigger group, and rear sight. A lot of people replacing the bolt and the trigger group do it for peace of mind rather than actual problems.

What's wrong with your barrel gunshack?
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:01 AM
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Default I agree

I have two Polytech rifles used for custom builds, in my high dollar build I replaced everything but the receiver and oprod with SEI or G.I. parts. Not because it needed it but because I had spare parts that I bought in the 1980's as as spares for my match rifle. I had Smith Enterprise heat treat my unused chinese trigger group as a spare with their upgrades. I think it was worth it.

My other rifle a budget build Smith did over 15 years ago has 40K+ rounds and is mostly Chinese other than a TRW bolt, G.I. rear sight,G.I. springs, and a G.I. hammer to replaced a botched trigger job I had a local gunsmith perform. This rifle has been used for DCM/CMP matches since 1992 and is going back to Smith for a M14S.E. Carbine makeover.

The real beauty of these guns is that they are sleepers. Some people want way too much for them but they can be found on the cheap. My first one I bought at a pawn shop with a stack of 20 round mags and a 400 round tin of Norinco .308 for under $400.00 out the door.

My second was bought used at the Reno gun show in 2006.(yes I did a legal transfer with my ffl) It had been upgraded by a previous owner with with a Springfield California brake, new walnut stock plus a nice G.I. synthetic, Springfield Armory Scope Mount and a Springfield 6x scope. It came in a drag bag with three 10 round mags and a bag of 140 round bag of South African 7.62x51 ammo for $650.00 the scope,mount,brake and stocks were sold here to Calguns members to recover about $300 so my net cost for the gun with ammo and drag bag was only $350.00 you just need to keep an eye out they do show up.
I found another one while on vacation in Idaho a Norinco from Century arms with the chopped off flash hider, three mags and UGLY stock for $450.00 but I let my brother in law get it since I already had a couple.

They are definitely worth it for these prices. For me if a forged receiver, decent op rod and trigger group can be found for under $500.00 out of pocket it is a bargain. If other parts are usable then they are a bonus.


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Old 11-18-2007, 12:19 PM
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E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum is offline
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Everyone makes a big deal about "M1A vs. M14"....

Colt owns the trademark to "AR-15" but we all refer to our rifles as "AR's" as a generic term.

Cotton swabs are referred to as "Q-tips".
Adjustable wrenches are reffered to as "Crescent Wrenches"
Flying discs are "Frisbees"

It happens all the time; the first brand name sticks even after copies come on the market.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:32 PM
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My own experience with armscorp receivers has been excellent (I have 2 rear lugged ones), any minor inconviniece was quickly resolved by them. To answer this question would be a combination of a chinese forged receiver and american USGI or match parts depending on the application, My first M1A (m14 whatever) was a SA, just cause I listened to the know it alls, I didnt buy the chinese made (600 dollars less also). Not even a year had gone by and all the same know it alls that said the chinese receivers were C**P they were made with low quality steel, now it was the best receiver available.

By the way a friend a mine bought a chinese M1A and out of the box it shot better the the same grade SA made one.

Last edited by 4 Brigada; 11-18-2007 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:38 PM
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MY Polytech M-14s IS FOR SALE! She is very accurate to boot....i take jack rabbits at 200 yards or more. At this point, if you can find a Polytech for anything under $750, I'd say take it home!
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Old 11-18-2007, 1:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Pluribus Unum View Post
Everyone makes a big deal about "M1A vs. M14"....

Colt owns the trademark to "AR-15" but we all refer to our rifles as "AR's" as a generic term.

Cotton swabs are referred to as "Q-tips".
Adjustable wrenches are reffered to as "Crescent Wrenches"
Flying discs are "Frisbees"

It happens all the time; the first brand name sticks even after copies come on the market.

AR-15 is NOT "trademarked" by Colt. The "AR" is taken from Armalite...the company Eugene Stoner worked for and introduced the AR15 in to the world. As all patents, trademarks, and copyrights, they all expire sooner or later if not re-registered...once the expire happens anyone can use the name.

If all the other companys decided to start releasing their rifles under "M1A"...they would all see a lawsuit from SAI. Just as Colt has sued other manufactures for using the "M4" designation. Speaking amongst M14 shooters, talk of your LRB as a M1A would be idiotic.
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