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View Full Version : Chinese M14's, whaddya know?


snowhawk jockey
March 10, 2008, 23:20
I just learned the compliance parts count is 5! Thanks fellow filers.

vmtz
March 10, 2008, 23:23
Generally a great buy and good shooters.

Vince

Celt
March 10, 2008, 23:28
Chicom M14's are great and usually better then Springer M1A's (except for the finish). Some complain about soft bolts. That said I have never heard of one failing or a pic of one after failure.

Celt:beer:

Topbanana
March 10, 2008, 23:58
What's a good price on these? There are couple floating at a local funshop I have my eye on.

Ssarge
March 11, 2008, 01:23
Originally posted by Celt
Chicom M14's are great and usually better then Springer M1A's (except for the finish). Some complain about soft bolts. That said I have never heard of one failing or a pic of one after failure.

Celt:beer:

:?
Maybe after you replace the,
stock $45-295 depending on how fancy you go
rear sights $100
flash suppressor $75
front sights $25
gas cylinder lock $15
gas cylinder plug $20
hammer $25

As for the bolt issue, you should check headspace with a 7.62 NATO head space guage, not .308 guage. Check frequently! You may or may not have to do a bolt replacement. If you do you are looking at another $125-$200 just for the part. Not even looking at labor or shipping. And you would be better served to leave the US bolt conversion to just a couple of M14 gunsmiths that actually know what they are doing and won't destroy your receiver, bolt and possibly your face. With initial cost of the rifle going from $800 on up to a grand, you are better off with a standard M1A unless you already have the USGI parts laying around. Otherwise invest in an LRB or one of the new US made James River forged receivers that are coming out.

snowhawk jockey
March 11, 2008, 01:45
Originally posted by Ssarge


:?
Maybe after you replace the,
stock $45-295 depending on how fancy you go
rear sights $100
flash suppressor $75
front sights $25
gas cylinder lock $15
gas cylinder plug $20
hammer $25

...

I have seen ones converted as you describe above, selling from $800-1000 like you suggest. Mine was built in that range and seems worth all the effort after the repark and ugly fiberglass stock.

edit to add: If the rifle is stock, $450 if your lucky and $650 otherwise. The expense of buying M14 parts was nothing like the FAL or AR. $200 bolts, barels and oprods were hard to swallow compared to $275 for a complete AR upper.

Ssarge
March 11, 2008, 02:00
A standard, non-converted Poly Tech goes from $650-1000 now. Norinco slightly less. Converted M14S get a good bit more coinage. Since parts have gone through the roof, prices have gone sky high! Around here a good, clean stock out of the box Poly will bring $750 all day long. That's why I say, get an M1A or if you don't already have the spare parts to do it right and want a really primo M14 clone, go ahead and get an LRB. You'll never recover your money in a re-sell of a Chinese clone if you have to sell it. They are going for too much these days. Then throw in $3-400 minimum for the first group of parts listed. Too much! (and mags, I didn't even metion mags)
If you have the parts on hand, don't intend to dump it and do manage to get a lucky good deal on it, the Polytech and to a lesser degree Norinco M14S are good rifles. They just need tweaking.

wolfsburgbob
March 11, 2008, 04:57
+1

Like the men have already said.

Regardless what a few M1A/M14 rifle and parts vendors say (....as they usually SELL the other options) the Chinese M14S receiver and a few other parts are par with the USGI M14 goods. As mentioned in this thread there is good reason to look into the gas block, piston and lock area as the Chinese exercised their world class talent for letting what they considered "non-essential" components fall back a bit on precision and quality.

Remember, contrary to American public opinion they were not out to kill their own troops with "exploding firearms", but on the other hand we must also recognize that there are no "Camp Perry National Matches" in China.

On the Poly/Norinco,.."Which is better?",...decades old comparison...

I knew Dave Keng of KFS/Polytech quite well. I talked with him and his son Da on hundreds of occasions about the new China and the Norinco/Poly comparison. There was a typical rivalry. I was chatting with him at an Ohio Gun Collectors Show in the mid-80s when he showed several of his dealers (back in my FFL days) pre-import samples of the M14s and The 1911A1. Dave had loads of blueprints and documentation on how the metal and heat-treat of critical parts was world class on both firearms.

As I looked the prints and reports over, along with the others gathered, I said, ...."David,..are your M14s better than the Norinco rifles?"

Everyone present at that little gathering laughed out loud!

( We all knew they were all from the same soup pot. )


Back to my view,..

1) Have someone knowledgeable and honest about M-14s and someone you trust with your face and your wallet check out the rifle you purchase.

2) The bolt is a point of contention. There is so much talk about the bolts (true or otherwise) that a prudent individual who puts his face next to one should be diligent in his preparation of his rifle. I have had good ones that show no wear, I have had bad ones that looked a bit mushroomy. I have seen a bit of excessive headspace from the start when rifle was "new". I have also seen other rifles, including one of mine, hold perfect headspace after thousands and thousands of rounds.

3) Barrels and accuracy. Some are fair, some are good, some are excellent. I have one (Norinco) that I would LOVE to replace as the machining marks on the exterior look like a dog chewed on it,..but it shoots like a laser! I have another (Poly) that is so pretty and refined LOOKING, I hate to replace the crappy shooting barrel cuz she may get scratched in the process.

4) Replace the gas system. Sooner or later if you plan to shoot for serious accuracy the Chinese set has to go.

5) Op rod, guide, trigger group, as needed or on advisement from your TRUSTED smith/armorer.

6) The stock. Chinese stocks are horrible and meant for service work only. They swell like my _ _ _ _ when wet, and won't hold "zero" if burned dry.

BURN the Chinese stock!

:wink:

1811GNR
March 11, 2008, 07:53
Don't forget that US made mags count for three compliance parts. The current manufacture, GI issue CMI mags can be had for $25.

If the headspace is safe, just shoot it.

gunshack
March 11, 2008, 10:57
Originally posted by snowhawk jockey
I just learned the compliance parts count is 5! Thanks fellow filers.

Actually according to the ATF the compliance part count is 6. There's a disconnector that's part of the trigger/sear assembly, making it count for three parts. :wink:

Originally posted by Lee Emerson
I asked for an answer from the BATFE on which of the twenty foreign named parts exist on a Chinese M14 rifle. I received an answer in the mail today.

I have my March 26, 2007 request and the BATFE's May 21, 2007 reply in .pdf files. You may have a copy of these files by sending a request to me at leeace99@hotmail.com So, now we know what "the answer" is to this question. The canon and FAQs have been updated. These document files have also been added to the M14 Rifle Library DVD.

From Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations revised April 01, 2006:

Sec. 478.39 Assembly of semiautomatic rifles or shotguns.

(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun
using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of this
section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under
section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily
adaptable to sporting purposes.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution
by a licensed manufacturer to the United States or any department or
agency thereof or to any State or any department, agency, or political
subdivision thereof; or
(2) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for the purposes of
testing or experimentation authorized by the Director under the
provisions of Sec. 478.151; or
(3) The repair of any rifle or shotgun which had been imported into
or assembled in the United States prior to November 30, 1990, or the
replacement of any part of such firearm.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term imported parts are:

(1) Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings or stampings - YES
(2) Barrels - YES
(3) Barrel extensions - no
(4) Mounting blocks (trunions) - no
(5) Muzzle attachments - YES
(6) Bolts - YES
(7) Bolt carriers - no
(8 ) Operating rods - YES
(9) Gas pistons - YES
(10) Trigger housings - YES
(11) Triggers - YES
(12) Hammers - YES
(13) Sears - YES
(14) Disconnectors - YES
(15) Buttstocks - YES
(16) Pistol grips - no
(17) Forearms, handguards - YES
(18 ) Magazine bodies - YES
(19) Followers - YES
(20) Floorplates - YES

gunshack
March 11, 2008, 12:09
I'm in agreement with Ssarge and WBB, chinese M14 are sort of a crap shoot. You just never know what you're in for.

My Polytech came to me with less than 200 rounds fired through it, but it swallowed the SAAMI field reject gauge. I took it to the range to see what it could do, and was pleased to find the rifle was purdy accurate. But I only got to shoot ten rounds through it, and the hammer followed the bolt home twice. I also nitced the rear sights wabbled about 1/16" when adjusting windage.

I decided to put it away after that and take to the work bench. This really why I bought the rifle in the first place, to have a platform to practice my M14 tweaking skillz.

I'm armed with a bridgeport and I'm not afraid to use it, so I'll be doing my USGI bolt conversion myself. I'm hoping to have the whole project done by mid April. I'll document my adventure and post here when it's done.

Ssarge
March 11, 2008, 13:09
This is the guy to do a bolt conversion: http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/M14-M1A.htm
If you are going to do it yourself, find out exactly what he does by doing a search of him on the M14 firing line and pay heed. He actually is one of the few that knows of what he speaks. Just because someone knows about a Garand dosen't mean they know about the M14. Two totally different animals. It's like comparing your work experince on your kids bicycle and a Formula 1 mechanics work on a top end racer. Shade tree mechanics, and there are a lot of them can get you hurt or your rifle receiver buggered up at best.

gunshack
March 11, 2008, 13:49
Sarge,
Your warning is justified and appreciated. I do take great care in assessing what I am capable of doing and what I feel comfortable doing.

I have read Warbirds posts on the M14 forum, and paid very close attention. I am Machinist by trade, and have several years' experience making tooling and dies. I have worked on parts that are far more complex than an M14 receiver.

I have studied the USGI prints, and compared my receiver's dimensions against them. I believe I can cut the receiver lugs to comply with the USGI drawings and accept a USGI bolt. After the cut I will take the receiver to my heat-treating vendor and let him perform his magic.

There are some people out there who attempt to do bolt conversions the cheezy way, by using a dremel to grind relief on the rear of the receiver ring. This usually drives the receiver dimensions further out of tolerance. One prominent M14 vendor/gunsmith gives legitimacy to this hack job in a book he wrote! :uhoh:

The only guys I know of who do the job right are Warbird and Smith Enterprise. Smith tends to be busy and expensive. Warbird is thorough and affordable, but can also be busy.

Ssarge
March 11, 2008, 14:03
I don't doubt your ability. You are one of the few with the knowledge and tools to do it right. Most need to heed the warning and just bite the bullet and send it in and get it done right. Your life isn't worth a few bucks.

vmtz
March 11, 2008, 18:05
I used Jerry Kuhnhausen M14 shop manual. The process I used was to lap the bolt in. Took a couple of nights, but the results came out great. I also have posted on it in the gunsmithing section.

Vince

gunshack
March 11, 2008, 19:20
My Poly needs 0.004" taken off of the receiver lugs to get in tolerance. Figure another thou or two to get the headspace ~1.632, I could end up removing 0.005" That's too much of the case hardness (0.012 - 0.018) to remove for my comfort level.

The dimension of Chinese receiver lugs can very widely from one rifle to another. I've heard of them accepting USGI bolts without modification, but where's the fun in that? :wink:

snowhawk jockey
March 11, 2008, 22:07
Thanks for the update to my compliance part count. I'll have 6 parts so I can run that pile of tiawanese mags. Tim@warbirdscustomguns dot com did my bolt conversion as well as an oprod tab rebuild. The gun looked very nice when I got it back. He is worth the waiting time for the workmanship.

augie1
March 12, 2008, 17:44
I had one, sold it, and wish I had it back.:cry:

But later on I got a sweet deal on a Springer M1a with NM barrel and the rest all USGI parts(except the receiver of course).:bow:

WCG
March 13, 2008, 14:12
Originally posted by Ssarge
This is the guy to do a bolt conversion: http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/M14-M1A.htm
If you are going to do it yourself, find out exactly what he does by doing a search of him on the M14 firing line and pay heed. He actually is one of the few that knows of what he speaks.
If I told everyone "how to", I'd be doing more of the "other" work that comes in. It really boils down to the receiver as to what needs to be done.
I was in the process of writing a short book on the subject about 4 years ago. I stashed my notes somewhere (really did) & haven't found them since. Maybe someday I'll get it finished.



Originally posted by gunshack
The only guys I know of who do the job right are Warbird and Smith Enterprise. Smith tends to be busy and expensive. Warbird is thorough and affordable, but can also be busy.
I hope it stays that way for awhile.


Originally posted by snowhawk jockey
Tim@warbirdscustomguns dot com did my bolt conversion as well as an oprod tab rebuild. The gun looked very nice when I got it back. He is worth the waiting time for the workmanship.
Glad to hear you approved of the final results.

On a side not.
Many guys are trying to get into the Chinese bolt conversion biz that have no real experience. No idea how to fit a receiver much less know how to do the bolt conversion.
It's more than just getting the bolt to fit properly.
I check 10 things on the receiver to make sure everything is right.
Think of an engine in your car or truck and you may understand.

BTW, I heard all ya guys talking about me.
Really tho, someone told me the owner finally added a M1 & M14 section.
Glad they did too.:bow:

J. Armstrong
March 13, 2008, 15:39
Welcome, Warbird :beer:

Are you an owner, pilot, or afficianado of warbirds ??? If so, you'll find even more reason to like it here !!!

WCG
March 14, 2008, 19:04
J. Armstrong
Thanks for the welcome guys.
I think I'll keep my feet on the ground now & settle for being an afficianado of warbirds. It's much safer.
See ya'all around.

Ssarge
March 14, 2008, 19:34
Welcome over here Warbird. I have followed you for several years on the "other" M14 board and have had several friend get work done by you. (all first class)
I hope to pick up another Polytech, and actually hang on to it this time. When I do, I'll get you to work on it. (even if I have to wait!)

2barearms
March 14, 2008, 19:49
Originally posted by WCG

If I told everyone "how to", I'd be doing more of the "other" work that comes in. It really boils down to the receiver as to what needs to be done.
I was in the process of writing a short book on the subject about 4 years ago. I stashed my notes somewhere (really did) & haven't found them since. Maybe someday I'll get it finished.




I hope it stays that way for awhile.



Glad to hear you approved of the final results.

On a side not.
Many guys are trying to get into the Chinese bolt conversion biz that have no real experience. No idea how to fit a receiver much less know how to do the bolt conversion.
It's more than just getting the bolt to fit properly.
I check 10 things on the receiver to make sure everything is right.
Think of an engine in your car or truck and you may understand.

BTW, I heard all ya guys talking about me.
Really tho, someone told me the owner finally added a M1 & M14 section.
Glad they did too.:bow:






Warbird, good to have you visit us again. I sort of let him know the other
day that we had our very own M1A/M14 forum. It will be very helpful to
have an armorer on board on occasion for the hard to answer tech stuff.
I hang out at the other 2 venues but to me the 'files is where the rubber
hits the road.

wildwilly
March 20, 2008, 11:39
gunshack whats the fun in that? A; it worked B: made the headspace good C: Part of the parts count.
My polytech has the US m14 trigger group, bolt, stock, and flashider. So my parts count should be good. But from what I hear here I should put the chinese parts back on it if I ever sell it and sell them individually.
OK, Warbird do I need this weopon checked out? I have 2,000 to 3000 rounds down range and headspace is fine. But like your allegorical engine story that may not be all I should have checked?

ActionYobbo
March 29, 2008, 22:38
I got a nice M14/S and its shoots fine
shot it out to 1000 yards and I found it to be good.
never had a problem with soft bolts or anything.
I was told that the receiver was made in taiwan on usa goverment machines.
I have owned 3 trw , 7 winchester and 1 H&R m14 and this chinese m14 I have now shoots as good as a stock M14 but the finish is not as good

Ssarge
March 30, 2008, 00:32
The M14S were reverse engineered in Communist Red China, The PRC. Not in Taiwan. That's why they have a mix of standard and metric parts.
And no, Taiwan never sold the old US equipment to it's hated enemy the Red Chinese to make the M14S. The Red's just got it right on very out dated equipment, that according to Lee Emerson author of the book "M14 Rifle History and Development". Here is a link to the pdf version of the book. Very informative.
http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/

wolfsburgbob
March 30, 2008, 07:06
Since we are clearing the air on misconceptions about the Red Chinese M-14/M-14s, I would like to add my observations based on many years and many rifles.

I am so tired of hearing that Norinco rifles are not as nice as Polytech rifles and possibly are in some way inferior in the area of quality.

That is such American style (...like Pontiacs are built better than Chevys) bullshit. The shit comes from the same pile. Granted, the people at Poly tried to push the falsehood that theirs (AKs...ect) where better, but all in all,..I've seen crappy canted sight Poly AKs too. They were merely trying to squeeze more profit out of the same turnip.

I just aquired another Poly M-14s and although it is a nice rifle, it is in no way finished as nicely as my last two Norincos. The last two Norincos were nicer than some domestic examples I have seen lately.

I have had nicely finished Poly rifles before, this just aint one of them.

:wink:

M40a3
April 07, 2008, 22:36
I've got an early Norinco that is almost as nicely finished as a Springfield, much nicer than some of the Armscorp receivers I have seen. And the headspace is 1.634 so no problems there. The last Poly I had swallowed a 1.638 gauge and the machining was rougher. Just depends on the individual rifle.

Ssarge
April 07, 2008, 23:06
At the small fun show this weekend I saw two Chinese M14S's for sale. A Poly and a Norinco. Both were to be had in the $750 range. The Norinco was the nicer of the two. Generally, and this is as Bob has said it's a gun by gun thing, the Poly's I have seen do seem to have a little bit better finish.
The main thrust of he story comes from the first batch of the Poly's that were imported by Keng's and had the heel receiver stamping instead of the much more common, and less desirable side of the receiver marking. They had very fine finish and walnut stocks and really looked good.
I sure wish I didn't have to deal with the tax man, I would have taken one of those home with me as the basis of a really nice rifle. I know the owner of the Poly, and may still work something out with him at a future date. :shades:

wolfsburgbob
May 15, 2008, 21:06
Finally found the time to get one of my extra Poly Techs up for sale in "Marketplace"! (http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=232897)

Thanks!

WarDawg
May 18, 2008, 09:40
I paid $400 for a HEEL Marked Norinco in 2003 . Appeared to be pretty much NIB. I Tested the receiver on a RW tester at work and it was 10 or so on the tester on the low side of USGI spec's . The Oprod also flopped around badly. The Op ord guide basically spun on the barrel . I did send it off to Smith for the conversion. I had several USGI kit's lying around. It's now a very nice rifle. I was wanting to keep her as much original as I could but just too many little things wasn't quite right. It's a real nice rifle now. I had it brought up to specs on the heat treat side also. They can be perfect or they can need alittle work done to them. Cheers WarDawg

BigSwede
May 21, 2008, 10:44
OK, so I just bought a very lightly used (to my untrained eye) Polytech M14S...what do you guys recommend I should do with it first? I gather I should check the headspace, anything else? Is the bolt conversion necessary from the word go, or does the need for that depend on headspace or other parameters? I don't plan on any match shooting or anything, but I do want it to be safe and reliable.

As you can tell, I am pretty green about M14s....

WarDawg
May 21, 2008, 20:19
Originally posted by BigSwede
OK, so I just bought a very lightly used (to my untrained eye) Polytech M14S...what do you guys recommend I should do with it first? I gather I should check the headspace, anything else? Is the bolt conversion necessary from the word go, or does the need for that depend on headspace or other parameters? I don't plan on any match shooting or anything, but I do want it to be safe and reliable.

As you can tell, I am pretty green about M14s....

Im not M14 gunsmith. But hopefully one will chime in. Your correct safety first. Yes I would check the head space with correct 7.62x51 spec gauges and even check the lug contact from bolt to receiver. Basically to see how much lug contact there really is. Some layout bluing is something good to use for that. Get it cheap at most industrial supply places and maybe even LOWES. A Jerry K book is a great M14 " Shop Manuel to have " . It tells how to do alot of stuff and specs and such. Good luck and congrads. WarDawg

Abominog
May 21, 2008, 20:54
Purely anecdotal- I've had two. First was NIB, used it for DCM, and after about 300 rounds it would eat the field guage. Second was used, took it home, it ate the guage too- it went back to the dealer. Now I'm gunshy (no pun intended).

Ssarge
May 21, 2008, 23:20
I would check it with the NATO guages, and if it's OK shoot it. (checking every couple of hundred rounds)
If you do need a bolt conversion I would send it here: http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/
Warbird is a forum member and has done lot's of the bolt conversions. Someone who dosen't understand the M14 can really screw the pooch (and your rifle) doing this.
I have owned several Poly's and have yet to have a problem with the Chinese bolt. I replaced the stock with a USGI, gas plug and lock, the flash suppressor, hammer and the rear sights with USGI.

BigSwede
May 22, 2008, 10:12
Thanks guys, looks like I need to get one o' dem der headspace gauges...