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View Full Version : Did Springfield Armory ever use Chinese parts in M1A's?


benchracer
September 29, 2015, 13:36
A Springfield Armory M1A recently came into my possession via a family member. My uncle bought it new from SAI, Inc. in the late 70's. It has been solely in his possession since that time.

I have been going through the rifle to determine what I have. Here are my findings, so far:

Its serial number is in the 008800 range, which indicates it was manufactured in 1978, according to what I have been able to find online. The bolt is definitely USGI, ditto the walnut stock, flash hider, and the hammer. The trigger housing appears to be SAI, Inc. commercial. The safety is unmarked.

Here is where things get strange:

The operating rod is completely unmarked, but has the vent hole in the forward face of the cylinder. Everything I have been able to find online indicates this is a commercial op-rod of Chinese manufacture.

The barrel has no markings and appears to be chrome lined. Again, online sources indicate this is a barrel of Chinese origin.

I know, without doubt, that this rifle is configured exactly as it was when it left the SAI, Inc. factory. To anyone's knowledge, did SAI, Inc. source Chinese commercial parts? Or, is the online info simply erroneous or incomplete?

Just curious...

Retired Bum
September 29, 2015, 14:57
There are two kinds of "Chinese" M14/M1A parts.

The first are those made in Taiwan by the gov't. Taiwan adopted the M14 rifle back in the 1960's and I believe acquired the machine tooling from the US.

The others are of course the Mainland Chinese parts made by Norinco.

My first SA M1A which I bought new back in 1976 was put together from a combination of US GI surplus and Taiwanese made parts. This M1A was somewhat of a disappointment to me and I sold it. My second M1A was a much better rifle and from what I could tell all of its parts were US GI or newly made parts in this country.

My third M1A definitely has some mainland Chinese parts but I have had no problems with the rifle except for those lousy Chinese made five round magazines I bought for "sporting" purposes.

I picked up a used Federal Ordnance M14SA some years back from a friend who offered it to me at a very attractive price. It came with a number of US GI 20 round mags still new in the wrapper which is why I bought it. A close examination of the major components revealed that all parts were US GI. So I swapped out those parts for the Chinese parts on the M1A. Then I sold the M14SA to a high power shooter who wanted a back up rifle.

I have no idea if there are such things as counterfeit Chinese M1A/M14 parts or not. But it wouldn't surprise me.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

garandguy10
September 30, 2015, 21:14
Springfield armory M1A's often used parts sourced from overseas.Taiwan and South Korea are rumored to have provided many components used in the manufacture of M1A's. I do not know if the Peoples Republic of China provided any components to Springfield Armory for use in their M1A rifle.

mack7.62
September 30, 2015, 23:45
No M1A made in 1978 used Chinese parts. You couldn't even get them in those days, nothing was imported from China back then. Those early rifles did use unmarked barrels I believe from Wilson, not sure about the op rod but likely commercial made.

neminion
October 01, 2015, 00:08
Chicoms did make counterfeit m14s in the 70s for philippine guerrillas. Wonder why you see counterfeit British 762x51? Highly doubt SA got some of those parts mixed in with their production run, doubt those parts ever got out of se asia until the 80s.

You mentioned the op rod and trigger group look non usgi. Did your uncle ever hand the rifle to somebody at a gunshow or have it serviced by a smith? You might be surprised what happens at those places.

The barrel could be one of the commercial sa barrels...just unmarked.

Different
October 26, 2015, 07:30
There are two kinds of "Chinese" M14/M1A parts.

The first are those made in Taiwan by the gov't. Taiwan adopted the M14 rifle back in the 1960's and I believe acquired the machine tooling from the US.

The others are of course the Mainland Chinese parts made by Norinco.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) manufactured 146,596 Type 57 (the Taiwan model of the M14) rifles from 1969 until 1979. Some, if not all, of the T57 rifles were manufactured at the government 60th Arsenal in Kaoshiung. Some, not all, of the materiel necessary to manufacture the T57 rifle was transferred by the U. S. government from 1967 to 1969 to the government of Taiwan. The government of Taiwan supplied the remaining machine tools to produce the T57. A full set of inspection gages and a complete Technical Data Package was transferred from the US to Taiwan.

Wayne Machine, Inc. (Taipei, Taiwan) has produced M1A parts to Springfield Armory, Inc. since the mid-1980s, possibly earlier. Wayne Machine was founded in 1979. Based upon my research, I don't believe SA, Inc. had access to foreign manufacture parts for the M1A before 1979. So, any commercial M1A parts before 1979 were made in the USA by Shilen, Wilson Arms, Hillside Manufacturing, Valley Ordnance, Gerald Drasen (aka Sendra, Nesard) and other vendors.

All mainland Chinese M14 parts were produced by State Arsenal 356 in Kunming, Yunnan province. Norinco and Poly Technologies were exporters, not the manufacturer, of the Chinese M14/M14S/M14 Sporter/M305 rifle. Springfield Armory, Inc. has not used mainland Chinese parts to assemble M1A rifles. It has used commercial parts made in the Republic of Korea and the United States for its M1A rifle.

Different
October 26, 2015, 07:36
No M1A made in 1978 used Chinese parts. You couldn't even get them in those days, nothing was imported from China back then. Those early rifles did use unmarked barrels I believe from Wilson, not sure about the op rod but likely commercial made.

Correct, the mainland Chinese did not export M14 rifles and/or parts for sale until 1987 to Germany and in 1988 to the USA. Correct, commercial standard M1A barrels from 1978 until about 1990 were supplied by Wilson Arms and finish machined by Hillside Manufacturing (Dallas, PA).

Not widely known, Gerald Drasen (aka Sendra aka Nesard) supplied SA, Inc. with commercial M1A operating rods when USGI parts were in short supply.

wanneroo
October 26, 2015, 09:46
I never understood why the Chicoms ever took an interest in the M14/M1A and still do with current production by Norinco for sale to other countries.

Different
October 26, 2015, 10:08
I never understood why the Chicoms ever took an interest in the M14/M1A and still do with current production by Norinco for sale to other countries.

The Chinese M14 rifles (made at State Arsenal 356) were front and center in both unsuccessful attempts to foment revolution in the Philippines in the early 1970s. The Chinese have a history of copying military small arms. The Nationalist Chinese government made several thousand Model 1921 Thompson submachine guns in 1927 at its Tai Yuan Soldier factory in Shansi Province. The Communist government produced M1 Carbines from 1949 to 1952.

Norinco is an exporter for the M14 rifle. State Arsenal 356 is the manufacturer.

Timber Wolf
October 26, 2015, 13:13
I never understood why the Chicoms ever took an interest in the M14/M1A and still do with current production by Norinco for sale to other countries.

Cause they are just like everybody else, they want to separate me from my money. They in fact did so in exchange for one each Norinco and Poly M14S. Great shooters bought new for $350 back in the day. Actually the Poly was $358 OTD as I recall. One bad thing (or two), they apparently stole some poor dirt farmer's fence posts to make the stocks. My Norinco wears a USGI fiberglass stock bought from Cheaper-Than-Dirt long ago for $14 or $17 (complete w/metal) or some other pittance. The Poly sports USGI wood, Birch I suppose, bought complete at a gunshow for $40 also many years back. I still think about that farmer going out to his field only to find his fencing on the ground.:(

ByronF
October 26, 2015, 15:02
I suspect SA Inc stopped offering bayo lug option because they don't have enough domestic content anymore to satisfy the "sporting firearm" regulation.

Different
October 26, 2015, 15:07
I suspect SA Inc stopped offering bayo lug option because they don't have enough domestic content anymore to satisfy the "sporting firearm" regulation.

Yes, I suspect they cannot always guarantee there are sufficient domestic made parts used to assemble the rifle so they simplify the decision making process by only installing non-lugged muzzle devices to remain within Federal Regulations.

one hand clapping
November 22, 2015, 12:10
Now ya'll got me wondering. Gonna have to get my SA out and look at the parts. I DO have a bayo lug.
Oh and a smith mount with a trijicon 3x9 , and E-2 stock on it.

pre1989
November 22, 2015, 17:28
My understanding on the bayo lug thing was they stopped after 1994 AWB putting it on there ( I am guessing pre that maybe they were using GI flash hiderers) after 1994 AWB ending they put the flash hider back on but no the lug .. Why that I dont know ...

eyegun
November 27, 2015, 22:33
The Chinese M14 rifles (made at State Arsenal 356) were front and center in both unsuccessful attempts to foment revolution in the Philippines in the early 1970s. The Chinese have a history of copying military small arms. The Nationalist Chinese government made several thousand Model 1921 Thompson submachine guns in 1927 at its Tai Yuan Soldier factory in Shansi Province. The Communist government produced M1 Carbines from 1949 to 1952.

Norinco is an exporter for the M14 rifle. State Arsenal 356 is the manufacturer.

Saw this Chinese copy of the TSMG while visiting the Imperial War Museum London, England. I also have a couple thousand rounds of Chinese counterfeit L2A2 308.


http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd74/eyegun/Imperial%20War%20Museum/IMG_1155.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/user/eyegun/media/Imperial%20War%20Museum/IMG_1155.jpg.html)
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd74/eyegun/Imperial%20War%20Museum/IMG_1156.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/user/eyegun/media/Imperial%20War%20Museum/IMG_1156.jpg.html)

D P Six
November 29, 2015, 12:01
First Thampson I have ever seen. :rofl:

raubvogel
November 29, 2015, 22:55
First Thampson I have ever seen. :rofl:

Any collection is not complete without a proper Thampson

match14
December 22, 2015, 14:44
^ That's just Epic.