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Old June 27, 2012, 15:33   #1
Rudigar
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AR Sales M1a

Hello all,
Just picked up AR Sales Mark IV M1A. The price was so good I couldn't pass it up. Ser#is 0037. He is dropping it off tonight. I looked a bit online, are these worth the trouble. I figured it was better than my Poly as it has all USGI parts.
Any info would be appreciated.....
Thanks,
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Old June 27, 2012, 16:32   #2
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They are rare as hens teeth bro..... I believe they were made along the same time frame as the 1st M1As were (early 70s) - It's a keeper for sure!!!
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Old June 29, 2012, 09:37   #3
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Sounds like quite a score.
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Old July 05, 2012, 23:34   #4
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Fellow A.R. Sales Mk IV owner

Rudigar,

Welcome to the Mk IV owner's "club"!. There were only 200-300 assembled so you have quite a rare bird. Mine's serial number is 0128. Yes, they were all GI parts with the obvious exception of the receiver. Treasure it. I would be curious about the price. If you don't want say in 'public', I would understand. Mine came with a fairly rough stock which I still own but have a GI synthetic stock on it now. I will check another forum and get back with a link to a guy that is very interested/knowledgable on everything M14 and would probably love to hear about your rifle.

Later
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Old July 05, 2012, 23:39   #5
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Link

Rudigar,

Here is a link to another forum.

http://gunhub.com/m14/

If it doesn't link, copy and paste.

Look for posts by a member: Different

He is quite an expert and would be good for you to contact.

Looking forward to hearing more on your rifle.
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Old July 06, 2012, 16:23   #6
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Pic's

A few Pictures......

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Old July 06, 2012, 16:24   #7
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Old July 06, 2012, 16:25   #8
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Old July 06, 2012, 16:25   #9
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Old July 06, 2012, 16:26   #10
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Old July 06, 2012, 16:27   #11
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Old July 06, 2012, 21:30   #12
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wow,,,that thing looks like it's ready to rumble,,,prolly don't shoot good though,,,
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Old July 21, 2012, 23:45   #13
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What is AR sales? And what is MKIV M1A? I thought I knew my M1A's. Now it seems I'm out of the loop.
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Old July 22, 2012, 11:54   #14
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The A.R. Sales Mark IV version of a semi-auto only M-14 is truly a rare breed. There were less than 300 made. A.R. Sales was a small company in Kalifornia in the 1970s. They attended gun shows and sold parts for military rifles that they had salvaged from scrap sales. Somewhere along the line, they decided to make a civilian legal copy of the M-14 service rifle. There was only one other company making M-14 copies for civilian sales back then. They made less than 300 receivers and assembled them into rifles that were almost entirely genuine G.I. parts except for the receiver. If I remember right, they sold for less than $300.

I don't know if the company is still in business but I do know they never made more complete rifles. Folks often refer to them as "MkIV M1A" because the term "M1A" has become a generic term for a civilian legal copy of the M-14 service rifle. Now there are plenty of M1A makers and they pretty much use that term. If I just say "Mark IV" I get blank looks. It is a matter of identity becoming generic like "Xerox" for a copier or "Jeep" for small 4x4s.

I may have a few details wrong or lacking but that is the gist of the story. I hope this satisfies your curiosity. There is a poster on another forum that goes by the handle of "Different" who seems to be an authority on everything M-14/M1A/MkIV. If you want to know more, he would be a good source.
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Old July 22, 2012, 18:24   #15
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Found a picture:



Are they forged or cast? (Of course.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by History Nut View Post
If I remember right, they sold for less than $300.
If the price was below the cost, the company could not sustain.

Last edited by BC; July 23, 2012 at 00:15.
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Old July 22, 2012, 22:55   #16
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I believe that AR Sales M14 type receivers were the fore runner of Federal Ordnance, I think that there is some connection between the owners of AR Sales and Federal Ordnance.....but I could be wrong....
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Old July 23, 2012, 00:07   #17
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That makes sense. The gun business is a close-knit community.

BTW, the right side of the AR Sales receiver looks recessed. Make it non-symmetric so to speak.
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Old July 23, 2012, 00:49   #18
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Post by Different:

From my book M14 Rifle History and Development Revision 1 copyright 2005:

"A. R. Sales Co., National Ordnance, Inc. and Federal Ordnance, Inc.

A. R. Sales was owned by Illia I. Karnes. Bob Penny, a business partner of Illia’s husband, Jack Karnes, may have also been involved with A. R. Sales. Jack Karnes, his wife Illia, and their two children ran the company.

Ford Motor Company was formed on June 16, 1903 by Henry Ford and eleven other business associates. In 1925, Ford Motor Company bought Lincoln Motor Company, a manufacturer of luxury automobiles. For the 1972 model year, Lincoln introduced the Mark IV two-door luxury sport coupe. The Mark IV was longer, wider and slightly lighter than its very popular predecessor; the Lee Iacocca designed Lincoln Mark III. The 1972 Mark IV was Ford’s answer to General Motors Corporation’s Cadillac Eldorado and was a major success for Ford Motor Company. Lincoln Mark IV automobile production ended with the 1976 model year. Mr. Maunz was impressed with the plush style of the 1972 Lincoln Mark IV. Thus, he suggested to A. R. Sales that its semi-automatic M14 receiver be named Mark IV.

It appears that A. R. Sales started on the semi-automatic M14 type rifle project in October, 1971. There were two production lots for the company, one in 1974 and the other in 1976. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was cast at Rimer Casting Company using Karl Maunz’s receiver master die. The second production batch of Mark IV receivers was cast at Gray-Syracuse, Inc. and machined by Valley Ordnance Co. The first lot of receiver serial numbers ended somewhere between 1 and 225. The receiver serial numbers for the second lot were started at a number below 225 and ended at number 450. Twenty-five serial numbers were skipped between the first lot and the second lot. Mr. Maunz’s receiver master die was also used to produce receiver castings for National Ordnance semi-automatic M14 type rifles (see below). A. R. Sales Mark IV receivers are of decent quality. 2 A. R. Sales was sold off some time after the second production run of Mark IV rifles in 1976.

At the same time, in the early 1970s, when A. R. Sales was developing its Mark IV receiver, John Arnold was pursuing the same goal of manufacturing and marketing his own semi-automatic M14 type receiver. Mr. Arnold owned National Ordnance, Inc., a firearm manufacturing company, and Federal Ordnance, a firearm parts and ammunition supplier. Mr. Wyant Lamont, Jr., managed the day-to-day operations of National Ordnance. The two sister businesses were located adjacent to one another on Alpaca Street at Potrero Avenue in South El Monte, CA, about one-quarter mile from A. R. Sales. From 1965 to 1970, National Ordnance produced 22,500 newly manufactured M1903A3 receivers and assembled them into complete rifles using USGI surplus parts. National Ordnance also manufactured 2000 M1 Garand welded and investment cast receivers and an unknown number of M1 Carbine investment cast receivers in the 1960s. The M1 Carbine and newly manufactured M1 Garand receivers were cast by Rimer Casting Company.

A very small number of National Ordnance stamped semi-automatic M14 type rifles were produced. These receivers were investment cast by Rimer Casting Co but machined by another Ohio business. National Ordnance went out of business about 1974 or shortly thereafter with the death of Mr. Arnold. As part of the liquidation of the company’s assets, assembled M14 type rifles and parts kits were sold off. The author is not aware of any collaboration that existed between A. R. Sales and National Ordnance on M14 receiver development.

Bob Brenner restarted Federal Ordnance by no later than April, 1982. Jack Karnes went to work for Bob Brenner when Federal Ordnance was revived. In early 1982, Federal Ordnance had plans to produce M1 Garand Rifles using newly manufactured receivers. By 1987, Federal Ordnance was located at 1443 Potrero Avenue South El Monte, CA 91733. It sold military surplus firearms. Federal Ordnance also sold lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames marketed under its name and a trade name as well as selling a Springfield Armory, Inc. high-end M1911 style pistol. Reportedly, the lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames were originally marketed by A. R. Sales in the early 1970s.

Federal Ordnance began production of its M14 type rifles by 1986 and ended around 1992. Karl Maunz supplied some receiver castings in 1987 to Federal Ordnance. Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle serial number 22XX was inspected in the factory on February 26, 1987. Likewise, rifle serial number 677X was inspected at the factory on November 17, 1989. Federal Ordnance receivers machined while Jack Karnes was on board were of good quality. 3

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for a Federal Ordnance M14SA in 1988 was $629.00. The rifles were sold with a one year parts and labor warranty. Each Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle sold was accompanied by a factory inspection tag, warranty registration card, a copy of U. S. Army FM 23-8 and a booklet on firearms safety. The factory inspection tag included the following information about each rifle: date, stock number, a description, caliber, and signature fields for checking of headspace, test firing and inspection. The stock number for the fiberglass stock M14 was GU-0715. USGI M14 accessories such as magazines, magazine pouches, slings and cleaning kits were available from Federal Ordnance.

Federal Ordnance built two types of M14 rifles, one with USGI parts and one with Chinese parts. USGI parts were used extensively in Federal Ordnance rifles through at least S/N 8877. Through at least serial number 394X the USGI parts were taken off USGI M14 rifles imported from Israel. By serial number 205XX, if not earlier, Chinese and Taiwanese reproduction parts were used to assemble its rifles. For example, Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 502XX was assembled at the factory on September 13, 1991 with Chinese manufacture bolt, operating rod, trigger group and barrel. Federal Ordnance sold complete rifles as well as stripped receivers.

Synthetic stocks on Federal Ordnance M14 rifles may not have been USGI models but of unknown commercial manufacture. The original owner of Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 22XX reports that the synthetic stock never had a selector cutout or USGI markings inside the magazine well. Further, the Federal Ordnance stock had a slightly rough finish. The butt plate was glossy black color instead of phosphate coated.

Century Arms International (then 48 Lower Newton Street St. Albans, VT 05478) assembled some of these Federal Ordnance receivers with Chinese parts at their facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1990 just before the imported parts ban of November 29, 1990, brought them into the United States with the military style features (twenty round magazine, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, and hinged butt plate) which was legal at the time and sold them to the commercial market. Century Arms International ceased operations in Montreal around 1993.

The Federal Ordnance marking may be located on the right receiver leg instead of the receiver heel for Century Arms International assembled rifles. Some Federal Ordnance M14SA receivers have serial numbers with the letter C prefix followed by a hyphen then four digits, e.g., C-0116. These letter C prefix serial number receivers were sold as stripped receivers to Century Arms International in 1990 for assembly into complete rifles. Century Arms International assembled very few M14 type rifles with Federal Ordnance receivers and Chinese parts, as compared to the number of Chinese rifles it later sold. Serial number C-0388 is the highest serial number for this series observed to date."

Last edited by BC; July 23, 2012 at 01:00.
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Old July 23, 2012, 01:03   #19
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Century Arms International ceased operations in Montreal around 1993.

That helps date the L1A1 Sporters. Those with receiver or barrel or lower marked "MADE IN CANADA" are pre-1994 ban.
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Old July 23, 2012, 03:13   #20
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BC,

Thanks for finding all that information via Different. My post was all done from memory from when I bought my Mark IV. Mine's ser# is between the two you pictured so mine is in the first batch.

On a personal note, I met Bob Penny years later and became friends with him. In recent years I learned that Bob was involved in the production of M-1 rifles in the 60s/70s. One thing to keep in mind is that in the 1960s there were hardly any Garands available for civilian sale. The military was still using them in training! My brother carried one at the Air Force Academy from '63 to '67.

In 1967, when I turned 18, my brother bought me a Garand as a birthday present. I really didn't know much about them so didn't recognize that it had a lot of non-G.I. parts on it. Over the years, I slowly "G.I.'d" it. After I met Bob, he told me about how they made Garands out of cut receivers and M1903A3 barrels. They had to manufacture some parts as they weren't available surplus at the time. It turned out that my first Garand was one he manufactured. I have put thousands +/- rounds through it. There have been no problems with the receiver and after Bob explained the methods they used to reassemble them, I am sure I never will have any problems. Since it is a Winchester back half and Springfield front half, I sometimes call it my "Winfield" or "Springchester".

The end result is that I have an $85 Garand and a $275 (the price just magically popped back in my memory!) Mark IV which demonstrates more than anything how our money has inflated in 40 years. Don't bother asking if I would sell either of them as I think I will have them buried with me along with the 1941 Johnson SAR that I got for $150 back then.

I hope you don't mind my little trip down memory lane. Part of getting old seems to be wanting to relate memories.
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Old July 23, 2012, 06:03   #21
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a wonderful story.
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Old July 23, 2012, 18:24   #22
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OK, I didn't know any of this...now I want one.

Damn you Rudigar!
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Old July 23, 2012, 19:50   #23
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Nice rifles and story.
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Old July 24, 2012, 15:20   #24
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Sorry Speed, good luck finding one!

Just a side note, this is a 1/2 MOA rifle,I have shot it in 2 local CMP matches.

It was built with a Canadian Arsenal N/M barrel....Shoots like it too! TRW bolt, TRW trigger group and a SAK op-rod. N/M sights and it loves 41 gr.of Varget with a 168 gr SMK with LC brass.

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Old July 24, 2012, 19:00   #25
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Is the Canadian NM barrel twist rate 1:12 ?
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Old July 24, 2012, 19:28   #26
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BC,

I haven't actually checked..... Serial # doesn't give that info as I haven't found info to support it.

Next time I'm tinkering I'll try to remember to check.

R~
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Old July 25, 2012, 11:57   #27
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Quote:
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Don't bother asking if I would sell either of them as I think I will have them buried with me along with the 1941 Johnson SAR that I got for $150 back then.
OK, I won't ask you to sell them. I just want to know where you will be buried.
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Old July 25, 2012, 16:39   #28
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Seconded (prepares e-tool)

i herd about those old garands... any chance you can post some pics (spicifily of the reciver, and the bbl)
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Old July 25, 2012, 18:16   #29
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B.C.,


It's a 1:12.......
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Old July 25, 2012, 23:40   #30
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Thanks. I wonder why would a Canadian company make M14 barrels. For the US market? Is your barrel from the 1980s?
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Old July 26, 2012, 01:12   #31
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OK, I won't ask you to sell them. I just want to know where you will be buried.
Hopefully in Oklahoma but may be Kalifornia. Actually, I will probably pass them to my oldest nephew. I will promise that if they are buried with me, I will make sure some sealed cans of ammo are included.

Regarding pictures, I will try and make some in the next couple of days. That is actually a good idea, I should document the Springchester.
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Old July 26, 2012, 09:44   #32
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BC,
It has a "3-67" barrel date........
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Old July 26, 2012, 14:59   #33
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Hopefully in Oklahoma but may be Kalifornia. Actually, I will probably pass them to my oldest nephew. I will promise that if they are buried with me, I will make sure some sealed cans of ammo are included.
And plenty of magazines and cleaning supplies, you want to be well prepared to enter the afterlife.
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Old July 27, 2012, 14:21   #34
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I too have one of these....acquired about 7 months ago.....i love it
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Old July 27, 2012, 23:19   #35
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Thanks. I wonder why would a Canadian company make M14 barrels. For the US market? Is your barrel from the 1980s?
The Canadians did not make M14 barrels for the U.S.commercial market, they made them on contract for Uncle Sam for use on U.S.military match grade M14's

Uncle needed non chrome lined M14 barrels made to a very tight specification, the Canadians won the contract bid, and delivered some rather legendary barrels. Later on SACO here in the USA supplied match grade barrels to Uncle, also a legendary product.
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Old July 29, 2012, 01:50   #36
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garadguy10,

Did SACO make both NM and regular GI barrels for the Uncle? I saw a SAK (SACO) barrel on a SA, Inc. M1A , but it's not NM marked. Date is 73 I think. Is it among the legendaries?
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Old July 29, 2012, 19:01   #37
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Did SACO make both NM and regular GI barrels for the Uncle?
Short answer, yes.
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Old August 04, 2012, 07:14   #38
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From M14 Rifle History and Development Fifth Edition by Lee Emerson copyright 2012:

A. R. Sales Co., National Ordnance, Inc. and Federal Ordnance, Inc.

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the Los Angeles area was the firearms manufacturing capitol of the western United States. Three southern California firms from that period were connected to the commercial M14 rifle, A. R. Sales Co., National Ordnance, Inc. and Federal Ordnance, Inc. A. R. Sales Co. was established at 9624 Alpaca Street South El Monte, CA in 1968 by Ilia I. Karnes. Jack Karnes, his wife Ilia, and their two children ran the company. Mr. Karnes was a tool and die maker by trade. When the family business started, its first large contract was to make M16 scope mounts. The two letters, A.R., were taken from the first two alphanumeric characters of the commercial name for the M16 rifle. Next, A. R. Sales produced high-end lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames and accessories.

Ilia Karnes sent a couple prototype Mark IV receivers to the BATF for approval. These prototype receivers were not approved as they included the operating rod rail dismount notch and forward underside groove. After several months, the BATF approved the third prototype receiver from A. R. Sales. The third prototype receiver lacked select fire machining cuts. A. R. Sales Co. started on its semi-automatic M14 type rifle project by October 1971. An advertisement for its Mark IV rifle appeared in the October 15, 1971 issue of Shotgun News. The response from the civilian market was overwhelming. This included 2000 or more mail-in orders with the $15.00 deposit for a stripped Mark IV receiver.

A. R. Sales received its initial batch of Mark IV receiver castings by no later than March 07, 1972. This first set of receivers were used by Jack Karnes to set up fixtures and tooling for the machine tools. There were two Mark IV receiver production lots for the company. The first occurred in the winter of 1973. The first Mark IV rifles and stripped receivers were delivered to customers in January 1973. Mark IV serial number 0143 had been delivered to the buyer on March 02, 1973. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was cast at Rimer Casting Company (Waterville, OH) using Karl Maunz’s receiver master die according to two sources and at Prico (Los Angeles, CA) according to a third source, all highly reputable. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was machined by A. R. Sales. The first lot of receiver serial numbers ended at a number less than 0226 with 200 receivers produced.

The second receiver production lot was made in 1976. The receiver serial numbers for the second lot were started at a number below 0226 and ended at number 0250. The second production batch of Mark IV receivers was cast at Gray-Syracuse, Inc. and machined by Valley Ordnance Co. About twenty-five receivers were produced in the second batch.

Twenty-five serial numbers were skipped between the first lot and the second lot. The missing serial numbers were allotted for tool room samples and for intended-but-never-realized forged receivers. Both production lots of Mark IV receivers were heat treated by a local company in southern California.
A. R. Sales Co. at first bought M14 parts brand new directly from USGI contractors. Mark IV rifles were assembled with new and used USGI M14 parts and USGI M14 wood stocks. Any used M14 parts that were broken or worn were compared to the USGI drawings and rejected in the build procedure. The stock selector cutout was filled in for each assembled Mark IV rifle. According to the October 1971 A. R. Sales Co. specification sheet for the Mark IV rifle, “While most of our rifles will be built with N.M. barrels, we do not glass bed the actions, nor do we produce match grade weapons. We feel that this is best left to those who specialize in accurizing and building match grade weapons, and we do not wish to infringe in their domain.”

Ford Motor Company was formed on June 16, 1903 by Henry Ford and eleven other business associates. In 1925, Ford Motor Company bought Lincoln Motor Company, a manufacturer of luxury automobiles. For the 1972 model year, Lincoln introduced the Mark IV two-door luxury sport coupe. The Mark IV was longer, wider and slightly lighter than its very popular predecessor; the Lee Iacocca designed Lincoln Mark III. The 1972 Mark IV was Ford’s answer to General Motors Corporation’s Cadillac Eldorado and was a major success for Ford Motor Company. Lincoln Mark IV automobile production ended with the 1976 model year. Mr. Maunz was impressed with the plush style of the 1972 Lincoln Mark IV. Thus, he suggested to A. R. Sales that its semi-automatic M14 receiver be named Mark IV. A. R. Sales Mark IV receivers are of good quality.

Ilia Karnes sold the manufacturing side of A. R. Sales to Ranger Machine & Tool Corporation in November 1979. Ranger Machine & Tool continued to produce the pistol frames and accessories but did not produce any M14 receivers or rifles. Ranger Machine & Tool Corporation was purchased by Federal Ordnance, Inc. in May 1981. It occupied 9624 Alpaca Street from 1981 until 1984 when it merged with Federal Ordnance at 1443 Potrero Avenue. A. R. Sales moved in 1981 from 9624 Alpaca Street to 1900 Tyler Street in South El Monte. The retail business of A. R. Sales was shut down in 1984 by Ilia Karnes.

Golden State Arms (Pasadena, CA) was established in 1952 by Alvin Gettler. From 1960 onward, the firm was owned by Seymour Ziebert. It was a major importer of surplus firearms and ammunition. Golden State Arms went out of business in late 1966 along with two other related businesses, Pasadena Gun Shop and Pasadena Firearms, Inc. Jack Karnes, Burton "Bob" Brenner and Robert E. Penney were all former associates of Golden State Arms.

Bob Penney and John Arnold co-founded National Ordnance, Inc. and Alpine Sales in May 1960. National Ordnance manufactured M1 Carbine receivers and assembled carbines using surplus USGI parts. In 1962, this work was done at 235 S. Irwindale Avenue Azusa, CA. Alpine Sales was the sales half of the joint venture. In December 1962, the two gentlemen went their separate ways. Mr. Penney was left with Alpine Sales for the purpose of selling commercial M1 Carbines. He wanted to manufacture a commercial M14 receiver but in the early to mid-1960s there were no USGI M14 parts available in the surplus market. Mr. Arnold took over National Ordnance to concentrate on manufacturing M1903 and M1 Garand rifles. During their respective histories, Golden State Arms, National Ordnance and Federal Ordnance built semi-automatic BM59 rifles by welding together cut up BM59 receivers.

National Ordnance moved from Azusa, CA into the newly constructed building at 9643 Alpaca Street South El Monte, CA in 1965. From 1965 to 1970, National Ordnance produced 22,500 newly manufactured M1903A3 receivers and assembled them into complete rifles using USGI surplus parts. National Ordnance also manufactured 2000 M1 Garand welded and investment cast receivers. In the early 1960s, the firm manufactured an unknown number of M1 Carbine investment cast receivers for Alpine Sales. The newly manufactured M1 Carbine and M1 Garand receivers were cast by Rimer Casting Company. In the early 1970s, when A. R. Sales was developing its Mark IV receiver, John Arnold was pursuing the same goal of manufacturing and marketing his own semi-automatic M14 type receiver.

By 1973, John Arnold, a U. S. Navy World War II veteran, owned or partially owned at least three companies: National Ordnance, Inc., a firearm manufacturing company, Sporting Arms, Inc., a distributor of sporterized military rifles, and Cadmus Industries. The three companies were located on the same block of Alpaca Street. Mr. Wyant J. Lamont, Jr., managed the day-to-day operations of National Ordnance in the early 1970s.

Employees from both A. R. Sales and National Ordnance visited the facilities of one another to discuss set up of machine tools. A. R. Sales did assist National Ordnance in its BM59 project but there was no collaboration between the two firms specific to M14 type receivers. A very small number of National Ordnance stamped semi-automatic M14 type rifles were produced. Stephen Fuller reported two completed receivers for the company but a reliable source closer to the events of the time estimates a half-dozen National Ordnance receivers were finished. Electro Crisol Metal, S.A. (Santander, Cantabria, Spain) made the raw receiver castings for National Ordnance.

Mr. Arnold passed away from cancer on December 23, 1973. Walter Rayno, head foreman, and Jessica LaMont, wife of Wyant LaMont, were left to run the company. Shortly thereafter, National Ordnance was purchased by Bob Brenner. Mr. Rayno passed away suddenly on June 05, 1975 while enjoying the horse races at Santa Anita. Operations were moved to 9649 Alpaca Street in 1976 and appear to have ceased in South El Monte the following year. As part of the liquidation of the company’s assets, assembled M14 type rifles and parts kits were sold off. The tooling and molds for the M1 Carbine receivers were sold to Rock Island Armory.

As soon as Golden State Arms had closed down and its assets auctioned off, Bob Brenner went into business for himself on November 16, 1966 as Federal Ordnance, Inc. Initially, he worked out of his home in Pasadena, CA. The company imported ammunition and U. S. and foreign made rifles and hand guns. By the late 1960s, Mr. Brenner’s business was doing well and he became very good friends with John Arnold. Federal Ordnance moved in with National Ordnance at 9643 Alpaca Street. Federal Ordnance collaborated with National Ordnance to produce M1903 and M1 Carbines with commercial receivers and surplus USGI parts for sale to the public. In 1969, Federal Ordnance had outgrown its leased space and moved to the adjacent building, 9649 Alpaca Street South El Monte, CA.

In 1981, the business was moved due to further business growth from 9649 Alpaca Street to 1443 Potrero Avenue South El Monte, CA 91733. By no later than 1982, Jack Karnes went to work for Bob Brenner at Federal Ordnance as the chief machinist. He was employed by Federal Ordnance until 1984. Mr. Karnes then did consulting work for the company until 1985 or 1986. Robert Thomasser joined Federal Ordnance, Inc. in 1982 as a machinist. Later, he was promoted to Vice President. As Vice President, Mr. Thomasser managed the machine shop employees producing the Ranger M1911 style pistol and the Federal Ordnance M14 rifle. Other Federal Ordnance employees included Linda Thomasser and Bob Brenner’s wife, Barbara, and son-in-law, Robert Siegal.

In early 1982, Federal Ordnance was finishing up its production of newly made M1 Garand and M1 Carbine receivers. Federal Ordnance, Inc. also manufactured the Model 713 Deluxe Mauser rifle (1986 - 1992) and the All American Sporter Bolt Action rifle (1991 - 1992). Federal Ordnance reached its peak of manufacturing activity around 1985 with about 120 employees. In the late 1980s at least, Federal Ordnance, Inc. supplied a list of firearms manufacturers and importers addresses with its factory literature and a note encouraging customers to contact the manufacturer or importer to get an owner’s manual. Federal Ordnance sold lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames marketed under its name and a trade name as well as selling a Springfield Armory, Inc. high-end M1911 style pistol.

Federal Ordnance began production of its M14 type rifles by 1984 and ended in late 1991. Federal Ordnance was not able to compete with the price of imported Chinese M14 rifles so production was halted. After the first fifty, M14 receivers were machined on one CNC machining center with several fixture set ups. All receivers were machined from castings of AISI 8620 alloy steel. Except for the first fifty receivers, the castings were supplied by Electro Crisol Metal, S.A. The M14 receivers were manufactured at a leased building one block up on Potrero Avenue. Heat treating was subcontracted to a vendor in El Monte, CA. Federal Ordnance M14 type receivers were heat treated and carburized according to USGI drawing F7790189. A company in Santa Ana, CA finished the receivers with a phosphate coating. Assembly of the Federal Ordnance M14 rifles was performed at a leased warehouse just west of 1443 Potrero Avenue. Each M14 was proof fired before assembly and function tested with three rounds as a complete rifle before packaging. Finished M14 rifles were stored on the first floor at 1443 Potrero Avenue. The total number of complete M14 rifles assembled by Federal Ordnance was more than 13,000. Based on information available, total M14 receiver production did not exceed 16,000.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for a Federal Ordnance M14A in 1988 was $629.00 and its M14SA listed for $700.00 in 1991. The rifles were sold with a one year parts and labor warranty. Each Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle sold was accompanied by a factory inspection tag, warranty registration card, a copy of U. S. Army FM 23-8 and a fourteen page booklet on firearms safety and care. The safety booklet was written by Federal Ordnance, Inc. in 1984. The factory inspection tag included the following information about each rifle: date, stock number, a description, caliber, and signature fields for checking of headspace, test firing and inspection. USGI M14 accessories such as magazines, magazine pouches, slings and cleaning kits were available from Federal Ordnance.

Federal Ordnance built two types of M14 rifles, one with USGI parts and one with Chinese parts. Model numbers M14 and M14A were designed to accept USGI bolts and barrels. Otherwise, the receiver was manufactured to mate with Chinese bolts and barrels. USGI parts were used extensively in Federal Ordnance rifles through at least serial number 8877. The USGI parts were taken off USGI M14 rifles imported from Israel. By serial number 9279, if not earlier, Chinese and Taiwanese reproduction parts were used to assemble its rifles. For example, Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 502XX was assembled at the factory on September 13, 1991 with Chinese manufacture bolt, operating rod, firing mechanism and barrel. Chinese and Taiwanese M14 parts were purchased from U. S. importers. Receivers with serial numbers above 60XXX have engraved heel markings. The model number changed from M14A to M14SA between serial numbers 9139 and 9279. Four digit serial number Federal Ordnance receivers observed were marked on the side with the letter F inside a circle. This marking was sometimes lightly stamped. The circle F marking has not been observed on serial numbers above 10000. Federal Ordnance sold complete rifles as well as stripped receivers. Federal Ordnance sold a few M14 rifles to walk-in retail customers and through Shotgun News advertisements but most were sold to firearms distributors.

Some fiberglass stocks on Federal Ordnance M14 rifles appear to have been commercial manufacture of unknown origin. The original owner of Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 22XX reported that the synthetic stock never had a selector cutout or USGI markings inside the magazine well. Further, the Federal Ordnance stock had a slightly rough finish. The butt plate was glossy black color instead of phosphate coated. Federal Ordnance M14 rifles were also sold with refinished wood, new walnut and USGI synthetic stocks. Federal Ordnance M14 related stock numbers were as follows:

GU-0560 Federal Ordnance M14 receiver
GU-0706 M14 with Viet Nam camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0707 M14 with woodland camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0708 M14 with desert camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0709 M14 with USGI walnut stock with selector cutout filled in
GU-0710 M14 parts kit with minor, Federal Ordnance receiver and fiberglass stock
GU-0711 M14 parts kit in refinished condition, Federal Ordnance receiver and fiberglass stock
GU-0712 M14 parts kit in refinished condition, Federal Ordnance receiver and desert camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0713 M14 parts kit in refinished condition, Federal Ordnance receiver and Viet Nam camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0714 M14 parts kit in refinished condition, Federal Ordnance receiver and woodland camouflage fiberglass stock
GU-0715 M14 with fiberglass stock
SE-0221 M14 parts kit with minor wear and USGI walnut stock
SE-0222 M14 parts kit in refinished condition and USGI walnut stock
SE-0223 M14 parts kit in refinished condition and USGI fiberglass stock
SE-0224 M14 parts kit with minor wear and USGI fiberglass stock
SE-0225 M14 parts kit in refinished condition and woodland camouflage fiberglass stock
SE-0226 M14 parts kit in refinished condition and desert camouflage fiberglass stock
SE-0227 M14 parts kit in refinished condition and Viet Nam camouflage fiberglass stock

Century Arms International assembled a relatively small number of rifles using Federal Ordnance receivers and Chinese parts. This work was done at their facility in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1990 just before the imported parts ban of November 29, 1990. The rifles were brought into the United States with the military style features (twenty round magazine, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, and hinged butt plate) which was legal at the time and sold to the commercial market. These particular Federal Ordnance M14SA receivers have serial numbers with the letter C prefix followed by a hyphen then four digits, e.g., C-0116. The Federal Ordnance marking may be located on the outboard side of the right receiver leg. If so, it will be stamped: top line - Fed Ord Inc. bottom line - So El Monte. CA USA. The receiver heel for the serial number C-1301 was marked as follows: top line - U.S. RIFLE second line - 7.62MM M14S third line - CENTURY ARMS INC fourth line - ST. ALBANS. VT. fifth line - C-1301. Century Arms International ceased operations in Montreal around 1993.

Federal Ordnance, Inc. produced 500 Vietnam Commemorative M14 rifles for the American Historical Foundation. They were made to similar finish specifications as the Springfield Armory, Inc. VME series rifles but with three noticeable differences. The Federal Ordnance VCE series M14 had a black color textured surface wood stock. The Federal Ordnance VME series rifles had the same traditional finish walnut stock as the Springfield Armory, Inc. VME series commemorative. On the Federal Ordnance rifles, the prefix changed at a point between serial number VCE 118 and VME 156. All 500 rifles had a black textured hand guard. Lastly, the receiver heels were stamped appropriately to the manufacturer. Federal Ordnance subcontracted the blueing, polishing, engraving and gold plating for the VCE and VME series rifle parts. The VCE series stock was supplied through another vendor to the American Historical Foundation.

A separate venture, Briklee Trading Company was established on April 20, 1992 by Bob Brenner. It was headed by Richard Siegal. Briklee Trading bought the assets of Federal Ordnance in late 1992. Federal Ordnance, Inc. ceased to exist as a California corporation on July 09, 1993. Briklee Trading imported firearms until the 1998 import ban. Mr. Brenner then started Pacific Ordnance (Pico Rivera, CA), an import business specializing in reproduction military holsters and related accessories. Pacific Ordnance was incorporated in November 1998 with Robert and Linda Thomasser on board to help run the company. Mr. Brenner retired in early 2002. As a result, the Thomassers formed Pacific Canvas & Leather Company (Phelan, CA) in February 2002. Bob Brenner passed away on August 09, 2009 after suffering from a long term illness.

As an aside, Jack Karnes manufactured some 81 mm mortar round fin assemblies in 2002 for the Paramount Studios movie We Were Soldiers. These rugged fin assemblies were made to withstand the pressure generated by the mortar ignition charges which were designed to create 18 " flames out of the mortar tube. His son was one of the armorers assigned to the movie production unit. Regretfully, Mr. Karnes passed away on May 27, 2008.
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Old September 02, 2012, 08:12   #39
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Great info guys. Thanks for sharing.
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Old September 02, 2012, 18:26   #40
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I knew different had an account here.

good information.

good to hear from you difference.
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Old October 13, 2012, 20:32   #41
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ar sales MK IV, Should I?

AR Sales MK IV's well regarded?

Last edited by cheepertokeeper; October 14, 2012 at 16:40. Reason: question answered
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Old October 16, 2012, 16:10   #42
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AR Sales MK IV's well regarded?
IMHO yes......I love mine. Somewhat of a rarity it seems
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Old October 19, 2012, 19:34   #43
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Thanks. I wonder why would a Canadian company make M14 barrels. For the US market? Is your barrel from the 1980s?
By the late 1960s, Canadian Arsenals Ltd. was downright desperate for work. Production of new C1 and C2 rifles for the Canadian military had been completed by about 1963, and because the Canadian government was adamantly unwilling to sell arms to other countries, the arsenal at Long Branch, Ontario was experiencing more down time than productive time. National Match M14 barrels were one of many "side projects" the arsenal took on in an ultimately futile attempt to justify its continued existence.
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Old October 20, 2012, 06:18   #44
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As an add on FYI, Canadian Arsenals manufactured the M14 NM barrels in 1967 for a U. S. Army contract.
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Old October 31, 2012, 16:01   #45
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Hello all,
Just wanted keep you up to speed on my M1A. I noticed after shooting in various club shoots with the rifle this summer, wear on the Bolt cam surfaces of the Op-Rod. Sooo being the worry wart that I am, I purchased a TRW Op-Rod for it.
So I guess my question is should I go ahead and replace it with the new Op-Rod and just figure it was wear. Or,.... does something need to be addressed that is causing the wear. I have no idea how many rounds are down the tube.
Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. The rifle is a GREAT shooting M1A, I just want to keep it that way.
Thanks
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Old November 01, 2012, 00:59   #46
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I hope you are lubricating those parts. Despite the roller on the bolt cam lug, you still need to apply rifle grease or at least oil.
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Old November 01, 2012, 07:57   #47
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Yep,
I use Lubriplate.......
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Old November 17, 2012, 12:01   #48
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heavy grease as well here, get a bolt roller lube tool
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Old December 26, 2012, 01:43   #49
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AR Sales MARK IV

I was lucky enough to know Jack and Ilia quite well. He personally built my M14 while I was there in the shop on different days. He built mine with all US GI NM parts. Seria# 6X.

Still a tack driver to this day.

What is the current value on these guns today.

Anyone?
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:43   #50
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I was lucky enough to know Jack and Ilia quite well. He personally built my M14 while I was there in the shop on different days. He built mine with all US GI NM parts. Seria# 6X.

Still a tack driver to this day.

What is the current value on these guns today.

Anyone?
little late i suppose but $2500-$3000 these days Id figure for insurance purposes and what not.......or whatever you could sell it for.
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