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Old 01-09-2018, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Thinking about an M-14

I'm starting the process of looking to get an M-14.

Not interested in AR-10, FAl, etc. I want an M-14, with a forged receiver, so that rules out Springfield.

LRB and James River are on my short list, anyone own one?
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:14 PM   #2
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I don’t own any of those but I do own a Springfield, I think you’ll be fine with a Springfield, never had an issue. I’m about 500 rounds in. Only mods I did was put a usgi extractor, sadlak rod guide and spring.

Or you could find a polytech m14. They use forged receivers, probably a lot cheaper than the brands you’re looking for.

Good luck with your research.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
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Wasn't the common thing not long ago to get a Norinco with forged receiver and replace the bolt and some of the gas parts with National Match or USGI parts? I'd look into that route.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Wasn't the common thing not long ago to get a Norinco with forged receiver and replace the bolt and some of the gas parts with National Match or USGI parts? I'd look into that route.
That is an option I would consider. Excellent receivers and barrels on 'em.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:09 PM   #5
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Had a Springfield Scout. Good rifle, just not ergonomic, or accessory friendly. Sold it.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:20 PM   #6
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Join m14forum.com and contact Jeff at Bula forge. It's in Cleveland, OH. He makes awesome rifles. All forged parts. The xm21 is a great rifle. Solves the problem of putting a scope on an m14 with a nice, solid scope rail mounted nice and low right on top of the receiver. Classic firearms sells/has sold the xm21 but if you contact Bula forge directly, I believe you can get a rifle in traditional wood stock or in carbon fiber stock configuration. They have group buys on m14forum.com.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:25 PM   #7
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I have a 2012 Springfield Standard M1A and a James River Bula Forge Rock Ola that I bought as a barreled receiver and built with USGI parts into a standard M14 clone. There are some good deals on Bula’s now with new made Bula parts rather then GI parts. Really there is nothing wrong with SAI M1A’s, mine shoots very well.

My Standard is on the top in the Sage and my Bula Rock Ola is on the bottom in GI walnut

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Old 01-09-2018, 02:54 PM   #8
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I have a 2012 Springfield Standard M1A and a James River Bula Forge Rock Ola that I bought as a barreled receiver and built with USGI parts into a standard M14 clone. There are some good deals on Bulas now with new made Bula parts rather then GI parts. Really there is nothing wrong with SAI M1As, mine shoots very well.

My Standard is on the top in the Sage and my Bula Rock Ola is on the bottom in GI walnut

+1

Looking at those James Rivers. You have a nice collection!
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:15 PM   #9
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Go with James River, I enjoy the one I have. It's been flawless so far >1000 rounds.

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Old 01-09-2018, 06:23 PM   #10
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BULA... they make the more recent James River Armory stuff I do beleive.

I have a BULA m21 dmr and it's a sweet setup. Their medium weight barrels are awesome too. If you are looking for a builder to put one together for you then I suggest you get ahold of TonyBen.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:28 PM   #11
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Unlike the M1 Garand bolts, there is almost no difference between military M14 bolts, except for the Winchester M14 bolts that have slightly smaller lugs and are the closest fit for the Chinese receivers.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:50 PM   #12
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Your best bet is a JRA built with Bula parts. I have a Rock Ola with a Bula barrel and USGI parts and it's real nice, If I buy another one it will be the JRA Paratrooper model made with Bula parts way better choice than anything SA.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:35 PM   #13
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I highly recommend getting the Bula with the scope rail. Much nicer than the bolt to the side scope mount options.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:45 PM   #14
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Springfield has a lifetime , no BS warranty.
If something breaks or does not work right ask them for a call tag and they fix it and cover shipping both ways. No forged receivers......

You can have one built as well and LOTS of good options and people to do it.
The build route the sky is the limit only limited by what you desire and your wallet.

Its true some Chinese rifles are still floating around with forged receivers with zero support or warranty at this point if something is wrong with it. I would build off a new forged receiver from several sources if that is what you really want Vs buying a China import and building it up to spec.


Springfield's / cast receivers





USGI Forged~





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Old 01-09-2018, 08:07 PM   #15
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my vote is for Bula Forge receiver and USGI parts. Bula parts are good, but USGI will never be made again and are very appealing to collectors.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:24 PM   #16
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I have really been wanting one for myself, and would love to have a Springfield. Unfortunately, my health failed me, which in turn means that so did my bank account. I will not be able to afford one in the foreseeable future.

I'd trust in the warranty behind the Springfield product before I'd trust in the other names that are known only to collectors of those particular style of rifles.

While I'm sure they are all fine rifles, as a potential buyer with limited knowledge of these guns (which is who most of the people viewing your ad are going to be in the event that you decide to resell it down the road), I recognize Springfield Armory and would buy that one over the others with prices being equal.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:19 PM   #17
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Don't overlook the Chinese versions, if you run across a deal on one. If it has a GI bolt swapped in, so much the better, otherwise you will end up replacing it.

Other than the softness of many of the bolts, there is not much to complain about with either the Polytech, or Norinco.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:25 PM   #18
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Go Chinese and send it to Texas Warbird for a bolt conversion. Poly or Norc, Polys have just a little nicer machining (no tool marks). They also came with 1 piece op rods , supposedly built on imported us equipment from TRW.. That's rumor but these are dead ringers except for bolt and bolt lugs, the GI bolt is not a drop in like evrythng else. My best M14 in original barrel is a poly with a USGI trigger, flash hider and stock. Heel marked Chinese are very rare, but LNIB still pop up for 1K to $1300..

I bought one that I thought the barrel was shot out, got it home and cleaned it (pry the first time in 20 years) and it cleaned up great.. Still sent it Texas for a 18" SS barrel as planned when purchased..
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:44 PM   #19
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Go Chinese and send it to Texas Warbird for a bolt conversion. Poly or Norc, Polys have just a little nicer machining (no tool marks). They also came with 1 piece op rods , supposedly built on imported us equipment from TRW.. That's rumor but these are dead ringers except for bolt and bolt lugs, the GI bolt is not a drop in like evrythng else. My best M14 in original barrel is a poly with a USGI trigger, flash hider and stock. Heel marked Chinese are very rare, but LNIB still pop up for 1K to $1300..

I bought one that I thought the barrel was shot out, got it home and cleaned it (pry the first time in 20 years) and it cleaned up great.. Still sent it Texas for a 18" SS barrel as planned when purchased..
Replaced the trigger pack in mine as well with the GI model, back when the CMP was selling them and the bolts for something like $39 apiece.(Those were the days.)

Although I think with a little breaking in/work the Chinese trigger pack would do as well, but some say they are soft as well. Not as relevant as the bolt softness though
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #20
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I have a few options for myself lined up for when I'm ready to take the dive down that road. Having what I believe to be a similar criteria for quality as you have, all of my research for an available M14/M1A has pointed me to JRA, Fulton Armory, and the Rock-ola builds. But as others have mentioned, if you can find a good deal on a Chinese one, then that may be the cheapest route into a rifle with mostly quality parts.

I keep going back and forth on Springfield myself. They seem good enough on paper, but for the same reason that I will probably never own a cast receiver FAL, I most likely will never own a cast M1A. They are most likely just fine, but forged parts allow me to sleep better at night.
Now watch me end up with a Springfield in the next 12 months. Hah!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:34 AM   #21
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The cast vs forged argument really is meaningless. It really is just about what you want and how much you want to spend and what you want to do with the rifle. There are really good deals on Springfield M1A’s now. The current M1A’s come with a lifetime warranty, Springfield even honors older M1A’s, and you do not have to be the original owner. They will have zero USGI parts and some parts will be MIM, good thing is that you can replace those parts with USGI parts if you so desire. On my Springfield Standard I replaced the flash suppressor, front sight, rear sight, bolt guts, all trigger group parts except the housing, operating Guide rod and operating spring and of course the stock. The rifle has always shot very well. I replaced the parts mostly as a learning experience for when I would build up my JRA/Bula Rock Ola M14 clone from a barrelled reciever. The Springfield sits in a Sage chassis, because I had a wild hair one day and decided to buy one, and is my scoped M14 clone and the Rock Ola is my irons M14 clone, both are a lot of fun to shoot, each in a different way.

There are also some good deals on Bula Defense M14 clones. One thing to note is that with the current Bula guns they are using a lot of Bula made parts rather then USGI M14 parts. This save some money on the cost of the build. Over the last few years USGI M14 parts have really dried up and the prices for what is out there have really increased.

One other option would be to find an older M1A, say with a serial number below 150,000, even lower would be better, these guns have USGI M14 parts, including barrels. There are a lot of M1A safe queens out there just waiting to be shot like they were meant to be.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:48 AM   #22
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LRB and Smith make fine rifles. I have been to LRB on Long Island, I have owned their AR receivers. They are a fine company. If I were to pop on an M14 pattern, theirs is the one I would go with.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:01 AM   #23
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Yes forged LRB’s are very nice, you will impress your gun loving friends by the fine finish and lettering on the heel stamp, but will it really shoot that much better then a forged Bula or for that matter a SAI.

Smith Enterprises are good guns but the company leaves a bit to be desired, they are like the Jim Fullers of the M14 clone world. They had some Govt contracts during the latest terror wars and thought thier shit did not stink, left a lot of bad Ju Ju in the M14 clone world. Before buying a Smith do some research, buying a used one might not be too bad. You might be able to pick one up for cheap. Cheap being a relative term for Smiths. People will spend $3,000+ to have a Smith built and then have to wait a year or so to get it done. People have a Smith Enterprise M14 clone built as a bragging piece in thier safe. I would imagine that a lot of them are never taken to a range and even shot. Kind of like a trophy wife, more expensive then they are worth and you can get the same satisfaction for a lot less money and headache!
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #24
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When USGI parts started selling for stupid prices a lot of refinished junk parts started showing up.
Today there are commercial sources that stepped up and filled the supply chain. Even the military was scraping for parts and mags when they started sending rifles to the sandbox.

The cast / forged debate has been beaten to death. Forged USGI receiver failures exist as well as cast receiver failures over the years.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:25 AM   #25
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Smith sued a civilian builder in court for "damages" and unfriendly PR comments.
Pretty tacky IMHO and I will never give them a dime of my money.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:49 AM   #26
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Smith sued a civilian builder in court for "damages" and unfriendly PR comments.
Pretty tacky IMHO and I will never give them a dime of my money.
Yep, this is true, very ugly and petty.

There is a very long thread on this on the M14 Forum.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Go Chinese and send it to Texas Warbird for a bolt conversion. Poly or Norc, Polys have just a little nicer machining (no tool marks). They also came with 1 piece op rods , supposedly built on imported us equipment from TRW.. That's rumor but these are dead ringers except for bolt and bolt lugs, the GI bolt is not a drop in like evrythng else. My best M14 in original barrel is a poly with a USGI trigger, flash hider and stock. Heel marked Chinese are very rare, but LNIB still pop up for 1K to $1300..

I bought one that I thought the barrel was shot out, got it home and cleaned it (pry the first time in 20 years) and it cleaned up great.. Still sent it Texas for a 18" SS barrel as planned when purchased..
The Chinese did not get any US tooling.

They cloned the M14 in the 1960's.

They made over 100,000 of them.

The first semi-auto's had new receivers with parts from the 1960's select fire rifles.

The early receivers didn't look like military receivers.

The importer didn't want to sell them and claimed they were unsafe, recalling the demo models from distributors and dealers.

The steels used were different from the M14 for all of the parts.

The final semi-auto receivers looked more like regular M14 receivers and were made of more modern steel.

Because the barrels were removed from rifles already built, the semi-auto receivers have a hole for a set screw to hold the barrel timing in the receiver.

The set screw wasn't always used, but the hole for it is there.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:32 AM   #28
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I own a SAI ‘Loaded’ M1A and LRB M-14S. Both are great shooters. The quality of the LRB is better than the SAI, and the LRB has a forged receiver whereas the SAI is cast. However, you will pay significantly more for the LRB rifle which might not be something you want or are willing to do. I would recommend the SAI M1A to anyone trying to break into the M-14 game so you can determine it’s your cup of tea before dropping more coin on higher end manufacturers like LRB. You can always trade up once you determine you like what the M-14 brings to the table whether it’s competitive or recreational shooting. The SAI cast receivers are plenty strong and beefed up in critical areas so don’t get sucked into the ‘forged vs cast’ debate unless you are dead set on getting a rifle more closely spec’d to the original GI rifle. The KB’s I’m aware of in SAI rifles have all been traced back to ammo issues (i.e. incorrect ‘hot’ handloads).
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:09 PM   #29
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I would recommend the SAI M1A to anyone trying to break into the M-14 game so you can determine its your cup of tea before dropping more coin on higher end manufacturers like LRB. You can always trade up once you determine you like what the M-14 brings to the table whether its competitive or recreational shooting.
OP this is great advice, the M1A might not be your end all be all cup of tea. I have an early all USGI parts SAI as well as an original USGI M-14 and they are great guns but they spend more time in my safes than my other .308 guns...
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:13 PM   #30
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Can't do this with a Springfield M1a.





I like things like Bayonet lugs, U.S.G.I. parts and Forged receiver. If some don't care about that fine get the M1a.

The only Springfield M1a I would consider would be a Pre-Ban.




All the way with JRA!
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:19 PM   #31
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^^^ Very nice and I agree.

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Old 01-10-2018, 02:44 PM   #32
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Great Minds think alike HK91^^^^^....LOL.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:07 PM   #33
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If you want to mount your M6 on your SAI M1A like a proper M14 clone like God intended all you have to do is replace the SAI neutered flash suppressor with a GI M14 flash suppressor with the bayonet lug and you are good to go for back up pig sticking, easy peasy, five minute job.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:29 PM   #34
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I own a JRA Rock-Ola M14DMR and I would marry that Battle Rifle, if it were legal. Mine has a Bula Forged Receiver.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:11 PM   #35
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Mmmmm, M14:

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