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Posted: 7/30/2009 5:07:18 PM EST
So, here's the deal: i first heard of the M14 here on Arfcom. Us in Italy had our Beretta BM59 and we thought they were pieces of junk.
Now i'm in love with the M14.
No current SAI M1As are imported regularly here, and the scarce ones i see used are indecently expensive.
But looks like there's a steady flow of Norinco M305 ( m14 clone ) rifles here. An Italian gunshop is advertising for NIB ones.
They claim they're a 2007 production, and the bolt peening issue was fixed in 1997/1999. After the Clinton Ban in the US.

Now, i only have one source of info: You, ARFCOM. But the US owners are stick with pre-'94 models. wheter Norinco quality was actually improved, you cannot know.

I'm hoping to get some advice from any Canadian m14 lover, i know them Canadians still get those M305 up there, though Marstar says they no longer sell any.

-Is it true that post-1997/99 rifles are better? you know what i mean
-did Norinco actually produce those rifles still in 2007?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 12:51:32 AM EST
The 2007 marked Norinco M14 rifles have 1993/1994 vintage receivers. You can tell by the CJA SFLD MICH marking on the left side of the receiver. In the last month, there has been one shipment imported into Canada by Bell Lifestyle Products (and receivers are so marked) that the age of the receivers remains an open question. I'm working on the answer to that question.

There's an urban legend that the Chinese M14 rifles exported post-2000 are better quality that the pre-'94 models. I look for evidence, one way or the other. I've been reseaching the M14 for seven years now. Based on end user reports and photographs of Chinese M14 rifles and limited hardness testing of Chinese parts in Canada and the US, my opinion is that the post-'00 and pre-'94 models are the same quality. I state this with all due respect to our Canadian brethern. For example, barrel indexing isn't always up to snuff on the post-'00 models and SOME of the rear sights on those rifles operate roughly. I've posted this research but no one seems to pick up on it so I'll type it out here: the bolt hardness of the pre-'94 and post-'00 models is the same, 47 HRC.

When there is a limited quantity of something, it's not unusual for collectors to say that it's better. Example, Texas era M1A rifles are highly sought after, partly because folks believe them to be of better quality. But the truth is that the receivers under serial number 003700 (Texas era) TEND to suffer from one or more of six manufacturing defects. Not my experience but that of Art Luppino, retired M14 gunsmith.

Don't fall for the marketing hype, true or not true. The Chinese M14 bolts, pre-'94 and post-'00, still lack the better geometry of the U. S. made M14 bolts. Before all the Chinese M14 fans get upset, DO NOT put words in my mouth and jump to conclusions. I have photos of seriously failed SA, Inc. M1A bolts but no photographs of failed Chinese M14 bolts.
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 1:53:09 AM EST
Tombstone on my thread.
Nice to know you Different, l've found your wealth of information useful on many sites, i loved the picture collections on other Forums.


Don't fall for the marketing hype, true or not true. The Chinese M14 bolts, pre-'94 and post-'00, still lack the better geometry of the U. S. made M14 bolts.
That's why i'm referring to ARFCOM in the first place. i just don't believe anyone at first glance.
And i'm not speaking about bad faith: Italian shooters are shy of big round counts, we're mostly collectors. I can easily say "i had customers who bought the rifle 13 years ago without a problem".. how could they if they ran less than ten 5rd mags in them?

I know there's real hard-using owners here though, and that's what i'm looking for. thanks Different.

Link Posted: 7/31/2009 6:41:58 AM EST
If it makes you feel like your research isn't a wasted cause Different, I get it.
Most people don't want to accept the truth even when solid research proves the point.

I have a question for GLADIO,
Are you even Allowed to legally own a 7.62X51/.308 Winchester caliber rifle in Italy?

I was under the impression that ALL military caliber weapons are a no-no for civilian ownership over there.
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 8:18:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By Milo5:
If it makes you feel like your research isn't a wasted cause Different, I get it.
Most people don't want to accept the truth even when solid research proves the point.

I have a question for GLADIO,
Are you even Allowed to legally own a 7.62X51/.308 Winchester caliber rifle in Italy?

I was under the impression that ALL military caliber weapons are a no-no for civilian ownership over there.

Why should they be banned?
a FAL is simply a .308 Win hunting rifle, a russian SKS/AK47 is a 7,62x39 hog rifle, and an AR15 is simply a sporting gun in .223 Remington.. :)

We had issues with handgun military calibers such as 9mm Auto and .45 ACP. Hence the birth of the 9mmx21 IMI and .45 HP calibers. but even that is fading away.
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 10:32:31 AM EST
I don't know about metal hardness or anything, but I can tell you the stocks they come with are total shit and the only one I handled had a very badly indexed barrel and looked like the finish had been painted on. For 400$ they are decent guns that can be made better with a few USGI parts, but I'm a gun snob, when I do get one, it'll be a Springer
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 2:20:28 PM EST
That's good to hear GLADIO.
We have a poster here who hails from Spain.
The gun owner limitations in that country limits him to no military calibers and much hassle of ownership.

I enjoy watching live fire videos from armietiro of Italy on You-Tube,
While the clips are quite short, they are also most entertaining.

Americans have something of a fascination with the BM-59 and many consider it a better rifle than the M14.
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 9:22:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By TheCanuck:
...For 400$ they are decent guns that can be made better with a few USGI parts, but I'm a gun snob, when I do get one, it'll be a Springer


Can't you guys buy authentic USGI M14's?

Link Posted: 7/31/2009 10:07:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:
Originally Posted By TheCanuck:
...For 400$ they are decent guns that can be made better with a few USGI parts, but I'm a gun snob, when I do get one, it'll be a Springer


Can't you guys buy authentic USGI M14's?



As long as they are semi-auto and aren't converted autos I guess we could. I know nothing of their availability however.

I know I want an 18.5in version of the SOCOM 16 with an Aimpoint and the magnifier for moose hunting however
Link Posted: 8/1/2009 4:56:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/1/2009 5:01:21 AM EST by GLADIO]
My beloved fun store has has an original H&R USGI M14 for 2k Euros, hid in the back of the shop, didn't want to bother him with taking it out from the pile o' dust, but it is the real deal...

too bad i'm so cheap.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 9:07:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 9:09:14 AM EST by merllin]
I have two M305s

Both have been tuned and looked over by a smith up here who is really proficient with the guns. So for $700, Id put these guys up against any $2800 Springfield. The fit and finish is nothing to be desired though, and comments about talking about the Chu wood are correct. It is really crappy, stringy wood. I have replaced and bedded both stocks. One laminate and one USGI fiberglass. Op Rod spring guides have been replaced. Triggers have been set down to 5.5lbs.

As long as you get the headspace gauged and checked and tighten everything up, the Norcs are good to go. BUT.. the quality will show sometimes.. As on one gun last weekend, I blew out a flashider and had to have it replaced. You could see where the metal was weak and just let go on the back of the tang.... Chinese QC for you...

Even though Marstar isn't bringing them in, Bell has brought a whole bunch more into the country recently. They come with fiberglass stocks, but they dont appear to be USGI. They are some sort of molded fiber and they still contain the stock liner.


Link Posted: 8/4/2009 1:54:12 PM EST
I regretted selling my last Norinco so I bought another one. 2007 batch, tuned.
USGI desert camo. ARMS #18 mount. 18.5" barrel w/ navy sights. Got a sweet sweet deal. Will post pic/range report when I receive it in 2-3 days.
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