Okay, here's the best info I can come up with. To put a USGI flash hider LEGALLY on your Chicom M14, the gun has to have TEN (or more) of the following 20 parts US made (not imported):
Mounting block (trunion)*
Muzzle attachments (which would include the US flash hider itself)
*Not found in M14 rifle
Replacing the bolt makes sense on the Chicom guns. On most of them, you almost HAVE to do it. Now start adding up the cost of the other parts and see what it will cost you to put a real flash hider (and bayonet lug) on your gun instead of the fake slotless one. A legal muzzle brake is starting to look better, too, isn't it?
Also note that a US mag can count as THREE parts, BUT if you count them this precludes you from legally using the cheap, available, and generally reliable Taiwan mags in the gun. Replacing the follower and floorplate on the Taiwan mag gets you two parts back, though.
If anyone has any better or more accurate information, please post it.
EDIT TO ADD: As we shall see below, my reference was incorrect. You do not need 10 US parts to be legal, you must not have more than 10 foreign parts. Quite a bit of difference!
Maybe this should be made a sticky, as the question seems to come up with some regularity lately.
A good and patient scrounger can still get a Chinese M14 in comliance on a budget.
Actually, since 4 of the parts do not appear on the M1A/M14, you only need 6 US made parts.
USGI magazines give you 3, so the flash hider, stock and handguard would be all you'd need...
Or would it be (20 listed parts - 4 parts not on M14) divided by 2 = 8 or more U. S. made parts to become "domesticated?"
USGI magazine = 3
USGI stock (Chinese stocks aren't the best anyway) and USGI hand guard = 2
USGI flash suppressor = 1
USGI bolt (might as well) = 1
USGI gas piston (not expensive) = 1
Snake45, good job on the research.
The way I have always understood the law, you cannot have more than 10 import parts on a rifle that sports the evil parts...
My source says a gun has to have ten US made parts from the list of 20. It does not say it cannot have more than ten imported. It does not say it has to have 50 percent of the parts on the list that it has. My source is NOT an official ATF answer to a question, however.
These are all interesting interpretations but they cannot ALL be right. Perhaps someone who actually KNOWS the answer and can document it will wander by.
Your source is wrong.
The rifle does not have to have 10 US-made parts. It can have no more than 10 foriegn parts to be considered a domestic-made rifle, and no longer have 922(r) apply.
The 20 parts listed above are what the ATF considers a rifle to consist of. Parts not listed do not count as parts. Not all rifles have 20 parts.
Hence, for example, AK-style rifles have 14 parts (for milled receivers - 15 if the rifle has a muzzle attachment), 15 parts (for stamped sheet-metal receivers - 16 if it has a muzzle attachment). To make an AK compliant, once must replace anywhere from 4-6 (depending on receiver type and muzzle attachment) to make the AK compliant with 922(r).
I just got myself an M1A, so I'm not sure which of the 20 parts it has (nor do I care, because mine is domestic), but the key here is how many foriegn parts remain on the rifle - 10 is the limit.
My answer is correct, as was kythri's...and I do know that...
Your list is good - you just need to edit your conclusions...
Very good. We now have two people saying that the best possible interpretation of the reg is correct.
If one of those good gentleman would be so kind as to cite a source or reference for that interpretation--preferably from the govt--we can consider the matter settled.
At any rate we seem to be making progress. Thanks to all for your interest and contributions!
varoadking and kythri are correct. There's no guessing. From Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations:
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
(3) Barrel extensions
(4) Mounting blocks (trunions)
(5) Muzzle attachments
(7) Bolt carriers
(8) Operating rods
(9) Gas pistons
(10) Trigger housings
(16) Pistol grips
(17) Forearms, handguards
(18) Magazine bodies
[T.D. ATF-346, 58 FR 40589, July 29, 1993]
So, if you want to "domesticate" your Chinese M14, be parts compliant and have an evil bayonet lug (where allowed by state law) here's the inexpensive way:
Replace the Chinese magazine with a USGI magazine. Install a USGI flash suppressor and a USGI hand guard. Done. WARNING: Install the flash suppressor with bayonet lug (or pistol grip or folding stock), where allowed by state law, LAST so as to avoid any momentary illegal foreign parts count.
Here's the parts breakdown:
Semi-automatic M14 rifles do not have these five parts - barrel extension, mounting block (trunion), bolt carrier, disconnector and pistol grip. That leaves fifteen parts.
Keep these ten parts - receiver, barrel, operating rod, trigger housing, sear, trigger, hammer, bolt, butt stock and piston. That's your ten maximum foreign parts.
Replace these five parts with American made parts - Chinese magazine (three parts), the fake/bobbed flash suppressor, and Chinese hand guard.
Edited to make domestication even cheaper and still legal.
VERY excellent and well done, gentlemen! I do believe we have this matter settled.
Time to make this a sticky for future reference?
Again, thanks to Varoadking, Kythri, and Different for filling in the pieces of the puzzle.
Different listed one cost-effective way to comply. Here's mine.
I've already replaced the bolt (a good idea with the Chinese 14s). US stocks and handguards are cheap and easy to do. So for my ten foreign parts I'll take:
I replace the mag floorplates on my Taiwan mags and I'm good to go!
Suddenly the idea of having a "real" flash and bayonet mount is looking better and better....
Hey Snake 45,
Who did you have replace your Chinese M-14S bolt with a U.S. part?
I'm looking for a good and resonable price and a gunsmith to do the same work on mine.
Mine turned out to be a drop-in job, though I understand this is the exception, not the rule. And yes I did check headspace (1.634) and am getting good lug engagement, and I have been shooting the rifle satisfactorily and without incident.
I was quoted a VERY reasonable price to fit a GI bolt into a Chinese M14 by a fellow named Warbird. I won't repeat it in case he's changed the price since then (about 4-6 months ago). He's not hard to find, he has a website. His price includes reparking the receiver. I have heard NOTHING but GOOD about his work, everyone who's used him is satisfied, I have not heard even one minor complaint and if the gun had needed to be fitted I would have sent it to him without reservation.
Agreed, warbird is highly recommended. I've known him since 1993. He knows the M1 Garand and the M14.
Thanks for the Link to "Warbird"
Fire a Garand today, now I need a box-fed one on a budget.
Just a thought, what about using a USGI tirgger pack to get three (four?) parts? Trigger packs around aroun $100 or so, the USGI trigger pack I assuem will be better quality, and then along with the flash hider (and handguard) you have 5 parts and can use Taiwan mags.
Do I have this right?