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Posted: 4/18/2007 4:07:14 PM EST
I would love to get an M1A.  They are so beautiful and I would like something that reaches out farther than my AR's.

But, I won't spend $1600 on a new Springfield that doesn't have a chrome-lined barrel, forged receiver, or USGI parts.  On the other hand, I can't justify spending the money on an LRB or Fulton.

So, I think that would leave me with an older Springfield.

However, I know that a lot of "parts" guns show up at gun shows and since I don't know a lot about M1A's, I need some help.  

How do I know that the M1A on the table has a chrome-lined or SS barrel?  

How do I identify a forged receiver versus a cast?

How do I identify USGI Oprods, bolts, extractors, etc?

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:30:35 PM EST
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:30:35 PM EST
Check out this website.  Some 'light' reading to keep you busy  he
http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:07:26 PM EST

Quoted:
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.


Yep, the Polytechs have most of what you mentioned........chrome bore, forged reciever, and very close to GI spec parts.

Bottom one in this pic:


Link Posted: 4/18/2007 6:21:06 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.


Yep, the Polytechs have most of what you mentioned........chrome bore, forged reciever, and very close to GI spec parts.

Bottom one in this pic:

photos.ar15.com/WS_Content/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?sAccountUnq=1791&iGalleryUnq=1429&iImageUnq=51582


Yeah, I fondled one in Cabelas a few weeks back.  It was surprisingly nicely finished.  But, it's... chinese.  There just seems to be something Un-American about buying a chinese-made M1A.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 6:28:44 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.


Yep, the Polytechs have most of what you mentioned........chrome bore, forged reciever, and very close to GI spec parts.

Bottom one in this pic:

photos.ar15.com/WS_Content/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?sAccountUnq=1791&iGalleryUnq=1429&iImageUnq=51582


Yeah, I fondled one in Cabelas a few weeks back.  It was surprisingly nicely finished.  
But, it's... chinese.  There just seems to be something Un-American about buying a chinese-made M1A.


The ChiCom offers what you want and stays in your stated budget,
plus you can domesticate it with parts that are "Made in the USA"!
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 6:51:43 PM EST
Studying the M14/M1A is a labor of love. You'll eventually memorize the part numbers and manufacturer codes for the major components.

USGI barrels are chrome lined. Just read the markings under the handguard to identify the barrel as GI. Sometimes the manufacturer ID can be read by pulling back the oprod, but sometimes the markings are stamped out of view. Learn how to pull the trigger group out with care not to nick the spline on the trigger housing. That's just polite. Ask to pull the action out of the stock, which will give you access to everything you'll need to see.

I think the only forged receivers are Norinco, Polytech, and LRB. I find forged v. cast to be much less of an issue. I know a few M14 guys who have high praise for the Chicom receivers. For the best cosmetics in a cast receiver I stick with Springfield Armory, and for my collecting purposes I stick to a particular serial number range, but that's just me being geeky. I had a new cast Fulton receiver that looked like a blob with barrel threads. They don't do nearly the same machine work that Springfield does.

Oprods and bolts will be marked with GI codes. You'll need to know how to identify a USGI Springfield bolt v. a commercial Springfield bolt, and likewise with the oprods. The waters are a little muddied by the two incarnations of Springfield Armory. But you'll understand it after seeing examples of each item.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 7:41:36 PM EST

Quoted:
There just seems to be something Un-American about buying a chinese-made M1A.


There is no such thing as a Chinese M1A. M1A is a registered trademark of Sringfield Armory Inc. It's what they call their copy of the M14. My Poly Tech M14S is not a copy of the M1A. It's a copy of the M14.
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:19:28 AM EST
OK, so maybe I was being overly zealous when I stated I didn't want a chicom.  So, let's hear about those.  Are they GTG right out of the box?  Do they offer all the USGI features (like bayonet mount)?  Is anything prone to breakage or malfunction (like SAI extractors?
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 9:38:42 AM EST

Quoted:
OK, so maybe I was being overly zealous when I stated I didn't want a chicom.  So, let's hear about those.  Are they GTG right out of the box?  Do they offer all the USGI features (like bayonet mount)?  Is anything prone to breakage or malfunction (like SAI extractors?



Most of the time they are fine out of the box. They may have head space issues or lug engagement issues. It's debatable if that's "unsafe". Regardless, I'd want mine within Spec. Some had issues with the rear sight adjustments. Not a problem if you set it to BSZ. Otherwise, a G.I. M1 or M14 sight will fit. Nothing prone to breakage. Their parts are mostly comparable to USGI M14 quality. They are quite robust.  No bayonet lug but neither does SA Inc.'s M1A. A USGI or commercial piece will fit fine.
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 9:57:57 AM EST
there is nothing wrong with SAi rifles.  people like to make a big deal out of cast receivers, but the facts just don't back it up.  the failure for SAi's cast receivers is very low, right in line with their forged counterparts.  

If you buy a ChiCom rifle, you are buying a rifle that helped fianance the chinese military.  On top of that, if it takes a dump, who do you call?  You are left paying a gunsmith to fix a defective rifle, because the chicoms sure aren't going to stand behind it.  SAi will fix your rifle for life if you ever run into a problem with it, and their CS is pretty decent to boot.

Go with the SAi and don't look back.
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 10:05:52 AM EST

Quoted:

Go with the SAi and don't look back.


I took that advice and other than the learning experience, I regretted buying an SAi M1A.
Sure, they will fix it under warranty, but my rifle was being fixed more than it was being shot.
The best thing I ever did was buy a few ChiCom M14s and send them to SEI for domestication.

Link Posted: 4/19/2007 10:08:09 AM EST

Quoted:
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.


+1
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:39:16 PM EST
Buy yourself an older SA, they were usually pretty darn good, the newer one's do seem to have a bit more trouble with extractors and such. One of the problems of running full speed ahead when thwe market is hot.

All my SAs are older and all have been very good rifles. No complaints. Mine are late 80s or 70s.

The receiver and BBL on the Chicoms are the best parts on them, lots of the other parts are swapped out and headspace needs to be checked on ANY Chicom you are going to buy as there were issues with some of them. Usually a bolt conversion takes care of the problem.
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:59:29 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:
Buy yourself a ChiCom and be happy.


+1


+2
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 7:53:20 PM EST

Quoted:
but my rifle was being fixed more than it was being shot.




From what I've read, one way or another, your rifles are gonna spend more time in Arizona than bein shot anyhow.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 4:09:12 AM EST
My M1A was bought new a few months back and has been 100% so far. Everyone who bitches that theirs breaks gets all the attention. The majority of people who have no problems don't bitch so no one cares. I say for me it will be a cold day on hell before I buy Chicom copies of US rifles.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 4:12:48 AM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:
but my rifle was being fixed more than it was being shot.




From what I've read, one way or another, your rifles are gonna spend more time in Arizona than bein shot anyhow.


A little early to be drinking isn't it?  You are reading things that don't exist.

Anyhow, it is comforting to know that you care ~




Quoted:
I say for me it will be a cold day on hell before I buy Chicom copies of US rifles.


More ChiComs for me
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 11:38:32 AM EST

Quoted:

A little early to be drinking isn't it?  You are reading things that don't exist.

Anyhow, it is comforting to know that you care ~



Drinkin? Actually, I don't remember if I posted that just before or after a five mile run.  
Comforting to know I care? Take no comfort, for I could really hardly care less. Not that it matters.

But I digress, and will let this thread go back OT.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:03:53 PM EST
The SAInc. cast reciever is a NON-ISSUE. Find an older SA with USGI parts. You're getting into more issues with a chicom - bolt swapping/headspace, stock, muzzle device, rear sight and trigger group in particular. And some parts are oddly metric and not interchangeable. These issues are not insurmoutable but a chicom rifle MUST  be looked at as a possibly $$$ project. I've had both and say "go domestic". Just do your homework on correctly ID'ing USGI parts.
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