Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/13/2006 5:04:52 AM EDT
...besides "shoot it."

Do I lube it up or run it dry to break it in? The action is very 'stiff,' difficult to pull back the charging handle (is that what you call it?).

I have been told that the best way to break in a gun like this is to NOT lube it, but rather allow the moving parts to rub against each other a bit first. I've never done this and my first inclination is to drown everything in CLP for a few days. What say you?

Does anyone lube their mags? Would it make sense to soak the springs and followers in CLP then wipe off before using (I'm assuming that these parts can be removed and replaced)?

Are there any modifications that I should/need to make to the rifle?

Thanks for helping this newbie,
tangbang
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:31:28 AM EDT
Clean and grease before you shoot.

If possible find a local M14 type rifle owner/smith and have it checked out before you shoot it.

HTH ~
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:56:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:41:56 PM EDT
I would replace the stock (it's some sort of Chinese mystery wood ) it's just too soft to keep the rec. and trigger group tightly ''bedded'' to the stock. this will affect accuracy.Get a USGI fiberglass stock. Also keep an eye on the head space, the Chinese bolts tend to be a little soft. (improper heat treatment) There is sometimes not enough bolt lug and rec . lug contact, (this is from improper bolt lug geometry.) These two factors will make the bolt lugs compress over time, resulting in excessive head space. Alot of people who own chinese M-14's have USGI bolt conversions done for the above mentioned reasons. HTH PATRIOT ARMORY 07 FFL
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:48:34 AM EDT
Check headspace before firing. A match shooter at my club tells me that the reason so many Polytechs fail headspace checks is that the bolts were removed from the rifles when they were imported. Since the bolts aren't marked, they got mixed up when reinstalled.

I don't know how true that is, but it's enough of a reason to check headspace for me.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:20:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Check headspace before firing. A match shooter at my club tells me that the reason so many Polytechs fail headspace checks is that the bolts were removed from the rifles when they were imported. Since the bolts aren't marked, they got mixed up when reinstalled.

I don't know how true that is, but it's enough of a reason to check headspace for me.


If this were true, there would be as many of them around with too-tight headspace as too loose. I have yet to hear of ONE Norinco or Poly that had too-tight headspace.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:10:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Check headspace before firing. A match shooter at my club tells me that the reason so many Polytechs fail headspace checks is that the bolts were removed from the rifles when they were imported. Since the bolts aren't marked, they got mixed up when reinstalled.

I don't know how true that is, but it's enough of a reason to check headspace for me.



Interestingly, the number engraved on my bolt (16xxx) is completely different than the number on my receiver (07xxx). This makes me concerned, but at the same time I am real anxious to go shoot the rifle this weekend.

What is the problem if the head space is messed up?

Also, I noticed substantial wear in a couple places on the bolt just from racking the action (is that the proper terminology?)
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:46:42 AM EDT
Buy or borrow a Field headspsace guage.
If it passes shoot the shit out of it.
If it doesn't pass send it to Warbird or SEI for the USGI bolt conversion.
CP
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 4:33:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 4:35:01 PM EDT by Russ4777]
As you did, I bought a like-NIB Poly about 1.5 years ago. It headspaced close to the .308 Field gage length. I found a good deal on a new TRW bolt and fit it to my rifle at 1.632" headspace. Now the bolt partially closes on a .308 NO-GO gage with perfect bolt lug contact. Now I can safely shoot any kind of .308 or 7.62 NATO ammo through it without any concerns about case head separation.

Also fitted a beautiful new Boyd's walnut stock after careful finish sanding, staining, and oil finishing it.

The rifle now has about 3200 rounds through it without a glitch. A really fun diversion from my AR's.

Here's the finished product.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:13:26 PM EDT
jealousy.... rising.... within.... me

I soaked my first AR15 in CLP and shot the hell out of it. The one-piece gas ring and stiff BCG loosened up REALLLL good after 300 rounds of XM193. The BCG is moves like it's made of glass and functions 100%. I suggest stripping, cleaning, lubing, headspacing, then shoot the hell out of it if it's all good to wear the parts together.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:00:33 PM EDT
I see quite a bit mentioned on the soft bolts of the Polytech's, and not being heat-treated correctly. I have no experience with this rifle, and this may seem a silly question, but couldn't you just take the bolt out and get it heat-treated? What is the actual hardness you need to shoot for? Or is it also a case of using an inferior metal that doesn't heat-treat well?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:49:25 PM EDT
I do not know what the prescribed surface or core hardness is for a GI bolt, nor do I know what the actual hardness of a Commie bolt is. The issue seems to be that the Commies just build/fit the bolts with what is generally regarded as too much headspace. Re-heat treating a Poly bolt will not fix excessive or "long" headspace.

If you shoot only NATO ammo and do not reload then it's just not a serious issue. NATO/GI brass is a bit more tolerant to "excessive" headspace since it's thicker and heavier. My research has not ever revealed anyone experiencing a case head separation using NATO ammo in a PolyTech M14S. I reload using a lot of commercial .308 cases and don't want to tempt fate.

Fitting a "good" GI bolt just above the .308 GO headspace gives me more peace of mind. After 3000+ rounds through my rifle, shown above, has not shown any increse in headspace. Everyone I have spoken to or communicated with says that the Commie receivers are as good or better than other US made ones.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 1:45:42 AM EDT
From M14 Rifle History and Development Second Edition by Lee Emerson copyright 2006:

"Springfield Armory and Winchester carburized M14 bolts by the salt bath method whereas Textile Machine Works used the ammoniated gas method for bolt carburizing. The USGI M14 bolt was manufactured to the following requirements:

1) Rockwell hardness readings shall be taken on the locking lugs and at the rear end of the bolt.
2) Bolt material: 8620H alloy steel except resulpherized sulpher content at 0.035 % to 0.50 % that is gun quality specification per ASTM A304, A322, or A331. Hardenability of steel shall be controlled as required to suit manufacturer’s heat treatment process and to assure that that the specified mandatory physical properties are met. Austenitic grain size is 5 to 8.
3) Heat treatment recommended process: normalize before machining (oil quenching followed by tempering at not more than 450 degrees Fahrenheit may be used in lieu of air cooling). Carburize at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit to the specified case depth. Without reheating, quench in oil or neutral salt bath from 1500 degrees Fahrenheit to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. If reheated, quench from 1550 degrees Fahrenheit to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. Temper to the specified hardness.
4) Heat treating mandatory requirements:
A. Normalize before machining.
B. Carburize to a case depth of 0.012 “ to 0.018 “.
C. Temper for one hour minimum at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
D. Core hardness is 33 HRC to 42 HRC. Surface hardness is 66 HRD to 71 HRD (54 HRC to 60 HRC).
E. Microstructure of the core shall not contain more than 10 % free ferrite after heat treatment per AMS 2315.
F. The use of a straight cyanide bath or carbonitriding process shall not be permitted.
G. When gas carburizing is used the carbon content shall not exceed 0.84 % at the surface of the bolt per AMS 2762."

and

"On May 06, 1973, a M1A receiver was tested inadvertently when the head separated from a reloaded cartridge during firing. The commercial brass case had been used previously and was loaded with 46.8 grains of H335 gun powder. All of the bolt parts were blown out of the bolt body including the roller except the ejector spring. The stock was split severely, the magazine blown apart, the hammer broken, the sear torn from the trigger. The receiver was scored by the roller-less bolt and by the firing pin. Close visual examination revealed no other damage to the receiver. The shooter only received a superficial cut to the face. Nonetheless, Mr. Ballance offered to replace the damaged parts and the receiver if magnetic particle inspection or proof firing showed any damage at no cost.

In the fall of 1973, a second improperly hand loaded cartridge caused a M1A receiver to crack but not come apart. Both bolt lugs sheared off when an excessively loaded cartridge was fired. There was no serious injury to the shooter."

and

"For reasons unknown to Smith Enterprise or anyone else the author has contacted, the Chinese did not use equivalent AISI 8620 alloy steel for their bolts as per the USGI drawing for their bolts but elected to make them out of equivalent AISI 4135 alloy steel. Chinese bolts have a surface hardness of 40 to 47 HRC which is too soft. This applies to Chinese bolts exported to the United States prior to September 13, 1994. If the bolts are heat treated to improve the hardness, the hardness increases all the way through the bolt instead of just at the surface. Hardening a Chinese bolt will add only a little more service life to the bolt to the item. In the long term, however, hardening a Chinese bolt is still not desirable. This is because increasing the core hardness of the bolt decreases the core toughness. Another significant problem plagues Chinese bolts. Besides not being made of a material suitable for long term use, the locking lugs are too narrow. Thus, American and Chinese bolts are not interchangeable. Converting a U. S. imported Chinese M14 type rifle to accept an American made bolt should be performed by an experienced M14 gunsmith."
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 3:13:56 AM EDT
Different,

Excellent information and thank you for that! I'm definitely saving that one for future reference.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 3:25:48 AM EDT
Thanks for the responses. I'd like to shoot the rifle this weekend but am concerned about the head space discussions I have read. Here is a picture of my bolt in the unfired rifle:




Is this a concern, or can I safely go put 100 rounds through it Saturday? I do intend to send it to a professional for a proper USGI bolt but I'd like to experience it first.

Comments?
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:39:29 AM EDT
The picture tells us nothing about your headspace. Only headspace gauges can do that.

If you insist on shooting it before checking headspace, may I suggest the following procedure:

1. Set the gun up to shoot off sandbags so you don't have to have your left arm involved near/under the action.

2. WEAR THE BEST SAFETY GLASSES YOU CAN FIND.

3. Load ONE round of 7.62 NATO spec (NOT commercial .308) from a magazine, then remove the magazine (no sense wrecking a mag if the primer blows).

4. Fire ONE round and recover the brass.

5. Examine the primer carefully. Is it protruding at all? Is it flattened? Has it "filled in" around the edges, or begun flowing into the firing pin hole? Does it look in any way like it might have been "over pressure?" If the answer to ANY of these questions is YES, you are done shooting. You have excessive headspace. Get the thing fixed by a reputable M14 gunsmith before you shoot it again.

6. If the answer to all questions in #5 was NO, fire another round and examine the primer again. Repeat this at least three or four times.

7. If all your primers look completely normal, the rifle is PROBABLY safe to shoot with 7.62 NATO ammunition, at least for a while. DO get the headspace checked, though. And DO wear your safety glasses ALWAYS when shooting it (or anything else, for that matter).

Remember, this information is worth exactly what you paid for it.

Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:53:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 6:01:09 AM EDT by The_Beer_Slayer]
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 1:06:48 PM EDT
Well,

I can't be sure, but looking at the wear on your receiver I wonder whether the rifle is indeed unfired. If so, it looks as if it's been a showroom example for some time.

Make sure you lube it with GREASE before firing. I'd recc. having the headspace checked too, but knowing myself I would need to shoot right away as well. In all likelihood, you won't need to replace the bolt anyway. The Poly headspace/bolt problem is twofold - first, the bolt is set at a default headspace for 7.62x51, not .308, so its already a little longer (near if not closing on a .308 no go) and then the bolt is 'soft' in that it is prone to a little compression. Well, even a little compression when the HS is near rejection causes a problem that compression on a shorter headspace wouldn't.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 2:52:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IANALY:
The Poly headspace/bolt problem is...the bolt is set at a default headspace for 7.62x51, not .308, so its already a little longer (near if not closing on a .308 no go)....


Boy, there's an understatement! Brand new and UNFIRED, my Poly ate the .308 NOGO (1.634) like popcorn, and came damn close to closing on a 7.62 NATO Field Reject gauge (1.6445). My primers looked like I was running a 70,000 PSI load. The replacement TRW bolt locks up tight on the .308 NOGO, which also happens to be the same spec as 7.62 NATO GO. Primers now look normal on both NATO spec ammo and Winchester White Box, which may or may not be NATO spec (they're pretty vague about whether it is or not). The bolt doesn't rattle when it's closed empty anymore, either.

You can see why I tell everyone buying a Chinese M14 to get that headspace checked, and if it ain't right, get it fixed! A blown primer won't wreck the whole rifle but it CAN wreck your whole day!
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:25:52 PM EDT
What Snake45 said.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:30:19 PM EDT

Check out Fulton Army's FAQ on this...

Fulton's Link

May answer some of your questions.


~nb
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 6:41:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NewbieDave:
Check out Fulton Army's FAQ on this...

Fulton's Link

May answer some of your questions.


~nb


Fulton's treatise on Chinese M14 is informative reading but IMHO VERY pessimistic. I'm sure everything he talks about has been seen at one time or another but he makes it sound like all of them or most of them have ALL or MOST of these problems. They don't. Bolts/headspace are the most common problems, followed by loose rear sights and soft hammers/triggers, and not more than half the guns have the latter two. Fulton would have you believe that you need to replace everything but the receiver and the front sight. Just ain't so. There are MANY, MANY satisfied Chinese 14 shooters who have replaced nothing more than the bolt. Hell, there are many who haven't even done that.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 7:42:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Snake45:

Fulton's treatise on Chinese M14 is informative reading but IMHO VERY pessimistic. I'm sure everything he talks about has been seen at one time or another but he makes it sound like all of them or most of them have ALL or MOST of these problems. They don't. Bolts/headspace are the most common problems, followed by loose rear sights and soft hammers/triggers, and not more than half the guns have the latter two. Fulton would have you believe that you need to replace everything but the receiver and the front sight. Just ain't so. There are MANY, MANY satisfied Chinese 14 shooters who have replaced nothing more than the bolt. Hell, there are many who haven't even done that.



I tend to agree with this. Fulton Armory knows their stuff, but they are primarily in business to make a profit.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:15:14 AM EDT
Thank you all for your responses.

To clarify - the picture I posted above of my bolt was to show the wear on the bolt from simply pulling the op rod back several times. When I purchased the rifle there was some slight wear marks in the corner of the bolt. After I cycled the bolt 6-8 times the wear got to what you see in the picture. This is why I posted the picture, because of how quickly the wear showed up from simply pulling the op rod back and releasing it a few times (before and after disassembling/cleaning the rifle).

I'm not sure if this is normal or not; I've looked at pictures of other peoples' rifle and seen varying degrees of similar wear on the bolt (without knowing how many rouynds have been through the rifle).

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:17:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:26:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I tend to agree with this. Fulton Armory knows their stuff, but they are primarily in business to make a profit.


I stopped just short of saying that, but you read between the lines. Fulton's statement on Chinese M14s could be seen as a sales pitch, or a setup for a huge "repair" bill if you send them your Chinese rifle and tell them "fix what needs to be fixed." I'm not saying they routinely DO this--I have no idea--but that statement could sure provide all the justification they'd need. "Hey, we TOLD you that these things routinely need this and this and that and the other and everything else replaced. Please remit."
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:49:39 AM EDT
I bought My Polytech M-14S NIB back in '93. I ran over 1K through it before I read that the rear sight was 'sposed to fall-off when I took it out of the box & it should have blown-up in My face after less than 50 rds! The pic You posted looks like My bolt after 2.5K! My bolt just barely closes on a 308 No-Go gauge, which makes Me believe a 7.62 NATO field gauge would not close on it.
But, just to be safe, I only shoot My own reloads (nothing over 125g & at the bottom of the pressure scale). No more high-power factory loads & no more bump-firing full 20 rd mags.
I have to admit Charlene was a (left) handfull under those conditions!
She is My all-time favorite firearm & I want Her to last 'till I can afford to get Her re-bolted properly by Warbird.

The Ol' Crew Chief
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 11:06:06 AM EDT
.308 NOGO is 1.634. You are good to go for a LONG time to come.

Long headspace means nothing if you're feeding the rifle handloads and are loading to fit your long chamber. I have an Israeli 7.62 NATO K98 that almost closes on a NATO FR gauge and since I don't wanna pay someone to set the barrel back and rechamber, I'm gonna have to do that. The trick is getting the first loads fireformed in the first place.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 11:11:33 AM EDT
Also: when I resize My cases, I only push he shoulder back till the bolt will just barely close on the resized case so that I don't work the brass any more than I have to.

The Ol' Crew Chief
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 11:20:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 11:25:32 AM EDT by HBruns]
It may be a good idea to have the bolt REPLACED with a US mil unit, and also possibly the barrel to ensure headspace.

www.fulton-armory.com/M14S_Eval.htm


At the very least, I would get headspace gauges and monitor the headspace on your rifle. It looks like the bolt locking lug geometry is poor, leading to peening and very premature increase in headspace.



On Edit:
It lookslike other posters have been all over the ChiCom bolt/headspace issue.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 12:46:11 PM EDT
Call me crazy but I check headspace on a used pre-'94 ban SA, Inc. M1A rifle that I buy even if it has a USGI barrel and a USGI bolt installed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:00:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Different:
Call me crazy but I check headspace on a used pre-'94 ban SA, Inc. M1A rifle that I buy even if it has a USGI barrel and a USGI bolt installed.



OK, I'll bite:
You're crazy!

BTW.... good idea on checking headspace.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:19:02 PM EDT
I brought the new PolyTech to the range this past weekend. 100+ rounds without a hitch, although I did notice a split case from the second round I fired. I was told, "no big deal, it happens with 7.62 surplus," so merrily on I went.

I love my new rifle .

BTW - I received an e-mail from Tim at Warbirds telling me he didn't have any more bolts
Top Top