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Posted: 4/21/2002 8:57:05 AM EDT
What do you guys think of this rifle. It is a M14 clone, and I've run across one locally that's supposedly NIB for $539. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Hack
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 10:04:00 AM EDT
I don't care what others say, but I love mine. It is a great gun and extremely accurate. I paid about 500 with some mags about 2 years ago for a semi-used one.

Go for it.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 10:09:02 AM EDT
Two incarnations of the ChiCom M-14 clone. The Polytech seems to have a decent reputation, where the other liked to wear it's sear surfaces til it was firing uncontrolled full auto bursts..

There was some debate as to heat treating, metallurgy, etc when these first came out, but I also seem to remember that the reciever was good..Drop some USGI/SA stuff in it, and shoot..

Meplat-
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 10:46:32 AM EDT
That's $20 less than I paid for a used one with the original box and accessories (minus the 20-round mag).

Go for it!

Link Posted: 4/21/2002 10:50:26 AM EDT
The receiver alone is worth the price. Buy it. I have an early Poly Tech. It has gone through some changes in it's life time. Most notably a U.S.G.I. bolt conversion by Smith Enterprises. It also has a U.S.G.I. stock and hand guard, trigger group, gas system, op rod, op rod spring and guide, front sight assy, rear sight assy and barrel band. About the only things left on it that are Chinese are the receiver, clip guide and pin, bolt stop assy, barrel, gas cylinder lock, castle nut and op rod guide. So it is something other than a Chinese rifle. It's more of a Chinese-American. If you want to hear wht the "experts" have to say go to: www.smithenterprise.com and click on M-14 information. Or go to: www.fulton-armory.com on the left side of the page scroll down and click on M14/M1A pages then click on M14/M1A intro. It is important to note a major difference in the bolt conversions done by Smith Enterprises and Fulton Armory. Smith Enterprises modifies the receiver to accept a U.S.G.I. bolt( which means many G.I. bolts could fit) and there is no need to change barrels. Fulton Armory modifies a U.S.G.I. bolt to fit the receiver(which means only that bolt can fit) and that requires a new barrel. I can't speak for the quality of a Chinese M-14 in original condition because I have never owned one that was in original condition. From what I hear from people who do own them is that they are satisfied with them.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:53:58 PM EDT
Thank you gentlemen for your info, once again, members of AR15.com come through.

Hack
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:28:09 PM EDT
Despite the crap that some people say about them, mine has always worked fine. Scoped it out the other weekend and at 100yds with ten rounds it grouped just under 1.25". My Springfield has a way better finish but that is about the only difference I can tell between the two
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 9:02:09 PM EDT
As said, it's worth that price for the receiver alone. I have one that I bought a while back just for the receiver. It had bad headspace and would swallow a field reject gauge. I replaced all the parts with NIW TRW USGI parts (except the handguard, which the Chinese one seemed stronger, and the clip guide, because why bother?) and it went together like a dream. It has perfect headspace now, and shoots great. All told I have less than I would have spent for the equivalent SA, Inc product and a forged reeiver to boot.

My experience building it has been nearly identical to that discussed on the Fulton Armory page. They can be great guns, but may rrequire some work to get right.

Ross
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 10:18:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:
All told I have less than I would have spent for the equivalent SA, Inc product and a forged reeiver to boot.



Actually if you were to buy a current production S, Inc. M1A, you still wouldn't have an equivalent product. S, Inc's supply of USGI parts is fast coming to an end. What you're getting are cheap commerical cast reproductions.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 5:20:49 AM EDT
Since all the satisfied owners have said they don't care what anyone else says, I won't insult them. I have had 3. I do not have the same opinion as the happy guys. For $500, I would rather have the .308 Saiga AK clone. It works great. The left over money buys ammo and accessories. But I can't shoot more than 8 rounds between reloads. But they do go one at a time versus 3 once and a while that my ex-Chinese guns would do.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 5:46:55 AM EDT
That's a fair price (I got mine for less).

Send it to Smith Enterprises.
The receiver is the best commercially available receiver on the market.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 12:56:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:As said, it's worth that price for the receiver alone. I have one that I bought a while back just for the receiver. It had bad headspace and would swallow a field reject gauge. I replaced all the parts with NIW TRW USGI parts (except the handguard, which the Chinese one seemed stronger, and the clip guide, because why bother?) and it went together like a dream. It has perfect headspace now, and shoots great.

Ross



How much work did it take to get the GI bolt to fit? My Poly Tech has bad headspace and I've got a GI bolt coming. I'm hoping I won't have to replace the barrel.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 8:04:41 PM EDT
Hack,

ITS GARBAGE. A RIPOFF. DONT DO IT. NEVER EVER. YADA YADA YADA.

(By the way - where did you say this was for sale at )

James

PS - for anyone that didn't figure it out - I was joking. I would buy one of these at this price. Especially if it has any number of USGI parts on it.

Having said that - I would never shoot it as is. I would send the reciever to Smith and have it modified to USGI bolt, and replace oprod and gas system with USGI.

Link Posted: 4/23/2002 4:27:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:

Originally Posted By Ross:
As said, it's worth that price for the receiver alone. I have one that I bought a while back just for the receiver. It had bad headspace and would swallow a field reject gauge. I replaced all the parts with NIW TRW USGI parts (except the handguard, which the Chinese one seemed stronger, and the clip guide, because why bother?) and it went together like a dream. It has perfect headspace now, and shoots great.

Ross



How much work did it take to get the GI bolt to fit? My Poly Tech has bad headspace and I've got a GI bolt coming. I'm hoping I won't have to replace the barrel.



I would think you have to replace the barrel as well. That would give you the correct dimensioned parts to heaspace correctly. A USGI bolt, a USGI barrel, and a GI dimesioned forged receiver. I think I'd replace the springs as well. You can probably use the rest of the parts.

I bought a complete TRW kit from Orion 7. They were great to work with, and gave me EXACTLY what I wanted, and fast. It was like they could read my mind. Their service was that good. The kit cost $695. It was brand new, with nearly all the parts still in the GI wrap.

My Poly tech cost me $450 with 5 mags (two USGI and thre Chicom). I did the build myself, as I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to build-ups. I also know my limitations and if I thought I couldn't do it right, I'd have sent it to someone who could. That gave me a total of $1145 into the gun. Yeah, not cheap, but I decided I wanted all USGI parts, so that's the way I went.

Just for the heck of it, I tried to insert the TRW bolt with the Chinese barrel and it wouldn't even come close to working. I guess I could of fitted the bolt to the barrel, but why bother when I had a brand new TRW barrel there?

As for the work, the receiver took the USGI parts perfectly with no problem. Fitting it to gether was a snap. Easier than a .45 auto build. Not quite as easy as a FAL, certainly not as simple as the assembly of an AR. You need the right tools for the job though. If you don't have them, or make them yourself, and you're only going to fiddle around with the one rifle, I'd have it done.

Ross
Link Posted: 4/23/2002 9:13:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:
I would think you have to replace the barrel as well. That would give you the correct dimensioned parts to heaspace correctly. A USGI bolt, a USGI barrel, and a GI dimesioned forged receiver.



I ordered a trigger group, complete bolt, and op rod from the CMP. I just installed the bolt and it fits perfectly. There is absolutely no slop that I can detect when the bolt is in battery. When I bought the rifle the bolt would easily close on a field headspace gauge. With the new GI bolt, it won't close on either a field or no-go gauge. Think I still need to get another barrel, or should it be safe to shoot as is?


You need the right tools for the job though. If you don't have them, or make them yourself, and you're only going to fiddle around with the one rifle, I'd have it done.
Ross



What tools were necessary to replace the barrel? Receiver wrench and barrel vise? I see Orion 7 is advertising GI barrels...
Link Posted: 4/24/2002 4:41:49 AM EDT

I ordered a trigger group, complete bolt, and op rod from the CMP. I just installed the bolt and it fits perfectly. There is absolutely no slop that I can detect when the bolt is in battery. When I bought the rifle the bolt would easily close on a field headspace gauge. With the new GI bolt, it won't close on either a field or no-go gauge. Think I still need to get another barrel, or should it be safe to shoot as is?


I hope you can understand that I wouldn't feel right telling you the gun is safe to shoot, after you've installed a completely different bolt, and I've never seen the gun. Think about it....

If you have to ask if it's safe, then I'd recomend you take it to a gunsmith experienced in the M14 to have it checked.

Personally, I think the best option would be to buy the GI barrel, then take the whole thing to a gunsmith who knows M14's (they seem to be everywhere) and have him do it. Then you know it's done right, and it doesn't really cost much. You also won't have to mess with buying tools that you'll only use once. You also have real USGI parts where it counts. The barrel is the heart of any rifle. Why not get the best?


What tools were necessary to replace the barrel? Receiver wrench and barrel vise? I see Orion 7 is advertising GI barrels...



I used a receiver wrench and barrel vise I made specifically for the project. You need to buy some real references, like Knudsen's work on building an M14. You will also have to buy some tools (reciever wrench), and they aren't cheap. In the end, having a qualified gunsmith doesn't really cost you any more money. There's also less chance you'll loose money, because you won't screw something up.

I don't want to disuade you from your project. Just make sure you know what you're doing. I worked up to doing mine. I had participated in building an M14 on an Armscorp receiver with a friend that had experience with the M14, so this wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I know my limitations, and I know when to stop and take it to somebody better than I am.

Ross
Link Posted: 4/24/2002 6:08:51 AM EDT
I have had no probs with mine. I can make 500 yard shot with open sight. For $500 di it
Link Posted: 4/24/2002 6:30:28 AM EDT

I hope you can understand that I wouldn't feel right telling you the gun is safe to shoot, after you've installed a completely different bolt, and I've never seen the gun. Think about it.... if you have to ask if it's safe, then I'd recomend you take it to a gunsmith experienced in the M14 to have it checked.


I know it's safer than it was... the Chinese bolt was an absolute piece of garbage. I highly recommend that anybody who owns an unmodified Chinese M14 buy at least a field headspace gauge. Soft bolts appear to be the rule rather than the exception with these.

I'm not asking for a guarantee from anyone. I feel comfortable with the headspace now; I guess what I'm asking is if there are any other common problems with the Chinese barrels that would preclude proper operation.



Personally, I think the best option would be to buy the GI barrel, then take the whole thing to a gunsmith who knows M14's (they seem to be everywhere) and have him do it. Then you know it's done right, and it doesn't really cost much. You also won't have to mess with buying tools that you'll only use once. You also have real USGI parts where it counts. The barrel is the heart of any rifle. Why not get the best?



Looks like Smith Enterprises will do a barrel replacement for $200. Thinking about doing this at some point, as the Orion barrels (if they are even still available) go for $170, and every receiver wrench I've ever seen was over $50.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 5:05:19 AM EDT

I'm not asking for a guarantee from anyone. I feel comfortable with the headspace now; I guess what I'm asking is if there are any other common problems with the Chinese barrels that would preclude proper operation.



Understand that bolt replacement in an M14 type rifle is more than just headspace. You can get a good headspace reading with a gauge and still have a dangerous condition. BOTH your locking lugs on the bolt need to be in even contact with the receiver. An improperly fitted bolt may only be partially contacting on one lug, but still eliminate any wiggle and give you a good headspace reading. When you touch off that 50,000 C.U.P. .308 in there though, you could have problems.

That's why M14 bolts should be hand lapped to the receiver. To insure that both lugs are "fitted". This ain't an AR or FAL where you just swap out a bolt, check the headspace, and go blast. This is an old school design that actually requires fitting. Good headspace is only half of fitting a bolt to an M14.

Your bolt headspaced correctly when it left the factory. Some Chinese worker wittled on it with a file to get it to fit. He didn't care if both lugs contacted or not. It just had to headspace. Now someone shoots it and the lug starts to collapse until the other one finally engages. Add to that the soft bolt in the first place, and it results in excessive headspace. That's how you got to where you are now.

Supposedly, Chinese barrel may sitll give you a good headspace reading somehow and not allow the bolt to support the case properly. This could result in a Ka Boom according to Fulton Armoury. I'm not entirely clear on this myself. I didn't bother to research it further as my plan was to replace all the parts with USGI to simply eliminate the whole mess.

The cost of barrel replacement isn't something to be taken lightly either. I mean that is a big chunk of change. It's your gun, if you feel fine about it, great. As you've figured out from the math, having Smith do it is more cost effective in the end than just doing it yourself if it's a one time deal.

A good idea may be to actually ask Clint at Fulton why exactly a Chinese barrel shouldn't be used. Just e-mail him or call him. He's supposed to be a stand-up guy and will yack guns forever. Find out why he doesn't like the barrels, but loves the receivers. If you were thinking of having Smith do the work, give them a call and see what they say. Sure, they're going to want to sell you some service, but both these folks have reputations as being very straight with people. That's why they command the prices they do.

It's not some secret rocket science to working on an M14. It's not even hard. There's just alot of little things that either add up to a quality product or junk. If you're serious about doing the work yourself, get the Knudsen manual on building the M14. That has bounds of information you need.

Ross
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 5:16:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HACK:
What do you guys think of this rifle. It is a M14 clone, and I've run across one locally that's supposedly NIB for $539. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Hack



I purchased my Polytek for about $400 in 1993. Spent about $500 with Fulton Armory to replace all the Chinese parts including the barrel. Basically, the Chinese parts are crap, but the receiver is excellent.

I really enjoy the rifle now. It now my saddle rifle with a five round mag and a bunch of stripper clips. Great for Deer hunting on the farm or getting rid of pests (Dogs, Coyotes, etc)

Hope that helps you make your decision.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 6:25:25 AM EDT
Actually the barrels are not too bad, at all.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 7:55:08 AM EDT


I purchased my Polytek for about $400 in 1993. Spent about $500 with Fulton Armory to replace all the Chinese parts including the barrel. Basically, the Chinese parts are crap, but the receiver is excellent.



Now Fulton charges $1000 for a "Chinese M-14 upgrade" package. This is pretty darn far out of my price range for what will basically be a plinker. Even Smith has jacked up their price for similar services to $510 or so.

I can hand-lap the bolt myself, and could probably stand to have Smith replace the barrel. I do plan to get the Kuhnhausen manual, if only because I have other GI .30 gas rifles that could stand some tweaking.

I am the type who would much rather work on my own rifles than shoot them... it's not like I'm going to actually use this PolyTech for anything. Maybe a CMP match once or twice a year and that's it.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 8:51:06 AM EDT
So where can I find one of these cheap Chinese M1As? I maybe saw one at a gun show for $700, and they seem to be priced for more on gunsamerica and auctionarms.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 11:10:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:So where can I find one of these cheap Chinese M1As? I maybe saw one at a gun show for $700, and they seem to be priced for more on gunsamerica and auctionarms.



Every one I'd seen at the gun shows had a $700 to $800 price tag on them, but I got mine by trading my Century FAL + $50.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 3:51:28 AM EDT
I bought mine on Auction Arms. The guy misspelled polytech, so maybe not too many others saw the auction.

Ken Mays-
It won't take much at all to fit the bolt right. The fact that the Chinese receiver is so good dimensionally makes it a snap. You won't have any trouble.

I was originally going to send mine to Fulton for the upgrade, but they jacked their price up to that $1000 mark. That was just too much for me to afford either. I probably came close to it total though, after the parts kit, tools, and especially my time, but I was able to spread that out over a year's time.

You'll end up with a great gun.

Ross
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