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Posted: 9/26/2002 4:11:52 PM EDT
What is the story with these Chinese Made M1a's. I have always wanted a Springfeild M1a and I really dont see away of being able to come up with the money anytime soon. Anyways a friend of the family has apporached me about a Norinco M1a. His father has passed and he was going thru his house and they found a Norinco M1a still in the box. He says it does not even look like it has been shot. His dad taped the receipt to the box and he paid $500 for it. The friend said if I wanted it for $500 he would sell it otherwise it was going to estate sale. So whats the story with this rifle do they shoot like an SKS. Would it be anygood for reduced cource (100 yard) high Power. Just trying to get some info together to see if I should scrape so funds.
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 4:24:16 PM EDT
NIB for $500?

YES
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 4:31:02 PM EDT
I've seen the Norinco M1a before. Its worth $500 so i'd buy it. Not as good as a springfield, but nicer then a CAI Garand.

You can always upgrade the rifle later or trade it in down the road.
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 4:44:16 PM EDT
They are a great starter for a project rifle. I believe they have a fordged receiever vrs. springfields cast one. The rest of the parts are crap, and the head space needs to be checked. Check out Fulton-armory.com they has a smith that gets the chink guns up to snuff, theres alot of info about them there too. I'd still buy one for $500 if I had the chance
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 6:27:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ConnYankee:
They are a great starter for a project rifle. I believe they have a fordged receiever vrs. springfields cast one. The rest of the parts are crap, and the head space needs to be checked.



If the opinion of "experts" like Ron Smith www.smithenterprise.com are to be taken as fact, then the rest of the parts are far from "junk". Problem areas are the bolt and the rear sight. The stocks are fugly but sericeable. The receivers are forged, the gas system, trigger group, barrel and op-rod are as good as U.S.G.I. according to Smith. Head space may or may not be a problem. Make sure the head space is checked with 7.62mm NATO gauges and not .308 Winchester gauges. For $500.00, buy it.
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 6:32:03 PM EDT
Every stock I've seen has been total crap. Mine was so soft it made a pine 2x4 look like ironwood. But a nice oversized USGI stock from Fred's dealt with that problem nicely


Link Posted: 9/26/2002 8:40:27 PM EDT
The stock that came on my Polytech was in pristine condition - not a scratch or dent on it. I actually ordered a stock from Fred's to replace the one that came on the rifle. Agreed with all the other comments - the Chinese M1A's aren't half bad ... who knew us "chinks" could actually make something decent.
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 9:51:02 PM EDT
How much would one of these rifles sell for in a store. I dont think they import them anymore do they?
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 10:15:36 PM EDT
No, they've not been imported for years, since 1989, IIRC.

A buddy of mine has one & his shoots fairly decent. I've been told that some of the screws/threads were metric rather than standard.

Buyer beware.
Link Posted: 9/26/2002 10:34:45 PM EDT
We get the new ones up here. Very good rifle, they go for about 450$ US here. Seems the problems that alot of people associate with Norinco M1A's has been fixed now.
Link Posted: 9/27/2002 2:58:15 PM EDT
Sixgun, if you've already bought the Chinese gun, stop here, don't read any further. If not, let me offer another point of view. Friend of mine bought one of the early Norinco M1As when they first arrived here. It didn't look at all bad, fit and finish were not that far off what my Springfield M1As have.

Maybe 200-250 rounds of USGI mil surp, the face of the receiver was badly battered where the op rod hits it, the op rod cam surface was peened badly enough where it first hits the bolt roller that a pronounced raised sharp edge was created, the hammer wouldn't stay cocked if you let the bolt close on an empty magazine, and the aft faces of the locking lug recesses in the receiver were upsetting noticeably.

He stuck in his closet and bought a Springfield that he's been very happy with.

I own four varieties of Springfield M1As, from very early production to a customized "loaded". Two of them have upwards of 5,000 rounds on them each, the others have only 300 to maybe twice that. They're still in excellent shape.

You definitely can get the Chinese receiver re-heat treated, and just replace the other parts as and if they go bad to spread the pain in your wallet out over some time. But the prices of fixing the Chinese gun, on top of the $500.00 it costs you up front, are very likely to exceed what you can get a used, excellent condition Springfield for.

Example: Two months ago I bought the "Loaded" gun I mentioned for $800.00. It had a USGI fiberglass stock, heavy stainless steel "match" barrel, a box of USGI spare parts and the Springfield gas cylinder lock wrench and cleaning tools.

As it happens I like the fiberglass stock enough that I don't plan on changing it. I bought a few USGI mags (though the Chinese mags actually do seem to be OK in my experience with them) for about $40.00 apiece and I bet I still have less in it than you'll end up with in the Chinese gun.

The bit about whether the receiver or any of the other parts are forged or cast is totally irrelevant. The choice of alloy used, it's heat treatment and even the finishing are more important than whether it's forged or investment cast. The first two of them are FAR more important in terms of the strength of the part as well as how it will wear and hold up under the mechanical pounding of the action cycling.

How to get a Springfield M1A for that kind of price? The Internet, and patience. Get used to visiting gunbroker.com, auctionarms.com and gunsamerica.com as well as the equipment exchange pages of this board. Battlerifles, falfiles, sturmgewehr, subguns, snipercountry and jousters all have for sale pages too with the M1A's showing up frequently, though not so often at really great prices.

Good luck with it however you decide,
Pat
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 11:26:19 PM EDT
From what I have read on these rifles they actually have a better reciver than springfield ever made,the only problems were the bolts!

They were weak and weren't laped to fit the recievers! You buy one then get a new springfield bolt lap it or have it laped,then bingo better or as good as any M1A or M1 ever made! Of course this is what I have read,not ever known first hand!

Bob
Link Posted: 9/28/2002 11:32:56 PM EDT
A lot of people complain about the Chinese M1A and I think what it is, is a difference in the factory.

Norinco and Polytech while corporatly being the same (Chinese state industries) are very often very different in quality. Norincos havnt been imported since '89 in large numbers, and the few that did make it in almost all had their flash supressors unceremoniously cut off.

Polytechs on the other hand have the faux supressor often spot welded into place and appear to be, at least on the surface, of a lot better quality than those made at Norinco arsenals. I've heard soft steel, I've heard bad headspacing, but I've also heard a lot of that being echoed from companies that want a few hundred quid off of you to 'fix' these problems.

In the end unless you're shooting the rifle hot and heavy every day I think most newer imported Polytechs are going to be A-ok. Mine rattled a little bit more than your standard M14 but <shrugs> it doesnt bother me. I'm not trying to sneak up on charley with it.

In the end I prefered an FN-FAL, there are few American made small arms that I wouldnt choose a foreign competitor over, especially in places where the contract didnt go to the lowest bidder, but thats just me.

Ryan
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 7:31:29 AM EDT
I bought 1 from "WOOLWORTH" when they were selling surplus guns back in '89-'91 era. The one had was really clean, and the receiver was wearing a "Federal Ord" on the receiver inside. The stock,,,I took and lightly sanded it and gave it a thin wipe of varnish. Looked nice. Thing functioned fine. Never got serious with the thing, sold it because I ended up un-employed (due to Gulf War killing the economy).
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 11:01:32 AM EDT
I swapped for a Polytech M14 at a show recently. First thing I did was check headspace on it. It easily swallowed a .308 field gauge with no problem, but the reciever itself looked to be in good shape.

I put in a GI bolt and lapped it a little until I got good contact on each locking lug. It will not close on a no-go gauge now, and leaves almost none of the case head unsupported. I also put in a GI oprod and trigger group just to be safe, and ditched the over-varnished stock for a $10 walnut surplus stock. I feel a whole lot better about shooting it now, but I still check headspace every time I clean it.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 11:32:02 AM EDT

From what I have read on these rifles they actually have a better reciver than springfield ever made,the only problems were the bolts!


Several years ago (just before the bans went into effect) one of the gun mags did a torture test on a Chinese M1A versus the Springfield model. The idea was to get 10,000 rounds (or so) each and shoot them until the guns failed, just to see what it took. They had teams of people loading magazines and pulling the trigger, to keep the firing going on non-stop.

The Chinese model crapped out completely in about the first thousand rounds, with a bad recoil spring. Granted, it was hotter than hell by that time, but still . . . .

The Springfield kept on going with no significant problems. It got the barrel so hot that it set the stock on fire several times. To put out the fire, they simply dipped it in a bucket of cold water, shook off the excess water, and continued firing. At the end of 10,000 rounds, they fired a 5-shot group that was tighter than the group they fired before they started the test.

And, BTW, a friend of mine had already paid for a Norinco and was waiting out the waiting period when he read this article. Naturally, he changed his order to a Springfield and has been ecstatic since.

Also, along the way somewhere I picked up a thirty round mag for a Chinese M1A. It doesn't work in a Springfield, but if anyone with a Chinese is interested, I would be willing to part with it reasonably cheap. Check gunbroker.com
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 11:37:59 AM EDT
I live in Canada and we can buy these NIB all day for less than $500 US

1911A1 $250 US
CQ311 (AR15) $350 US

www.leverarms.com
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 10:05:55 AM EDT
Wolfman is correct about the article as I have the magazine downstairs. Owning a Polytech I believe the torture test to be a little slighted toward the Springfield. The Springfield came off the shelf and so did the Polytech, but the Poly was packed with cosmoline inside and out. To keep it "fair" they only wiped down the inside of the barrel as they wanted to keep the rifles as straight off the shelf as possible. Needless to say that once the Poly got hot the cosmoline basically turned in to glue. It was an interesting article and if I could afford a Springfield I would buy one but I'll always keep my Poly. P.S.- my Poly was checked out by Ron Smith when my buddy owned it and its hardness was equal to or better than a Springfield.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 10:23:59 AM EDT

my Poly was checked out by Ron Smith when my buddy owned it and its hardness was equal to or better than a Springfield.


If you have the article handy, could you check out the particular reason for the failure? I remember the part about the cosmoline, but I don't recall it being involved in the failure. As I recall, it was the spring that failed. That's not good, but it was a torture test and the spring is easy enough to replace if that was the only problem.

As for the hardness, I remember reading a couple of articles on the point. IIRC, the Chinese was two or three points harder on the scale, on the receiver. Results for other parts of the gun varied. But I am not sure what difference that would make in the quality of the weapon, if any. The Springfield seems to do pretty well, even with the "softer" metal.

But, as we all know, individual guns vary, even from the best of manufacturers. If it works for you and makes you happy, that is all that really counts.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 8:17:34 PM EDT
I've got the same rag. I own a Poly and an SA M1A-A1. The test was rigged from the start. The Polytech had the cosmoline which started on fire and ruined the temper of the op rod return spring. That at 450 rds. The SA rifle crapped out a few times along the way, but somehow was allowed some "field gunsmithing" to allow it to run on. I thought it was a POS article. At that time SA was on a vendetta against the Chicom rifles.

On another note from what I remember of the Gun Test magazine test's they recommended the Polytech M-14S as a best buy over the Springfield and a don't buy for the Norinco version.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 12:34:24 AM EDT
I did not buy the rifle from that guy. My wife kinda talked me out of it. We were talking about and she thought it would be better just to wait. She knows I really want a Springfeild.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 12:42:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sixgun357:
I did not buy the rifle from that guy. My wife kinda talked me out of it. We were talking about and she thought it would be better just to wait. She knows I really want a Springfeild.



You have a smart wife. From my experience, it's better to spend the extra cash on the higher quality. Don't cut any corners. You get what you pay for.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 9:29:14 AM EDT
Thanks for the reply GoWyo as I also felt the article and the torture test was a little biased towards the Springfield. Makes me want to go down to the vault and dig out that article and read it again.
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