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PaDan
March 24, 2011, 09:35 PM
Hi guys this is my first post on this forum and a question. An acquaintance has found an M1A(M 14 ) for what he considers a steal ($795). It sounded too good to be true,and after questioning him I found out the rifle in question was made by Norinco. An alarm bell went off in the back of my mind but the warning is a bit fuzzy so correct me if i'm wrong. Were not the M1A's mfg. by the Norinco company notorious for having soft or sub-standard recievers ? They were imported about twenty years ago or so from China. I believe that there was a company in the states was taking some of them and heat treating them but I never heard how that turned out. My friend is kind of dissapointed that I've burst his bubble but its better than him bursting his skull. Thanks for any help......... PaDan.

nbkky71
March 24, 2011, 09:39 PM
The receivers are actually excellent forgings made of high quality steel. It was the bolts that were known to have issues.

While you can shoot the rifle with the Chinese bolt, most folks will recommended to have it fitted with a USGI bolt.

PaDan
March 24, 2011, 10:05 PM
I knew that there was a problem but was not sure what. I'm still hesitant about giving the green light on an older rifle with that kind of problem not knowing the status of any bolt upgrade. The only thing that I can tell him is to ask the seller if he could have it checked by a competent gunsmith schooled in the M1A. The only way to be really safe! thanks......Dan.

sailskidrive
March 25, 2011, 02:00 AM
You should post this question on war rifles.com instead of on here in the "ask Fulton Armory" section. Walt Kuleck from FA literally wrote the book on the M14 and he covers the CHICOM receivers in detail. If I remember correctly the receivers are excellent but the other parts can be a serious problem.

SR420
March 25, 2011, 08:38 AM
PaDan Hi guys this is my first post on this forum and a question. An acquaintance has found an M1A(M 14 ) for what he considers a steal ($795). It sounded too good to be true,and after questioning him I found out the rifle in question was made by Norinco. An alarm bell went off in the back of my mind but the warning is a bit fuzzy so correct me if i'm wrong. Were not the M1A's mfg. by the Norinco company notorious for having soft or sub-standard recievers ? They were imported about twenty years ago or so from China. I believe that there was a company in the states was taking some of them and heat treating them but I never heard how that turned out. My friend is kind of dissapointed that I've burst his bubble but its better than him bursting his skull. Thanks for any help......... PaDan.

$795.00 is a great deal... they usually sell for around $1K these days.
Also, the Chinese never made an M1A.

nbkky71 The receivers are actually excellent forgings made of high quality steel. It was the bolts that were known to have issues.

While you can shoot the rifle with the Chinese bolt, most folks will recommended to have it fitted with a USGI bolt.

Yes, the Chinese M14s have excellent forged receivers that are dimensionally closer to USGI than all other receivers currently on the market.
The bolts can be soft, but the lugs are the real problem. Check the head space with NATO gauges often if you use the original bolt or invest in a USGI bolt conversion. This conversion can be performed without replacing the original chrome lined barrel, WarBird and SEI offer this service.
Ron Smith of SEI knows the Chinese M14 better than anyone and I highly recommend the services of SEI... I have used SEI to domesticate two Norinco and four Poly Tech M14s - the results are outstanding.

Note: Chinese M14 come with the forged receiver and chrome lined barrels as mentioned, but they also have excellent forged 1 piece op rods and 2-stage trigger groups that are as good as GI. The threads for the castle nut and gas lock are metric, the barrels threads at the receiver are standard.

I own nothing but Norinco and Poly Tech M14s and I hope this information has been helpful to you and others.

B. Lahey
March 25, 2011, 09:41 AM
I have a PolyTech (essentially the same thing as that Norinco) that was rebuilt by SEI, and it is a magnificent rifle.

As others have said, the receivers are excellent, but the Chinese-manufactured bolts had problems. Also, some of the original Chinese stocks are hideous. Mine sure was.

Ron Smith of SEI was great about doing my work on a budget, and did a great job. Mine now has a TRW bolt and a milsurp birch stock, and looks as nice as it shoots.