Tom, Bought one new in the box many years ago when they were first being imported. After shooting it ,the bolt showed obvious evidence of stretching as well as battered locking lugs from the very soft metal used in these parts. This occurred within 500 rounds or so. I sold it for parts and never bought another Norinco. I understand that there is a company in Arizona (?) that will reharden the bolts/recievers of Norincos',making them safe and serviceable. I have talked to other people who have had Norinco's and most-but not all-of them have had similar problems. I personally would not buy another ,given the potential problems and the expense and hassle to correct them. Just my .02. Jack
I had 2, a Polytech and a Norinco. Both had excessive headspace out of the box.
The Polytech, I fitted a Winchester bolt, and Norinco, I fitted a TRW barrel. That solved the headspace issue. After firing THOUSANDS of 7.62 Nato rounds the headspace remained the same. The so called soft Norinco bolt worked as well as the Winchester bolt.
If I come across a 500 dollar Polytech, or Norinco, I will buy it. Then probably do some work on it, New bolt and stock for starters, and possibly the barrel, if the bolt doesn't correct the head space.
Around 300 of the Norinco M-14 rifles have been imported here in the past few months,apparently they were made in around 1994 for the US market but their import was banned so they sat somewhere for the past 13 yrs until they turned up here,they have a Michigan importers address on the receiver.I have not fired one,but a local smith had brought a couple of them and tells me the bolts on them are fine and plenty hard enough for their purpose.The actions are actually pretty nice better than a lot of Chinese stuff,but the stocks are a little rough,they are easy to swap out though for a better made one he put a GI stock on his.This photo from a dealers website....
Buy it! $500 for a forged receiver! Then get rid of all of the parts except for the receiver. The Chinese receivers are dimensionally correct and are forged. They are some of the best non-US GI receivers available. Then find a US GI M14 parts kit and have a knpwledgeable M14 gunsmith assemble it. You will have a fine rifle.
My question is where are you finding it and are there any others available? The Chinese M14s are hot items and for that price, will sell out like hot cakes. I've got Polytech and I would put it up against any SA rifle on the block...especially since I have replace the bolt and barrel (my choice the only reason) and it's a tack driver well beyond 300 yards. JUMP ON THAT BABY.
it only took me 12 years to get the message on a polytech M1a snag it out of the local shop for 450.00 bought a LN one for 700.00 delivered and now they are 800.00 and up in the markets ,,mine are great the headspace is not made to commercial spec but to nato spec,, the chinese ammo that came here was steel cased they are fine with any military surplus,but i would not fire commercial 308 due to thinner brass unless you get the headspace tightened up, i fine plate form if you want to build and there are others that will buy your parts ...
Thanks for all help. I think I will pick this M1A up. It coming out of a old mans guns who is going into a retirement condo and has much stuff to get rid of like 5 M1's, 6 03 and A3 2 1917's and other hunting rifes etc. I've all ready gotten lots of reloading stuff, bullets 4K, powder 16#, primers 10K to much brass to list and more to come.
Shoot it and enjoy it!DO NOT replace anything unless something begins to give you a problem - which probably Will NOT happen!!!
97% of all the garbage you hear about the chicom clones is Pure BS!!!
Of all the different makes of M1A type rifles out there the Only one that I have never seen any reports of catastrophic failures (in 7+ years) is the chicoms!
I also know of several that have never had any conversion work and have fired 10 -15K rds. I know of one of the chicom M14s (select fire) that has 30K rds and was still all original a couple of years ago. The best any other M1A type rifle can do is match that performance!
I could not agree more with you, Sarge. However, he should definately check headspace.
I bought a Polytech but I didn't have any gauges to check it so I took it to my range and set it up in a stand. I shot one round and immediately checked the brass. The primer has backed out so far that one micrometer more and it would have popped. I was lucky. It was then that I pursued the repair and haven't looked back.
Headspace, I think you'll agree, is an easy thing to check. The receivers don't have to be tight enough for commercial stuff but you'd like to know if your rifle at the very least passes the Field Reject Gauge (which I now own along with the go/no-go gauge as well).
Just as an aside, my rifle was so loose that when I chambered a round and dropped the bolt, I could move that bolt back and forth about a 1/16th of an inch it was so worn. Honest. That was a good indicator that my headspace was shot.
Other than that, these rifles are just spectacular performers and with a new bolt, they'll produce excellent moa safely and reliably.
Ken K told me you can quickly and roughly check the headspace by putting a piece of scotch tape over the bottom of a round and trimming it around the edge of the rim. Then you SLOWLY close the bolt and see if it'll lock. If it locks on one piece (or if it won't) then you're good to go, but if you put TWO pieces of scotch tape on and it closes then the headspace is too high and you shouldn't shoot it until you change the bolt and lap it to get the right headspace (which is a biatch to do - apparently)