Ive been offered a Norinco M1a1 for 700 New in Box. Ive heard some mixed reviews on these rifles and wanted to know if anyone had some personal info good or bad. If the bad stories are true Ill just keep saving for a Springfield.
As lkblair stated, there were problems with certain lots of Norincos having improperly heat treated steel. This can cause accelerated wear on the receiver resulting in safety issues. It would be recommended that if you do pick up a Norinco, have it checked by a knowlegable M14 gunsmith for heat treat.
A second downside to Norincos and Polytechs is the use of metric parts. Because of this, there are a number of USGI spares that will not fit the Chinese guns.
Norinco receivers are some of the best in the business. They are forged and made to USGI spec. Their bolts and other internals have a reputation for being soft. I have a very nice M14 built on a Chinese receiver.
The original rifle developed excessive headspace due to a soft bolt. After several thousand rounds, it deformed enough to become dangerous. However, since it was rebuilt with a USGI barrel and bolt, it has gone through many thousands of rounds with no signs of excess wear.
Bottom line: The receivers are top notch...all the other chinese crap attached to it is suspect. I don't think I'd make that trade unless you want a base for a project gun.
There was alot of propaganda put out by other makers of the same rifles, Norinco had them wooried.....Norincos do not have soft steel, they are one of the best out there. Ive owned them, shot them. Never had a single problem with one. Go for it. Its a deal and will save you money for more mags and ammo. If chinese steel was soft Wilson wouldnt work on Norinco .45s. As for the internals just keep an eye on them, I really doubt if you have a problem.
...but am I the only one who remembers the U.S. Navy EP-3 that was forced down and interned by the Chinese air force?
Or the Long March ICBMs that have now been improved so that they can accurately strike the West Coast?
China is clearly a hostile power, in spite of all the money and advice we keep giving them.
I know it's hard to avoid Chinese-made products in today's market, but when it comes to replicas of classic American firearms like Winchester 1897s, 1911s, and the M14, all made by an arm of the People's Liberation Army....personally, I'd steer clear just on principle.
Ceemack, I actually feel the way you do about, but us po folks have to get the deals, I cant afford the American made high price guns. Altho I do own a $800 Colt XSE...Im trading it off for a RRA AR15 very soon. Sometimes money tells you what you have to buy. I own one Chinese gun at present an SKS paratrooper which I bought new 4 years ago at a gun show and still have not fired it....damn I need to go out and do some shooting. The rest are Russian, Romanian and USA made.
If you hop over to Battlerifles.com and post the same question you will get a whole bunch of great info.
It seems there are two extremely knowlegdable groups out there on the Chicom M14S type rifles. Those that had a friend who's father worked with a guy that had an aunt who's husband father shot with a guy years ago who had one and it was a POS :biglaugh:
Then you have the guys that own them and shoot them and will give 1st hand advice.
The reciever is indeed one of the better starting places for a custom built M14 buy places like Smith, WTO and a few others.
Granted you may have to switch out a few parts here and there but so do a lot of SA M1A owners. Personally I have the SA M1A so you see I am non partial.
As for the PC deal on boycotting Chinese products.....That is a Moot Point. These are all Preban Rifles and the Chinese goverment wont make a cent. Sorta like buying a Chinese Antique piece of furniture......If it is here in the US and for sale some one in the US is profiting.
If you can find one for less than $700-750 that is a deal depending on condition.
Just buy a complete USGI bolt here, an oprod there and start collecting parts and toss them in a box.....Later send the whole mess off to West Texas Ord.
In the mean time shoot the heck out of it.
PS, Chicom mags were made with machinery we sold them after Korea I beleive and they are Pre Ban as well and every bit as good as USGI.