BITTER PPLCI CPL
I'm thinking of purchasing one of these along with thier version of the SIG P226 from marstar.ca. > > >
Origin of Chinese M14 Rifles
A persistent rumor states that M14 rifles produced by the People's Republic of China were reverse engineered from enemy captured M14 rifles in Viet Nam. 4 China North Industries Corporation, known as Norinco, is reported to have produced M14 rifles by the early 1970s. 5 The story continues that 100,000 Chinese M14 rifles were produced for an armed revolution in the Philippines. 6 In preparing for this work, the author interviewed a very reliable source with extensive firsthand knowledge of Chinese and Taiwanese production and export of small arms was interviewed for this work. This gentleman wishes not to be identified. He is referred to as Other Source # 12.
It was policy of the Chinese government until 1978 to export Marxist revolution to the world's masses, much like the former Soviet Union tried to do during its reign in eastern Europe into western Asia. This policy changed dramatically in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping assumed leadership in China. After 1978, the Chinese government pursued economic development and trade for the country, whereas before they promoted and supported communist dissident movements around the globe. In the late 1960s, the Chinese government reverse engineered the design for the U. S. Rifle M14 from weapons captured in Viet Nam. 100,000 M14 rifles and the necessary magazines and ammunition were produced by the Chinese for export to arm rebels in other countries. These Chinese select fire M14 rifles were made to look just like captured American M14 rifles including even the serial numbers. The Chinese government went so far as to produce 7.62x51 mm NATO ammunition identical to British issue ammunition, though with corrosive primers. This 7.62x51 mm NATO faux British-headstamped Chinese made ammunition was exported to the United States and sold on the commercial market in the 1980s. The rifles and ammunition were manufactured with U. S. and British markings so as to avoid any connection to the People's Republic of China, and possibly to serve a role in disinformation (propaganda) campaigns for the planned uprising.
The Communist Chinese government made two attempts to ship its select fire M14 rifles to the Philippines. The first attempt was largely unsuccessful and the second was a total failure. In 1971, Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, chose Ricardo S. Malay, then a columnist for the Manila Chronicle, to arrange the delivery of weapons from China to the New People's Army in anticipation of an armed uprising against Ferdinand Marcos. Malay and his family therefore made their way to China in July, 1971. Malay and his family were later joined in China by Sison's closest colleague, Ibara Tubianosa, and four other individuals. Certain arrangements were made to package 1,200 of the rifles with magazines, a quantity of ammunition, and other military items. The cargo was soon thereafter loaded onto the ship MV Karagatan. The ship and its cargo sailed from the Chinese naval base at Swatoy headed for Digoyo Bay, Isabela Province, Philippines. However, the Philippine armed forces intercepted the shipment. The New People's Army fighters, led by Victor Corpus, were waiting for the delivery. A firefight ensued between the New People's Army fighters, led by Victor Corpus, who were waiting for the delivery and the Philippine troops. The NPA was only able to salvage only 200 of the 1,200 M14 rifles and little of the other military equipment Mao Zedong had approved as aid to the Philippine revolution.
In 1973, Sison tasked Malay to attempt another delivery of M14 rifles from China to the Philippines. He proposed that the Chinese prepare a shipment of M14 rifles in watertight packages to be dropped off the Pangasinan coast for recovery by scuba divers. Months later in December, 1973, Malay and Tubianosa flew to Sanya, Hainan. Hainan is the southernmost island of China. Sanya is the capital of Hainan as well as the location of a Chinese naval base. When Malay and Tubianosa arrived at Sanya, they were briefed by a Chinese military officer regarding the packaging of the M14 rifles. The rifles were vacuum packed inside reinforced plastic bags with three rifles to a sack. Each sack also contained ammunition. The Chinese military officer had a team that had previously tested the packaging to make sure it would hold in the ocean environment. Malay and Tubianosa flew to Beijing the next day. The ship MV Andrea, with four crewmembers, was assigned to transport the M14 rifles and eight New People's Army fighters to the Philippine Pangasinan coast. Enroute to Sanya, the ship struck a reef somewhere in the Pratas Islands of the South China Sea. The twelve men aboard (four crewmembers and the eight New Peoples Army fighters) the stranded vessel were picked up and taken to Hong Kong by a passing Hong Kong salvage ship, the Oriental Falcon. In exchange for passage to Hong Kong, the Oriental Falcon was allowed to keep the MV Andrea for scrap. After a stay in a Hong Kong jail, the Filipino New Peoples Army fighters were released due to intervention of the Chinese Red Cross and the ship's Chinese crew was quickly moved to the Chinese mainland.
In the early 1980s, Other Source # 12 traveled to China. He was shown the remainder of the approximately 100,000 Chinese manufacture select fire M14 rifles. The Chinese M14 rifles were packed in crates in one warehouse while the British-marked, Chinese produced 7.62x51 mm NATO ammunition was stored in a separate warehouse. Some time after this, the select fire M14 rifles were disassembled and only the receivers were destroyed. Since there were no furnaces or ovens in the local vicinity for melting steel, the receivers were mixed with concrete to make concrete blocks for building projects. The parts from the select fire M14 rifles were later exported to the United States as M14 parts kits for use by Federal Ordnance and other companies to build rifles with American made receivers. The ammunition was exported as well to the United States for commercial sale.
Norinco and Polytech Industries
M14 type rifles exported to the United States from China have been stamped as two brands, Polytech Industries and Norinco. Polytech Industries is a subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army. Reportedly, Norinco is a Ministry of Ordnance Industries entity consisting of 150 individual factories associated together for marketing purposes. 7 Norinco is a government owned conglomerate of factories producing many kinds of military ordnance. 8 However, Other Source # 12 explained what Norinco is in another way. Norinco was set up as a committee decades ago to supply war materials to prosecute the war in Viet Nam against the United States. Viet Nam was heavily dependent upon China during the war. After the change in government policy in 1978, there was no military need for Norinco. So, Norinco was turned into an export corporation since Chinese arms factories cannot sell directly to anyone but the Chinese government. Thus, Norinco has exported small arms and ammunition for sale in the commercial market of various countries since the 1980s.
Production of Chinese M14 Type Rifles
All Chinese semi-automatic M14 rifle receivers and new (post-1978) production parts for them have been manufactured at State Arsenal 356 in Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. Yunnan Province is in southwest China and borders the nations of Laos and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. All Chinese M14 type receivers are drop forged. Norinco has made select fire and semi-automatic only M14 type rifles. Norinco also produced a semi-automatic M14 known as the M305. There were two versions of the M305. Type I was assembled with a standard stock and flash suppressor and Type II featured a pistol grip stock and a stabilizer similar to the M14E2. Chinese semi-automatic M14 rifles have been exported to Canada, New Zealand, Norway and the United States for sale to private owners. The Chinese rifles exported to New Zealand are stamped M14 on the receiver heel and have had the selector lug cut off. Rifles marked M305 have been exported to Canada and Norway. A small number of Norinco select fire M14 rifles are available for sale in the United States as post-'86 ban dealer samples.
Chinese M14 Type Rifle Export to the United States
There have been three importers of Chinese M14 type rifles into the United States: 1) Keng's Firearms (Stone Mountain, GA) 2) Century Arms International (St. Albans, VT) and 3) CJA (Southfield, MI). The Chinese M14 type rifles were imported from 1988 until September, 1994. As shown on an ATF Form 6 related to one of these export shipments, the cost of a Polytech Industries M14S was $225.00 in 1989.
Keng's Firearms (Stone Mountain, GA) imported Polytech Industries M14 type rifles. Keng's Firearms was the only company that imported Chinese M14 type rifles (Polytech Industries M14/S models) into the United States before the March 14, 1989 ban on importing military-lookalike semi-automatic rifles. This event is commonly referred to as the "1989 import ban." The Chinese M14 (Polytech Industries M14/S) rifles first appeared in the United States as part of the Keng's Firearms exhibit at the January, 1988 SHOT Show.
Tim LaFrance noted that he had a concern with the Chinese bolts after examining the Polytech Industries rifles at the 1988 SHOT Show. He suggested to Keng's Firearms that these rifles be evaluated because of his concern with the bolts. Consequently, Polytech Industries representatives from the People's Republic of China contacted Smith Enterprise, Inc. shortly thereafter to discuss the manufacturing of M14 rifles. Representatives from Polytech Industries met for five days with Smith Enterprise personnel, with David Keng of Keng's Firearms acting as translator. The Polytech Industries representatives were supplied with a set of USGI drawings for the M14.
After this first meeting, Polytech Industries sent raw forgings and assembled M14 rifles (Polytech serial numbers 00001 through 00005) to Smith Enterprise for evaluation and testing. Ron Smith personally test fired these first five Polytech Industries M14 type rifles. Smith Enterprise thoroughly examined and tested the Polytech Industries receivers and rifles. The receivers were found through spectrum analysis to be made of the Chinese equivalent of AISI 8620 alloy steel, the proper material for M14 receivers. The bolts, however, were not made of the correct steel alloy.
The testing included hardness testing of the Polytech Industries receiver core by cutting it apart. One Polytech Industries receiver was tested to destruction by loading ammunition to create excessively high chamber pressure. The reader MUST NOT exceed powder charges as listed in reputable reloading manuals if hand loaded ammunition is used. Personal injury or death may occur if done so. The very first Polytech Industries receivers were very hard, harder than a file, which left them without the toughness provided by the relatively soft core of receivers made according to USGI specifications. The Chinese quickly corrected this by strictly adhering to the receiver heat treatment procedure.
After Smith Enterprise completed the evaluation, a second meeting of the parties involved was held. Even after this second meeting, Polytech Industries did not correct all the concerns of Smith Enterprise and Keng's Firearms had regarding the Chinese bolt. Specifically, 1) the bolt locking lugs were too narrow 2) the carburizing and hardness remained unsatisfactory because State Arsenal 356 did not change the material to equivalent AISI 8620 steel but continued to use steel equivalent to AISI 4135. This was in spite of the fact that Keng's Firearms offered to supply USGI M14 bolts until Polytech Industries could manufacture its own bolts according to USGI specifications. Polytech Industries refused this offer from Keng's Firearms. The Chinese never changed the bolt material for M14 type rifles exported to the United States.
Century Arms International
Century Arms International (St. Albans, VT) imported both completed Polytech Industries rifles and Norinco M14 type rifles and receivers. Norinco rifles imported by Century Arms International had the least aesthetic appeal of all the Chinese M14 type rifles imported into the United States. Typically, the chu wood stocks are serviceable but not pleasing to the eye. The flash suppressors were cut just forward of the front sight to comply with the March 14, 1989 ban. The Polytech Industries rifles had better looking chu wood stocks and finish. Some, if not all, Polytech Industries M14S and Norinco M14 Sporter rifles imported by Century Arms International have serial numbers with a letter C followed by a hyphen and four digits, e.g., C-0640. Some of the Chinese receivers sold by Century Arms International were stamped at State Arsenal 356 in Yunnan Province and the rest were stamped by Century Arms International. Century Arms International imported the Chinese rifles some time after 1990.
The third importer, CJA (Southfield, MI) imported Chinese rifles for a short time just prior to September 13, 1994. The stamping CJA SLFD MICH appears on some Norinco rifles and the marking IDE USA SLFD MICH appears on some Polytech Industries receivers. CJA imported the best looking Chinese M14 rifles into the United States. Representatives from CJA traveled to State Arsenal 356 in China to discuss the assembly process of the M14 type rifles it wished to import. These rifles were assembled with walnut stocks and new production parts with a very good finish.
Chinese M14 Type Rifle Export to Canada
Marstar (Vankleek Hill, Ontario) at present imports Norinco M305 rifles into Canada. The Norinco M305 rifles imported by Marstar have the slotted flash suppressor and scope mount recoil lug. The fit and finish of Norinco M305 rifles entering Canada today are judged to be better than that found on the 1980s and 1990s rifles exported to the United States. Reportedly, USGI bolts fit properly in these post-'00 production Norinco M305 rifles. The bolt hardness is also higher than bolts exported to the United States before 1994.
There is no substantial difference between Norinco and Polytech Industries receivers although Smith Enterprise found the surface hardness to vary from 41 to 60 HRC without regard to marking. Smith Enterprise, Inc. has done extensive inspection, and non-destructive testing, and destructive examination of Chinese receivers. These inspections and tests have verified that Chinese M14 receivers are made of AISI 8620 equivalent alloy steel. Chinese receivers are drop forged into forms of larger bulk and less definition than the USGI receivers were. Then, like the American manufacturers, machine tools cut away at the metal from the raw forging to create the final desired shape before carburizing and heat treatment.
Chinese receivers are not made of high carbon alloy steel such as AISI 52100 or other such high chromium alloy steel. Equivalent AISI 5100 series steel is high carbon (1.0 to 1.1 %) alloy steel that is much too hard for a rifle receiver. Because it is a high carbon steel that is thorough hardened it lacks toughness and ductility needed for the M14 type rifle. AISI 52100 alloy steel is the most commonly used steel for bearings. The machinability rating is 40 % when in the spheroidized annealed and cold drawn condition as compared to 100 % for AISI 1112 steel. It is difficult to machine and must be quenched below room temperature to form martensite. Smith Enterprise did some surface hardness testing of Chinese receivers in 1999. The results varied from 41 to 60 HRC. Soft receivers can be brought up to USGI specification by nitrocarburizing treatment.
Chinese receivers have a threaded hole for a setscrew in the barrel ring. The Chinese rifles are built with a setscrew threaded far enough through the barrel ring to contact the barrel. The barrel setscrew is unnecessary for securing the barrel in the receiver. However, the Chinese manufactured their receivers this way because it is their psychological mindset. 9
Markings of Exported Chinese M14 Type Rifles
Early U. S. import Polytech Industries and Norinco manufacturer and model markings are marked on the receiver heel. Heel markings have been observed on Polytech Industries M14/S rifles with serial numbers as high as 028XX. Serial numbers of Chinese M14 rifles are usually stamped above the stock line on the scope mount side, below and slightly behind the rear sight elevation knob. A typical Chinese export M14 is Norinco serial number 9914. The serial number is stamped on the left hand side of the receiver and electro penciled on the left receiver leg. There are no other markings on the receiver. The importer markings, Century Arms in this case, are stamped on the barrel. A very few Norinco rifles imported into the United States have no manufacturer stamping whatsoever. Norinco M14 type rifle model numbers are M-14, M14 Sporter and M305. Some Norinco M14 type rifles have the marking CJA SFLD MICH on the side of the receiver. This marking has been found on Norinco M14 type rifles imported into both the United States and Canada. The Polytech Industries model number is denoted M14S or M14/S. Polytech Industries rifles have a better reputation for receiver surface machining and finish as compared to the Norinco stamped rifles.
The following serial numbers have been observed on Norinco and Polytech Industries M14 type rifles in the United States:
Norinco M-14, M14 Sporter - 00006 to 960XX for Century Arms International imports with some receivers having a letter C prefix, e.g., C08610.
Polytech Industries M14/S, M14S - 00001 to 25XXX for KFS and CJA/IDE imports and C-1245 for Century Arms International imports
Yes they use slave labor,