Originally Posted by c3shooter
Note of caution- be suere to check the caliber. CETME has at least one version in 7.62 CETME, which is NOT 7.62 NATO, and DEFINITELY not .308 Winchester.
Some early CETME rifles (experimental) were chambered in the 7.62 CETME. It was a low powered 7.62 X 51 with a 125 gr bullet. None of these rifles were ever exported to the US (if I remember correctly).
Every CETME you find in the US, is chambered for the NATO ammo. Even if it is marked .308, the use of US spec .308 ammo is not recommended. The fluted chamber, delayed blowback action and very violent extraction can and will lead to case separations. Use NATO spec ammo as it has thicker brass and will hold up to the demands of the action (the same is true of HK-91's and PTR's).
The extractor spring looks like a Cotter pin but is spring steel. Never replace with anything but the real deal. Removing one improperly will bugger it up. It should be rotated before removal to avoid over springing it. The action will extract a spent case w/o an extractor. Ejection just becomes a bit iffy.
Bolt gap is the real issue with this system. With any CETME/HK based rifle, the owner must become familiar with the proper procedure for checking bolt gap. Some Century CETME's used bolts that had been ground to create a false gap. Those bolt heads should be discarded and replaced. The back edges of the bolt are slightly beveled on a proper bolt. If the beveling is gone, suspect the bolt has been ground.
In my experience the HK mags should work fine in the CETME, but not visa-versa. The genuine CETME mags has a slight curve to them while the HK mags are straight.
If I was in the market for this type of rifle today, I would look hard at the PTR-91. It seems to be one of the better versions. I have a Century built CETME that luckily is set up correctly. They did goof and get one right on occasion.