Norinco reciever, and built with the following parts..........
Barrel = Criterion chrome lined std contour 1-12 twist 7.62mmchamber 18.5inch.
Bolt = USGI NIW (TRW). All the guts are new to include chrome fireing pin.
Trigger group = New complete USGI (OM), with some trigger work.
Gas system= New USGI thats been unitized. Piston is a tin coated Sadlak.
op-rod = Norinco. (After close examination, I decided to keep it for the build. One piece/forged steel)
Rear sight assembly = Norinco
Front sight = Smith Enterprize "hooded" gas lock front sight.
Flash hider = Smith Enterprize direct connect Vortex.
Stock = USGI synthetic that I modified by fillin in the selector lever hole, and strengthening the forestock to prevent any flex when I sling up. Krylon camo spray paint to top it off just for fun.
I spent a considerable ammount of time finding just the right stock for this build in the quest for the perfect "lock up" to the action.
Scope mount = ARMS #18 old style/split rail mount
Other than the USGI op-rod spring, Sadlak op-rod spring guide, and USGI connector lock conversion, the rest of the parts are Norinco.
My intent for this build was to come up with the most reliable/sustainable/safe/lightweight/compact/accurate M14 possible, keep it within it's set budget, and use it for everything under the sun that a 30cal rifle can be used for, to include hunting. I also wanted it to be able to safely, and effectively fire a wide range of loadings from surplus 7.62x51mm, 308 commercial hunting loads, and match loads. I prefer to use the iron sights, but also wanted to have the ability to use optics without adding much weight or bulk, so I went with the ARMS18 split rail mount. It has been the most low profile/compact/lightweight/rock solid mount I have found yet. A very close #2 was the LRB M25 reciever mount. (It wasnt quite as low profile as the ARMS mount)
BTW........ rings and scope in the pics are Savage verticle split with Simmons 3x9 Deerfield scope. It aint fancy, but it does quite well for hunting hogs. I also use the ARMS PVS-4 mount in tandem with the PVS-4 NVS. (Depending on the ambient light it works rather well out to 200yds. even further out for detecting movement.)
After 10krds thru the bbl, here's what I have found.....
She will keep a 3 shot group inside a 1in circle at 100yds. (rifle benched, using optics, and WIN Q3130 for bullets). Off of an Alice pack in the prone, I can generally hit milk jugs out to 350yds. As the bbl heats up during sustained shooting, the accuracy doesnt deteriorate (start to string/wander) with any noticable difference, and on the other end of the spectrum, the cold shot is right on the money. The load I plan to use for deer hunting this year (WIN 150gr silvertip) will print a little over 1in groups at 100yds, and works out great in my case because the longest shot oppurtunity I will have while deer hunting is right at 100yds anyways.
I have used this rifle for hog hunting, 3 gun comp, and various other "events" without issue. The rifle has seen some extensive use under adverse conditions to include being submerged underwater during multiple water crossings, not to mention mud, crud, and some other un-mentionables.
. Once when I was out hunting hogs at 0'dark30 in the morning, I managed to take a tumble down an embankment and ended up landing in a heap..right on top the rifle....smack in the middle of a mud hole. After cleanin her up as best I could (forgot to bring a flash light that day), I ended up dumpin a hog about 1hr later. (80yd single hit to the broiler room while hog was about 3ft into a pond. Hog never made it back to the bank.) So far, this rifle has proven itself to be the "go-to" rifle for just about any situation I might find myself in.
It is what it is. No sense in comparing this platform to 5.56mm, or 7.62x39mm weapons. I compare it to other semiautomatic rifles that are chambered for 308/30-06, to include full size M1A NM rifles. It is lighter/more compact to tote around than most. Besides, I grew stronger by enlisting in the military. At least twice a week, our unit conducts tactcal road marches (weapons/rucks/battlerattle) and I always make it a point to hump the M240 for at least 5 km per road march, in addition to humpin my issued M14 as well. "What dont kill ya will only make you stronger, and I aint dead yet!)
What I have found out is that the shorter "scout length" bbl works rather well in tight spots for me, and a whole lot better than the std 22in bbls. The Vortex/GLFS combo shortens the OAL by about an inch as compared to the std flash hider, does a better job at protecting the front sight post, has less parts makeup, does away with the whole castle nut affair altogether, and tames the projected flash better while firing. The M16 muzzle protector will work, but it's a bear to get off, unless you just shoot it off. Rubbers are cheap, so I just use them..
No bayonet lug either, but not a big concern for me. The bayonet was replaced along time ago by either my Glock-19, or Ruger GP-100, depending on the mood.