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The "Golden Era" ????

This is a discussion on The "Golden Era" ???? within the Devine M1A forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Originally Posted by Thedutchman Soo, was the metal better than my current production receiver? Was more love put into the making of the receiver? Please, ...


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Old March 15th, 2016, 08:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Thedutchman View Post
Soo, was the metal better than my current production receiver? Was more love put into the making of the receiver?

Please, all of you machine workers out there don't get mad at me. I love your work.

From the VERY little I know about machining, aren't the machines smart machines these days? Plug and play?
What makes these receivers the best they used?

Just curious.
Thanks fellas.
No.

Someone still has to write the NC code, speeds and feeds, choice of cutter, cutter direction, have a lot to do with the appearance of the final product.

Also, all castings are not the same. (Same goes for forgings, but with the M1/M14 receiver there is enough meat to get away with even badly mismatched forgings).

Metal shrinks as it cools, so the final cast part is smaller than the mold. If you do not make the mold model sufficiently over-sized, the part will not clean up properly, or have to machined undersize to clean-up.

What made the age golden was the availability of USGI parts, which were better than the commercial parts available at the time. And the price, $250, Can you get a USGI parts kit for $550 these days?.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 09:05 AM   #17
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OK....... So Back to the subject then

WOULD ALL THE M1A's WORKED OVER BY GLENN NELSEN UNTIL HIS DEATH BE CONSIDERED IN THE " GOLDEN ERA" ?

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Old March 15th, 2016, 09:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by GardenValley View Post
I'm not so certain that the "golden age" was truly golden. I built several rifles during that time using the "golden age" receivers and discovered that one of the receivers I purchased had never been machined to accept the trigger housing. The slot in the receiver for the guide tab on the trigger housing had not been machined so the trigger housing could not be inserted. I remember that was a big pain to exchange the receiver. So don't bank on finding that much that glitters from the "golden age."
Not to mention over sized mag wells front to back.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 09:47 AM   #19
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Golden Era rifles are hit or miss, just like anything else. Many have commercial parts, simply because cheap USGI parts were not in the supply chain the day the rifle was assembled.

There is much to be said about the USGI parts as well. Many were taken from demilled M14's and were refinished. You can sometimes find pitting that has been reparked, especially small parts like oprod guides, elevation knobs and stripper clip guides.

The receivers varied as well. Just look at the tick marks for the windage. On some receivers they are clear and crisp, on others they are light or double stamped.

You really need to judge each rifle made back then on its own merit. There is no "golden age" blanket policy.

In contrast, today's rifles have the most consistent machining SAI has ever done. Most likely because of CNC. While many parts may come from Taiwan or S. Korea, having a single source and using new parts gives the rifles far more consistency than my mid 90's rifles.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 09:49 AM   #20
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Everyone complains about current commercial parts in M1As, but does anyone have an opinion about the early commercial parts used in M1As?

I was under the assumption the "Golden Age" referred to a period when receiver issues were at a low point and USGI content was at a high point.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 09:52 AM   #21
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Melvin Smith machined the receivers from the very start of production till July of 1996. His company was Valley Ordnance in Wilkes Barre PA. Gray-Syracuse of Syracuse NY cast the receivers.
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Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
Golden Era rifles are hit or miss, just like anything else. Many have commercial parts, simply because cheap USGI parts were not in the supply chain the day the rifle was assembled.

There is much to be said about the USGI parts as well. Many were taken from demilled M14's and were refinished. You can sometimes find pitting that has been reparked, especially small parts like oprod guides, elevation knobs and stripper clip guides.

The receivers varied as well. Just look at the tick marks for the windage. On some receivers they are clear and crisp, on others they are light or double stamped.

You really need to judge each rifle made back then on its own merit. There is no "golden age" blanket policy.

In contrast, today's rifles have the most consistent machining SAI has ever done. Most likely because of CNC. While many parts may come from Taiwan or S. Korea, having a single source and using new parts gives the rifles far more consistency than my mid 90's rifles.
Thats interesting stuff I know newer CNC parts are clearly more consistent but desirability is something else I guess.I'll stick with the Super Match Glenn Nelsen builds I believe

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Old March 15th, 2016, 10:01 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by lysander View Post
What made the age golden was the availability of USGI parts, which were better than the commercial parts available at the time. And the price, $250, Can you get a USGI parts kit for $550 these days?.
$250 for an M1A sounds crazy, but in 1974 dollars that would be about $1280 today. Pretty much what a Standard goes for now. Apples and oranges of course, but I did find that interesting.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 11:42 AM   #23
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Modern manufacturing techniques far exceed older processes. It's not even a contest.
As long as short cuts are not taken and quality metal is used.

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Old March 15th, 2016, 12:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GardenValley View Post
I'm not so certain that the "golden age" was truly golden. I built several rifles during that time using the "golden age" receivers and discovered that one of the receivers I purchased had never been machined to accept the trigger housing. The slot in the receiver for the guide tab on the trigger housing had not been machined so the trigger housing could not be inserted. I remember that was a big pain to exchange the receiver. So don't bank on finding that much that glitters from the "golden age."
I agree completely. In fact, outside of the earlier rifles being built up with all USGI parts, there is nothing in my mind that makes the receivers stand out as being of better quality than the newer ones.

It's a myth created by people who own them and perpetuated by those who lust after them.

Each receiver must stand on it's own merits.

It is just like today. Some are better and some are worse. No more, no less.

Most every so called "Devine" receiver that I have ever seen, has one of the most common flaws that you will find with commercial receivers of the past, being; the rear sight pocket is not machined correctly and consequently the rear sight base hangs over the area where the windage witness marks are.

I have seen this flaw with many early M1A receivers. Also with the first generation Fulton receivers (circa 2003-'04) and some Armscorp receivers as well.


Last edited by Snowlion; March 15th, 2016 at 12:38 PM.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 06:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tnw50cal View Post
Different coined the phrase " Golden era" . He says it's from 042201 to 063000. It's when the receiver design had been revised to perfection and the receiver still retained the 7.62 mm marking. It's in his book. Look at Wikipedia and you'll see what Different says about all the serial number ranges

042201 was the first receiver seen without the ridge on the bottom of the receiver.
I have a Super Match serial number 034XXX. It has been confirmed by Springfield Armory as a Super Match built by Glen Nelson's shop in June of 1985.
It does not have the ridge on the bottom of the receiver. My serial number 031XXX does have the ridge. My friend has serial number 0600XX and it a 4 line logo. No 7.62-mm markings

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Old March 16th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #26
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I like to see pics of the 600xx without the 5 line roll die stamp,that's a first on me.

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Old March 16th, 2016, 07:12 PM   #27
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I like to see pics of the 600xx without the 5 line roll die stamp,that's a first on me.
I have offered to buy it several times but no dice. If I buy it I will post photos.

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Old March 16th, 2016, 08:42 PM   #28
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I have offered to buy it several times but no dice. If I buy it I will post photos.
Or you could ask your friend to snap a picture and send it to you so you could post it.

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Old March 17th, 2016, 08:54 AM   #29
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RDS you might want to look at the rifle again. 60k serial number would be a 5 line receiver. My SM is a 60k and its 5 line. Might be wrong (Im sure someone will correct me) but they were 5 line up to 64k area

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I have offered to buy it several times but no dice. If I buy it I will post photos.

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Old March 17th, 2016, 09:20 AM   #30
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RDS you might want to look at the rifle again. 60k serial number would be a 5 line receiver. My SM is a 60k and its 5 line. Might be wrong (Im sure someone will correct me) but they were 5 line up to 64k area
My luck holds true, I have a 63k but it is not a 5 line. They probably switched the stamping die on the one before mine. It's a great rifle though.
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Last edited by hzamar; March 17th, 2016 at 09:34 AM.
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