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Norinco VS Polytech is there a difference?

This is a discussion on Norinco VS Polytech is there a difference? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I am thinking about purchasing a Chicom M14. Is there a difference between the two manufactures? I know there is a lot of information scattered ...


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Old November 20th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #1
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Norinco VS Polytech is there a difference?

I am thinking about purchasing a Chicom M14.
Is there a difference between the two manufactures?
I know there is a lot of information scattered throughout the
History but any feedback welcome.
Thanks everyone I am still in the learning curve.

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Old November 20th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #2
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Our Canadian friends tell us the Chinese have fixed their bolts in more recent years, but that won't do us in the U.S. any good as we can't import the parts. I have come to believe that replacing the bolts in Chinese rifles with a G.I. or mil spec. commercial bolt to be necessary. Not ALL the Chinese bolts were bad, but enough were bad for me to have come to this conclusion.

There is a somewhat general difference in which one will allow you to fit a G.I. bolt without having to resort to milling and rehardening the receiver. One of them generally will take a G.I. bolt that just has to be lapped a little bit. The problem is I can't remember which of the two makers that is. (Boy do I feel dumb about that. My excuse is I don't work on too many Chinese M14's.) Hopefully, other forum members can chime in here on that.

If I had a desire to purchase a Chinese M14, I would take a bare G.I. bolt in good condition and blacken the rear of the bolt lugs with black magic marker. Then I would field strip the barreled action down to and including taking out the Chinese bolt. Then I would work the bolt in the Chinese receover to see if and how much contact is on both lugs. If you get some wear on the black magic marker on both lugs, that is a receiver you can lap in the bolt almost every time. Also, when/if I can see light between the receiver and bolt lugs on one side, that receiver most likely will require machining and rehardening and I would reject it.

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Old November 20th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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Gus,

Thanks for your help. You have a wealth of information.

T

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Old November 20th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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There are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
I am thinking about purchasing a Chicom M14.
Is there a difference between the two manufactures?
I know there is a lot of information scattered throughout the
History but any feedback welcome.
Thanks everyone I am still in the learning curve.
There are differences between Poly's and Norinco's.
There are differences between early, middle and late Poly's.
There are differences between early and late Norinco's.
I think (opinion here) alot of the changes are due to pre Clinton vs post Clinton era laws.
There are people who look for and believe that Heel stamped Poly's are the best, some believe the different import marked ones make a difference in quality, some believe the Norinco's no matter what era are rougher than any Poly version.
I have built weapons on both manufacturers, and I like both. I look at the ChiCom M14S system as a receiver first, barrel second, and op rod third, the sights should be replaced, the hammer and trigger should be replaced, the gas system should be replaced (remember this is an opinion of mine).
Some view it as a receiver only, some think if it shoots and works keep it as is.
If you view it as a receiver only, my experience is there is no difference between any versions, both Norico and PolyTech are probably the best made receivers outside real M14's available, the finish on the Norinco is not as nice but I am a form follows fuction type of guy, and this is a main battle rifle. If you are a function follows form type than a Poly is a better choice but... an LRB, 7.62MM, SAI, SEI, or just about any other receiver probably looks better, but they lack in dimensional correctness as compared to either Poly or Norincos.
If you are looking for a complete weapon to shoot and keep as an original, pre Clinton era law Poly's are probably the best choice with one other consideration, whether or not it is a heel stamped version. I have not found a difference between the heel stamp vs nonheel stamped Poly's. I have read there is but as I choose to use this weapon (M14S) as only a receiver for most of my builds I have not seen the difference. I have over time changed from a use the receiver only to a use the barrel, trigger group with USGI hammer and trigger, op rod, and some small parts and upon reflection it probably is based on economics, as the price for an op od went from $80.00 to over $250.00, or a barrel did the same, my cheapness took over and I started using more Chinese parts.
If you really want to discover knowledge about the complete family of the M14 you need to read Lee Emersons "M14 Rifle History and Developement".
In my opinion this is one of if not the best written, researched, complied, and shared document available. I have read and reread this countless times, I can't thank Mr Emerson enough for his work in this field.
In my opinion no matter what you purchase if it is a Chinese M14 replace the bolt, there is valid testing that it is not in standard, and I don't like putting my face near a 50,000 + PSI device with the possible condition of a case/weapons system failure because of the bolt (I have had an early SAI no mark bolt shear a left locking lug off and I never want to experience this again). Some people will tell you, "I have shot mine for years and have no problem", others will tell you, "monitor the headspace and if it doesn't change use it", I am one who believes that for the price of an expense dinner it is wiser and safer to install the best bolt you can find.

Enjoy your new to you M14S if you get one.


Jim

Thanks from Lazerus2000 and Lee D

Last edited by jake2far; November 20th, 2011 at 08:14 AM.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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I agree the later Polys are probably best.

The chicom bolt locking lugas are 0.02" shorter than USGI.

The chicom Barrel is short-chambered to compensate, in order to headspace to about 1.638", which is OK for NATO ammo, and IMO is still OK for commercial ammo. Other opinions vary.

The USGI bolt will almost never fit the Chicom system. If you lap it in, you will exceed the case depth. It is NOT just a receiver/bolt issue, it is a bolt/barrel issue. The chicom barrel "hood" is also a little different from USGI, so the USGI bolt will not fit into tha chicom barrel hood all the way.

My suggestion is to keep the rifle AS IS and monitor the HS with a Forster Field Guage (Brownells sells the 7.62 NATO "MAX" hs guage, which is 1.6455".) every 1,000 rounds.

IF you want to do a "bolt conversion", swap out the chicom barrel at the same time and add a USGI spec bolt. very easy to do and you leave the receiver unmolested.

JWB

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Old November 20th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #6
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I believe you mean on the receivers where there is no contact and/or you can see light between the receiver and bolt lug on one side, then you can't lap it in as you will go through the case hardness. I just lapped in a G.I. bolt on a Chinese rifle about a year ago and it only required lapping about .005" to get good contact on both bolt lugs. However, the contact does vary a LOT depending on when the rifle was made and by which manufacturer.

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Old November 20th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #7
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http://www.m14.ca/seminar/M14_Seminar_EBR.pdf

I've done dozens and DOZENS of GI bolt conversions to Chinese receivers,
both Poly and Norc. To date I've personally owned over 100 of the Chinese 14 type rifles, and a significant percentage of these got GI bolts. Some even got ALL GI parts installed on the Chinese receivers. In my experience, GI 14 parts often fit into the FORGED/well dimensioned Chinese receivers a lot more quickly and easily than they do into the CAST/ often out of dimension Springfield receivers.

Also, my experience has been that usually a bit of light lapping is all that is needed to end up with excellent lug engagement, and with head space very close to .308 WIN GO.
AKA a GI bolt WILL "DROP IN".

NOTE: Be aware that with some GI bolt/ Chinese barrel and receiver combinations, you might end up a bit short of .308 GO, which is definitely NOT recommended. Starting with a used GI Win/HR/SA bolt instead of a NEW TRW bolt is often better for good .308 GO headspace. Unfortunately, the wear patterns on a used GI bolt may not match up with the wear patterns of a used Chinese receiver, so some extra lapping for proper lug engagement may be required

ALSO NOTE:
some [ not ALL just SOME!! ]of the Chinese barrels were made out of spec, with the distance from the barrel shoulder to the rear face at the breech too long, and these barrels can protrude too far back into the receiver to allow a GI bolt to fit ... unless you lap for days or get out a grinder.

In these situations, changing to a GI bolt AND a GI barrel is the best option.

Then again, if you consider the Chinese 14s as a COMPLETE rifle, rather than just a receiver to build on, I've found that some of the Chinese 14 rifles had excellent lug engagement AND excellent head space, and did not require a GI bolt. In fact, IF the bolt lugs have decent bearing, and IF you do NOT reload, the often rather scary large head space you find with many of the Chinese 14s doesn't seem to matter much for accuracy, reliability, or real world safety. My experience has been that some very sloppy chambered Chinese 14s still shoot very accurately.

BTDT,
built a few ACCURATE M14 rifles on Chinese receivers ...
one of my Chinese/GI hybrid builds was as accurate as my SA Super Match and my SA National Match.
[;)
LAZ 1

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Old November 20th, 2011, 09:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerus2000 View Post
http://www.m14.ca/seminar/M14_Seminar_EBR.pdf

I've done dozens and DOZENS of GI bolt conversions to Chinese receivers,
both Poly and Norc. To date I've personally owned over 100 of the Chinese 14 type rifles, and a significant percentage of these got GI bolts. Some even got ALL GI parts installed on the Chinese receivers. In my experience, GI 14 parts often fit into the FORGED/well dimensioned Chinese receivers a lot more quickly and easily than they do into the CAST/ often out of dimension Springfield receivers.Also, my experience has been that usually a bit of light lapping is all that is needed to end up with excellent lug engagement, and with head space very close to .308 WIN GO.
AKA a GI bolt WILL "DROP IN".

NOTE: Be aware that with some GI bolt/ Chinese barrel and receiver combinations, you might end up a bit short of .308 GO, which is definitely NOT recommended. Starting with a used GI Win/HR/SA bolt instead of a NEW TRW bolt is often better for good .308 GO headspace. Unfortunately, the wear patterns on a used GI bolt may not match up with the wear patterns of a used Chinese receiver, so some extra lapping for proper lug engagement may be required

ALSO NOTE:
some [ not ALL just SOME!! ]of the Chinese barrels were made out of spec, with the distance from the barrel shoulder to the rear face at the breech too long, and these barrels can protrude too far back into the receiver to allow a GI bolt to fit ... unless you lap for days or get out a grinder.

In these situations, changing to a GI bolt AND a GI barrel is the best option.

Then again, if you consider the Chinese 14s as a COMPLETE rifle, rather than just a receiver to build on, I've found that some of the Chinese 14 rifles had excellent lug engagement AND excellent head space, and did not require a GI bolt. In fact, IF the bolt lugs have decent bearing, and IF you do NOT reload, the often rather scary large head space you find with many of the Chinese 14s doesn't seem to matter much for accuracy, reliability, or real world safety. My experience has been that some very sloppy chambered Chinese 14s still shoot very accurately.

BTDT,
built a few ACCURATE M14 rifles on Chinese receivers ...
one of my Chinese/GI hybrid builds was as accurate as my SA Super Match and my SA National Match.
[;)
LAZ 1
I just purchased a used Poly M14S barreled action with op rod from somone on this forum. I tested 4 bolts, a used H&R in good condition slipped in with no lapping and headspaced at 1.632. I test lapped and got about 45% wear pattern (eyeball check, not scientific) with no movement of headspace, just a light lap to see where I am at. I am going to pull the barrel and test several other barrels which include a SAI Socom barrel, 3 SAK barrels, a TRW barrel, a Canadian match barrel, and a H&R barrel, I will mix and match between the different barrels and bolts to see which one I like.
The Socom barrel over indexed in all of my receivers and my test USGI receiver, I am attempting to fix it with a .025 thick hardened washer. I purchased this set up to make a Socom. If I can't get the setup I want I will reinstall the Poly barrel, headspace it with the H&R bolt and be done with it.
I agree with the above statement, I have read of the Poly barrel that won't work I have not found one, yet. I have rebarreled a friends SAI that was shot out, the TE was 8 with an 30.06 TE gauge, he had a real problem with a ChiCom barrel (he did 3 tours in Nam), when I rebarreled his weapon it headspaced 1.634 without any mods, the bolt was already in the weapon and lapped by use, it had great engaugement. He wasn't to happy about my choice of barrel, I told him if he didn't like how it shot I would change it out. He shot it, when I asked later if he wanted me to switch it out, his response was keep your hands off of it, it shots better than it ever has.
I am certain that there are ChiCom receivers/barrels that have serious problems, with my limited builds on almost every receiver (haven't done 7.62MM and the new SEI) my experience has been the ChiComs go together with the least amount of work. If I keep at it I am sure I will find one that is a PITA
if or when I do I will post it up, I have not found the same ease with other receivers.


Jim

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Old November 20th, 2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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LAZ 1, I see yoou are in Canada, and most likely y'all have a better selection of Chicom rifles than those of us poor slobs to your South. :) The ones I've seen down here usually won't drop in a USGI bolt, even with minor lapping.

Nonetheless, I certainly appreciate your comments and experience with the chicoms.

JWB

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Old November 21st, 2011, 06:08 PM   #10
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There were some differences in the US/Canadian imports

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrooks View Post
LAZ 1, I see yoou are in Canada, and most likely y'all have a better selection of Chicom rifles than those of us poor slobs to your South. :) The ones I've seen down here usually won't drop in a USGI bolt, even with minor lapping.

Nonetheless, I certainly appreciate your comments and experience with the chicoms.

JWB
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I definitely do NOT have as much experience with all the various US built M14 receivers that some of you lucky Yankees have, but I do have a bit of experience with the Canadian Import versions of the Norinco and Polytech, that you Yanks just can'timport since 92.

One of the big questions in life is
"Which came first, the chicken or the egg??"

With the Chinese M14 rifles
many [ BUT NOT ALL ] of the US and the Canadian rifles have barrels that are too long from the shoulder to the breech face,
AND THEREFOR INTRUDE TOO FAR INTO THE RECEIVER FOR A GI BOLT TO FIT.

I suspect the big question here should be,
"Did the Chinese grind the lugs off so many of their bolts because they had a BIG batch of out of spec barrels and were too cheap to throw them away??
OR WHAT????

With all of the NEWER [ post 92 ] Canadian import Chinese 14s that i have personally seen, the barrels are actually in spec for intrusion into the receiver,
BUT MOST STILL COME WITH CRAPPY BOLTS THAT HAVE THE LUGS SEEMINGLY GROUND BY HAND ... BY A NEAR SIGHTED DRUNK!!
And with head space that is " Generous!!".

So why have the Chinese continued to give us crappy bolts??
Are they using up old stock,
and again too cheap to throw away the out of spec bolts??
Or are they merely "following previous procedures" ...
aka
Grinding the bolts to fit into the too short receiver space is what worked as a rough fix for the older batches, so is this still standard procedure for the new rifles that have adequate receiver space???

So which came first ...
Chicken?
EGG?

And when will they stop using [ or run out of? ] all those badly ground bolts??

[;)
LAZ 1

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Old November 22nd, 2011, 04:19 AM   #11
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I bought my youngest son an M14S almost 5 years ago for $650. It already had a USGI synthetic stock and trigger housing/assembly in it.

A couple of years later (after reading all the Chinese bolt scary stories and using a civilian .308 head space ga. set to check the PolyTech out) I bought a H&R M14 bolt from Sarco and installed it myself.

I used the magic marker and lapping compound procedure someone posted on this forum about that same time. It didn't take very long and I ended up with almost full contact on the right side and almost 75 to 80% contact on the left side in just a few minutes (100 to 150 opening/closing strokes). It fit the receiver fine, no issues with barrel clearance. It just dropped right in and with a small amount of lapping it was done.

It came out with a nice snug fit with the civilian .308 headspace go ga. where previously with the Chinese bolt it swallowed the .308 field ga.

And the rifle shoots great. My son will most likely deer hunt with it this week.

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Old November 22nd, 2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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Chinese M14 receivers are better quality than LRB and 7.62mm? Huh......who would thunk it?

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Old November 29th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #13
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I'm gonna have to say that by far the best Chi-com receiver are the Norinco? "sneaks" - The receivers are completely unmarked other than a SN# & they are EXCELLENT!! - One of the things i really like about them is that unlike the late model Polytecs/Norincos the bolt stop pin is NOT staked & a GI connector lock will drop right in..... I have built 3 rifles so far using these receivers & GI bolts literally dropped in ALL 3 receivers..... I've been looking for 1 for myself for a year or 2 & reciently i finally had the chance to buy 1.... When i got it i stripped it down to the bare receiver & sure enough a new LRB bolt (ie GI spec bolt) dropped in with excellent contact on BOTH sides....... I've owned NIB Polys, Norincos, 3 digit heel marked pre-89s & many used Chi-coms, I've shot thousands of rnds thru them & done many "bolt conversions" over the past few years.... IMHO the "sneaks" are THE BEST Chi-coms made!!

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Old November 29th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #14
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I just bought my Norinco M 14 about a month ago, is there a way to tell if the bolt has been replaced ?. On the bottom side of the bolt you can see were some numbers have been ground off and new numbers electro penciled over them, does that mean anything ?.

Is there a way to tell when my rifle was made ?, it has a low serial number (000751).
I have put ten rounds of 148gr .308 ammo through it, and it functioned just fine, and its one of the nicest rifles ive ever shot.

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Old November 29th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
I am thinking about purchasing a Chicom M14.
Is there a difference between the two manufactures?
I know there is a lot of information scattered throughout the
History but any feedback welcome.
Thanks everyone I am still in the learning curve.

Hey check out the www.canadiangunnutz.com for more info. There are thousands of pages of information on Norincos there.

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