This is a discussion on M14/M1A History lesson request within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; If this is in the wrong section I apologize, moderator please move.
I have owned a M1 Garand and a M1A commercial model from Springfield ...
If this is in the wrong section I apologize, moderator please move.
I have owned a M1 Garand and a M1A commercial model from Springfield for several years. Iím very clear on how the Garand came into the civilian market via CMP as that is how I got mine.
My question is and maybe itís been answered here a hundred times beforeÖÖ.
How did the M14/M1A parts become available to the civilian market.
I see that the USGI parts are coveted by M1A owners butÖ.. how did they get into the market?? Fredís stocks advertised in Shotgun News has ďthousandsĒ of surplus M14 stocks. How did he get them?? CMP is still selling stocks too. Did the Clinton destruction era allow the rifles to be parted out before the receivers were destroyed?? Where did all these USGI parts come from??
I guess Iím looking for a historical lesson about how we arrived to today, USGI parts still available, commercial parts of various quality that are on the market etc.
Please donít flame me if this has been asked a number of times before, Iím just curious.
The way I understand it, it was mostly receivers that were destroyed during the clinton era. The receiver is the actual gun, and everything is just parts. I think the parts were auctioned off through various auctions. SAI probably got theirs on the cheap, and once they started getting expensive, they stopped using them. The CMP on the other hand is not funded by money, but by donations from congress in the form of rifles, parts, ammunition, etc...
I have no sources for this information and it may be wrong, but that is the way I heard it works. I have not read into it extensively and I'm sure someone more knowledgable will chime in soon
CMP is funded through their own programs and sales. They receive no federal funding, are just federal chartered and registered as a NPO. That's my understanding.
They receive their firearms and parts through the Dept. of Defense, when they are returned from overseas, demilled/mustered out, VFW turn ins, or randomly found lost in warehouses. (It happens, believe they had a Garand still in cosmoline from WW2 at auction a year or so ago from this happening.)
And yes, the receivers were demilled, and the parts were packed in everything from barrels to train cars. I believe most if not all of the demilling process took place at Anniston Army Depot, though I could be wrong.
A lot of the parts were then auctioned off, such as Fred's warehouse of stocks, to the highest bidders. For example SAI had barrels of lockbar Garand sights, which they used in the 80s on a lot of rifles. There was a thread about it in the last week on here.
From M14 Rifle History and Development Fifth Edition:
USGI Part Sales
USGI parts were sold to the American public after termination of M14 rifle production in 1964. Harrington & Richardson, TRW and Winchester all sold off their M14 parts inventory to the commercial market. This was done in an attempt to recoup some of their investment in the M14 program. Additionally, in the 1960s the U. S. Army declared much of its M14 parts inventory surplus and released them to the public for sale. Mr. Elmer Ballance of Devine, Texas purchased the parts inventory from companies who manufactured the M14 and from foreign nations that had received M14 rifles and parts under U. S. military assistance programs. From these parts stocks, his business began production of the M1A rifle in 1971.
In the early 1970s, surplus small arms parts dealers such as Thomas A. Buss (then of Springdale, PA), Gerald Drasen (1993 address Nesard P. O. Box 56 Lake Zurich, IL 60047) and William J. Ricca (PA) bought and sold USGI M14 parts from government auction sales and on the open market. In 1970 and 1971, a fair number of individuals, small gun shops and large parts and accessories houses sold surplus USGI M14 parts and accessories to the civilian market. AR Sales Co. bought M14 parts directly from the contractors about the same time or earlier. Bob Penney, associated with Federal Ordnance, Inc. in the early 1970s, was also buying surplus M14 parts. In 1973, USGI M14 bolts and operating rods could be had at gun shows in San Jose, CA for $5.00 each and USGI M14 barrels for $10.00 to $15.00 each. In the 1970s and 1980s, surplus parts dealers William J. Ricca, Thomas A. Buss, Fred Hochrein (PA), Bill Plantamura (M14 Research Service), Jay Higgins (The Amherst Depot), and Bruce Dow (then of East Oakmont, PA) bought and traded USGI M14 parts at gun shows in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
About 1985, Jack Friese, owner of Armscorp of America, Inc., imported approximately 2000 M14 parts kits from Israel. Before these parts kits arrived in the United States, they made their way through the United Kingdom. Gerald Drasen purchased the bulk of these parts kits. Some of these M14 parts kits were sold by Bill Ricca on a consignment basis. Some of these parts kits were used to assemble H&R Gun Co. semi-automatic M14 rifles. At about the same time, a batch of 1,200 M14E2 stock fore grips and 30,000 M14 gas cylinder plugs were released by Naval Surface Warfare Center (Crane, IN) and purchased and divided among three parts dealers. Armscorp of America, Inc. purchased M14 parts and other items from Karl Maunz from December 1985 until August 1987. Several times in the 1980s, Bob Reese also brought large shipments of M14 parts into the United States. Some other companies also imported M14 parts from Israel during the 1990s. M14 bolts, barrels and operating rods imported from Israel will have Hebrew markings. These Hebrew letter markings are typically found on the top side of the bolt, on the top of the barrel chamber and adjacent to the USGI markings on the operating rod. Through the years, NSWC Crane and Rock Island Arsenal have released various USGI M14 parts for public sale. Many of these parts were sold as a result of destroying M14 rifles. Some of the operating rods from demilitarized M14 rifles were broken in the process, sold as scrap, welded back together and sold in the surplus parts market.
The Office of the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (ODCMP) received and sold USGI M14 parts in the 1990s. ODCMP received its last shipment of USGI M14 parts in 1996 as part of its normal routine operations. These parts were sold to members of DCM affiliated shooting clubs in the United States until supplies were exhausted at the end of 2003. The sales ended because the ODCMP sold what M14 parts they had, according to Orest Michaels, Chief Operating Officer. In February 2004, he did not know when or if the ODCMP would be able to sell any M14 parts in the future. USGI M14 parts remain available for sale from various gunsmiths and parts houses, but in very limited quantities and at increasingly higher prices. Beginning in early 2004, USGI contract barrels, bolts, gas cylinders, operating rods, and flash suppressors are not widely available in the commercial market.
Thank you this is great information. I know in the early 1980s you could buy a complete parts kits minus the receiver for $179.99 out of shot gun news. I was a young Army Sargent and could not afford new M1A. The one I got was mostly H&R parts with a TRW barrel in very good condition.