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Why aren't we talking about the new James River Armory/Rock Ola receivers?

This is a discussion on Why aren't we talking about the new James River Armory/Rock Ola receivers? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Really great cursory review, Jon. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I may have a review of my own to report here in ...


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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #136
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Really great cursory review, Jon. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I may have a review of my own to report here in a couple weeks!
Thanks again,
---Brian

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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #137
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not to bash anyone concerning warranties, but when comparing a relative newcomers 1 year warranty to ruger's unstated warranty, there is no comparison. ruger has a proven track record of backing up its product- for the life of the product, not just the first owner, nor just the first 365 days. i agree with JRA saying they have no control over how the recievers are built, or how they are treated in use, but thats why most decent warranties are specific about the warranty covering manufacturing defects.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:37 PM   #138
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Really great cursory review, Jon. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I may have a review of my own to report here in a couple weeks!
Thanks again,
---Brian
Oh course you will.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #139
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Are JRA making a rear lug Receiver? if not will they?

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Old November 8th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #140
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Are JRA making a rear lug Receiver? if not will they?

Bamban asked this question at teamm14. JRA may be making rear lug receivers in later generations.

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Old November 9th, 2013, 02:40 AM   #141
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Ill be following this reciever offering very close. I like the idea of a Rock-Ola Reciever.

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Old November 9th, 2013, 08:42 AM   #142
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After several good build reports, I just took the plunge. Just got off the phone with Mark and he has a Rock-Ola with the year my daughter was born going to heat treat this week. This rifle is gonna be named after my 1st granddaughter, Phoebe. I tried to get Mark to punch her name on the rear of the heel before heat treat but he says that equipment won't be ready for another couple of months.

Fellas, thanks for the heads up on this new receiver. I'm pumped and ready for a great build.

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Old November 9th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #143
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I don't know the legal structure of the new Rock-Ola Firearms company or the players involved. I was simply asked to give an opinion by Mark Hartman, owner of James River. I have no financial interest in the outcome and do not play favorites or sugar coat reviews.

Following is a cursory view. The next step is to have the guys in the shop assemble a complete rifle with the receiver and report their findings to me. I've done many of the steps required to begin a build process, but I want the guys in the shop to do the final build because it's a chance for continuing education and it gives me a second and third opinion.

The Rock-Ola receiver, serial number 49, when initially inspected has many machining characteristics that are similar to the 7.62mm receivers we've used and inspected here in the shop. For example, the bolt relief cut in the heel of the receiver is executed in a similar fashion, and the left bolt lug recess relief cut was done with three operations using an end mill just like the 7.62mm receivers.

There are dimensional differences. On the Rock-Ola, the external op rod rail is narrower, the edges are not broken on sharp corners and the overall machining finish is not as well executed. On a scale of 1 to 10, the machining is a 6. Time is money, and doing a lot of the fine tuning is often considered unnecessary and unprofitable. This is external and the appearance is always determined by the eye of the beholder.

Other obvious characteristics include the serrations for the rear sight, which do not follow the print. This however is a popular style among all other makers with the exception of LRB. I'm going to have my machinist look at the mag well, but I see tooling marks from a broach type cutter as opposed to the more modern EDM process. There is nothing particularly wrong with that process, but EDM is better in terms of the finish.

Following are few things that I observed in my cursory inspection:

1. Barrel timing and threads

The receiver has advanced thread timing. This means the barrel hand times in an advanced position. Of course this is dependent on how one views it. It could be considered a retarded position. Regardless of terminology, I compared the timing on this receiver to a USGI receiver and several others and the bottom line is that the barrel will need to be turned back significantly in order to stay within the torque limits of the receiver and obtain proper timing. My estimate is 10 degrees advanced. The threads also do not terminate at the proper place verified by comparison and by examining the print. I was not able to identify a major issue with this lack of thread termination. The threads continue all the way into the front of the mag well instead of terminating .100" or so short.

2. Firing Pin Bridge

The firing pin bridge is substantial, but lacks a proper ramp for the firing pin tail. While a slight bevel is present, it's not within specification. It does not meet the requirements outlined in the print. Furthermore, the relief cut for the firing pin tail is tight and the firing pin will not fully seat when the bolt is in full battery. Of course after the hammer hits it a few times, it will seat, but this may alter the dimensions of the firing pin tail. I recommend a modification be made to bring this area into specification.

3. The bolt relief cut at heel

This is a complex machining operation that requires fixtures to hold the receiver in perfect alignment. On USGI receivers, it is purported this operation was done through the face of the receiver with a cutting tool long enough to make a cylindrical relief cut on the inside of the heel to allow the bolt to contact squarely so that the force is evenly distributed during recoil. It appears the relief cut on this receiver is done very similarly to the 7.62mm receiver in that it was cut on an angle coming into the workpiece from the opening in the bolt race behind the receiver legs. The machining marks in this area are nearly identical to the 7.62mm receivers. Even the type of rough cutting tool was used.

4. Bolt stop boss spring pin holes

The through holes for the spring pin that holds the bolt stop are slightly undersized. Using a pin gauge set, I determined them to be .0946". This makes for extra work and opening this up to .0950" would make a tremendous difference. This dimension must account for the addition of the final finish.



Things that are well executed:

1. Given the complex nature of forging, machining and heat treatment, this receiver has a good to very good overall appearance. The finish is a deep black and appears to be very similar to a black nitriding finish.

2. The left bolt lug recess has the appropriate ramp for bolt rotation and the left lug recess has a good radius. The trigger groups I tried all lined up and there were no issues with clearance when locking the trigger guard.

3. All bolts I tried in the receiver worked without binding. (contact will be determined when the build is done) The bolt stop window was adequately machined and the rear sight pocket was spot on. Alignment and overall diameter on the rear sight ears was excellent.

4. The op rod track dimensions are very good as well as the dismount relief cut, or notch.

5. Scope mount compatibility was good.


Overall assessment and suggestions for improvement:


My overall impression is good. It's obvious a lot of time went in to not making many of the same mistakes others have made in the past. The machining and geometry are average and very good respectively. Aside from the items above, and from a cursory view I believe the receiver has potential. I didn't look at it and say "daxx that's the best receiver I've ever seen" but it is a good first run receiver. If those who are making the receiver will spend some extra time cleaning up the machining, breaking the sharp edges and fixing the areas notated above. The receiver will be a solid option for those wanting a forged receiver.

I'll follow-up with an additional review after the receiver has been built and test fired. As I continue my evaluation, I'll update this post.
So - based on this initial evaluation,

Would you opine that the issues noted (with regards to bridge/firing pin tail), and barrel timing make this a THINK TWICE BEFORE BUYING?

Or a GOOD TO GO (for the rest of us that don't do this as a full-time gig)?

Cosmetic appearances aside - because EVERY RECEIVER MADE has some degree of finish/tooling marks on them - especially at these price points (and if someone expects these to be a "Venus De Milo" work of art - they are IN THE WRONG GAME) - - -

Are these ready to go for the AVERAGE BUILDER without requiring "Poly/Norinco-like mods" to the RECEIVER ITSELF?

I can handle the "fitting" tasks that are sometimes required with bolts., OpRods, etc. - but I am somewhat reluctant to do builds on a lump that requires grinding tools on the receiver itself - in order to make it work.

Us build-a-hloics always wanna be the "first kid on the block" - with a new lump. Sometimes (cough cough 762MM) it BITES US IN THE HINDPARTS.

I don't mind the CLAWMARKS ON MY WALLET - but teethmarks IN MY BUTT are something I'd rather not heal from.

Rick

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Old November 9th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #144
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the relief cut for the firing pin tail is tight and the firing pin will not fully seat when the bolt is in full battery. Of course after the hammer hits it a few times, it will seat, but this may alter the dimensions of the firing pin tail

I see this same problem with mine, and I see the same answer, it is just barely touching, with a couple hammer falls, it won't be touching anymore.

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Old November 9th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #145
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the relief cut for the firing pin tail is tight and the firing pin will not fully seat when the bolt is in full battery. Of course after the hammer hits it a few times, it will seat, but this may alter the dimensions of the firing pin tail

I see this same problem with mine, and I see the same answer, it is just barely touching, with a couple hammer falls, it won't be touching anymore.
You thinking it's more the park/finish or an actual "out of spec" machining issue?

The angle of the cut (where the firing pin cams out) looks a little "wonky" in comparison to other receivers (at least as indicated in Jons photos). Jon also indicated a concern that allowing "hammer falls" to correct the condition, may also alter the firing pin tail.

Thread timing in the ring, is also another one of those - well it's SUPPOSED TO BE like THIS, not THIS. Not that it won't time a barrel incorrectly - but it isn't what the prints call for either.

I was under the impression, from my contacts with JRA - that this was done to make it easier to get a USGI CL barrel to headspace in with minimal lapping to get to 633.

I'm not "totally put off" by the initial (negative) assessments of shortcomings - as there have been no "crippling defects" noted as of yet.

We tend to be HYPER-CRITICIAL around here, for better or worse.

I'm still putting together my parts kit (trying to decide on stock and barrel - as the barrel I WANT, likely won't work correctly in the STOCK I WANT. So I'm not in a hella-rush. But I do want to get a barreled action rolling, so I can function test.

Rick

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Old November 9th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #146
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I am not an expert, but I am going to have a couple folks look at that bridge area, I think the angle is sharper than it should be, but it seems to do the job. As far as the it not allowing the pin to go fully home, it could be the thickness of the park. But like I said, I should know more tomorrow, from a better mind than mine.
Barrel timing, both a used HR barrel I tried and a Criterion, if used will need the shoulder cut back, but my last build was with a Fulton and a new HR barrel and it needed to be cut back also. How common is that problem, I don't know..

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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #147
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I just went on the JRA website and checked the "specials" and the M14 is listed at $1995. That is a good price for a completed rifle. It says all USGI except for the receiver and barrel.

I have a CMP kit with an SA bolt and barrel and a 7.62mm receiver and the parts cost $1,800.

Am I missing something?

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Old November 12th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Vos Parate View Post
I just went on the JRA website and checked the "specials" and the M14 is listed at $1995. That is a good price for a completed rifle. It says all USGI except for the receiver and barrel.

I have a CMP kit with an SA bolt and barrel and a 7.62mm receiver and the parts cost $1,800.

Am I missing something?
that sounds like a hell of deal. it would cost me more to build my receiver up using GI parts and thats doing the labor myself. Labor being a loose term as I enjoy building these things and do it for fun, but yeah thats a really good deal

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Old March 22nd, 2014, 01:11 PM   #149
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Howdy! Has anyone here taken one of these JRAs out to the range yet? Good/bad?

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Old March 22nd, 2014, 01:26 PM   #150
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Yes, do a search, there are quite a few build threads and range trip threads.

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