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review of my james river armory 'rockola M14' (update)

This is a discussion on review of my james river armory 'rockola M14' (update) within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Jywolfs review and experience is more advanced than I am capable of and he has posted a well written reveiw on the receiver in another ...


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Old November 8th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #1
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review of my james river armory 'rockola M14' (update)

Jywolfs review and experience is more advanced than I am capable of and he has posted a well written reveiw on the receiver in another thread that is definitly worth a read. here is my reveiw based upon my receiver and experience. Overall it is a decent receiver with a lot of good points and areas that could use some improvement. also as jywolf stated there is definite similarities between the rockola and 762's receivers. as mentioned by jywolf the receiver bridge cutout is narrow and on my receiver the bridge did retract the firing pin however there is some material behind the firing pin in its unlocked position (not sure the exact term) that the firing pin hits on its rearward travel and again on its forward travel just before it locks/unlocks that will require some milling. when compared to a gi receiver that area on a gi receiver is milled to allow the firing pin tail to clear. The receiver ring measured just at .69 and the distance from front of receiver ring to rear of of receiver bridge measured in at 3.925 with the bridge measuring in at .175, all within spec. my biggest area of complaint is the machining on the the locking lugs. both lugs on a trw bolt contact the lugs but the lugs dont have a smooth flat surface and look as though it took a few different passes from slightley different angles leaving a non uniform surface and partial lug contact on the peaks in machining on the lugs. Im pretty certain some lapping will give me the contact i'm looking for granted I have headspace room to play with. I wont know till i get a servicable barrel what the barrel timing or headspace is off the bat. the barrel in the photos is a shot out trw one i machined to time by hand to use with my lapping cartridge and isnt suitable to gauge headspace or timing. from my initial obsevations and inspection Im pretty sure i'll be able to build a servicable rifle that should function well.























Last edited by boomer1983; November 9th, 2013 at 07:51 PM.
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Old November 8th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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Good write up and great pictures! Any ETA on the finished product?

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Old November 8th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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Good write up and great pictures! Any ETA on the finished product?
well i just bought a bolt from the px and hopefully i'll find a barrel and get my bolt by next weekend. as soon as i get those parts i'll be heading over to brycom ( another forum member) and well get this thing barreled. If the barrel shoulder needs to be turned i have a buddy who has a lathe if thats the case it may be weekend after next

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Old November 8th, 2013, 06:05 PM   #4
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Boomer, at least it looks like this one has an op rod track. Excellent review thank you for keep taking the time to post it.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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Thank you Boomer for the thoughtful review. No to go read Jon Wolfe's review.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the review, Boomer!

Tony.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting the pics brother.

I've been following these and can't wait to see how your stick turns out.
One question though . . .
With hindsight being 20/20, are you glad you took the leap? Or do you wish you would have gone another route? I've seen another post of yours (atleast I thought it was you) saying Springfield made a decent receiver. How do you rate this compared to some of their newer stuff coming off the line? In your opinion, is the rockola Fulton or LBR comparable?
Sorry brother, that's more than one question. I'm just wanting your gut feelings.
Thanks again.

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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hewiecobra View Post
Thanks for posting the pics brother.

I've been following these and can't wait to see how your stick turns out.
One question though . . .
With hindsight being 20/20, are you glad you took the leap? Or do you wish you would have gone another route? I've seen another post of yours (atleast I thought it was you) saying Springfield made a decent receiver. How do you rate this compared to some of their newer stuff coming off the line? In your opinion, is the rockola Fulton or LBR comparable?
Sorry brother, that's more than one question. I'm just wanting your gut feelings.
Thanks again.
time will tell when I get it barreled and headspaced. If I have enough headspace to work with to get good lug contact and headspace I'll definitely be happy I took the risk on a new receiver. I wouldn't say their on lrb's level but then again neither is the price. It would've cost me 300$ more for an lrb and 100$ more for an sei which isn't even available unless you're up for an indefinite waiting period, though I would like to have one. The rockola receiver does look nice and im dying to get a barrel to find out how this project will turn out

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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer1983 View Post
time will tell when I get it barreled and headspaced. If I have enough headspace to work with to get good lug contact and headspace I'll definitely be happy I took the risk on a new receiver. I wouldn't say their on lrb's level but then again neither is the price. It would've cost me 300$ more for an lrb and 100$ more for an sei which isn't even available unless you're up for an indefinite waiting period, though I would like to have one. The rockola receiver does look nice and im dying to get a barrel to find out how this project will turn out
I think you summed it up well, we just need to see how these build

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Old November 8th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #10
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upon further detailed inspection i found one more area that could use some touching up. there's a small area of metal in the bolt cutout area that needs to be trimmed. it wont be much work but its keeping the full rear end of the bolt from contacting the cutout surface. all the issues ive encountered i can correct easily and the more i handle this receiver the more it grows on me. for fun i put it next to the best receiver ive had the pleasure of owning :)








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Old November 8th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #11
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I'm both ENCOURAGED and DISCOURAGED at the same time - based on JY and a few others observations.

A receiver should NOT "need work" - to MAKE IT WORK. Fitting bolts, barrels, OpRods - YES.

"Hacking" on a new receiver (unless it's bringing a Poly up to US parts spec) is NOT something WE should expect to do.

I've built on an LRB and Fulton in the last 30 days - and both of them lapped, screwed and finish chambered 100% (Fulton & Criterion hand tightened a little early, and required a little extra OOOMPH to set the barrel in).

I'm going to have to CAREFULLY INSPECT mine when it arrives next week.

While I expect "some machining marks" - (because, after all - THESE ARE MACHINED), and I'm not looking for a Picasso (where every brush stroke is perfect) - if the bolt recess or receiver bridge is not what it's SUPPOSED TO BE (spec) - I'm going to have to SEND IT BACK and wait a bit (much as I wanted a sub-100 serial), until they get their consistency a little better.

It's OK if you're JRA and building a rifle - and you have to throw the lump back into the machine to clean something up. It's NOT OKAY (think WARRANTY) - if you have a problem with a lump you had to clearance, and end up having to send it back (though I'm sure JRA would be "stand-up" about it).

I've had 2 people I trust (nearly) implicitly, say these were about the purdiest things they've seen in awhile - comparable to long-time players. And a couple of others (JY included) that have found some things (receiver bridge and barrel thread/timing spec, for example) that are NOT TO SPEC.

I know Boomer, myself - and quite a few others have been blowing up JRA's phones with orders (and the chatter appears to be enough to poke Lou some) - and are willing to take a "leap of faith" here.

But I want a lump I can throw on a bench, lap a bolt in, screw a barrel on - check headspace - and GO SHOOT. My last two were JUST THAT. Hoping this one is LIKEWISE.

Don't mean to be a "dark cloud" here - I'm as excited as everyone else at the prospect of finally having "in stock for immediate shipment" forged receivers to start doing builds on. But not at the expense of having to break out the Fordham Tool, and clean up stuff that the MANUFACTURER SHOULD HAVE.

(growl of concern here)...

Rick

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Old November 9th, 2013, 06:02 AM   #12
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Boomer, could you do some more pics and a test for us ?

Install rear sight complete, run aperature all the way down, then back up 25 clicks which should be 550-600 meters.

Looking from back of receiver forward, take pic of top of dust cover in front while pushing down hard with your thumb on the front of the dust cover while aperature is elevated to 600m. Is there a gap, does dust cover push down in front ? Another pic of this view without sights is preferred too. Thank you.

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Old November 9th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlunderDog View Post
Boomer, could you do some more pics and a test for us ?

Install rear sight complete, run aperature all the way down, then back up 25 clicks which should be 550-600 meters.

Looking from back of receiver forward, take pic of top of dust cover in front while pushing down hard with your thumb on the front of the dust cover while aperature is elevated to 600m. Is there a gap, does dust cover push down in front ? Another pic of this view without sights is preferred too. Thank you.
you dont happen to have a rear sight assembly you could sell me do ya? I wont know how the dust cover fits until i get my hands on a sight, I dont want to take the one thats sighted in off my poly

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Old November 9th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSConsulting View Post
I'm both ENCOURAGED and DISCOURAGED at the same time - based on JY and a few others observations.

A receiver should NOT "need work" - to MAKE IT WORK. Fitting bolts, barrels, OpRods - YES.

"Hacking" on a new receiver (unless it's bringing a Poly up to US parts spec) is NOT something WE should expect to do.

I've built on an LRB and Fulton in the last 30 days - and both of them lapped, screwed and finish chambered 100% (Fulton & Criterion hand tightened a little early, and required a little extra OOOMPH to set the barrel in).

I'm going to have to CAREFULLY INSPECT mine when it arrives next week.

While I expect "some machining marks" - (because, after all - THESE ARE MACHINED), and I'm not looking for a Picasso (where every brush stroke is perfect) - if the bolt recess or receiver bridge is not what it's SUPPOSED TO BE (spec) - I'm going to have to SEND IT BACK and wait a bit (much as I wanted a sub-100 serial), until they get their consistency a little better.

It's OK if you're JRA and building a rifle - and you have to throw the lump back into the machine to clean something up. It's NOT OKAY (think WARRANTY) - if you have a problem with a lump you had to clearance, and end up having to send it back (though I'm sure JRA would be "stand-up" about it).

I've had 2 people I trust (nearly) implicitly, say these were about the purdiest things they've seen in awhile - comparable to long-time players. And a couple of others (JY included) that have found some things (receiver bridge and barrel thread/timing spec, for example) that are NOT TO SPEC.

I know Boomer, myself - and quite a few others have been blowing up JRA's phones with orders (and the chatter appears to be enough to poke Lou some) - and are willing to take a "leap of faith" here.

But I want a lump I can throw on a bench, lap a bolt in, screw a barrel on - check headspace - and GO SHOOT. My last two were JUST THAT. Hoping this one is LIKEWISE.

Don't mean to be a "dark cloud" here - I'm as excited as everyone else at the prospect of finally having "in stock for immediate shipment" forged receivers to start doing builds on. But not at the expense of having to break out the Fordham Tool, and clean up stuff that the MANUFACTURER SHOULD HAVE.

(growl of concern here)...

Rick
well stated. there is a few areas that arent to gi spec even on lrb receivers. Im not gonna give jra too much greif for the slight impact on the bolt relief cut. I have owned an lrb that had a similar issue where only the top of the rear part of the bolt was contacting leaving about the same result as this receiver. it still function well but was far from perfect

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Old November 9th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #15
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There has been some discussion on how the binding i mentioned is due to an out of spec firing pin. My pin is gi and not out of spec. here is some pictures to better isllustrate the bimding im talking about. the first pic shows the spot where the pin just very slightly rubs with what i would call the trigger group spline cutout that goes just a tad too high and the second pic show the pin in the same position (unlocked and just about to travel rearward) on my polytech. I lapped a trw bolt into the rockola and was very pleased with the contact. The lug surfaces could be machined more uniformly but they did a hell of a good job with lug placement and I give them props on that as ive worked on lrb receivers that need .003-.004 of lapping on the right lug just to get the left lug to contact. These receivers have alot of good points and show alot of promise. For a first run I'd give them an A plus. Yeah it's gonna need some tweaking but I have yet to see a forged commercial receiver that doesn't









Last edited by boomer1983; November 9th, 2013 at 10:03 PM.
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