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Federal Ordnance M14

This is a discussion on Federal Ordnance M14 within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Not sure this is the correct forum. I have always wanted a US M14 and found 1 for sale, a Federal Ordnance and it is ...


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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #1
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Federal Ordnance M14

Not sure this is the correct forum. I have always wanted a US M14 and found 1 for sale, a Federal Ordnance and it is a preban (important here in NY). Are there any issues with these? The rifle looks to be in excellent condition and seller says bore is excellent. What would be a fair price for this rifle, it comes with a 3rd generation springfield scope mount. I just don't want to buy another dog. I have a Polytech M14 which I got new but I can't find much info on the Federal Ordnance M14.
Thanks, Ken

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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #2
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Depending on serial number, it may have been machined to accept a Chinese bolt instead of a USGI bolt. Ask the seller what, if any, markings are on the bolt.

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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #3
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Background information on Federal Ordnance, Inc. from M14 Rifle History and Development Third Edition by Lee Emerson copyright 2006:

"A. R. Sales Co., National Ordnance, Inc. and Federal Ordnance, Inc.

A. R. Sales Co. was established in 1968 and owned by Ilia I. Karnes. Jack Karnes, his wife Ilia, and their two children ran the company. Mr. Karnes was a tool and die maker by trade. When the family business started, its first large contract was to make M16 scope mounts. The two letters, A.R., were taken from the first two alphanumeric characters of the commercial name for the M16 rifle. Next, A. R. Sales produced high-end lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames and accessories.

It appears that A. R. Sales started on the semi-automatic M14 type rifle project by October 1971. An advertisement for its Mark IV rifle appeared in the October 15, 1971 issue of Shotgun News. The response from the civilian market was overwhelming. This included 2000 or more mail-in orders with the $15.00 deposit for a stripped Mark IV receiver.

A. R. Sales received its initial batch of Mark IV receiver castings by no later than March 07, 1972. This first set of receivers were used by Jack Karnes to set up fixtures and tooling for the machine tools. There were two Mark IV receiver production lots for the company. The first occurred in the winter of 1973. The first Mark IV rifles and stripped receivers were delivered to customers in January 1973. Mark IV serial number 0143 had been delivered to the buyer on March 02, 1973. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was cast at Rimer Casting Company (Waterville, OH) using Karl Maunz’s receiver master die according to two sources and Prico (Los Angeles, CA) according to a third source, all highly reputable. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was machined by A. R. Sales. The first lot of receiver serial numbers ended somewhere between 0001 and 0225 with 200 receivers produced.

The second receiver production lot was made in 1976. The receiver serial numbers for the second lot were started at a number below 0226 and ended at number 0250. The second production batch of Mark IV receivers was cast at Gray-Syracuse, Inc. and machined by Valley Ordnance Co. About twenty-five receivers were produced in the second batch.

Twenty-five serial numbers were skipped between the first lot and the second lot. The missing serial numbers were allotted for tool room samples and for intended-but-never-realized forged receivers. Both production lots of Mark IV receivers were heat treated by a local company in southern California.

A. R. Sales Co. at first bought M14 parts brand new directly from USGI contractors. Mark IV rifles were assembled with new and used USGI M14 parts and USGI M14 wood stocks. Any used M14 parts that were broken or worn were compared to the USGI drawings and rejected in the build procedure. The stock selector cutout was filled in for each assembled Mark IV rifle. According to the October 1971 A. R. Sales Co. specification sheet for the Mark IV rifle, “While most of our rifles will be built with N.M. barrels, we do not glass bed the actions, nor do we produce match grade weapons. We feel that this is best left to those who specialize in accurizing and building match grade weapons, and we do not wish to infringe in their domain.”

Ford Motor Company was formed on June 16, 1903 by Henry Ford and eleven other business associates. In 1925, Ford Motor Company bought Lincoln Motor Company, a manufacturer of luxury automobiles. For the 1972 model year, Lincoln introduced the Mark IV two-door luxury sport coupe. The Mark IV was longer, wider and slightly lighter than its very popular predecessor; the Lee Iacocca designed Lincoln Mark III. The 1972 Mark IV was Ford’s answer to General Motors Corporation’s Cadillac Eldorado and was a major success for Ford Motor Company. Lincoln Mark IV automobile production ended with the 1976 model year. Mr. Maunz was impressed with the plush style of the 1972 Lincoln Mark IV. Thus, he suggested to A. R. Sales that its semi-automatic M14 receiver be named Mark IV. A. R. Sales Mark IV receivers are of decent quality.

Ilia Karnes sold the manufacturing side of A. R. Sales to Ranger Machine & Tool some time in 1977 or 1978. Ranger Machine & Tool continued to produce the pistol frames and accessories but did not produce any M14 receivers or rifles. The retail business of A. R. Sales was shut down in 1984 by Ilia Karnes.

At the same time, in the early 1970s, when A. R. Sales was developing its Mark IV receiver, John Arnold was pursuing the same goal of manufacturing and marketing his own semi-automatic M14 type receiver. Mr. Arnold owned National Ordnance, Inc., a firearm manufacturing company, and Federal Ordnance, a firearm parts and ammunition supplier. Mr. Bob Penny was a business partner in this endeavor with John Arnold. John Arnold, Jack Karnes and Bob Penny were all former associates of Golden State Arms. Mr. Wyant Lamont, Jr., managed the day-to-day operations of National Ordnance.

The two sister businesses were located adjacent to one another on Alpaca Street at Potrero Avenue in South El Monte, CA. The street address for National Ordnance, Inc. was 9543 Alpaca Street South El Monte, CA 91733 or about one city block from A. R. Sales at 9624 Alpaca Street. From 1965 to 1970, National Ordnance produced 22,500 newly manufactured M1903A3 receivers and assembled them into complete rifles using USGI surplus parts. National Ordnance also manufactured 2000 M1 Garand welded and investment cast receivers and an uoknown number of M1 Carbine investment cast receivers in the 1960s. The M1 Carbine and newly manufactured M1 Garand receivers were cast by Rimer Casting Company.

Employees from both A. R. Sales and National Ordnance visited the facilities of one another to discuss set up of machine tools. A. R. Sales did assist National Ordnance in its BM59 project but there was no collaboration between the two firms specific to M14 receivers. A very small number of National Ordnance stamped semi-automatic M14 type rifles were produced. Stephen Fuller reported two completed receivers for the company but a more reliable source closer to the events of the time estimates a half-dozen National Ordnance receivers were finished. The National Ordnance receivers were investment cast by Rimer Casting using the Maunz master die but machined by another Ohio business according to one source. Two other sources state that a business in Spain made the raw castings for National Ordnance. National Ordnance went out of business about 1974 or shortly thereafter with the death of Mr. Arnold. As part of the liquidation of the company’s assets, assembled M14 type rifles and parts kits were sold off.

Bob Brenner restarted Federal Ordnance about 1979. Jack Karnes went to work for Bob Brenner when Federal Ordnance was revived. He was employed by Federal Ordnance until 1984. Mr. Karnes then did consulting work for the company until 1985 or 1986. In early 1982, Federal Ordnance had plans to produce M1 Garand Rifles using newly manufactured receivers. Federal Ordnance was located at 1443 Potrero Avenue South El Monte, CA 91733. It sold military surplus firearms. In the late 1980s at least, Federal Ordnance, Inc. supplied a list of firearms manufacturers and importers addresses with its factory literature and a note encouraging customers to contact the manufacturer or importer to get an owner’s manual. Federal Ordnance also sold lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames marketed under its name and a trade name as well as selling a Springfield Armory, Inc. high-end M1911 style pistol.

Federal Ordnance began production of its M14 type rifles by 1984 and ended around 1992. About 1992 Federal Ordnance, Inc. changed its name to Bricklee then shut down shortly thereafter. The business was revived twice more under different names before finally withering on the vine. According to a very reliable source, Federal Ordnance used the same Spanish company as National Ordnance, at least initially, to supply the raw receiver castings. Karl Maunz supplied some receiver castings in 1987 to Federal Ordnance. Federal Ordnance receivers machined while Jack Karnes was on board were of good quality.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for a Federal Ordnance M14SA in 1988 was $629.00. The rifles were sold with a one year parts and labor warranty. Each Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle sold was accompanied by a factory inspection tag, warranty registration card, a copy of U. S. Army FM 23-8 and a fourteen page booklet on firearms safety and care. The safety booklet was written by Federal Ordnance, Inc. in 1984. The factory inspection tag included the following information about each rifle: date, stock number, a description, caliber, and signature fields for checking of headspace, test firing and inspection. The stock number for the fiberglass stock M14 was GU-0715. USGI M14 accessories such as magazines, magazine pouches, slings and cleaning kits were available from Federal Ordnance.

Federal Ordnance built two types of M14 rifles, one with USGI parts and one with Chinese parts. USGI parts were used extensively in Federal Ordnance rifles through at least S/N 8877. Through at least serial number 394X the USGI parts were taken off USGI M14 rifles imported from Israel. By serial number 9844, if not earlier, Chinese and Taiwanese reproduction parts were used to assemble its rifles. For example, Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 502XX was assembled at the factory on September 13, 1991 with Chinese manufacture bolt, operating rod, firing mechanism and barrel. Receivers with serial numbers above 60XXX have engraved heel markings. Federal Ordnance receivers observed are marked on the side with the letter F inside a circle. This marking is sometimes lightly stamped. Federal Ordnance sold complete rifles as well as stripped receivers.

Synthetic stocks on Federal Ordnance M14 rifles may not have been USGI models but of unknown commercial manufacture. The original owner of Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 22XX reports that the synthetic stock never had a selector cutout or USGI markings inside the magazine well. Further, the Federal Ordnance stock had a slightly rough finish. The butt plate was glossy black color instead of phosphate coated.

Century Arms International assembled some of these Federal Ordnance receivers with Chinese parts at their facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1990 just before the imported parts ban of November 29, 1990, brought them into the United States with the military style features (twenty round magazine, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, and hinged butt plate) which was legal at the time and sold them to the commercial market. Century Arms International ceased operations in Montreal around 1993.

The Federal Ordnance marking may be located on the right receiver leg instead of the receiver heel for Century Arms International assembled rifles. Some Federal Ordnance M14SA receivers have serial numbers with the letter C prefix followed by a hyphen then four digits, e.g., C-0116. These letter C prefix serial number receivers were sold as stripped receivers to Century Arms International in 1990 for assembly into complete rifles. Century Arms International assembled very few M14 type rifles with Federal Ordnance receivers and Chinese parts, as compared to the number of Chinese rifles it later sold. Serial number C-0581 is the highest serial number for this series observed to date.

As an aside, Jack Karnes manufactured some 81 mm mortar round fin assemblies in 2002 for the Paramount Studios movie We Were Soldiers. These rugged fin assemblies were made to withstand the pressure generated by the mortar ignition charges which were designed to create 18 " flames out of the mortar tube. His son was one of the armorers assigned to the movie production unit."

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Old September 26th, 2006, 03:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the detailed response. I will pass on the Federal Ordnance rifle I was looking at, serial 22XXX. I have a new Polytech and will keep looking for an M14. I do have a lead on an earlier Federal Ordnance which is all GI parts, if it isn't already sold I will buy that one.
Thanks, Ken

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Old December 25th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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If the Federal Ordinance stocks are the ones with the metal bedding, they are worth more than the chinlee parts of the rifle combined. Got one laying around? I need one. Working on a DMR

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Old December 31st, 2012, 10:08 PM   #6
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I am planning on purchasing a Federal Ordnance M14, with a serial number lower than
6340.

Has both the walnut and plastic stocks. Is this serial number range one of the good ones? I am so excited to own this rifle, but I am really just learning about them.

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Old December 31st, 2012, 10:24 PM   #7
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Probably is all USGI parts. I own FA 8103 and she's all HRA parts....barrel, bolt, op-rod, and trigger group. Sweet shooter.






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Old January 1st, 2013, 04:08 AM   #8
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I really liked mine, a 4000 range serial number made on mostly Winchester parts. Though I have an Armscorp and LRB, I miss the FedOrd.

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Old January 1st, 2013, 07:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty33 View Post
I am planning on purchasing a Federal Ordnance M14, with a serial number lower than
6340.

Has both the walnut and plastic stocks. Is this serial number range one of the good ones? I am so excited to own this rifle, but I am really just learning about them.
My s/n is just above yours....you also probably have all USGI parts....Yours should say M14A.....you ahould have a good one. I have a 6-61 HRA barrel with a MW of .8 and this thing is super accurate in its Birch stock. I also got a fiberglass stock with mine........might like to go to the "Referance" section here an list your s/n for Different. Would like to know what parts you got on yours since our s/n are so close, think mine is 6476...HR bolt, Winchester OP Rod......

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Old January 1st, 2013, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty33 View Post
I am planning on purchasing a Federal Ordnance M14, with a serial number lower than
6340.

Has both the walnut and plastic stocks. Is this serial number range one of the good ones? I am so excited to own this rifle, but I am really just learning about them.
That is one of the good ones with USGI parts by the numbers.
If you don't use that ugly red brown stock, I'll take it off your hands for you. You know those stocks are just pig ugly and no one but guys who like to get dirty with their rifles really like them... ;)

Had I found the required $649 in my wallet so many years ago as a 23 year old freshly out of the USMC married with one kid(raman diet) I would have jumped on the rifle I found in a small shop with the dark grey metal, red brown thick plastic/'glass stock. The rifle was butt ugly, but to me it has always been the most beautiful version of M14 and the DMR's an A-Stan that I saw were proof enough for me that that was what I wanted MY rifle to look like. Besides, when I go hunt pigs, I figure it always rains, gets freakin A muddy so I don't want to ruin a really sweet Walnut stock(FAM14 00XX3)

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Old January 1st, 2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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My 'Holy Grail'



If I could find one with the metal bedding, even that much better. I LIKE weatherproof and pig ugly...at least in a rifle

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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #12
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Hi there: I just joined the sight today....
If Marty33 can't come through for you, I have one of the red-brown stocks. Slightly different than your pic = has forward sling attach point (similar to the rear) but rotates front to aft with the interior resin? epoxy? (it is pre 1995ish) coated (clear) to cover rivets and fill the drain hole. Stock has scuffs/rub marks, selector cutout NOT filled in, does have forend ferrule, came with the rubber pad but now has the trap door buttplate and the "matching" handguard as shown in your photo. I'm not sure how one would have the metal bedding, since that outline is formed in the moulding process. Maybe someone would dremel out the fibreglass to use the metal insert that the wooden stock has......Also have an extra wooden stock - with receiver frame/metal insert, some dents had it steamed years ago, but no buttplate or cushion. Well I have one buttplate for two stocks so....No epoxy over rivets. No markings on stock, it does have selector cutout unfilled. I will be posting the pics in the for sale section, as soon as I find it.

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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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i have a fed ord, i like it better than my SA M1A, more accurate and a better shooter

i'd have to dig it up and see, but its in the "bad" range, so not everything is concrete

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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #14
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New owner M14SA Fed Ord

Hi guys ,
just inherited a Fed Ord M14 SA, with nice orig walnut stock , light use on stock , with the cutouts not filled in, and has nice gov issue markings on stock, just like the one in hammonje post above here.
My serial number is later 1991 Springtime manufacture, 216XX, I believe from info I have read on this forum.
I know the previous owner shot this gun , but feel I need to get this one professionally looked at first, and also I have no magazine with it(long story).I live near Indianapolis IN, west of it actually, if anyone knows a trusted military gunsmith. From what I read, it is likely some Chicom parts but am hoping it is a keeper, or I may sell it.

I also acquired a U.S. Rifle Cal .30 M1 Springfield Armory serial number 19941xx that I would love to know the manufacture date if anyone knows how to date it. It seems to be in very nice shape with nice used patina. I am very new to these military type guns , but have been devouring all the info I can, and this website seems great.
Thanks in advance to any replies.

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Old January 28th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #15
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I have a late serial number FedOrd M14 and have had no issues with it beyond a slightly worn op rod tab (which I suspect was due to improper lubrication)

I have upgraded a few parts to USGI just cause I could, but didn't have issues with the original parts other than what I noted previously.

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