This is a discussion on 2008 manufacture op rods - RWB op rod review within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any brand of M14/M1A operating rod. I am presenting information for your consideration. Operating rods and bolts should be fitted ...
Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any brand of M14/M1A operating rod. I am presenting information for your consideration. Operating rods and bolts should be fitted to your receiver by a reputable M14 gunsmith. Spend the time and effort to have these parts installed properly.
Springfield Armory, Inc. has a supplier that produces operating rods for their M1A rifles. I'm not able to find out who is the supplier. It is their policy to not sell spare bolts or spare operating rods.
Smith Enterprise, Inc. (Tempe, AZ) and Thrustline Manufacturing (Ogden, UT) are both working on new manufacture single piece operating rods. The Thrustline Manufacturing operating rod will be made of a different material than what the USGI drawing specifies, 8645 alloy steel. Head honcho is Ray Crawford. The Smith Enterprise, Inc. operating rod will be made from 8645 steel. The firm recently purchased a pallet changer for use in manufacturing its operating rods. Ron Smith is President of SEI. So, if you prefer Made in the USA, you have these to look forward to later this year. I don't have a better ETA. As time and funds allow, I'll get a sample of each of these and post reviews as well.
I recently received an imported new manufacture single piece operating rod from Red, White & Blue, LLC or RWB for short. RWB is a separate business entity from Red Cloud, LLC. Red Cloud, LLC was in the surplus market for many years. Both entities were/are owned by Dr. Young Leigh based in Springfield, VA. Red Cloud, LLC specialized in importing M1 Carbine, M1 Garand and M1911 parts. RWB, LLC is a registered importer with the BATFE. RWB, LLC has the operating rods made in the Republic of Korea and is importing them into the United States under an approved ATF Form 6. I have a copy of the approved ATF Form 6. The country of origin was announced on this board by others, not me.
The RWB, LLC operating rod I received is marked: top line - 7267064 bottom line - 18242. 18242 is the CAGE Code for Bristol Spring Manufacturing (Plainville, CT). Bristol Spring never made M14 operating rods. Why this number was chosen as a marking, I don't know. Regardless, if you see this number on a operating rod, it's a RWB imported unit. This is a hammer forged piece with subsequent CNC and special tool machining. I have a few photos of the manufacturing process already posted in the Commercial M14 section of the Photo Gallery at http://www.imageseek.com/m1a
I took some measurments using a dial caliper of the RWB operating rod:
Dimension / F7267064 requirement / RWB operating rod measurement
I tried the RWB operating rod on three commercial receivers with the bolts, operating rod springs and spring guides removed. The results were as expected. The RWB operating rod hung up just barely at the forward end of travel on M1A serial number 00288X. The RWB operating rod went in but would not slide smoothly (receiver operating rod rail too narrow) on M1A serial number 05212X. I could not install the RWB operating rod on Armscorp USA serial number 1737X.
Dr. Leigh has been easy to communicate with. Samples of the imported RWB operating rod have been examined and tested by Bill LeCount and Charlie Maloney. Fulton Armory has also examined a sample. He said that Fulton Armory will be selling these operating rods.
Member stercraz reports that the RWB, LLC web site shows a TRW marked operating rod. I was called on 03/11/08 by a very reputable source. This source told me that Dr. Leigh offered to sell them on 03/10/08 a large quantity (I'm withholding the exact quantity) of TRW marked operating rods. Ted Brown noted in January that RWB was importing TRW marked operating rods. All of this to make you, the M14 fan, aware that operating rods marked TRW but not made by TRW may appear for sale in the market. I had a pleasant telephone conversation with Dr. Leigh on 12/24/07 to discuss this project as well as future M14 type parts he will be importing. I suggested to him to mark the operating rods with his own unique identifier because M14 enthusiasts would not favor buying TRW marked operating rods not made by TRW. FWIW
Here are some photos I took of the RWB, LLC operating rod:
Last edited by Different; March 17th, 2008 at 07:07 AM.
Perhaps.......the Justice Dept. needs to nip this sort of practice in the butt? You know.......products made in ______ that are later sold as "originals." It's just easier to do if/when TRW is marked on a product, even when it's not made by the real TRW.
I believe the intent is there.........and certainly some unscruplous dealers will tell their "fake" stories to sell their parts.
Just like those who participate in "fake" M14 magazines.
AFAIK, the 2008 manufacture TRW marked operating rods are not being sold to date. The RWB operating rods are well made. A Winchester operating rod was the model for one of the prototypes according to Dr. Leigh.
Based on my experience with the fake "GI" magazines, I took note of several features and measurements on the two RWB operating rods I have. I won't release that information now. If a lot of TRW marked operating rods start showing up for sale then we'll have further dialogue. A dial caliper is a worthwhile investment for the M14 fan.
some unscruplous dealers will tell their "fake" stories to sell their parts.
This has been going on since at least the early 1970s, if not longer. Your first line of defense is to be an educated consumer. We put together a book and posted it online for free and folks are still getting sucked in on the fake M14 magazines. The word is out, RWB op rods are made in Korea in 2008. The importation has been approved. You now know.
Well......of course "fakes" have been going on for a long time. It's one thing, to accept the fact that it happens. But, it's another thing, to encourage it or help it along.
US Customs will not let a fake "Rolex" watch come into the country.......but, a real "Rolex" watch can. It should be as simple as that.
And/Or.....TRW needs to get involved, to prevent importation. As any fake TRW marked part, may ruin their reputation.
Fight the counterfeiters......don't embrace them.
They are also making big bucks. Counterfeiting has become as profitable as trading illegal narcotics, and is a lot less risky. In most countries, convicted offenders get off with a slap on the wrist and a fine of a few thousand dollars. Counterfeiters, after all, don't have to cover research and development, marketing, and advertising costs, and most of the expense goes into making goods look convincing, not performing well.
Last June, a Guangdong businessman was found guilty of producing fake windshields under 15 different brand names, including General Motors, DaimlerChrysler (DCX ), and Mitsubishi Motors. He was fined just $97,000 and given a suspended sentence. It's unclear just how much he made selling fakes, but GM gumshoe Theil says "there is no way the fine is commensurate with the profits he made."
IMHO.......someone should spend some jail time. But, pay off a politician (or make a donation to his/her campaign fund) and that becomes less of a "problem" for some businessmen. Corruption.........plain and simple. Believe me, it happens and not only in foreign countries.
Not to mention what it does to the "balance of trade" and American jobs.
Last edited by ma96782; March 16th, 2008 at 07:21 PM.
For clarity, the source that reported this sales offer to me on 03/11/08 is not going to buy these TRW marked operating rods.
I try to be clear when I make a post on the Internet. If you have questions, ask. I'll answer them if I can or I'll say I don't know or I'm not able to discuss. There's more good news to this but I am not at liberty to discuss. Don't get ahead of the news on this.
AFAIK, that's what we're doing on this board through education. Be careful, one could (falsely) say the same thing against Springfield Armory, Inc. for its M1A operating rods and bolts. How many times have you seen it asked on the discussion boards how do you tell the difference between a SA, Inc. part and a USGI SA part?
The RWB operating rods in my possession are marked 18242. They are legal for me to own and I know they are not USGI contract manufacture. I've corresponded with the importer himself several times and I have a copy of his approved ATF Form 6. In my layman's mind, I see no violation of the law.
Personally, I haven't seen one of these imported TRW marked operating rods assuming they do exist. If you buy one, assuming they exist and you can identify it, then you need to decide what to do. Disclaimer: The information above is for educational purposes. I'm not involved in any material manner with the sale of ANY firearms accessory or part. If you feel you have been wronged, contact legal counsel. Caveat Emptor!
Last edited by Different; March 16th, 2008 at 07:59 PM.
Any idea on how much these new op rods will be and who all is making them available for sale??
The second question is answered in my initial post. I'm not listing a price as I don't want to violate the Rules of Engagement. I have no financial interest in the sale of this product. This post is for informational purposes.
Folks......it's more of a general comment on those that would produce a product with an intent to mislead the purchaser into believing it is a GENUINE US product. Just because some mfn may use a different drawing number or contractor ID number to ID their product, isn't enough (IMHO). Especially, when coupled with the placement of a genuine mfn's name on a part in the relative same position. It is my belief that the "intent" to deceieve was/is there.
If the product had been marked (for example): Kim Mfn. Corp. I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Should the US Govt. allow some American Co. to import from Italy, a "clone" singe action army 1873 revolver with COLT's name and the pony on it w/o additional marks to reveal it's true identity? Yes or No
FWIW.....the Italian SAAs do have a tiny ID stamp on them. No stamping of the Italian mfn's name was/is required. But, American firearms manufacturers must stamp their name on their products. And so, even with the Italian stamp, there are still problems with un-scrupulous persons trying to pass them off as a genuine COLT.
As for SA Inc., it is IMHO.......a "mistake" that it was allowed to occur. Look at all of the "trouble" that resulted from that.
As for your op rods.....Yes, I have no doubt that your examples got into the USA legally.
Perhaps, the USA just needs to tighten up on this issue. If anything, to protect American business. But, then again maybe the purr is already in.
Just my .02.
Last edited by ma96782; March 17th, 2008 at 12:05 AM.
Regarding these op rods, I would have no problem with any high quality product but mark it what it is. I don't like fake markings. Who knows, maybe these RWB,LLC op rods are better than the original TRW!