Hey guys.... first post. Please let me know if there is an introduction section I need to complete first because if so, I seem to have missed it.
I joined here because a friend of mine asked be to look into the serialization/dating/etc of a recent Chinese Poly m14 he purchased. I am a co-owner of an SKS forum called sksfiles and my main area of research has been in regards to dating chinese firearms particularly the sks.
That being said... I have to say, I am very confused as to how you guys are coming up with the day, month, and year for a rifle based on what I would consider the chinese production serial located below the stock line of the receiver.
As an example.... I have seen 1 8 63 16 translated to the date 8-6-1991.
From what I know about their serialization methods used on the sks, t53, t54, t63 etc.... this makes close to zero sense to me. The chinese m14 may be a bit harder to rarrow down given in the years in question (88-94) was when the chinese were not exactly consistent with their method of serializing. Like the SKS from these years, they seem to be using a mix of two methods.
First let me explain something. The chinese used the first 1 to 2 digits as the year indicator. The year indicator represents the 'nth' year into production based off of the first year which in this case I believe should be 1988?
Here is an example of what I'm talking about. Below is an sks starting with a 23. This is the 23rd year into production from 1956 making it a 1978. All following digits after the 23 represent the 'serial' number of that rifle, at that factory, that year.
The other method they used at some locations was to simply stamp the year as seen melow. This rifle was made in 1988.
This one in 1989.... and so on.
So as you can see.... I believe your m14s follow the same pattern as we have observed in the sks community. Looking at what I can find pics of, it looks like the m14 serial numbers start with one of two methods of dating. I see the year indicators as follows.
1988 and 93 are the easy ones, but allocating the 0-4 indicators properly with be the iffy part. The main issue I have is with some m14s starting with a 0 'zero'. I dont believe we have seen this on an sks ect. It could be a flook and the intended year indicator will be the next following number. In any case, it appears to have all production years represented using both dating methods.
What I would suggest is as follows.
'88' is obviously 1988
'1' is also 1988 because its the first year of production.
'2' is 1989 because its the 2nd year of production
'3' is 1990
'4' is 1991
'5' is 1992
'93' is obviously 1993.
I dont have access to any database of these numbers to investigate further. I added the 5 because if I am correct, there may be ones out there. Or... the 0 is legitimate bumping the 5 off the list and shifting the year allocation by 1 year.
Anyone have a database of these serials??