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Information on M14 Magazines

This is a discussion on Information on M14 Magazines within the Reference forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; From the 04/08/07 draft of the Third Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development by Lee Emerson copyright 2007: "USGI Magazines The M14 magazine design ...


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Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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Information on M14 Magazines

From the 04/08/07 draft of the Third Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development by Lee Emerson copyright 2007:

"USGI Magazines

The M14 magazine design was finalized by John C. Garand in the first five months of 1954 while he was a consultant to Mathewson Tool Company on the T44E4 rifle contract. The M14 magazine design was borrowed from Garand’s T31 rifle project. The T31 (and M14) magazine design requires very low cartridge stripping forces. Rochester Manufacturing Company (Rochester, NY) developed the welding procedure for the M14 magazine parts.

Springfield Armory, government contractors and commercial magazine manufacturers have at one time or another produced five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five and thirty round magazines for the M14 type rifle. The five, fifteen, twenty-five and thirty round magazines are commercially manufactured but not marked with any manufacturer’s initials. The Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A description in the 1987 Shooter’s Bible lists magazine capacity as five, ten, twenty, and twenty-five rounds.

A seven round magazine was produced by the U. S. Army MTU for use with the XM21 in Viet Nam. The XM21 seven round magazine was small enough to allow the sniper to assume a lower position with the rifle yet long enough to allow the magazine to be removed quickly. The U.S. Department of Defense contracted with several companies to supply five, ten and twenty round M14 magazines. For example, Check-Mate Industries, Inc. made ten round magazines about 1990 for the U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The five round M14 magazines were made by Check-Mate Industries but supplied by Springfield Armory, Inc. to the U. S. Department of Defense. The U. S. Marine Corps uses both ten and twenty round magazines in the M14 DMR.

Usually, the U. S. government contractor manufacturer initials were marked on the rear side of USGI M14 magazines. Quantico Arms & Tactical Supply, Inc. purchased a batch of 12,000 New-In-Wrap USGI twenty round M14 magazines in 2004. Quantico Arms found that about 20 % of these magazines either have no manufacturer marking or the initials are very faint. At least at some point, the manufacturer’s marking on the magazine body became required per USGI drawing 7790181. USGI Borg-Warner magazines have been unmarked straight from packaging dated as early as January 1963.

The following manufacturer initials have been observed on magazine follower stops: BW and B-W (Borg-Warner), CTX (unknown) and OM (Winchester). The manufacturer’s marking on the magazine follower is optional per USGI drawing 7267085. If a USGI magazine follower has spot welds on the flat portion of the stop, there will be three evenly spaced weld “dimples” or “buttons.” BRW S-I and OM magazines were assembled with BW and OM marked followers, respectively, in 1962.

Be aware that some commercial reproduction M14 magazines have USGI contractor style markings on the rear side and the packaging has been expertly copied. Such “GI” style reproduction magazines may not charge and reliably feed twenty cartridges. The magazine body thickness of these magazines may be thinner than genuine USGI units. A genuine USGI M14 magazine will hold and reliably feed twenty cartridges then activate the bolt lock. This function requirement is stated on USGI drawing 7790183 (M14 magazine assembly).

The savvy collector can identify genuine USGI and Taiwanese government manufacture M14 magazine bodies. Examine the spot welds on the front side of a known USGI or Taiwanese twenty round magazine. Make notes on the size, number, alignment and location of the spot welds. Note that some KMT marked magazines differ from the typical pattern of USGI magazine body spot welds. The USGI drawing 7790181 requires twelve evenly spaced spot welds up the center of the front side and one spot weld just to the right of the operating rod spring guide hole as the magazine stands up. Use this information when examining M14 magazines for sale to discern whether or not a magazine is a commercial reproduction item.

Drawing D7790197 allows for the latch plate to be attached to the magazine body by two, four, five or six welds. USGI M14 magazine latch plate weld dimple patterns were consistently the same pattern according to manufacturer. The following latch plate dimple patterns have been consistent for genuine USGI magazines:

two dimples with a horizontal line immediately above the bottom pair - CMI
four dimples - W, bar W, HR-R
five dimples with the fifth centered - Atwood Vacuum Machine, UHC
five dimples with the fifth placed towards the top pair - BRW S-I, BRW B2
five dimples with the fifth placed towards the bottom pair - OM, OM over a dot
six dimples - KMT nine and thirteen front side weld versions
six dimples with a horizontal line immediately above the bottom pair - CMI

The USGI drawing D7790197 (magazine body assembly) does not specify a manufacturer’s marking but drawing F7790181 (magazine tube) does. USGI magazine springs were coated with lubricating oil before packaging. Beginning in January 2007, Check-Mate Industries ten and twenty round magazines made for commercial sales are marked C.M.I. on the rear side of the magazine tube with no other markings. The Check-Mate Industries five round magazines remained unmarked.

USGI magazine contractors included American Pin, Borg-Warner, Check-Mate Industries, an unknown Harrington & Richardson subcontractor, Killeen Machine & Tool, Olin-Mathieson Chemical (Winchester), Springfield Armory, TRW, Union Hardware Company and Westinghouse Electric. Check-Mate Industries made twenty round M14 magazines for 1989, 1996, 2004 and 2005 U. S. Army contracts. The 2005 contract is for a guaranteed minimum of 25,000 and up to a possible maximum of 360,000 twenty round magazines. Check-Mate Industries marked some of its ten round magazines C.M.I. on the rear side of the body (tube). Beginning in January 2007, Check-Mate Industries stamped its twenty round magazines C.M.I. on the rear side of the body. The USGI magazines are generally regarded as the best made.

M14 magazine replacement parts have been available in the civilian market since about 1989 from Sarco, Inc. Replacement M14 magazine springs should be inspected for signs of any defects and for proper dimensions. Genuine T44E4 and twenty round M14 magazine springs have eight coils. The replacement magazine followers should have three neat and evenly spaced spot welds attaching the stop to the follower. USGI M14 magazine followers are heat treated to file hard. Consequently, do not bend the rear tab on USGI M14 magazine followers any appreciable distance as they will snap off. If the rear tab is bent significantly and it does not snap off, it is likely a commercial reproduction part.

Magazine body (tube) wall thickness can vary from 0.028 " to 0.041 " as observed among USGI, Chinese, Taiwanese and U. S. commercial manufacture M14 magazines. The specification per USGI drawing 7790181 for the body (tube) thickness is 0.0310 " + or - 0.0015 ". If a magazine body is too thick, e.g., 0.041 ", it may fail to lock the bolt open after the last round is fired."

and

"Note that assembly of a complete twenty round M14 magazine from spare parts may be a violation of applicable local or state law in the United States, or may violate Canadian law. Possession, manufacturing, importation, sales or transfer of centerfire rifle ammunition magazines capable of holding more than five rounds may be prohibited or restricted in U. S. cities and states (see Appendix F). Under present Canadian law, magazines for the M14 type rifle and other centerfire long guns are pinned to limit the capacity to five cartridges. Consult state and local laws before purchasing or accepting any firearm magazine.

USGI M14 magazines have been modified to fit other rifles such as the Armalite, Inc. AR10, IMI Galil .308 caliber AR, ARM and SAR models and modified M1 Garand rifles. During the ten years of the Assault Weapons Ban, M14 magazines modified for use in the AR10 were required to still function in the M14 type rifle to remain compliant with the law. Since the sunset of the ban, new manufacture AR10 magazines are being made by Check-Mate Industries for Armalite. After 2004, a modified M14 magazine is known as a Generation I AR10 magazine and the post-’04 manufacture units are referred to as Generation II magazines. A Generation II AR10 magazine will not function in a M14 type rifle. For a time, Marc Krebs of Krebs Custom, Inc. (Wauconda, IL) modified Russian made Molot brand .308 caliber RPK style rifles to accept unmodified USGI M14 magazines. The Australian International Arms bolt action M10 rifle imported into Canada by Marstar from 2005 onward uses a ten round M14 magazine with a smaller latch plate. This prevents a M14 magazine from being used in the M10 in order to comply with Canadian law."

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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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Could we make this a 'stickie'?

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Old November 3rd, 2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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Sir,I hope that this is the right place to ask a question ...I have two 20 rd. mags that have a "W" marked at the back of mag...at the top of the latch in front there are 2 welds,one more at the lower right and 11 more welds ...also has a dark gray parkerized finish..any thoughts? Regards Robert McKee

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Old November 4th, 2009, 05:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by hayan1947 View Post
I have two 20 rd. mags that have a "W" marked at the back of mag...at the top of the latch in front there are 2 welds,one more at the lower right and 11 more welds ...also has a dark gray parkerized finish..any thoughts?
They are post-2000 manufacture commercial reproduction units. They were not made for a government contract and they were not made by the current government contractor.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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Pictorial guide for identifying M14 mags

I recently found this and I thought I'd share it here.

http://www.lulu.com/product/file-dow...on-13/10812869

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Old January 13th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hookman View Post
I recently found this and I thought I'd share it here.

http://www.lulu.com/product/file-dow...on-13/10812869
Cool beans.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayan1947 View Post
Sir,I hope that this is the right place to ask a question ...I have two 20 rd. mags that have a "W" marked at the back of mag...at the top of the latch in front there are 2 welds,one more at the lower right and 11 more welds ...also has a dark gray parkerized finish..any thoughts? Regards Robert McKee
I have several of these, along with CMI and Springfield examples. The W marked magazine is from Cheaper Than Dirt, part number is MAG-356, cost $17.95 each.
Mine were a bit stiff and several won't hold 20 rounds. I have used them in rotation with the other manufacturers for two years now...no malfunctions, they seem to work fine. CMI is the current producer for the military. See 44mag.com's website.
If you are tempted to buy from DTD, either buy the Springfield or the MAG-356. Most of the others are just junk..read the comments.

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Old September 16th, 2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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I have a question regarding the Springfield Armory 5 round mag (part number MA5018) which has the same dimensions as their 10 round mag, but is designed to hold 5 rounds.

Does anyone know how the magazine is limited to 5 rounds? Is there a pin in place or is there a block attached to the floor plate or under the follower.

Any information would be appreciated.

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Old September 17th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #9
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It's an extended follower stop.

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Old October 9th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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Ok so, first post here and all. Got a question. I have 4 m14 next to me. They are wrapped in tanish paper, sealed on both ends. Super small tears reveal what looks to be some sort of aluminum foil wrapping inside the paper. Dates are: x1 12-61, x2 1-62, x1 June 1969. I thought about opening them, then felt bad for thinking that for some reason. Is this common for them to be found still in the packaging or should I rip em open and start using them?

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Old October 13th, 2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck87 View Post
Ok so, first post here and all. Got a question. I have 4 m14 next to me. They are wrapped in tanish paper, sealed on both ends. Super small tears reveal what looks to be some sort of aluminum foil wrapping inside the paper. Dates are: x1 12-61, x2 1-62, x1 June 1969. I thought about opening them, then felt bad for thinking that for some reason. Is this common for them to be found still in the packaging or should I rip em open and start using them?
I think you mean you have four M14 magazines in packaging, not four M14 rifles. If I am incorrect, please correct me. The packaging was not designed to last over twenty-five years. If they were mine, I would open the packaging and use them. However, I would like to see the labeling on the packaging for research purposes. By noting package markings, I'm able to track who made what parts when. If you wouldn't mind, shoot some photos and e-mail them to me before opening the packaging. leeace99@hotmail.com

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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #12
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I second opening them. I have found rust on unopened mags once opened.

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Old October 15th, 2013, 06:28 PM   #13
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Ohhhh ya, bout that. Definitely m14 magazines. Proof reading. My mistake. I'll shoot you some pictures before I touch them.

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Old January 17th, 2014, 10:32 AM   #14
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Realize kind of old thread but my experience is C.M.I all the way. Never used SAI. cuz of such high price, yet stay far away from Promag M14 magazines. I had to basically wrestle it out of the magwell. I have a usgi receiver from LRB don't know if they work in commercial receivers.

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Old January 17th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Fawkes View Post
Realize kind of old thread but my experience is C.M.I all the way. Never used SAI. cuz of such high price, yet stay far away from Promag M14 magazines. I had to basically wrestle it out of the magwell. I have a usgi receiver from LRB don't know if they work in commercial receivers.
If by SAI you mean Springfield commercial mags...I guess you know they are CMI mags; just with a SAI logo and markup!

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