Bought a CETME today


The Grand Inquisitor
September 16, 2004, 10:31 PM
Went to my local gun store (The Ammo Bearer in Iowa City Iowa - a GREAT place run by a damn good, honest guy) and I decided to buy a CETME after lusting after my friends FAL. It's my first.308 rifle, and I put 40 rounds through it today and I am very happy with it. It is a rough rifle in terms of kick (I decided to not buy the model with a muzzle break), but I actually happen to like a rifle with a decent push.

I decided to buy the model with forst camo, which I think looks neat, but I am thinking about switching the furniture out for some of the original wood, and I was wondering if anyone knew if there is someone out there selling good quality CETME stuff for a decent price. Another thing I noticed is that the mag release is VERY tight with one of my mags, and I knew for the get-go that this was the case (no big deal to me), but will the tightness of the release ease after a few hundred rounds or so, or do they tend to stay tight?

I've read it is a bad idea to use commercial ammo with the CETME, and I bought 200 rounds of the milsurp stuff drom Portugal (for $50, which I think is a good price?), which seems to be good, but what is better milsurp stuff to use and what is to be avoided?

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September 16, 2004, 10:51 PM
Glad you got a good rifle.
On the ammo, I have found Portugese to be pretty good ammo. Same with Australian. The price is a little high since it is about $150 per 1K online, but when you factor in shipping (1K is pretty heavy) and that the dealer has to stay afloat, that you now don't have to buy a large quantity to see if it works, and that you have someone immediate to go to if you have problems, the price looks a little more reasonable.

Dave R
September 16, 2004, 11:00 PM
Sounds like you got a good one. Let us know what kind of groups it shoots.

IMHO, Portugese is about the best surplus there is. I have not tried Australian, but Port groups best of all the others I have tried.

$50 per 200 is not an outstanding price. I can usually get 200 rounds for $35-40 at local gun shows (only time I buy it.)

But compare it to $10 per 20 for commercial ammo, and its still a bargain!

September 16, 2004, 11:08 PM
The mag release should get lighter as you go. I had to, quite literally, whack some of my G3 magazines into place. And more whacking followed to remove them. Use them a little and it should get easier.

Furniture: if you don't mind non-Spanish furniture, have a look here ( If you don't mind a little work(removing the recoil assembly from your existing stock) then this ( might be a good option. I'm not sure whether the existing furniture is part of the rifle's US parts count ( but make sure you stay legal. And have fun. ;)

The Grand Inquisitor
September 16, 2004, 11:40 PM
Thanks for the good replies and links, I never cease to be amazed by the knowledge and helpfullness of the members here.

Also, I think I would like to buy the !K rounds for $150. I'd say I'd wait for a gunshow, but it seems there aren't so many around here (between Iowa City Iowa and Chicago) like there seems to be elsewhere in the country.

September 24, 2004, 01:16 AM

September 24, 2004, 01:33 AM
Everything you could ever possibly need:

September 24, 2004, 06:38 AM
Congrats on buying a nice rifle! :)

I've found that commercial ammo is not a provblem, IF the chamber is kept well-cleaned. Don't shoot it after shooting a lot of milsurp, and just be careful. I've put a lot of Rem/UMC through mine with no problems.
That being said, I get the best accuracy using the CAVIM and Indian 7.62X51 (neither is NATO spec). South African does well too, but I haven't had the pleasrure of trying Port or Aussie yet.
I have found recoil amazingly light, but I do have Century's Muzzle Blast Enhancer on mine. :D

Tapco has some nice wood available, but I'm not sure if it's foreign or US made. That camo stockset is simply the original wood covered with an applique material. :cool:

The mags will get easier to put in and take out with use.

September 24, 2004, 08:55 AM
Ditto on the Milsurp ammo. If you shoot where you can use FMJ stick to NATO ammo. You should also check your headspacing.

Absolutely stay away from Rem. Corelokt and Winchester. The casing is way to soft. If you hunt, or have to use SP ammo to shoot with I have shot a fair amount of Sellier and Bellot through my Cetme without problems, a tad pricey though. Pretty accurate. So far I've got a 1.25 MOA with S&B, usually average 1.5-1.75 MOA though with S&B. Haven't checked FMJ NATO yet.

Also I would recommend getting a broken shell extractor, $10 will save you a lot of headache.

Be sure to check out for more info. Perro setup forums with years worth of info there.

September 24, 2004, 03:57 PM

So far some good advice.

Stick with the surplus, port is nice, I use Aussie, and am happy with it.

More important than anything else first off is to make sure that your rifle is in spec. I know that manufactures should do that themselves, but that is too much to ask of Century, who puts the CETMEs together.

You need to make sure that the back of the bolt head is not ground, and then you need to check the bolt gap using a feeler guage. If the bolt gap is too tight bad things can happen, and excessive recoil is one of the first minor symptoms.

Head over to and check out how to do the inspection.

Don't worry too much about the magazine release. My CETME wouldn't even accept the magazines that came with it untill I filed down the latch just a hair. Now I can use CETME and G3 mags (which are dirt cheap).


Harry Tuttle
September 24, 2004, 04:08 PM
SARCO has CETME furniture sets for $16.50 in the October SGN

September 24, 2004, 09:04 PM
BigDog, your comment on the Indian .308 is interesting. I've used mostly South African and Aussie in my CETME, but fired five rounds of 1997 Indian provided me by a friend. Was amazed to get a one mil single ragged hole at 100yd, several inches above my 2.5-mil South Aftrican group center. Has anyone else had this experience with recent mfgd Indian .308? I understand the 1980's Indian was pretty terrible. Haven't run across any more recent Indian to verify the previous results... :confused:

Note that the Indian milsurp .308 is the only reloadable stuff on the market...and far cheaper than the non-reloadable SA, Port, or Aussie...

September 25, 2004, 10:22 AM
A general rule with surplus ammo: Dont buy ammo from a country where you wouldnt drink the water.

Bwana John
September 25, 2004, 10:45 AM
I pay ~$165 per 1k for 7.62 NATO. I dont use Indian(~$100 per 1k). I try to stick to ammo with a NATO cross in circle headstamp. (Port, Hirt, SA, RG, Aussi, ect)

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