Polytech vs. SA?


December 11, 2009, 02:37 PM
This particular gun is being marketed as a Polytech M14 and has a forged receiver and chrome lined barrel.

How does the polytech compare to a Springfield Armory M1A?

If you enjoyed reading about "Polytech vs. SA?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 11, 2009, 02:57 PM
The Polytech is a VERY good copy of the M1A ---- good strong steel and decent barrels.
When they were less then $500 -- they were a Best Buy , now for what I see them being asked for sale --- I would just get a SA for the $200/$300 more.

Gary G23
December 11, 2009, 02:58 PM
receiver is great
bolt is soft

December 12, 2009, 12:45 AM
have both, just check the polys bolt. it is soft

December 12, 2009, 02:04 AM
How soft is the Poly bolt compared to the SA and what kind of round count do you think you can expect to get from that bolt before it needs replacing? Is the bolt interchangable with the SA bolt?

December 12, 2009, 04:40 PM
bolts are not interchangable, have well over a 1000 rounds through my poly (orginal bolt)... just have my smith check the head space every so aften... my SA extractor broke around 500 rounds... easy fix , 2 dollar part

December 12, 2009, 05:54 PM
The steel in the bolt is of variable hardness. That's part of the problem. The earliest ones were the worst, and apparently the "newer" ones are less of a problem. So, the thing could run forever, or it could fail in short order. Swapping bolts on a M14-pattern rifle is NOT a plug-and-play type deal. They need to be fitted. Your options are as follows, in order of cheapest and least safe to most expensive and most safe:

1. Do nothing. Do you feel lucky? You might be. Or, you could set off a bomb by your face.

2. Keep the original bolt and just check headspace regularly. If you go this route, the key is to check it REGULARLY. Like, buy a set of GO, NO-GO and FIELD gauges and check it each range trip. If the headspace doesn't change, you're fine. If it starts to get excessive, DON'T SHOOT IT. It won't get better and once it starts to go it will go pretty quickly. Move on to #3. The chance of it going from 100% in spec to catastrophic failure in one range session is probably vanishingly small, but the chance of it going from kindasorta/almostbutnotquite in spec to kaboom in one range session is high enough that I wouldn't want to fiddle with it.

3. Have a USGI bolt conversion done. I recommend Warbirds. He will fit a USGI bolt to your receiver and you're back in business. I can't remember how much he charges, but the charge for the conversion will cost less than the USGI bolt.

As was said, the receiver is fine. It is actually a VERY good receiver, made to proper specs of exceedingly good steel (better than most anything being made today, including SAI). The problems with the M14S are the bolt and some of the small parts.

Full disclosure, I have SAI and Polytech rifles. I'm hard pressed to decide which is "better". I think that the Polytech will probably last longer, but at the current price of ammo, I doubt I could afford to wear out either one.


X - Man
December 12, 2009, 08:40 PM
Coronach; Well written report. One shouldn't miss an opportunity to purchase a Polytech, as long as they know the backround on the rifle. I have one and it's been great with absolutely no problems. I did have a competent 'smith check it out before firing. And I do keep an eye on its headspace.

And as noted Warbird is highly recomemded.

So, if a Polytech became available at a good price I won't hesitate to jump on the deal.

If you enjoyed reading about "Polytech vs. SA?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!