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Norinco M305 (M14)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Freedom in theSkies, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Freedom in theSkies

    Freedom in theSkies Well-Known Member

    What is the general concensus on these rifles? Comments please...
    I know that the old Polytechnic models left somethng to be desired, but here in Canada, there have been a huge number of them imported and sold for $399.00 Cdn. or about $325.00US (at the time).
    Here are the specs. on mine...
    It has a Boyds Nutmeg Laminate stock, Harris Roto-Tilt Bipod, B-Square Scope Mount, Tasco 2.5-10 x 42 Varminter Scope, Cabelas Cheek pad, Remington Latigo 1 1/4" Sling and a recoil buffer.

    It consistantly groups sub MOA from the bipod with 147 gr. FMJBT handloads and it can "ring the 300 yd. gong" all day long, with aimed rapid fire.
    True, it is a bit rougher than the Springields, but at 1/6th the price, I can live with it...
    All the pix are here:
  2. brentn

    brentn Well-Known Member

    I've 'heard' that the recievers are great, barrels are crap. I've talked to two people who owned one and they told me they had no issues at all, said they were great guns.
    Personally I would buy one in a heartbeat, they are an awesome price for what you get, and I think that they are based on the original design and not the 'match' type that springfield sells. Not that I can't appreciate a match gun made by springfield, but I can appreciate an m14 just as much thats a beater, reliable and doesn't cost 2000$.

    With that in mind, you aren't going to get very many responses, as most of the guys here are from the states, and the norinco M14 is a new thing that was not available to the US back in the day before the ban.

    If I may ask, how long did you have to wait for yours? they are always sold out on marstar, but I've also never asked how long the backlog is...
  3. Frog48

    Frog48 Well-Known Member

    Goodness, that price is awesome. If we could get them down here, I'd buy one... or several.
  4. Freedom in theSkies

    Freedom in theSkies Well-Known Member

    brentn: As you may be able to tell by the very low serial number, I got mine from Milarm in Edmonton a few years before Marstar started importing them.
    I paid about 550 bucks for it at the time (when the Cdn dollar was worth about 65 cents US)...
    I was on the list for 2 more from Marstar, but when they called, I did not have the spare funds, so I passed on them. Stooooopid move....
    Now they are not likely to get any more from what I understand.
  5. ponyboy314

    ponyboy314 Member

    Damn, you Canadians get the good healthcare system, and you get the cool M14 rifles!

    I need one of those!
  6. no_problem

    no_problem Well-Known Member

    Comments on the Chinese M14 by Clint McKee of fulton Armory

    Here is some background info and one gunsmith's opinion on the Chinese Norinco M14. Hope this sheds a little more light on an interesting topic

    ***Web Sources
    ***Writeups on the Chinese M14's

    Origin of Chinese M14 Rifles

    A persistent rumor states that M14 rifles produced by the People's Republic of China were reverse engineered from enemy captured M14 rifles in Viet Nam. 4 China North Industries Corporation, known as Norinco, is reported to have produced M14 rifles by the early 1970s. 5 The story continues that 100,000 Chinese M14 rifles were produced for an armed revolution in the Philippines. 6 In preparing for this work, the author interviewed a very reliable source with extensive firsthand knowledge of Chinese and Taiwanese production and export of small arms was interviewed for this work. This gentleman wishes not to be identified. He is referred to as Other Source # 12.

    In the late 1960s, the Chinese government reverse engineered the design for the U. S. Rifle M14 from weapons captured in Viet Nam. 100,000 M14 rifles and the necessary magazines and ammunition were produced by the Chinese for export to arm rebels in other countries. These Chinese select fire M14 rifles were made to look just like captured American M14 rifles including even the serial numbers. The Chinese government went so far as to produce 7.62x51 mm NATO ammunition identical to British issue ammunition, though with corrosive primers. This 7.62x51 mm NATO faux British-headstamped Chinese made ammunition was exported to the United States and sold on the commercial market in the 1980s. The rifles and ammunition were manufactured with U. S. and British markings so as to avoid any connection to the People's Republic of China, and possibly to serve a role in disinformation (propaganda) campaigns for the planned uprising.

    The parts from the select fire M14 rifles were later exported to the United States as M14 parts kits for use by Federal Ordnance and other companies to build rifles with American made receivers. The ammunition was exported as well to the United States for commercial sale.

    Norinco and Polytech Industries

    M14 type rifles exported to the United States from China have been stamped as two brands, Polytech Industries and Norinco. Polytech Industries is a subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army. Reportedly, Norinco is a Ministry of Ordnance Industries entity consisting of 150 individual factories associated together for marketing purposes. Norinco is a government owned conglomerate of factories producing many kinds of military ordnance. However, Other Source # 12 explained what Norinco is in another way. Norinco was set up as a committee decades ago to supply war materials to prosecute the war in Viet Nam against the United States. Viet Nam was heavily dependent upon China during the war. After the change in government policy in 1978, there was no military need for Norinco. So, Norinco was turned into an export corporation since Chinese arms factories cannot sell directly to anyone but the Chinese government. Thus, Norinco has exported small arms and ammunition for sale in the commercial market of various countries since the 1980s.

    Production of Chinese M14 Type Rifles

    All Chinese semi-automatic M14 rifle receivers and new (post-1978) production parts for them have been manufactured at State Arsenal 356 in Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. Yunnan Province is in southwest China and borders the nations of Laos and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. All Chinese M14 type receivers are drop forged. Norinco has made select fire and semi-automatic only M14 type rifles. Norinco also produced a semi-automatic M14 known as the M305. There were two versions of the M305. Type I was assembled with a standard stock and flash suppressor and Type II featured a pistol grip stock and a stabilizer similar to the M14E2. Chinese semi-automatic M14 rifles have been exported to Canada, New Zealand, Norway and the United States for sale to private owners. The Chinese rifles exported to New Zealand are stamped M14 on the receiver heel and have had the selector lug cut off. Rifles marked M305 have been exported to Canada and Norway. A small number of Norinco select fire M14 rifles are available for sale in the United States as post-'86 ban dealer samples.

    Chinese M14 Type Rifle Export to the United States

    There have been three importers of Chinese M14 type rifles into the United States: 1) Keng's Firearms (Stone Mountain, GA) 2) Century Arms International (St. Albans, VT) and 3) CJA (Southfield, MI). The Chinese M14 type rifles were imported from 1988 until September, 1994. As shown on an ATF Form 6 related to one of these export shipments, the cost of a Polytech Industries M14S was $225.00 in 1989.

    Keng's Firearms

    Keng's Firearms (Stone Mountain, GA) imported Polytech Industries M14 type rifles. Keng's Firearms was the only company that imported Chinese M14 type rifles (Polytech Industries M14/S models) into the United States before the March 14, 1989 ban on importing military-lookalike semi-automatic rifles. This event is commonly referred to as the "1989 import ban." The Chinese M14 (Polytech Industries M14/S) rifles first appeared in the United States as part of the Keng's Firearms exhibit at the January, 1988 SHOT Show.

    Tim LaFrance noted that he had a concern with the Chinese bolts after examining the Polytech Industries rifles at the 1988 SHOT Show. He suggested to Keng's Firearms that these rifles be evaluated because of his concern with the bolts. Consequently, Polytech Industries representatives from the People's Republic of China contacted Smith Enterprise, Inc. shortly thereafter to discuss the manufacturing of M14 rifles. Representatives from Polytech Industries met for five days with Smith Enterprise personnel, with David Keng of Keng's Firearms acting as translator. The Polytech Industries representatives were supplied with a set of USGI drawings for the M14.

    After this first meeting, Polytech Industries sent raw forgings and assembled M14 rifles (Polytech serial numbers 00001 through 00005) to Smith Enterprise for evaluation and testing. Ron Smith personally test fired these first five Polytech Industries M14 type rifles. Smith Enterprise thoroughly examined and tested the Polytech Industries receivers and rifles. The receivers were found through spectrum analysis to be made of the Chinese equivalent of AISI 8620 alloy steel, the proper material for M14 receivers. The bolts, however, were not made of the correct steel alloy.

    The testing included hardness testing of the Polytech Industries receiver core by cutting it apart. One Polytech Industries receiver was tested to destruction by loading ammunition to create excessively high chamber pressure. The reader MUST NOT exceed powder charges as listed in reputable reloading manuals if hand loaded ammunition is used. Personal injury or death may occur if done so. The very first Polytech Industries receivers were very hard, harder than a file, which left them without the toughness provided by the relatively soft core of receivers made according to USGI specifications. The Chinese quickly corrected this by strictly adhering to the receiver heat treatment procedure.

    After Smith Enterprise completed the evaluation, a second meeting of the parties involved was held. Even after this second meeting, Polytech Industries did not correct all the concerns of Smith Enterprise and Keng's Firearms had regarding the Chinese bolt. Specifically, 1) the bolt locking lugs were too narrow 2) the carburizing and hardness remained unsatisfactory because State Arsenal 356 did not change the material to equivalent AISI 8620 steel but continued to use steel equivalent to AISI 4135. This was in spite of the fact that Keng's Firearms offered to supply USGI M14 bolts until Polytech Industries could manufacture its own bolts according to USGI specifications. Polytech Industries refused this offer from Keng's Firearms. The Chinese never changed the bolt material for M14 type rifles exported to the United States.

    Century Arms International

    Century Arms International (St. Albans, VT) imported both completed Polytech Industries rifles and Norinco M14 type rifles and receivers. Norinco rifles imported by Century Arms International had the least aesthetic appeal of all the Chinese M14 type rifles imported into the United States. Typically, the chu wood stocks are serviceable but not pleasing to the eye. The flash suppressors were cut just forward of the front sight to comply with the March 14, 1989 ban. The Polytech Industries rifles had better looking chu wood stocks and finish. Some, if not all, Polytech Industries M14S and Norinco M14 Sporter rifles imported by Century Arms International have serial numbers with a letter C followed by a hyphen and four digits, e.g., C-0640. Some of the Chinese receivers sold by Century Arms International were stamped at State Arsenal 356 in Yunnan Province and the rest were stamped by Century Arms International. Century Arms International imported the Chinese rifles some time after 1990.


    The third importer, CJA (Southfield, MI) imported Chinese rifles for a short time just prior to September 13, 1994. The stamping CJA SLFD MICH appears on some Norinco rifles and the marking IDE USA SLFD MICH appears on some Polytech Industries receivers. CJA imported the best looking Chinese M14 rifles into the United States. Representatives from CJA traveled to State Arsenal 356 in China to discuss the assembly process of the M14 type rifles it wished to import. These rifles were assembled with walnut stocks and new production parts with a very good finish.

    Chinese M14 Type Rifle Export to Canada

    Marstar (Vankleek Hill, Ontario) at present imports Norinco M305 rifles into Canada. The Norinco M305 rifles imported by Marstar have the slotted flash suppressor and scope mount recoil lug. The fit and finish of Norinco M305 rifles entering Canada today are judged to be better than that found on the 1980s and 1990s rifles exported to the United States. Reportedly, USGI bolts fit properly in these post-'00 production Norinco M305 rifles. The bolt hardness is also higher than bolts exported to the United States before 1994.

    Chinese Receivers

    There is no substantial difference between Norinco and Polytech Industries receivers although Smith Enterprise found the surface hardness to vary from 41 to 60 HRC without regard to marking. Smith Enterprise, Inc. has done extensive inspection, and non-destructive testing, and destructive examination of Chinese receivers. These inspections and tests have verified that Chinese M14 receivers are made of AISI 8620 equivalent alloy steel. Chinese receivers are drop forged into forms of larger bulk and less definition than the USGI receivers were. Then, like the American manufacturers, machine tools cut away at the metal from the raw forging to create the final desired shape before carburizing and heat treatment.
    Chinese receivers are not made of high carbon alloy steel such as AISI 52100 or other such high chromium alloy steel. Equivalent AISI 5100 series steel is high carbon (1.0 to 1.1 %) alloy steel that is much too hard for a rifle receiver. Because it is a high carbon steel that is thorough hardened it lacks toughness and ductility needed for the M14 type rifle. AISI 52100 alloy steel is the most commonly used steel for bearings. The machinability rating is 40 % when in the spheroidized annealed and cold drawn condition as compared to 100 % for AISI 1112 steel. It is difficult to machine and must be quenched below room temperature to form martensite. Smith Enterprise did some surface hardness testing of Chinese receivers in 1999. The results varied from 41 to 60 HRC. Soft receivers can be brought up to USGI specification by nitrocarburizing treatment.
    Chinese receivers have a threaded hole for a setscrew in the barrel ring. The Chinese rifles are built with a setscrew threaded far enough through the barrel ring to contact the barrel. The barrel setscrew is unnecessary for securing the barrel in the receiver. However, the Chinese manufactured their receivers this way because it is their psychological mindset. 9

    Markings of Exported Chinese M14 Type Rifles

    Early U. S. import Polytech Industries and Norinco manufacturer and model markings are marked on the receiver heel. Heel markings have been observed on Polytech Industries M14/S rifles with serial numbers as high as 028XX. Serial numbers of Chinese M14 rifles are usually stamped above the stock line on the scope mount side, below and slightly behind the rear sight elevation knob. A typical Chinese export M14 is Norinco serial number 9914. The serial number is stamped on the left hand side of the receiver and electro penciled on the left receiver leg. There are no other markings on the receiver. The importer markings, Century Arms in this case, are stamped on the barrel. A very few Norinco rifles imported into the United States have no manufacturer stamping whatsoever. Norinco M14 type rifle model numbers are M-14, M14 Sporter and M305. Some Norinco M14 type rifles have the marking CJA SFLD MICH on the side of the receiver. This marking has been found on Norinco M14 type rifles imported into both the United States and Canada. The Polytech Industries model number is denoted M14S or M14/S. Polytech Industries rifles have a better reputation for receiver surface machining and finish as compared to the Norinco stamped rifles.

    The following serial numbers have been observed on Norinco and Polytech Industries M14 type rifles in the United States:

    Norinco M-14, M14 Sporter - 00006 to 960XX for Century Arms International imports with some receivers having a letter C prefix, e.g., C08610.

    Polytech Industries M14/S, M14S - 00001 to 25XXX for KFS and CJA/IDE imports and C-1245 for Century Arms International imports
    Here is one site with info on the M14, including the Norinco Chinese Variants.

    **Fulton Armory Writeup on Chinese M14**

    Chinese M14 Rifles

    Norinco M14S with Fulton Armory Upgrade Package
    by Clint McKee
    Clint, tell us about the Chinese M14S
    I'd be happy to go through this. Here's the scoop:
    1. The locking lug helix (surface contour) of the Chinese bolt does not agree/match the locking lug helix of the receiver. Thus, the bolt locking lug surfaces only partially contact the receiver locking lug surfaces. As you fire the rifle, the bolt will "collapse" back onto the locking lugs of the receiver until "enough" surface contact is engaged to stop the rearward force caused by the 50,000 PSI or so that is produced on each firing. As the bolt moves rearward, headspace is lost. Often/mostly/always massive headspace loss occurs. I have seen Chinese bolts that close & move back & forth with a field gauge. I have witnessed headspace readings estimated (no gauge long enough to be certain) at greater than 20 thous. beyond Go. G.I. bolt's will also "collapse" when receiver locking lugs are not correct (commercial receivers sometimes have poor locking lug surfaces which is why we at Fulton Armory always hand lap every bolt to every commercial receiver to ensure excellent engagement before we install/set headspace), though they move rearward more slowly due to better heat treat & steel. The fact that the Chinese bolts are very soft, amplifies the problem. BTW, the locking lug helix of the Chinese receiver does agree/match the helix of the G.I. M14 bolts quite nicely. I have never had to hand lap a G.I. bolt for more than say, 15-20 minutes to get a beautiful engagement. It's quite odd. It's as though someone ground on the Chinese bolt lugs with a handtool.
    2. The Chinese bolt is "too long" as it relates to the firing pin bridge of the receiver, which retracts the firing pin on loading. As the Chinese bolt moves reward, the firing pin tail also moves reward. So much so that the firing pin bridge does not effectively/at all retract the firing pin! I have seen Chinese rifles where the firing pin did not retract at all. This is quite dangerous. Add to this bolt "geometry" problem the fact that the trigger & sears, & hammers are also way too soft (hammer fall will occur) one can see the train wreck ahead.
    Click HERE for more on the Chinese bolt.
    Final comments:
    A. One thousand rounds through an M14 is nothing. I have customers who do this in a month. The whole point of possessing fine military rifles is that their design, properly executed, provides for a durability & reliability virtually unknown in commercial products.
    B. That a rifle has not failed catastrophically, nor a wing fallen off, is hardly a measure of acceptability, safety or serviceability.
    C. The vast majority of Chinese M14's that come into our shop have excessive headspace, among other maladies. A very few have had too tight a headspace, which is quite odd.
    Fulton Armory builds Service and Competition Grade rifles on Polytech and Norinco receivers from customer-supplied rifles. The result is a superlative M14-type rifle with a forged receiver, as close to GI as you can get.
    Note to Walt: The barrel must be replaced to allow for a G.I. bolt to fit, and even then, the receiver needs relieving to safely accept the bolt! THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT! Also, the Hammer, Trigger & Sear need to be replaced.
    Our package should be done all at once, or not at all. You would not believe the horrendous examples that come into the shop that were "worked on" by the local "Gunsmith," trying to fit the G.I. bolt. One needs to know what to grind, and even more importantly, what not to grind. You really would not believe it. You're too trusting to believe what I've seen, Walt
    --Clint McKee
    A postscript from Kirk Hays:
    Having owned several of the Chinese M14S rifles, and having a set of M14 receiver gauges available to me, I have independently confirmed what Clint says about the receiver geometries. The Chinese receivers are dimensionally as good as TRW rifles in the collection of a friend. Period.
    The finish on the Norinco receivers is rough on non-functional surfaces - they are ugly, and Polytech receivers are only slightly better.
    John Kepler has inside information that the DCM was actually looking at using Chinese receivers for providing M14 rifles to Service Rifle competitors, and access to a steel analysis done on the recievers, showing it to be 5100 steel, which is a very good alloy for receivers, but a bit difficult to work.
    --Kirk Hays
    More on the Chinese bolts from Clint:
    The Chinese bolts have <<Edited>>
    --Clint McKee
  7. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Well-Known Member

    If they were sold here I wouldn't buy one.

    I'd buy 5 or 6.:D I'd make sure to check headspace often though.
  8. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Well-Known Member

    Buy them, replace the bolts with a GI bolt, probably have to lap it in. Otherwise okay.
  9. jpwilly

    jpwilly Well-Known Member

    I'd buy one pronto if they were sold in the "states" too!
  10. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

    If yours is shooting sub-MOA as you said in the original post, be happy. My national match Springfield doesn't shoot even half that well and it cost over 3X that amount.

    I wouldn't buy it simply because it's Chinese. But that's a matter of personal choice and opinion. I also wouldn't have purchased a K-98 from Adolph Hitler in 1939....
  11. jpwilly

    jpwilly Well-Known Member

    I wonder if they use lead based paint on them?
  12. Freedom in theSkies

    Freedom in theSkies Well-Known Member

    Not too sure about that, but I use lead based bullets in it...:p
  13. barnetmill

    barnetmill Well-Known Member

    It has been claimed that the red chinese did not reverse engineer the M14 receiver and used original US tooling obtained from taiwan. I do not know if this is true.
  14. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Why can't we have these in the US? Are they not "sporting" enough or something? Seems like a relatively benign rifle... I mean really, it's made of wood! How evil could it be?
  15. AZ_Rebel

    AZ_Rebel Well-Known Member

    Having owned a number of Norinco 1911s and currently using a Norinco 870 clone I have been quite satisfied with their products. A little rough maybe, but for the price a real bargain and ultimately functional.

    Don't confuse Socialized Medicine with "good healthcare"... they are two very different things. Way too often the long waiting periods in Canada lead to CBD (Cure By Death).
  16. Quintin Likely

    Quintin Likely Well-Known Member

    Metallurgically, they're supposed to be great. The "Made in China" part kinda bothers me, and I have a really nice Springfield National Match that'll likely outlast me and a generation or two.
  17. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Well-Known Member

    If only Armscor or some other mfgr. in a southeast Asian country would buy the tooling and sell them for legal export into the USA. I'd buy one in a heartbeat for that price, even if I had to replace a few parts.
  18. brentn

    brentn Well-Known Member

    AZ Rebel,

    Your slightly mistaken, the healthcare system prioritizes patients by how bad their issue is.
    The waiting time for say, strept throat or something else that requires anti-biotics would be a couple hours at a clinic for sure.
    However, if you come in with your leg shattered in 5 places, or a heart attack, you get first priority and you'll live :)
    I've had a fractured arm once and waiting a couple hours for attention, where as a guy came in and had a dislocated leg and was put ahead of me.
    Sometimes you can wait all day if enough really serious patients come in...
  19. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Well-Known Member


    Ever lived there or anywhere that has such a system?

    I have.

    I think your off and perhaps should become better informed.
  20. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Well-Known Member

    Doesn't sound all that much different than the american emergency rooms I've worked in. I just wish the hospital staff can get the police to boot out the drug-seeking vagrants just looking for a xanax or oxycontin.

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