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Info on Cetme's?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mp40, Sep 14, 2004.

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  1. mp40

    mp40 Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Idaho Falls ID
    Looking to purchase a 308 cal. EAR. Looking on any ideas about the Cetme's. Found a great Deal on one but need some info.
  2. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    CETMEs can be a crapshoot - I had one that was a hunk of junk, as the drunken monkeys at Century must have built it on Monday morning with a huge hangover. The mags wobbled, and it quit feeding from any mag after 20 rounds, and had a nice 7 inch group at 50 yards!
    Amost everyone else I have spoken to has had great luck with thier CETME rifles, so much that I may actually revisit the idea again. Rumor has it that the newers ones (mine was about 2 years ago), are relibale and accurate, but the thin barrels heat up quick, destroying pinpoint accuracy.
    Hey, for $300, what do you expect, an FAL?:cool:
  3. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    I had good luck with mine. But visually inspect it before buying and make sure everything's in place.
  4. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    Leeds, AL.
    You should visit Perro's. Perro and staff have a lot of knowledge to share.

    CAI makes the CETME and they have some QC issues. Sometimes they turn out great rifles... and sometimes they make crap. If you are willing to take a chance and cover the bases before you buy they can be a great value. A well made CETME can be a tack driver. Mine isn't super accurate but it could pull off 1MOA with good ammunition, if I could shoot that well. Magazines are cheap. If you are willing to spend a little extra I would try to get the G3 clone, parts are easier to find and the rear sight is better. And the fire controls aren't bass akwards. Some people don't like the ergonomics or the loading process.

    On caution, if you want to put commercial ammunition through it I suggest you invest in a case puller. The CETME/G3 has a violent ejection system and eventually a case head WILL seperate. A lot of upper body strength or a friend who can hold the rifle while you imitate the infamous "FAL Pogo" helps. Those cases stick tight. No such problems from surplus.

    I've never encountered or heard of this. The barrel does get hot as hell... but all barrels do. It's never effected my accuracy much. My hands are another story. I recommend getting a wide handguard if you like to burn ammo up fast.
  5. Dave R

    Dave R Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I think my experience is probably typical.


    -Century assembled it slightly crooked, and there was not enough windage to get it on target. Fixed it by making a new front sight post with more offset (grind off old post, drill and insert new post made from drill stock.) Actually, that's an advantage because it appears the finer front post makes for better accuracy, as we shall see in a moment...

    -The cast stainless receiver had a burr on the mag well that prevented the mag catch from operating its full distance. I discovered this when some of my mags wouldn't feed. And the 5-rounders would pop free after the first shot. Glad this happened on a range table...But after I ground off the burr, I have full mag function.

    -Stock pins (disassembly pins) were way tight, as was fit between stock , receiver and trigger group. Hard to take down the first few times. But those problems were short-lived. Takes down fine now.

    -Trigger pull is military--i.e. kinda gritty and heavy. But there's this guy at Perro's site--Bill Springfield--who does trigger jobs for like $30 and I hear they're pretty good....

    From many sessions at the CETME forum(s), it seems these were all common problems at the time, and fixes were found on the forums.


    -Reliability. After I got the mags fixed, I have not had a jam. Ever. It really does have strong ejection. It gets the brass OUTA there. I can understand the caution on using commercial brass. I shot a few once, just to say I did it, but I avoid it now.

    -Accuracy. Every time I shoot it I get 2MOA. I typically shoot it at 200 yards. (Even at 100 yards I ignore the 100M combat "V" rear sight, which is useless, and use the 200M aperture.) Last weekend at the range, first group of 3 at 200 yards was just over 1". That's sub-MOA. Next groups were all about 4", which is typical for me. I like Portugese surplus ammo. And that's all with iron sights. If I scope it...

    -Ergonomics. That's a personal preference issue, but I like the feel better than FAL. I like the wood. I like the muzzle-heavy balance. When I plink with it, using 'field expedient rests' and field positions, it seems like the front sight post just sits there on the target while I pull the trigger. Little/no muzzel "wander". Easy for me to shoot well.

    -Recoil. Its quite soft for .308. Much less than my bolt .308. A hair more than my .223. Seems to come out of recoil right on target.

    As a result, I enjoy pounding metal targets like old propane tanks at 200+ yards. 1 hit per second is pretty easy to do. BOOMthunk. BOOMthunk. BOOMthunk. It would make a nice background track to a rap piece (I refuse to call rap music).

    So once I got Century's bugs worked out, I'm quite happy with it.

    I have never seen accuracy degrade with barrel heat, but I don't over-do it, either.
  6. jason10mm

    jason10mm Member

    Aug 5, 2003
    Savannah, Georgia
    I can echo Dave R's feelings, mine could be an exact copy of his. I did get a Bill Springfield trigger job, but the pull is still ridiculous (I'm spoiled by a Jewell 2 stage AR trigger, I guess ;). The paddle iron sight is a joke, get the one with the HK drum if possible, or mount an AR style sight, or put on a scope. I got the Tapco 4x scope and claw mount which is a pretty good deal. However the scope is mounted so high that a solid cheek weld is impossible for me. A stock bad will cure that though.

    Personally, I prefer the FAL if you must get a .308 cheap EBR. They are more fool-resistant and ergonomically superior (for a lefty anyway). The M1A beats them both hands down though.
  7. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    My CETME has been a joy, but I can't stress enough that one needs to read up a bit at Perro's or http://www.gunboards.com/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=47 and give the prospective purchase a good going over. I went from clueless to having a nice CETME in a pretty short time thanks to these resources.
    It always pays to check for the infamous CAI ground bolt, and pick up a set of feeler gauges to check headspace. I find that the ones I'm seeing now are a lot less filled with gunk, but I do see them with canted triple frames, so it pays to give them a long hard looking over. It's also nice if the gun store has some G3 mags and will let you check to see if they fit. Some of mine take a good slap, but they all run, and they were cheap even before the ban expired.
    I haven't run any commercial .308 yet, some will do it ok, others are pretty much thicker milsurp brass only... For a cheap 7.62, mine performs really quite nicely. They can be huge bargains if you take the time to learn what to shop for.
  8. Bigdog

    Bigdog Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Northern Florida
    I love my Chopo! I bought it from a gunshow vendor that I do a lot of business with, and he always has good guns. My only glitch on htis one was the sight windage. I took a different tack from DaveR's method. I drilled out and filled the rearsight apertures, then re-drilled smaller holes slightly off-set to correct the error. Repainted black, the mod is invisible.
    I also adjusted the 200 meter hole to 100 meters - just personal preference. I don't like the "Vee" either.
    With the scope installed, it shoots 1.5" at 100 yards with good ammo.
    I also have shot the commercial ammo - 40 rounds with no problem. Then, recently tried to shoot the Rem/UMC 150 grain after having been shooting the Indian .308. The UMC case ripped in half! Big OOPS! Luckily, the front half came out stuck to the second round - not stuck in the chamber.
    I'm thinking the Indian stuff made the chamber too dirty for the commercial ammo. I took it home for a good cleaning/lube job.
    The good thing was, I shot two five-shot one-inch groups with the Indian ammo! Functioned good too. Good thing - I bought 400 rounds of that stuff.
    The FAL stock just doesn't fit me for some reason - the CETME is better for me ergonomically. Recoil is light too - lighter than the FAL and Garands I've shot. It seems to spread the recoil energy over a longer time - hard to describe, but it just feels different from a gas-op gun.
    Stripping and cleaning seem easy to me.
    All ten of the $1.95 HK Alloy mags I bought from IO work great. This gun has had zero mag problems, even with the five-shot.
    If only that barrel didn't get so hot . . . ;)
    A good CETME is the best bang for the buck since the days of $75 SKS's.
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