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  #1  
Old 08-05-2020, 10:09 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,825
Default Replica USMC double-lug match M14 project build pics

Here's some build pics of my in-process replica of a USMC double-lugged M14 match rifle. It's a tribute build of a 1995-96 double-lug, heavy barrel USMC match rifle, using what I think is likely the last iteration of Barnett match barrels from that era. It is currently being bedded at Accuracy Speaks in AZ, and with any luck, perhaps I'll get it back around Labor Day 2020. Here's some build-pics sent by my buddy for anyone interested:

Front lugs being welded on in AZ (we used SS welding rod, same as used originally):


Lugs welded on:


Rear lug (left):


Front lug (left):


Barrel is unique:


Bolt lapping (head space set at 1.631" and installer used a Manson M852 chamber reamer on this build):


Bolt after lapping (TRW bolt with the original M14 match serial number etched on bottom side of bolt):


Front sight alignment on flash hider:


Rear sight alignment:


Op rod I'm using came off a double-lugged rifle, and was relieved for the front lug. (I had the tab re-built and re-parkerized this part):


Most of the M14 parts are USMC take-off parts, except the NM recoil spring guide which I had fabricated, and the unitized gas cylinder that was also made for this project. Here are the parts before I shipped them to builder (Accuracy Speaks in AZ is bedding this rifle):


USGI match trigger group with 3 serial numbers etched on side (two are etched out...so this old match group was used on a few rifles). Note old sticker on trigger guard to verify trigger pull at a Camp Perry type match was not less than 4.5 lbs:


So far, welding of front and rear lugs looks pretty good, and barrel install went well with proper lapping of the bolt, etc. I think the USMC rifle team subsequently adopted the NM M16s around 1997 or so, and this replica sort-of represents the final iteration of a USMC match M14 that used from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.

I'll update this this thread once the completed rifle has been shipped back to me.

Last edited by Random Guy; 08-09-2020 at 05:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2020, 12:18 PM
Deuceguy Deuceguy is offline
 
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Location: Northfield, OH
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Random, pretty awesome project and dig the parts. Are you doing the bedding?
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2020, 12:27 PM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Virginia
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Thanks, I am not bedding it. Accuracy Speaks in AZ is bedding it in MarineTex, and given its a double-lugged rifle and will have two torque screws, I think the bedding process is a bit more involved.

Last edited by Random Guy; 08-05-2020 at 12:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2020, 09:36 AM
Deuceguy Deuceguy is offline
 
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Location: Northfield, OH
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I missed the part about Accuracy Speaks doing the work. I hear good things about them. I use Marine Tex and continue to have excellent results. The job sounds like fun. I hope you get it back quickly.
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2020, 05:00 PM
Cowtownscout Cowtownscout is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Texas
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Cool project as usual. I look forward to photos of the finished rifle.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2020, 08:23 AM
M14 M14 is offline
 
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Another great build RG. If I may, and we all know about opinions, but I disagree with their method of cutting the op rod down instead of the front lug.

I know that some armorer's do it for several reasons, one being to facilitate easier assembly and disassembly of the op rod spring and guide, and by looking at both lugs I can tell they definitely know what they are doing. Note the rounded edges on all lug corners. That extends the bedding life greatly.

The whole concept about lugs and accuracy is based on mass. The greater the mass of the front and rear lugs, the greater the accuracy of the rifle. The weight ratios keep the receiver still, along with the bolts that lock it down.

But, with a barrel that heavy, there would have been no loss of accuracy by cutting the front lug to clear the op rod, instead of the other way around, which in my humble opinion, could weaken the op rod. Just an observation but thought you might appreciate a different viewpoint.

Given the fact that the barrel is not going to be a free float system, and its mass plays into the equation as well, the draw pressure built into the bedding job has more to do with the rifle's inherent accuracy, than losing a few ounces off the front lug that is bolted down anyway.

I've had a few Navy award rifles that were double lugged and they all were a pain to install the spring guide, but they all had the lug relieved and had stock op rods. I suppose it depends on the individual armorer or which military branch of service guidance manuals they are following.

Going to be a real shooter, regardless of anyone's opinions or techniques. Once again, well done!
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:40 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Well, I don't claim to be an expert of course, but I agree that the legacy design of the welded-on front lugs is apparently determined by the branch of service. My contract at Crane noted that the Navy front lugs were a little different in design that the USMC style, but unfortunately I have not been able to see any pictures to see what the difference is. From your post I can only surmise that the top of the lug must be relived somewhat more than what I have.

Quote:
I've had a few Navy award rifles that were double lugged and they all were a pain to install the spring guide, but they all had the lug relieved and had stock op rods. I suppose it depends on the individual armorer or which military branch of service guidance manuals they are following.
...any chance you have any old pics of the front lugs on a Navy build? I'd be grateful to see pics if possible. (I have a old McMillan/Navy double-lugged black sniper rifle stock, but the shape of the lug in that area can't be determined from the old bedding). My contact at Crane said he saw several that had "cracked off" and mentioned something about possible poor welding technique.

My front lug is reportedly like the ones by the USMC on their heavy match M14s (and basically all parts on my replica project, except the gas cylinder, spring guide and the front lug came off match USMC rifles, so my goal is a 'tribute' build of a USMC heavy barrel double lug build). The rear lug was an old USMC lug that was never installed. I too am not crazy about the relief cut on the op rod either, but that's the way my part came to me, and apparently per an old timer its "correct" for a USMC double-lug match M14.

My relieved USGI SA off rod came off an SAI that had what appears to be basically all USMC take-off parts, including a 1990 USMC marked medium weight barrel. The op rod was well-worn but and the relief cut was already done. Again, I was told by an old-timer it looks just like the ones used on the double-lugged USMC rifles back in the day, so that's all I know... Here's the 1990 SAI donor rifle that had the modified op rod and old USMC match parts (1990 dated USMC barrel, NM flash hider, NM welded/unitzed gas cylinder, match trigger group with serial # etched, fabricated NM spring guide, USGI NM rear sights, polished bolt, handguard (w/ white 'Hysol' bedding under the clip and front under the ferrule), and early McMillan military stock, etc).



I should note that both lugs will be threaded for a torque screw, but that process has not yet been done. Here's a picture of real 1964 TRW M14 with original NM-marked receiver, that had front and rear lugs welded on, but I could not say what branch welded these on. (Possibly USMC, but no way to know). This receiver was subsequently de-milled, and Ted Brown was given the receiver heel. My lugs will be threaded for the torque screws as seen here, and we even welded up the faux selector lock pin on my project, similar to this example to give it an extra detail.



I hope my project is a shooter given the work involved in acquiring parts and building it - even if my skills/vision are not up to where they should be for such a match build. Here's a picture someone posted of a bunch of real USMC M14 double-lugged match rifles. Anyhow, I appreciate your opinion on these things, as I am always ready to learn from others with more experience with this oldie-but-goodie plarform.


Last edited by Random Guy; 08-11-2020 at 05:03 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2020, 06:19 PM
gogs gogs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: AZ
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Here a comparison of the USMC front lug and The Navy version of there lug.
http://imgur.com/a/aj1y9oA
http://imgur.com/a/qgvnWhI
http://imgur.com/a/z10cxqG
http://imgur.com/a/gQ6zB5d
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2020, 06:37 PM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Virginia
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Many thanks(!). Those pics are worth 1000 words and show the clear difference in front lugs between the two branches. Much appreciated.

Last edited by Random Guy; 08-11-2020 at 06:09 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2020, 05:43 PM
M14 M14 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: south mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Guy View Post
Many thanks(!). Those pics are worth 1000 words and show the clear difference in front lugs between the two branches. Much appreciated.
Yes Terry, thx a bunch.
Saved me from searching for my pics.

I've often wondered RG, exactly how much weight difference there actually was between the usmc and navy receivers front lugs, as most heavy barrels were roughly equal.

I know that the Marine rifles shot like a house afire and the Navy rifles were capable of taking the line and the match. ..... but old scores back in the day showed the Marines took more titles.

I guess we were too busy always giving them a ride to go fight somewhere and never got to shoot as much as they did....ha ha.

Now that you prompted me to think about those old Navy rifles, I'll have to get Geeck to help me get the pics off my old computer.. Let you know when we find em bud.

One of them was the most awesome M14's I ever saw. It had a tall sailing ship engraved on top the barrel ring and the award information on the heel with a tilted anchor engraved. I had an opportunity to shoot it with that big ole fat barrel and it was sweet. Throat erosion was like 3.5 and it would still stack the rounds all in one hole. I was impressed.

Still have one of those old heavy barrels with the dovetail cut for the op rod guide. Been debating a build with it for years, but the amount of patience and sacrifice that is required to do what you have done, is no longer in me.

Sure wish I could talk you into an invite when it's done. I would give anything to shoot that type rifle just one more time. Around here we build a lot of cool rifles and a lot of accurate rifles that have attention to detail, excellent g.i. parts, very nice barrels, stocks, etc, etc, .....but what you have done there transcends all of that and even goes above the love we put into them here. I guess the right words would be fervent and unwaivering dedication. Again, well done! I'm impressed again. Hard to do these days.
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