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wild_wild_wes
04-19-12, 12:25
I have an all-TRW M-14 parts kit and I've decided to build it as a DMR-type scoped rifle. Why? Because it is a semi-auto, and I can legally use detachable mags with it (I'm in California). I have an AR10, but must use "non-detachable" mags of no more than 10 rounds with it, since it is not a CA registered assault weapon. So, there is the background about why I'm using an M-14 instead of some other more easily scoped rifle.

The typical range I will be using it at would be up to 300 yards, as that is the max at my shooting club unless your are shooting in the Tactical match, which rotates between 600 and 1,000 yards. I might try the 600, but not the 1,000 with this rifle. I would also like the rifle to conform to DMR specs, just because.

I would like some advice about what barrel and optic to use.

The TRW G.I. barrel is 1 in 12 rate of twist, and I think I'd be better off with 1 in 10, correct? I'd prefer a stainless barrel or a chromed bore, but am open to ther types. I'm not sure about weight- Smith makes a Medium-Heavy contour, but would that be suitable for a DMR rifle? As far as length, 18" or 22" seem the way to go. So...what are my choices here, and what would you recommend?

Now on to the optic...the choice for DMR would be a low-power variable in the 3-9X range, right? Or would a fixed 6X or 10X be suuitable as well? I have my eye on the Super Sniper scopes, because I have one and really like it, but I'm open to other relatively inexpensive brands too.

I will be using a synthetic GI stock fitted with 3" rails at 3 and 9 o'clock and a bipod stud at the 6 for my Harris. I also have a variable-height cheekpiece that will be installed to help with cheek weld. I'm trying to keep costs on this project down, so the more expensive but capable stocks are out.

So, there you have it. I hope you guys can help me out on barrel and optic choice, and whatever other advice in general you might be able to furnish.

BrigandTwoFour
04-21-12, 11:55
Heh, seems we keep running into each other.

I built up a M14 DMR for the exact reason you did, I was being sent to California and didn't want to deal with the AW hassle. I've since moved and expanded the collection, but will (rather ironically) be ending up back in CA early next year.

Are you going for an exact copy of what the M14 DMR program rifles look like? Or are you going for your own interpretation of it? I may have an old combat arms magazine around here that talked about that program if you want details on exactly what was done.

For the range you specified (300 yards, maybe up to 600) you can use 168gr SMK loads. The 175 loads seem to be preferred for reaching that magical 1000 line. I think you would be fine for now with a 1-12 barrel, but there would be nothing wrong with getting that 1-10 (or 1-11 if you get it from Krieger). If you've looked at Smith's website, their Crazy Horse modifications are generally considered very good. I think you'd be fine with either the medium-heavy or the standard contour. I am limited to the medium (G.I.) due to my stock, and I've never had an issue.

In the optics thread, I pointed you to the SS 6x and 10X scopes. The 6X would be fine for up to 300, but if you want to stretch it to 600, then I would say definitely the fixed 10X or the variable 3-9x42. The 10X fixed will not be so great inside of 200 yards or so, but that can be overcome with training- a la using an ACOG for CQB.

sinister
04-21-12, 12:39
I would strongly recommend (since you're in California) as a starting point a forged LRB receiver with integral scope base. It will provide the most secure rock-solid scope mounting for the M14/M1A platform possible without the frustration/annoyance of all other engineering compromise Band-aids.

http://www.lrbarms.com/images/831_M25_Rail_3.JPG
http://www.lrbarms.com/images/831_M25_Rail_2.JPG

There's enough rail length that you could also mount a 1-o'clock base and put either a JP short-range iron or a red-dot on right or left side (depending on your dominant hand-eye side). Unfortunately with the M14/M1A, mounting a scope will also require you to add a little comb height to the stock -- either a foam pad and hundred-mile-an-hour (duct) tape or some other add-on like an Eagle stock pack.

A 1-12 barrel will be more than sufficient for both the 168 and 175 Match Kings. A 1-10 is nice but not necessary unless you're planning on shooting formal NRA-style prone bullseye matches. The heavier the barrel the more it will affect pointing and handling (especially when you start adding weight, i.e. the scope). You'll want all 22-inches if you're planning on shooting to 1,000 down in the valley or in the desert in California in the summer (you want 2550 fps or more with a 175).

The Super Sniper is a fine scope for the money. Find an older one with side focus for around $350-400 and you'll be set.

The M14/M1A has both advantages and disadvantages over the AR-10. Do your research. You can sink a boat-load of money trying to get one to shoot like an AR-10 -- just remember it has a lot more moving parts, can be finicky, can be heavier, and requires a talented gunsmith to get everything working well. It will also require periodic maintenance over the long run.

Its saving grace is it's California OK.

BrigandTwoFour
04-21-12, 13:16
A big +1 to the LRB M25 receivers, if you don't already have a receiver (I assumed you did).

Having the integrated scope mounting will save you a lot of headache and trouble down the line with other mounting solutions (see my review of the CASM mount in the optics section)

wild_wild_wes
04-21-12, 15:09
Crap! I have an Armscorp reciever already, and a Smith scope mount. But that LRB does look tempting; I'd much rather have a forged reciever. This will rquire some thought. I have a very talented gunsmith and will ask how difficult it would be to sell the reciever I have. Hmm...

wild_wild_wes
04-21-12, 15:17
Are you going for an exact copy of what the M14 DMR program rifles look like? Or are you going for your own interpretation of it?

For the range you specified (300 yards, maybe up to 600) you can use 168gr SMK loads. I think you'd be fine with either the medium-heavy or the standard contour. I am limited to the medium (G.I.) due to my stock, and I've never had an issue.


I'm doing my own interpretation. I'm adding things like the Smith brake (the one with all the little ports on it, not the CA-legal Vortex-type Direct Connect with ports instead of slits) and the front sight that sits in front of the gas block.

I'll look into the 168s I have no intention of taking this rifle to 1,000.

How much weight does the medium-heavy add? It will work wth the synthetic G.I. stock, right?

Thanks for your help!

sinister
04-21-12, 15:59
The medium-heavy doesn't add too much, but the overall aggregate with the GI fiberglass stock, a scope, and whatever you add to the gun (i.e., a National Match guide rod, flash light, bipod, etc.) may/will shift center-of-gravity forward. An 18-inch gun will shift weight back some, but then you'll probably want an efficient/noisy California-compliant muzzle brake or compensator.

I would try to wear out the TRW barrel first. TRW was/is considered as having the nicest overall machining precision and quality of all (genuine government) M14s.

The Smith and any number of other receivers are good options but you will have to go through a lot of research and experimentation before you settle on a compromise optic mounting system. There are a lot of options out there with varying amount of rigidity and hole/screw security that do not rival the fixed rigidity of an AR or the LRB.

Like the booby trap manual says, you are only limited by your imagination (and in the case of the M14/M1A depth of your wallet and patience).

Do your research -- someone has already tried doing what you want to do to an M14/M1A. The design has been around a long time -- pissing off people trying to figure how to efficiently and rigidly put a scope on it. The LRB was specifically designed to fix the need for work-arounds.

wild_wild_wes
04-21-12, 17:37
I would try to wear out the TRW barrel first.

^ wisdom :D

BrigandTwoFour
04-21-12, 22:18
FWIW, I just reviewed the article I mentioned earlier about the Rock Island M14 DMR build ups. They all used the USGI barrel, so long as the barrel wasn't in bad shape. I imagine your TRW will be fine, probably around 1 MOA or slightly better. Nothing wrong with that.

wild_wild_wes
04-22-12, 01:05
I was a bit confused...the M21 used National Match barrels, but I just re-read the Collector Grade Publications M14 book where they discuss the genesis of the XM21, and nothing about a Medium-Heavy barrel was mentioned. But later I think some were rebarreled, or had medium heavies put on by the unit. The vast majority of M21s though used the regular G.I. weight barrel, which is quite skinny indeed.

m1a_scoutguy
04-22-12, 01:54
Crap! I have an Armscorp receiver already, and a Smith scope mount. But that LRB does look tempting; I'd much rather have a forged receiver. This will require some thought. I have a very talented gunsmith and will ask how difficult it would be to sell the receiver I have. Hmm...

As AWESOME as the LRB Receiver is with the built in scope rails,,your Armscorp receiver and Smith Mount will be fine !!! I have both a LRB and a couple other Armscorp receivers and all have had scopes and mounts on them at one time or another and I have had 0 problems !!! The Smith Mounts are a Quality Product,,so you will be good to go !!! These guys make a fantastic mount also and there Customer Service is 2nd to none,,Mike is a Super guy and will bend over backwards to set things straight,,but your chances of a problem are about .000000001%,,very slim,,,LOL !!! http://www.sadlak.com/si_rifle_parts_sm.html Just as a genaral rule,,if you decided to go with a LRB,,plan on waiting a LOOOOOONG time for one,,espcially if you call them up and order one,,there are some out on the secondary market,,so you could find one if ya really wanted one,,but again the receiver you have will be fine !! As far as BBLs go,,I have a 22 Inch Heavy NM Kreiger and it is a fantastic BBL,,,I have had it for several years and put thousands of rds down it & it is still a tack driver !!! http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/M1Garand__M1AM14-c1246-wp3393.htm You could probably send all your parts and goodies right to Kreiger and they could put it together for you and give your gas system the NM treatment while they had it in there shop and repark everything to make it all match if ya wanted !!! Lots of choices for sure !! I have never shot a Smith BBL,,,but I know they are great also !!! You can go right to the LRB Website ,,,they have lots of BBLs also,,,the Criterion BBLS are made by Kreiger,,,they just don't advertize,,,great BBLS also !!! And last but not least,,,,if your TRW BBL is in good shape it should shoot pretty good also,,,TRW was known as the most Accurate of the GI Profile BBLs !!! Keep us posted on how ya make out !!! :D

Littlelebowski
04-22-12, 08:30
Come on man, basic English.

m1a_scoutguy
04-22-12, 12:39
Hey Wes,,check this out,,,should give ya some more info !! Its long,,but tons of good info !!
http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/M14_RHAD_Online_Edition_061010.pdf
Yea,,I agree the GI Profile BBL is pretty skinny,,but they are pretty darn tough !!

Different
04-24-12, 06:58
I was a bit confused...the M21 used National Match barrels, but I just re-read the Collector Grade Publications M14 book where they discuss the genesis of the XM21, and nothing about a Medium-Heavy barrel was mentioned. But later I think some were rebarreled, or had medium heavies put on by the unit. The vast majority of M21s though used the regular G.I. weight barrel, which is quite skinny indeed.

The medium weight barrel for the M14 / M21 did not arrive on the scene until the early 1980s.

wild_wild_wes
05-05-12, 23:22
What about the Leatherwood Adjustable Ranging Telescope as used on the M21? I don't hear them discussed much.

sinister
05-06-12, 00:17
The ART 1 was a very good, fast scope. I preferred it to the ART-II.

Both were a little delicate but good designs (with limitations) for their era (late 60s through end of the 70s for the ART, ART II through around 1985). Both mounting systems suck.

http://i52.tinypic.com/29fct93.jpg

Different
05-06-12, 09:18
What about the Leatherwood Adjustable Ranging Telescope as used on the M21? I don't hear them discussed much.

This is the best web page I know of on the XM21 and ART scopes: http://imageevent.com/willyp/firearmsalbums/usspringfieldxm21sniper

For the historical account on ART scopes, I recommend this book: Senich, Peter R. The Long-Range War Sniping In Vietnam. Paladin Press: Boulder, CO, 1994. I picked up a used copy on amazon.com for a very reasonable price.

wild_wild_wes
05-06-12, 12:20
The ART 1 was a very good, fast scope. I preferred it to the ART-II.

Both were a little delicate but good designs (with limitations) for their era (late 60s through end of the 70s for the ART, ART II through around 1985). Both mounting systems suck.

http://i52.tinypic.com/29fct93.jpg

Is that you, Sinister?

What about the ART telescopes as crrently manufactured. Are they Go, or No Go?

Different
05-06-12, 13:37
If you're referring to the M-1000 and M-1200, I read owner reviews of those models. What I read prompted to look further. After looking at other brands, including Pride-Fowler, I went with a Shepherd Enterprises 3-10X40 mm P2 scope for my M21A5 clone. HTH

SteveS
05-06-12, 17:09
Off topic but I used to have an all TRW parts except a SAK barreled early 1990 M1a rifle and it was super accurate. Too bad I sold it when I started to get out of rifles. It is the only gun I regret selling. IMO the M1a is way nicer than an AR 10. Especially yours with the good parts!!!

wild_wild_wes
05-06-12, 17:11
If you're referring to the M-1000 and M-1200, I read owner reviews of those models. What I read prompted to look further. After looking at other brands, including Pride-Fowler, I went with a Shepherd Enterprises 3-10X40 mm P2 scope for my M21A5 clone. HTH

I have a Shepherd 3-10X40 mm P2, on my Ruger M77 VLE. I'm mostly an AR guy, not a "precision" shooter by any means. I bought the Ruger and the Shepherd before I knew anything about long range tactical shooting. I used them in one of my club's Long Range Tactical practice matches. The Shepherd was stupid easy to use. I've never shot farther than 500 yards before (I was in the Marines, but in the Air Wing), and had never previously shot this rifle past 300 yards before the match. But I managed to get almost all of my rounds into the Black at 1,000 yards on my very first attempt, while other guys around me petered out at 800, missed the taget entirely, and were dismissed from the match.

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii173/USPx4/rugerm77vle.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii173/USPx4/1000target.jpg

I've since learned at Sniper's Hide that the Shepherd is not too well liked. I've heard that the M-14 can be hard on scopes, so I don't know if I want to put it on mine. That Ruger was sure hard on my shoulder on match day, so I don't know though.

sinister
05-06-12, 17:14
Is that you, Sinister?

About a hundred years ago.


What about the ART telescopes as crrently manufactured. Are they Go, or No Go?

I have no experience with recent manufacture.

SteveS
05-06-12, 17:36
The target is most impressive, I would be happy. In fact I am great job!!!

wild_wild_wes
05-06-12, 18:48
About a hundred years ago.


I know what you mean. I was in from '83 to '87.

Ricardus
05-10-12, 15:11
I have an all-TRW M-14 parts kit and I've decided to build it as a DMR-type scoped rifle. Why? Because it is a semi-auto, and I can legally use detachable mags with it (I'm in California). I have an AR10, but must use "non-detachable" mags of no more than 10 rounds with it, since it is not a CA registered assault weapon. So, there is the background about why I'm using an M-14 instead of some other more easily scoped rifle.

The typical range I will be using it at would be up to 300 yards, as that is the max at my shooting club unless your are shooting in the Tactical match, which rotates between 600 and 1,000 yards. I might try the 600, but not the 1,000 with this rifle. I would also like the rifle to conform to DMR specs, just because.

I would like some advice about what barrel and optic to use.

The TRW G.I. barrel is 1 in 12 rate of twist, and I think I'd be better off with 1 in 10, correct? I'd prefer a stainless barrel or a chromed bore, but am open to ther types. I'm not sure about weight- Smith makes a Medium-Heavy contour, but would that be suitable for a DMR rifle? As far as length, 18" or 22" seem the way to go. So...what are my choices here, and what would you recommend?

Now on to the optic...the choice for DMR would be a low-power variable in the 3-9X range, right? Or would a fixed 6X or 10X be suuitable as well? I have my eye on the Super Sniper scopes, because I have one and really like it, but I'm open to other relatively inexpensive brands too.

I will be using a synthetic GI stock fitted with 3" rails at 3 and 9 o'clock and a bipod stud at the 6 for my Harris. I also have a variable-height cheekpiece that will be installed to help with cheek weld. I'm trying to keep costs on this project down, so the more expensive but capable stocks are out.

So, there you have it. I hope you guys can help me out on barrel and optic choice, and whatever other advice in general you might be able to furnish.

Wes,

Check out my M25 build that I just had done by Ted Brown. It is heavy but I carried heavier than that when I was in the airborne infantry.