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Teds Brown evaluation of Gunworks of LA M14 receivers

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    Teds Brown evaluation of Gunworks of LA M14 receivers

    These are interesting times for the M14 rifle industry. Over the last couple of years we have seen many new M14 related products come into the market. Of course it’s a limited market to some degree. The M14 platform is not a low cost item and many who have struggled through the nation’s economy have found it difficult to get started with this type of firearm. A lot of folks have resorted to a DIYS mentality initiated by the AR15 movement. For the last 50 years most who served in the military were trained to use the M16 and it variants. This familiar weapon is fairly cheap to own and easy to assemble. Parts have flooded the market to an extent that it has surpassed the 1911 as one of the most popular guns around. That leaves the M14 sort of “out on a limb” as it were. On the other hand, M14 parts are getting harder to find, more expensive, and not always as good of quality as we would prefer. Most of us who really know the M14 are getting kind of old too. Although it’s only about eight years older than the M16, it suffered from a fairly short life as an issue weapon in the military. Even though it was never completely abandoned, it’s still in use, few of the younger generation have had much exposure to it. Those that have found it’s a great rifle and it has attributes that most other rifle lack.

    Some companies, like Springfield Armory have resorted to making most of their parts off shore to keep costs down. Even so, the M1A is not a cheap rifle and it’s overall quality has suffered some over the years. However, with nearly 400,000 made it has a pretty good record and an outstanding lifetime warranty.

    Springfield isn’t the only game in town anymore. Some companies have come and gone, Federal Ordnance, Armscorp, AR Sales, to name a few, but there are others eager to take their place. Many of the newer companies are producing higher quality firearms although at a higher price point. Fortunately, most of these are producing parts very close to the original government specifications. LRB Arms, Bula Forge, James River Armory and Smith Enterprise have established themselves as leaders in the industry.

    Now there is a new kid on the block that deserves some attention. This small company is located in Theodore, Alabama. The company is Gun Works of LA. (For those who are confused, LA stands for Lower Alabama). The company is run by William Mozingo, CEO and Charles Sporke JR., VPO. Charley is a Master Machinist who claims not to be a gun guy, but really knows his machines and how to read a government blue print. They tell me they are dedicated to producing the best M14 receiver available and seem to be well on their way to accomplishing that.

    Gun Works recently sent me a receiver to evaluate. Overall it was a nice early production receiver with a request that I pick it apart and report to them what I thought needed improvement. I was happy to report that I found very little to criticize. GW receivers are made from hot stamped forgings like the originals. The overall fit and finish was very good with few machining marks in visible areas. It was finished with a dark Nitrate finish rather than Parkerizing. The one issue I thought was significant on this particular receiver related to the head space on an installed barrel that had a finished chamber and chrome lining. It was longer than desired and, after discussing it with Charley, they determined a change was required to the length of the recoil shoulders to shorten up the head space. This is the type of reaction I like to see. They were very responsive to suggestions on how to improve their product.

    I assembled a rifle on the GW receiver with a used TRW bolt, new Criterion medium weight barrel (requiring finish reaming), a bunch of excellent condition GI parts and a Boyds’ walnut stock. Test firing was done at the Jackson County Sport Park range in Medford, OR. All shooting was done at 100 yards on a NRA SR1 target. I fired several shots with M80 ball ammo to test functioning without any malfunctions. Targeting was done using LC79 M118 ammunition. The first couple of shots were a little low and left, but after that I was able to keep all shots in the 10 and X rings. This was very good accuracy for a standard grade rifle (Criterion barrels are good!) and I was more than pleased with the results.

    Fast forward about three weeks later, Fed Ex shows up with another Gun Works of LA receiver. This one is in the white with a note that it is just off the machine and has not been heat treated yet. They said they corrected all the issues I reported and could I send it back after checking it over so they could finish it. No problem… The receiver looked even better than the first. I checked all the tolerances I could and fitted parts to insure corrections were made. Head space was within specifications and a tight magazine fit problem (minor) was gone.

    One thing I should point out is that the Gun Works receivers are all done on special order. Give them a call and place an order including any special markings or serial numbers. Some of these things are optional and cost extra, but it’s something not all companies can offer. Bill and Charley tell me they consider it a custom shop and you can have it your way. They have the option of one minute windage detents or ½ minute detents. The standard one minute detent windage will also include a hole for a ball detent system giving ½ minute clicks for those who want it.

    Then there is the “Cat”. GW includes an engraving of a cat on the flat behind the rear sight. This is one of their logos, but they tell me it can be left off at the request of the customer. It was on the first receiver they sent me, but not on the second. Your choice.

    Gun Works of LA asked that I pass on my opinion to those who read these forums. I am happy to do that and I can recommend Gun Works receivers for those contemplating a new M14 rifle build. I found them to be an excellent product.




    Thanks Ted for your critique and great evaluation.
    Thanks from the team at Gunworks of LA

    Check us out at www.gunworksofla.com
    Last edited by GunWorks of LA; 09-06-2015, 10:44 AM.

    #2
    Thank you very much for the eval and write up Ted, and a also an honest "thank you and good show" is in order to Gunworks of L.A. for responding and correcting the tolerances right away, with the attitude of creating an even better product! I as an M14 enthusiast appreciate that so much. Kudos, gentlemen!
    m14brian

    Comment


      #3
      Once the dust settles down a bit on my end I'm going to order one or two of these I think.
      Welcome to the Addiction!

      Comment


        #4
        www.M14BR.com is running a GunWorks of Lower Alabama receiver group buy. Check out the buy at http://www.m14br.com/showthread.php?20406
        Hawk
        USMC 7173
        Disabled Veteran

        www.m14br.com
        www.sparrowhawkm14.com

        Comment


          #5
          Just wanted to mention that this buy benefits both members and non-members alike. Of course M14BR members get a better discount and have the M14BR designater and M14BR prefix on the ser#s. All have the option for having the F Cat logo or not.
          Hawk
          USMC 7173
          Disabled Veteran

          www.m14br.com
          www.sparrowhawkm14.com

          Comment


            #6
            Those sure do look nice. May have to get in on this deal. How many are spoken for so far?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Hawk View Post
              www.M14BR.com is running a GunWorks of Lower Alabama receiver group buy. Check out the buy at http://www.m14br.com/showthread.php?20406
              That is an awesome group buy!
              m14brian

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by BMS View Post
                Those sure do look nice. May have to get in on this deal. How many are spoken for so far?
                3 so far, but it's early. I'm sure some are standing back to see who commits before they do. If Ted says they're good to go, that's all I would need to know. I'd be getting one, but I have 3 rifles already and I'd rather let someone else get a chance at them that maybe doesn't have one as yet.



                Hawk
                USMC 7173
                Disabled Veteran

                www.m14br.com
                www.sparrowhawkm14.com

                Comment

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