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Domari Nolo
Picture of Chris17404
posted
Say hello to Charlize. My first M14.

I’ve always wanted an M14. The rifle has such class and history. There’s just something about this rifle that no other rifle has. I did research on the various options from SAI, Bula, Fulton, and LRB. I was a novice with no knowledge or experience. I knew of Tony through his reputation here on SigForum, so I went to him for guidance.

Tony was very helpful in answering my questions, and I eventually ordered a brand new Bula M14 rifle with NM barrel directly through him. Tony is a Bula dealer and has a business relationship with them. He’s also a meticulous custom M14 builder that I knew I could trust. My goal was to simply let Tony inspect and test fire the rifle to ensure it was the usual Bula quality that they built their reputation on and it was a solid, reliable rifle that I could learn on. I knew he would make sure it’s 100% right before I get it.

Unfortunately, this batch of Bula rifles did not meet their quality standards, nor Tony’s. The issues that existed in my rifle are not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is the kind of person Tony is, his professionalism, and his passion for M14 rifles.

My rifle had issues. Some big ones. When he notified me of the issues, I simply said “I trust you, Tony. I just want a rifle that meets your seal of approval, is built right, has all the issues fixed, and will be a reliable rifle that I can depend on. Is that what you’ll endeavor to do?” Tony replied, “That is my intention.” And with that, he did his thing.

Through the entire 3-month-long process Tony has gone above and beyond, in true professional form, never settling. He was honest and communicated well and explained the issues and how the rifle should be built in detail. He is a representative of what a true gunsmith should be. He was relentless. He didn’t treat me like a customer, he treated me like a friend.

The list of work that Tony performed on my rifle is extensive. In fact, extensive is an understatement. His work went beyond the term “factory rifle”. Yet he did it all graciously, caring about doing the right thing for the customer and for the rifle. I certainly don’t deserve all the attention he gave it. All I did was patiently wait 3 1/2 months or so.

Early on in the project I asked him if he could install a USGI fiberglass handguard and NM spring guide (me paying for them, of course). He did both for me. Once I received the rifle, I refinished the handguard myself using high-heat silver paint on the inside and a good USGI matching color for the exterior.

The rifle came out beautifully. It’s way better than I could have imagined. The action is so smooth. The stock is beautiful, the trigger is nice, but most of all I know it’s built right by a master builder who cares about doing things the right way. Check out the test target that Tony sent along. Yes, that’s a 100 yard group using iron sights and quality ammo.

I have not had a chance to shoot my M14 yet. I only picked it up a week ago, but I cannot wait. I plan to shoot it for a while with iron sights but will eventually mount a 1-6x LPVO in a Sadlak mount in keeping with the battle rifle theme. It also needs a sling. I have a variety of 7.62x51mm and .308 Win ammo to try out and see what it likes, both match quality and for general plinking.

I am very grateful for everything Tony did for me and my rifle. All the issues were not his fault, yet he went above and beyond in making my first M14 rifle meet his standards. All I can say is thank you very much. I hope that Bula learns from this process and that Tony’s relationship with them is stronger and will have a positive impact on his business. It's been a learning experience for me, him, and Bula.

Here are the pics (which don’t do it justice). Enjoy.

Oh, by the way... this M14 has a wicked cool serial number too!

Thanks again, Tony.
















This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chris17404,



 
Posts: 2176 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shall Not Be Infringed
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Someday I'll have a TonyBen M14... Cool


____________________________________________________________

If Some is Good, and More is Better.....then Too Much, is Just Enough !!
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Posts: 6052 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: October 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Beautiful! I've always had a warm spot for the M14 as it is what I trained with in my Army enlisted (pre-Navy commission) days.



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 14422 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice wood! I can’t wait to get my stock so that I can put another project in Tony’s queue.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 16385 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
You have cow?
I lift cow!
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Dam nice rifle sir. That stock is excellent. Got yourself a true functional work of art.

Tony is the man.


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Posts: 6517 | Location: Bay Area | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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Thanks so much for the write-up and kind words, Chris! And thanks to everyone else for the kind words as wel. I hope you enjoy the rifle. It was a long road there, but I'm glad we saw it through. And yes, it's a wicked-cool SN. Hopefully it stays in the family for a long time.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4857 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When you moving to Florida Tony?
 
Posts: 5243 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
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quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:
When you moving to Florida Tony?


I’ll be there by 4th of July.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4857 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Domari Nolo
Picture of Chris17404
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Thanks, guys! Tony worked his magic on this rifle. I was able to get out and shoot it for the first time this past weekend. This was the first time I ever shot an M14, and the first time I had shot iron sights in a long time. Here are my two 10-shot groups at 50 yards off a bench using just a sandbag up front and my hand for stabilization in the rear.

The first group was using Winchester 149gr M80, and the second group was using Federal American Eagle 150gr 308. Neither of these loads are match quality. But I wanted to shoot them to get a feel for the rifle. I loved every shot! I placed the top of the front sight blade at the bottom of the triangle for an accurate and consistent aiming point. These groups tell me a few things:

1. My eyes suck. I wear Rx glasses and have high astigmatism. Looking through the top/left of my lenses using iron sights makes things a bit skewed and blurry. Hence why my groups are not centered the way Tony sighted the rifle in.

2. I can definitely use more practice with the rifle's trigger. It's a 2-stage like my AR-15, which I like. It's a bit heavy but quite useable for a "battle rifle".

3. I will benefit greatly from a scope, especially at distances further than 50 yards. Like I mentioned earlier, I plan to mount a 1-6x LPVO in the future in a Sadlak mount.

It's interesting to see the difference in point of impact that the 2 different types of ammo had. I could also feel the difference in recoil between the 7.62x51mm and .308Win ammo... the latter having more felt recoil.

Chris





This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chris17404,



 
Posts: 2176 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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I'd say that's not bad at all, considering your eyesight and the fact that it's FMJ ball ammo. Winchester 7.62 has always gone BANG for me, but has always lacked in the accuracy department so I'd say you're off to a good start.

Shooting with iron sights takes lots of practice. Shooting a M14 takes lots of practice too. Keep at it and you'll get there. I've always said that if you can learn to shoot the M14 and the M1 Garand well, you'll shoot other rifles better. I recommend dry-firing A LOT! It won't hurt the rifle at all. But Creedmoor sports sells a dry-fire device if you need one.

When firing at actual printed targets, I prefer a 6-o'clock hold, or "dot the i" hold. I find that a black circle is perfect for iron sights using this hold, like the SR-1 printed target. You can download the target here:

https://targets4free.com/wp-co...-by-Targets4Free.pdf

I take one to a FedEx office location and print 100 at a time.


I aim at the bottom of the circle and give my elevation a few clicks to center the impact on the X-ring. I get a more consistent group that way. My iron sight groups are usually about 1/2 to 3/4 MOA larger than if I use a scope. So if I have a rifle that shoots 1" at 100 yards with a scope, my iron sight groups are usually 1.5" to 1.75" at 100. It's taken me a long time to get there, but it will come.

Good luck, and happy shooting!

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4857 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Domari Nolo
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Thanks for the info, Tony. It's good to hear that dry firing won't hurt the rifle at all. I'll start doing that more. I like that target too, and that's a good idea to print them off at FedEx office. I may try that.

Chris



 
Posts: 2176 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Domari Nolo
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Hi, all. Well, she's got a scope now. I successfully installed the Sadlak airborne mount with the excellent instructions sent from the factory as well as following tonyben's awesome videos in unison. The Bula reciever was perfectly in spec, and the mount bumped up against the clip guide perfectly too. I used Vortex Pro Low rings (.9") to mount the Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40mm scope. Also used some Vortex Defender lens caps (secured with some double-sided tape). She came out great. I may add a Bradley cheek rest in the future. Maybe not. I don't want it to look too "modern". I'm going for more of a GWOT look, but without the use of 100MPH tape and make-shift padding for a cheek rest. Here are some pics:









Anyway, after zeroing the new scope, here's a 5-shot group I shot at 100 yards using American Eagle 7.62x51mm 149gr. I think my rifle likes this ammo. This was with the scope set at 10x off the bench with only a sandbag up front and my fist for support under the buttstock. I always use a triangle to zero a scope, and I place the center of the crosshairs at the bottom tip of the triangle. So this group is about 1.5" high at 100 yards.

As you can see, 4 of the shots were nearly all touching and I had one flyer. The 4 shots measured 7/8" and the 5 shots measured 1-5/8". Not bad for my first time shooting my M14 with a scope. Not sure if the flyer was me or the ammo or the gun. Overall I am very pleased. Ignore the one shot with the blue line through it. That was from zeroing the scope earlier, and not part of this group.




I am more than incredibly pleased with the way this rifle shoots and the work that Tony did!



 
Posts: 2176 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
You have cow?
I lift cow!
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Looking good Chris. The Bradley will net you a more stable position. It's a great option.

Looks like you're shooting great already though. I like that stock, I have a similar one that came with my Rockola.


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Posts: 6517 | Location: Bay Area | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool, Nuff said. Smile

Congrats and well done T.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 17401 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Group size is traditionally measured from center to center (or, to make it easier, the inside of one hole to the outside of the other hole). Measured that way, it looks even better. Smile
 
Posts: 25796 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:


Group size is traditionally measured from center to center (or, to make it easier, the inside of one hole to the outside of the other hole). Measured that way, it looks even better. Smile


I open my calipers to 0.308" and hit ZERO, then measure the outside spread. That number is accounting for the bullet diameter, or simply, "center to center."

Chris,
Glad the rifle is shooting great for you!

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 4857 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That dark wood is gorgeous!


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Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 13833 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Regarding the eyesight, what most people need to do, is wear full lens reading glasses to make the front sight sharp. Target will be blurry, which is exactly what you want.
I did see you scoped it, but working on improving iron sight skill is a worthwhile endeavor
 
Posts: 2996 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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