History of the Chinese M14 Clones

I came across a PDF, with no date or author, about the history of the Chinese M14 clones. It is a very interesting read!

UPDATE: H2O MAN in the comments below let me know that the text comes from “M14 Rifle History and Development” by Lee Emerson. Thanks H2O MAN.

A persistent rumor states that M14 rifles produced by the People’s Republic of China were reverse engineered from enemy captured M14 rifles in Viet Nam. China North Industries Corporation, known as Norinco, is reported to have produced M14 rifles by the early 1970s. The story continues that 100,000 Chinese M14 rifles were produced for an armed revolution in the Philippines. In preparing for this work, the author interviewed a very reliable source with extensive firsthand knowledge of Chinese and Taiwanese production and export of small arms was interviewed for this work. This gentleman wishes not to be identified. He is referred to as Other Source # 12.

Chapter 6 contains the History of the Chinese M14 Clones. The PDF can be downloaded here.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • I have two 2006 Norinco M304/M14s, After many hours of checking found the recevers to be Exelent! (full dimentional, NDT and brinal testing I work as a aircraft mech); I like to build things, and have NM preped a few M1 garands..so off I went ordered parts and slowly gatered the parts. The end resalts are two M14 type rifles that shoot sub 1min of angle (with scopes) in GI fiber glass stocks, many hours (aprox 40 per rifle) of fun building the rifles; total cost for the two was $2800.00 or less than a pack of smokes a day for a year, in Canada a Springfeld M1a will cost you almost $3000.00 and $4500.00 for a NM level gun, if you can get one.

  • Hi J.A.Knight, thanks for that info.

  • I think the original document was written by Lee Emerson, you can find the updated document on Different’ M1A site.
    I currently own 8 Chinese M14s. Three are heel stamped Norinco, two are heel stamped Poly Tech and three are side stamped (IDE) Poly Tech.
    Ron Smith of Smith Enterprise, Inc. has domesticated four of them for me and they are outstanding!

    Chinese M14 receivers – They’re Grrrrreeeat!

  • H2O MAN, you have some great photos on your site! I think I will blog your site today.

    Which one of the M14 books on the Different M1A site does the above text comes from? I could not find the text.

  • Steve, the text that looks familiar to me can be found in the sold out printings of Different’s book ~ M14 Rifle History and Development.

  • Thanks H2O MAN, I have updated the post and remove the article text and instead linked to the actual book.

  • Chinese M14 Mysteries Explained

    During my visit to Smith Enterprise, Inc. on 03/02/08, I asked Ron Smith if he knew the meaning behind the numbers found below the stock line on the 1980s and 1990s production Chinese M14 receivers. For clarity, the 1965 (nineteen sixty-five) vintage Chinese M14 receivers do not have any numbers on the receivers below the stock line. There was a customer’s Poly Technologies M14S receiver in the shop so he showed me how to decipher the secret code. I’ll not reveal that serial number out of respect. After he explained it, I’m sure he saw a light bulb turn on over my head. I said, “It figures it would be that simple.” Can I get a, “Duh!”

    Here’s the explanation, M14 fans. It’s a date code. It’s not perfectly straightforward as there are often additional numbers but it’s the answer. Here are some examples from reports provided by owners along with the interpretation:

    Poly Technologies s/n 00689 (88 03 14) = March 14, 1988
    Poly Technologies s/n 00827 (88 06 3) = June 03, 1988
    Poly Technologies s/n 01965 (88 3 7) = March 07, 1988
    Poly Technologies s/n 02116 (0 8 4 02 6) = August 04, 1990
    Poly Technologies s/n 08162 (1 08 19 3) = August 19, 1991
    Poly Technologies s/n 14584 (3 4 19 37 7) = April 19, 1993
    Poly Technologies s/n 17096 (3 5 11 8 7) = May 11, 1993
    Poly Technologies s/n 21671 (3 7 22 18 10) = July 22, 1993

    Norinco s/n C01050 (3 3 6 34 67) = March 06, 1993
    Norinco s/n C08312 (3 10 13 27 17) = October 13, 1993
    Norinco s/n 000450 (3 11 30 48 20) = November 30, 1993
    Norinco s/n 93046 (93 4 6) = April 06, 1993
    Norinco s/n 185928 (1 8 5 9 2 8) = August 05, 1991

    Some examples for our Canadian brothers:

    Norinco s/n 001265 (3 12 2 37 20) = December 02, 1993
    Norinco s/n 005778 (4 2 14 30 23) = February 14, 1994 (Will you be my Valentine? )
    Norinco s/n 0012687 (4 4 8 30 25) = April 08, 1994

    One thing to keep in mind is that the serial numbers were not always stamped in chronological order. In other words, a receiver with an older date code may have a lower serial number above the stock line. Likewise, the serial numbers were not imported in perfect sequential order. This is especially true for post-US ban receivers and rifles imported into Canada.

    Posted by Different on AR15.com:: 3/15/2008 4:38:07 PM EDT

  • Hello, i want to know how durable and reliable is the M-14 Clone from China. Are they as durable and reliable as the M-14 made from America. How much does it costs?

  • Jon P

    Folks, I am really having a problem finding the specs on thread size for the scope mount on the receiver. Does anyone have any ideas?

  • My POLYTECH M-14S allows SPRINGFIELD ARMORY Mounts to screw into the receiver, so the “scope mount hole” thread appears SAE…sorta.
    it’s a tad tight, just lube the bolt/screw well and thread it in a few times, clean out the hole and apply your thread locker..DONE!

  • Lee Emerson

    Please note that my post referenced above from ar15.com in March 2008 is not totally accurate. Based on subsequent research, only the year and the month can be derived from the numbers stamped under the stock line (aka “lotto” numbers) on Chinese M14 receivers. After the first 2000 Poly Technologies receivers were made, the “lotto” number format changes. It’s not a simple cipher, so to speak.

    • my polyteck under wood is mark 5151, what date would be?serial # 033xx side mark. thank you larry palmer

      • Larry, May 1990 is the year and month of the receiver manufacture.