Rico Morgan’s M14… and Mine

Modifying and making the most of a Chinese-made M14S. How I restored a PolyTech rifle into a top-end self-loading 308 Winchester.

by Ray Ordorica

It began life as a lowly Chinese-made PolyTech M14S rifle. It had no claims to fame except perhaps that it was my first centerfire autoloading rifle. I’d recently moved in with Mom, having come back to southern Michigan from my 14-year Alaskan sojourn. The time was the early 1990s. On the way to Mom’s house I passed through John Linebaugh’s Wyoming country where I retrieved my sixguns, mailed to John’s FFL from Alaska. I stopped at Ross Seyfried’s ranch in Roggen, Colorado, for a few days, then drove my LandCruiser – pulling my tiny travel trailer – to the old family homestead in southern Michigan.

I had very little money to spare, with only meager earnings from the golf courses. My gun writing had not yet paid anything. I’d been away from gun writing for over a decade in Alaska, during which time I was a professional photographer in Anchorage. I don’t recall ever firing a gun in that time. Now I had a dog to care for and feed. Eventually I had a bit of success with my gun articles, so I was finally back at my chosen profession, with a few dollars coming in.

One fine day I realized I had enough spare jack to consider buying a battle rifle. I’d never owned a modern semiautomatic mil-spec rifle of any sort. I never liked the common AR-15 black rifles with their dinky 223 Remington/5.56 NATO cartridge. I wanted none of that. I wanted a 308 Winchester/7.62 NATO battle rifle or nothing.

The Springfield M1A was way too…

Read more about Rico Morgan.

Read more in the October 2020 issue.

Don’t miss a single issue. Subscribe now or renew your subscription.

For non-subscribers wanting free access, submit one free article to use on our site and we’ll send you a complete digital copy of any issue of your choice (April 2006 to current).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s