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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bought a 1911 with an Ithaca slide. The slide is in great shape, lots of the parkerizing left with few pits and scratches. No markings on the receiver except the serial number LH####. Took the grips off and found the following stamping:

A.R. SALES CO
SO. EL NONTE CA.

When I took the grips off I got pissed. The bushings had been glued in with what looks like gorilla glue. The bushing holes were stripped but the previous owner got glue inside the mag well so the mag wouldn't drop free. Thankfully that was an easy fix. Everything else looks pretty solid.

Need info on the receiver stamping, company, etc.






 

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"A. R. Sales Co., National Ordnance, Inc. and Federal Ordnance, Inc.

A. R. Sales was owned by Elia Karnes. Bob Penny, a business partner of Elia’s husband, Jack Karnes, may have also been involved with A. R. Sales. Jack Karnes, his wife Elia, and their children ran the company.
Ford Motor Company was formed on June 16, 1903 by Henry Ford and eleven other business associates. In 1925, Ford Motor Company bought Lincoln Motor Company, a manufacturer of luxury automobiles. For the 1972 model year, Lincoln introduced the Mark IV two-door luxury sport coupe. The Mark IV was longer, wider and slightly lighter than its very popular predecessor; the Lee Iacocca designed Lincoln Mark III. The 1972 Mark IV was Ford’s answer to General Motors Corporation’s Cadillac Eldorado and was a major success for Ford Motor Company. Lincoln Mark IV automobile production ended with the 1976 model year. Mr. Maunz was impressed with the plush style of the 1972 Lincoln Mark IV. Thus, he suggested to A. R. Sales that its semi-automatic M14 receiver be named Mark IV.

It appears that A. R. Sales started on the semi-automatic M14 type rifle project in October, 1971. There were two production lots, one in 1974 and the other in 1976. The first production lot of Mark IV receivers was cast at Rimer Casting Company using Karl Maunz’s receiver master die. The second production batch of Mark IV receivers was cast at Gray-Syracuse, Inc. and machined by Valley Ordnance Co. The first lot of receiver serial numbers ended somewhere between 1 and 225. The receiver serial numbers for the second lot were started at a number below 225 and ended at number 450. Twenty-five serial numbers were skipped between the first lot and the second lot. Mr. Maunz’s receiver master die was also used to produce receiver castings for National Ordnance semi-automatic M14 type rifles (see below). A. R. Sales Mark IV receivers are of decent quality. 2 A. R. Sales was sold off some time after the second production run of Mark IV rifles in 1976.

At the same time, in the early 1970s, when A. R. Sales was developing its Mark IV receiver, John Arnold was pursuing the same goal of manufacturing and marketing his own semi-automatic M14 type receiver. Mr. Arnold owned National Ordnance, Inc., a firearm manufacturing company, and Federal Ordnance, a firearm parts and ammunition supplier. Mr. Wyant Lamont, Jr., managed the day-to-day operations of National Ordnance. The two sister businesses were located adjacent to one another on Alpaca Street at Potrero Avenue in South El Monte, CA, about one-quarter mile from A. R. Sales. From 1965 to 1970, National Ordnance produced 22,500 newly manufactured M1903A3 receivers and assembled them into complete rifles using USGI surplus parts. National Ordnance also manufactured 2000 M1 Garand welded and investment cast receivers and an unknown number of M1 Carbine investment cast receivers in the 1960s.

A very small number of National Ordnance stamped semi-automatic M14 type rifles were produced. The receivers were investment cast by Rimer Casting Co but machined by another Ohio business. National Ordnance appears to have gone out of business about 1974 or shortly thereafter with the death of Mr. Arnold. As part of the liquidation of the company’s assets, assembled M14 type rifles and parts kits were sold off. The author is not aware of any collaboration that existed between A. R. Sales and National Ordnance on M14 receiver development.

Bob Brenner restarted Federal Ordnance by no later than 1982. Jack Karnes went to work for Bob Brenner when Federal Ordnance was revived. In early 1982, Federal Ordnance had plans to produce M1 Garand Rifles using newly manufactured receivers. By 1987, Federal Ordnance was located at 1443 Potrero Avenue South El Monte, CA 91733. It sold military surplus firearms. Federal Ordnance also sold lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames marketed under its name and a trade name as well as selling a Springfield Armory, Inc. high-end M1911 style pistol. Reportedly, the lightweight alloy M1911 style pistol frames were originally marketed by A. R. Sales in the early 1970s.

Federal Ordnance began production of its M14 type rifles by 1986 and ended around 1992. Karl Maunz supplied some receiver castings in 1987 to Federal Ordnance. Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle serial number 22XX was inspected in the factory on February 26, 1987. Likewise, rifle serial number 677X was inspected at the factory on November 17, 1989. Federal Ordnance receivers machined while Jack Karnes was on board were of good quality. 3

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for a Federal Ordnance M14SA in 1988 was $629.00. The rifles were sold with a one year parts and labor warranty. Each Federal Ordnance M14 type rifle sold was accompanied by a factory inspection tag, warranty registration card, a copy of U. S. Army FM 23-8 and a booklet on firearms safety. The factory inspection tag included the following information about each rifle: date, stock number, a description, caliber, and signature fields for checking of headspace, test firing and inspection. The stock number for the fiberglass stock M14 was GU-0715. USGI M14 accessories such as magazines, magazine pouches, slings and cleaning kits were available from Federal Ordnance.

Federal Ordnance built two types of M14 rifles, one with USGI parts and one with Chinese parts. USGI parts were used extensively in Federal Ordnance rifles through at least S/N 8877. Through at least serial number 394X the USGI parts were taken off USGI M14 rifles imported from Israel. By serial number 205XX, if not earlier, Chinese and Taiwanese reproduction parts were used to assemble its rifles. For example, Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 502XX was assembled at the factory on September 13, 1991 with Chinese manufacture bolt, operating rod, trigger group and barrel. Federal Ordnance sold complete rifles as well as stripped receivers.

Synthetic stocks on Federal Ordnance M14 rifles may not have been USGI models but of unknown commercial manufacture. The original owner of Federal Ordnance M14SA serial number 22XX reports that the synthetic stock never had a selector cutout or USGI markings inside the magazine well. Further, the Federal Ordnance stock had a slightly rough finish. The butt plate was glossy black color instead of phosphate coated.

Century Arms International (then 48 Lower Newton Street St. Albans, VT 05478) assembled some of these Federal Ordnance receivers with Chinese parts at their facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1990 just before the imported parts ban of November 29, 1990, brought them into the United States with the military style features (twenty round magazine, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, and hinged butt plate) which was legal at the time and sold them to the commercial market. Century Arms International ceased operations in Montreal around 1993.

The Federal Ordnance marking may be located on the right receiver leg instead of the receiver heel for Century Arms International assembled rifles. Some Federal Ordnance M14SA receivers have serial numbers with the letter C prefix followed by a hyphen then four digits, e.g., C-0116. These letter C prefix serial number receivers were sold as stripped receivers to Century Arms International in 1990 for assembly into complete rifles. Century Arms International assembled very few M14 type rifles with Federal Ordnance receivers and Chinese parts, as compared to the number of Chinese rifles it later sold. Serial number C-0388 is the highest serial number for this series observed to date."

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