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Thread: MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

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    Member Combloc's Avatar
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    Well, we've arrived at the last post until I get this jobber to the range. I wanted to go today but it's just too BLAH outside. I'll get there though.

    The original rear sight windage adjustment on these rifles (elevation is done with the front sight) was not well thought out and prone to breakage. In fact, the HMG one was broken right out of the box and could not be adjusted. CETME generally copied the early rear sight on the M16/AR15 but, instead of having the roll pin passing through the shaft of the axle pin as on the AR, they decided to simply cut a slot in the end of the axle shaft for the roll pin. This created two fingers that tend to snap over time. So when you try to adjust windage, instead of the adjustment dial turning with the axle, it instead either tries to screw farther onto the axle or it simply unscrews and falls off. In effect, you can move the sight leaf to the right but not to the left. How nice.



    Here's a closeup of the original CETME arrangement:

    Look closely and, in the center of the adjustment dial, you can just make out the cross pin with the two ears of the axle shaft on either side. Both of those ears have sheared off the axle. What I did to fix it was to disassemble, degrease, slurge some blue locktite in the back, reassemble and then let it sit for the night. BLAMMO!! Good as new. Not really but it's worked so far and it'll probably continue to work until I'm dust. How often do you readjust your windage anyways? Not very often.



    Here's another picture including the hold open button and the welds holding the sight base to the receiver:


    And roughly the same area on the MCM AMG:

    Notice that MCM has designed the adjustment dial in order to correct the breakage problem. There is no longer a pin and ears arrangement.

    What we now have is a hex screw that either tightens into or against the axle shaft:

    I have not taken this apart nor do I intend to. But my guess is that, knowing MCM is generally known for attention to detail, there is a divot in the axle for the hex screw to fit into. That would be a much more secure arrangement than to have it simply have tighten against the axle. Other than this change, the rest of the rear sight design is the same as on an original.


    Here is the other side of the sight base with the HMG illustrated first:





    The focus of the last two pictures is the single roll pin that holds the front sight base to the barrel. The handguard has been removed. First up is the HMG:

    First off, CETME should have designed a longer base with more contact along the barrel. Second, they should have used two pins. And third, they should have been solid pins NOT roll pins. BUT, that's how it was designed so that's how it was rebuilt. The front sight base on my HMG AMG wobbles side to side pretty badly with the handguard removed. With the handguard in place, it's much less evident but it's still there. However, the rifle holds zero fine so I don't worry about it too much but it still bugs me. It's not evident in the picture but the barrel does bulge in this area so that the pin has a little more purchase. It didn't seem to work on mine though. Other owners have told me that theirs does not wobble so I guess I got a lemon.


    And here is the same shot showing the MCM unit:

    Now, I cannot say for sure and I'm not smart enough to own a micrometer but I think MCM has used a slightly larger diameter roll pin to provide extra purchase on the barrel. You can clearly see the thicker contour of the barrel here. Again, the HMG barrel has the same contour but it just doesn't extend to the rear as far so you can't readily see it. Whatever the case, the front sight base on the MCM is solid with no perceptible movement.



    And that's it. We're done until I get to the range. When I do, I'll update.
    I know some of you are asking, which one is better? In fact, I've already received emails asking me which one do I prefer and whether or not they should buy the new MarColMar CETME L. I'm not going to tell you to either buy or not buy one rifle or the other but I am going to tell you my personal thoughts about the two rifles I own. I'll start with the HMG.

    I love this rifle. Yes, it looks more like a kit build done in someone's garage as opposed to something built in a factory. Well, that's because it is a kit build done in Hill & Macs garage or some such other building. Wherever HMG built them, it definitely wasn't in a factory. Yes, the egged out assembly pin holes at the receiver are unsightly but they work and you can't see them anyways when the rifle is assembled. Yes, the front sight base wobbles but it still outshoots my HK93. Yes, the furniture is scratched up but it's original. Yes, the rear sight was broken right out of the box but it was repairable. Yes, the markings are so shallow you can't fill them in with paint but at least they are there. Yes, the original factory parts show considerable wear but mechanically, they work fine. I'm sure there are other things I could point out but they escape me at the moment. So, with all the above, why would I want this rifle? Because of all the things above. It's as close to original as you can get without having an original. I like the patina on the parts and the wear on the furniture. It looks like a used rifle and I like the looks of a used rifle. It's acceptably reliable so long as I use magazines with strong springs and, as I've pointed out several times, in my hands, it's more accurate then my HK of the same caliber. It's green. My favorite toys when I was growing up were army men, a whole lot of which were green and holding green rifles. Now I have my very own full size and operating Army Man Gun aka AMG. In the end, this thing is a range toy. It doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to be FUN! My HMG AMG is that in spades.


    So, what about the MCM?
    I love this rifle. It looks like a brand new factory made rifle. Not one part on it looks like it has ever seen use. It feels like a new factory made rifle. Everything is tight and the entire build just feels like Quality. All of the pin holes are right where they should be and they are all perfectly round, just as you would expect of a factory made rifle. No, I haven't had it to the range yet but I know that MarColMar put thousands upon thousands of rounds through their development/test rifles to ensure that the finished product would be a Quality AMG. They invested in high speed cameras to observe what was going on throughout the firing cycle and used this information to tune the new made springs to their design. They obviously put a lot of time, effort and money into the receiver dies because the finished product is absolutely beautiful; every bit the equal of my HK's. And they finished it in a tough cerakote finish, guaranteeing that it will hold up to real use. They installed a hammer forged barrel with a nitride finish to guarantee long service life. The sights are redesigned to be more durable with increased ergonomics. They manufactured new furniture using the latest polymers and kept it looking so close to original you can only tell a difference upon the closest inspection. The front sight base doesn't wobble. It's green! If green wasn't my thing, I could have ordered it in black, grey, or flat dark earth instead. I could have ordered furniture in the same colors or even ordered the rifle in one color with the furniture in another. I could have ordered one with a picatinny rail on top the receiver so that I could add an optic. It's made right here in the United Statesicon of America by a company with a known reputation of producing Quality firearms that history has shown only go up in value over time. So, with all the above, why would I NOT want this rifle? I can't think of a reason, that's why I bought one!


    I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this and I hope you learned something useful to you. I enjoy writing these things, partly because they give me a creative outlet and partly because I enjoy talking about and sharing this stuff with others. I was a History major in college and my mother always wanted me to get into journalism. I'm not sure I would have made a good writer but I do think I do an at least semi-competent job writing this stuff even if it is replete with grammatical errors. Besides, I write it on the fly with my dog Sasha as my proofreader and she's not much help. In the end, I think my mom would be proud so I guess, ultimately, I write it mostly for her. I miss you mom and you know I love you! Thanks again guys. Maybe I'll see you at the range!

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