Norinco M305 Shorty Review

Norinco M14S Shorty

Not long after the first Polytech or Norinco M305 rifles (See my regular length Norinco M14S review here) arrived in Canada, there were those who wanted to chop the 22″ barrels down to the legal limit of 18.5″ to make them a bit handier. This involved a few tricks, because it’s not as straightforward as pulling out a hacksaw and going to town. In recent years, we’ve been spoiled by a few importers who have had Norinco make batches of shorter barreled rifles right from the factory. In fit and function, they’re very similar to the regular barreled versions. The rifle I received had a bit of a darker stock, slightly nicer cuts on the flash hider, and that’s about it. CanadaAmmo brings these in fairly regularly, though there are times when they, and everyone else, is sold out of Norinco M14s. I just received this rifle last night, so a range visit will have to wait a few weeks.

Right out of the box, I added an aftermarket op rod spring guide. These help keep the operating rod’s spring nice and straight, making for a smoother pull and smoother firing cycle. I’ll likely be adding an ARMS 18 scope mount, scope, and will put the rifle in an Promag Archangel M1A Stock. Stay tuned.

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  • How’d you find the iron sights. My M305 carbine shoots about 3″ high at 100m with the rear sight bottomed out, I’m gonna have to file the front sight down. I suspect the put the same front sight from the 22″ barrel on it.


    Can anyone tell me if it is safe to fire .308 ammunition in this rifle? (Norinco M305s)
    There is so much information out there about 7.62 vs .308 that my head is spinning and I still cant seem to figure out the right answer.

  • Mine were alright, but I had a buddy who had the same problem as you.

  • You’ll find lots of people on both sides of the fence. I fired some factory 308 out of mine, but mostly reloaded and used 7.62×51 specs. I’d consider a more important safety factor for these rifles to be headspace, since so many of them are a touch long on headspace.

  • Brach

    What’s the overall length of the rifle with the shorty barrel?

  • Just going off memory, it was a touch over 40″

  • WillyPete

    Mine made and purchased in 2012 came stamped with .308 Win… 100 rounds of expensive ammo, no surplus, no problems.

  • Rico

    Hey Adriel, how do you remove the gas piston for maintenance on your shorty? I have the same flash hider that seems to have an extra part below the barrel and it blocks the piston from completely sliding out. Thanks!

  • John Doe

    Yes, it is safe to shoot .308 from a 7.62 graded barrel. 7.62 cartridge is a full-powered military round; .308 is a hunting round, slightly less powerful. Therefore, it is perfectly safe to shoot .308 from a military graded barrel, but don’t shoot full-powered catridges from a civilian rifles, it is an unsafe practice.

  • Bubba

    I read somewhere that these M305 rifles are happiest with 150 grain bullets, the heavier 180+ grain bullets are abusive to the semi auto action and will eventually cause failure to some components..


    like that shorty barrel look…handling should be much improved for in/out of vehicles, getting through dense woods and vine filled forests….less barrel length to become entangled..something to think about…anyone know a USA gunsmith that has experience with these rifles ?

  • Jason75

    Just bought one of these myself. Haven’t gotten around to shooting it yet though.

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