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Thread: MarColMar CETME LV In Detail

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    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    MarColMar CETME LV In Detail

    In this post, we'll be taking an up close and personal look at MarColMar's recently released CETME LV in 5.56/.223. For those of you not familiar with the CETME Model L, it was made in Spain and served as their standard 5.56mm infantry rifle from about the mid 1980's through the mid 1990's until being replaced by the German manufactured G36 rifle. BUT, this is not a History lesson so I'll leave it at that.

    Fast forward until a few years ago when a little north of 10,000 5.56mm CETME rifles were removed from storage in Spain, scrapped and sold to the US market as parts kits. Of these, MarColMar ended up with approximately 10,000 kits in three versions. They are, from top to bottom, the LV, L and LC:

    The vast majority of the kits were the standard fixed stock "L" version designed to be used primarily with iron sights and although many (but not all) did have a rear sight tower capable of having a scope mount attached, the optic mount seems to be vanishingly rare at this point. If you have one, please let me know as I'd LOVE to document it. If you are interested in the standard "L" version rebuilt by MarColMar, I wrote about one of those in-depth earlier this year and compared it to both a Hill and Mac kit rebuild and an original intact Spanish specimen. Just type the following into your favorite search engine and you'll immediately find links to it on multiple sites:

    MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

    Also acquired by were some of the "LC" version. The primary difference of this version compared to the standard "L" model is a collapsible butt stock intended make it more compact for movement or stowage. Of the approximately 10,000 kits acquired by MarColMar, only 645 were of this variety. If you are interested in reading about the LC, I encourage you to read the article I've just recently written about this version. It can easily be found on this very forum by searching "MarColMar CETME LC (Carbine) In Detail". I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it if you are so inclined.
    The third version, known as the "CETME LV", is what we will be looking at here. The CETME LV was intended to be used as a marksman's rifle and had a STANAG scope mount permanently welded to the receiver. Only a very few of this version (145) are being built by MarColMar.

    SO...who is MarColMar? Well, rather than get it wrong, I'll just quote their website:
    "MarColMar Firearms is an FFL / SOT / and Class II Manufacturer that specializes in bringing important historical military firearms back to life - for both collectors and shooters. Founded by Dave Bane in Richmond Indiana in 2007, MarColMar has been committed to merging modern manufacturing methods and materials, with surplus military parts, to recreate the most accurate, high quality, and reliable firearms available to the consumer market.
    Our past projects and collaborations with other fine industry leaders, has resulted in some of the finest semi-auto firearm shooters and collectables, all of which have rapidly increased in demand and value – such as the Semi PKM, the Bulgarian AK-74, our milled Uk vz 59, and the UKM. Our latest project, the CETME L, will now expand our limited production – high quality philosophy - to a broader market, allowing many other enthusiasts to access our products and designs, and enjoy them for generations."

    And here is a link to their site:

    Now, if it sounds to you like I'm advertising for MarColMar (I often use MCM for brevity) that's because I absolutely am. BUT I'm not advertising because they asked me to or because they are paying me to or because they are giving me free stuff. NOPE. I'm doing this of my own accord because I bought one of their CETME L's and was so absolutely Impressed with the Quality of their product, the Quality of their customer service and the Quality of who they are as people and a company that I feel compelled to get the word out about what kind of feast they are bringing to the firearm hobby's table. If you want to learn more about that, I again invite you to read the article I did earlier about the standard CETME L by typing the following into your favorite search engine:
    MarColMar and HMG Cetme L a Detailed Comparison

    Have you read so much at this point that you're ready to go to sleep? Well wake up because it time to start looking at pictures. We'll start at the beginning.....the box:

    When your new rifle arrives, this is the first thing you'll see. There isn't much to's a cardboard box. But it's a nice sturdy one.

    On the end of the box, you'll find a sticker letting you know what's inside:

    The Serial # line should be pretty obvious as to what it is.
    The next line is the model. Notice that there is a fourth one (TAC) I haven't mentioned. That's because it isn't available yet. I'm pretty sure we all know what a "TAC" version will be though. Just know that such an animal, while I'm sure it will be the bomb, didn't originally exist. Tacticool is as American as apple pie!
    Next is color. I chose green because that's the color they all were originally. But you can also order your rifle in Black, Grey or Flat Dark Earth.
    Next is furniture. Again, I chose green because it's what would have originally been used in Spanish service. You can also order black or Flat Dark Earth.
    The next line is marked "Rail". Since this rifle is custom designed to mount an optic already, that option is not available on this model. But if you choose to have one on either the L or LC model, MCM will ship your rifle with a perfectly aligned picatinny rail mounted on top the top of the receiver running from the front of the rear sight all the way to the front of the receiver.
    The last line is marked "HB". You can specify either an original style pencil barrel or a larger circumference heavy barrel.

    Upon opening the box, you'll find your new buddy well packed in form fitting high density foam:

    In addition to the rifle, you also find some other stuff which I have laid out for the picture. At the extreme left is the manual. We'll get a closer look at that in just a bit. Next to the manual we have a warranty card. Immediately to the right of that is a tag that was attached to the trigger guard informing you that you might shoot your eye out if you aren't careful. Below that are break-in directions. Continuing right, we have an action lock and, finally, at the extreme right is a standard US GI aluminum magazine made by Okay Industries.
    The stickers inside the box top are contact information for MCM and another warning label. You can never have enough warning labels.

    Here's a detail shot of the break-in information:

    While I haven't shot this rifle yet, I have shot my L model quite a bit since purchasing it in early 2019 and it has yet to give me any problems. It's pretty much run like a Singer sewing machine since day one.

    Let's take a closer look at the manual. I'm not going to post every page but trust me, it's well done. It's actually two manuals in one. The first half was done by MCM and covers some really interesting stuff. Besides the usual how to disassemble and how to clean sections, there is one on the History of the original rifle and some really informative text about the production of this new AMG including which parts are new US made. The second half is an English translation of an original Spanish manual complete with lots of pretty color pictures.

    Some examples of the MCM half:

    Some examples of the translated Spanish half:

    After checking out the extra stuff, it's time to take a look at the rifle. we'll start with a right side view:

    Yes, it looks weird without an optic on it but we'll see various different ones on there a little later. For now, I'm just showing it to you as it comes from MCM.

    And the left side:

    At this point we need to address what you are looking at. I mean, is this a kit build or a new made reproduction. Well, it's both really. If you refer to the pictures of the manual above, you'll see on page 11 just which parts are original Spanish and which are new made in the US. To paraphrase my earlier piece on the standard model:

    "Simply putting a parts kit back together to make a legal functioning rifle was not good enough for MarColMar. They have built a reputation over the years for crafting what could essentially pass for a new firearm out of a decades old retired and torch cut pile of surplus parts. They only select the best parts kits to begin with. Then they carefully modify the design to make it an ATF compliant semi-auto while preserving the look and feel of the original. This includes in-depth testing and ongoing development until they are satisfied that the end product will look, feel and function at least as well as the original was intended to. While sorting through the kits and developing the prototypes, any components which do not meet their aesthetic or functional standards are reproduced using the best possible materials so that they are as good or better than original factory parts. Only once they have everything finalized and sourced do they move on to production. MCM feels it's far better to delay a release date in order to work all the bugs out of design and logistics than it is to release a flawed product on time. Production itself is done using the most modern methods (including a welding robot on the Cetme L, LC and LV) and materials. The end result is a firearm that looks and functions as good or better than the originals did decades ago. According to Dave Bane, that's always been their standard way of doing things and that's the standard they've held their new Cetme L/LC/LV's to as well."

    The only caveat I would apply to the above quote is that the MCM rifle actually exceeds the original rifle in Quality of both build and function. When I originally wrote that, I hadn't actually held or fired an original example. That is no longer the case.

    That's it for this post. In the next, we'll begin looking at details starting at the muzzle. I sincerely hope you check back to read some more and if you like it, please let me know. It's always nice to hear that someone enjoys the fruits of your labor. See you soon!
    Last edited by Combloc; 12-16-2019 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    After an unfortunate hiatus.....we're back. And, as promised, we start at the muzzle:

    Spain produced these rifles with both a three prong device as seen above and an enclosed birdcage style. Consequently, the parts kits that MCM rebuilt the rifles from may have either; it's just luck of the draw.

    Here's the left side of the front sight base:

    I don't know if it's cast or forged but I'm assuming it's the latter. Whatever the case, you can see lightening cuts done to it do bring down the weight. Also visible in this picture is the ring style front sling swivel and the HK style push pin that holds the front of the handguard in place. The rectangular lug sticking out the front of the sight base is for mounting the bayonet. On this rifle, the bayonet mounts above the barrel.

    Here's the rights side:

    You can clearly see where the bayonet mounting lug has a lozenge shape milled into the bayonet lug. That where the hook on the bayonet engages to hold it in place. We can also see the other end of the handguard retaining pin and the internally mounted spring that holds it in place.

    Here's a closeup of the front sight post:

    While the front sight base is an original part, the post is newly manufactured by MCM. They did this to make adjustments more precise and easier to adjust. On an original post, the detent plunger secured the post from rotating by extending into the adjustment holes. MCM redesigned the post so that the detent engages ridges on the bottom of it. You can still use a bullet tip (or a standard AR15 sight tool) to make adjustments but you don't have to depress the detent first. It is important to note that the sight base has been re-tapped for the new production post so an original will no longer thread into the hole.
    Confused? Hopefully not.....but just in case you are, below is a picture showing MCM's redesign on the left compared to the original arrangement on the right. It should clear up any confusion you might have:

    Also notice that the MCM post is much thinner than the original. This was done for more precise aiming. Originals were made in several thickness with one being as thin as the MCM post. The original shown is the widest that sas made to my knowledge. If you look very closely, you might notice that it once housed a tritium insert. Some original posts were set up for tritium and some were not. The same is true of the rear sight leaf.

    Next up, we're going to look at the furniture. Rather than use the original stocks, handguards and pistol grips, MCM decided to replace the originals with new made in the USA parts. You may ask why. I know I did at first. Well, I've personally looked through some of the original stocks:


    and pistol grips:

    and I can confidently report to you that they were ROUGH. There is NO WAY I would use those surplus parts an a remanufactured rifle that otherwise looked (and was) essentially new. Not only were they beat up and multiple shades of grey and green, but they were also deteriorating. So, MCM faithfully copied the originals using Nylon 66 and contracted a casket manufacturer in Indiana to produce all new furniture. Now, let me tell you, I'm an extremely detail oriented guy and I scrutinize every little detail on things. To say I was highly impressed by how accurately MCM has reproduced parts made approximately 35 years ago when plastic manufacturing was a different world would be an understatement. "Amazed" would be a more descriptive adjective. MCM did such a good job that, aside from the fact that the new parts are marked MADE IN USA, almost nobody could tell the difference unless you carefully compared the two side by side. Hey! That's a good idea. Let's do just that.

    We'll start with the stock:
    In these first two photos, the MCM part is shown below an original:

    I included the recoil springs too in the first picture. MCM has had new springs produced because the originals were old and tired. The rubber butt pad is shaped a little differently but I have seen slightly different butt pads in pictures of original rifles so there must have been some variation including ones that looked like the one MCM has produced. The color is slightly different but I have seen all kinds of variation on originals too so the MCM color looks fine to me. The MCM exhibits less shine but it's not made of the same polymer either so I can't expect it to have the same shine now can I? Look at the form though! As far as I can tell, every single angle, every nuance of the various edge radii has been reproduced perfectly.

    Here, are looking into the front of the stocks with the MCM on the right:

    Again, everything is perfectly reproduced.

    One is a mirror image of the other. MCM is on the right:

    Besides the geometric features, this picture also illustrates the slight difference in surface texture between the two. While the Spanish stock is not perfectly smooth either, the MCM is just a hair more textured. Without both in hand though, I doubt most people would notice a difference.

    This picture illustrates the fact that even the mold ejector pin markings or in nearly the same place:

    If you look very carefully you may notice that an original stock has a perfectly uniform color while the MCM does exhibit just a hint of hue variation here and there.

    Even the sprue mark is in about the same place along the bottom of the stock:

    This shows some real attention to detail and things like this really matter to purists. A big thumbs up to MarColMar here!

    The MCM butt pad is at top:

    MCM used allen screws for attachment. The flat head screws shown on the original pad are replacements by Hill and Mac Gunworks (HMG). Originals would have been slotted too but with a phosphate finish.

    Butt pad removed:

    Both stocks have brass inserts for the screws with the originals being hex shaped and the MCM one being round. The lower cavity is identical between the two but there is some slight variation in the shape and size of the upper two. Meh, you never see it anyways.

    Manufacturer's mark:

    Interior side of butt plates:

    Both have steel inserts.

    Next up in furniture on floor two we have handguards. Before we look at the handguard itself, I want to say something about the finish on the steel heat shield and the take down pins.

    Here is the heat shield with the MCM above:

    Both have a phosphate finish but the MCM one is a dark grey while the original finish is much lighter. ALL original steel parts on MCM rifles have been refinished to appear as new.

    The take down pins are a good example of why MCM decided to refinish rather than leave them as imported:

    Maybe some poor lost HK is out there in the wilderness looking in vain for its take down pins with absolutely no idea that they were stolen long ago by the Spaniards. I don't know. The two longest ones are for the stock and the shortest one holds the front of the trigger box in place. The remaining one is for the hand guard.

    Moving on to the polymer part of the handguard, here we see the rear with the MCM on the left:

    Notice that the mold is clearly different from the original as is evidenced by the mold lines. However, unless you are crazy detail oriented like me, the two are going to look identical. Again, MCM has done a wonderful job here at staying true to the original form.

    Front with MCM still on the left:

    Mold lines between the two are near identical.

    Right side view. MCM is on top:

    Notice that the mark where the sprue attached is in almost the exact same place.

    Left side view MCM on top:

    As with the stock, the mold ejector pins are in the same area. The various details are almost dead on with the largest difference being the ends of the small finger grooves. The ends of the MCM grooves rise up like ramps to meet the main surface of the handguard while the original ends stop abruptly in a 180 degree radius. This is an example of one of those things that matters not one bit but I did say that I'm extremely detail oriented!

    Interior of handguard:

    Again we see that the original used hex shaped brass inserts as opposed to round ones on the reproduction. I didn't bother to take a picture but the heat shield is held in by hex screws on the MCM and simple slotted screws on the original. They will not interchange as originals used metric threads as opposed to standard on the MCM. I didn't mention it earlier but it's the same story with the butt pad screws.

    Manufacturer's mark:

    The last piece of furniture we need to look at is the pistol grip. As with the rest of the polymer parts, they did a fantastic job and only real sticklers for detail will notice any differences between the MCM made part and an original.

    First up is the left side. MCM part is on the left:

    The raised ribs between the grooves are slightly rounded on the original while they are flat on the reproduction. Also notice that the original has a mold ejection pin mark starting in the fourth groove down, running over the fourth rib and into the fifth groove while the MCM has no such mark.

    Right side:

    The MCM grip has two ejector pin marks, one large one above the grooves and one small one at the bottom front. The original has no such marks.

    Looking down into the top of the grips, we see that they are pretty much identical. MCM is still on the left:

    Front of grip. MCM is on top:

    Both show a mark in approximately the same place where they were removed from the sprue.

    Bottom and bottom/rear 3/4 view of grips with MCM on top:

    Mold lines differ somewhat between the two. but all of the contours are just dead on.

    Last grip picture showing the manufacturer's mark. The star shaped pattern around the allen head bolt hole is where a star shaped lock washer digs in:

    That's it for this post. In the next one, we'll look at all the welds on the rifle. I'll see you tomorrow night!

  3. #3
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    Awesome post as always! Thank you!
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

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    My pleasure sir!

    As we did with both the CETME L and the CETME LC, we'll now begin to look at all the various welds on the rifle and we'll start with the left side rear sight/optic mount welds:

    MCM uses a robot to do all of the welds and cleans them up by hand anywhere they think necessary. In general, the idea was to replicate the look of original welds rather than make them disappear or be as perfect as possible; a task which MCM completed in exemplary fashion. The rear sight on the LV is identical to that found on both the L and the LC. All parts are interchangeable among the three models. This includes the bolt hold open assembly too. The only difference is the sight base itself which, in the case of the LV is designed to allow any STANAG compatible optic to mount. We'll look at the rear sight, hold open and optic mount a little later.

    Moving forward along the left side, we come to what I call the left side button weld:

    This weld affixes the receiver to the top of the milled steel part that serves as the rear of the magazine well and the full-auto blocking plate.
    Just below the weld is the head of the push pin that serves to hold the front of the trigger housing in place and below that is the magazine catch.

    While we are in this area, we might as well take a look at some of the markings on the left side of the receiver:

    The serial number and selector markings are very crisply stamped and filled in with paint just as they would be on an original specimen. The "V" in the serial number prefix is for the Spanish word 'visor". Literally translated, that means "viewfinder" but in this context , it roughly means that it's an optics compatible model. As for the selector markings, they have been anglicized. In the original Spanish, you would have "S" for Seguro (Safe) and "T" for Tiro a tiro (Shot for shot or Semi-auto). Also, on an original rifle, you would have a third selector position at the bottom marked "R" for Rafaga or Burst. The ATF says "NO" to that last one.

    Weld at bottom left of magazine well:

    A look at the markings on the left side of the magazine well:

    If my research is correct, "ET" stands for "Ejército de Tierra" (Land Army). Note that an original rifle is not marked "CETME L" but rather just "CETME". This was an ATF requirement and NOT an oversight on the part of MCM who REALLY put their time into perfectly recreating all of the little details on their rifle as closely as possible to an original. For reference, here are the magazine markings on an original rifle:

    Next up is the left side weld at the rear of the trunnion:

    MCM purposely changed this weld from original specs in order to eliminate gas blowback exhibited on original examples. On an original rifle, this weld leaves part of the trunnion exposed as seen on in this right hand side photo:
    Welding over the entire area, while not as pretty, eliminates the possibility of gas blowback and makes for a more enjoyable shooting experience.

    Left side cocking tube welds:

    Weld at front of magazine well:

    Weld on tight side of cocking tube:

    Weld at top of cocking tube:

    Right side trunnion weld:

    While you can't see them, there are also two button welds running vertically along the side of the trunnion underneath the rectangular reinforcing rib. This is one of those welds that's dressed by hand after the robot is finished doing its thing. Notice also how nice and crisp the various folds and piercings in the sheet metal are. MCM's work is as good as any I have seen on any HK and many Swiss rifles as well. Absolutely beautiful work MarColMar!! Stuff like this is why I really do consider your work on the level of mechanical Art.

    Button welds on the right side of the receiver:

    We can also see the end of the push pin holding the front of the trigger housing in place and the magazine release button. Again, notice how crisp the folds are in the receiver stamping.

    Here is the logo that MCM designed specifically for their CETME rifles as a tribute to the original Santa Barbara logo:

    And for comparison, here is the logo for Santa Barbara, the original manufacturer of the CETME L:

    Welds on the right side of the rear sight/optic tower:

    The ribbed button is for the manual bolt hold open (again, we'll look at that in detail later) and the round wheel is for windage adjustment which we will also discuss at length when we look at the rear sight leaf.

    A close up of the empty casing deflector flare on the ejection port:

    This detail is probably the most sophisticated detail of the receiver stamping and MCM did a fine job replicating it.

    Two detail shots showing how nicely the reinforcement rib running along top the receiver mates up with the relief cuts at the front and rear of the sight tower:

    And we're going to call this a stopping point for tonight. In the next post, we'll look at the rear sight details, continue with some welds you can only see when the rifle is disassembled and then move on to internals. And don't forget that later we're going to look at both the day and night vision optics this rifle was originally designed for and some alternatives that will work just as well. In the meantime, keep your powder dry and your mind focused. See you soon!

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    The windage adjustable rear sight on the LV is the exact same one used on the L and the LC. It's a two position flip sight with settings for both 200 and 400m.

    Here, we see the 400m aperture:

    Originally, the "4" would have been filled in with white paint but MCM doesn't do that for some reason. I wish they would but it's not hard to do at home so it's really a nonissue. The aperture is small so your sight picture is somewhat dark and limited.

    Here is the 200m setting:

    If you compare this aperture to the one above, you'll notice that this one is larger but it was not that way when it left Spain. MCM bores them out a bit to make the sight picture more user friendly. It's a welcome modification that really helps at the range.

    A front oblique detail shot showing the 200m sight deployed:

    The sight is a simple affair. It just rocks back and forth on its axle and tension is applied by a piece of spring steel underneath.
    The round knob looking thingee is the windage adjustment wheel. This and the sight axle (which is actually a screw) are new made parts because the originals were fragile and easily broken. MCM found that the vast majority of the parts kits had the tip of the axle broken off where the roll pin that was used to fasten the wheel to the axle passed through. They improved the design by eliminating the roll pin and instead used a set screw to engage a divot in the axle. more broken axles!
    To adjust windage, you simply use a bullet tip to press in the detent (seen above in the bottom hole on the adjustment wheel) and turn the wheel. Turning it clockwise moves the point of impact to the right.

    A wider angle view of the rear sight:

    A front oblique view of the entire rear sight base:

    While the large oblong holes on ither side of the sight base may look like they are designed to be used as a handle, I think their real purpose is to let light so that you don't have a dark sight picture. They also allow you to get your finger in there to flip the sight. If you ask me, it's not really a very good design because when you have an optic attached, it's pretty fidgety getting your fingers in there. Maybe I just have fat fingers.

    Here's a top view of the sight base:

    It is important to note that this is NOT a rail but rather a mounting point. There is no quick change capability to switch from one optic to another like you find today. Whatever device you are using must be held on with two screws. Now, it's very precisely dimensioned so that any STANAG mount will, in theory, perfectly fit with no movement. All things being equal, you can unscrew the daytime scope at dusk, mount the night vison unit, tighten the screws and BLAMMO!!! you're good to go. Then, when the sun comes up, you can unscrew the NV device and reattach the daylight scope with it still holding zero. If this seems weird and goofy to you remember that this was designed in a different era; one before picatinny rails and such. Yes, there were ways around doing things this way (e.g. HK's claw mount system) but, for whatever reason, this is the route Spain chose. For a collector, this is all part of the LV's charm. And the simple fact is with only 145 of this model being produced, collectors are the folks buying it. If you want modern modularity, a standard L version with a picatinny rail is the way to go.
    Okiedokie that's it for the rear sight.

    Moving on to welds that you can only see when stuff is disassembled, here is a look at the bottom front of the receiver with the handguard removed:

    The weld running up the front of the magazine well continues all the way to the front of the receiver but it's been ground smooth so as not to interfere with the handguard. The hole you see near the front of the receiver is the barrel retaining pin. Unlike dad's old hunting rifle, the barrel is not threaded in but rather press fit into the trunnion and a pin passed through to hold it in place. While this is standard practice on many rifles now, it was rather novel when first used by the Germans during the war on the G/K43 rifle.

    Here's another view of the front of the receiver with the handguard removed:

    To anyone who owns a roller delayed blowback rifle, this is a familiar site. Those Krauts sure were clever!

    Here's the right side of the front sight with the handguard removed:

    Notice that the only thing holding it in place on the barrel other than friction is one roll pin. Hey, it works! The other hole is where the handguard retaining pin goes. Also of note is the fact that the front sight is not affixed to the cocking tube. This allows the barrel to be semi-free floating. Without the handguard in place, it's fully free floating. I think it's neat how some areas are either milled or scalloped in order to reduce weight. When you look at parts such as the front sight base, you can really see how much thought and design goes into all the various parts. These things aren't thought up by dummies and someone took a lot of pride in designing this. And having interviewed the folks at MCM, I know they put a lot of thought and pride into resurrecting it.

    In this picture, we have disassembled the rifle, removed the trigger box and were looking at the bottom of the receiver focusing on the rear of the magazine well:

    While the front and sides of the magazine well are part of the receiver stamping, the rear is a milled part welded in place. Not only does this give rigidity to the receiver itself, it also serves as a solid mounting point for the magazine catch and push pin holding the front of the trigger box in place. The magazine catch spring is clearly visible.

    At the bottom rear of the receiver we also have another milled part (the rear trunnion) that does double duty as a receiver strengthener and a mounting point for the stock retaining push pins:

    Although you can't see it because MCM dressed the welds so well, the sheet metal receiver straddles the trunnion.

    Only by looking at the extreme rear of the receiver can you tell that this area is not a monolithic part:

    While we're back here, notice how perfectly symmetrical the receiver cross section is. This thing is as perfectly built as any HK I've ever owned/handled and that's no exaggeration.

    A view from the rear of the receiver looking forward internally:

    In the middle of the picture is the breach and a circle of light as we look down the barrel. You can just make out three of the chamber flutes. If you've bothered to read this far, I don't need to explain their function because you already know. The rear of the trunnion is visible as a thick walled square box around the barrel. Above the trunnion is the cocking tube tunnel and below is the milled block that is the rear of the magazine well. Again we see the magazine catch spring too. The window of light on the right side towards the front is the ejection port. I never get tried of looking at these kinds of pictures. They are just so outside the realm of what we are used to looking at on a daily basis that I find them inspiring.

    That's it for tonight. In the next post, we'll start with the bolt and I'll explain the manual bolt hold open device too. See you then!

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    Next up is the bolt group:

    The similarity to an HK is obvious but then I would expect it to be since the locking principle is identical.
    The rear of the bolt carrier is markedly different than an HK though in that it has a long stem welded to the rear of it that engages with the front of the recoil assembly:

    Here's a bottom view of that stem showing that it's hollowed out so that the hammer can swing up to hit the firing pin:

    You can't see the rear of the firing pin though because it's been removed. It would protrude from the small hole in center of the picture.

    On the top right side of the bolt carrier, some of the metal has been machined away to create a step:

    That step is what the manual bolt hold open catches on. Let me go back to a previous picture to explain:

    Just like an HK the CETME does not automatically lock the bolt to the rear when the magazine is emptied. So if you wish to do so, you have to do it manually by first using the charging handle to pull the bolt assembly fully to the rear. Then, while holding the charging handle to the rear, press in on the tombstone shaped button shown above on the right side of the rear sight tower. Then, while holding button in, return the charging handle to the forward position. Done. If you wish to disengage the bolt hold open, simply press the button shown below that is located on the left side of the receiver and the bolt assemble will run home. The proper procedure is to use your finger, NOT the palm of your hand:

    A detail shot of the bolt group disassembled:

    It is disassembled just like an HK. You may have noticed that I really haven't covered how to field strip the rifle in this article. That's not an oversight but a choice. First of all, it comes apart almost exactly like an HK does save for the trigger box. Second, disassembly is well covered in the manual and anyone reading this most likely already knows how the rifle comes
    apart anyhow. If anyone REALLY wants me to cover a step by step field strip, just let me know and I will add it.

    Locking lever detail:

    Front of bolt carrier:

    If the finish looks rough, that's on purpose. MCM perfectly copied the original rough phosphate finish. Where it needs to be smooth it will be after just a couple of range visits.

    Bottom of bolt carrier showing "GEN2" scalloped cuts done by MCM to enhance reliability:

    The first MCM rifles lacked these cuts and had a tight magazine well. As a consequence, some magazines would not fit in the magazine well. In order to rectify that problem while retaining reliability, MCM enlarged the magazine well and added these cuts. Below is a comparison shot showing a modified GEN 2 bolt carrier (at bottom) compared to an unmodified original (at top):

    A close up of the added scallop cuts:

    Firing pin and spring:

    Locking wedge:

    Front oblique view of bolt head:

    The original extractor spring has been replaced by one made of chrome silicon, the absolute best money can buy.

    Rear 3/4 view of bolt head:


    Top showing the roll pin that secures an internal bar holding the rollers in place:

    Right side:

    Left side:

    Next is the trigger box and selector switch. Like the twit that I am, I forgot to take pictures of those parts on this rifle. However, I DID take pictures of them on the CETME LC and they are identical so they will serve as an adequate stand in here. sorry about that.
    Unlike an HK where you remove the selector switch and the trigger box (complete with the trigger group) can be removed from the trigger housing, the CETME has no separate box. Instead we just have a trigger box that contains all the mechanical bits. Here is the left side:

    Rather than modify original trigger boxes to semi-auto only, MCM has opted to manufacture their own box. Both new and originals are made of aluminum. The trigger group itself is modified original with new made springs. The mechanics of it are very similar to an HK.

    Right side of the trigger box:

    At the front you can see that part of the side is relieved:

    This mates with a piece of steel welded into the receiver designed to prevent the insertion of a full-auto trigger box:

    You nefarious types might be thinking, "what's to keep me from just modifying a select fire box to fit?" Well, you can do that but you'll be milling away the area where the trip lever needs to be in the process. MCM really thought this out so just enjoy it the way it is.

    Part of the modifications to the trigger group included modifying the selector switch:

    In addition to reducing the circumference of the end of the axle (their trigger box will only accept this reduced size axle), it was also modified so that it cannot be moved to the full-auto position.

    The recoil assembly:

    If you look carefully, you'll notice that this is comprised of two separate springs. The long one is the recoil spring proper and the short one is the much heavier buffer spring.

    Here is a close up of the buffer spring:

    Contrary to what you might read on the internet, the retaining nut seen above has NOTHING to do with buffer adjustment. MCM has used blue loctite to keep this thing from loosening and getting squirrely. Check it every time you clean your rife after shooting. It should not loosen. If it does, retighten it until the nut is flush with the threaded rod.

    The front of the recoil assembly showing the cup that engages the stem sticking out the rear of the bolt assembly:

    This picture shows the internals mounted to a receiver flat in what would be a locked and ready to fire position and is the closest I can provide of a phantom view:

    The stock is also shown relative to where it would be mounted. This picture clearly shows how the recoil assembly interacts with the stem welded to the rear of the bolt carrier and it also show you just how deep it nests in the stock. As an aside, the grandfather o the CETME L, the WWII vintage STG45 also had a stem between the recoil spring and the bolt carrier. In this aspect, the CETME very closely replicates the STG45. VERRRRYYY interesting!!

    As long as the recoil assembly is, this is all of it that sticks out of the stock:

    One last shot of the CETME LV showing it field stripped:

    I've mounted an example of the early handguard in this picture. If you want to learn more about that handguard, check out the article I did on the CETME L where I cover it in detail. As for the scope shown in the photo, it's an original example made by ENOSA in Spain and intended to be used on this rifle. Keep reading and we'll cover it in detail starting in the next post. Until then, head out to the range. It's good practice in case you need to use your skills to defend the Republic! I'll see you soon!
    Last edited by Combloc; 01-13-2020 at 01:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Veteran
    scottz63's Avatar
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    Very nice work again.
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

  8. #8
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Thanks pal!

    Next up are the ENOSA optics the CETME LV was intended for. Both a night vision unit and a daylight scope were produced and we'll be looking at both. ENOSA is an acronym for the now defunct Empressa Nacional de Optica S.A. or National Optics Company S.A..
    We'll start by looking at the case used to transport and store both scopes.

    The top of the case:

    It's molded of a thick, high impact plastic with a rubber airtight gasket and form fitted Styrofoam inserts. It is also equipped with a pressure equalizing valve.


    The ridges on the top and bottom are used to stack multiple cases securely.


    Other side:

    Rear showing the hinges:

    The reinforcement ribs allow you to stably stand the case up on end.


    There are various things to look at here.

    The spring loaded handle:

    It's made of plastic but is held on by a pressed steel cover. The bulges you see in the cover house springs that are wrapped around the handle axle and provide spring tension to keep it from flopping around.

    This label is made of aluminum:

    I don't know if there is adhesive on the back of the label or if it's only held on by the tape. My guess is that it is adhesive backed but someone put tape over it because it was getting loose but that's only a guess.
    Maleta Tirador roughly translates as "Marksman's Case" or "Shooter's Case.
    FUSIL=Rifle so this scope set was mated with a CETME LV serial number 00445
    The serial number of the night vision sight (VNP-009) is 1387
    The serial number of the daylight scope (Model F) is 2791.

    This sticker refers to the VNP-009:

    5855331031265 is the Nato Stock Number for this unit.
    Below that is its description which roughly translates as Night Vision Optic for Man Portable Weapon.
    At the bottom is the unit's serial number again (1387). I do not know what "U. SUM: EA" means.

    The other sticker is for the daylight scope:

    It has the same sort of information as the other label so I'm not going to spell it all out again but it is interesting to not in the description that it specifically states that this scope is fitted with a NATO adaptor. That's because this scope is (an educated guess here based on reading the manual) capable of being fitted with different adaptors depending on what kind of weapon it is being fitted to. The manual is just vague enough to give me the impression that the ENOSA Model F was fitted to other thigs besides just rifles. The same is true of the VNP-009.

    The pressure equalizer valve thingee is operated manually and can be left sealed or open.
    Screwed down and sealed:

    Unscrewed and open:

    It's a captive screw and cannot be removed.

    The clasps are of simple molded plastic and rely on elasticity rather than mechanics:

    Each clasp just snaps over an "L" shaped lug molded into the lid:

    Upon opening the case, you are presented with a variety of goodies, each of which we will cover individually and in some detail:

    Notice that there are several empty cavities in the styrofoam. I don't know if that's because some accessories are missing or whether this insert housed different things based on what sort of weapon the scopes were issued with. The Model F scope makes absolutely no mention of a case in its manual and while the VNP-009 does illustrate a case, it's a case for just that unit and is quite different from the case pictured here. Soooo, we're left to guess and yours is as good as mine.

    A closeup of the rubber gasket mounted around the circumference of the lid:

    Contents removed:

    There are three manuals; one for each sight and one for a standard CETME L. The small bag to the right of the rifle manual contains cleaning supplies and the large bag is the carry bag for the VNP-009. My assumption is that the number "2441" written on the bag is the serial number for a different scope but I often assume wrong. Just ask my honey.....she'll tell you!

    That's it for now. We'll pick up with the cleaning supplies bag in the next post. See you soon!

  9. #9
    Senior Veteran sdk1968's Avatar
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    as always: great photo work & write up!

    you have some serious patience to be able to detail this out this well.
    say what you mean & mean what you say!
    TEC Tactical=SOT/07 i work there.

  10. #10
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Thank you. But it doesn't require much patience when you are enjoying yourself immensely!

    Let's take a look at the cleaning kit bag and what's in it.
    Here's the front:

    It's made of a tightly woven nylon and held closed by a velcro strip. Exciting isn't it?

    The back is only slightly less exciting:

    Here are the contents laid out:

    The large off white square is what I assume is a general cleaning cloth but it sure feels just like a miniature fancy-dancy sit down restaurant napkin. I sure wouldn't use it to clean lenses and for all I know, it's not even supposed to be in there. The manual for the Model F references a fine hair brush and a cloth rag, nothing else and nowhere does it give you a breakdown of supplied cleaning supplies or even mention a regulation cleaning kit. The VNP-009 goes into only slightly more detail and actually mentions a cleaning bag, a brush and cleaning paper. It also says "To clean the rest of the unit, use a brush and a damp cloth, avoiding the use of solvents or abrasive substances and dry it before being placed in the case". I guess they assume you'll use common sense and you already know how to properly clean stuff; not necessarily a recipe for success.
    The green rectangle is a flannel cloth. The blue rectangle is a pack of cleaning papers and I'm certain this is actually supposed to be in the bag. Above that is what for all the world looks like a makeup brush but I'm sure that's an issued item too. The hex wrench is for tightening the mounting screws. There is something very curious about that little guy; you'll understand what I mean in a minute. The last item is a semi hafd bristle brush which you would NEVER use on a lens. I guess it's for general cleaning and I once again have no idea whether or not it's a regulation bit.

    This is the hex wrench:

    Notice it's NOT metric but rather 3/16". "UNBRAKO", while today an international company, was founded in the US many decades ago. The socket head cap screws used for mounting both scopes are 3/16" and will also accept a T20 Torx bit. The cap screws also have UTS threads. I really believe (though I have no proof) that this is due to the VNP-009 being sourced in the United States and NOT built in Spain. If you were to tear the VNP-009 apart, I bet you'd find that all of the fasteners are UTS because it was built in the US.

    Plastic brush marked "ALMA":

    I didn't bother taking closeups of the other brush as it is devoid of markings.

    Back of cleaning paper pack:

    It reads "ENOSA National Optics Company S.A.".


    Open showing contents:

    This is like a notepad and you just tear one of the top as you need it.

    This is the rifle manual:

    I'm not going to go into any detail on this as it isn't really germane to this conversation. Maybe some other time. I only include it here because it was in the set.

    VNP-009 front cover and a couple pages:

    Page 5 covers the general specifications of the unit:

    Note that the case dimensions shown refer to one that was made to only house the VNP-009 are NOT accurate to the case shown in this article.

    Page 6 shows the case from Page 5:

    Item 3 shows six AA batteries but only four are required, two for the intensifier tube and two for the reticle.
    Item 4 is the manual.
    Item 5 is a screwdriver but one is not included nor would it be useable to mount the unit on the CETME LV. The manual is somewhat vague in some areas because it was adapted to use on various different weapons. For example, Page 7 Section 3 is titled "Mounting on Weapon". The instructions in their entirety are:
    "Affix sight to mount.
    Affix the appropriate mount (depending on the weapon) to the sight using screws and washers 1 and 2 (see Fig.2)."
    It's all very technical stuff! The manual just assumes you know what you are doing. Now, to be fair, it does get more specific when it gets around to explaining how to use the controls so it's not a bad manual. It's just somewhat generic in spots so that they could use one manual for different applications.
    Lastly, Item 8 is simply listed as "cleaning kit bag" with absolutely no description of contents. They should have had me write the manual and we wouldn't have these problems. HAHA!

    This is the manual for the Model F scope:

    I have translated these manuals and might post them at a later date. They really aren't that exciting nor do they cover anything you probably don't already know if you have any experience with any rifle scope currently on the market. Besides, I'm going to explain the salient stuff as we look at each one anyways.

    Page 6 covers the technical data:

    This manual is also pretty generic with regards to mounting nd I suspect that's because it too was used on a variety of different weapons. I really hate to use the term "weapon" when writing about this stuff but that's what's written in the manuals. There may have been a time when these things were implements of war but I prefer to now see them as artifacts. Please excuse me.

    Inside the Model F manual was this tag with an almost hard as rock rubber band attached:

    Here's a better look at it:

    This is a repair tag. The title at the top tells us this scope was issued to the 49th Infantry Regiment "TENERIFE". This regiment has a proud History and I recommend that you visit their webpage as a starting point to learn more about those who served in it:

    The rest of the tag reads as follows:

    "Unit: 2nd Company
    Material: ENOSA scope
    Number: 2791 (this is the serial number of the scope we will be looking at next)
    Defect: Cover missing, 1 washer missing"

    And the scope is, in fact, missing the lens cap and one of the two lock washers for the mounting screws. Stuff like this really is neat because it adds a human touch. It reminds us that people actually used these items as tools and depended on them to keep them safe and defend their country. It's History that you can hold in your hands and I find it absolutely fascinating!

    So that's it for now. Next, we'll look at the Model F. Time to go nite-nite!
    Last edited by Combloc; 01-16-2020 at 11:28 PM.

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