MarColMar CETME LV In Detail
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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:

    https://www.marcolmarfirearms.com/


    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 say....it'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 Wilhelm; 12-16-2019 at 11:28 PM.
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    On the left side is an anti-idiot sticker in both Spanish and English:



    The aluminum identification label lists the model and serial number:



    A closeup of the elevation adjustment on top:



    And a detail shot of the windage adjustment on the side:



    The black circular doohickey in the center of the objective lens is the cover for the reticle housing and its associated electronics.:

    The cover can be removed for reticle bulb replacement or to switch out the reticle plate for a different pattern one depending on the use (i.e. rifle, anti-tank rocket, shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile, etc.). No, we're not going to disassemble that for kicks. To the right of frame you can see the windage adjustment rising from the side of the scope and a rod projecting out the back of it and into the reticle housing. Although you can't see it, the elevation adjustment is set up the exact same way.

    Here's a closeup of the internal adjustment rod referenced above:

    As you turn either the windage or elevation adjustment, the rod turns and moves the reticle plate either side to side and up or down. It's that simple.


    Although some of the reticles can get quite elaborate, the Spanish opted for a simple chevron and two horizontal lines:

    The manual makes absolutely no mention of the purpose for the horizontal lines and only references the chevron as the "aiming point". If the were going for minimalism, I'd say they achieved it!


    At the back of the scope you'll find, shockingly, an ocular lens so that you can see things:

    The rubber eyecup is just the right length to ensure proper eye relief.


    I've removed the eyecup here for clarity:

    There are two focusing adjustments back here; one for diopter adjustment and one for focus.


    Here is a more oblique and closeup view of those adjustments:

    The diopter adjustment is the rearmost of the two and rotates clockwise/counterclockwise. What you do is turn on the reticle with the objective lens cover in place and rotate the splined adjustment ring until the reticle is in sharp focus. Done.
    The other adjustment is the focus ring. It's the larger toothed one towards the front. It can be focused from 20m (about 66 ft.) out to infinity. For this one, all you need do is turn it one way or the other until what tyou are looking at is in sharp focus. Done. Most of the time, you're obviously going to have it on the infinity setting.


    In this picture, I've placed the eyecup over a flashlight to highlight the fact that is has a vent hole in it so that you don't suction your eye to the thing like you can with the Model F eyecup:



    A front comparison view showing just how big the Gen 2 VNP-009 is compared to the Model F:



    The length between the two is almost the same though:

    "Owning the night" is a large, heavy affair!


    I forgot I took the following two photos and I should have fit them in earlier sorry about that.
    The first one clearly shows that the mounting cap screws are compatible with either a hex wrench (3/16") or a torx bit (T20):



    The second is a general closeup of two of the cap screws and their lock washers:

    The one on the left is from the Model F and uses a more common style lock washer while the other is from the VNP-009 and uses a toothed one.
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    All this talk of rifles and scopes is useless unless you see what the stuff looks like together. While the LV was intended to be used with the ENOSA getups we looked at above, the fact is, pretty much anything that is STANAG compatible will work just fine. Let's look at some examples.
    We'll start with the ENOSA Model F.
    Left side:



    Right side:



    Front oblique:



    And rear oblique:

    Various places now, I've read where people complain about how high the scope sits. Well, I got news for you......at that time, this was generally considered normal. No, you don't get a cheek weld when using the optic BUT you can still use the irons is necessary and that was generally a government requirement. Besides, these were meant to be used as marksman's rifles, NOT sniper rifles. Not matter hw low the scope is mounted or how good the trigger is (and these had stock triggers), you were only going to get standard rifle accuracy out of these things. The point of the scope was to be able to engage at slightly longer distances.
    For comparison purposes (and this is FAR from scientific!), let's look at the rise on the LV compared to a few of its western contemporaries.
    First the LV again:

    An HK:

    SIG 510:

    And finally, an Armalite AR180:

    I should have thrown a Colt in there too but I somehow forgot. Anywho, ALL of these rifles have significant rise but that was normal back then. You get used to it.


    Next up it the ENOSA VNP-009.
    Left side:



    Right side:



    Front oblique:



    Rear oblique:

    Straight on:

    It's a biggun'. In the 80's, they were all big!


    So you say you don't have an ENOSA. That's OK because these rifles work very well with one of the easy to find and plentiful surplus G3 scopes floating around. This next one is a Karl Kaps 4x jobber that I bought some years ago cheap. They have gone up some in price but they are still very reasonable considering the Quality. These things are so well built, your grandkids will be using them! This one is also now zeroed to the rifle and it's what I'll be using in the spring for some accuracy testing.
    Left side:



    Right side:



    Front oblique:



    Rear oblique:

    Now, this scope is calibrated to the 7.62 NATO round so the distance setting will only be accurate at the range I've zeroed it to but that's OK because this thing is a range you anyways. These scopes were made with 5.56 ballistic cams but they are rare. Mr. Estes Adams used to make replicas of the cams but, sadly, he has passed on to his next life. He was a good man. May God grant him the peace he has earned.


    This next one is a West German surplus Gen 1 Z51 night vision scope. These babies are SCHWEEET! Built to last with a picture Quality approaching that of a Gen 2 unit, they are a bit hard to find but prices are quite reasonable when you find them. I can tell you from experience, these jobbers sit so high that they are most comfortable using the opposite eye you are used to using. It's weird at first but once you get used to it, the reliable Z51 works like a charm.
    Left side:



    Right side:



    Front oblique:



    Rear oblique:



    Straight on:

    HEAVY baby....HEAVY!!!

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    This next one is an enigma. Rumor has it that this thing was designed and built to be smuggled into East Germany for clandestine use by anti-communist dissidents who called themselves the Neuwerwolffreiheitskampher Bataillon and the rifle with scope was known as the Werwolfs Nachtjagergerat M1945

    Here's the left side:


    Right side:




    Shown with illumination lamp battery replicating the illustration in the uber top secret manual which I just happen to have a copy of:



    Front oblique:



    Rear oblique:



    Straight on:

    Of course, all I just posted about this thing was 100% completely fabricated for no other reason than to be goofy. In reality, this unit is a Gen 0 B8-V built by Zeiss-Eltro back in the 1960's. While it's heavy, cumbersome and you are literally tethered to your rifle by way of the belt mounted 6V power pack for the illumination lamp, it was cutting edge back in its day and the image quality is surprisingly good even today. It might be crude but it works!



    Of course, you may want a more modern option than any shown here for your CETME LV. Well, all you need to do is buy yourself a STANAG to Picatinny adapter online and BLAMMO!!! You can then use whatever modern optic you want. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of one of those adaptors.....I'm old school buddy!!!



    Well, that's it for now. The LV was a modern rifle back in the 80's. Yes, it's antiquated by today's standards but it shouldn't be judged by those. Instead, it should be looked at for what it is, a faithful reproduction of the original CETME LV. So long as you remember why MCM reproduced it, you'll be a happy fellow for buying one. An added bonus is that, if my guess is correct, these will increase in value significantly as the years pass. Simply put, if you buy one expecting it to compete with today's modern optic ready rifes, you're going to be sorely disappointed. BUT, if you buy one for the love of retro and, to a lesser degree, investment purposes, you're going to have a grin on your face every time you pick up your little LV buddy. My advice is to buy it!!



    MarColMar is in the process of producing the Model LV/s which is a reproduction of the rifle built specifically for the Spanish Marines and comes complete with a 4x SUSAT scope. Of course I want one and when I get my hands on it, I'll post it here as an addendum. Until that time, I hope to see you at the range! Be safe, be happy and tell your Mom you love her; she deserves it!!



    Thanks Mom......for everything!!
    Last edited by Wilhelm; Today at 11:42 PM.

 

 
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