Do's and Don'ts of Handling an M1A?

Discussion in 'M1A /M14 Talk' started by seawolfxix, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. seawolfxix

    seawolfxix XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0
    I've never handled one of these rifles. Are there any rules or guidelines that are specific to the M1A platform?

    For example, is it okay to let the action slam shut while it's empty (i.e. no ammo)?

     
  2. HB of CJ

    HB of CJ XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +23 / 12
    This is what I was told...FWIW. Don't slam bolt home without a snap cap. Don't dry fire without a snap cap. Don't frequently remove the action from the stock. Don't use a steel cleaning rod. Always to remember to return your sights to zero after shooting. Don't over oil it. Don't leave the mag in.

    Don't clean it too often. Don't bang it around as it will mar the perfect walnut stock. Don't use different powder. Others will say different. Good luck. I loved mine...wish I still had it...but bought it dear and sold it cheap hoping to make it up with volume trades. HB of CJ (old coot) (ex...M1A guy) :) :) :)
     
  3. M1A4ME

    M1A4ME XDTalk 500 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0
    I've had mine for about 34 or 35 years now.

    If its not a match rifle it won't hurt to remove it from the stock. The match rifles are bedded into the stock and removal/replacement in the stock breaks down the bedding compound and ruins the surface contact area/force with the receiver.

    Dry firing shouldn't hurt it. It's never hurt mine. Dry firing has always been a training method (dry firing = pulling the trigger on an empty chamber).

    I haven't touched my sights in years. I also don't smack it or drop it or turn it upside down on a table top when cleaning it so the rear sight aperature doesn't contact anything hard.

    I over oil everything I have. However, on the M1A there are several points you really should use grease on vs. just oil.

    I put grease (I use marine grade bearing grease but other folks juse other types) on the bolt lugs and the reciever rails, on/around/in the bolt roller, in the rail/groove the operating rod tab rides in, on the hammer where the bolt pushes against it when cocking the hammer, on the operating rod guide, on the recoil spring, I even put a small amount of grease on the receiver legs where the trigger guard locks in and a little bit inside the receiver where the back of the bolt slides against it while sliding back into the receiver and cocking the hammer.

    Shoot GI surplus ammo in it. The M1A needs a certain pressure at the gas port to operate properly without damaging the operating rod/gas system. If you reload there are several powders that are okay. I use IMR4895. I've used Win 748, IMR3031 and Varget, but settled on IMR4895. There are more that are okay but be sure you pick the right one. Lots of info out on the internet and in reloading manuals about it. Also, stick with bullets under 180 grains, too.

    They are great rifles for serious work. Or deer hunting!! I carried several rifles over the years while deer hunting (Rem. 742, Springfield 03A4, sporterized M1917, etc.) but it seemed the M1A was in my hands whenever a buck decided to walk out of the brush/woods for me to take a shot.

    Mine was in a wood stock for years. Then I bought GI synthetic stock and put a krylon camo paint job on the rough old GI stock and my rifle's been in that one ever since. The synthetic stocks won't absorb moisture, or dry out, and warp like a wood stock can.

    I've used my old GI cleaning rod for years when cleaning my rifle. I sometimes use a civilian rod but not always.

    Big thing when cleaning a rifle barrel - DO NOT push the patch or brush through the barrel. The compressive force created by pushing bends the rod so that it rubs the lands of the rifling. PULL the patch/brush from chamber to muzzle. Pulling keeps the rod straight (as long as you go slow and keep it centered in the flash suppressor) and removes the crud from the barrel. Why push the stuff you're trying to clean out of the barrel down into the chamber?? Get it out of the barrel and the rifle and keep the chamber cleaner.

    Good luck with it.
     
  4. tornacl

    tornacl XDTalk Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Dont let the bolt slam " home " with a finger in the way .... I will laugh at you then make sure you didn't get anything on my rifle. Then remind you about safety.
     
  5. Darryl

    Darryl XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Far Western USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Be sure the gas plug is tight
     
  6. 1st Cav

    1st Cav XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Mo
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Match grade, Bassett scope mount, Vortex scope, Bradley cheek rest, SA break. I use Lubriplate white grease & FP 10 oil. When I remove gas plug for cleaning mark the barrel plug with marker to tighten back to original ( can't remember of top of head, torque lbs) use anti seize when reinstalling. Have Mcmillian M2 stock ordered that will be bedded. M14 Cleaning guide and Dewey cleaning rod and M14 brushes great help cleaning . I also pull cleaning rags through instead of pushing
     
  7. f4tweet

    f4tweet XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Kalifornia
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Do not place a round in the chamber and let the bolt slam home. That will get you a slam fire and possibly and out of battery detonation with the free floating firing pin. The bolt and return spring were designed to strip a round from a magazine, and that is what slows the forward progress to a safe speed.
     
  8. Sunday

    Sunday XDTalk 1K Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    By design the M1a is a tough durable rifle.
     
  9. Charlie Xray

    Charlie Xray XDTalk 500 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    With wood stocked rifles it is a good idea to unlock the trigger guard during storage to avoid compression of the wood resulting in sloppy fit.

    F4tweet is right but you can chamber a single round by putting the bullet end in the chamber mouth and the rim end captured in the mag. Release bolt and allow it to chamber the round as if from the mag.

    CX
     
  10. billt

    billt XDTalk 1K Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Glendale, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    What will happen?
     
  11. CPTKF

    CPTKF XDTalk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    EL PASO, TX
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    My busted thumb agrees:rolleyes:
     
  12. Camper

    Camper XDTalk 500 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    AKA M1 thumb!
     
  13. XDM1

    XDM1 XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I have a loaded and a scout i have not shot yet. Bought them in case I wouldn't have been able to anymore..

    Good thing too. Cause no more ARs in this crap hole state.

    Who knows whats NEXT on the "agenda"
     
  14. gtho150

    gtho150 XDTalk Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    +1,
    Also buy the Sadlak gas piston drill bit cleaners to get the carbon out of the piston.
     
  15. gtho150

    gtho150 XDTalk Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    +1---- also buy the Sadlak piston cleaning drill bits to clean the carbon from inside the gas piston. The gas piston does NOT need to be lubed !!!!!!!!
    Grease the rest of the rifle.
    Gary

     

Share This Page