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Improving Accuracy and Spare Parts

1174 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TEA
Happy Labor Day, everyone !!

As an FNG, I'm enjoying my M1A data dump...

2 questions:

1. What would (in order) be the best DROP-IN modifications (i.e., springs, rods, stocks, etc.) to make to an M1A to improve its out-of-the-box accuracy ??

I've read about bedding, gas systems mods and other gunsmith / mechanical skill activities, but I'm looking for a laundry list of things to buy that I can easily replace to make my babies' accuracy even better...

And, along those same lines:

2. What are the kinds of repair parts that I'd want to have on-hand to keep these fine firearms working well into the future ??
(again, drop-in versus significant working by a skilled artisan)

Thanks in advance.
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1. Shim the gas cylinder and install a NM front sight. Check the hand guard is slightly loose in the front band (assuming you have a rack grade rifle). Use a USGI synthetic stock with a snug fit.
2. One spare trigger pin, two sets of bolt innards and two operating rod springs
What Different said. Scott Duff's book says that aside from bedding the stock, unitizing the gas cylinder will give you the largest increase in accuracy of anything that you can do to accurize an M14.

Unitize the gas cylinder (shimming is the easiest method), install a NM front sight, NM flash suppressor and NM op rod spring guide. The last two aren't strictly necessary though.

As for spare parts, just stock up on the little consumable items: firing pin, extractor, extractor spring & plunger, ejector, ejector spring, hammer spring, trigger pin, hammer pin, etc... The large parts (bolt, op rod, trigger group) will probably outlast you.

Buy Scot Duff's "The M14 Owner's Guide & Match Conditioning Instructions". Among lots of other great info, it contains instructions on shimming the gas cylinder.

Then buy lots of ammo and shoot the heck out of it. :D
Not wanting to sound too ignorant...but what exactly does "unitizing the gas cylinder" mean ? How is it done -- and what tools are needed ?? Is it a "drop-in" procedure ??

If it's so simple, why wouldn't this step be incorporated into the manufacturing process ?? (money ??)

Thanks in advance.
When I was an FNG I took the advise Different and Quagmire have given you.
My Scout came with a NM front sight, it now has a tunned trigger and a unitized gas cylinder.
Duff's book is great... so I also oppted for glass bedding in walnut and a properly headspaced TRW bolt.
A few cases of Port and at least 6 USGI 20 round mags are a good thing to have.

My Scout was accurate out of the box but now it's very, very accurate :mrgreen: Thanks, guy's!

Different said:
One spare trigger pin, two sets of bolt innards and two operating rod springs
Parts?? - I need parts.
One stop shop for the parts?
Fair price for same?
unitized gas cylinder

Congrats on your new bang stick! Stay here and you will learn lots! Unitizing the gas cylinder means joining the gas cylinder and the frond band into one solid, joined piece/unit. Some do it by using screws, countersinking and screwing the front band into the gas cylinder. Others do it by welding, but you have to have somebody that can tig or mig weld. There are pros and cons of each method; folks will tell that one or the other is better, but to each his own. As mentioned above, you can shim it using shims from somebody like Fulton's. If you're looking for a screwed unit, contact Warbird here on the board. Great work, fair prices, standup guy.

As for spare parts, Duff's book has three lists: one is parts needed for minimum maintenance, one is for long term maintenance, and the third is for overhaul. If you don't have access to the book, PM me with you email address and I will shoot you a copy of the three.
Unitizing the gas system means that you permanently attach the front band to the gas cylinder by either welding or screwing and gluing them together to reduce any movement between these parts. Movement between the gas cylinder and front band cause inconsistant barrel harmonics, which are detrimental to accuracy. It is also recommended that you shim and/or time the gas piston while you're unitizing. Unitized gas systems are a drop in part and can be purchased from Fulton Armory (welded) or Brownells (screwed and glued). Ted Brown and Warbird can also unitize your gas system if you send them your gas cylinder and front band. You'll need a set of castle nut pliers to remove the flash suppressor in addition to the tools to remove your gas cylinder plug and lock. The gas cylinder itself will slide off after a few taps from a rubber mallet with a wood block on the tail end of the cylinder.

Fulton Armory unitized gas cylinder and front band (Samsung microwave in the background :wink: )

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