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Discussion Starter #1
I am the new owner of a 99 vintage M1A in very good condition with an apparent low round count.
The bolt stop (standard, not extended) functions normally with a mag installed, holding the bolt open reliably after the last shot.
However, if I set the stop by hand without a mag inserted, it does not retain the bolt reliably.
I can feel and see the stop "creep" a little bit after removing my thumb and the bolt will release and go into battery spontaneously when the rifle is handled or moved. Again, this is only an issue without a mag inserted.
I have not removed the bolt stop but I have visually inspected the face of bolt lug and the bolt stop contact surface and both appear in good serviceable condition with no visible wear.
I suspect the bolt stop spring may be the culprit (too long or strong?) but am not certain what the standard is, or what else should be checked.
 

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As the spring has to be compressed when you initiate the bolt stop I think that is a good start. You could try clipping off a coil or 2 and see what happens or just order a couple of new ones. I'm sure Mike at Windy City can help.

The only other possibilities I can see would be receiver spec issue (as in the part is slightly out of place) or the bolt stop itself being worn or out of spec. Having just put in an extended bolt stop, I was reminded of how difficult it is to get that pin out. I should have consulted the forum for those who have done it more than I have. I mostly only put a new stop in a bare receiver which is no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply.
I wanted to see if anyone could provide the standard uncompressed length of the bolt stop spring.
I would rather not start experimenting by altering the spring without additional information.
Is this spring available separately or only as part of a standard or extended bolt stop kit?
I have not removed the bolt stop but from close visual inspection it does not appear worn or malformed.
Is there anything I should check further on the face of the bolt stop that engages the bolt lug?
 

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The edge of the bolt stop gets rounded over time. If it is USGI, the part was probably used to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can the appropriate surface of the bolt stop be refaced (stoned or filed) or does the part need to be replaced?
The contact surface of the bolt stop does not appear rounded or worn, but I do not have anything to compare it to.
 

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Can the appropriate surface of the bolt stop be refaced (stoned or filed) or does the part need to be replaced?
The contact surface of the bolt stop does not appear rounded or worn, but I do not have anything to compare it to.
A friend has a '90s Super Match that was doing the same thing. He picked up a bolt stop at a gun show and swapped it out. Problem solved.
 

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USGI stops are not all in spec. Some are thicker, some thinner. I found this out with the same problem as yours.
 

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USGI stops are not all in spec. Some are thicker, some thinner. I found this out with the same problem as yours.
Pick you up a few GI ones and some extra firing pins and extra extractors ---
Change out the bolt stop and you will be good to go
 

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Be careful punching the pin out. There are a couple of nightmare stories floating around about the bosses that hold the pin breaking off when the bolt stop was changed. One incident I recall reading here on the forum was with a forged LRB receiver, too.

Just be careful.
 
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