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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

This is one of the first posts I have made here, if not the very first, but I have been reading here for a while. This is an awesome forum and I am hoping you guys can help.

I have a SA M1A loaded and I seem to be having trouble with the bolt stop. When I have a round in the left side of the magazine, the round will push up on the bolt stop and keep the bolt stop from dropping down to allow the bolt to come forward. It is not so much a problem once the rifle is cycling, but it is a problem when loading a fresh mag. Today at the range, the only solution was to remove the mag and allow a round to feed from the other side of the mag. When a round is on the right side of the mag, nothing pushes against the bolt catch, and it lays down exactly like it should.

The problem is only slightly abated when loading a mag with fewer rounds, and the problem is definitely caused by a round on the left side of the mag pushing up on the bolt stop in the same fashion that the mag follower should when the mag runs empty.

My question to you guys is whether or not this is a common issue. At times, I think this issue is making my bolt close slower and this is not so reassuring. By the way, I am running new CMI mags.

I have searched the forum and haven't been able to find anything related to this kind of problem. Any advice would be quite appreciated.

Thanks,

Fried
 

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Could be that the SA Inc BHO is a bit long, or maybe the hole in the receiver for the BHO is too long or too far forward, allowing the cartridge head to contact it. The BHO should not touch the cartridge. What kind of mag? Maybe a non milspec mag is locating the cartridge heads too far to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply,

the mags are new USGI 20 rounders from CMI. The round on the left side pushes up against the bolt stop the same way a mag follower should on an empty mag.

When I only have one or two rounds in the mag, the problem is not so pronounced, and it only catches a little bit and the bolt will just fly right over it.

Is there any problem with simply removing the bolt catch and running the rifle without it? Would the bolt mess up the follower in my mags if I did that?

Fried
 

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I wouldn't remove anything yet. Just wait until a few more shooters chime in to your post. I'm sure that someone out there has experience this problem before. You also have the SAI warranty that is golden, call them and they may have an idea. I have had to dremel my bolt stop a little to get just the right fit but nothing like you are explaining.
 

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I too had a bolt stop that was out of spec. When the bolt was going back into battery it hit the top of the bolt stop thereby pushing it down and contacted the next bullet in the left side of the magazine. Rounds from the left side of the mag fed so erratically that they hit hit the right hand side chamber wall enough to deform some of the casings. Damage was noted at the back of the bolt stop where the bolt was hitting it going into battery. I got fed up enough to send the rifle back to SAI. SAI replaced the bolt stop, and fired 80 rds thru it at the factory. I've had no issues with it since it was returned. Feeds flawlessly now. Rifle was a 1996 vintage "loaded" model, and only use USGI mags. Call them, and send it back for their correction. Hope this helps, dozier
 

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Why not just get a USGI bolt stop and install it yourself and not have to endure the hassles of sending your rifle back to SA Inc??? Just be sure and use a roll pin punch for this task.

7th
 

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Why not just get a USGI bolt stop and install it yourself and not have to endure the hassles of sending your rifle back to SA Inc??? Just be sure and use a roll pin punch for this task.

7th
Yes thought about doing it myself. Rifle had to go back for other issues, so I just included it in a list of things to do while it was there. BTW, removing the BS roll pin w/o marring the receiver requires a really thin shank pin punch, or a dremel tool with a thin cut off wheel. Unless you have the tools, and are a DIY Guy, I'd send it back. dozier
 

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SAI has extended their bolt stop ears away from the receiver in height, much taller profile than G.I....at the same time, they widened the bolt stop width area. I have seen bolt stops that slide forwards and backwards on the pins. Check yours for fore and aft movement. If you have room in there in the front, and don't want to send it back, drive the pin out to the rear and put a tiny shim washer or three or nine, in there, reinstall pin. This will keep the bolt stop from going forward. Or if you have the tools, you can weld up hard tack on the bolt stops left, (forward side), to fit tighter in the ears and file it back down smooth. Not too tight so it won't work. Don't go too far rearward either, so the mag follower doesn't trip it on for you.
 

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I know this is a necro, but figured I had some relevant information to add.

I had the same issue described in the first post. Was rather upset, as I had 12 magazines and could not use any of them because of this issue.

I found this thread and after reading some, decided to try shaving off some of the bolt. Took off .025" from the bottom of the bolt where the bolt stop catches, using a diamond sharpener.

The problem seems to have gone away completely. The bolt stop still holds the bolt back on the last round reliably. Have yet to visit the range and do live testing, but everything checks out when cycling the bolt manually.
 

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I had this happen 2 times on the first mag through my SAI Scout. I thought it was just new gun bugs that would work out after a few mags.

I shot a few more mags yesterday getting sighted in. The problem continued every few rounds. I was able to get a photo of what is happening.

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

I am not real keen on filing etc myself and dread having to send it back for repair.

I am waiting on a batch of new mags to come in from CMI and plan to test with them in case it is really a mag problem before sending it in for repair. The mag I am using is supposed to be a GI mag but I have not had time to research it using Differents guide yet. Its possibly out of spec.

Any other ideas or suggestions?
 

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Is it a trigger group in too deep the problem? Too thin of a stock, allowing the mag catch to let the mag come in too high? Try 6-8 layers of folded business card as shim between floor plate and stock. One on each side, Possible fix- grind down the mag catch.

I wonder of we could check the angle of mag to receiver? Front of mag is set by the catch/spring guide. Rear is set by the mag catch. If mag catch is not right, angle would change. We are only talking about.025", hard to eyeball, but an angle change may stand out. Let me dig into my closet...

Grind away a $200-$300 bolt seems the worst judgment possible. I'd R&R the BHO, grind it. Or bend the left side ear on all my mags.
 

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Hey Pecker Checker, How about a pic of the BHO working with an empty mag? If it is going too high, the mag may be too high, as per my post #12.
 

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Looked at the pic, compared to my own gun. BHO is too long, it sould not contact the front of the bolt, only the bolt lug. The length allows it to function by touching the cartridge. Unless the pic is wrong.
 

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I know this is a necro, but figured I had some relevant information to add.

I had the same issue described in the first post. Was rather upset, as I had 12 magazines and could not use any of them because of this issue.

I found this thread and after reading some, decided to try shaving off some of the bolt. Took off .025" from the bottom of the bolt where the bolt stop catches, using a diamond sharpener.

The problem seems to have gone away completely. The bolt stop still holds the bolt back on the last round reliably. Have yet to visit the range and do live testing, but everything checks out when cycling the bolt manually.

Before others try to solve this problem your way, something needs to be said. Whenever there is a clearance problem between two parts and metal needs to be removed, you remove the metal from the cheapest/less critical part. Taking .025" off the top of the Bolt Stop where it contacts the Bolt would have been my preference. Replacing the BS is cheap compared to getting a new bolt, and having it headspaced. FWIW if you did remove .025 off the bottom of the left bolt lug, you probably went thru the surface heat treat. You need to watch that spot for wear down the road. If I sounded harsh I'm sorry, but there are others here that would agree with me. dozier
 

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CaseBro, hehe... :p luckily I never had to do that. I did get to see plenty of adult (wives and GF) dependent female parts working in the ER :)

Here is a pic of the BHO manually pressed with the BCG open. It locks correctly from what I can tell.


Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

Mag inserted, manual cycle with no pressure on the BHO.

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

One suspicion I do have is that the BHO spring is crooked. The hole in the BHO and the frame do not line up and there is a lot of play in how it slides on the pin. Could that have anything to do with it.

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

To show the difference in the play in the BHO.

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

Don't worry. I will send it back to SAI before I do any mods. I am looking to see if its something I am doing before I do that. I am hoping the new mags get here soon to test with too.
 

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Second pic of post # 16, hasn't an ear on the mag follower jumped the BHO? Maybe the mag ears ARE bent wrong?

Off topic, I sure have known a lot of Navy medics. Mostly Viet Nam era service. Lot's of war stories for nominally non-combatants. Now I've got a niece heading for Med school, MCAT score of 32. Trying to convince her to check out the Uniformed Service University. A couple carrier pilot friends had their son and daughter do it, retired as Captains. But it looks like no vicarious Officerness through her though. Looks like the family armed services experience will skip a generation. Grand nephew is signing up though. Oh well.
 

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Casebro, I think you are right but I was not sure if that was normal. I tried manually riding the BCG and this is where the ear ends up. Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

So I am still confused about if its mag or BHO.


I can tell you plenty of war stories for never having seen combat. Corpsman assigned to EMS actually see a lot more crap than some in the military ever see. Ever pump a mans heart with your hand? Good luck to the niece.
 

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FWIW, I've had issues with CMI followers in the past. For some reason they just are not the same as USGI (I have 10 USGI mags for comparison...). I brought this up a few years ago but some folks didn't appreciate my comments regarding a forum sponsor.

In any case, the rear of the CMI followers, where they contact the BHO, is shaped differently than USGI, VEY subtle, but different. Also, the parkerizing on the followers can inhibit their proper interface with the feed lips on the mag.

I have 20 CMI 20-rounders and 5 25-rounders. Probably half of the followers are just not quite right. I contacted CMI about it but never got any response.

JWB
 

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Sorry about coming to this thread late, but I'm fighting a nasty cold or virus and have been in bed a lot these past couple of days.

First of all, please indulge the old Instructor Curmudgeon in me that the part is not a BHO, but rather a Bolt Stop. I used to almost FLAIL my OJT'S when they did not learn the correct nomenclature as you can not order a part if you do not know what the correct name is.

I just measured the length of six G.I. Bolt stops and they were all .555 to .556" in length. Don't know how long a SA inc bolt stop is. That could have something do with it.

There is supposed to be space between the two "bosses" on the side of the receiver and each side of the Bolt Stop so the bolt stop can move freely. I actually never had to measure the distance on a G.I. receiver for this, though. It looks like the fit of the bolt stop in the picture is a bit too loose. That could allow the lip of the magazine follower to slip over and not properly engage the bolt stop - as is shown in the one picture.

I also agree it looks like the magazine follower on the CMI mag is not quite right and that would make it worse.

If you don't want to send it back to SAinc. right away, I would suggest installing a G.I. bolt stop and see if that fixes the problem. Also, look at the top of the mag catch to ensure it is not worn down, as SAinc. mag catches are rather notorious for that. Many times installing a G.I. bolt stop and mag catch are all you need to do to do away with most of these problems.
 
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