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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Took my new to me SAI M1A out today for the first time. It is in a Sage Mod 0 EBR stock, mid nineties vintage rifle. Trouble is it wont pick up a round from the mag when it cycles. Hammer resets but it wont grab a round. Using new CMI mags and DAG surplus. When I got home I discovered a slightly loose gas plug and the piston had oil on it from the previous owner. Could this be the issue? What are possible causes? Ive ruled out ammo and mags since I tried several & they all work great in my Scout. Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I dont understand how the action cycles enough to reset the hammer but it wont grab a round?
 

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It doesn't need to run the bolt all the way back to set the hammer. But it won't have the forward energy to ram a new round in if it doesn't go all the way back. Had the same issue, it was due to the shim that came with the ebr stock not allowing the gas ports to line up. I hammered the shim flat (not the recommended procedure, I know) and it works fine now.
 
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I had this happen last week too, only a few times (2 or 3) almost same exact setup except a wood stock. I'm due to take apart the gas system, I"ll check the freeness of the piston, maybe it got solvent on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great ideas guys! Knew youd help. Ill try cleaning the gas system and making sure its dry and the plug is tight first. Gas port alignment looks iffy so that could be the issue as well. If so it looks like ill have to add some shims to bring the cylinder forward. The gas lock is awfully tight on this rifle too...kind of bugs me. Thanks!
 

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Can you pull the op rod handle all the way to the rear and release it, resulting in the weapon smoothly chambering a round?

Can you do it repeatedly with out the weapon failing to pick up the next round?

If you can't then the gas system is most likely not your problem.

The problem would be with the magazine sitting too low in the stock with the bolt passing over the top of the rounds in the magazine. Hopefully addressing the oily gas tube assembly and loose gas tube plug will solve the issue. While you're at it you also need to ensure that the hole in the barrel lines up correctly with the hole in the gas tube assembly.

7th
 

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... Gas port alignment looks iffy so that could be the issue as well. If so it looks like ill have to add some shims to bring the cylinder forward...
Both my standard and Scout liked .023" shims in addition to the SAGE crush washer. Remember, that washer is just to replace the missing front band. I forget now what the largest allen wrench is that will go into the barrel gas port but whichever it is you want to still be able to insert it after the shims are installed and the gas plug is tight. (test without the piston)

One tip i learned here on this sight is exchange shim sizes until you get three things to line up at the same time... first, the gas ports must line up properly. Second, the gas lock begins torqing around 4:30-5 o'clock then tight at 6. Thirdly, as the gas plug screws in and touches the piston, it still has 3/4 to 1 full turn left before torqing down.

So far, that setup has really ran good for me. Hope that helps!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update in case it could benefit someone else:

I completely tore down the rifle last week. Cleaned and greased all the parts. Cleaned the gas system properly. Shimmed the gas cylinder in conjuction with the Sage crush washer to align the gas ports and achieve the correct gas lock lock up. It was a pain! Haha.. Replaced the op rod spring as it measured 1/2" under spec. Insured gas plug was properly torqued. Took the rifle out Friday and not one hiccup! Ran like a champ!! Thanks for the help!
 
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