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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning,
I split my time at work between a feed truck and a saddle. For years I’ve had Winchesters, both 94 and 70, in circulation until seven years ago when my “girlfriend’s dad,” now my father-in-law, gifted me a Ruger Guide in ‘06. These made splendid truck guns, which I’ve come to define as “whatever fits on the dash/in the scabbard and comes into battery with the least resistance.”
We live on a spread some might call wild and woolly, where you are just as apt to kick up a herd of woods dwelling homegrown “chemists” as a heard of unwelcome hogs, both of whom I’ve had close and uncomfortable brushes with while on the job. There has even been a statistical rise in rustling since COVID/election season began, which has also become a significant, and surprising 21st century problem. Taking prospective comfort in the idea of quick follow-ups, I dabbled in the Ruger mini 30, only to find that I was more effective with my m29 or Blackhawk, using hand loads and holding my mouth right, at farther ranges than I was with that rifle. Even trying my hand at an AR platform or two, I found myself drawn to the comfort of wood and steel, and purchased a standard grade SA m1a. Not being set up to reload .308, I was only able to buy a few boxes of 149gr Federal XM80C FMJ. My first occasion to use this rifle with this ammo yielded the following result.
My target was a moving taillight gradually growing in distance. Using open sights and waiting for the hundred yard mark, resting on the pulled in side view mirror of my feed truck, I saw glass fall to the dirt road, indicating a successful shot. However, my rifle did not eject the spent shell, which I had to do manually. The second shot at the same target, roughly 128 yards away now and moving much faster, missed completely, and also failed to cycle.
Shortly after this anti-climactic first run, I was discussing my experience with the county sheriff who had taken over the apprehension of the taillight owner. Being a veteran and a LEO lifer, he explained to me that this combination of brand new rifle and cheap ammo will often yield this result and that I should stick with it. We then emptied my 20rd mag and another box of what ammo I had at targets ranging from 17-140 dyards across the hood of his pickup. I had two more failures, but sincerely enjoyed the rest. He was gunsmoke scented magic with this rifle, and very encouraging towards my continued use of it. Having been issued an M4 lately, he became nostalgic recalling his former use of the m14 platform and the 308 cartridge.
It is my hope that handloads and a stationary target will improve my first impression. In honesty I was hoping for a Scout configuration, but this full rifle platform is wonderfully balanced and full of promise. I am eagerly awaiting the days of cool heads and level implement prices so that I might sincerely open it up and watch it work.
 

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^^^^^^ This!!! ^^^^^ Best thing you can do when you first get it is strip it, clean it, lube it (Grease for sliding parts, oil for rotating parts.), before shooting it the first time. After removing, cleaning, and installing barreled receiver on the stock, you'll need a couple of rounds to get the action resettled into the stock. Good luck with your new piece, and good to hear you got a piece of that turd. -Lloyd 🍻
 

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^^^^^^ This!!! ^^^^^ Best thing you can do when you first get it is strip it, clean it, lube it (Grease for sliding parts, oil for rotating parts.), before shooting it the first time. After removing, cleaning, and installing barreled receiver on the stock, you'll need a couple of rounds to get the action resettled into the stock. Good luck with your new piece, and good to hear you got a piece of that turd. -Lloyd 🍻
^^^^^^ This!!! ^^^^^ Best thing you can do when you first get it is strip it, clean it, lube it (Grease for sliding parts, oil for rotating parts.), before shooting it the first time. After removing, cleaning, and installing barreled receiver on the stock, you'll need a couple of rounds to get the action resettled into the stock. Good luck with your new piece, and good to hear you got a piece of that turd. -Lloyd 🍻
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I have Had the same issue with two different M1A’s. I ultimately figured out that during a quick range cleaning at some point I had removed the gas plug with the recoil spring still installed. When I unscrewed the gas plug and rotated the threaded ring that holds the gas system in line with the hole in the barrel more than necessary the recoil spring moved the gas system just enough to misalign the gas system and cause a cycling issue. It was not noticeable by visual inspection. I removed the recoil spring, tapped the gas system once lightly with my rubber mallet and then properly screwed down the gas system. No more cycling problems with either rifle since with the ammo you referenced above or any other I have tested.
 

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Primarily a handgunner, and reloader of big bore pistols.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sincerest thanks for input and explanations. Yes, I attempted to learn as much as possible about, as well as clean and lubricate the internals before firing. My gas plug was a little loose. Also, is my piston supposed to fall freely when turned vertically, or should it travel slowly as it falls? Perhaps as time goes on I will learn to be more specific and correct in my m1a nomenclature. For the time being, I hope the query is clear.
 

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Sincerest thanks for input and explanations. Yes, I attempted to learn as much as possible about, as well as clean and lubricate the internals before firing. My gas plug was a little loose. Also, is my piston supposed to fall freely when turned vertically, or should it travel slowly as it falls? Perhaps as time goes on I will learn to be more specific and correct in my m1a nomenclature. For the time being, I hope the query is clear.
I don't think it is the ammo. Just my 2 cents. Also, clean inside plug and piston. Trust me that crud builds up there too. Take rifle apart from stock and op-rod spring out and do tilt test to make sure SA didn't mess up something or put warped op rod into rifle. If AFTER CLEANING, YOU EXPERIENCE MISFIRES, SEND IT BACK TO SA, ASAP. Good luck!
 

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If this is a new Springfield M1A, there have been complaints that there are occasional issues with Failure to Extract on new guns. I was the proud owner of one such beast, which would not finish a magazine without a FTE. The issue MAY be a rough chamber, or it could be Springfield's extractor. Which is cast, and prone to breaking or launching into low Earth orbit. Easiest, and simplest, attempt at a fix is to replace the extractor with a USGI M14, or M1 Garand, extractor. Try that, and see if it fixes the problem.
 

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Sincerest thanks for input and explanations. Yes, I attempted to learn as much as possible about, as well as clean and lubricate the internals before firing. My gas plug was a little loose. Also, is my piston supposed to fall freely when turned vertically, or should it travel slowly as it falls? Perhaps as time goes on I will learn to be more specific and correct in my m1a nomenclature. For the time being, I hope the query is clear.
Xm80c is decent quality ammo. If it was Tula steel case that would be different. Like what others have said try swapping the extractor out for a usgi and see what happens. The piston should slowly but smoothly slide towards the rear when the oprod is is pulled to the rear and the rifle is tilted upward.

If the issue continues contact Springfield armory. They will take care of you


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