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Let me start by saying that I've been shooting guns for over 50 years and reloading for almost 40 years. I was lucky to be around firearms my entire life and have gone through my fair share of rifles, shotguns, and pistols. I've been in love with the M14 since I first saw it on TV, but I had to retire until I could afford one. Thus begins my problem...

Not wanting to be a day late, and after much consideration for what I would be doing with my M1A, I took possession of it on December 24. When I think about it, that was a bad decision on my part. I was still waiting on the steel scope mount so all I would be able to do was some open sight shooting. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to test out accuracy with a scope.

I unwrapped it at the gun shop and visually checked it out. The operating rod was sticky, but I really didn't think much of it. Figured I would clean it and then assess everything. Once home, I started really checking out the firearm. Brought the operating rod back and it hung up again - the operating rod handle was right below the cartridge clip guide. It took quite a bit of force to get it to cycle, but again, I thought it was just "normal" break-in. Allowing the bolt assembly to snap into place, I decided to try the safety. I couldn't move it. It wouldn't budge a fraction of an inch. Oh, oh - this is not good. After about 30 min of fooling around, I finally got the safety to move at one particular spot - exactly where the operating rod handle would get stuck. However, once I took it off safety, I couldn't get it to operate again.

Fast-forward to Dec 26. I shot off an email to Springfield expressing my dissatisfaction with such a high-priced gun not functioning properly. I packed up everything and went back to the gun shop. I explained the problem and had them try. No luck - nobody could get it to work (several guys own M1A SOCOMs - they know what they are doing). We then disassembled the rifle. First thing found was three pieces of steel; they looked like milling chips. We got them out and checked the operating rod action. Better.

Even with the trigger assembly out, hammer cocked, we still couldn't get the safety to go on. After 10 min or so, I decided to put the gun back together. Wouldn't you know it, I dropped the trigger assembly. Picked it off the floor and reinstalled it. Guess what - it worked! Flawlessly.

I took it home and did a complete strip down and lube. Following TonyBen's videos (a thousand thanks!!!), I cleaned the weapon like it should have been when it left the factory. Took it out and fired it. WOW is all I can say. Talk about an awesome weapon system.

Final thoughts:

- still waiting for Springfield Armory to answer my email. Maybe they are still on vacation.

- QC at the factory must also be on vacation. I cannot understand how a gun can leave the factory without it being tested. At bare minimum, I know the lawyers would want the safety to work even if everything else doesn't.

- This is not the most expensive gun I've purchased, however, one would expect that when you are north of $1,600 that care would be taken to ensure the gun would operate as well and as good as it looks.

- I always clean my guns when I first get them. I should have done that BEFORE I shot off my mouth to Springfield. I'm sure the trigger assembly would have worked once I took it apart. However, the guys at the shop are still laughing about the drop, and have even employed it with other guns (they also started working).

- Now that the scope is mounted, life is great. This is indeed a great rifle, one that will certainly give me years of enjoyment.
 

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- This is not the most expensive gun I've purchased, however, one would expect that when you are north of $1,600 that care would be taken to ensure the gun would operate as well and as good as it looks.

- I always clean my guns when I first get them. I should have done that BEFORE I shot off my mouth to Springfield. I'm sure the trigger assembly would have worked once I took it apart.

- Now that the scope is mounted, life is great. This is indeed a great rifle, one that will certainly give me years of enjoyment.
Something that hit me in the face while reading your post....I've purchased so many firearms north of the $1500 price-point that It doesn't really register with me just how much money that is.

Now if the car needs repairs or the kid needs braces- GOOD GAWD!!!!

For $1600 you (we) should be getting a Butter-Smooth RTG Rifle right outa tha box! SAI shouldn't be letting that crap get out the door and they need to hear about itDISHOUT

Glad it worked out for you tho.

Cheers!
 

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Congrats....

I am glad it worked out for you and with any manufacturer situations like this can happen as part of production [I am not saying it is right, but it does happen].

I am glad you are up and running now and you feel like most of the issue was taken care of by a good final cleaning "which should not have been necessary" [and oh the custom trigger group fix -> the 3' drop technique"].

Lastly, regardless - SAI does have a great warranty program so if it did not work properly you would have been taken care of due to the good warranty.

I now prefer building up my own M14's using primarily USGI parts, but I do own two SAI Scouts and those were my first rifles purchased.

Good luck with your new rifle [it looks great] and I hope you a lot of great days with it!!

M1Army
 

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Glad things worked out for you without having to ship the rifle back! Maybe you could get a job at your LGS repairing trigger groups! LOL!!!
 

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M14 Super Match

I need to do the same, I purchased a super match well over 3k need to watch Tony's video on cleaning but was told not to disturb the action from the bedding. Feel like I should have brought the standard grade.
 

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Good to hear it's working out for you.
As a rule of thumb, complete disassembly , cleaning, lube and reassembly should be done on any weapon.
The metal fragments are a sign of something being overlooked somewhere along the line. It happens.

Semper Fi
Art
 

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Good for you things worked out.

I give every new gun a USGI cleaning first. Dried oil or cosmoline can screw up actions on guns. Been there. These guns sit on shelves fr who knows how long. The orginal USGI Rifle Bore Cleaner does a great job melting the dried oil and cosmoline away. I've even found chips in my new Ruger 10/22 go figure. I found rough edges on the bolt too. We need to inspect, debur, and stone each part to make it right. Trust no gun manufacturer.
After I good cleaning and debuting, fitting I lube the metal to metal contact parts with TS-moly.

I was in my LGS going to purchase a new SA M1a for $2,200. I seen a rack full of brand new ak/akm Russian Ihzmash Saigas in 308win. for $289 that's only $307 OTD. I grabbed one instead.
She shoots 1 1/2" groups @ 100yds using South African 308 ball ammo. That's not to shabby for a welded sheet metal receiver. This is my very first ak/akm purchase. I never cared for the ak's anyway. But a brand new Russian made sporter aka/akm it's awesome not a refurb.

Now fast forward my LGS had a norinco m14 which I purchased for under $400 with some free trades I had. Everything looked good. It doesn't appear to be shot that much. The op rod guide block was loose which I repaired with 620 loctite and a new dowel pin. Now she's good to test fire.
Forged receiver, barrel and chromed lined bore and chamber.

But like you I'm not satisfied yet. I'm thinking about a build if I'm going to drop over $2k on a new m14/m1a.
 
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