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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently purchased a new SAI M1A Scout in the synthetic stock. Had a few problems so far.

First range trip the bolt roller retaining clip broke during the very first mag, day over. Disappointing, but I have nothing but good things to say about Springfield's customer service. They replaced the clip and roller, had it back to me 10 days from when I shipped it.

Fast forward to today. I've got four new CMI 20-rd mags. The synthetic stock doesn't much like to accept any of them. Insert at not-the-perfect-angle and they won't snap into place. I could just be new to the platform, but they seemed rather finicky trying to do mag changes.

Anyways, I shot 80 rounds today - 20 from each mag. Once I got her zeroed, I'd say she's about a 3 MOA shooter. I was secretly hoping for better, but it's a battle rifle straight from the factory. I'll work on accurization later.

In my 80 rounds, I had nine failures to feed. In each case the bolt closed on an empty chamber.

The failures occurred on all four magazines, at different mag levels. Ammo used was American Eagle M1A. Rifle was fully disassembled and scrubbed, cleaned, greased up with Tetra prior to shooting.

Am I looking at a mag seating problem or something else?

Apologies if this has been covered a thousand times. Tried the search function but didn't come up with much.

Thanks.
 

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First the magazine issue:

1. The top rear of the mag slides into the receiver. On new rifles, the parkerizing inside the receiver and on the magazines can make things a bit stiff. A little CLP on the top rear sides of the mags and inside the receiver well will help out a lot until the finish begins to wear a little.

2. The polymer stock itself can also be part of the problem. The clamping action of the trigger assembly is actually squeezing the stock around the magazine.

Unhinge your triggerguard but leave it assembled. Try inserting a magazine. If it locks in without an issue, then this is your problem.

You can take some wet/dry extra fine sandpaper and use some CLP to polish the inside of the stock's magazine well. Sand out any "scrapes" that the magazine may be causing.

The final trick (but don't tell anyone RNGR2) is to cut to 2 small squares from a piece of aluminum roof flashing and glue them inside the stock sides where the receiver legs fit it. This will keep your stock from compressing and will also give a tighter fit to the receiver, which helps accuracy.

As for your bolt closing on an empty chamber, there are 2 possibilities:

1. The magazines were not locking properly into the receiver, for the reasons stated above.

2. The bolt wasn't coming rearward enough to pick up the next cartridge. Since you are using full strength ammo, it is most likely just a matter of the rifle breaking in.
 

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Howera,

No worries about answering your questions for the thousandth time.......

Your weapon was built by an "assembler". You should make a list of the issues and send it back to the manufacturer and have them corrected by a gunsmith.... ASAP. Don't try and correct these factory issues yourself.

Best of luck,

Hobo
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice so far.

If it's as simple as a bit of break in to wear in magazines and mag well, you don't have to tell me twice to shoot more.

I'll see how the mags are different with the trigger group unlocked.

I did notice that the piston was a bit dirty and needed wiped off after shooting. While it was dirty it did not pass the tilt test. At least, not really. Wiped off it does.

I have not removed the gas plug to remove the piston or clean the gas cylinder but I'm starting to think I should.

I scrubbed the chamber pretty good with a chamber brush before shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a noticeable difference between ease of mag insertion, force required to lock in place, and an audible difference between when the trigger group is locked and unlocked.

I also just removed and inserted an empty mag 100 times. There's certainly wear on that mag now in a couple places, but it was also considerably easier on cycle 100 than it was at the beginning.
 

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In my 80 rounds, I had nine failures to feed. In each case the bolt closed on an empty chamber.
This sounds like classic ‘short stroking’. There are all kinds of possible causes from weak ammo to weak mag springs to some sort of obstruction.

You can run some diagnostics yourself to try and narrow it down but start with basics.

gas plug fully tightened? they love to come loose, especially after cleaning
Piston passes tilt test? I saw your comments, a rifle will still function with a dirty piston, even very dirty. It’s just an indication that a cleaning is needed soon.

with the spring out of the action, there are no hang ups, hitches or obstructions in the action?

Does the op-rod hang at the end of the stroke? Mine did sometimes and I’d get a periodic bolt to the rear condition.

I don’t have any of the CMI 20 round mags but I have 8 or 9 25 rounders. most had to be sent back but CMI also has good c/s. Can you try a GI mag or the mag that came with the gun and see if the gun does it consistently with that mag too?

I disagree with the “bit of break in” theory, as you didn’t buy a hand fitted, match grade action. The gun should run like a top right off the rack. That and ammo is +/- $ .50 per round and chasing down this issue could cost you a LOT of money.

I suggest if you cannot narrow down the issue to either something simple or something you did, ship the gun and magazines back to S/A and tell them exactly what you told us. They should be able to replicate the issue and if so, they can and will fix it.

My Socom 16 went back x2 and it only hung up every few hundred rounds or so. They did identify a couple things on the first trip and on the 2nd trip in they fitted the op rod when found it would hang at the rear of the stroke.

Now it runs about 2.5x as many rounds between failures as my best AR.

As to the accuracy, I would bet the rifle is capable of better than 3 MOA with good ammo, and possibly either a red dot or magnified optic. My Socom 16 likes the 175 grain rounds. Good glass may be all that you need. I was able to make better groups with an Aimpoint, but it took a scope for me to consistently get under 2 MOA.

good luck !
 

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one of my learning lessons was- I had the gas piston out(put in that fancy new plated one) and flipped the rifle over for some reason and got the gas cylinder lock a full turn off and didnt notice...
next day at the range...short cycle! closing on a empty chamber b/c not enough gas to drive it back to pick up another round.
 

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I had trouble with my new Scout. The mags would not go home easily, especially with the bolt closed. It would feel locked in, but having trained on the M14, I knew better. There was no click when I engaged the front and pulled the mag rear to lock. After a few dozen very hard loadings with the bolt open, it works better, but is still a little tight. I figure "better tight than loose", and it seems to be improving. Make sure the front is locked in, and pull the mag bottom rearward. Don't need to push up as leverage is high with the front locked in. Mine is sub 2 MOA with optics and Tula ammo.
 

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I might try some brass cased ammo, either surplus or some of that ammo from Wally world, ZQ1. I've shot a lot of steel cased ammo in my AR's but wouldn't shoot any out of my M14 style rifles.
 
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