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New Member with feeding problem M-1a

1793 Views 31 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Rawnerves
Hello to all and im glad i finally joined the group, I have been absorbing the knowledge for quite a while and i thank you all for your wisdom. I have a problem , i have an M-1a that i love and has worked flawlessly till this point, i have fed my rifle 2000+ rounds of surplus, commercial and hand loads without failure untill this point. I have never had any repairs or adjustments made to the rifle, have never replace the extractor with usgi extractor and now my bolt will not close all the way and extractor will not easily grab cartridge. I ordered some usgi bolt gut kits hoping that its all i need and hopefully anyone with similar experience feel free to jump in. Thank you in advance.

Springfield loaded m-1a, sadlak airborne scope mount,Leupold Mk4 4.5-14 illum. tmr scope, atlas bipod
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Will the bolt close on a round with the guts removed?
Is this problem occurring with just the current batch of rounds or with all brands you've tried? Could be low pressure from rounds or fouling in the gas system.
Have you kept the gas system and chamber clean of debris and carbon build-up? Boltface and extractor clean of brass fragments? Is the gas plug screw down tight? Barrel's gas port free of carbon and copper/lead? Op rod spring gone weak? At 2K rounds it's a good time to replace it anyway. I don't know if you need to replace all the bolt guts or if they have anything to do with your immediate issue, but it can't hurt anything to swap in GI parts for the commercially-made ones..
I haven't tried taking the guts out, the problem persists with any round I try to chamber,gas system is squeaky clean,chamber is clean,bolt disassembled and cleaned with drill bits,ill order an op rod spring
The bolt will close if I force it forward it will eject the round but won't grab the next one
I think BDH is on to something with the Operating Rod question/suggestion.
I have ordered two operating rod springs , i hope that works
If this is happening only with handloads, check and see if perhaps your case headspace has changed. Should be somethng like 3-5 thou less than chamber. Common problem with handloads. Your die does not have to back out much to cause this problem. 1/16 turn or less and its a no go situation.
Sorry, I've been really busy and haven't had a chance to read through all the problems and suggestions, but whatever the problem is, it may be addressed here:


Hope this helps,

the bolt will close with the guts removed
thank you tony I'm looking at the health check right now
Welcome to the forum from NorCal. Looks like you are on your way to figuring out the problem. Great choice of scopes IMHO.
I'm just trying to be patient and wait for these parts . I had just tested a round that shoots consistent 1/2" groups at 100 yards
What rifle were you getting 1/2 groups at 100yds with?
My m-1a 147gr FMJ-bt lake city brass fed210 43gr varget
That gives me another goal to strive for. Took me 45 years to get 1" groups with an M14. I don't think I will do it in this lifetime though.
Semper Fi
but I never shot a half inch group until I got the atlas bipod
And also I didn't drink any coffee that day lol
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