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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Took my new SAI M1A Loaded 6.5 CM for its first trip to the range, and the second shot didn’t cycle the action. Troubleshooting revealed the gas spindle valve was gone! It was there before the first shot, as was the roll pin that secures it in place.

I’m not new to the M1A, this is the 3rd one I’ve owned. But I’m new to the 6.5 CM. This M1A was new out of the box, with no rounds through it other than what the manufacturer did, and my addition of a Vortex Viper PST II 5-25x50 FFP with EBR-2C Reticle in a M14.CA CASM scope mount.

Not sure if it was a roll pin failure or if the valve itself blew apart. I don’t know whether it happened on the 1st shot, allowing enough gas to chamber the second round as it popped out, or if it happened on the 2nd shot after being weakened on the 1st shot. I can only speculate at to whether it was a defective part, or maybe the manufacturer put the wrong spindle in by mistake. From what I understand, 6.5 CM gas pressure is quite a bit higher than .308 and 7.62x51 NATO, so the manufacturer undoubtedly had to adjust some specs of their gas system from the rest of the M1As on the factory’s assembly line.

I spent half an hour scouring the place for the lost spindle valve, but no luck finding it. It was a needle in a haystack among the ancient casings strewn around the sides of the rain-sogged firing line at my local gun club. Even a magnet was no help, due to the large amount of discarded steel casings among the brass.

The good news is, this rifle is capable of sub-MOA with Hornady American Gunner 140 gr BTHP at a manufacturer-advertised 2690 FPS. Rather than end my range day early, without even zeroing the rifle or seeing what it was capable of, I kept firing, manually cycling the action between shots. First few groups at 50 yds were 2 MOA. Then I switched it into a Delta14 polymer chassis, and groups dropped to MOA or less. So I do like this rifle! A lot!

Here are my questions for the forum:
1. Anyone else had this happen to the gas spindle on their 6.5 CM M14 clone?
2. Any ideas what happened?
3. Is 0.9 MOA at 100 yds typical for a 6.5 CM in general, and for a 6.5 CM M14 in particular, or would a unitized gas cylinder be in order, since I’ll be replacing the spindle anyway and the existing cylinder may also need to be replaced?

I suppose I’ll reach out to SAI to send me a new spindle. I’d rather not have to send it back to SAI, since that would require removing the scope and mount. However my guess is they may want me to send in the entire rifle so they can try to figure out what happened and keep from building more rifles that do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My guess is that the spindle valve parted at the hole and blew out both sides of the rifle. We can just add this to the list of boo boos.
Easy part to replace with quality instead of the original.
Where do you recommend I get a new spindle if not from SAI, and what specs should I seek for the replacement, considering this is for 6.5 CM?
 

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Same part as M14, so either LRB or Fulton would have online store availability.
You could call SAI for a replacement, but it might be no better than the first, if that is indeed what happened.
 

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Its a brand new gun. I'd have SAI repair it. Replacing the part yourself may affect your warranty in the future if this issue continues or something else should happen.
 
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I would try and get a free one out of SAI. It was most likely a isolated defective part, a crack or flaw in the thin part around the hole.


Why you should bug SAI about it:

1) It is their fault.
2) This lets them know they (might) have a problem.
 

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Call Springfield. If you replace it with a non-Factory part it will void your warranty if you ever have to send it in.

FYI and For Future Reference .... Hornady Ammo is entirely TOO HOT for most M14s, from my experience. It bangs the heck out of the op-rod, and will cause damage over time.

I will never again use any Hornady loaded ammo after it destroyed a Brand New CZ 550 Kevlar Carbine in 6.5 x 55 a few years back. I bought the rifle, as they were discontinuing it, and made the mistake of making my first shots with the rifle Hornady ammo. On the 3rd round it blew out the side of my receiver.

After a long battle with Hornady, they finally replaced my rifle, or at least paid me back I should say. The rifle was irreplacable as I bought one of the last ones in the country.

For the life of me, I still can't understand why they load their ammo so hot!
 

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I would try and get a free one out of SAI. It was most likely a isolated defective part, a crack or flaw in the thin part around the hole.


Why you should bug SAI about it:

1) It is their fault.
2) This lets them know they (might) have a problem.
I also agree with this statement , there may be more to it than just a defective part . More than likely the pin failed & the Spring helped , along with gas pressure , to eject the Spindle Valve .

I do not think that replacing a Spindle Valve with a true USGI one ,will void the Warranty , but you never know. They did use USGI parts in their Rifles for some time .
 
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