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Worked out a trade with a man for a SA M1A. She is in the 695XX serial # range. H&R 7-61 barrel gauges zero at the muzzle and 1 at the throat. (recently read you can't accuratly check throat ware on a chromed barrel so not sure that is accurate) She also has a TRW bolt. Trigger housing is SA inc. I think. The Hammer and safety are unmarked as is the op rod. Did SA inc. mark the op rods they made?

She looks new with a strange twist. The end of the gas piston that contacts the operating rod looks like it is breaking down. Has a pourous look to it. I'll try to get some pics of it.
 

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I'll be first in with PICS or it didn't happen!

Just kidding, well ...sorta

Congrats!MCORPS1
 

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Congrats and welcome. Sounds like good makins of a rifle. If the piston is beat, that's a cheap easy fix. Post some pics and we'll help you out. If you have trouble with pics, PM me and I'll send you an email addy and post for you.
 

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Worked out a trade with a man for a SA M1A. She is in the 695XX serial # range. H&R 7-61 barrel gauges zero at the muzzle and 1 at the throat. (recently read you can't accuratly check throat ware on a chromed barrel so not sure that is accurate) She also has a TRW bolt. Trigger housing is SA inc. I think. The Hammer and safety are unmarked as is the op rod. Did SA inc. mark the op rods they made?

She looks new with a strange twist. The end of the gas piston that contacts the operating rod looks like it is breaking down. Has a pourous look to it. I'll try to get some pics of it.
May just be a little corrosion. Have you stripped it down, cleaned and greased it? That serial number puts you back in the eighties I think. A little emery cloth may slick it up. It sounds like you've got yourself a fine rifle!
 

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Sounds like a nice rifle, the gas piston is an easy fix. congrats.
 

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Worked out a trade with a man for a SA M1A. She is in the 695XX serial # range. H&R 7-61 barrel gauges zero at the muzzle and 1 at the throat. (recently read you can't accuratly check throat ware on a chromed barrel so not sure that is accurate) She also has a TRW bolt. Trigger housing is SA inc. I think. The Hammer and safety are unmarked as is the op rod. Did SA inc. mark the op rods they made?

She looks new with a strange twist. The end of the gas piston that contacts the operating rod looks like it is breaking down. Has a pourous look to it. I'll try to get some pics of it.
Could be minor imperfections (even in a USGI part) or corrosion? Asking, not telling - I can't see the piston. It's no major headache to unscrew the gas plug, drop the piston out, carefully inspect and clean the inside of the entire gas cyl and gas lock with patches on your pistol rod. You're probably OK but we know stainless steel isn't 100% immune to caustics and oxidation. For example, Lothar Walther advised against using ANY ammonia copper fouling cleaners in its fine stainless barrels due to etching caused by the residue. I don't know what the stuff would do if it got to a gas cylinder or piston by having been used in a barrel.
 

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Your piston may look like junk and still be entirely serviceable with a good cleanup or just buy another one. Even a high quality piston is pretty inexpensive. Sadlak has a nice selection for just about any need.
 
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