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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I introduced myself in the new member section and now it's time for my first stupid noob questions. I just traded for my first M1A (I'm waiting for it to get out of gun jail here in California). I have wanted one for many years but had never had the chance to handle or shoot one before. It is supposed to be a "NIB" Springfield standard walnut. I was surprised to see the hand guard had a black crinkle finish instead of the normal brown fiberglass (see pic below) and was a little loose and rattled. Does Springfield offer the hand guard this way? Is it a common aftermarket piece or do you think a previous owner just painted it that way? Either way I think I might change it back to a stock factory one. The rest or the rifle looked new and the wood actually has some nice figure. I was also surprised to find a really nice 2 stage trigger on it. It's light and crisp, not at all what I expected from the factory on a standard. I plan to shoot it as is for a while but when it comes time to "upgrade" What would be a good first project for a noob?

 

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Nice! First thing to do is see how it shoots. It may be the other owner changed the stock, but didn't change the hand guard. Two stage triggers are the norm. First stage should be basically free take-up movement. If it is light and crisp it may have been worked on. If the stock is not bedded you should remove the action from the stock and give it a good cleaning, inspection and lube job. Good "how to" videos available here in stickies.(Courtesy of TB)
If you decide to start tuning her up. Make only one mod at a time. I think a lot of us have made the mistake of changing several things only to find we did more harm than good. Then it is impossible to know which change was bad. Take your time getting to know her. Hold hands first, then a kiss before trying to... Oh wait that's different advise. Well sort of.GI2
 

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Nice rifle, and excellent advice ^^^^^ For a first thing to do how about a Sadlak operating spring guide. Under $50 and it smooths the cycling big time, It's an easy R&R job too. After that Buy as much ammo as you can, and then repeat often.
 

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Congrats on the new rifle! You should be able to find a handguard rather easily. Claude at RA parts has them for $18 and they pop up in the classifieds section from time to time. You can also just rattle can it with dark brown Krylon camo paint.

Tony.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments. I have to say that after watching some of tonyben's fine videos cleaning, maintaining and tuning the M1A seems like a much more daunting task than the 1911's, sig's and bolt action rifles i'm use to. Someone please tell me it's not as hard as it looks! Oh... and here's some more pics.


 

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Field stripping and cleaning is not hard. Remember this began life as a military weapon. if you can take down a 1911 this is even easier. Probably the trickiest part is wrangling the bolt out of the receiver. Just remember don't force anything. It just has to be turned and lifted exactly right.
 

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Looks great! Keeping them maintained is not as hard as it looks. It just takes repetition. It actually cleans up easier than the black rifle and only requires a complete tear down once a year unless exposed to sand, rain, mist and mud. Routine cleaning should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Tony.
 

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Nice stick! Looks like it needs a little grease. All you really need RIGHT NOW is a sling and how to use it if you don't know already. Snap in a little bit at home as the length of the rifle take a little getting used to. Honestly, the hardest thing about the M1A is resisting the urge to break it down and totally clean it after every use because it's kinda fun, but is not necessary and in fact detrimental to the fit and accuracy of the rifle. The bore is all you should worry about and there are those that will tell you not to bother with that all too often either. I'm not one of them however.

Get that sling, and get out to Lytle Creek or Raahauges's and shoot that mama-jama!
 

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Nice looker. As a "noob" myself, get grease, a sling, and ammo. Join Tony's youtube channel as he is still making videos and, even better, are useful especially to us new to the M14. Read more then you post.

I find the 1911 much more troublesome to strip then the M14. I even managed to change my hammer spring without resorting to 1. A hammer and 2. A large glass of whiskey.
 

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My bet is that the stock was replaced, I had that same hand guard and matching stock on my loaded. imho you can't beat the look and feel of wood stocks. Get yourself a good replacement hand guard, and sell that blank crinkled one. I've seen tons of the crinkled synthetic stocks without hand guards so I'm almost certain someone needs it.
 

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My M1A left home with the black crinkled handguard and the black plastic stock. I changed the stock to a USGI wood one that saw Vietnam, but I left the black crinkled handguard. I like the clean line the rifle makes with all black on top, and all wood underneath.
 

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My M1A left home with the black crinkled handguard and the black plastic stock. I changed the stock to a USGI wood one that saw Vietnam, but I left the black crinkled handguard. I like the clean line the rifle makes with all black on top, and all wood underneath.
I did the same thing, except I primed and painted a hand guard that needed some TLC. Flat black, on top of one of Wade's masterpieces....so sexy. The flat black almost meshes with the receiver
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My bet is that the stock was replaced, I had that same hand guard and matching stock on my loaded. imho you can't beat the look and feel of wood stocks. Get yourself a good replacement hand guard, and sell that blank crinkled one. I've seen tons of the crinkled synthetic stocks without hand guards so I'm almost certain someone needs it.
I thought SAI discontinued that look a long time ago? The rifle is serial # 246xxx. Doesn't that make it fairly recent?
 

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I thought SAI discontinued that look a long time ago? The rifle is serial # 246xxx. Doesn't that make it fairly recent?
Mine is in the 152xxx range, manufactured 2003. I'm not sure on serial dating but my guess is that puts yours in the 2010'ish range?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm going to get a sling and some grease this week while I wait to pick up my rifle. Will watch some videos on proper use of sling since I've never used one. Assuming the rifle's not completely dry would it be safe to wait on disassembling it to grease it until after first trip to the range? Would make sure bore is clean and would probably only put 50 or 60 rounds through it.
 

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I'm going to get a sling and some grease this week while I wait to pick up my rifle. Will watch some videos on proper use of sling since I've never used one. Assuming the rifle's not completely dry would it be safe to wait on disassembling it to grease it until after first trip to the range? Would make sure bore is clean and would probably only put 50 or 60 rounds through it.
I would clean and lube it. IMHO
 

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Since when does a Standard come with a Flash hider that has Holes instead of slots?
Something new?
 

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Don't think it's stock ^^^^democratic republic of kalifornia model, maybe? ^^^^
 
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I forgot ! Flash hiders,Pistol Grips,folding stocks and bayonet Lugs Kill people not Guns.
I think you are correct Ray! CA (NY,CT etc).
 
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