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Yes, you read the title correctly.

Today, April 20th, 2019, I witnessed black magic. So I was shooting my SA M1A Loaded EBR in the prone at 100yds when, on the last shot out of the EBR for the day, I saw my extractor shoot straight up and out of the bolt onto the floor in front of me perfectly intact.

I have not dissembled the bolt recently, so there is nothing I did that would contribute to this unusual malfunction. Of course, after the extractor came the rest of the components of the bolt. All of them were perfectly intact as well. I'm equally aggravated as I am amused.

To set the scene, I had shot 20rds (marked "warm up" in the pic) of the German military surplus from the 1990's to warm up the firearm as Tony suggests. After that I shot two 5rd groups of FGMM and got sub MOA! These groups are marked "1" and "2". Beginning my next 5rd group is when the malfunction(?) occurred. So, in total, I shot 31rds. And the last round was basically on the bullseye! The last shot is upper left most shoot & see sticker.

It's interesting to note that the extractor is the only part I have had to replace. On October 15th, 2015 the stock SA extractor snapped. I replaced it with a USGI extractor and have had no issues until today. Funny enough, I caught the extractor break on camera and you can watch it linked below. Fast forward to 16:19, or watch the whole thing.

So I have a few questions:
1. Should I replace anything? Nothing is broken.
2. What do I do with the blue locktite that's on various screws for the EBR chassis? Remove it? Keep on the old and apply more? Or, just use what's already there? I just re-torqued everything exactly 6 days ago.
3. Has this happened to anyone else?

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBjecHR94_M&t=13s"]Video of first extractor break. [/ame],
 

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Forum Jester
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replace extractor spring with a new one,not surplus. make sure extractor fits flush eith bottom of bolt. make sure dimple on extractor where spring pin fits is deep enough.
find a spare gi extractor

https://www.gunsprings.com/
 

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^^^ What he said ^^^

When a cartridge case is against the bolt face, only tension is holding the extractor in place. Keep the parts clean and well fitting, no grease.

There are many things that can pop an extractor. Tight chamber, oversized ammo, hot load, dirt, etc.
 

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Am no gunsmith but many, many years ago I was taught in Auto Shop that if you wanted correct torque values you always cleaned and lubricated your threads...
 
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Am no gunsmith but many, many years ago I was taught in Auto Shop that if you wanted correct torque values you always cleaned and lubricated your threads...
Thanks! That's what I figured. How do I remove blue locktite? I've heard of alcohol but that didn't work well for me last time.
 

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replace extractor spring with a new one,not surplus. make sure extractor fits flush eith bottom of bolt. make sure dimple on extractor where spring pin fits is deep enough.
find a spare gi extractor
When I reassemble the bolt I'll make sure the extractor fits flush and not to buy a USGI spring. I appreciate the help !
 

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I'd had my M1A about three years or so when the extractor came out on it's own.

I was prone, down in the dirt and had shot a few shots when I got an empty that failed to extract and the bolt jammed the next round from the magazine into the back of the empty in the chamber.

That morning I had sprayed some very slick lube on my M1A. Some stuff called Triflow. Very slick. I figured out what had happened. My bolt didn't loose anything but the extractor and spring/detent. The spring/detent was lying beside the rifle and the extractor was 4 or 5 ft. away in the dirt.

The firing pin and the ejector/spring we're still in the bolt. I got the spring/detent/extractor wiped off of all the "fancy slick" lube and put them back in and went on shooting with no more issues.

Today, 38 or so years later, the only time the bolt has been apart is when I took it apart (maybe two or three times in all those years) for a good cleaning or two and to check the headspace after years of use (and to compare with the H&R bolt I was putting in my youngest sons M14S).

Not saying it will never happen again. Just saying that you aren't the only one it's happened to and it is fixable.
 
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replace extractor spring with a new one,not surplus. make sure extractor fits flush with bottom of bolt. make sure dimple on extractor where spring pin fits is deep enough.
find a spare gi extractor
+1 on this.

Both the original SA extractor and the Numrich extractor I bought to replace it were POS that launched themselves into the grass while shooting. I was almost completely turned off by the M14 platform until I bought a PB extractor.

I drilled the extractor dimple deeper on mine, to make sure the spring pin would never come loose unless I pried it out. No problems since then.
 

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Thanks! That's what I figured. How do I remove blue locktite? I've heard of alcohol but that didn't work well for me last time.

If you have or can obtain the correct taps and or dies I would recommend chasing the threads before using alcohol
 

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Thanks! That's what I figured. How do I remove blue locktite? I've heard of alcohol but that didn't work well for me last time.


I work as an aircraft mechanic and this is what I have been taught and do: you never want to lubricate threads before torquing unless it is specifically called out to do so. This is due to the lubricant possibly allowing the fastener to achieve a higher than intended torque. This leads to stretching of the fastener which can cause a potential failure of the fastener or damage to the threads of the component. You will see the phrase “lubtork” or “lubtorque” if it requires a lubricant or antisieze to be applied. As for your chassis hardware you should take a brass toothbrush and some isopropyl alcohol and simply scrub the old loctite away. For the screw holes take a cotton swab and soak it in some of the isopropyl and use that to clean the holes up a bit so they are free of oil and old loctite residue. Continue to use cotton swabs on the holes until they come out clean and you’re good to go. Apply a small drop to the threads of the cleaned screw and thread it into the hole and torque per the instructions of the chassis. You do not need to paint the threads with loctite so that it is completely covered. This will be too much and may make it hard to remove in the future. One drop at the tip of the screw on the threads is sufficient and will spread evenly across the threads as it is threaded into the hole. Once the screws are torqued per manufacturer spec you can wipe away any excess loctite and you’ll be good to go! Also if you ever have issues removing a loctited bolt or screw use a heat gun or soldering iron to heat the hardware up a bit and then try loosening.


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It might be wise to make sure that the bottom corner of the replacement extractor does have the approximately 1/64" bevel that differentiates an M14 vs M1 extractor.

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phrase “lubtork” or “lubtorque” if it requires a lubricant or antisieze to be applied. As for your chassis hardware you should take a brass toothbrush and some isopropyl alcohol and simply scrub the old loctite away. For the screw holes take a cotton swab and soak it in some of the isopropyl and use that to clean the holes up a bit so they are free of oil and old loctite residue. Continue to use cotton swabs on the holes until they come out clean Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you for the tips! On the topic of lubtork, which I've never heard of until you wrote about it, should I compensate for the lubtork by setting my torque wrench for a value sightly lower than what the manufacturer suggests?

Interestingly enough, the EBR installation guide I have, dated June of 2013, doesn't specify the use of any thread locker. Although I will continue to use thread locker based off personal experience. Long story short, I decided to try not using thread locker on my EBR and the screws actually wiggled free while shooting, obviously negatively impacting accuracy. I'm more curious on your suggestion for compensation of lubtork.

V/r, AJ
 

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Thank you for the tips! On the topic of lubtork, which I've never heard of until you wrote about it, should I compensate for the lubtork by setting my torque wrench for a value sightly lower than what the manufacturer suggests?



Interestingly enough, the EBR installation guide I have, dated June of 2013, doesn't specify the use of any thread locker. Although I will continue to use thread locker based off personal experience. Long story short, I decided to try not using thread locker on my EBR and the screws actually wiggled free while shooting, obviously negatively impacting accuracy. I'm more curious on your suggestion for compensation of lubtork.



V/r, AJ


Usually the manufacturer will have the compensation for the thread coating built into the torque spec. For example the manual may read “lubricate the threads with anti seize and torque to 110 inch pounds”. That being said you would need to adjust a torque spec when adding some form of lubricant to the threads. This can vary but generally it’s adding or subtracting somewhere around 10% of the torque spec depending on the situation. For a thread locking compound such as loctite you will not need to adjust your torque spec. Simply add a small drop to the thread and torque it to what the manual says. Generally speaking the use of a loctite is a good idea all around when considering hardware for a weapons system. I would use a little blue loctite on the hardware and that should do it!


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Usually the manufacturer will have the compensation for the thread coating built into the torque spec....Generally speaking the use of a loctite is a good idea all around when considering hardware for a weapons system. I would use a little blue loctite on the hardware and that should do it!


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Thanks! I was just curious about that concept, it's new to me. I've always used blue loctite, and I'll keep doing that. 'Preciate the help!
 
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