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I keep seeing questions on just when did SA switch from GI parts to commercial cast parts. The answers seem to be all over the place. Here is what I have found.

Commercial parts won’t be found on Devine or San Antonio, Texas M1A rifles. Very early Illinois rifles will be built with GI parts, but it was fairly early when SA started using some commercial parts. I just inspected a M1A in the 145XX range that had several commercial parts in it. It was purchased new by it’s present owner in the late 70’s (more than likely mid 1980).

This rifle included a six groove, non-chrome lined barrel, cast operating rod with the SA marked below the part number, and a cast trigger housing marked with a -0 suffix. The internal trigger group parts were GI as was the flash suppressor. I found an interesting variant of the rear sight which had a late style pinion and a WWII SA lock bar windage knob. That was a new one on me. The rear sight spring cover was also a reproduction with no ribs on it’s sides.

Many later M1A rifles were produced with all GI parts when they were available. It’s always been a case of supply and demand. Thousands of sets of M14 parts were imported back from Israel in the mid 80’s. These parts allowed Armscorp to get it’s start and supplied SA with original GI parts for their so called Collectors Edition line of rifles. These were built with GI parts and GI wood stocks.

I remember a long spell where SA was using lock bar sights on their M1A. Late style sights were in short supply as were butt plate assemblies. SA produced their own butt plates, but many examples had plastic trap doors for the tool compartment. Less expensive M1As used to come equipped with GI fiberglass stocks. These had the selector holes filled in and a black textured paint job. They also had rubber butt pads. Their new plastic stocks seem to be pretty good and nice looking, but I don’t know how they compare strength wise.

At any rate, SA M1A rifles may appear with any combination of GI and/or commercial parts if produced within the last 35 years. I think it was often a matter of what was on the shelf at the time with the exception of a few special run models.

Over the years I have collected a nice set of M14 and M1 gages. These range from field to depot use and many I have never seen in private collections before. I am sure there are others who have collected as much or more than I, Bill Recca not withstanding, but I don’t know of any who actually use these tools in their day to day operations as I do. Stuff turns up an I always search the gun shows and garage sales for them. Most of this started about 25 years ago. I purchased a footlocker full of Garand parts and found it included several gages for the M1. A fellow offered me some M14 parts at a gun show and I found it included a partial Field Gage set with it’s original wood box. It was well worth the $150 paid for it all. Most of the tools and gages I’ve collected didn’t cost all that much. This is probably because the sellers didn’t have any use for the stuff or didn’t even know what it was. Not long ago I purchased several depot gages from a fellow who brought them by my shop. We had to look them up to even know what some of them were used for. Just last month I was able to acquire two sets of M14 receiver/barrel torque gages found on the TFL. This stuff doesn’t come along very often so I didn’t hesitate even though I had to pay a pretty good price for them. I tend to average these things out cost wise so it doesn’t feel so bad, but it’s hard to explain to the wife.

Usually there is no record to record the history of tools such as these. The torque gages at least had some documentation which made them even more interesting.

First off, they were apparently new and in unused condition. One set did have some minor discoloration from oxidation. It was partially unpacked while in storage. There was no way to tell when they were originally made, but the drawing specifications were dated 14 Jun 62. I doubt that that has any relation to the actual production date other than they couldn’t have been made prior to then. Calibration certificates included with the tools indicated they were tested Feb. 7, 1990. The military form DA 3023 was signed off on Feb. 14, 1990. After that they must have sat in storage for some time. Eventually they were transferred from DDJC San Joaquin to the DRMO Stockton, CA April 29, 1997 and finally shipped to the buyer November 3, 1997. If I am reading this documentation right, the boxes must have sat in storage since then. The gentleman I bought them from picked them up from a salvage company in Stockton where they were just sitting on a shelf waiting to rust away. Things tend to do that in Stockton. One nice thing I found was these tools can be modified to be used on the Garand rifle as well as the M14. That’s a plus. Pictures of this gage set can be found in the Ordnance History section of the TFL.

That’s it for this month. I hope you all have a good one. My daughter is coming to visit from Hawaii next week so I will be busy.
 

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Over the years I have collected a nice set of M14 and M1 gages.

These range from field to depot use and many I have never seen in private collections before.

Stuff turns up an I always search the gun shows and garage sales for them.

Most of the tools and gages I’ve collected didn’t cost all that much.

Not long ago I purchased several depot gages from a fellow who brought them by my shop.

Just last month I was able to acquire two sets of M14 receiver/barrel torque gages found on the TFL.

This stuff doesn’t come along very often so I didn’t hesitate even though I had to pay a pretty good price for them.
And a recently acquired M14 test bolt from a yet undisclosed source on TFL.GI2

Very interesting post Ted, thank you !
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Test Bolt

And it was a nice TRW Field Test bolt too! This piece went into another boxed set of gages that isn't yet complete. Anyone have an original gas cylinder plug gage or a firing pin protrusion gage available? That's all I need to complete the set. I picked up the box and a couple of it's gages at the November Big Reno Gun Show.
 

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I reacently passed on an m1a in the 0085XX range (IIRC)...
The only GI part on it was an HR hammer, the rest were early commercial.
 

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GI parts from CMP?

Ted: have you used any of the parts sets sold recently on CMP on any rifle? I am curious as to how good and in spec the parts sets are that the CMP sold.???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
CMP Parts

I have purchased several parts kits from the CMP. I found most of the parts were very good and passed my tech inspection. Of a dozen or so kits I have found only a couple of parts that were unservicable. One was a cracked barrel band and the other a worn gas cylinder. The parkerizing on most parts showed some wear and some required refinishing, but overall I was quite satisfied.
 

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gi parts kits

thnaks for the info Ted; I had hoped that the parts sets were going to turn out to be really good stuff. thanksDI2
 

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I own a original unfired SAI M1A in the 11,000 range,i purchased it new and the only GI part on it is a SA hammer and the flash Hider that i can tell,bolt ,op rod,housing all SA commercial.Oh forgot to mention it also has a WW11 lockbar rear site.Still have the original box and paperwork with it.
 

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I have a SAI serial 00668XX made in 1992, it came with a USGI bolt (H&R), barrel (TRW), flash hider, gas system, all rear sight parts except for the base, and what appeared to be a reweld USGI op-rod. The trigger group was a SAI repro.

I added a NOS USGI trigger group (H&R), NOS op rod (Winchester), NOS rear sight base (H&R), I also added a NOS USGI bolt (TRW) even though the H&R was servicable.

I must say, parts were much cheaper in the mid 90's than they are now, I couldn't afford to upgrade my rifle today!
 

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I keep seeing questions on just when did SA switch from GI parts to commercial cast parts. The answers seem to be all over the place. Here is what I have found.

Commercial parts won’t be found on Devine or San Antonio, Texas M1A rifles. Very early Illinois rifles will be built with GI parts, but it was fairly early when SA started using some commercial parts. I just inspected a M1A in the 145XX range that had several commercial parts in it. It was purchased new by it’s present owner in the late 70’s (more than likely mid 1980).

This rifle included a six groove, non-chrome lined barrel, cast operating rod with the SA marked below the part number, and a cast trigger housing marked with a -0 suffix. The internal trigger group parts were GI as was the flash suppressor. I found an interesting variant of the rear sight which had a late style pinion and a WWII SA lock bar windage knob. That was a new one on me. The rear sight spring cover was also a reproduction with no ribs on it’s sides.

Many later M1A rifles were produced with all GI parts when they were available. It’s always been a case of supply and demand. Thousands of sets of M14 parts were imported back from Israel in the mid 80’s. These parts allowed Armscorp to get it’s start and supplied SA with original GI parts for their so called Collectors Edition line of rifles. These were built with GI parts and GI wood stocks.

I remember a long spell where SA was using lock bar sights on their M1A. Late style sights were in short supply as were butt plate assemblies. SA produced their own butt plates, but many examples had plastic trap doors for the tool compartment. Less expensive M1As used to come equipped with GI fiberglass stocks. These had the selector holes filled in and a black textured paint job. They also had rubber butt pads. Their new plastic stocks seem to be pretty good and nice looking, but I don’t know how they compare strength wise.

At any rate, SA M1A rifles may appear with any combination of GI and/or commercial parts if produced within the last 35 years. I think it was often a matter of what was on the shelf at the time with the exception of a few special run models.
your article above describes my 85 built SA perfectly. I "think" that my rear site cover is genuine as it looks like the cover on my CMP garands
The front site on mine is marked NM and I have a genesseo marked barrel, plastic trapdoor. It has what appears to be bedded USGI stock (has a serial in the channel that isn't matching).
The rifle was pretty much a safe queen and unaltered. I JUST got it, the trigger group was a commercial SA with a badly made hammer that engaged the sear before the trigger feet on the trigger...a swap to USGI stuff fixed that.(wow that hammer spring has some tension!)
waiting on some ammo i ordered to take it to the range
 
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