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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm sure this is a brain-numbingly simple question for you M1A/M14 fans out there, but I couldn't find the answer either here or on Google-

Did the bolt locks on original USGI M14s function as bolt releases as well, and if so, why does my new build SAI Loaded's not? Or does it and I'm just not operating it the right way?

Thanks all!
 

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i dont know the answer to this but im going to guess: NO, the original M14 bolt catch did not operate as a "quick" bolt release (i.e. the release of the bolt is operated by using the op rod)

not sure if this is what you are asking. you can buy extenders for the bolt catch switch and modify your gun that way though.
 

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If you are Comparing it to an AR15 No it is/does not operate the same. The bolt release is your Op Rod Handle
 

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Smith Enterprise makes what you're looking for.


I have one on my rifle, makes it much easier to lock the bolt back and release the bolt with my off hand if needed.
 

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The bolt stop is just that, and designed that way. to release the bolt, you pull back on the op rod a bit and release.. just like a garand.. oh wait, The M14/M1A is basically an improved garand.

In the service, including Viet Nam, the bolt stop was never an issue, takes no longer to use the op rod than find a button.. in fact, IMHO, the op rod is easier.

Each to their own, but I prefer the way the rifle was designed.
 

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Does just pressing the bolt release ensure that the bolt has enough forward momentum to scoop up and fully chamber a round under most all conditions?
 

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Does just pressing the bolt release ensure that the bolt has enough forward momentum to scoop up and fully chamber a round under most all conditions?
I've had no issues with my SEI bolt release not chambering a round. I much prefer the bolt release over the USGI style but then again I was trained on the M16 while in the service, the 'muscle memory' just makes it more intuitive to me,
 

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If you want that feature, you need to buy a Smith Enterprises extended bolt release / stop. I've got one on Nadine...I like it!

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all. I wasn't as much interested in adding the functionality as I was knowing the history and how these originally worked.

As usual, great and informative answers. Thanks a bunch!
 

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Thanks all. I wasn't as much interested in adding the functionality as I was knowing the history and how these originally worked.

As usual, great and informative answers. Thanks a bunch!
The bolt stop design is one thing that could have used some forward thinking, as in....Can a huge Marine Rifleman or Army Infantryman, get one of his gargantuan, club shaped, gorilla fingers, or thumb,... up under the bolt stop tiny ledge, that is depressed all the way against the receiver almost,.... to trip it up and disengage it with one hand if needed ?

A piece welded to the bottom lip of the bolt stop at exactly 90 degrees, up and out, would work perfectly when smacked with the heel of the hand at a glancing upward angle, just like a piece of C%#& black plastic machine does.....Oh, sorry, thinking out loud again.
 

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i never even thought to do it like that, it just seems so natural to just pull back and let the op rod go. i have an ar15 and still never even thought to use it like that. then agin on my pistols i don't use the slide stop to rack them either, i just slingshot the slide.
 

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Anyone have a copy of "US Rifle M14 - from John Garand to the M21" handy? I think it has pictures of an extended bolt release made by someone in the ordnance system, maybe Aberdeen or SA. Apparently the army thought it wasn't worth pursuing for some reason.
 

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Anyone have a copy of "US Rifle M14 - from John Garand to the M21" handy? I think it has pictures of an extended bolt release made by someone in the ordnance system, maybe Aberdeen or SA. Apparently the army thought it wasn't worth pursuing for some reason.
I do remember reading/hearing that an extended bolt release was tried during the early years on the M-14. IMHO, if the M-14 would have had a longer life as the main MBR of the services, it would have been added later in its evolution. I have one on my "quick action" Bush rifle , and love it. dozier
 

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Maybe the "bolt release" was not put on rifle because the part is a "bolt stop" and I believe one of the goals for the M14 was to keep it operationally as close to the M1 as possible, except, of course, the loading of the weapon. The sights, trigger and op rods are very similar in operations. Even down to the ballistics of the round, 7.62x51 in military loadings is very close to the 30-06.

At least that's what the arm taught me... also with the operation of the Garand type rifles, the bolt is not enclosed so there's no need for a "bolt release"
 

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I had the SEI extended bolt release on my rifle for a short period of time. I didn't really care for it. I didn't like that I couldn't lay the rifle on its left side with the bolt locked back, and I didn't see any advantage to using it over pulling the oprod back like I normally do. I didn't see the need to have a redundant part on the rifle.
 

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I do remember reading/hearing that an extended bolt release was tried during the early years on the M-14. IMHO, if the M-14 would have had a longer life as the main MBR of the services, it would have been added later in its evolution. I have one on my "quick action" Bush rifle , and love it. dozier
This is a very good point Dozier, and I have no doubt that if it remained on the line, the bolt stop would have morfed to a bolt release, similar to the AR's, and the safety mechanism would have been addressed as far as changing for more ergonomically correct configuration, such as a barrel type that ran through and blocked the hammer when pushed, and released when pushed the other way, kinda like the type on marlin lever guns.
 

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Maybe the "bolt release" was not put on rifle because the part is a "bolt stop" and I believe one of the goals for the M14 was to keep it operationally as close to the M1 as possible, except, of course, the loading of the weapon. The sights, trigger and op rods are very similar in operations. Even down to the ballistics of the round, 7.62x51 in military loadings is very close to the 30-06.

At least that's what the arm taught me... also with the operation of the Garand type rifles, the bolt is not enclosed so there's no need for a "bolt release"

I think that was the original mindset of the people that made the decision to put the M-14 into production as it was. These same officers were junior officers 15 yrs prior, and in boot camp. Heck, pulling back on the charging handle always worked on the M1, that's the way I learned, why change it? Besides everybody knows that enlisted men can't read, we'll have to change the "Manual of Arms" on loading, and retrain everyone. It's hard to change the "old ways" but, I believe it would have been done eventually. dozier
 

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Yep, getting everyone's mind together all in one spot at one one time, to change something like the bolt stop, would have been a real trick......A standing joke all the D.I.'s in boot had was,....You train em, and train em, and train em,.....you send to chow,.....and when they get back, you have to retrain em.
 

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Anyone have a copy of "US Rifle M14 - from John Garand to the M21" handy? I think it has pictures of an extended bolt release made by someone in the ordnance system, maybe Aberdeen or SA. Apparently the army thought it wasn't worth pursuing for some reason.
Springfield Armory made an experimental bolt release for the M14 in 1961. There is a photograph of it on page 212 in Stevens' book.
 
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