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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Let me preface this by stating that this list is only for the standard, scout squad, and the socoms.

I put a loaded down as soon as I see what it is. The chambers are too tight and there have been too many stories about them and some ammo. And by the time you get to the Super Match or M21, you might as well as move up the receiver maker food chain for what your paying.

There seems to be a lot of discussions about some of the parts. And in my experiences I will have to agree with the USGI crowd, to a point.

I am going to discuss what I replace on a SAI rifle and why. Important first and then going down to less important.


Let's start with the BOLT group.

This seems to be SAI's biggest problem.

Let me state that any SAI bolt with an F is fine, those are forged.

Replacement of a CAST SAI bolt is of course imperative. These are rareish, and there is a recall on them

But the extractors are horrid. The extractor is constantly being jammed over a brass rim and it's clear it can't take this if the particular batch is the least bit brittle.

The firing pin and ejector seem to be fine. All the SAI rifles I see now have stainless steel firing pins anyway. The ejector isn't forced over anything. It just pushes on the back of the case.

Next Problem area is the Trigger group
Most folks will just replace the whole thing. I don't see the point. It's expensive and un needed. The housing doesn't really do much but hold things in place. It's an expensive part that doesn't do much.
BUT the guts are seriously lacking.

Hammer and Trigger. Replace these at the least. The metal is soft and replacing these with M1 Garand parts will fix that. The M14 sear has been known to have some interference with stocks. So the Garand trigger will keep stock rub problems away.
Replace the Pins too, Garand pins are around a buck each.

Hammer Spring. Replace with a TUBB spring. You will thank me.

Hammer Spring plunger and guide, Safety. I replace these, but they are not as critical. It's kind of, well I got all this apart, and these parts are cheap as USGI garand parts.....

I don't mess with the mag release. I know folks like the Sadlak part. I don't. The SAI one seems fine.

On to the Op Rod, Spring and guide
This is a no brainier. Replace the op rod spring with a TUBB spring. And put a Sadlak guide in. It makes things 450% better. Less herky jerky movement.
The SAI Op Rod is fine.

Stock
SAI wood stocks are fine. SAI polymer stocks are HORRID. Get yourself a USGI stock of your choice. If you have a rubber butt pad. MAN UP and get the metal butt plate. This is a service rifle, not you daddy's shotgun!
Plus the rubber catches on your clothing when you go to shoulder.

Rear Sight
The SAI parts here seem fine. But I just don't like the looks. And I like my sights in YARDS. So I always swap on Garand rear sights with a VB elevation pinion.

Muzzle device
This is only for the Standard with the neutered flash hider. While it works perfectly, I HATE this part. Ether get yourself a bayonet lug part, or a muzzle brake. SAI's muzzle breaks are perfect and work fine.

That is all. The gas system is fine. Shim it up and go from there.
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Here is a list of the bare minimum parts I would immediately buy and replace on a SAI rifle.
All Parts from the CMP ESTORE unless noted

Bare Bones minimum parts
Bolt Group
PS15HRA Extractor, HRA
Parts Surplus $8.00

PS1617IHC Spring & Plunger, Extractor,
IHC Parts Surplus $3.00


Trigger Group
PS25IHC Pin, Hammer, IHC
Parts Surplus $2.00

PS27SAPW Housing, Hammer Spring, SA,
LATE, POST WAR Parts Surplus $5.00

PS282CSSAW Hammer, SA, Late, marked
C46008-2 SA, WWII Parts Surplus $27.00

PS33IHC Plunger, Hammer Spring, IHC,
LATE Parts Surplus $4.00


PS22IHC Pin, Trigger, IHC
Parts Surplus $2.00

PS26IHC Assembly, Trigger & Sear only,
IHC, LATE, UNMARKED Parts Surplus $8.00

TUBB CS Hammer spring and op rod spring. $23.95
http://www.davidtubb.com/m1a-m14-op-rod-hammer-cs-spring

Total Cost, Bare bones upgrades for reliability $83 yes 59 bucks plus shipping to the CMP. Plus cost of CMP club membership (you may allready have this anyway), then $24 plus shipping to TUBB
This solves 90% of the issues with SAI rifles.
Even the Berreta PB/BMR parts are not this cheap!

After this I would work on replacing the rear sight with USGI or Italian. Getting the Sadlak guide rod.
Last get the tool and part to replace your muzzle device if you don't like the one you have.
 

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Are you sure the bolt is cast? My newer production SAI has a "f" that leads the numbers on the second line of the bolt. I believe that means it is forged.
 

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Are you sure the bolt is cast? My newer production SAI has a "f" that leads the numbers on the second line of the bolt. I believe that means it is forged.
sai started forging their bolts in early 2000's(maybe earlier than that) if yours has an F prefix it is a forged bolt. good thread moose I enjoyed it
 

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sai started forging their bolts in early 2000's(maybe earlier than that) if yours has an F prefix it is a forged bolt. good thread moose I enjoyed it
Okay, thanks for the clarification boomer.

Great post moose! It is nice to have all this information in one place. Thanks
 

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Plus one, every bit good advice.

I take exception to the Op Rod is good to go, no it isn't.

I have found many SAI Op Rods, after several hundred rounds the channel for the roller at the top has been deformed, the bottom of the flat were it transitions to the part of the tube adapter, were it wears on the receiver flat, it deforms and displaces metal, and I have found them bent.

I suggest you use it until it shows problems, but... I suggest you get a replacement Op Rod.

I have found the elevation knob wears off the "V" bump, and the sight is loose in the base.

The "F" bolts have not been an issue, any other bolt, no mark, or "SA" marked needs to be replaced.


Jim
 
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So it sounds like a Garand trigger and sear will work well in a SAI trigger group? That happens to be the only part I have not changed in that particular trigger group that you suggest changing.

Also, I have two other M14s that have complete USGI trigger groups; should I change those springs to the Tubb spring or leave them alone? I actually have the Tubb springs sitting around because I bought them as a package with the op rod springs, which I have installed. However, I have not installed the trigger springs because I thought the USGI springs were good to go. What would you do?
 

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Nice post DaMoose!

It really highlights many areas where SAI seems to be lacking in QC and/or cosmetics.

It also highlights the main reasons as to why so many people really get frustrated with the M1A. Having to spend additional money on things that should be GTG right out of the box often takes away from the options, accessories, and ammo that could be purchased instead.

Thankfully, SAI ain't the only game in town any longer.............it's a GREAT time to be an M14 fanatic!!

Happy New Year to all.

SGRIN
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Plus one, every bit good advice.

I take exception to the Op Rod is good to go, no it isn't.

I have found many SAI Op Rods, after several hundred rounds the channel for the roller at the top has been deformed, the bottom of the flat were it transitions to the part of the tube adapter, were it wears on the receiver flat, it deforms and displaces metal, and I have found them bent.

I suggest you use it until it shows problems, but... I suggest you get a replacement Op Rod.

I have found the elevation knob wears off the "V" bump, and the sight is loose in the base.

The "F" bolts have not been an issue, any other bolt, no mark, or "SA" marked needs to be replaced.


Jim
I have never seen this on a SAI op rod. Not seen complaints about them.

The TUBB springs are very nice. You can't go wrong with them.
 

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Thanks Moose, great follow-up to my original USGI questions.
 

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Moose , Want to thank you for a well thought out list of critical parts . & listing the reasons WHY they should be replaced . I'll never understand Springfield's reasoning when an extra $100 or so would address these problems.
 

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I have bought 1 New SAInc rifle (2011)...socom..most parts were mim cast...extractor broke 62 rds, poor fit of parts, fair/good finish. DaMoose you hit the ball out of the park with your evaluation on new production rifles. I would add buy a New 7.62mm oprod for 180.00...forged 1 piece, mine has 900 rds with no real ware, or 250 for GI issue good used. I always replace ALL springs in the M1 Garand and M1a as this 30-40$ parts will fix most troubles...SAInc springs were at the low limits when I tested them on the SOCOM. Add a chrome GI bolt kit. As noted above when you pay $1400.00 for a new rifle you would figure they would improve on QA of parts. I will NEVER buy a New SAInc rifle again, I built up a Fulton cast receiver with all GI parts as new to new last year for 1200.00 + 150.00 for Capt Jon wolf to install Brl and HS...1400.00 +/- a few bucks total with much finer quality.
 

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I have never seen this on a SAI op rod. Not seen complaints about them.
Never seen, SAI Op Rods wear, bends, or complaints. Hmmmmm.........
Not seen complaints. Hmmmmmmm.........


I suggest you use it until it shows problems, but... I suggest you get a replacement Op Rod.
Look at post #14 and #62.
One thread, you can find more.

I have seen wear, peening, metal displacement in the SAI Op Rod bolt roller cam area.

http://m14forum.com/m14/108071-sai-op-rod-wearing-prematurely-updated-2-1-12-a.html



Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unless I missed it . I suggest replacing the bolt stop also .
I know they can have some issues. But they are a bit of a pain to replace, and thier malfunction does happen.

That said, this is one part the malfunction of won't stop the rifle in a critical situation. I would replace it if it broke however.

I don't care for the extended one ether.
 

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I have never seen this on a SAI op rod. Not seen complaints about them.

The TUBB springs are very nice. You can't go wrong with them.

My SAI op rod bent in the spring tube area. SAI replaced it with a GI rod. My rifle was built in 1999.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Anyway the idea here is to leverage much cheaper Garand parts to bring a SAI M1A up to spec. Going to edit the OP to with a parts list.
 
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