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trouble disassembling M1A

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i'm having trouble disassembling a brand new SA M1A loaded. the operating rod won't remove from the guide tracks. the notch that i'm supposed to align with the rod tab isnt milled as deep as the guide track (about 1/2mm). also, the op rod rubs against the barrel, ever so slightly. is there a way to get the damn rod out without messing up the finish on my brand new rifle? i'd like to get this done myself without having to send it in, as i am leaving the country for a month within 3 weeks and want to shoot it before i leave.

edit: pics for visual reference.


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1) op rod rubs against the barrel: a little bit of rubbing is SOP. grease the barrel

2) want to shoot it before i leave: why can't you shoot it as it is?

3) operating rod won't remove from the guide tracks: just leave it alone, you can grease the tracks without removing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave P said:
2) want to shoot it before i leave: why can't you shoot it as it is?
i can and i will. its just a bit unnerving to me that i can't strip it down fully to clean it to the point where i could eat from it like i do with my other (non M1A) rifle. i'm nitpicky like that.
 

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If you shoot it a bit more it will get easier. Sometimes though you will need to put a screwdriver in there and carefully pry it outwards.
DO grease the underside of the barrel. I recommend militec-1 or tetra. Grease everything that moves and you will be good to go.

BTW is that barrel blued? Kinda looks like it. Maybe just the flash effect or something. My picture taking abilities leave something to be desired for sure.
 

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New SA M1A's always seem to give most folks trouble removing op rod when new. No problem after they break in. Try lining up notch and giving the op rod handle a rap with the heal of your palm upward. I saw one guy at the range use a thin blade flat screw driver gently pry it out. I don't think I would want to pry on my op rod with anything. His was brand new also. I'm sure some M1A owners here will chime in. I believe there all very tight when new but break in fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
where should i place the screwdriver to pry the operating rod outwards? i don't want to bend it. i already applied some of the tetra gun grease along the barrel.

no, the barrel is a standard SA nat'l match. no flash was used in that picture, just ambient light in the room on macro mode. pic is a little blurry from my holding the camera w/ one hand and barrel receiver combo in the other. i couldnt keep either as steady as i wanted to with the 1/5 second exposure time to allow light in. the flash made the barrel reflect the light and you couldnt see the scrape markings.

edit: when i line up the notch, i put the op rod handle directly under the windage knob, right?
 

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Pull the handle up while torquing it away from the receiver.

If you need to, use a screwdriver to gently pry the hump of the oprod away from the receiver while you pull and torque the oprod handle. It won't damage the finish.

Ty
 

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Hi There - eWRXshun

Have to agree with the other folks on this one. I'm like you and wanted to strip it down completely, clean everything and relube before going to the range for the first time. Because of the tight fit of the parts, I cleaned around the op rod, greased it up good and went shooting.

Not only did I have a problem with the op rod on my new SA Loaded, I had a real problem with bolt removal and an almost impossible task of re-installing the bolt without having to beat on it with a hammer. 8O 8O 8O

Finally got everything back together and put about 200 rounds through my new rifle before everything "worked in". Now its still a tight fit (after over 1K rounds down range) but I can get the rifle disasssembled for cleaning and lubing.

BTW - when the rifle is out of the stock, you can clean and lube almost everything without removing the op rod by simply cleaning the tracks and the op rod guide while cycling the op rod (with the spring disconnected) so that you get to all the surfaces. You can lube the same way (I overlube and wipe off all the excess) and I'm good to go.

First time out without completely stripping the rifle down first, it's about like "taking a bath with your socks on - get's the job done - but it doesn't feel very good". :lol: :lol: :lol: I just don't think it will hurt anything if you clean it and lube it as well as you can first.

I think prying on the op rod to get it out has the potential for more harm than good. I'm sure that some of the "old salts" who have some really good gunsmithing skills or a lot of experience, could pry that op rod out without any problems - but I'm not one of them.

But then again, I err in favor of caution with a $1200.00 rifle. Could be wrong about that - but FWIW, that's my .02.

Good luck with your new rifle - hope it's a real shooter. \:D/

db
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well i put the 1st 100 rounds today through my new rifle.......20 168gr federal gold match, 20 winchester 168 silver tip, 60 150gr remington. only wear that seems to have occured is the finish being worn down in the op rod tracks and other various contact surfaces inside of the receiver. still cannot remove the op rod. i'll post an update when i get another 900rds or so through it.
 

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Hey folks. First post here. That problem getting the op rod out on the SA m1A is pretty common. It takes just the right combination of moves which you will get used to over time. When I haven't disassembled my M1A for a while it's a bear to get the technique right but once you, do it comes right out. Sounds hard to believe but true. I know the first few times I tried, it never wanted to come out. If you do use a screwdriver or such to coax it, it shouldn't need but a gentle pry. Scott Duff has a brief paragraph in the m14 owners guide that talks specifically about this very subject. I will see if I can find it and post it. You also might consider picking that book up. It's a good reference. Good luck.
Thanks
Kevin
 
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