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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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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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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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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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