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I need a op rod for my m1a build. What should I look for? Just reading the adds gives me the idea that there's more to it than I anticipated.
 

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79 IHC Scout II, 74 VW Bug class 11 look a like
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TRW or Chinese because they are forged in one piece, all the rest are two piece and welded together but any USGI will be fine.

Casey
 

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Contact pretty much any of the site sponsors that sell parts. You may pay a few bucks more, but their reputation is on the line with every sale. I haven't looked at their website lately, but LRB was using an import on new builds years ago and they are the top dog in the game. The only one I ever bought that really just wasn't serviceable is a SAI. It wasn't because the tab was worn out. I just couldn't make it fit. I ground on it and bent it. It is in that box of s$$t now.
 

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As others have stated, a like new (or newly conditioned) USGI operating rod is probably your best bet. With that said, you won't know for sure whether any particular operating rod will run reliably in your rifle until you actually try it.
 

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GI op rods are made with 8645H steel. This is an odd spec and I doubt many if any commercial makers are using it. I know LRB Arms put out a bid request several years ago and the cost of coming up with that steel was cost prohibitive. Some Chinese made op rods were completely out of spec even to the point of being too short. So, tolerances have to be in spec and the steel used has to be close. Some after market op rods work fine, but there is no definitive answer to which are best to use. Op rods that are made with the tubes welded (2 piece) work fine. Only TRW, of the military contractors, made a one piece op rod. They all worked and met the same inspection standards.
 
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