After Action: New Rifle(s)

Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
I’m of two minds here right now.  One, the M1A is everything they say as far as accuracy goes.  OMFG is it accurate.  Now, no pictures because of Part Two.  Pt 2, well, I’m highly upset that -something- is wrong with it.  Like ‘needs warranty repair’ level stuff.
Got to the range, got set up.  Got everything ready, and ‘locked in’ with the sling in the proper firing-for-record/accuracy to test it out with the iron sites.  National Match, and zeroed per the manual.  Locked in, Flag is up, commence firing.

What the fuck?
Drop mag, Cycle weapon, grab round as it unchambers.  Check primer.  No mark?  What the hell?  Reload round into magazine, re-seat mag, Rechamber round, set it back on safe so’s to get repositioned, aim, take it off safe, and squuuuuueeeeeze trigger……..

Ok… one off? Probably.  Re-align sites, squuuuuuuueeeeeeeze trigger……..

Ok… What the fuck.  Perform clearance drill, except the bolt and charging handle is stuck in the forward locked position, and it ain’t moving.  Ended up getting the RSO and the Head RSO (who also is a master gunsmith) and we start looking it over.  Seems Denny is a Master-Master of the M1A… like I am with ARs, his is Garands, M-14s and M1As.  Even he was stumped.  We did everything but the best I could do was 3 rounds in a row without issues.  This was highly bumming me out, as I had planned on getting at least 50 rounds through it.  I managed to get 15.

So, he suggested tearing the bolt apart when I got home, which I’m loath to do.  It -might- invalidate the warranty, and let me tell you, at $2000, I’ll gleefully call Springfield on Monday, get a shipping label and send the fucker back for THEM to unfuck it.  It ain’t the ammo… if anything it ate (when it did fire) all the BBs fed to it.

I took the following pictures of Da Boltage for y’all to see… anyone who knows more about these things, chime in if you see anything out of the ordinary (besides the obvious break-in wear and tear) which truthfully I’m a bit surprised at for the fact that it was showroom new at the start of the day, and that seems to be a LOT of wear for 15 rounds…

Now, that last one?  That’s the bolt rear, with the firing pin all the way in the forward position, but part of it is still sticking out?  Not sure if it’s supposed to be flush or not.  Like I said, I’ve never worked that extensively with these before.  So it’s a learning curve for me.
Like I  said, calling Springfield in the A.M.

Let them figure it out Aye?
Now, the new AR-10, couple of teething problems that remedied after the first ten or so break in rounds.  That thing will be fine.  Just not sure what I’m going to do with it.  It’s fun, but heavy.  Maybe sell it like the last?  Have to see.

Then the final part of the day was my 669.  I put 50 rounds through it for speed and accuracy drills.  It did not dissapoint.  In fact Sapper now wants his own, as it’s such a fun mid-sized freaky little 9.  Not full sized, not compact… in between.

So, still cleaning up after a good shoot, and need to process and inspect the brass I collected today as well.  THEN I need to relaod at least 20 rounds to make up for what I threw today.
More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

By BigCountryExpat

Fuck you if you can't take a joke. No one gets out alive so eat me.


  1. The firing pin looks correct to this amateur.
    What I don’t see is any grease/lube on the bolt or roller. Did you clean it for the pics?
    Hopefully Springfield fixes it post haste, cuz that’s a friggin pisser.

  2. Owned a few M1A’s, some all TRW except for the receiver. One rebuilt by Fulton Armory. Couple things: While the firing pin may, in fact, be out of spec, it may be that it still has packing grease inside, which would cause it to bind, so to speak. Also, I noticed the bolt roller doesn’t seem to be greased, nor do the bolt lugs. That may have a small impact, in that if the bolt raceway doesn’t have any lube (meaning grease), friction could cause the bolt to not completely lock up. Possibly. To me, it explains the wear already showing on a brand new bolt (the bolt IS new, right?). Last, but not least, I’m also betting the top of the hammer, where the bolt hits it and pushes it back into the cocked position, isn’t greased either (doesn’t need a lot, but it does need it).

    Not picking nits; just shot this platform from ’94 until about ’11 for fun and competition in all seasons and temps.

    You might want to find a bolt disassembly tool – LOTS easier than trying to take it apart yourself (disassembly of the bolt won’t invalidate your warranty, unless things have drastically changed – bolt disassembly is not depot level, nor is the trigger group – you can also get a trigger group disassembly jig, too. I still have one….drop me a note if you’d like to trade a few things or buy it from me. If not, no harm, no foul.

    1. Dude… email is rakkasan101st@proton. Lets talk Brotherman… VERY interested in all of the above and trade/buy… I’m easy (just ask my wife)
      As far as lube it -was- loobed for shewtin’ but in the pics this was post degrease scrub for inspection.

  3. Perhaps a silly question but, any chance you were using PPU/Euro rounds? According to several M1A forums I’ve read, some non-US ammo manufacturers are a little loose with head space tolerances and one forum specifically stated don’t use PPU/Euro rounds, use USA only manufactured rounds in the M1A.
    Just took delivery of a new M1A from the factory, waiting for my (Norma) .308 Win rounds to arrive. Haven’t been to the range with it yet so I’m particularly interested in how this situation resolves for you before I feed mine some Swedish rounds.

    1. I used 4 different ‘flavors’ of BBs, and ALL of them gave me issues.
      Turkish M-80 147gn, US Military XM-80C 149gn , German Military AM2030, 148gn, and my own reloads, using 147gn Bullets, thrown with 40 grains of Accurate 2200.
      The best functioning that I got 3 rounds in a row on was actually my own handloads. Then the Turk rounds. The US Dot Mil stuff I only threw 3, and it was 1-1-1, one fire, one no fire, one fire. The German ammo pissed me off the worst, as it chambered, didn’t go off, and I had a hell of a time extracting it (rubber mallet on the charging handle/op rod) so I quit that on the Springfield and didn’t even try that stuff. The AR-10 took the German shit tho and ran it like nothin’.
      So there ya go. Hope that helps. The only thing I -might- do is run the German stuff through my seating die, and see if it changes the dynamics/measurements… emasure it before, re-seat and remeasure, and see how much of a difference it is… and yeah, no worries, not going to over-compress anything, I just want to see if there are and micrometers in difference, as I know the setting on my handloads is perfect, leastways as far as how they worked in the Springfield.

      1. Excellent feedback, thank you sir.
        BTW…interesting blog so consider me a BCE lurker.

      2. Wondering if/how your M1A issue resolved.
        I assume Springfield was helpful.
        Care to share anything regarding their response?

  4. When I had mine, it ate everything. You name the brand and country of origin, I used it, with very few exceptions. Some were more accurate than others, as it should be, but sounds as if you do have a depot level issue. Definitely a problem.

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