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M1A: Yet another newb question

This is a discussion on M1A: Yet another newb question within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Okay, as stated in the title, I am an M1A newb, so please try to go easy. Here are my questions: 1. From what I've ...


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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:06 PM   #1
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M1A: Yet another newb question

Okay, as stated in the title, I am an M1A newb, so please try to go easy. Here are my questions:

1. From what I've read, the SAI M1A uses cast metal parts which are inferior to the original USGI parts. Am I correct so far? (Also, what specifically was used to create USGI parts to make them superior, if anybody knows?) What parts are cast, if they are?

2. I'm gonna split this one into a two part question. Is there anywhere that has a new old stock supply of USGI parts and if so, is there a single milspec standard for parts on the M1A to where all parts can be interchanged among them?

The reason I am asking these questions is because, I do realize that even with cast materials, I probably will never encounter any issues with a SAI M1A in my lifetime because I'm not on the frontlines of Normandy on D-Day, however, I would like to be able to upgrade (hopefully without swapping serialized parts) an M1A over the course of time if that is the rifle I choose to go with (most likely). Also, the reason I ask about a supply of new old stock is obviously so that they are not worn (we'll call 'em battlefield tested) parts. Lastly, I do realize that it is highly unlikely that there is any supply considering the little history (I think I know) of SAI, among others I'm sure, building commercial rifles off of demilled m14's up to the (early?) 90s.

Okay, I leave it in your guys' hands to point me in the right direction. Again, try not to chew me a new one.

Thanks,

Forsaken


Edit: I forgot to mention, I am looking at the SAI M1A Loaded. Do these have any issues that you guys know of?


Last edited by Forsaken352; February 27th, 2014 at 10:24 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, this should get you started:

SAI Rifles, minimum number of parts I allways replace.

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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by innocent bystander View Post
Welcome to the forum, this should get you started:

SAI Rifles, minimum number of parts I allways replace.
Hey, thanks for the link. Funny thing is, is I actually just got done reading that. I found it after I made a post. I knew there was probably a lot of the same question going around this forum, but I needed one place where all of my questions were present at the same time to simplify things. Thanks again!

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Old February 28th, 2014, 10:59 AM   #4
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M1A rifles are made up of parts using several different production techniques. Casting, MIM, EDM, and bar stock. Few if any parts are exactly up to the standards of original GI M14 rifles, but they are reasonably good serviceable parts. Some M1A parts have high failure rates and that has prompted many to replace these parts with GI issue (isn't GI issue redundant?). Anyway, most folks wouldn't have many problems with them considering that most don't actually shoot all that much.

Many older M1A rifles were assembled with GI parts. The problem is that there was no particular serial number range that guaranties GI parts. SA used aftermarket parts way back into the early 80s and often mixed parts with GI. Most of the really old guns (70s production) will have GI parts. It's usually a matter of what ever is on the shelf when they assembled the rifle.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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As Ted mentioned, SAI has used whatever is available at the time the rifle was assembled. Date and serial number are only guestimates. They acquired a large amount of GI parts in the '90s, and ran out of most of them shortly after 2000.

The only part you may have to worry about is a recently made extractor. There have been a few reported failures, but they are rare. Mostly it is just one or two stories being repeated on different forums.

All bolts that are marked F00xxx are forged, and I have never heard of one failing. They have been in production for about 15 years now.

If you are paranoid, you can replace everything with GI parts. At the current prices, you could easily just buy a 2nd rifle. Most folks who think military parts are superior have never served in the military. Spare parts exist for a reason. Personally, I have found current forged parts to have closer tolerances than the 50 year old forged parts, mainly do to CNC milling.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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My personal opinion is to verify your bolt is forged (F stamp, it probably is), and then I'd replace the recoil spring guide with NM styled one from sadlak or similar from another manufacture. Then i'd buy extra parts to replace the "guts" of the bolt in case the extractor breaks and the firing pin goes flying off into never never land. Aside from that, if your stock is wood, id get some 100% tung oil, then if your chambers tight with a headspace at 1.631 or 1.632 i'd get a .308 case cage to check ammo batch/manufacturer before feeding for grins and giggles, and call it good.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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My personal opinion is to verify your bolt is forged (F stamp, it probably is), and then I'd replace the recoil spring guide with NM styled one from sadlak or similar from another manufacture. Then i'd buy extra parts to replace the "guts" of the bolt in case the extractor breaks and the firing pin goes flying off into never never land. Aside from that, if your stock is wood, id get some 100% tung oil, then if your chambers tight with a headspace at 1.631 or 1.632 i'd get a .308 case cage to check ammo batch/manufacturer before feeding for grins and giggles, and call it good.
The .308 case gage idea is excellent!!! Those tight H/Sing's can wreak havoc on your confidence if you buy the right/wrong ammo, (meaning a round at the top end of a 7.62x51 spec that ends up not agreeing with your rifle).

At any rate, O/P if you grease her up properly & don't buy any cheap magazines your SA Inc will give you years of joy....I went thru the same trauma to start with & spent some money I wish I'd kept for ammo...Still, there are some things I've replaced for nostalgia's sake, i.e. stock: & other items for accuracy, more than potential breakage, i.e. a shim set....Buy one, shoot it, buy lots of ammo & keep studying here....

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Old February 28th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #8
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Thank you everybody for the replies! All makes good sense, but like stated previously, I have not yet purchased one of these fine rifles, unfortunately. Even more unfortunate, I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to any time soon. My plan was to sell my "dispensable" firearms to hopefully make enough to purchase an M1A. Well, that didn't exactly happen, yet (hopefully). We'll see. Thanks again guys!

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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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The crankshaft on a ferrari is cast....

Thanks from Cavofficer6
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