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Op-Rod mis-aligned?

This is a discussion on Op-Rod mis-aligned? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I have an SAI Scout made in 2003 that I got NIB back in 2007. In 2014 I put it in an E2 stock and ...


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Old May 14th, 2017, 08:47 PM   #1
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Op-Rod mis-aligned?

I have an SAI Scout made in 2003 that I got NIB back in 2007. In 2014 I put it in an E2 stock and replaced the muzzle break with a flash hider. It has 1000+ rounds through it.

Haven't shot it much this last year or so. I took it out to the range week before last, and last week. I was getting 1-2 FTE per magazine. All my magazines are CMI and I was shooting my reloads that have always worked and properly cycled the action. During on of the failure's I locked the bolt to the rear. I pulled back on the charging handle to load it, and the op-rod went home, but the bolt stayed to the rear. I thought I had somehow managed to pull on it just right to lift it off the bolt roller.

I did a search here, and I came up with it needs a new extractor and spring. No big deal, it's got 1000 rounds, and the born on date would suggest it's an SAI extractor. So I have a NOS USGI one on order with Treeline. I thought my problem would be solved as soon as I get the new extractor in.

Well, I went to clean it today, and after everything is greased, but before I put it all together I always do a tilt test. Failed! The piston slides back and forth no problems. The bolt by itself will slide into battery, and if I give the roller a little push, it slides out of battery all the way back no problems. But with the op-rod in, it doesn't go all the way in either direction.

So in doing a search here, I think the op-rod guide may have rotated enough to be binding up the op-rod.

I am looking for a second opinion, or other things I should look for.

The first picture shows the op-rod is out of alignment with the piston. I know some misalignment is nothing to worry about, but is this too much?

Second picture shows everything stopped doing the tilt test.

Thank you.
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Old May 14th, 2017, 09:08 PM   #2
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Your oprod is a little off center, but it is in the direction that tends to keeps the camming surface against the bolt roller.

What is the recipe for your handloads? You might have a bent rod.

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Old May 14th, 2017, 09:37 PM   #3
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If you have access to another rod swap them out and see what it does,hard to tell by looking at the rod if it is indeed bent,ive seen this before on other SAI rifles as well,you can try to realign the op rod guide back,it may have moved as some of them are not very tight to start with.take the op rod out and just give the op rod guide a whack with a rubber mallet,they do move easier than you think,especially if the barrel journal hasn't been knurled.sounds like a hillbilly way of doing but it works,if it moves easily which ive seen,i take the roll pin out of the guide and then degrease the guide and barrel journal and reinstall it with red Loctite,you may have to position it back to center but once the Loctite cures it aint moving again.Hope this helps.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:11 AM   #4
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What is the recipe for your handloads? You might have a bent rod.
150 grain Hornady FMJBT in front of 44.3 grains of IMR 4895.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 04:53 AM   #5
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150 grain Hornady FMJBT in front of 44.3 grains of IMR 4895.
That's a full power load, but not one that is known to damage oprods.

Forceman's method of aligning the oprod guide is pretty much the same as mine. It works. The pin only keeps it from moving forward. There is some lateral play in the barrel groove.

Once you straighten it out, you should be fine. The fact that your oprod popped off the bolt when it was near the dismount notch might just be coincidence, but check the condition of the tab just to be sure.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:24 AM   #6
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Yes, it's just a poorly fit op rod, could be from a heavy bullet weight and powder combo, but I doubt it in your case, probably just needs re fit, or swap in a new one. In my limited experience, if youve fired the rifle enough to bend steel, those SAI gas cylinders wear out too. Make sure there is some resistance in the piston. I had one where when you tipped the rifle the piston would just free fall and bounce. That was a worn out cylinder. Btw, SAI will refit your op rod free. But with bula making new ones for a reasonable price I'd just buy a new one.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ0861 View Post
...
During on of the failure's I locked the bolt to the rear. I pulled back on the charging handle to load it, and the op-rod went home, but the bolt stayed to the rear. I thought I had somehow managed to pull on it just right to lift it off the bolt roller.
...
-----------------
You're probably correct about having pulled up/down on the oprod to cause it to dismount.
Be careful to pull straight back, and then fully release it to chamber a round from the magazine.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old May 15th, 2017, 06:39 AM   #8
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The design is a trade off.

The M14 had the dismount notch in the middle, pretty much negating operator error. However, having the oprod ride past the notch twice per firing put additional wear on the tab edges.

Having the notch in the rear, as on nearly all commercial rifles, minimizes tab wear but causes the operator to be more mindful of how he tugs on the handle.

There are no free lunches.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 07:32 AM   #9
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... i take the roll pin out of the guide and then degrease the guide and barrel journal and reinstall it with red Loctite,you may have to position it back to center but once the Loctite cures it aint moving again.
I did this to my rifle and it worked... but you have to work quick if you use fast setting thread locker. I did a few dry runs and practiced every step before I applied the Loctite, but it was close... I got the guide aligned right before it set like a mofo. The results turned out so good, a friend asked me to glue the op-rod guide on his Armscorp M14. I used JB Weld this time (just like tonyben recommends in his video on the subject) and it was much easier to work with. I had ample time to fiddle with the alignment (and clean up the excess glue) and the results seem to be just as good.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 08:25 AM   #10
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I used red loctite on one of mine and it has stayed put for several years.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 09:42 PM   #11
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I personally wouldnt recommend JB weld over red loctite for the simple fact if you ever have to remove tbe op rod guide its gonna be one sum of a beech to get off with JB weld vs the red loctite,a little heat with a propane torch and the loctite will let go,not so with the JB weld.But then again thats just me,the loctite once applied correctly has never worked loose on the ones ive done.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 06:22 AM   #12
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Thank you for the insight.

I will research more posts on moving the op rod guide and the Loctite or JB Weld. Although I am leaning toward the less permeant Loctite. I have seen posts about knurling the barrel, but I don't think I'm up for doing that myself, or sending it off.

I'll do it when I get the new extractor and spring from Treeline. And after paddlefishing has ended.

I'll post an update after I get her back to the range.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #13
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I'd use JB weld. The same stuff Tony Ben uses in his video on it.
No need to knurle it.
JB weld breaks free with a bit of heat anyway like loctite and the gray color blends in well with the barrel. It's a 10 minute job to do, then let it cure overnight. no need to send it off to someone.
Watch Toby's video.

I know if only 1 reason someone would want to remove his oprod guide and that's to go into a chassis like a Sage that has a proprietary oprod guide system.
In 99% that oprod guide will never be taken off anyway until the day comes for a new barrel and just put a new guide on it at that time anyway.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 09:03 AM   #14
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my oprod is the same...

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Old May 16th, 2017, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ0861 View Post
I will research more posts on moving the op rod guide and the Loctite or JB Weld. Although I am leaning toward the less permeant Loctite.
With either product, you'll need a torch to loosen the guide if you ever want to get it off.

The misaligned guide is not causing your problem, though.

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