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woodbridge
September 26, 2005, 11:06 AM
One of the rifle threads detailed failures in the Springfield SOCOM 16 due to a non-USGI bolt. If I replace my Springfield bolt with a USGI bolt, can I just "drop it in" or will I need the assistance of a gunsmith to check tolerances (I don't have the skills or tools to do it myself)?

Most importantly, is the bolt replacement sufficient to prevent failures (such as the operating rod flying off) or should I didtch the SOCOM?

Thanks for the advice.

30Cal
September 26, 2005, 11:29 AM
1. You would need to have the replacement bolt headspaced
2. A USGI extractor will prevent the majority of the bolt problems you might see with any bolt, reproduction or GI.
3. The oprod isn't coming off unless you've got a major problem with the oprod or the receiver. The bolt isn't going to have much if anything to do with that. Very unlikely in any case. Regardless, every single thing in this world has a rate of failure that is above zero and you'll never be able to completely rule out the possibility. FWIW, the only significant M1A failure I've seen was an extractor that popped out of the rifle while firing. It was a GI bolt with a GI extractor.

woodbridge
September 26, 2005, 12:15 PM
30Cal - thanks for the prompt reply. Do you know a smith in southern California who is experienced with M1As?

I appreciate your point about any mechanical system having the prospect of failure. If I am reading you correctly, it sounds like replacing the bolt doesn't necessarily address the op rod question. I still don't know enough about rilfles to understand the risk of op rod failures reported in "Art of the Rifle" thread:

"using Winchester white box, at range today, catastrophic failure, op rod just jumped off bolt, appears bent or cracked..."

"The exact same thing happened to me, it was recommended that I replace the bolt with the G.I. bolt which apparrently fixes the problem."

"WOW! What a concidence! I went to the range today and the guy next to me had the same thing happen to him! Only he was shooting Remington ammo. I think 180 grain."


I guess I am asking if the problem is endemic with the SOCOM or if, as you say, mechanical systems break from time to time, and perhaps these incidents with SOCOMS are just bad luck rather than design or manufacturing flaws.

Should I try to find a USGI op rod?

Thanks again.

30Cal
September 26, 2005, 04:56 PM
I've been following the M14 forums for about 5 years now and the failure you mention is somewhat unique. FWIW, most of the GI oprods have a weld at the tube (all but TRW and I think SAK) which has been known to crack from time to time. You could work on M14's for a lifetime and probably see fewer than a handful.

woodbridge
September 27, 2005, 10:28 AM
Thanks again for the info.