View Full Version : New M1A did something funky on me....

February 19, 2002, 01:45 AM
Just thought I'd run this by you guys. I just bought a beautiful brand new M1A Standard. I inserted a USGI mag made by H&R, and it was very tight. Once I verifed that the mag was locked in, I then went to pull the bolt back, and really had to strain to get her open. When it finally gave way the bolt locked back hard!

I then removed the mag, and let the bolt go forward. I tried this process again and everything was fine. Mag inserted easier, and bolt locked to the rear with a normal effort.

For what it's worth, this mag appeared new. USGI with no finish wear at all. I believe I am the first to ever insert it. Also, this is the first mag ever inserted in the rifle. Like I said, all is fine now.

What do guys feel caused this? Could I have damaged anything when that bolt finally gave way and locked open hard?


February 19, 2002, 02:11 AM
You've got to use lubricating grease on area's around the bolt on an M1A. Also when you actually fire a round there is probably more force placed upon the bolt then if you just let it ride home, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Just make sure you clean it and properly lube it before its ready to go. :)

Navy joe
February 19, 2002, 02:23 AM
I dunno if its even possible and I'm not going to try, but any chance you're inserting the mag wrong? Fwd end goes in first then rock to the rear to seat. Another vote for grease.

February 19, 2002, 02:36 AM
Good idea, but nope, she was in there properly. Even had some light lube on all moving parts. Maybe it was just the rifles wake up call. It only did it once, and that was the first and last time. Strange.

February 19, 2002, 04:36 AM
Could you have pushed the mag higher than the catches in the reciever?

Also M1A's like grease not oil. Grease the bolt goes in the receiver and in Op rod. Read the manual.

February 19, 2002, 08:10 AM

Not to be a bit too obvious.... but was there ammo in the magazine???

When the mag is empty, the bolt is supposed to lock back hard.


February 19, 2002, 08:41 AM
sounds like maybe something was binding on the op rod down inside somewhere and popped loose. If it doesn't happen again, I'd just assume whatever it is worked its way out an ain't a concern. If it DOES happen again.. open 'er up and take a look-see.


Abominable No-Man
February 19, 2002, 10:10 AM
I think what swampyMO said has the ring of truth to it. Take a look at the top round of ammo, is it scratched or scored a little bit,
then just chalk it up to breaking in a new gun. Also, look at the
mag feed lips and bottom of the bolt- sometimes the G.I. mags
will have a really thick parkerizing job on them, and the bolt can
drag on them. And yeah, M14's do like grease better than oil,
but for your purposes, I'd hold the newness of the equipment suspect.


February 19, 2002, 05:07 PM
Diagnosis: BAD MAGAZINE!!

Believe it or not, my problem was with the USGI mag. I've never seen one act up before. The first round will feed properly, but after that the follower binds and takes a nose dive in the front. I guess this mag was just a little out of spec. This mag is still tighter than the others when coming in and out of the mag well. H & R messed this one up!

Could this situation have harmed any component in the rifle? I guess I'm nervous about screwing it up after spending so much on it!

February 19, 2002, 06:31 PM
You might disassemble the magazine to be sure the spring is in it's proper place. Also take the follower out and examine it and the magazine tube for burrs that might cause a problem.

February 19, 2002, 06:50 PM
Well, I just disassembled the mag as advised. I cleaned all parts with Ballistol, and wiped them dry. I didnt see any defects at all. I reassembeld the mag, but to no avail. Same problem. I'm really racking my brain about this. I cant figure it out. All my other mags are fine in the gun.

Very strange problem. Thanks for all the feedback! Keep it coming if you would, I'm open to all suggestions.

February 19, 2002, 07:10 PM
Locking tab on magazine too low?

February 19, 2002, 07:15 PM
Locking tab being low is a possibility, allthough it looks fine. We still have the feeding problem though. It appears to me that for some reason this mag is just out of spec. Hard to insert + follower trouble. I'll probably take it to my dealer for a refund. I find the best place to get reliable M1A/M-14 mags is coles. From now on I'm sticking to them.

This mag problem doesnt set me back to far. I have so many I'm even selling a few to buy some other accessories. Still annoying though!

February 19, 2002, 08:09 PM
Had a similar problem with a USGI mag -- the follower would drag on the front mag wall occasionally and unbalance, 2 or 3 rounds to go.

The smith I talked with said he'd seen it before -- and that flexing the front mag wall out a tad would fix it. Personally, I haven't bothered yet -- just shelved that mag as a "range only" one. Still, it's prolly fixable.


February 19, 2002, 08:11 PM

Thats the exact problem I'm having. Dragging on the front wall with 3 rounds left.