View Full Version : m1a help

November 22, 2009, 02:27 PM
Just returned from my first range session w/ a new, unfired m1a. While testing ammo (Hornady TAP 168gr, Hornady Match BTHP 168gr, and Black Hills Match BTHP 175gr), I had two instances where the m1a fired a 3rd burst w/ one trigger pull. Once with the Hornady match and once wht the B.H. Match. Any ideas/suggestions? Any m1a experts in phx area? Thank you, and any help would be appreciated.

November 22, 2009, 02:42 PM
If you are unfamiliar with the gun, I might suspect a variation of "bump" firing. It happened to me the first time I shot a Garand in my teens. Even though I had the rifle on my shoulder, I was holding it somewhat gingerly, and it would bounce off my shoulder and back into my trigger finger, and loose 2 or 3 rounds. I called the range master over to inform him that I thought I had a faulty rifle. He put two clips through the rifle with no mishaps. He then asked me to put a clip through it. When he saw my aberrant technique, he corrected me, and I never had the problem again.

November 22, 2009, 06:00 PM
First time my brother shot his supermatch m1a, he did the same thing. Fired off 3 rounds, thanks to his fat fingers and unfamiluarity with the gun. It was actually pretty awesome. Have someone else pull the trigger a couple of times just to make sure it isn't bump firing.

November 22, 2009, 06:35 PM
That makes sense. I was barely even holding the rifle, more like just letting it rest in my arms on the bench. As cool as it was, it definatly had me waiting to see law enforcement. Thank you guys for the info.

November 22, 2009, 07:40 PM
Trust me if it is shooting multiple rounds do not contact any form of law enforcement just contact the manufacturer of the gun or a gunsmith..

November 22, 2009, 07:48 PM
did this with a ar15 in a competition....lost 10 points because I dropped one onto the target, and the 2nd into the burm onto the right : ( Thats 10 pts that coulda got me first. I got second....loosing by 13 pts lmao

November 22, 2009, 07:50 PM
it's very easy to "bump" fire the m1/m14/m1a when shooting off a bench.
like many of the others, one of the first times i shot a garand i did the same thing. after getting home and changing shorts i did some research regarding the matter.
turns out, among other things, you really need to hold on to them when bench shooting...some people would go so far as recommending limiting bench shooting to a min.
but once you know whats going on, you can easily avoid the "problem".

November 22, 2009, 08:51 PM
Good Day,
Drop the trigger group out of the rifle and look at the back, the side opposite all the parts. Look for a loose pin that wants to back out or is visibly loose. Use a pointed punch to peen the metal from the back of the trigger group to hold the loose pin in place. If the pins are not loose someone may have "worked" on the trigger group trying to get a better let off. If the problem persists have a gunsmith go over the trigger group.

44 AMP
November 23, 2009, 01:59 AM
If you are not "bump firing" the rifle, and it is correct condition mechanically, a possible explanation is the ammo you are using. The M1A (and the Garand) have a reputation for having their firing pins lightly strike the primer when chambering a round. Military rounds normally have a thicker (stiffer) primer cup than civilian rounds. It might be that your rifle and ammo combination is just enough to cause uncontrolled fire. Try shooing some GI ball (or GI match ammo), under the same conditions to see if it makes a difference.

The most likely explanation is the bump fire (as a new rifle ought to be in correct mechanical condition), but don't completely rule the sensitive primer ammo out, until you are sure.

Average Joe
November 23, 2009, 06:28 PM
Commercial ammo has softer primers than military surplus, when a round is fired, and the new round is fed in, the inertia from the bolt will allow the firing pin to lightly strike the newly fed round. Some softer primers will detonate.

November 23, 2009, 07:13 PM
It's a freaking battle rifle. It's not made for caressing! Grab it. Hold on to it tight with your right hand (assuming you're right handed, and squeeze the trigger. If you make certain that your trigger finger keeps the trigger depressed to the maximum extent of its travel, and until well after the shot, it's unlikely to happen again.
It's been my experience with 3 M1As including my current Super Match that the more timid the shooter, the higher the likelihood of a bump-fire.
Not to say that your rifle isn't experiencing a malfunction....but odds are, it's due to your grip....or lack there of.
Just my $.02.....worth absolutely nothing in internet dollars!

November 23, 2009, 07:15 PM
Having a decade or 2 experience with the M1A platform, I'd vote for the concensus, poor trigger control and resultant bump fire.
Always heard of the soft primer thing but never from someone who experienced it, never had it happen myself, and I run WLR primers in mine, very soft cup on that brand.
Enjoy your new ride, they're as much fun to listen to as they are to shoot!

November 23, 2009, 07:26 PM
Another ditto on the probable bump fire.


Any ideas/suggestions? Any m1a experts in phx area?

Yes, several.

Phil Arrington is a great traditional M1A/M14 smith that does a lot of High Power accurizing work. He's located in North Phoenix near the 101 and I-17 interchange. I've used Mr. Arrington twice and been quite satisfied both times. He was even competent enough, AND polite enough to work on my rifle after another Phoenix gunsmith (whom shall remain nameless in this post) did some truly sub-par work on my rifle, and not bill me extra for fixing someone else's mistakes. He is my first choice for anything on my M14 that needs attention beyond my skill level.


Ron Smith owns Smith Enterprises and he works out of Tempe. He is doing the whole "convert the M1A into a 21st century EBR" thing but does it quite satisfactorily to all his customers I've ever met.


Accuracy Speaks is owned by Derrick Martin. I've heard good things from a guy that knows a guy that knows a guy, but never met anyone who had any work done by him, and never used him myself. He's located out in the Mesa/AJ area, around the Usery Pass range area.


November 23, 2009, 07:30 PM
mount up a military sling, get in a prone position. load one round at a time. follow through with the trigger pull all the way to the rear. after a few rounds like that then load two rounds, then three. bet the issues will go away. jmho, bobn

November 23, 2009, 07:42 PM
Ron Smith owns Smith Enterprises and he works out of Tempe. He is doing the whole "convert the M1A into a 21st century EBR" thing but does it quite satisfactorily to all his customers I've ever met.

Ron Smith and SEI build a large number of ultra reliable Crazy Horse rifles for our military.
Most are the M21A5 version in USGI synthetic stocks and the rest are MK14 SEI rifles in the SAGE EBR stock.

Ron has custom built four M14s for me. All of them are ultra reliable and all but one are sub MOA accurate.
The MK14 with the chrome lined barrel delivers a reliable 1 - 1.5 MOA.

SEI is my #1 go-to M14 armorer :)

BTW, I'm getting married next year and I'm registered at SEI.

Tim R
November 23, 2009, 08:39 PM
You can't pull the trigger on a tuned M-1/M14/M1-A like your shooting a pistol. Pull the 1st stage out and when your ready to fire pull the 2nd stage through. Doing what you did is called "milking the trigger", and there is nothing wrong with the trigger.