I recently picked up a pre-ban M1A NM at a gunshow.
Damn nice gun. Shoots great.
I figured since i jsut got it, i better strip it down to make sure everything's been taken care of. i know separating the action from the stock is kind of a bad things to do, but i don't plan on doing it often. I got the rifle down pretty well, but im having a bitch of a time removing the operating rod. I have a mini-14, and i've had no problem with it. The M1A jsut doesn't want to come off. I've tried sights up, sights down, even sideways. I can feel the notch, but it jsut don't pop out. Any suggestions or tricks?
Also, i need some opinions on the gas port. The manual says to take it apart and clean it. My father (he's got a Super NM) says the port is tuned, and shouldn't be messed with. Thoughts?
O.K. I hope you're ready for this.This is a step by step procedure.
1) remove op-rod spring and guide
2) pull op-rod back and line up with notch-by feel or you may have to look,also a small flashlight can help
3) you must then pull out to the right at a 45 degree angle.top out & bottom in.
4) a wedge (wood or plastic) will help if #3 is hard to do or try to twist the op-rod at the front of the receiver at the same time you pull it out.
If done this way you will not damage anything.Also,if you have a heavy barrel (as you should) it may be touching the bottom of the barrel at the intersection of the web (flat area) and tube of the op-rod.
Darn,I forgot this.
You only need to clean the gas cylinder by removing the plug and piston.Don't add oil to the gas cylinder because this should be kept dry and clean.The plug must be re-torqued to 10 ft lbs per mil-spec.
Hmm..... I'll have to give a wedge a try.
I've got the basic procedure down pat.... the op rod jsut doesn't want to pop out. Thanks for the info!
NM op rods are REALLY precisely fit...just keep messing around with it it will eventually dismount...it just takes EXACTLY the right combination of lift, twist and pull to get it to pop free...this can be VERY frustrating but as time goes on it will become easier.
Align the rear of the op rod handle with the front edge of the windage wheel. That will align the disassembly notch. New rifles are usually tight. Which is how we want them.
The gas system is not "tuned." Disassemble and clean. Do not lubricate. Reassemble. I've no idea where the 10 ft-lb torque number came from, if you don't tighten it securely it'll come lose and I doubt that little torque will keep it on the rifle for more than a magazine or two.
M14 and M1 National Match accuracy will be degraded with constant field stripping/reassembly of the rifle from the stock, as will constant cleaning of the gas system. But I'm here to tell ya it makes no real world difference. I qualified Expert everytime I fired the M14 (probably 8 times in the two years I carried it) and the rifle had been stripped and cleaned the night before every time. Now that I'm shooting without NCO supervision I rarely field strip the rifle and she shoots just fine. Take your choice.
Gas system needs no attention as long as the piston moves freely. Lock the bolt to the rear and tip the rifle back and forth to hear it click as it moves in the cylinder.
10 ft-lb torque is mil-spec for military match rifles.It's in the MATCH CONDITIONING manual.
Acually the manual calls for 120 in-lbs which converted is 10 ft-lbs.
I built 1287 match rifles over the years and I can tell you IT WILL HOLD.Tighten it any more and you will distort the gas cylinder or barrel.Krieger barrels (John) only snugs it up with blue loctite.
Which "Match Conditioning manual" is that please? Full title, edition date, and branch of service (Army or USMC). It may be one that I don't have and would like to get to round out my set. Thanks.
Well.... i used a plastic screwdriver to help pry and it popped off. surprisingly, it went bakc on no problem... jsut comign off was hard.
Another question: I know there are certain parts that need to be greased. I do'nt have any grease on hand at the moment. Would vaseline and CLP suffice? I've used Vaseline on blakc power pistols with no problems whatsoever. However, i figured i better ask first before screwing with an expensive rifle.
Thanks for all the help folks!
Here it is.
UNITED STATES ARMY MARKSMANSHIP UNIT
ACCURIZED NATIONAL MATCH M-14RIFLE "M-14(MTU-NM)
Page 48 6.2 Fitting of the gas cylinder to the barrel
6.2.1 Peen all three splines on the barrel uniformly to provide a tight fit.
6.2.2 Start the cylinder on the barrel with a plastic face hammer,until enough threads show to utilize the gas cylinder lock as a means of forcing it back into position
6.2.3 Insert the piston and install the plug with torque of 120 inch pounds (that's 10 ft lbs).
As far as I know this manual is still available,although you may have to look around for it.I've had mine for 25 + years now as a sentimental item.
The marine corp manual differs only slightly from all of these modifications.These include but are not limited to welding the gas cylinder to the barrel,use of a heavy barrel threaded for a suppressor (no flashider is used) etc.
When I give advise on these rifles it's from experience,or in this case a military manual.
That trick I told you to use is something we do at the armory.So it's not public knowledge for others to know about it.I knew it would work for you.I just don't mind helping out.
As for the grease,you can use most any type you want.DO NOT USE LITHIUM BASED GREASE because this is used for breaking in parts like automotive engines.There are some excellent greases and lubes available from different sources that are made just for firearms.Until you can get some for the rifle,vaseline (how about K-Y jelly -it's very slick) will work for the short term.We have a saying in the marines, IMPROVISE.
Thanks for the help.
AS for improvising, i try to.
But in the Air Force, we have a saying:
"if you don't know what the button does, DON'T PUSH IT!".
lol.... it never hurts to double check. As for the KY, you probably know this, but you'll want to avoid it. KY is water based. THat's why you can use it on condoms. Petroleum based lubricants will weaken the rubber. I would jsut feel alot safer using a petrolium base lube vs. a water based lube. water and metal don't seem to liek to mix very well ;)