Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Rifles - M1A & cleaning:

I have a few questions I am hoping to get answered: 1) I recently purchased an M1A national match that I've only shot once so far. Springfield recommends that the receiver/barrel not be removed from their bedded stock. How the hell are you supposed to clean it if you can't field strip it? 2) I've noticed play or creep or whatever in the trigger. Should I have my gunsmith work this out or are their any good trigger assemblies out there for the M1A?
Tony Y
Iselin, NJ, USA - Saturday, February 13, 1999 at 14:39:06 (ZULU) 

Personally, I removed the stock whenever cleaning the rifle and have never had any problems. Never was a high master, but don't care either. What they want you to be careful of is scraping the vertical areas with the action "legs". If material is removed there, then one could get a little slop in the fore and aft movement of the action in the stock. My action didn't scrape anything. It rubbed a little, but that's all.

Old time shooters warned me of never putting any cleaning solvent or oil in the gas cylinder. Something about gumming everything up. Hmmm. This I just had to see. So I proceeded to clean the cylinder with solvent and lightly lube it and the piston with gun oil. Never found any gum and the rifle always functioned normally. It was just "butts" talk if you know what I mean. Well meaning people repeating what they had heard 20 years before. I sleep better knowing that my rifles are clean. I think it was Elmer Keith who said: "The sun never sets on a dirty gun".

All of the old articles on bedding the M14/M1A said that only the front receiver ring and a horseshoe shaped area at the rear were to be bedded on the top side of the stock. This looked hokey to me; having the middle section being strained by the trigger group. So I always put bedding in the center section too. This was in the early '80s. Rifle shot just fine. I must admit that my rifle was slightly hindered in that it didn't have a true heavy barrel. It had, and still has the medium weight SAK NM barrel.

I found the rifle not to be finicky and just used common sense with it. Wouldn't do anything different if I had to relive the time.

I did free float my light barrel, but then it had a very small sweet spot as far as accuracy goes. Bedded this way hotter loads always shot to a lower point of aim. If it had been a fat barrel then I would definitely have free floated it. Clamping the barrel to the stock is not a good thing. It looks bad, sounds bad, and is bad. Consider a 1000 yd prone rifle of mine. The forearm of the McMillan prone stock is pulled down .035" (.889mm) when I am in position. Would I want to hook the stock to the barrel?

I'm sure others will have equally valid opposite opinions. My shaky opinions are base on a sample of one rifle. So take that into consideration.

Guess I got a little carried away here.
Ron N.

Ron N. <>
USA - Saturday, February 13, 1999 at 16:44:35 (ZULU) 

Ron N.,
Your comment on lightly oiling the M1A/M14 gas piston is interesting. If you oil the gas piston on todays BARs(Not the WW II types), you will create a single shot rifle. Wipe the piston dry and you're back in business as a normal semi-auto rifle! I guess the short stroke piston is a different beast than the long stroke of an M-1 or M1A/M-14.
Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO, USA - Saturday, February 13, 1999 at 20:06:47 (ZULU) 

Hey, you don't have to remove the reciever from the stock for cleaning. Get you a gun cleaning cradle, so you put the rifle in the cradle upside down. Use one of the little plastic bolt hold-open devices, or just slide an M14 stripper clip into the stripper-clip guide to hold the bolt open.
We turn the rifle upside down to keep the solvent out of the bedding and the gas system. You will need a gas system wrench to hold the gas system while removing the gas plug to clean out the inside of the gas cylinder and remove the gas piston for cleaning. If you don't use the gas system wrench you will screw up the splines on the gas system and cause the gas system to be loose on the barrel. I put a little grease on the tip of the tail of the gas piston when I put it back in the clyinder. Clean the piston and the inside of the cylinder with some Hoppes #9 and wipe it all off or use some BreakFree ( CLP ). Both work well. It usually takes about 70 inch Lbs to get the gas plug tightened properly, and then put some red paint on the cylinder and plug to mark it so you can tell if it loosens up on ya. Also, ya won't need the torque wrench anymore if you paint the index marks like this.
I only do a complete disassembly if I get caught in a heavy rain. If I don't get in a soaking rain, then I take it down after the Highpower season is over for cleaning and inspection. I shoot about 1500 rounds per year through this rifle. Shooter Choice High Tech grease is great for the M14/M1A. Get a little 1/4 wide, 1/4 long artist paint brush to lube the parts of the reciever that are hard to reach. You can get these at WalMart in the crafts dept.
Shooters Choice Bore cleaner is better for cleaning than Hoppes, but you can't leave Shooters in the bore, I use BreakFree after I finish with the Shooters. And as with any rile, use a one piece cleaning rod.

Bill Bledsoe <>
Shelbyville, KY, USA - Saturday, February 20, 1999 at 17:33:36 (ZULU) 

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