View Full Version : New M1a

March 15, 2008, 20:22
Just picked up my M1a. Any advice before I head for the range? The magazine doesn't insert very easy like my Mini 14 does. Has to breakin?:biggrin:

March 15, 2008, 20:46
If at all possible, try to zero at 200 yards. If the wind is not a factor, set your rear windage to mechanical zero and get a real windage zero by drifting the front sight post.
The mags are fairly difficult as it was originally intended to be reloaded thru a stripper clip. Try to get new mags from www.44mag.com. They ARE current GI issue and are generally in much better shape than original GI. Don't even bother with any of the chicom mags supposedly made on GI machinery.
As far as maintenance, unless the receiver gets full of dirt you should only have to take it out of the stock to clean every 500 rds or so. A qtip to clean the bolt face, use the chamber brush on the chamber and a rod guide to clean the bore. Clean the gas piston every 200 rds or so and make sure you use the wrench to hold the gas cylinder. Here's a good site.


http://militarysignatures.com/signatures/member1028.png (http://militarysignatures.com)

March 15, 2008, 21:21
Glad you joined the "club" of M14 clone owners!
One thing you need to know up front. The rifle was designed to be lubed with grease, not oil. Get some USGI lubriplate or what I use, Tetra gun grease. There are plenty of picture guides that will show you where to place the grease. Don't be squemish about applying it also. Most probems with the rifle are from people running the rifle dry. The gas system is dry, the receiver is greased!
As 1stSSPZ get you some mags from 44mag.com, they are about the only source of USGI mags that you can trust. Anyone that says "chinese mags made on USGI machinery" is full of BS". No such thing. We gave Taiwan the machinery, less the machinery to make flash suppressors and mags, to make M14s. They made the Type 57, so the mags are different. The M14 firing line is a great source of information.
Now buy ammo and enjoy your M1A! :shades:

March 15, 2008, 22:30
Originally posted by CWizard
Just picked up my M1a. Any advice before I head for the range? The magazine doesn't insert very easy like my Mini 14 does. Has to breakin?:biggrin:

Congrats on the new addition to your collection. The mag issue is broad
and complicated. I personally don't use anything but GI mags, I'm referring
to the ones made for the M14 during Viet Nam. One thing you will notice
about things made from sheetmetal is the edges are square and somewhat
sharp. It's been my experience with M14 and FAL mags that the slightly used
mags tend to function better. This is because the edges have been smoothed
up by the bolt going across the feedlips on the mag and thus
smooting them up. It doesn't mean that new production mags from Checkmate are
"bad" just that it takes a little effort like where the mag is
binding in the mag well for instance. There are sharp edges on the edge
of the chamber for instance that may snag sometimes on the round feeding
from the left side, it will usually stop after 50 rds or so. You should get a
lifetime of support from your rifle and more folks than ever offer parts for
them. As stated above do not treat it like a bolt gun. I usually just run a
a bore snake thru after a trip to the range and periodically grease it.
The Op Rod will most likely be tight and you should resist the temptation
to disassemble till you have 100 -200 rds down the tube. This will allow
the parts to loosen up a little.

mdlmkr 7.62
March 18, 2008, 19:03
Originally posted by CWizard
Just picked up my M1a. Any advice before I head for the range? The magazine doesn't insert very easy like my Mini 14 does. Has to breakin?:biggrin:

My Scout was difficult to get a magazine into but it did "break in" and now it's quite smooth. I did deburr the inside of the front mag catch where the pin goes through it. USGI (CMI) mags are night and day from aftermarket mags - save your money and buy good magazines


March 19, 2008, 14:07
You just bought a fine MBR. As others have said, GREASE the bolt and roller. Keep the firing pin and inside of the bolt free of gunk and stuff. That firing pin free floats and if any junk slows down that firing pin, it could be sticking out at the wrong time. I usually shoot a little degreaser in after shooting and tear down the bolt and clean once a year.

Oh, if you don't have it, get the bolt tool so it's easier to disassemble the bolt. While we're talking about the bolt, get a spare firing pin, extractor, extractor spring, ejector and ejector spring. They don't cost much and they're nice to have.

Your bolt tool (combination tool, really) will have a wrench end for your gas plug. Get the other wrench that goes over your gas tube and barrel. Springfield sells them. It makes life easier to get the gas plug out and put it back tight. Also, you don't stress the barrel and gas cylinder.

Clean your trigger group once a year or so with a shot of degreaser. Then, give it a LIGHT coat of oil. Don't use WD-40. Don't get liberal with the oil.

Sighting in is simple with the M-14. Follow the directions and you're on your way.

Don't worry about the magazine. They go in tough for a time then get easier. I think part of it is break in and part is getting used to the rifle.

Remember, you now have a rifleman's rifle. It's not some shake-n-bake stamping with plastic parts. You have to learn this one. It really is like a woman in a sense. You treat her right, she'll respond accordingly.

I was issued an M-14 in basic. I learned rapidly that if I could see my target and it was in range, I could hit my target with that rifle. I also learned that it's a bit heavy when I had to do a lap around the company at high port while they were marching. Yeah, I called my Drill Sergeant "Sir." I was also forced to admit that, "I am a dumb shi*, Drill Sergeant," in a loud voice while running at high port.

When I got my M1A 10+ years back, it was a happy day. Enjoy your rifle and treat her like a lady.


March 22, 2008, 08:52
Thanks for the info guys. I do appreciate the replies. There always seems to be tips, tricks and info not in the books.

March 22, 2008, 10:37

You made a good choice for an MBR.

Now learn how to use it.

You can zero your rifle in at 25 meter/33yds. This zero will also be your 200meter zero.

After you have it zeroed at 25 meters, count the numbers of clicks down on your elevation knob AND never forget that number.

Also, if your groups shot at 25 meters are not at least 4-6 MOA(1"-1.5"), there's no use practicing at greater distances. Otherwise it's wasted ammo.

One of the programs that really helped me to become a good shot with my M1A is the Appleseed Project weekend shoots appleseedinfo.org

There may be one near you, check their schedule.

Anyhow, congrats on a fine rifle!

Survey Punk
March 22, 2008, 11:17
Books relating to the M14 types: http://www.nicolausassociates.com/m14.htm
Some have mentioned grease as opposed to oil. This is correct although I use all lubes very sparingly as they will attract and hold grit.
More good reads here: http://www.zediker.com/articles/articles.html#M14_topics


March 22, 2008, 22:17
Well, it's been a week now.
Have ya shot it yet ??

March 25, 2008, 19:06
Nope. The weather and Easter weekend prevented taking it out. I'll be at the range this saturday come heck or high water. My CMI mags should be here by Friday too. Every place I looked seem to be out of USGI mags. I fondle it every night if that counts.:D

Oh yeah, I think I got the hang of inserting the mag now.

March 26, 2008, 15:23
I sold one about 5 years ago and regretted it ever since, til I got another, USGI parts on Armscorp a month ago. Took it out yesterday and ran two mags thru it, rapid fire (I find slow fire to be boring): result was two holes about an inch diameter each, one by each mag of ammo. I'd forgot how fun they are!!!

March 27, 2008, 08:41
My M21 is by far my favorite rifle to shoot. It is most accurate 7.62mm I own.

"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine........"

13 clicks up at 200 yds

March 30, 2008, 19:58
Took the lady to the range. All I can say is scary accurate. My US Model 1917 is wonderful with iron sights, but I think the M1a is better. It was windy but it still shot very well. I guess you guys know all this. Great trigger. Hitting 1 inch high and about 2 inches right at 25 yards. The first group I had a flier so it was a bit over an inch, the second was a tight little cloverleaf. Closer to two holes than three really. I can't wait to try it at two hundred yards. The range got really crowded after I got there. The first nice day this year here in Pa.
New rule, only ten round mags allowed this year.

I'll have to laugh every time I read how accurate the Ar rifles are. I have an AR but have never shot mine or Uncle Sam's very well.

M1a mmmmmmmmmm :bow:

March 30, 2008, 23:28

Thanks for the range report!

It looks like you're shooting some decent groups. Better than most certainly.

Remember, always, focus on the front sight.

Don't be concerned if the target is blurry, ALWAYS focus your eye on the front sight.

Also, I don't know if you were shooting from the bench or not. I would advise to make sure you get some "field" shooting in much more than shooting from the bench. "field" shooting = standing, sitting, prone = real world scenario = no nice concrete benches.

Heads up.

March 31, 2008, 18:50
Thanks. I have shot service rifle matches, usually with my 1917. Small local matches, most guys using WW1 bolt action rifles. Right now I could probably use stripper clips faster than I am changing mags, lol. Practice, practice, practice.

April 02, 2008, 20:09
Scott Duff wrote a book called The M-14 Owners Guide. It is a very good book and covers accurizing as well as normal maintenance, sight in, the list goes on. Money very well spent.book (http://www.chestnutridge.com/images/inv/14AB01.asp)

Oh yeah, Turner Saddlery makes an awesome leather sling for it. If you think it's scary accurate now, wait until you go prone and sling up.
M1907 sling (http://turnersling.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=TS&Category_Code=HRRS)

April 25, 2008, 04:19
Got me a new Loaded M1A a couple weeks ago. First thing I did was add a Turner Saddlery tan M1907 sling. I bought four 20-rd. mags last August from 44MAG when they were $24.95. Zeroed mine at 100 yards. Shoots beautifully. Every bit as smooth as my Garand.


April 25, 2008, 10:11

I see she's in "Condition One"!

It is good to be ready for "Condition Black",...er,...oops,...that's a "Marine" phrase!

Sorry about that!

As my recently returned from four years active in the USAF son would say,..."Condition Black" in the Air Force,... was when the crackers were stale, the red wine was too warm, and the "brie" was NOT at room tempreature!

Too much "USAFE" for him.


April 25, 2008, 11:11
Originally posted by wolfsburgbob

I see she's in "Condition One"!

It is good to be ready for "Condition Black",...er,...oops,...that's a "Marine" phrase!

Sorry about that!........


That is okay. I understand. I was in Force Recon from 1978-1984.

April 25, 2008, 13:22
Then I guess blowing out of Aviano to go snowboarding with the "hotties" at Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Alps was not on your weekend schedule?


April 25, 2008, 14:50
Originally posted by wolfsburgbob
Then I guess blowing out of Aviano to go snowboarding with the "hotties" at Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Alps was not on your weekend schedule?


More like having bagels with my wife at Panera's, going to Wally World to do the grocery shopping, and then off to the range for some quiet time. Return home and clean weapons and then clean the bathrooms. :)

April 25, 2008, 16:05
BTW theres nothing wrong with the Type 57 mags. I have USGI and the Taiwan mags. The only difference is the color. Grey park vs dull black. Buy some and save a few dollars. There are some commercial mags being sold as Taiwan T-57s that are kind of flimsy. These have a high luster blue finish. I wouldnt buy those.