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  #11  
Old 07-26-2013, 09:07 AM
tnw50cal tnw50cal is offline
 
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I've got 9 M1A's, all of them came from the factory with all USGI parts except the the receivers. You just have to know the right serial number range to get a rifle with all USGI parts.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2013, 09:26 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Quote:
Hey we were buying them in the 1980s and they had many of their own cast parts then. Bolts, op rods, trigger groups, even on the super match rifles. We bought USGI parts and switched them out the first time we had the guns rebarreled and rebedded.
...Hmm, that is not my understanding from what I have read, and seen, with respect to M1As that were sold by SAI as National Match and/or Super Match rifles in the 1980s. Here's my understanding - again, this applies to SAI's NM and Super Match rifles only...

Quote:
From M14 Rifle History and Development Second Edition (04/16/06 draft):
Author: Different

"Springfield Armory, Inc. and Glenn Nelson

Glenn Nelson joined the U. S. Army in 1954 and became a member of its shooting team in 1961. He earned Distinguished Rifleman status in 1962 as well. He remained on the Army shooting team until late 1965 when he accepted an offer to become a match armorer. He completed the U. S. Army match armorer school at Rock Island Arsenal then began building M14 rifles for competition as part of the USAMTU at Fort Benning. Mr. Nelson went on to serve in Viet Nam. He retired from the U. S. Army in 1975. Bob Reese hired Glenn Nelson to establish a shop that could build competition grade M1A rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc. {presumably this occured in the early or mid-1980s - note added}

Mr. Nelson began building Ultra Match M1 Garand and National Match and Super Match M1A rifles from his home. However, by 1987 the business had grown such that the custom rifle shop occupied 5,000 square feet of building space. Over the years he put together a first rate staff of former AMTU match armorers and former Army team shooters. Mr. Nelson and his staff kept up with and implemented the latest accurizing techniques used by the AMTU as time went on. Mr. Nelson no longer builds competition rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc but did so until at least 1993.

The custom Super Match M1A rifles were fitted with either Douglas or Hart heavyweight barrels. These heavyweight barrels were available in 1:10, 1:11, or 1:12 twist rates. Mr. Nelson required the air-gauged and stress-relieved barrel blanks supplied to him have a bore diameter between 0.2999 and 0.3004 and a groove diameter between 0.3079 and 0.3084 . The heavyweight barrel blanks were supplied with rifling obviously, but the rest of the machining was done by Mr. Nelson or his employees. National Match medium weight barrels were supplied by Springfield Armory, Inc. to Mr. Nelson already for installation by other suppliers. The operating rod guides were soldered on to the barrels. For individual customers, Mr. Nelson machined hand picked medium weight and heavyweight Douglas Premium barrel blanks and installed them in rifle builds unless the customer specified otherwise.

To give the reader an idea of what is possible with the M14 rifle and a talented armorer, the following will illustrate the point. In April 1986, Glenn Nelson built a Super Match M1A rifle from stripped receiver serial number 033187. The build included all TRW parts and a National Match rear sight. After final assembly, this rifle was tested on a machine rest. It grouped fourteen shots under the size of a nickel at 200 yards with 168 grain Sierra bullets. The test target was presented to the buyer, a member of the Second Army Shooting Team.

Mr. Nelson and his staff used the same Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A receivers used on standard models to create state-of-the-art competition rifles. They performed the match conditioning work and 90 % of the assembly on the receivers sent to the Nelson shop in Columbus, GA by Springfield Armory, Inc. Mr. Nelson purchased TRW bolts for building all the National Match and Super Match M1A rifles in his shop. Headspace on these rifles was kept between 1.631 and 1.632 . The M1A rifles dressed in wood stocks were coated several times with raw linseed oil. The almost-complete rifles were shipped back to Springfield Armory, Inc. for final assembly, test firing, packaging and shipping. Final assembly in Geneseo, IL included installation of the front and rear sights, operating rods, hand guards and slings."
I have a mint SA M1A National Match, that according to SAI was built in May 1989 by Glen Nelson as a NM rifle. According to SAI, he was was building all of the SAI's NM and Super Match rifles in the 1980s. And sure enough, it has a TRW bolt and USGI parts:



...so I think its clear that beginning in mid-1980s all SAI NM and Super Match rifles had various USGI parts, including exclusively TRW bolts, per Glen Nelson's standard build practices...

...I haven't pulled my 1989 NM out of the stock given that is glass-bedded, but even my SAI M21 Tactical Match made circa December 2007 has USGI parts such as an HRA bolt and HRA hammer, and HRA trigger housing (I had SAI install the M25 "White Feather" match trigger in the M21, and I took some pics of the original, returned trigger assembly).

HRA hammer original to my 2007 M21


HRA trigger housing - hard to see in this photo but its an HRA part


...my observation is that SAI is still using USGI parts, especially in their high-end M1As.

Last edited by Random Guy; 07-26-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:05 AM
pro2 pro2 is offline
 
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Random Guy, the final assembly was done so by SA, including op-rod ans sights (as stated above). Now, SAI may have used more have had more USGINPARTS parts during the Nelson era, but it has been repeatedly noted in the past that SAI sporadically used their own parts, on all their rifles. There are serial number ranges/dates which utilized more USGI parts than others (supply, possibly Nelson's input regarding bolts and barrels.... obviously, the barrels were not USGI on many match rifles). There is a ton of info. out there if you want to do the legwork.

For the most part, there is nothing wrong with SAI parts. I wouldn't pass up on a nice rifle with an SAI op-rod or sight assembly if the price was right, but I personally would seek out rifles with all USGi parts for the same $$$ (and there are many out there).
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:35 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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pro2, I agree with most of what you said, and to clarify, my post was just pointing out the apparent contradiction b/t rearsights generalized statement...

Quote:
Hey we were buying them in the 1980s and they had many of their own cast parts then. Bolts, op rods, trigger groups, even on the super match rifles.
...with the research outlined below re all NM and Super Match rifles made in the early to mid 1980s and into the early 1990s by SAI, courtesy of Glen Nelson and his team:

Quote:
Bob Reese hired Glenn Nelson to establish a shop that could build competition grade M1A rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc. {presumably this occured in the early or mid-1980s - note added}

....Mr. Nelson began building Ultra Match M1 Garand and National Match and Super Match M1A rifles from his home. {again, this would have been the early to mid-1980s - note added} However, by 1987 the business had grown such that the custom rifle shop occupied 5,000 square feet of building space... Mr. Nelson no longer builds competition rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc but did so until at least 1993.

... In April 1986, Glenn Nelson built a Super Match M1A rifle from stripped receiver serial number 033187. The build included all TRW parts and a National Match rear sight....

....They performed the match conditioning work and 90 % of the assembly on the receivers sent to the Nelson shop in Columbus, GA by Springfield Armory, Inc. Mr. Nelson purchased TRW bolts for building all the National Match and Super Match M1A rifles in his shop
{note the word "all" in that last sentence}

...so, my post was about whether or not they used USGI parts such as TRW bolts in the 1980s/early 1990s for their NM and Super Match rifles, or their own cast parts.... Personally I like SAI, and their excellent lifetime warranty, but I know a lot of people like to thrash them b/c they use non-USGI parts from time to time in their M1As...

Last edited by Random Guy; 07-26-2013 at 10:37 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:36 AM
ceresco ceresco is online now
 
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The present situation is that you will not get GI parts "for the same money". I am seeing shooters buy into the very expensive GI kits, GI bolts (particularly), GI barrels etc. and ending up with built (mixmaster) rifles costing far more than new or lightly used (that's most of them, BTW) SA Inc. basic M1As. My first M1A was mostly GI parts, later ones have many SA Inc. parts. I see no difference in the field. Good Shooting.......
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:17 PM
rojkoh rojkoh is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresco View Post
...and just how does "junk" manifest it's self when shooting a M1A....or are we dealing with pride of ownership?? Good Shooting.......
Sheared or mangled bolt lugs, bolts coming apart during firing (2 reasons), slam fires, warped unitized gas assemblies from bad welds, etc etc. SAI QA has run hot and cold over the years. I've recently had two M1As in, one a match (wasn't) and one a super match. Both had problems. It still happens.
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2013, 02:42 PM
cal50 cal50 is offline
 
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Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4gun-drill View Post
I have never seen a lug shear off completely but I have seen pictures of some "soft" lugs wich deformed and is probably just as bad.

Never read anywhere of a lug shear failure and if there was one a recall would have likely been posted by Springfield. There have been a few stories floated that a few receivers or bolts once assembled did not hold the set headspace. Parts were soft and if any were returned Springfield replaced them.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2013, 03:33 PM
rojkoh rojkoh is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal50 View Post
Never read anywhere of a lug shear failure and if there was one a recall would have likely been posted by Springfield. There have been a few stories floated that a few receivers or bolts once assembled did not hold the set headspace. Parts were soft and if any were returned Springfield replaced them.
There was a recall. One more note (excluded above), SAI also uses Kreiger barrels.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:47 PM
cal50 cal50 is offline
 
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M1A Bolts

Some M1A bolts manufactured by Springfield Armory, Inc. might not function reliably. If you have a Springfield Armory M1A bolt with any of the following markings, contact Springfield Armory, Inc. as outlined in steps A or B above for replacement.

The bolts in question are marked as follows:

No numerical or alphabetical characteristics on either top or back of bolt (completely unmarked).
Any bolt with any numerical or alphabetical markings at all on the back of the bolt.

Any bolt with the top marked "7790185" and with "SA RRR" centered below that number.

Any bolt with the top marked "790185" and with "SA" centered below that number.

Springfield Armory, Inc. regrets any inconvenience caused by the return of any firearm affected by this notice. Repairs will be completed in the shortest possible time, and all service, parts, and shipping costs will be the responsibility of Springfield Armory, Inc.



Call Springfield Armory on this toll-free number and request return instructions: 1-800-223-5708. Illinois residents call collect: (309) 944-5631.
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2013, 07:00 PM
grinerbros grinerbros is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WVa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Guy View Post
...Hmm, that is not my understanding from what I have read, and seen, with respect to M1As that were sold by SAI as National Match and/or Super Match rifles in the 1980s. Here's my understanding - again, this applies to SAI's NM and Super Match rifles only...



I have a mint SA M1A National Match, that according to SAI was built in May 1989 by Glen Nelson as a NM rifle. According to SAI, he was was building all of the SAI's NM and Super Match rifles in the 1980s. And sure enough, it has a TRW bolt and USGI parts:



...so I think its clear that beginning in mid-1980s all SAI NM and Super Match rifles had various USGI parts, including exclusively TRW bolts, per Glen Nelson's standard build practices...

...I haven't pulled my 1989 NM out of the stock given that is glass-bedded, but even my SAI M21 Tactical Match made circa December 2007 has USGI parts such as an HRA bolt and HRA hammer, and HRA trigger housing (I had SAI install the M25 "White Feather" match trigger in the M21, and I took some pics of the original, returned trigger assembly).

HRA hammer original to my 2007 M21


HRA trigger housing - hard to see in this photo but its an HRA part


...my observation is that SAI is still using USGI parts, especially in their high-end M1As.

In 83 or 84, who the heck can remember exactly, I bought 24105 new in the box Springfield M1A Super Match. And yes it did have a TRW bolt like you said. But it had a pot metal op rod which flew out of the channel during a rapid fire string at Perry and they took me to the armors place where they replaced it with a USGI one and laughed at the SAI rod. The rifle also had a SAI pot metal trigger housing and pin which constantly had the pin come out holding the hammer. And the bolt hold open piece was pot metal too and wore quickly so the bolt would close and not stay open.

I still have my Super match M1A that I had Nelson build years ago with USGI parts. It was originally a SM but I bought it with a rusted barrel and ditched the pot metal parts and bought USGI parts. It's a 31K rifle and it had pot metal op rod and trigger housing too.

Last edited by grinerbros; 07-26-2013 at 07:21 PM.
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