Springfield Armory M1A Maintenance

Here’s how to disassemble and service the action and gas system of the M1A rifle.

by Glen Calvert

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The M1A is one of my favorite rifles. It’s an old school battle rifle made of steel and wood. The version I own is the Loaded model in 308 Winchester and it has proven to be very accurate. It has the 22” National Match barrel, NM front sight blade and rear aperture sight, and a 4.5-pound two-stage trigger.

There’s a common perception that a long barrel is more accurate than a short barrel. Ballistically speaking, this is not true. A short, stiff barrel is less likely to be affected by harmonics, temperature, etc. than a longer, less rigid barrel. A longer barrel helps accuracy when using iron sights by increasing the sight radius. A longer barrel can generate higher velocity, depending on the type and amount of powder. I enjoy hitting steel plates at 200 yards with the iron sights; it’s more of a challenge than using a scope. Another benefit of the 308 Winchester is that a 168 gr bullet launched at 2600 feet per second makes a much louder clang when it hits steel compared to a 69 grain bullet from a 5.56/223 Remington rifle.

Let’s get into maintaining M1A rifles.


Remove the magazine if installed. Fully retract the …

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