Friday, December 18, 2009

On Maintenance...

I had an embarrassing experience yesterday, regarding rifle maintenance. Back when I was staying with some gun-lovin' friends during the SAR show, I was admiring this guy's battle rifle collection. I picked up what I thought at first was a GI M14, and worked the action. I commented to myself how much...zippier...this action felt than my SA M1A. It just seemed to slam into battery with a lot more authority. If only my rifle were like that, I thought.

Then I looked at the stamp on the receiver, which said Springfield Armory M1A. Exactly the same as mine. Huh?

Now I haven't been shooting my M1A very much in the past several months. I'm down to only a few hundred rounds of practice ammo, and will NOT dip into my "working" supply. For the past year I've carried my AK, which is cheaper to feed as well as a lot more pleasant to carry. I'm not really likely to have to kill anything the AK can't handle while walking the dogs. The M1A mostly stays in its case in the lair's loft. I take it out and rack the slide from time to time, which is how I'd gotten the impression that it seemed pretty sluggish compared to this other rifle, but it was so gradual I genuinely didn't notice that it was my fault. I rarely fire it and so haven't cleaned it in a while. My bad.

So yesterday I uncased the M1A, stripped it, and looked at the condition of the lubrication - which was just awful. I lube the action with Pro-Gold grease, and it had clabbered up terribly. The bearing on the bolt carrier hardly wanted to rotate. The SA is my best rifle, and I had let it get in this embarrassing condition. That was just wrong.

After a thorough cleaning and lubing I re-assembled it,!

Old as I am, you'd think I'd know I have to pay attention to my rifles, even when I'm not shooting them. Mea Maxima Culpa.

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