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New M1A tanker had bad gas cylinder, was undersized.

Wilb67

Alpha
Bought a new M1A Tanker, oprod failed to close into full battery every few rounds.
Took the rifle apart and found that the gas piston was jamming in the gas cylinder. Had to knock the Piston out with a mallet.
I sent the cylinder and piston to Ron Smith at Smith enterprises SEI and he determined that the cylinder was badly tapered and undersized causing the Piston to jam. He replaced my gas system with one of his warfighter gas systems.
I just wanted to put this out there for others in case they're having an issue but hopefully this was a one-off quality issue that got through.
Ron Smith made a video for me of him inspecting the cylinder. I will try to post a link, not sure it'll work as it's linked to the M1A and M14 owners Facebook group.
The file is too large to be uploaded here
 

Wilb67

Alpha
Yes, I was going to, but SEI offered to replace mine for free with one of his outstanding warfighter gas systems for free!!!
I could not turn down the offer.
Needless to say it is a much better system than the factory one🙂
I just wanted to post this so people know about their quality issue.
 

Blackfeather

Operator
I had problems with my Scout 20 years ago, and Ron Smith helped me out even after I returned the rifle to Springfield 3 times. Smith Enterprise fixed what SAI could not... I've been dealing with SEI ever since.
 

10mmLife

Hellcat
Founding Member
Yes, I was going to, but SEI offered to replace mine for free with one of his outstanding warfighter gas systems for free!!!
I could not turn down the offer.
Needless to say it is a much better system than the factory one🙂
I just wanted to post this so people know about their quality issue.
I'm curious to know why a company (Smith Enterprises) would give away an over $200 dollar service to someone who had an issue with a brand new rifle?

If you don't mind me asking what is your relationship with Smith Enterprises?

I'm also curious just like another poster asked already why wouldn't you contact customer service to fix you brand new rifle instead of doing something that could potentially void the warranty of your new firearm?
 

Blackfeather

Operator
There is no way this change will void a warranty, and most people are fully aware that Smith Enterprise is a great company that will go the extra distance to help a customer.

The bigger question is why does Springfield Armory Inc. ship out M1A rifles that need to be returned for warranty work soon after the customer tries using it?
 

10mmLife

Hellcat
Founding Member
There is no way this change will void a warranty, and most people are fully aware that Smith Enterprise is a great company that will go the extra distance to help a customer.

The bigger question is why does Springfield Armory Inc. ship out M1A rifles that need to be returned for warranty work soon after the customer tries using it?
I'm not doubting Smith Enterprise is anything but good as I don't have any experience with them myself though I feel my questions are valid.

I own a decent collection of firearms from many different manufacturers and I haven't seen a perfect company yet and I'm pretty sure every M1A rifle isn't defective or Springfield would have a hard time moving one of their most popular lines of rifles.

I'm not a fan boy of any company and I'm not bashing Smith Enterprises nor am I defending Springfield I'm just curious to why someone would get free service while the rest of us need to pay for that service.
 

Blackfeather

Operator
I'm not a fan boy of any company and I'm not bashing Smith Enterprises nor am I defending Springfield I'm just curious to why someone would get free service while the rest of us need to pay for that service.
I sometimes do the same with my customers, it's done on an individual case-by-case situation and because I can. I can't speak for Ron, but that's the kind of thing I do when I think the situation calls for it.
 
There is no way this change will void a warranty, and most people are fully aware that Smith Enterprise is a great company that will go the extra distance to help a customer.

The bigger question is why does Springfield Armory Inc. ship out M1A rifles that need to be returned for warranty work soon after the customer tries using it?
I wouldn’t be so confident about the change you had made to your rifle won’t void the warranty, having spent 20 years in the firearm industry I know that manufacturer’s will not honor warranty work if the firearm is returned for repairs if the firearm does not have OEM Parts. I’m glad the repair worked but you saying,
“There is no way the change will void the warranty” is flat out wrong.
 
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Wilb67

Alpha
I'm curious to know why a company (Smith Enterprises) would give away an over $200 dollar service to someone who had an issue with a brand new rifle?

If you don't mind me asking what is your relationship with Smith Enterprises?

I'm also curious just like another poster asked already why wouldn't you contact customer service to fix you brand new rifle instead of doing something that could potentially void the warranty of your new firearm?
My plan was to send it back for warranty repair.
I posted my problem on our forum page to see if anyone else has experienced this issue.
He took it upon himself to ask me to send him the defective part and he would replace it with one of his systems, it's as simple as that. Ron's a great guy, he takes care of his customers, and he genuinely cares and is willing to help anyone that has questions or problems.
As far as voiding my warranty I doubt it will do that but if anything happens in the future I will ultimately be sending it to Ron for repairs anyways.
And as for the defective undersized gas cylinder, I think something as simple as checking a honed bore with a go no go gauge after machining would be done on every part but apparently their quality/inspectors do not 100% verify dimensions on every part.
Being a machinist in the aerospace industry I would 100% verify all dimensions on every 25th part that came off my CNC. If I found a dimension that was out of tolerance all I had to do was go back and inspect the last 25 off the machine, it was a very effective and thorough way of rooting out any bad parts.
I don't know what Springfield's quality control S.OP.'s are but they might want to revamp them or better train their inspectors/Machinist.
I know mistakes happen and bad parts will get through. nothing is 100%, but something like a firearm that your life may very well depend on should be checked very thoroughly.
As far as my relationship to Ron I've never met the man. He was a member of the M1A/M14 group page on Facebook that I belong to.
 
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Blackfeather

Operator
As far as voiding my warranty I doubt it will do that but if anything happens in the future I will ultimately be sending it to Ron for repairs anyways.
Like I said earlier, this upgrade will not void your warranty. To say otherwise is just wrong.

Knowing Ron, he will probably document the problem and then send the parts to SAI so they can deal with the supplier making the parts for them... Ron is very good at helping other companies correct their mistakes if they are willing to do so.
 

KLGunner

Moderator
Staff member
Like I said earlier, this upgrade will not void your warranty. To say otherwise is just wrong.

Knowing Ron, he will probably document the problem and then send the parts to SAI so they can deal with the supplier making the parts for them... Ron is very good at helping other companies correct their mistakes if they are willing to do so.
He said in the video that he was going to “Cut up the old gas block” so it won’t accidentally end up in another firearm.
 

the obsrver

Master Class
My biggest problem with things like this are, I have played the fool many times in many different areas and it is almost certain that most, again most, people will sucker someone when they think they know more.
You are taking someone else's word for it as to why the piston was hanging up. When really "being a machinist in the aerospace industry" something like a tapered and undersized cylinder could have been easily checked by yourself. If in fact that was the problem. I am not a machinist, but I have been around manufacturing my whole life and have had numerous job offers to fix the very machines used in precision machining, I think (again it is only my opinion) that it is more likely that the piston may have been a thousandth of an inch (or whatever) off than for the cylinder to be tapered and or undersized.
Would that not be your guess also, given your knowledge of machining and the process? I would also venture to guess that knowing how companies operate, the less experienced machine operator is going to be placed on a machine that if they mess up, it is not going to cost the company as much money. I suspect the machine operator making the piston is not as experienced as the one making the block. Because to throw away 1,000 out of spec pistons is going to be cheaper than throwing away 1,000 blocks.
Again this is just my observations throughout the years.
Not trying to be a azz or anything and am glad you got it sorted out and are happy.
 

Blackfeather

Operator
My biggest problem with things like this are, I have played the fool many times in many different areas and it is almost certain that most, again most, people will sucker someone when they think they know more.
Are you saying that it is almost certain that Springfield Armory Inc. will sucker someone?
 

the obsrver

Master Class
Are you saying that it is almost certain that Springfield Armory Inc. will sucker someone?
No, I am saying that if you call someone to fix your stuff, and I do not care if it is your car or something in your house and do not know much about it, chances are very good that you will get screwed in some way.
Honesty is not one of mans greatest qualities when it comes to money.
As far as Springfield goes, I was more pointing out as to why I would suspect the piston and not the block. That logic on how companies operate and the machining process overall is how it works in every company and not just Springfield.
 
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Blackfeather

Operator
No, I am saying that if you call someone to fix your stuff, and I do not care if it is your car or something in your house and do not know much about it, chances are very good that you will get screwed in some way.
Honesty is not one of mans greatest qualities when it comes to money.
This has not been my experience.
 
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