This just in from Irregular Steven L:
Do you have any recommendations on M1A magazines? I inherited 7 mags with my M1A and 5 of them cause malfunctions such as failure to feed, double feed, failure to eject, etc. and only two perform flawlessly. They are all in pretty good shape but none of them are original Springfield mags. Are there any followers made that I can swap out with the metal ones that are currently in there? I just bought a new Wolf spring and I am going to put it into one of the bad ones and see if that makes a difference. Any recommendations or guidance you can provide me would be greatly appreciated as I would hate to scrap 5 mags that are in good to almost brand new shape.
M1956 H-harness for M-14.
P.S. Any recommendations on LBE specifically for the M1A. I have the old pistol belt with Y suspender setups and haven’t yet upgraded to one of those fancy vests. I haven’t really found anything out there since the rifle has mostly been out of service since early Vietnam. I know that they are using it again in AFG and I am hopeful that some new mag pouches will be developed soon. Perhaps there are some out there and I am just looking in the wrong place?
As far as identifying given M-14 mags, here is the bible on the subject.
If any Irregulars have had experiences which may help Steven, please add them as comments to this post.
Best thing I have found is to use FN-FAL mag pouches and carriers. I've got a South African set that holds ten M14 mags in a butt pack type of arrangement that has its own set of suspenders. Works well and I can still use the USGI LBE gear underneath it.
I've had decent results with the new Korean-made M-14 magazines that AIM and Centerfire Systems sell. Original GI contract mags work best. Taiwanese Type 57 and even Chicom Norinco/Polytech M-14 mags (made on GI contract tooling, I believe) work well. As for American made commercial mags, stick with Springfield Armory.
How is it that a commie AK mag that's 40 years old and covereed with rust and dings will run like a Swiss watch, but a new-in-wrap American M-14 mag will usually be a jam-o-matic?
The m-16 mag pouches designed to hold three 30-rounders can hold two M-14/FAL mags quite well if you remove the center dividers.
Charley's Surplus is what you are seeking, with new M14 mag pouches and new H-Harness rigs, as well. Solid vendor to boot, in my experience:
My plan is to get the new 4 mag pouches for the M16, which also supposedly hold 3 M14 mags. No need then to un-ass mag pouches if you shift platforms.
These are the mags I use for my Socom 16: http://www.44mag.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CM20
As for fixing up the crap mags, play with them if you must. I intend to tinker with the crap I bought before I knew better. I may make them run, but I will never, ever trust them to cover my fanny.
Assuming their USGI mags and worth saving, replace the springs and followers.
I have ten of these.
I have not had a problem yet.
I feel that I have not fired enough rounds to properly test them. They come highly recomended from the folks at this forum.
+1 on the recomendation for CMI mags. I have never had a problem with these.
My experience with M14 mags is they either work or they don't not much in between. Not a perfect design IMO. Cheap mags are never a bargain good mags will usually serve well. I never fill mine with 20 rounds either, 18 is my standard fill.
Try disassembling them and making sure that the follower can slide freely in the magazine body. I use a light dry lubricant on the front and back of the body very sparingly and it slicks them up well and does not attract dirt. Wet lube can ruin primers and cause FTF (failure to fire)
To add on to what Dakota said about 18 rounds, there's a reason.
Sometimes, depending on mag manufacture, loading a full 20 round mag into a M-14 type rifle with the bolt closed can cause over compression of the mag spring, which will cause mag failure (as most of us on this blog know).
18 or 19 rounds in the mag is sufficient to ensure this doesn't happen.
Replacement springs from Wolff are the best, as are the floor plates and followers. Some of the Taiwanese or Red Chinese mags can be ok IF you replace the spring and floor plate.
Other than that, the best available are the old USGI with ID stamps or the new CMI as sold on .44mag.com. And $20.50 per mag is a superb deal!
As far as magazine pouches go, this ebay vendor has the best. They're light, well made, and can be adapted to anything from ALICE to MOLLE: http://cgi.ebay.com/MARPAT-M1A-7-62-mm-Double-Magazine-pouch-Coyote-Brn_W0QQitemZ160402571880QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2558bd0268
Not knocking other sources; I've just found the above to be superb in quality and field performance. Add some 'Camp Dry' to the cordura, and your mags stay relatively dry in very, very wet conditions.
Regarding the web gear, I have a pair of H-suspenders for my gear, with pouches from a guy named whatnoise on GunBroker. His stuff is good, but pricey. I have two of his M14 pouches with one of the old Army canvas pouches, total of 6 mags plus one in the rifle. It works, and well enough to not worry about it. The material is Cordura in MARPAT or almost any other camo color you want except Multicam.
CMI mags from 44mag. CMI is current gov't supplier of M14 mags.
Flawless in my M1A. $20.49 ea.
Tried some "off-brand" and no go.
BTW, in RVN we always used 20 rounds per mag. never an issue with feeding etc. Then of course what does an old army guy know? LOL
a36bb6062 on eBay is the same as whatnoise on GunBroker. I've bought from both markets, the packages come from the same address.
The best solution is to buy US Military contract M-14 mags. They are always stamped with the manufacturers ID, usually on the back (primer) side of the magazine.
I have not seen any of the nylon or resin mags that work, nor the USA brand that had the magazine catch stamped out rather that the spot welded tab. I have quite a few of the chinese made (Norinco) M-14 mags that work well also. I have never had any feed problems with any US Military Contract magazines and have fired a whole lot of rounds through several different M-1A configurations. It is not worth saving a couple of bucks to buy something that might later get you killed. If you have some of these cheap junk mags, throw them away !!!
Buy some maintenance kits for the good mags and keep em clean. If you get new mags dipped in cosmolene and wrapped in paper,take them apart and clean them up.
I bought a bunch of M14 mags at a gun show a few years ago. None of them worked correctly. The metal was just too thin and flexed allowing miss feeds. They were just junk. I attended another show 6 months ago and bought some more but checked them out better. The sheet metal was thicker and didn't flex under pressure from my thumb. They all work well. I just threw all the others away. They can't be repaired. They were just junk from the start. I say give any mag the thumb test. If you can squeeze the opening with you thumb and forefinger and you can see any flexing of the mag, toss it. You're just wasting your money.
Bought a bunch of National brand mags and had failure to feed problems. The case mouth would catch on the mag body. I took the mags apart and ground just under 1/8" off the front of the mag. Hundreds of rounds downrange, and 3 years later, no problems. Much cheaper than my Springfield mags and function just as well.
Thanks to everyone for all the great info and links!
A little late, but for anyone who's interested - the SAW pouch (usually runs for 15 USD at surplus supply places) will hold 6 FN-FAL mags when each mag has a paracord 'magpul' duct taped to it. Without the 'magpul' it will hold seven, but they are a apain to get out. It will hold 5 mags ammo down and one mag laying across the top of them. Two SAW pouches on your LBE thus give you 240 rnds (I load my mags to full capacity). I imagine they would hold the same number of m14 mags too.
The newer canteen/utility pouches with quick-release snap and cinch cord will each hold 4 FN-FAL mags. Loosen the cinch and lengthen the quick-release strap and you could actually stuff 3 30-rnd AK mags in there, but once you pull one mag there may be a danger of losing one of the remaining two...But with 4 FAL mags the pouch is secure.
Personally, I prefer SAW pouches. Other options include:
The old 3 mag m16 pouches/boxes will hold 2 FAL or m14 mags sideways.
An old 1 qt canteen cover with a homemade topcover sewn on will hold 4 FAL mags, too.
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