Safety while handling the M1A Rifle
The M1A rifle is the commercially available version of the United States army M14 military semi automatic machine gun. It is a very powerful weapon with a decent range of approximately 500 yards. These rifles are highly sought after and a well maintained model can be purchased for anywhere upwards of $10,000.
Considering the capacity of the weapon, it demands to be respected and you should be safe while using and maintaining it at all times. There are a couple of key points that you need to keep in mind while handling these machines.
The first instruction that you need to follow is regarding the operating rod handle. Whenever you attempt to manipulate the operating rod handle with a chamber, please keep in mind to move your hand out of the way of the rod after releasing it. Ensure that your fingers are always out of the path of the operating rod. The force of the operating rod is powerful to severe your fingers and open up your palm. That is definitely an ugly sight and something you should avoid at all costs.
Whenever you are operating on any firearm, be sure to wear safety glasses at all times, especially while disassembling it. The M1A’s operating rod is maintained under immense pressure and upon releasing of the connector locks, the rod guide might plummet out at a high velocity if your other hand is not fastened steadily enough. Make sure that other individuals in the room are wearing safety equipment as well.
If for some reason the weapon does not react when you pull the trigger, resist the temptation to pull back the operating handle. Keep the weapon pointed downwards for at least fifteen seconds to rule out the foul play due to a delayed ignition. Before pulling the operating handle back, remove the magazine, then pull the operating handle and check if the rifle is jammed. If the rifle is jammed, use a rubber tipped hammer to hit the operating rod handle downward, keeping your body as clear as possible from the weapon.
Although it may sound stupid, it is important that you verify the kind of ammunition before loading the weapon. You should ideally verify several times just to be sure. The M1A uses a 7.62x51mm NATO, so repeat those exact words when you are purchasing the ammunition. Always buy from known sources and do not risk the weapon and your life for a good deal. Make sure that you have already seen the ammunition for real and that it is the exact same one that you are replacing with. Most of the NATO bullets have known markings that are not very hard to figure out. The wrong weapon might cause the weapon to implode, severely hurting you in the process.
With all the right measures, you should have a long and enjoyable time with your M1A. Most M1A owners are very proud of their weapon and take great care in looking after it. Always read the manual thoroughly, no matter how good you think you are. The manual is written for a reason and the manufacturer wants to make sure that you stay fit and healthy for a long time and purchase more of their weapons!