M1A Trigger Hooks

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 02 May 2004 12:00:00 GMT
I appear to have attracted the attention of somebody at the Gestapo, er... Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov). Found this in my logs:
n021.dhs.gov - - [26/Apr/2004:08:58:05 -0400] "GET /blog/stories/wacojustice.html HTTP/1.1" 200 8305 "http://www.billstclair.com/blog/0404.html" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; (R1 1.3))"

n021.dhs.gov - - [28/Apr/2004:08:58:33 -0400] "GET /blog/0404.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33806 "http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=end+the+war+on+freedom+april+2004" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; (R1 1.3))"

# I think I know what's wrong with my M1A, causing double fires or the hammer down on a loaded round. It isn't weak ammo or a clogged gas hole. When the action cycles, the hammer gets cocked long before the fired round is ejected and a fresh one loaded, and I'm always getting a fresh round loaded, so it must be that the hammer is being released. This is either because I'm not holding the trigger back long enough or, and this seems more likely from looking at it, whoever stoned (filed down) the hammer hooks to make my national match trigger went a little too far. That, coupled with lots of shooting, has caused it to not catch well enough. Here's the whole trigger group with the trigger pulled just as it is when auto-cocked right after firing:

M1A trigger group
And here's a close-up of the rear hooks engaging the sear lug:
M1A trigger rear hooks
Note that there's not a lot of metal there to hold on to. When you let go of the trigger (below), both the sear and trigger lugs move back, and the hammer switches from rear hooks held by sear lug to front hooks held by trigger lug. That's why you need to hold the trigger back while the action cycles. Otherwise, the hammer hooks can slip out between the two lugs and cause a double shot. This is more likely to happen if you oil the hammer hooks or lugs. They're designed to work dry.
M1A trigger forward hooks
It's also possible that some of the double fires are slam fires from too soft primers, but I doubt it, since I'm using milsurp ammo, which should have hard military primers. Also, that wouldn't explain firing a round resulting in the hammer down on a freshly-loaded cartridge. Anyway, I ordered a new GI hammer from Fulton Armory, and, since it looked like a good idea, a Buffer Technologies Recoil Buffer. I don't relish reassembling the trigger group again, ouch, but I managed it once when I first got the rifle; I can probably do it again. It'll be next Saturday at the earliest before the new hammer comes and I find time to install and test it.

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