Before handling or using your M1A inspect the chamber to make sure the gun is unloaded.
1. Your firearm is delivered factory packaged and preserved with a light coating of protective grease and oils. Before loading make certain that all packing grease and oil has been cleaned from the bore and exposed mechanism.
2. Your firearm comes equipped with an effective, well-designed safety device. HOWEVER, NEVER RELY COMPLETELY ON ANY SAFETY MECHANISM. It is NOT a substitute for cautious gun handling. NO safety, however positive or well-designed, should be totally trusted. Like all mechanical devices, the safety is subject to breakage or malfunction and can be adversely affected by wear, abuse, dirt, corrosion, incorrect assembly, improper adjustment or repair, or lack of maintenance. Moreover, there is no such thing as a safety which is "child-proof" or which can completely prevent accidental discharge from improper usage, carelessness, or "horseplay". The best safety mechanism is your own good sense; USE IT! Always handle your firearm as though you expect the safety NOT to work!
3. The M1A is designed and built to specifications to shoot standard factory military 7.62 NATO ammunition. The specifications for standard military ammunition include harder primers to withstand the slight indentation from the firing pin when the bolt chambers a cartridge. This slight indentation is normal. The use of civilian ammunition with more sensitive primers or handloads with commercial primers and/or improperly seated primers increase the risk of primer detonation when the bolt slams forward. This unexpected "slam fire" can occur even if the trigger is not being pulled and if the safety is on. Use of military specification ammunition will help avoid this. Every
shooter should use extreme caution when loading this or any other firearm. See page 15 for instructions on proper loading to help avoid a "slam fire". Also see enclosed article on "Slam Fire" written by Wayne Faatz.
4. Use only recently made high quality, original military or factory-manufactured ammunition of 7.62 caliber. Old ammunition may deteriorate from age causing it to be dangerous. Do not use cartridges that are dirty, wet, corroded, bent or damaged. Do not oil cartridges. Do not spray aerosol-type lubricants, preservatives or cleaners directly onto cartridges or where excess spray may flow into contact with cartridges. Defective ammunition is the primary cause of mishaps and can cause injury or death to you and bystanders.
Lubricant or other foreign matter on cartridges can cause potentially dangerous ammunition malfunctions. Store ammunition in a cool dry place to prevent contamination and deterioration of the primer and powder. Use only ammunition of the caliber for which your firearm is chambered. The proper caliber is permanently engraved on your firearm; never attempt to use ammunition of any other caliber. Defective ammunition can create excessive pressures resulting in an explosion and cause injury or death to you and/or those nearby. You must assume responsibility for using proper and safe ammunition.
Keep ammunition separated by caliber at home and on the range. This can be done by keeping it in the original box. Throw ammunition away that has been dented or deformed, shows signs of wear such as split or cracked necks, cratered or flattened primers, or punctured cases. If you have any reason to question the safety of any cartridge do not use it and safely discard it immediately.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE OLD OR RELOADED AMMUNITION PURCHASED AT GUN SHOWS, ESTATE SALES OR AUCTIONS.
5. The use of reloaded, "remanufactured", hand-loaded, or other non-standard ammunition voids all warranties. Reloading is a science and improperly loaded ammunition can be extremely dangerous. Severe damage to the firearm and serious injury to the shooter or to others may result. Reloaded ammunition that may function in a bolt or slide action firearm may not properly function and may even explode in a semi-automatic. The risk of a mishap is reduced by using current clean military ammunition or ammunition that complies with the industry performance standards established by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, Inc. of the United States, (SAAMI).
6. Firearms may be severely damaged and serious injury to the shooter or to others may result from any condition causing excessive pressure inside the chamber or barrel during firing. Excessive pressure can be caused by obstructions in the barrel, propellant powder overloads, or by the use of incorrect cartridges or defectively assembled cartridges. In addition, the use of dirty, corroded, or damaged cartridges may cause personal injury from the sudden escape of high-pressure propellant gas within the firearm's mechanism.
7. Immediately stop shooting and check the barrel for an obstruction whenever:
• You have difficulty in, or feel unusual resistance in, chambering a cartridge
• A cartridge misfires (does not go off)
• The mechanism fails to extract a fired cartridge case
• Unburned grains of propellant powder are discovered spilled in the mechanism
• A shot sounds weak or abnormal. In such cases it is possible that a bullet is lodged part way down the barrel. Firing a subsequent bullet into the obstructed barrel can destroy the firearm and cause serious injury to the shooter and to bystanders.
8. Bullets can become lodged in the barrel:
• If the cartridge has been improperly loaded without propellant powder, or if the powder fails to ignite. (Ignition of the cartridge primer alone will push the bullet out of the cartridge case, but usually does not generate sufficient energy to expel the bullet completely from the barrel.)
• If the bullet is not properly seated tightly in the cartridge case. When such a cartridge is extracted from the chamber without being fired, the bullet may be left behind in the bore at the point where the rifling begins. Subsequent chambering of another cartridge may push the first bullet further into the bore.
9. If there is any reason to suspect that a bullet is obstructing the barrel, immediately unload the firearm and look through the bore. It is not sufficient to merely look in the chamber. A bullet may be lodged some distance down the barrel where it
IF A BULLET IS IN THE BORE, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SHOOT IT OUT BY USING ANOTHER CARTRIDGE, OR BY BLOWING IT OUT WITH A BLANK OR ONE FROM WHICH THE BULLET HAS BEEN REMOVED. SUCH TECHNIQUES CAN GENERATE EXCESSIVE PRESSURE, DESTROY THE FIREARM AND CAUSE SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY TO YOU AND BYSTANDERS.
If the bullet can be removed by pushing it out with a cleaning rod, clean any unburned powder grains from the bore, chamber, and mechanism before resuming shooting. If the bullet cannot be dislodged by firmly tapping it with a cleaning rod, take the firearm to a gunsmith.
10. While shooting any semi-automatic firearm, an unfired cartridge or fired cartridge case may occasionally become jammed between the bolt and the barrel. Clear the jam as
cannot easily be seen.
follows, WHILE KEEPING THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION:
Remove the magazine, then pull back the bolt and hold or lock it to the rear. The jammed cartridge or case now can be removed by shaking it out or by picking it out with the fingers. When the bolt is jammed closed put the safety "ON", remove the magazine and point the gun in a safe direction. Place the butt of the rifle on a hard surface and strike the bolt handle to the rear using a wooden or plastic mallet to open the bolt. If this fails to open the bolt take the gun to a gunsmith immediately. Determine what caused the jam before resuming shooting.
11. Dirt, corrosion, or other foreign matter on a cartridge can impede complete chambering and may cause the cartridge case to burst upon firing. The same is true of cartridges which are damaged or deformed.
12. Do not oil cartridges, and be sure to wipe the chamber clean of any oil or preservative before commencing to shoot. Oil actually interferes with the friction between cartridge case and chamber wall that is necessary for safe functioning, and subjects the firearm to stress similar to that imposed by excessive pressure.
13. Use lubricants sparingly on the moving parts of your firearm. Avoid excessive spraying of any aerosol gun care product, especially where it may get on ammunition. All lubricants, and aerosol spray lubricants in particular, can penetrate cartridge primers and cause misfires. Some highly penetrative lubricants can also migrate inside cartridge cases and cause deterioration of the propellant powder, and on firing the powder may not ignite. If only the primer ignites there is danger that the bullet may become lodged in the barrel.
14. Never fire any semi-automatic firearm with your finger, hand, face, or other part of your body over or adjacent to the ejection port, or in any position where you may be struck by the reciprocating movement of the operating rod or bolt. Both the ejection of empty cartridge cases and the movement of the operating rod and bolt are part of the normal operating cycle of semi-automatic firearms and pose no safety hazard to the shooter if the firearm is held in a normal grip and fired at arms' length as intended by its design.
All firearms require periodic maintenance and inspection which may reveal a need for adjustment or repair. Have your firearm checked by a competent gunsmith annually even if it seems to be working well, since breakage, improper functioning, undue wear, or corrosion of some components may not be apparent from external examination. If you notice ANY mechanical malfunction, DO NOT continue to use the firearm. UNLOAD the firearm and take it to a competent gunsmith immediately. Similarly, if water, sand, or other foreign matter enters the internal mechanism, the firearm should be dismantled for complete and thorough cleaning. Failure to keep your firearm clean and in proper working order can lead to a potentially dangerous condition.
Always wear eye and ear protection when using any firearm. Safety and instruction manuals are available from Springfield, Inc.
ALWAYS POINT YOUR GUN IN A SAFE DIRECTION.
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