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Late bolt release and other questions

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    Late bolt release and other questions

    Hey guys,

    I have three M1 Garand rifles that I’ve had for many years. One of them is a Winchester receiver (January 1944 according to serial #). The next is a Springfield receiver (March 1942 according to serial #).

    Third is a NM M1 chambered in .308 with a Krieger SS barrel (Winchester receiver/May 1942). I haven’t shot this one in a few years. As far as I know it’s working fine.

    The first two both seem to have some issues with a delayed bolt moving forward. It seems that I have to press down harder on the clip than I used to. Then I have to assist the operating rod handle to get it to slam home. I gave them both a thorough cleaning and lubrication.

    From what I’ve read the likely culprit is the bullet guide. Is that correct?

    The last time I shot the Winchester M1 there was premature ejection of the en bloc clip after only shooting a couple of rounds. From what I’ve read that is usually the Clip Latch spring. Is that correct? I ordered a few heavy duty springs from Fulton armory.

    I was also going to order a couple of operating rod springs. Again I’m not sure if there’s a particular brand I should be looking at?

    I was thinking of ordering a timing block. Do they all function the same? I know that some are made of metal and others and made of plastic. Not sure if any of them are better than the rest?

    Thanks for any helpful advice on this.

    Are you using USGI or commercial clips? How long has the. clip-seating problem been going on? The clip latch spring may or may not be the problem. The bullet guide COULD be the culprit--it's a good place to start the investigation. Having to hit the op rod forward is pretty much a SOP with an M1. Some close on their own, some need a little pursuation. I put Orion 7 op rod springs in all my M1's. DO NOT USE WOLF op rod springs. See if you can borrow a timing block. That'$ a big outlay for a one or three time use. Ask here--some one probably has one they'll loan to you. Keep us posted on your results.


      Good info Jon!

      When I first got my M1 I had a similar situation involving the clip not wanting to go down all the way. Quite a bit of resistance. Once I got it apart to clean it and pulled out the op rod spring, I could see it had quite a bit of grit in/on it so it appears it may have been so gritty, it didn't allow the spring to completely compress. In any case I had a new spring so I cleaned the tube, lubed the new spring and changed it out. That did the trick fortunately.


        USGI en bloc clips that I’ve had for 30 years.

        The Winchester M1 used to be a tack driver. I have all my rifles in a browning pro steel safe with a goldenrod dehumidifier. I had brought it to a local guy on Long Island years ago for a general check up (several years after buying it). He called me and said there was a valuable part inside which he claimed “didn’t add any performance to the rifle”. He asked me if he could swap it out and replace it with a functioning part? And he would discount the value from that part from the service. Can’t remember what part that was. Shortly after that and never performed the same.

        I brought it back again years later and now the son has taken over the business. My primary complaint after the last time I brought it in was “premature en bloc clip ejection.” There would still be a few rounds left and then it would partially pop up. He told me my receiver was “out of spec”. How did a tack driver suddenly become “out of spec”? I’m not sure if I was being BS’d or not.
        I no longer have confidence in that shop. It has sat in my safe for years with the same problem.

        My recent research says it the clip latch spring. Supposedly that’s what causes the en bloc clip to pop up prematurely. I watch the video on how to replace the spring.

        thats why I want to learn more and take care of basic maintenance myself. I plan on replacing the Op Rod spring and bullet guide.

        Are all bullet guides the same for all M1’s? I want to make sure before I order anything. As I mentioned this one is a Winchester receiver (January 1944).

        Also I’ve never taken apart the trigger mechanism but I recently watch a video showing how it’s done. I was thinking of replacing the hammer spring and clip ejector spring.

        Is there anything else which might be contributing to the late bolt release and having to press down harder on the en bloc clip?

        thanks again


          Lots of info her for you. Post war bullet guides have a slightly higher cam surface vs WWII bullets guides. If your bullet guide does need to be replaced, I would install a post war bullet guide.

          M1 Garand Part Inspection. This tutorial will walk you through the steps needed to check the serviceability of your rifle.
          Last edited by jak; 11-18-2019, 08:32 PM.
          Looking for SA bayonet 1045220


            A receiver won't just "go out of spec" unless some one erroneously torques on it while loosening/tightening a barrel . The clip latch itself COULD be the culprit if the arm that engages the clip notch is worn or bent. Is the pin in all the way and not partially backed-out? The "valuable" part in my opinion was either the follower arm or follower. Is every thing installed correctly? It's easy to put the follower in backwards. The clip ejector spring has nothing to do with your clip or bolt problem. I'd bet heavily that nothing in your trigger group is causing the problems. As has been mentioned above, the accelerator lobe on early v. late bullet guides is different. The later ones that have a small crescent cut out in the leg have a higher lobe and MAY solve the problem if other parts (i.e. the "accelerator") are out of spec.
            Have fun.
            Last edited by TJT; 11-18-2019, 06:41 PM.



              everything is installed correctly. Correct orientation on the Follower. Thanks for the tip on the post WWII bullet guides.

              The clip latch, spring and pin are installed correctly. I just removed the stock and checked it. I removed everything and put it back together anyway.

              Im going to order a new op rod spring, bullet guide. Heavy Duty Clip latch springs are already coming from Fulton Armory.

              i have 8 dummy rounds that I’ve been testing it with.
              however even if I did want to spend the money on a timing block which one works best?

              i’d rather make sure it’s working right before I take it to the range.

              thanks again for the info!


                By the way is there any quality difference between a stamped bullet guide and a milled one?

                i found some Winchester milled bullet guides which they claim are better? Not sure if it’s true or not?


                  If you are going with a milled bullet guide look for one that has the cam lobe hard chrome plated. The lobes were chrome plated by ordnance to bring them in spec and chrome is long wearing.


                    Stamped and milled guides are interchangable. One is not any better than the other. They went to stamped as a manufacturing expedient and cost cutting measures. As mentioned, the lobes are taller by about .005" on the post-war guides.
                    As for using dummy rounds, no matter how fast you work the action, you can't replicate the speed or violence of the action while under operating loads. Dummys are good for learning how to load the clips and the rifle.
                    Keep us posted on the out come.


                      Don't buy a bullet guide yet. Change springs and fire rifle first


                        Please keep us posted on your progress. I have a postsge stamp IH and I always bump the OP rod handle to close on a full clip, all clips car GI from the CMP shoots. Operation is flawlwess and it's not much of a bump, it may be me thinking about my thumb.


                          Originally posted by David Milisock View Post
                 may be me thinking about my thumb.
                          One can NOT get M1 thumb when loading a FULL clip into the rifle--period.! You're "worrying" about a non-issue..


                            Thanks for all the helpful information. I’m not all that savvy about the different terminology about bullet guides.

                            a couple guys spoke about the bullet guide “lobe”. Which part is the lobe?


                              The little bump on the finger that sticks out from the front of the BG.