Rifleman Q & A: Shootin’ Blanks

posted on January 18, 2018

Q: When firing a clip of blank cartridges in my M1 rifle, sometimes the second or third round will fire and the spent case will be ejected, but the next round will not chamber.  What is the reason for this and can I do something to correct it?

A: There could be myriad reasons for this beyond the fact that the M1 rifle’s design was not conducive to firing blanks, which is why the U.S. military never adopted a Blank Firing Adapter (BFA). The U.S. military’s inability to develop a satisfactory BFA resulted in the practice of operating the action by hand. The source of your functioning problem could be that the operating rod spring is either too powerful or too weak to properly function with blanks. The extractor or ejector could be faulty. The follower or follower rod could be “out of spec.” There is simply no way to determine which of these, or perhaps something else, is at fault. There are a number of BFAs available on the market today, but all seem to have limitations of their own.

--Bruce N. Canfield


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