M1A losing ground to other 308's?


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cpileri
October 4, 2004, 01:33 PM
Lots of people like the 308: a good blend of power, range, compactness, price, versatility.
Lots of people like the M1A. (I can hear the FAL fans getting agitated...)

But is the M1A losing ground in the sami-auto battle rifle arena to other rifles? namely, the reintroduction of the AR-10? or will the coming of the higher-capacity magazines for the 308 Saiga usurp the M1A from its lofty position?

That Saiga has the AK thing going for it: ruggedness and simplicity. Is it accurate like the M1A? or cn it be made to be so?

I am searching for the perfect 308 MBR and I thought sure it would be an M1A. But now with the Bushmaster 308 and Siaga promising to make larger cap mags for theirs... my resolve is weakening!

Any thoughts?
C-
p.s. after this thread has run for awhile, i will maliciously enter the info into my other ongoing thread seen here:http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=103541
(evil laugh follows)

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El Rojo
October 4, 2004, 01:49 PM
I have an M1A and I like it. If I didn't live in the PRK, I would most certainly get a DSA FAL too. The idea of being able to buy quality magazines for $10 or less would make me want one. Then again, the Bushmaster takes FAL mags doesn't it? I guess I would need one of each.

blue86buick
October 4, 2004, 01:55 PM
I don't know if it's losing ground, but I Thank You sir! You reminded me that with the death of the UWB (Ugly Weapon Ban), Saiga's will now have hi-capacity (20-30) round magazines available, and so I am DEFINITELY in the market for a .308 Saiga. :)

Bwana John
October 4, 2004, 02:31 PM
I love my M-1A for shooting NM HiPower Service Rifle, with its precision and accuracy, its great trigger, great sights, long sight radius, marksman style sling set up(as apposed to carry style), and familiar lines for somebody used to M1,M1 car,M-14,Mini 14 type actions.
I will admit that latley I have been unfateful with another, my Congo FAL with its ergonamics, cheap parts and mags, and the WESCOG attitude that seems to work fine when gunsmithing on them. I constantly lament the lack of the above in the FAL, and have spent mucho $ trying to make the FAL shoot like the M-1A.

BevrFevr
October 4, 2004, 03:04 PM
I much prefer the lighter weight guns. But hey the only .308's I have is a couple of bolt guns.

I love the feel of siagas and fals in comparison.

-bevr

fistful
October 4, 2004, 03:12 PM
The other guns will never have the class of the M1A, or its accuracy. If it's losing ground, it's either because of price, or because ugly guns ;) like the FAL and AR are gaining in popularity. Hopefully, Springfield will begin to bring down the price on their base model. Let us pray.

artherd
October 4, 2004, 03:38 PM
I'd own an AR-10 (DPMS, Armalite, Bushmaster) or best yet, KAC SR-25, long before an M1a.

atek3
October 4, 2004, 03:51 PM
I dunno, but I've seen so many people with M1A's kickstarting their rifles (stomping on the oprod handle to eject a stuck case), or having other malfs. Where as on a well built FAL, the thing just won't choke. Every 500 or so rounds through it just add a little more militec-1 to loosen up the carbon/grease deposits, and it keeps on humming.
Although in the accuracy department the FAL seriously gives up ground to the AR's and M1A.

atek3

Zak Smith
October 4, 2004, 03:51 PM
The AR-10 is easier and cheaper to make accurate than the M1A/M14.

For an AR10, you pretty much just need a good barrel and a fitted bolt.

On an M1A/M14, you need the whole thing bedded, unitized, etc.

Expect to spend about 50% more on an M1A with the same guaranteed accuracy.

-z

Telperion
October 4, 2004, 04:24 PM
The AR designs are also easier to keep accurate. A bedded M1A is a bit of a prima donna and requires more expensive maintainence. The AR-10 family has no bedding that will shoot loose.

The AR-10 offers much better options for adding optics. The provision for a scope mount on the M1A almost feels like an afterthought.

Also, Springfield rifles are quite expensive for what they offer, and there are too many reports of QC problems to ignore.

Badger Arms
October 4, 2004, 04:29 PM
I like the M1A. Those who grew up on a Garand and/or Mini-14 will appreciate its ergonomics... BUT...

- It's not as accurate as an AR-10, Knights, or any other AR Pattern .308
- It's not as rugged or good a design as the FAL
- It's not as cool as the HK-91/G3.
- It's not as cheap as the Saiga .308
- And it's not as mall-ninja-able as most guns on the market but Springfield Armory is working on that one.

I'm of the opinion that the bes 308 Semi on the market was designed BEFORE the M14:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=1274514

SIGarmed
October 4, 2004, 04:39 PM
The M1A isn't loosing ground in California for obvious reasons.

If I could have one I'd take an AR-10 over an FAL anyday.

Dionysusigma
October 4, 2004, 05:49 PM
I'd take...

A Saiga before an AR-10 (incl. Bushmaster's .308)
A FAL before a Saiga
A PTR-91 before a FAL
And an M1A before (or at the same time as) a PTR-91

:)

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 4, 2004, 06:37 PM
I own a FAL and an AR-10. I've used both M1 Garands and M1As extensively.

Of those, I'd probably put the M1A at the bottom of the list. Each of the others is better than the M1A in some respect.

The AR-10 has better sight/scope options, a better trigger, and much better ergonomics. It's more accurate than the M1A, and isn't prone to bedding problems.

The FAL is far more rugged and robust than the M1A. If you want a rifle that can laugh off the worst imaginable conditions, the FAL is it. The FAL also has great ergonomics, and disturbingly cheap magazines.

The Garand is virtually identical to the M1A, but has the adantage of using those 8-round en bloc clips. The clips are cheaper, lighter, smaller, and much faster to reload than 20-round M1A magazines. En blocs can also be stored loaded indefinitely without worry. The Garand has all of the same sight, trigger, and accuracy potential of the M1A, but without the sometimes troublesome box magazine sticking out the bottom.


The m1A simply can't outdo the others in any significant way. It might make a good compromise between the precision of the AR-10 and the robustness of the FAL. But the Garand can do that too, and do it better.

444
October 4, 2004, 07:04 PM
I really like to play with all the rifles mentioned.
I may actually buy some others in the future.
But my choice is the M1A.

A couple problems I have with the responses so far:
It has been mentioned that an M1A that has been bedded becomes sort of fragile. I have heard that this is true. BUT, that is only if yours is glass bedded. If you leave it alone, this is not an issue. Depending on what you are doing with the rifle, this may or may not be an issue. Obviously, if you want a target rifle capable of as much accuracy as possible, this is an issue. Also, if you are looking for a target rifle, the FAL and the HK are not even an option. If you are looking for a "battle rifle" this isn't an issue since your will be shooting a stock M1A.

"The Garand has all of the same sight, trigger, and accuracy potential of the M1A, but without the sometimes troublesome box magazine sticking out the bottom."
According to Roland Beaver (someone that would know), the M1 is the more accurate of the two and requres less work to make it a target rifle than the M1A.

"The clips are cheaper, lighter, smaller, and much faster to reload than 20-round M1A magazines."
Really ? You can load an 8 round clip faster than a 20 round mag ? :D
That is kind of obvious, but doesn't hold true if you are loading the magazine or the rifle itself with stripper clips. Also, obviouly, that this leaves out the most important part: if you start out with both rifles fully loaded, one has 20 rounds in it and the other one has 8. And, if you have spare magazines, it takes about the same amount of time to load either one except after your reload, one has 20 rounds in it and the other one has 8.

"I've seen so many people with M1A's kickstarting their rifles (stomping on the oprod handle to eject a stuck case), or having other malfs. "
I see this as a plus. If you have a problem that requres you to do this, you can't kick open an FAL or an AR10.

Of course these discussions always end up getting into the idea of being combat proven. The AR10 and the Saiga arn't.

lotus
October 4, 2004, 08:30 PM
Good topic. Given that I just sold my M1A last week to finance a Ban-Free FAL I guess you know my answer! ;)

shoobe01
October 4, 2004, 08:51 PM
You sure can kick open (or, safer yet, barricade clear) a FAL. Big handle on the left side. Mine doesn't jam, but a friend had a garage-built badly-headspaced version once.

A side note: Why are semi-auto FAL clones always called FALs but semi-auto M14 clones called M1As. I know that Springfield calls them that, but its just their brand name. Screw them and call it an M14.

Sven
October 4, 2004, 10:36 PM
Can the FAL beat the M1A as a sniper for accuracy?

Zak Smith
October 4, 2004, 10:42 PM
Can the FAL beat the M1A as a sniper for accuracy?
If you want accuracy, the FAL is the wrong platform.

-z

RKCheung
October 4, 2004, 11:02 PM
Apparently the Army still likes the platform in Iraq.

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2004/WORLD/meast/10/04/iraq.main/top.baghdad.rifle.ap.jpg

MaceWindu
October 5, 2004, 12:00 AM
The AR-10 has better sight/scope options, a better trigger, and much better ergonomics. It's more accurate than the M1A, and isn't prone to bedding problems.


Funny?! I haven't seen ONE AR-10 in Irag, Somalia, etc...NOT ONE:scrutiny: ...

But, the M1A/ M14 has been in EVERY conflict since Vietnam....no inaccuracy reports, reliability problems....why? Battleproven......

nuff said...:D


MaceWindu

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 12:11 AM
MW-
Customer photo on the Armalite web site (AR-10):
http://www.armalite.com/images/afghanistan1.JPG

I thought I saw one of KevinB too, but I can't find it now.

molonlabe
October 5, 2004, 12:15 AM
I've had my M1A National Match since 87 (cost $1100.00) and put a lot of rounds through it and the bedding is as tight as the day I bought it. So I don't understand the statement that it shakes loose????

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 12:18 AM
I haven't claimed (yet) that they shake loose. I originally said that the same accuracy M14 would be about 50% more expensive than the AR10.

I was looking in to buying a "built" M14 last year and most smiths said to not expect to remove and replace the action in the stock without the bedding loosening up.

-z

fistful
October 5, 2004, 01:08 AM
Zak Smith,

If you're trying to say that the AR-10 is being used in "Irag, Somalia, etc.," then maybe you should tell us where the picture was taken, by whom, and who was using the gun. The picture could have been taken in California, for all I can tell. (Not that evil assault rifles are allowed in that socialist paradise, where all are safe and happy.)

Dienekes
October 5, 2004, 01:35 AM
I have shot M1, M14, and M1As off and on for quite a while. (Had to give the M14 back when I retired, and I hated to do it. My standard M1A was glass bedded early on and I have around 2500 plus rounds through it. Had a few failures to lock up initially, but that was my doing. After getting my ammo properly trimmed and gauged, it has run flawlessly. Even on my best days it outshoots me and always delivers more than I deserve. My only complaint is that the receiver is cast and not forged (I said I missed the M14)...I plan to wear out at least one barrel and more if I can manage it. I have no intention of passing on any NIB guns to posterity.

As to reload speed, I too frankly prefer the M1. While loaded the M14 has the edge, of course. But you have to haul around all those box mags, and in the reload yank out the old one, drop or stash it, and insert the new one and pull the op rod handle to chamber the first round.

The M1 clips stash and carry in lots of ways, from the standard 10 compartment belt to bandoliers to a pocket. When the rifle goes ping (music, anyone?) you just shove a new one in and go right back to work. When it all goes right it is downright impressive to behold.

Between that, the balance, the nostalgia, and the unquestionable quality of the M1, it's a great old warhorse.

Out where I live God has placed a large number of light colored rocks at all kinds of various distances. I can only surmise that He knew I would want to shoot at them with a Garand in the fullness of time. He really knew how to lay out a rifle range.

Scenery isn't bad, either.

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 01:36 AM
I figured you guys would follow the link. The image's name is "afghanistan1.JPG" and the guy has an AN/PEQ-2 mounted on the RHS.

It's documented that the US Army Rangers use the SR-25.

Portugal and the Sudan used the AR-10 in the 60's.

I'll see if I can find some direct contemporary evidence.

-z

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 02:02 AM
I'm still looking for a reference you'll accept..

But really, it's irrelevant if a particular weapon is currently in use by our military. The Berreta M9 is our sidearm, and few argue for its superiority.

A Battle Rifle is defined by shooting a full-power cartridge in semi or full auto. The AR10/SR25 qualifies. If we want to talk reliability, that is an interesting question. I wonder if we can find a comparative study of the FAL vs. the M14 vs. the AR10/SR25?

In any case, the AR10 ought to be approximately as reliable as the AR15 platform, except with an edge due to the massive bolt carrier. Just like any weapons system, the M16 fails in dirty environments when the user does not clean it properly, but those units who are serious about cleaning do not report weapons problems.

These days, a 308 weapon is much more likely to be used in a D.M. role than anything else. Thus, it makes sense to look at accuracy as a primary criteria.

Compared to the M16 system, the M14 requires more skilled armorers and is comparatively much more difficult to accurize (thus to maintain an accurate M14 requires more skills).

-z

wintermute76
October 5, 2004, 03:05 AM
There should be info somewhere about the military trials between the FAL (T48) and the soon to be M14 (T37/T44). At one point I came across something that said the FAL was preferred, but politics won out and we adopted the US made M14 instead.

Not sure about any comparisons of either of them to the AR-10/SR25 tho.

Badger Arms
October 5, 2004, 03:42 AM
Whatever the WRITTEN history might say, the reality was probably quite different. My theory is that the tests were written with parameters that favored the M14 and pointed to differences in the systems as difficiencies. Despite this, we know that the major reason that we ended up with the M14 was the flat-out lie that it could be made on the already available Garand machinery. In truth, (and they knew it) the M14 neede completely new tooling and engineering.

Those Americans conducting the tests were determined to ensure that the ARMY DESIGNED rifle would win. Funny how things work out... it was their protectionism that precipitated the AR-15 being rammed down their throats. The AR-15 itself was an undeveloped weapon. Had it gotten the mounds of money that Garand's design got, the AR-15 would likely have evolved into something useable instead of passable.

The M14 is losing ground because it's 60-year-old design. Modern tastes and expectations are far different than what they were then. Wood and steel have given way to plastic and aluminum. Lasers, Optics, Ammunition, and manufacturing have all improved to a point where they can be integrated into lightweight, potent, and effective packages that are more durable than those of the past.

The 'modular' T48 was the better weapon and might have staved off the tide... perhaps even halting the AR-15 altogether in its tracks. It is my feeling that with the T48, we would have been completely satisfied for years longer.

c_yeager
October 5, 2004, 04:38 AM
I don't know if it's losing ground, but I Thank You sir! You reminded me that with the death of the UWB (Ugly Weapon Ban), Saiga's will now have hi-capacity (20-30) round magazines available, and so I am DEFINITELY in the market for a .308 Saiga.

Don't get too excited. It seems that EAA hasnt been able to announce these things. In fact it doesnt appear that Russia even makes a greater than 10 round magazine for the Saiga as THEY have their own weird magazine capacity rules as well. Hopefully this will get worked out soon.

I did see a message from Robinson Arms that no higher capacity magazines would be made available for the VEPR series .308 rifles. That doesnt bode well for the Saiga.

Master Blaster
October 5, 2004, 10:25 AM
Of course these discussions always end up getting into the idea of being combat proven. The AR10 and the Saiga arn't.

The Saiga is an AK-47 action with a third lug.
I think the AK action is without any doubt proven as a battlefield reliable action, even in sandy conditions in the desert.

molonlabe
October 5, 2004, 11:33 AM
Zak
That is true. The action is in there pretty tight and you need a dowel to hammer it out from the trigger group end. Mine has never had the action removed since Springfield discourages it. So in short it has never been removed since 87 or 88 and it goes bang every time.

I love my M1A but not as much as my M1 Garand. I has for me (no flames) less felt recoil with about 5 to 10% more power. That has never made sense to me it just is.

RichardW
October 5, 2004, 01:45 PM
While my budget will someday allow a FAL or M14, until I do the Saiga 308 I just purchased is a great value for what you get.

Supposedly, hi cap mags will be available from Saiga. Next year someone said. Here is one link, (I think I read another discussion of this somewhere else also).

http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?showtopic=1850

Dizos
October 5, 2004, 02:41 PM
As to reload speed, I too frankly prefer the M1. While loaded the M14 has the edge, of course. But you have to haul around all those box mags, and in the reload yank out the old one, drop or stash it, and insert the new one and pull the op rod handle to chamber the first round.

I haven't used it, but my M1A has a stripper clip guide. Is there any reason why one can't do strip loads with the same efficiency as the M1?

-- Dizos

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 5, 2004, 04:26 PM
M1 en bloc clips are quicker than standard stripper clips.

With the Garand, the entire loaded clip is inserted into the rifle, clip and ammo and all. It requires one simple, expedient motion.

With conventional stripper clips, the loaded clip must be fitted into its slot, and then the cartridges must be forced out of the clip and into the rifle. Then the empty clip must be discarded. In practice, this is a slower, and sometimes more fault-prone, procedure.

The Garand's en bloc clips are the fastest reload around. Their greater speed (and other advantages) more than make up for their lesser 8-round capacity.

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 04:33 PM
Why are people so obsessed with magazine loading speed? Get yourself 20 or 25 M14 or AR10 mags and be done with it. If you shoot that many under time pressure and are still living, your barrel will no longer be shooting to the original POA if it hasn't melted or exploded, and you'd better have some belt-fed weapons backing you up.

-z

ScorpioVI
October 5, 2004, 05:10 PM
The M14 is losing ground because it's 60-year-old design. Modern tastes and expectations are far different than what they were then.



Just because a design is "old" doesn't mean it's obsolete. ?????, the 1911 was designed almost a century ago and if you go to any IPSC/USPSA/IDPA shoot guess which platform you see the most of out there. Old |= Obsolete.

I've got an M1A myself, and I love it, but were I to move out of Kalifornistan I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a FAL or an AR-10. I just don't subscribe to this "my rifle is the best because I bought it" bullish. Buy whatever you want/can, equip it with enough goodies to scare the ATF, and learn how to shoot a fly's nads out with it. Enough said.

Grump
October 5, 2004, 05:26 PM
[something about kick-starting M14 systems] to eject a stuck case), or having other malfs.
Not one poster on any forum I've reported this has has either the courage to test it themselves, or has offered any real-life experience to refute it:

I tested an M1A and an FAL with downloaded ammo. The M1A cycled clean with M80 ball loads down to and below 1700 fps. Even with the most extreme adjustments on its MANUALLY adjustable gas system, the FAL permantly choked two or three loads higher up in my test sequence--2050 fps or so, IIRC.

It was also far easier to clear jams in the M1A (had an ammo failure--case broke half-inch in front of the head) than the FAL.

It's easier to safely kick an M1A op rod than an FAL charging handle. Where I shoot, there are no barricades or trees and in some places the rocks are all too small for such improvised use.

Other than the now almost-apocryphal tests in the 1950s, I've seen no real side-by-side high round count adverse conditions testing of these two rifles (there was one fairly recent Alaska test which almost did it right for cold weather only, reported in some magazine like SWAT). Betcha they both do just fine in sandy conditions if previously lubed with Moly grease and then wiped almost bone-dry.

For those who say the T48 FAL actually did *better* in the U.S. Army trials, I'd like to see particulars like the specific conditions, the type of failure, the frequency and the title of the report. If it's there, we should be able to find it.

BUT.....FAL extractors just might be better. Any reports of how essential THAT part is in the "essential spare parts kit" for the FAL world?

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 5, 2004, 06:12 PM
Why are people so obsessed with magazine loading speed? Get yourself 20 or 25 M14 or AR10 mags and be done with it.

Unless I'm mistaken, we're discussing the speed with which an empty rifle can be reloaded with a full clip/magazine. We are not discussing the loading of cartridges into an empty clip/magazine.

This is worthy of discussion whether you own 1 magazine or 50. If you ever need to fire more rounds than your rifle can hold, the time required to reload your rifle with a fresh magazine/clip can be important.

Ultimately, such details are probably meaningless anyway, but it's fun to discuss.:)

uglygun
October 5, 2004, 06:21 PM
The AR10 might start winding up in deployment with military units soon enough.

The AR10 was accepted by the Army Marksmanship Unit and has seen quite a bit of work being done with the rifle, it may finally be seeing deployment.

With that in mind the Armalite picture of the rifle supposedly being deployed in Afganistan is atleast somewhat more plausible.


I can't figure out exactly why the AMU decided to go with the AR10 over the SR25. Seems the SR25 is the more widely favored gun for 308AR platforms in the military setting and keeping parts commonality between adopted firearms would seem smart.

Who knows, maybe the Army is thinking that they have a ton of M14 magazines that are workable/convertable to work with AR10s that they may take into inventory? Not that the AR10 is officially adopted.

Zak Smith
October 5, 2004, 06:22 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, we're discussing the speed with which an empty rifle can be reloaded with a full clip/magazine. We are not discussing the loading of cartridges into an empty clip/magazine.

This is worthy of discussion whether you own 1 magazine or 50. If you ever need to fire more rounds than your rifle can hold, the time required to reload your rifle with a fresh magazine/clip can be important.
Ok, my misunderstanding. But this way it's even worse.

Worried about mag reload times? You've got to be kidding me! With an AR10/M1A, you retain firing grip and use your week hand to reload from the bottom. You can even to a "tactical" reload with one in the chamber and stay ready to rock, should something unexpected come up.

With the Garand, a RH shooter has to remove his firing grip, and the gun cannot be fired during the reload cycle.

Even assuming that you can reload either Garand OR a M14/AR10 in, say, 2 seconds, you need to reload the Garand every 8 rounds, the M14/AR10 every 20. Thus for every 20 rounds, the M14/AR10 shooter needs to spend 2 seconds reloading, but the Garand shooter needs to spend 5 seconds reloading.

-z

Duke of Lawnchair
October 5, 2004, 06:31 PM
It's documented that the US Army Rangers use the SR-25.

It is most definately a nationally stocked item.

NSN: 1005-01-475-7980

uglygun
October 5, 2004, 06:32 PM
Hey duke you turd, PM inbound.

444
October 6, 2004, 01:04 PM
"A side note: Why are semi-auto FAL clones always called FALs but semi-auto M14 clones called M1As. I know that Springfield calls them that, but its just their brand name. Screw them and call it an M14."

Well, we call M16 clones AR15s and nobody seems to have a problem with that. They are in fact two similar but different weapons. One is select fire and the other one isn't. Personally, I find this to be the logical thing to do. If someone says to me that they own an M16, that has a different meaning than if someone tells me they own an AR15. It only stands to reason that if someone tells me they have an M14, the meaning is different than someone telling me they own an M1A. Since again, they arn't the same thing. I do find it a shame that they chose the name M1A since many people then ask you for clarification as to whether you are talking about an M1. I have not gotten into the whole M14 clone subject all that much. I own one, but have not spent a lot of time reading about them or discussing them. I am not sure what you call the other clone rifles such as the Armscor, or the Polytech, or one put together by someone such as Fulton Armory.

I am not sure why reloading an empty rifle generates so much traffic. But, to me, it is like anything else. If you take the time to become good with one platform, you will always be better than someone that didn't. By the same token, you will almost certainly be far faster than someone using a different platform that also didn't take the time to become good with it. This is an individual thing. I can tell you for certain that dispite the fact that I own three M1 rifles and shoot them on occasion, I can load a fixed magazine into my M1A faster than I can load an enbloc clip into one of my M1s. To me, I would have to be convinced that the speed with which someone can load an M1 is going to overcome it's magazine capacity. Again, my own opinion, but I see the magazine of the M1 as a significant drawback. This was the first thing that came to my mind when I began shooting M1s. As an example, I have shot a match in which you engaged a target at an unknown range and tried to get as many hits on the target as you could in 30 seconds (after you made five pistol shots at close range which were included in the 30 seconds). In one case, I estimated the target to be at approx. 400 yards. It turned out, I had guessed right and had my sights set correctly. However, at 400 yards you don't just blaze away at the target. It required pretty careful shots to hit it. I found that I could hit the target about six times in 30 seconds. I always ended up missing at least once and usually a couple times. But, what really limited me was having to reload my M1. If I had chosen to use my M1A, I am sure I could have gotten at least a couple more hits in the time allows. I also think that just the thought of having to reload was at least a small factor. With the M1A I wouldn't have had to reload at all.

The Last Confederate
October 6, 2004, 02:02 PM
I don't believe there are many rifles that can rival the M14, nevermind the .308 rifles. However, the FAL and G3 types come very close, and are prefered by some people. I still think that the M14 is the best battle rifle available, even today. With the FAL and M1 coming in 2nd.

The M14 has the best mix of accuracy, durability, light weight (lightest of all BRs when in a fiberglass stock), and plain old dependability.

If someone says to me that they own an M16, that has a different meaning than if someone tells me they own an AR15.

The AR15 (the origonal one) was a prototype of the M16, and it WAS also full auto.

My rifle IS an M14, I don't like M1As, except those made in the 80s with all GI parts. Springfield's QC has dropped off like a rock the past decade or so.

444
October 6, 2004, 02:35 PM
"The AR15 (the origonal one) was a prototype of the M16, and it WAS also full auto."

There are also plenty of select fire AR15s that have been converted over the years. However, that is a different breed of cat, to me. I would call them a select fire AR15. The term AR15 does not imply select fire to me. Call them what you will. If it makes you feel better you can call your HK a heavy machine gun. You can call a house a car and a car a house if you want to. But, it will only hamper effective communication.

rbernie
October 6, 2004, 03:14 PM
The AR15 (the origonal one) was a prototype of the M16, and it WAS also full auto. I thought that it was oficially called the AR only insofar as Armalite's internal development was concerned, and that it was given the XM designation when it was submitted to DoD...

uglygun
October 6, 2004, 03:58 PM
Colt's screw up was when they paid tribute to Armalite using the "AR15" name on some of the first full auto firearms that were taken into US inventory.

Here's a picture of an old gun that was found in the armory of a reserve base, nearly pristine. Somewhere along the line the "AR15" name got reserved for rifles destined for civilian ownership while the M16 name was reserved for military destined use.

I consider the entire family to be the "AR15" family and only get specific when I want to denote select fire capability.

http://home.bak.rr.com/varmintcong/misc/DCP_0055.jpg

444
October 6, 2004, 04:18 PM
Are military rifles designated : Cal. .223 ?

I don't remember, if I ever paid attention when I actually was issued one.

Voodoo
October 6, 2004, 04:53 PM
For those of you that think the M1A is "outdated"...

Dionysusigma
October 6, 2004, 05:46 PM
So if I slap an electric red spoiler on a Model T it's suddenly new technology? ;) :p

Voodoo
October 6, 2004, 07:10 PM
I see your point, Dio...but, isn't that what gun folk have been doing to their ARs and 1911s since...well...forever??? ;)

uglygun
October 6, 2004, 07:31 PM
For that gun, what was the "model 01" the 223Rem marking is correct.


First guns produced by Colt were marked like the one in the picture,

Colt
Armalite AR15
Patents Pending
Cal. .223
Model 01
Serial 0000000


Next gun, model 602 was marked,

Colt AR-15
Property of US Gov't
Cal. .223
Model 02
Serial 0000000

Then we get to the Model 603,

Property of US Gov't
M16A1 Cal 5.56mm
Serial 0000000



The 5.56 designation probably came about with official adoption along with the creation of the M16 designation for the rifle.

ScorpioVI
October 6, 2004, 07:55 PM
For those of you that think the M1A is "outdated"...

What the hell is that? Somebody makes a kit?

SIGarmed
October 6, 2004, 11:27 PM
That's the Troy Industries SOPMOD M14 conversion.

http://www.troyind.com/sopmod_m14.htm

fistful
October 7, 2004, 01:35 AM
I consider the entire family to be the "AR15" family Correct. M16's are AR15's, they just happen to be guns manufactured for military contract, to certain specifications.

Fistful has spoken.

Zak Smith
October 27, 2004, 06:49 PM
If you're trying to say that the AR-10 is being used in "Irag, Somalia, etc.," then maybe you should tell us where the picture was taken, by whom, and who was using the gun. The picture could have been taken in California, for all I can tell. (Not that evil assault rifles are allowed in that socialist paradise, where all are safe and happy.)
I'll see if I can find some direct contemporary evidence.
Over in this thread on AR15.com
http://www.jobrelatedstuff.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=206340&page=8
KevinB, with the Canadian Army and just back from Afghanistan, says this:

We (Canada) have gone to a 7.62mm SAM (AR10T) gun as the penetration from 7.62mm and the added "OOOMMFFPH" at range.
Enjoy.

-z

MaceWindu
October 27, 2004, 09:36 PM
.....okay..and:confused:


MaceWindu

Zak Smith
October 27, 2004, 09:41 PM
Some in this thread were implying that since they hadn't seen an AR10 used in modern warfare, it was not battle-worthy. This is evidence that one other military is using it a DMR-type role.

-z

MaceWindu
October 27, 2004, 10:05 PM
I think that the AR-10 is a very good platform. But like the XM8 will never totally replace the AR platform, I don't think that the AR-10 will "totally" render the M14 obsolete...IMO. They are both (AR, M14) platforms that serve different purposes.

Mace..

Zak Smith
October 27, 2004, 10:09 PM
What different purposes do the M14 and AR10 serve?

In this era of assault rifles (or carbines!) for most troops, the role an M14 or AR10 plays is to reach out with accuracy and precision, with optics.

No?

Mannlicher
October 27, 2004, 10:12 PM
Folks that can't , or won't, afford good rifles, buy cheaper ones, and spend a lot of time justifying it.
I am sticking with my M1A Loaded.

Zak Smith
October 27, 2004, 10:15 PM
Folks that can't , or won't, afford good rifles, buy cheaper ones, and spend a lot of time justifying it.
Well that takes care of the CETME's, PTR's, FAL's, and Saiga's. :evil:

Clean97GTI
October 28, 2004, 12:15 AM
Folks that can't , or won't, afford good rifles, buy cheaper ones, and spend a lot of time justifying it.
I am sticking with my M1A Loaded.

Or, they buy "cheap" rifles that out-perform the "good" ones and let their shooting do the justification. I'd be willing to bet that a decent FAL is more accurate than your average Joe Shooter while providing an excellent solution for those with the need/want for a real battle rifle.

You can keep your safe queen M1A. If I'm going to get one of those pattern rifles, it will be an M14. I'd just assume buy a Saiga and get that AK action goodness.

Zak Smith
October 28, 2004, 12:52 AM
Or, they buy "cheap" rifles that out-perform the "good" ones and let their shooting do the justification.
I understand the point, but this is a lame argument. It's irrelevant to the discussion of the equipment itself.

Go to the range on sight-in day and you'll find "shooters" who can't keep 5 shots on a 12" square paper at 100 yards, from the bench-- some shooting expensive; cheap; accurate; and inaccurate rifles.

But go on a day when the Benchrest guys are shooting a competition and you don't see many Mini-14's. For example.

-z

cracked butt
October 28, 2004, 05:51 AM
Folks that can't , or won't, afford good rifles, buy cheaper ones, and spend a lot of time justifying it.

Noone who owns a Garand has to spend 1/1,000,000th of the internet bandwith to justify their ownership as M1A owners do.:neener:

Steve Smith
October 28, 2004, 07:22 AM
Many built M1As have shot themselves loose, but that is loose from the point of view of the competitor or sniper/designated marksman. Is it not better to have a rifle that shoots into 1" for 6000 rounds, then opens up, rather than a rifle that starts at 3 or 4"? The advent of the second lug used in conjunction with fiberglass stocks on the M1A essentially eliminated the "shoot loose" syndrome.

That said, and even though I own a custom built double lugged, fiberglass stocked M1A, I am still looking at the AR10 and more specifically the Bushmaster equivalent.

cpileri
October 28, 2004, 07:50 AM
This is going to be a tough decision!
I just wish I got email notices of replies so I could read the 60+ responses earlier.
Thanks for the input. All is welcome.
C-

Shane333
October 28, 2004, 12:58 PM
I'll put in a good word for the Saiga .308. It will set you back about $270 or so, and even with a US parts conversion to pistol grip configuration, is still easily less than $400.

EAA is now selling 20 rd mags for it. Sure they're expensive for now (I think it's $70 for 2), but the rifle is inexpensive to begin with, so you could buy a lot of mags before you get near the price of an M1A or AR10.

Military optics for it are inexpensive and of good quality.

No sensible person can question the reliability of the action. No, it's not unstopable, but it's one of the most reliable ever made.

You can choose a Saiga with either the 16 inch barrel for an urban carbine battle rifle configuration, or the 20+ inch barrel for longer ranges.

Oh, I should mention that I'm biased. I currently own a Saiga .223, and the .308 is next on my list of guns to buy. Having said all this, I agree that the M1A is an excellent rifle, and I hope to own one someday.

Roadkill Coyote
October 28, 2004, 04:17 PM
"M1A losing ground to other 308's?" Net gain in my book.

Other 308s are stealing a little of the M1As business.
We the consumers are gaining a lot in terms of selection.

Remember, the invisible hand has a trigger finger.

Grump
October 28, 2004, 06:26 PM
Am I the only guy who's successfully fed ammo to an M1A that CHOKED an FAL?

Or am I the only one who's had the courage to TEST these theories?

Has anyone successfully fed ammo to an FAL that choked an M1A?

And precisely what reliability challenges show which rifle to be *better* than the other? Were the U.S. military trials ended with both the M14 and FAL-types passing, but one being selected over the other (like the M9 pistol trials???), or was there really a winner?

FilJos
October 28, 2004, 09:16 PM
As I understand it, the military trials stated that the M14 and FAL were equals in all areas tested: Accuracy, reliability, so on and so forth.

What made the decision for the M14 was that it was an American design, based on an old war-horse that they had all fought with, and was being produced in America.

7 years later the M-14 had only been adopted for use by three countries and was replaced by the AR-15.

The FAL served over 90 countries, and is still in use by many of them, with a service record of roughly 60 years.


Of course everything that I say might be false, as all of it is recalled from memory.

Grump
October 28, 2004, 09:40 PM
FilJos, what you post is consitent with what I've heard and read over the years.

If I were forced to carry an FAL into battle, I'd try to rig either an M16A2 sight, or something like an M1-system sight, on the thing. I want my windage!:neener:

The FAL was designed first (and obsolete in some respects, AFIC), and was aggressively marketed all over the world. Before the M16 series, what U.S. military rifle enjoyed even token marketing wordwide?

Like BetaMax videotape, sometimes the one late to the party *is* better, but just doesn't take the MARKET by storm. You fans of market forces need to remember that sometimes markets FAIL, and sometimes the market forces include factors independent of customers seeking the best deal. "Got one already and it ain't broke." Market failure to inspire actions with the greatest economic benefit is why we outlawed hydraulic "mining". Read up on "the tragedy of the commons."

shoobe01
October 29, 2004, 12:07 AM
There are lots of FAL sights. Mine flips from ghost to peep, like an AR, with protective ears. Some have windage, and you suspect that we would have insisted on a US-issue production gun.

The Garand looks like the '03 because the government said it better. I am not suprised we rejected everything but the gun that looks like a Garand with a magazine.

McNamara was a jerk, and the M16 adoption (and TFX, etc.) was a debacle, but the government armories brought it upon themselves. The world changes occasionally.

Some US forces have used AR-10/25s (can never remember which is which in service) for a long time. AFSOC uses them for that sort of DMR/Interdiction Rifle role since they need to shoot down runway-length ranges, and might need to shoot a whole lot. Mission specific, but its there and apparently works for them.

I like my FAL way, way more than any other platform. But its the US and we issue AR-15s (for now). Were I made SecDEF, I would probably pick the AR-10/25 for this role also.


What is the .308 analogue of the G.36/M-8 if that comes about?

Zak Smith
October 29, 2004, 12:36 AM
What is the .308 analogue of the G.36/M-8 if that comes about?
I think SCAR-H was supposed to cover something like this.

Or go find a Sig 540.

-z

VaughnT
October 29, 2004, 12:40 AM
Well, I don't own any .308s and my only box-fed longgun is a Marlin M45 carbine that I bought for around the house.

Having said that, my heart sits with the M1A. Yea, it might not be all that an a bag of chips, but, dangit, it's steel and wood. There's something about a rifle made out of something other than plastic and aluminum that really gets to me. And I'm sure it's more accurate than I need.

Of course, I'll be getting in to the AR15 world, and might buy Bushmaster's .308 for commonalities sake. But, the M1A will always be that special girl.

Harv
October 29, 2004, 09:37 PM
I've had my Super Match since 97 and love it to death. shoots awesome with Port,Hirtenburger, Radway and I use it for CMP service rifle competition. if you have to ask "M1A..WHY?? you will never understand. Original Bedding job still going strong. I shot a 474 out of 500 using Radway on a 100 yd scale down course. Could I be better with a AR?? sure. but it would not be as much fun for me and that's why a love my M14 so much. Honestly...when I shoot my FAL, it is not that big of a thrill. I have not shot it for a while (couple of years) and took it out last month and ran 200 rds thru it. it's no tack driver, but good battle rifle accuracy. horrible trigger, sights nothing to write home about. if I sold it. I most likely would not miss it at all. now if I ever sold my M1A......:eek:

Heavy Barrel
October 29, 2004, 09:56 PM
100% original everything LIAI.Wouldn't trade it for anything.That's a real 30 rounder also.:D

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