M1A National Match


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Abby
March 21, 2005, 10:00 PM
Gentlemen, (and Ladies),

I'm getting ready to deploy to Iraq for a year. I've promised myself a present when I return, and I think it should be the SA National Match. I shoot. I shoot well, and after this deployment I'd like to retire, shoot matches, and get a real job (out of uniform). :rolleyes:

So - I'd like to start planning for a service rifle match platform in .308. Anybody making a better rifle than SA these days?

Otherwise, I was just planning on telling my husband I'd be happy to see his smiling face, as long as it was next to a National Match M1A. Does this make me a bad wife?

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Osborn
March 22, 2005, 02:15 AM
I would say that it does not make you a bad wife. Makes you the wife that most of the guys on this website would probably love to have.

Back in the late '80's I was on the Oregon state junior high power team and I was privledged to have a woman named Cindy Taft as one of my coaches. She was one hard holder for damn sure. On my team was a teenage girl who was also a real hot shooter. Both were master/high master service rifle shooters (as I recall) Being outshot by pretty girls is a whole lot better than being outshot by stinky old men, and thats the truth.

As to the rifle, I don't really think you can be competitive with an off the shelf SA national match or supermatch. You're gonna need to have a real good service rifle smith breathe some life into it to make it stand up and dance. Guy by the name of Jim Rice tuned mine back in the day. Then at Camp Perry, my rear sight froze up and the AMTU fixed it for me, along with deciding that my barrel was shot out and that I needed a new gas piston, so they replaced those *on a trailer behind the firing line, and for free, believe it or not* Ah, being a junior shooter was a wonderful thing in the '80's. The gov't even paid my way. And my ammo.

Enough of that.

Everyone's going to tell you to go with the AR15 platform because it's a lot cheaper to be competitive with it, but I say, if you want to shoot the M1A, go for it.

Steve Smith
March 22, 2005, 09:11 AM
I agree with the above poster, but I will say his end statement at the beginning. If you really want to be competive, you'll shoot an AR, no two ways about it. Now that I've said that, let's get to your M1A.

The SA M1A is not prepared to be competitive in "National Match" dress. Is is marginally prepped in Super Match dress. It's much better to have one of the true M1A/M14 match riflesmiths to build a rifle for you rather than go the mass-production route. Better still, since the M14 is essentially an anachronism in Highpower Service Rifle, you can usually pick up a very fine custom built used model for half of the build cost. I bought my full-house Clint Fowler gun for $1600...and it's a $3000 dollar rifle.

30Cal
March 22, 2005, 12:59 PM
I'd be looking for a used custom built one. SA Inc makes a decent rifle, but you can get more bang for the buck if you look elsewhere.

The AR does rule the service rifle department these days, but you will still have a hard time shooting up to the potential of a well built M14.

Ty

Peter M. Eick
March 22, 2005, 02:28 PM
I think Steve nailed it above. If you are going commercial, get a super match. The thicker stock is easier to grab. The thicker barrel is stiffer and throws the balance forward just a tad.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/sm-nm.jpg

The SM is on the top and the NM is on the bottom. Note the thickness difference in the stocks and how much thicker the wrist is. Also look at how much more wood is around the action for stiffness.

I have to say I enjoy shooting the SM more then the NM because my eyes are not as good as they used to be so the irons are harder to see well.

Good luck and seriously consider a custom build if you can wait, otherwise go SM.

Mike Hull
March 22, 2005, 02:48 PM
The SM is on the top and the NM is on the bottom. Note the thickness difference in the stocks and how much thicker the wrist is. Also look at how much more wood is around the action for stiffness.

Peter, is it just a photo illusion, or is the grip of the SM much more vertical than the NM? :confused:

Peter M. Eick
March 22, 2005, 06:57 PM
I dont have the guns in front of me, but I remember that is correct. The idea is to have a straighter grip so the trigger finger is more natural angle. This way you do not cock the wrist as much.

Dang accurate gun!

wanderinwalker
March 23, 2005, 09:49 AM
I will also vote for looking around for a used custom-built job rather than a Springfield factory rifle. Much better route, and the difference in money can be used to get the ol' rifle tuned up.

THAT being said, put me in for another vote for an AR-15 (as long as it is legal where you live). My box-stock Armalite M-15 National Match is capable of shooting up to High Master scores anywhere on the course (if only the shooter were capable of same reliably ;) ). It's a cheaper buy in, cheaper to shoot and easier to keep shooting well over the long run. Sorry, but I just don't trust the metal-to-wood bedding on the M-14 and M-1 type rifles, though they can be made plenty accurate. It is nice having a rifle you can completely tear-down clean before every match or shoot (which ends up being weekly during the mid-summer months).

Oh, and good luck!

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