Advice on what kind of M1A/M14?


PDA






spalit
August 5, 2005, 09:12 PM
I'm in the process of saving up to get my first "battle rifle", and have settled on either a m1 garand or an m1A. The primary purpose is to get into competition. The local outdoor range I'm a member of holds regular high-power competitions and I've been dying to start :D ... butbutbut, I have no weapon to compete with.. :banghead:

I already handload for my tikka t3 in .308, am a fair shot :p and i like the calibre. Also, I don't care much for the AR aesthetics, so it's wood & blue in a 30 cal for now.. Quality is important to me, and I'm willing to save for a few months to get something that would last a few lifetimes.

My question is: assuming a serious shooter looking to practice lots and get into competition, would you recommend the garand, or one of the SA M1A options? I'm personally leaning towards the M1A, but am not sure if the higher grade national and super match is worth the extra cost. Do the SA M1A's need a lot of aftermarket gunsmithing to get them up to potential? Are there other manufacturers I should take a look at?

Thanks for all the help...

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice on what kind of M1A/M14?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
AZ Jeff
August 5, 2005, 10:18 PM
All the serious high power competitors have ditched the M1 and M1A/M14 for the little black rifle, the AR-15/M16. When prepared per the current Service Rifle rules, the AR is MUCH easier to shoot well, and will CONTINUE to shoot well for many thousands of rounds without any special attention.

That, unfortunately, cannot be said for the M1A/M14.

When the M1A/M14 was THE rifle to shoot in high power, no one bought their rifle prepared from SA. It's not that the rifle from SA was no good, it's just that, for the money that Springfield charges, one can buy a "service grade" M1A, (or whatever they call it now), and send it to someone who is experienced in preparing Match-grade "Service Rifles", and wind up with an as-good or better product for the same money.

Now if you are dead set on staying with a .30 caliber rifle, and money is tight, I would suggest an M1 Garand, and have it worked as budget allows by an experienced high power armorer. The Garand will cost less initially, an the cost to make it "match grade" will be about the same as an M1A.

ocabj
August 5, 2005, 11:03 PM
The AR platform pretty much dominates service rifle competition.

The .223 caliber is not only formidable in the service rifle environment, it is very good to practice with, too, since it is cheap to buy factory or reload, and is a light caliber that any person can shoot all day long.

While I would probably go M14 over the M1, the M1 and M14 are pretty even if you throw the money into either one. M1 Garands in service rifle competition are a lot different than M1 Garands in JC Garand competition. JCG comps require "as issued" rifles, whereas National Match service rifle comp regulations allow Garands with national match parts and a lot of custom gunsmithing (heavy barrel, glass bedding, epoxy bedding, etc). If you decide to go with a Garand, expect to invest in a ground up rebuild of an M1 receiver with such items as a Kreiger heavy barrel and glass bedded stock.

If I were going to choose between the M1 and M14 for NM service rifle competition, I go with the M14. Probably a Fulton Armory or LRB.

Harry Paget Flashman
August 6, 2005, 12:11 AM
I've got about a half a dozen milsurp rifles, including an AK clone and a Carbon 15 M4. All are better shooters than I am. I've always wanted a .308 'battle rifle'. Something like a CETME, G3, HK91 or FAL. But I was always put off by the price and stories of them being assembled from spare parts and having reliability issues to work out.

Well, today I was browsing at one of better stocked gun stores that I don't buy much from because they are pricey IMO. I prefer to do business just down the road from a friendly FFL who just got back from National Guard duty in Iraq at age 56. Anyway, they had a NIB M14/M1A Springfield. I bought it. I'm 57 with 20/400 vision and will never master what this gun is capable of, but I hope to tear up the range at 100yds.

The irony is that when showing it to my regular FFL guy on the way home, he called around and found a dealer in Phoenix who had one he could have had to me out-the-door for $50 cheaper. That's the way it goes when you just got to have some right now.

1911_Mitch
August 6, 2005, 01:51 AM
Take a look at m-14forums.com

Take a look at LRBarms.com

Take a look at Fulton-Armory.com

Take a look at WarbirdsCustomGuns.com (custom gunsmith m14/M1, Warbird)
This website may not be up yet, but see m-14forums for a link.

Take a look at ShootersDen (custom gunsmith Ted Brown)


If you do not want to go with the AR platform, I would go with the M14SA from LRB (buy the receiver and build upa NM barreled rifle) and/or as time and money permits have NM mods done by either Warbird or Ted Brown.

SnakeEater
August 6, 2005, 06:13 AM
I would go with the M14SA from LRB
+1. I couldn't be happier. Who cares that the AR is better in the game, the M14 will always be better in THE REAL GAME.

geekWithA.45
August 6, 2005, 11:17 AM
The soul of battle rifle is to be the clonk the bad guy over the head with the butt, drag it through the mud, rinse it with the canteen, reload and resume firing reliable, with reasonable accuracy.

The things you must do to a battle rifle to make it an accuracy match winner tends to detract from the above features, and nudges it pretty severely towards "pampered prima donna".

But hey, whatever you want from your rifle is what you're going to get, and there's nothing wrong with either.

spartacus2002
August 6, 2005, 11:46 AM
Do the SA M1A's need a lot of aftermarket gunsmithing to get them up to potential? Are there other manufacturers I should take a look at?


There are plenty of folks shooting quite well with the M1A. There are some basic modifications to do to get them up to their full potential, but most will not break the bank (besides the barrel).

I'd recommend what I did, which is get an SA M1A Loaded. This gets you the match barrel, match trigger, match flash suppressor, match front sight, and non-hooded match rear sight. Mods to make it a National Match after that are bedding the action in the stock (approx $120, and not necessary if you have the synthetic stock), a match oprod spring guide ($30), and unitizing the gas cylinder ($55). However, the factory price difference between a Loaded and a factory National Match will run hundreds of $$.

Fulton Armory makes excellent rifles, but at several hundred dollars over the SA. LRB makes great and accurate rifles, but they aren't match rifles, and they are over $2000.

Do what many satisfied folks do: Keep your eyes open for a good deal on a Loaded for $1100 to $1200 and do the basic mods I listed above. Mine now shoots 1.5MOA with surplus ammo -- and that's with open sights in the prone. No telling what it would do sandbagged firing match ammo.

Remember: If you're looking for a rugged battle rifle that is capable of being very accurate, get the M1A. If you want a semi-auto target rifle, get the AR15.

Peter M. Eick
August 6, 2005, 08:02 PM
I was out with my M1A SuperMatch today and it does about 1" 20 round group with a called flyer. The M1A National Match has open sights on it, but it was still doing about 2" 20 round groups.

Either gun would be a reasonable starter to get into competition. My big comment would be you are heading down the wrong path. As a former (when I was a kid) M1A competitor, I sneered at the black rifles and you never used to see them on the competitive range. It is obvious to me that they have taken over the competition. Thus, I now just shoot the M1A's for "fun" not "sport". They are not practically competitive in my opinion.

Gewehr98
August 6, 2005, 08:49 PM
And folks wade in with something way out in left field as an appropriate answer. I'll leave them nameless here, but our thread's author stated plainly he was looking for a battle rifle - either M1 Garand or M14/M1A, he was well versed in handloading and shooting the .308 already, and even stated he didn't care much for the AR.

So ***? Somebody comes in and tells him to get an AR. :scrutiny:


Since I have several of all of the above, I'll guess I'll add my two bits. Get a 9mm Hi-Point carbine, it's so far off from what you asked, it's the only way to be sure. :rolleyes:

((I'll take an M14NM over an AR-15 any day, btw. When you're not punching paper, you still have something useful...)

http://mauser98.com/m14nmbench.jpg

spartacus2002
August 6, 2005, 09:23 PM
((I'll take an M14NM over an AR-15 any day, btw. When you're not punching paper, you still have something useful...)

OUCH!!! but true.

Steve Smith
August 7, 2005, 03:36 PM
I would also say get an AR (even though this is an M14 thread). If you are only looking for a competition piece that you can learn quickly on, the AR is the one, all the way to 600 yards.

If you really want an M14, get one BUILT by a real HP smith, and that means that you'll avoid Springfield and Fool'em Armory. Get something built by a guy who shoots the sport.

30Cal
August 7, 2005, 05:21 PM
The AR is cheaper, cheaper to feed and easier to shoot. A master class shooter will get a couple more X's with it during the rapid stages.

If you get an M1A, get the standard or loaded model (although even the loaded will need a couple hundred bucks to get it up to match condition). If I was buying one today, I'd pick up a used match grade rifle--if you look around you can find them for $1300'ish. It'll cost you almost twice that to have a new one built & tuned.

Match conditioning has zero affect on function and reliability. It's basically taking all the parts that aren't supposed to move and taking out any slop that you typically get when you put together a rifle using random parts out of a bin.

Ty

thereisnospoon
August 7, 2005, 05:45 PM
Ummmmmmmmmmm............

I have a second hand Polytech M14S ($650.00-with four mags). It outshoots me ALL day long. There's one for sale here on THR...see the link here

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=145860

For $700.00 (or less if you haggle) you get the rifle with four mags and sling...enought o get you started and to "test the water". If you decide its not exactly what you want for competition, you can always keep it as a defense weapon (as they do not have to be MOA) and buy a poodle shooter :neener: for Hi-power.

I own and have owned many AR variants, including .308 versions. Buy the M14. If you want to take the plunge for the "whole enchilada" I'll +1 the LRB Arms post.

Enjoy

spalit
August 7, 2005, 07:13 PM
Gewehr98, thanks for the support :D I love the way threads go around here too.. but that's how we all learn, don't we..

Just to give some more background on why i'm more drawn towards the m1 or an M14 variant.. After years of navigating the worthy institution called the INS, my citizenship trials will hopefully be over in a few months. (I should just have jumped the border, you know.. :cuss: :cuss: ) To celebrate the event as a newly minted US citizen, I quite naturally, want a US made battle-rifle with some history. It should also have aesthetics that I would approve of. My current rifles are a tikka t3 .308, a Marlin 1894c as well as a Henry 22 & 10/22 rimfire for trigger practice. Also two MLs strictly for hunting.

I'm interested in competition only because it's an excuse to shoot - as it's unlikely i'll take a $2000 rifle into the woods :p .. that's what the tikka is for. hence the quest for a "rifle with soul" for what will be a fairly important life event, if you will.. So it's a garand or an M14 for me. I'll be looking into the other manufacturers mentioned by other posters and will be asking around the range for good gunsmiths experienced in setting up rifles for HP.

BTW, if I really, really have to have something in .223 it will probably be a tikka or sako heavy-barreled varmint model with the laminated stock - not an AR :neener: But I'm not ready for an useless rifle in my collection, not just yet :neener: :neener:

Peter M. Eick
August 7, 2005, 07:35 PM
As an M1A fan, I can agree with your decisions. Sometimes it is not about winning, it is about the experience.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/m1as.jpg

Here is two good shooters.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/sm_targets2.jpg

Here is what the SuperMatch can do at 100 yards. 50 shots per target. You have to love a gun that can just pound the rounds in off the bench like that all day long!

kemosabi45
August 7, 2005, 08:11 PM
I have a friend that shoots competition and I asked him why everyone uses the AR15 and he tells me that it's because of the high speed part of the competition. The m14 is better at the long range shooting (it's better in the wind) though the AR15 is good also but the AR15 wins the competition at the fast shoot with it's low recoil. So if you want to compete and have fun, then shoot which one that makes you proud of your performance. I think most of us compete against our selves more than to win a trophy. Don't get me wrong i like to win but i know that there are others willing to invest more money and more time that i am for my hobbie. I want my hobbie to be fun and relaxing. Sorry for the rant but i hope that helps.

Steve Smith
August 7, 2005, 08:30 PM
Spalit, if you want some builder recommendations, please let me know where you live.

For the others, the AR has dominated the M14 for accuracy at 600 yards for about 10 years, but can now even win at 1000 and has at the Nationals for a few years.

spalit
August 7, 2005, 08:55 PM
Steve, I live in the NW Chicago metro area, close to southern WI - in fact the outdoor range and club i shoot at is CCKC @ Bristol WI which is about 40 mins from my house. I'll travel 2-3 hrs for good gunsmith.. :D

geekWithA.45
August 7, 2005, 09:02 PM
he tells me that it's because of the high speed part of the competition. The m14 is better at the long range shooting (it's better in the wind) though the AR15 is good also but the AR15 wins the competition at the fast shoot with it's low recoil.

The speed/recoil aspect came up in a recent thread on my blog. Someone pointed out that in many competitions, the 5.56 and 7.62 are considered as separate classes because the time element "wasn't fair to the 7.62 guys".

I replied that if the matches honored reality, they would require 3-5 hits of 5.56 for each hit of 7.62, and then we'd see about fair. :neener:

Steve Smith
August 8, 2005, 09:58 AM
Spalit, I will see what I can find out. You might wind up sending parts off...nothing wrong with that at all. Mine was built by Clint Fowler, and I've never even seen him.

50 Shooter
August 8, 2005, 10:57 AM
Does anyone have an opinion on the Entreprise Arms M14 rifles? Receivers?

http://www.entreprise.com/

Steve Smith
August 8, 2005, 11:03 AM
I have never heard anything good or bad about Entreprise M14s.

bosshoff
August 8, 2005, 11:20 AM
As your first battle rifle, you can not go wrong with getting a M1 Garand from the CMP.

Onslaught
August 8, 2005, 11:28 AM
I like it when a forum member asks about one thing...

And folks wade in with something way out in left field as an appropriate answer. I'll leave them nameless here, but our thread's author stated plainly he was looking for a battle rifle - either M1 Garand or M14/M1A, he was well versed in handloading and shooting the .308 already, and even stated he didn't care much for the AR.

So ***? Somebody comes in and tells him to get an AR.

You know, I was with you 100% until...


Since I have several of all of the above, I'll guess I'll add my two bits. Get a 9mm Hi-Point carbine, it's so far off from what you asked, it's the only way to be sure.

RIGHT THERE!!! You missed it entirely!

You should have told him to get an SKS! :D He can buy one for 12x less than the M1A and spend the REST purchasing tens of thousands of rounds of practice ammo :evil:

Get the M1A... I had one, I sold it, I regret it.

30Cal
August 8, 2005, 11:54 AM
Either gun will matches--it's just that with the M14, it'll take you longer to get to that point. It's much more demanding during the rapidfire stages.

Matches are won in offhand and lost at 600yds. The rapid stages play a pretty small roll and a hard holder will clean the rapid targets frequently with either rifle. At the end of the day, the guy that's on the top of the list is there because he shot better and not because of the rifle he used.

I shoot the M1A in highpower and have yet to loose a point because of the rifle.

If you have a moderate amount of experience with position shooting, you'll want to get a match-worthy rifle sooner than later.

Ty

wanderinwalker
August 8, 2005, 07:50 PM
Though I am currently using an AR-15 in Highpower, and plan (not hope to; PLAN to) get my Distinguished Rifleman and P-100 with the AR, someday I will have a nice .308 M-1. So I am going to recommend an M-1. But don't be deluded into thinking that the big-gun "shoots better in the wind." With the ammo we push through the mouse-guns at 600, there isn't enough difference to tell.

Fact is, if you want to get into competition in Highpower, you're going to spend some bucks on a good rifle. The AR will be cheaper. The most expensive route will be a prepped M-1. In between will be a lugged, bedded M-14 type. Ammo won't be cheap, but you reload so it's no big deal. The biggest part will be practicing to get up to the point that you want to be at.

Not all of us are out there just to do better than we did last time; some of us are there to win or come as close as possible! ;)

Good luck and have fun, you can't go wrong with any of them.

30Cal
August 8, 2005, 08:06 PM
I would actually not bother with a lugged M14. Today's steel filled bedding epoxies pretty much make it a functionless appendage. It's expensive enough--put your money towards things that will make either you or the rifle shoot better.

Ty

Gewehr98
August 8, 2005, 08:18 PM
I had completely neglected the SKS as a left-field answer to the original question.

But my theory was indeed valid. Even Steve Smith hopped in and said "Get an AR-15".

:D

Steve Smith
August 9, 2005, 08:09 AM
Of course I did ;) I shoot HP a LOT....I know that if your primary focus is to compete, you should shoot the AR not the M14 at the onset...


But that didn't stop me from getting and shooting an M14 of my own as well.

Scotman
August 9, 2005, 10:07 AM
Get an accurate one -

one is defined by the size of your wallet -

AR15 NM level is the least expensive option - ready to go for under $1100

M1A is the most - rifle, set up and ammo

M1 is not really viable unless you want to shoot vintage matches -

roo_ster
August 9, 2005, 12:02 PM
spalit:

Welcome, future fellow citizen! I prefer my fellow citizens well-armed. I think you'll have that covered. ;)

I do not have any HP competition experience, but I know what you mean about the M1 & M14...they feel wonderful and don't punish you with a --SpRoInG!!!-- when you squeeze the trigger. And that wonderful, long, sight radius on the Garand... Oil-finished wood and steel, yum-yum.

Don't get me wrong, I want an AR, too. If it goes "bang" I generally want one.

30Cal
August 9, 2005, 12:08 PM
The M1 will shoot well enough when it's tweaked out. I know a guy down here got 8 Leg points last fall with one.

Ty

Steve Smith
August 9, 2005, 06:12 PM
30Cal, that's one hard holdin' SOB! :cool:

30Cal
August 9, 2005, 06:19 PM
Yes he is!

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice on what kind of M1A/M14?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!