which would YOU get


October 20, 2005, 04:33 AM
Ok for now this is just "an academic question" so to speak, since as of monday i am at least temporarily unemployed.
but to keep my self sane while in the midst of my job hunt i've been mulling over what my first rifle purchase after regaining employment will be.

I have the possibilities narrowed down a little, and would like the input of group as to which one each of you would get.

1. Springfield M1A national match (possibly the one in my local shop that's been worked over adn further match tuned, but only if i get back working adn can get to it before someone else)

2. a match grade AR, not sure of brand but from looking at the websites, unless i come across a dealer willing to give a really good deal it will most likely NOT be a bushmaster they want too dern much for their "DCM" rifle.

might also buy a stripped lower, and a RRA match grade trigger/lower parts kit. and then buy the match grade upper separately.

as to pricing in my area, if i wanted to just walk in and buy one off the shelf, no shopping no haggling or checking around, i can get a NM grade M1A for around $1750 and PROBABLY i can get the AR for $800-1000, don't know as no one seems to HAVE match type ARs, they're naturally either plain A2s or flattops as that's what sells. real pricing would be found out before i made a call on which to get.

now for the background bits (ie uses i forsee with in the next year if things go good)

to be clear i will eventually have both an M1a and an AR possibly both in match grade config, and i know i will have multiple AR uppers if not mulitiple complete rifles. just wondering which to get first adn if the AR which route to take.

here locally (within an hour's drive) i have access to two clubs that offer match types that interest me. these being high power silhouette (as well as cowboy smallbore but that bears little here) plus XTC and prone High Power matches, between these two we have three variations on prone with 3x300 every month, 3x1K every month except july august, and my own club's anual 3x600. as for across the course 9 months out of the year there would be at least two matches each month to try and shoot. silhouette is offered in a similar 9 months out of 12 manner (local club shuts down rifle matches oct-dec for "sighting-in" )

upside/downside of each

M1A: can shoot pretty much all of the match types i have acess to that utillize high power rifles, gets the more "cash intensive" rifle into my safe faster. wife less likely to shoot this one with me (getting her out shooting more is one of my other goals, but should not be too big of a factor over all ) last factor is this is the one i am currently leaning most strongly toward

AR: lower initial cash outlay, can shoot at least the XTC, 3x300, and 3x600 matches if not the 3x1k with a properly loaded AR, swap an A1 buttstock on to it to accomodate her shorter LOP and my wife WILL shoot with me more, in fact she wants her own AR eventually (an A1 type like she'd have qualified with had she re-enlisted in the army). downside is that i can not shoot silhouette with it and depending on the barrel i may not be able to shoot the 1000 yard matches.

so guys in my situation would YOU go with? and why? figure this could be fun to watch, i just want to know what other folks would choose.

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October 20, 2005, 08:40 AM
I would definately do an AR.

A friend picked up a Rock River Matchi Rifle at Camp Perry for $850, it shoots AWESOME!!!!! I shot it prone at 100 yards and was under an inch with 5 shots, with me on the handle mind you, I don't know if I can explain how good that really is.

Jim Watson
October 20, 2005, 09:46 AM
I'd get an AR first, for ATC, 300, and 600 yard shooting.
Then I'd get my wife a rifle of her own.
Then I'd get a bolt action for the 1000 yard matches. (I am trying to turn an AR into a Long Range rifle but it is not as easy as I had thought.)
Then I'd get a bolt action stocked offhand suitable for silhouette.
No M1A.

Steve Smith
October 20, 2005, 10:19 AM

October 20, 2005, 11:30 AM
The AR is cheaper, cheaper to feed and cheaper to maintain and easier to shoot well.

If you get the M1A, you'll probably end up burning out most of a barrel before you learn how to shoot it well. It's very unforgiviing.

I shoot the M1A.


Quintin Likely
October 20, 2005, 07:55 PM
The AR. It takes money and a skilled gun plumber to keep an M1A in top shape for XTC shooting. It'll beat you up in recoil, and it'll beat up your wallet feeding ammo to it, be it factory or reloaded stuff. The AR, just load up some ammo, get a sling and go. Shoot it 'till the barrel falls off, send it to John Holliger or Frank White to get rebarrelled, lather, rinse, repeat. I shoot an AR, although I'll have an M1A someday just 'cause I want one.

October 20, 2005, 08:16 PM
I would build the AR

Quintin Likely
October 20, 2005, 08:32 PM
Another thing too, keep an eye open in the for sale sections of different highpower boards, like the Delphi boards, AR15.com's equipment exchange, and Nationalmatch.us; there's a feller selling a Bushmaster "DCM" upper only complete with the bolt/carrier/charging handle for $475 on Nationalmatch.us. Ask around at your local clubs too, lots of times you'll find good stuff for sale, stuff often built to top notch specs by folks who play the game, for good prices.

October 21, 2005, 12:07 AM
thanks for the info and oppinions so far :)

have a fairly direct question, though. for someone who is looking into High Power purely from a "it looks fun" standpoint is there any reason NOT to buy and shoot matches with an M1A for a period of time while other projects are pursued, and then get the more competitive AR platform a little later?

like i said i plan to have both in time, just wondering if under the circumstances outlined if i'd be cutting myself out of a lot of enjoyable range time by getting one or the other. like i said each seems to have things that it will and will not allow me to try out, or do as effectively as the other. sometimes i just can't make up my mind :D

Steve Smith
October 21, 2005, 07:44 AM
You might be able to do it and just have fun with the M1A, but chances are at some point you will wish you were doing better and that's when you should have the AR. I started with an M1A for the same reason you want to, but I switched to an AR FAST because I wanted to improve dramatically. You can have plenty of fun with the mouse gun.

October 22, 2005, 07:32 AM
Learning to shoot Highpower with an M1A is a good thing. You get a healthy leason in positions with the .30 cal and it is unforgiving. I have always felt I was at an advantage when I switched from the M14 to the AR for XTC shooting. The down side is that the M1A is lots of money and they are a pain in the a$$ to keep running in tip top shape if you are shooting lots with it. When you do make the switch to the AR you will NEVER shoot that very expensive M1A again.

Jon Coppenbarger
October 22, 2005, 09:10 AM
Steve Smith and hiprw223 gave it to you straight.
I know that all my years of using a M1A made it easier to advance when I came back to the sport and started using a ar15. I feel with the ar15 you do not exactly need a perfect position to do well but you will need those skills to do it with the M1A. I think using either a garand or m1a in a match set aside for them like a 30 cal only match or a cmp garand match is fun.

Buy the r15 match rifle

October 22, 2005, 09:48 AM
I'd get the AR, a good Turner sling, a mat, shooting coat, shooting glove, spotting scope, scope stand and a boatload of the right ammo.

October 22, 2005, 09:59 AM
Of course, being me, I am assembling this wishlist over a period of years.:)

October 22, 2005, 10:35 AM
I'd get an AR.

October 22, 2005, 12:04 PM
I bought the AR, then an FAL.:evil:

John Deere
October 24, 2005, 03:24 PM
Sorry guys, I gotta disagree. If you can have only one rifle to use in all those events, the M1-A is it.
What I am looking at, is Detritus has perhaps unwittingly laid out a blue print to be come a hi master in a few years. By shooting silhouette, he will perfect his offhand. Across the course with a 30 cal will give him rock solid rapid fire positions. And shooting 1k will teach wind doping like nothing else.
This gives him a reinforced concrete foundation to build on when he can afford to to buy a dedicated rifle for XTC. The same will hold true in silhouette, and long range, when he can buy a special rifle for each event.
Given that he wants to shoot so many different fields AND can only afford one rifle to start with, an M1-A is most bang for the buck, and you can hunt with it too!

October 24, 2005, 05:34 PM
I'm going to toss my vote in with the "Buy an AR-15" crowd. Why? Because it is what I shoot and am comfortable with. I personally think the M1A and M-1 Garand are very nice rifles, but they are stocked for people with much, much shorter arms and necks than I (as are 1903s, but I can still hammer offhand with it ;) ). My prone and especially sitting positions are less of an obstacle with the AR.

It is inexpensive to feed (relatively speaking), has plenty of utility for 3x600 shoots and is cheap to keep running. There seems to me to be very little against this rifle except that it isn't going to knock down silhouettes and requires a lot more fine-tuning and concentration to shoot at at 1k.

Besides, IMO, you'll likely dabble in all of the games somehow and pick one to start with. Buying the AR first will leave you more cash for a dedicated silhouette or long range rig.

November 3, 2005, 11:56 AM
have a fairly direct question, though. for someone who is looking into High Power purely from a "it looks fun" standpoint is there any reason NOT to buy and shoot matches with an M1A for a period of time while other projects are pursued, and then get the more competitive AR platform a little later?

As several have pointed out, the M14 is the more demanding rifle, and IMHO, by starting out with it, you'll end up a better shooter for it. The downside is that you're not going to see the same rate of progress (as reflected by scores) as you do with the AR.

In the hands of the hard holder, either rifle can win the day. With the M1A, I've cleaned the 200yd target, score a 98-99 average at 300yds and shoot in the mid-to-high 90's at 600yds. The points I drop are all my fault.

I'll be taking my M1A to the CA Mid-State Regional this weekend and aim to pick up some more Leg points towards my Distinguished Rifleman badge. 10 down and 20 to go!


November 15, 2005, 08:58 PM
I have the same dilema
I think that I am going with a stripped Rock River and build as I go
From what I've read, it's not too hard and a lot cheaper too

November 16, 2005, 12:42 AM
Detritus - First of all, good luck on the employment thing. I'm in that boat now.

Second, you say it like you're actually going to make a choice, as in NOT get one of the rifles. :D You KNOW you want both, and more besides. :D 'Give in to the power of the Dark Side.' :D

If highpower is your priority, I do like the AR. Be sure to do the upper as a fixed handle, unless there's been a change recently (I've been out of the game a while now -- always thought that was a silly rule) or unless the club you shoot with will look the other way for flat-top shooters using regular sights. If silhouette is something that you really want to participate in, and will only be able to have the one gun, I guess you'd have to drop the AR idea. The good news is an old friend of mine used to shoot highpower and silhouette with a Garand! I guess I should say 'Garands', as he was deeply into collecting. Kind of guy who could glance at serial numbers and markings and give you a pretty good idea if the rifle was 'correct' and about when it was built. He was a respectable highpower shooter (expert and master scores) and did very well at silhouette as well. Good luck on your 'choice', but come clean -- you really ARE going to get BOTH as soon as possible, right? :D

November 16, 2005, 02:51 AM
Be sure to do the upper as a fixed handle, unless there's been a change recently

there has been, the inclusion of A3 style uppers (with the carry handle in place) in the "allowable" list for service rifle was amoung the last set of rule changes made. saw notice of it in several places on line with links back to teh latest revision of the rules.

thanks for teh encouragement.

Gary G23
November 16, 2005, 10:01 AM
I no longer shoot high power but started with an M1A then went to an AR. The AR is more economical and less painful to shoot. If I were to get back into it I would get a RRA service rifle.

November 24, 2005, 07:58 AM
I'm torn. I started with a M-14 and didn't have to worry about ammo costs thanks to Uncle Suger. I agree the M-1A will teach solid postions and when the switch is made to a AR, look out!

I left High Power for about 12 years, (growing family) and finally had a M-1 Garand built in 308. I figured it would be the same as the old M-14 but I was wrong. I was able to win a few matches with it. It cost me about $44.00 in reloads for each match.

After shooting it a couple of years I went to a AR. I got the RRA NM lower and went to White Oak Precision for Johns pinned rear sight, 6 1/2 to 1 Pac Nor SS barrel, and John's tuned RRA 2 stage trigger. Buy buying the upper and lower seperate, I saved a few dollars. All I can say is the rifle shoots. Now I'm spending about $22.00 for reloads per match.

Now I would love to have a tuned up M-1A as well and one of these days......But I will be shooting the AR when I need the points.

Some local folks liked my AR so much, both the Husband and the Wife are outfitting them selves with the same set up. Funny thing is the Wife outshoots Hubby. I think it's great.

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