M1A Options


January 5, 2003, 12:50 PM

Springfield has many M1As to choose from...

Loaded Standard
National Match
Super Match

...I'm a little overwhelmed trying to figure out the differences between these guns (as well as why SOME are CA Legal and others are not).

Any help would be appreciated.

-sven, thinking 'bout getting a rifle

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4v50 Gary
January 5, 2003, 01:46 PM
Dump the bayonet lug/flash hider and replace it with a muzzle brake and now you're CA legal and everyone in the state is sooo much safer. :rolleyes:

January 5, 2003, 02:15 PM
There should be a California legal model regardless of model with the exception of the bush rifle I beleive. I just haven't heard of them in California. You can get a scout model in California though.

The standard model is the no frills model.
The loaded model has the little extra's like a national match trigger assembly. As the models progress the features go on and on as well as the price. Read the descriptions on the models, its pretty self explanatory.

You can save yourself some bucks if you go for the regular model. You can mod it as neccesary and get the same results without spending a lump of cash.

I got the NM model and I should have got the regular model to begin with. It would have saved me money being that I don't shoot service rifle matches. I don't know that I like that tiny NM peep sight either.

And yes the compensator instead of the flash hider make the M1A California legal. The bayonet lug isn't illegal in California its a federal law. The M1A has no pistol grip so the removal of those two things make it competely legal.

January 5, 2003, 04:47 PM
You asked for opinions, so...

If you want a battle rifle, get the standard M1A.

If you want a very accurate rifle, get a bolt action.

I just don't like the weight & price of the accurized M1A rifles. I suspect that reliability may be worse due to possibly tighter tolerances, but I can't prove that with experience.

January 5, 2003, 09:11 PM
If the gun was made before the '94 ban. Just a little clarification in case somebody sees one on a gun and automatically assumes it's an illegal gun.

(1992 Armscorp/H&R M14NM w/dreaded evil bayonet lug)


January 5, 2003, 10:36 PM
Hey Gewehr98,

I like what you did to that stock. Did you buy that stock with the cheek rest or did you rig that up yourself? If you rigged it yourself how was it done? That doesn't look like a wooden stock. Thanks.

January 5, 2003, 10:43 PM
USGI fiberglass, with Fred's "Ambush" paint scheme. I competed with the gun for years in NRA High Power, then decided to go past 200 meters, hence a scope and mount. The cheekpad is a H&K G-3/HK91 comb riser, that simply screws onto the comb of any rifle with two sheet-metal screws. I painted the comb riser to match the stock. Works like a charm, and if I want to go back to iron sights all I need is an allen wrench to remove the comb riser and scope from the rifle.

Federal Arms Corporation of Fridley, Minnesota sold the comb risers. I don't even know if they're in business anymore, but it wouldn't be too hard to make one out of plastic or acrylic resin if needed.

Steve Smith
January 6, 2003, 10:20 PM
Sven, what do you want to do with it? If you just want a plinker, the Standard is fine, but be sure you put a little time into finding one with a good trigger. If you want to compete, be forewarned that the M1A is on its deathbed in Highpower, and is really only a good option for new competitors in California. If you're in CA, then there you go. The California thing is all about the flash suppressor. That's a "Bad Thing" (tm) in CA, so you get an NRA approved muzzle brake instead. The Loaded is not much different than the Standard these days, so I'd say skip that one. The NM is not a bad rifle overall, but is at the upper limit of what I'd spend through Springfield. In fact, you could buy a Standard and have a true match gun (equivalent to the Super Match, if not better) built for just less than what the NM sells for. PM me if you want that, I'll point you in the right direction.

January 6, 2003, 10:38 PM
I like the Scout. You have the rail as an added option, and it's short for handiness.

February 8, 2003, 03:38 PM
How much accuracy is lost with the Scout model's shorter barrel?

February 8, 2003, 05:21 PM
I can't tell, I'm a lousy shot with it :)

I'm not sure if it's the sight radius ( minus four inches) instead of the shorter barrel that will cause any lost accuracy (?)

February 8, 2003, 05:35 PM
I would say that the standard M1A would be your best bet. I have a Super Match, standard and a PolyTech M14S. I wouldn't have gotten the Super Match except it was used and I got an offer that I couldn't refuse. Get the standard and put the savings towards mags!


February 8, 2003, 08:27 PM
While the shorter barrel of the Scout model likely doesn't cost anything in accuracy, and the sight radius issue is pretty insignificant, the velocity loss (~100-300 fps) is fairly significant. I see no use whatsoever for a 9 pound .308 to have an 18" barrel. It's still 40"+ long, and that's not particularly compact. If you want an M1A, the "Standard M1A Rifle" is probably the best buy, as previous posters have stated. The next step up is ~$400 more, and I don't see that much extra value. YMMV.


February 8, 2003, 08:36 PM
i've got a scout that i tool the scout mount off of. i could care less about a flash hider. the CA muzzlebreak works fantastic to reduce felt recoul/ muzzle lift on this short bbl rifle.
i cant tell as far as accuracy goes. i'm better w/ the AR platform in accuracy due to the thinner grip.

February 8, 2003, 09:09 PM
Sven, I just went through the same decision process you went through, and I settled on the Loaded version. Here was the reasoning behind the selection.

- I'm planning on getting back into match shooting on a limited basis for fun, so I wanted something a step above.

- The rifle would also be used for plinking and possible deer hunting across open country.

- The match features of the loaded are ones that I wanted (Trigger, rear sight, and barrel. Didn't really care about the flash suppressor) These all aided accuracy without being overly expensive.

- I did not want a glass bedded stock. I prefer to detail strip my firearms. With a bedded stock you run the risk of destroying the bedding every time you remove the action from the barrel. This makes it a bit harder to clean and maintain the rifle.

The big reason I chose the loaded, instead of getting the standard and replacing the desired components, was the barrel. I wanted the 6 groove barrel instead of the 4 groove barrel for accuracy.

February 8, 2003, 09:29 PM
One of the key accuracy improvements to the M1 Garand/BM-59/M14 system is a good bedding job, or at least single/double lugging the receiver of the M14 for proper fit. Why would you spend the money on a premium barrel, for the sake of accuracy, just to throw it away by not bedding? Tons of match-grade M14/M1A rifles out there with bedding jobs have gotten along just fine without having to take the action out of the stock. :scrutiny:

February 8, 2003, 09:36 PM
FWIW, I shot about 10,000 rounds through M1As in NRA Highpower competition and practice. Never was very good at it. Reached in the mid-to-high expert, never won any points in the Army "Leg" matches.

Depends what you want to do. As Steve said, the M1A is dead as far as being able to win matches. If you want to be competive, get an AR.

If you want a Main Battle Rifle, get a Loaded M1A, put a USGI stock (Lighter), glass bed it and put a GOOD 4 1/2 pound trigger on it.

I detail strip my M1A once a year if I am competing and never had any problems. If you are dragging yours through the woods and harsh conditions, then maybe the extra accuracy afforded by the bedding job would not be worth it if you detail strip it and tear up the expensive bedding job.

The battle sights certainly give you a better field of view but I find I am not as accurate with them as the match sights.

As far as the match gun being more delicate because of the tolerances, I a have not found that to be the case. For that matter: Other than the gas system mods and a tighter chamber, the other tolerances are pretty much the same. This isn't a match 1911 vs a standard 1911 type of arrangement.

Good weapon, dependable, hard-hitting, and parts are still farily easy to get. Magazines are expensive, however.

Hope this helps.



February 9, 2003, 06:40 PM

If you make it out to our shoot on Feb. 22, I'll have my M1A loaded and you can try it out to see if it's something you really want. I'll also have my new production Springfield Armory M1 Garand too.

February 9, 2003, 06:52 PM
Tons of match-grade M14/M1A rifles out there with bedding jobs have gotten along just fine without having to take the action out of the stock.

Gewehr98, how many of those match rifles are drug through the field for hunting purposes? Or dropped in the mud? I think you overlooked my 2nd paragraph where I said the rifle was going to used for the occasional hunting trip. Much to my own chagrin, I will admit that I have had rifles in the past get subjected to conditions that REQUIRE they be detail disassembled to be completely cleaned. I do also like to tinker on my firearms, and removing the action from the stock in not going to be an uncommon occurence. Therefore, the glass bedding is a detriment to my requirements.

Also, if you'd care to look at my 1st paragraph again, you'll see that I stated I was going to be shooting matches "for fun". I'm not out to be a serious competitor at this time. I'm more interested in the opportunity to put some rounds down range, and getting back some of the long range shooting skills that I learned in the Marines, but haven't used in years. If at some later date, I do decide to get serious, then I most likely will invest in a match grade rifle. I've just got other priorities at the moment.

February 9, 2003, 09:30 PM
While cleaning the bore and flash hider, the gas cylinder plug comes out, as does the piston, for cleaning every now and then. But the Devcon bedding, done for High Power matches, is as tight as the day it was done. On my Garands, it's the same rule, save for the fact I relieve the pressure on the trigger guards when the guns are sitting in the safe. Leaving the guns alone in their bedding was something I picked up on a certain trip to Camp Perry. Remember the trick about storing cleaned Garands muzzle down?


I don't begrudge you the opportunity to tear down your M14/M1A when you feel the need to do so. I know several 1960's era veterans who could field strip one in the dark, with one hand behind their back, blindfolded. But if the gun's gonna be that loose intentionally, why spend the extra dough on a premium barrel? :confused:

February 10, 2003, 02:32 AM
I have a National Match named Betty. The thing is a lot more accurate then my bolt action... 1/2MOA is possible with good ammo..

That said, the fit and finish for the price is horrible!!

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