Springfield M1A- Fulton M14 Accuracy


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pyrolater
December 5, 2006, 11:04 AM
Im thinking about a M1A/M14 type rifle. I see a lot of talk about how great they are and everybody that has one really likes theirs.

I just picked up an old M1 Garand and really like the way it feels and think the way it functions is pretty cool. ( Wont get to actually shoot it until tomorrow. ) Im assuming the M1A works basically the same exempt for being magazine feed.

My question for all you SF M1A and Fulton M14 shooters is: What kind of groups are you getting with an out of the box or modified rifle?

I called Springfield and they told me the Scout squad would shoot at least 3 or better at 100 yards. 3 seems like a Huge group to me. At 300 yards I'll need a barn to shoot at.

Im looking at 1 or a little smaller with my AR and some had loads. (National match upper)

Am I wrong to want an inch or so from a M1A/M14?

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TexasRifleman
December 5, 2006, 11:12 AM
Am I wrong to want an inch or so from a M1A/M14?

I don't think so.

I just took delivery, and I mean just within the last 3 days, of a Fulton M14.

I even have the short "bush barrel" and I get near 1.5-2 inch groups with Lake City match ammo and I have not even shot the gun 200 rounds yet.

Those manufacturer guarantees like you got are a CYA thing, not an actual indicator of the capability of the rifle.

El Tejon
December 5, 2006, 11:16 AM
2"-3" groups at a 100 is average from Springfield. I don't get all wrapped around the axle like some guys do. 1. Very few, maybe 1 in 50 can shoot up to their rifle, 2. Fighting is not done from benchrests.

I have shot a Fulton that was scary accurate, sub-MOA at 200. I real joyto shoot from field positions.:)

I understand why guys wring their hands over group size as people pay a lot of hard earned post-tax money for their gear, I just think people should focus on themselves rather their gear.:)

bofe954
December 5, 2006, 11:24 AM
I think another problem with accuracy expectations is ammo. I shoot mil-surp ammo, mainly South African. I don't think a one inch rifle would shoot 1 inch groups with this ammo but I haven't tested it.

I'll have to spring for some match ammo someday and see if it matters.

TexasRifleman
December 5, 2006, 12:01 PM
I don't think a one inch rifle would shoot 1 inch groups with this ammo but I haven't tested it.

I shot some of the South African stuff Sunday in my short Fulton, and it was worse than the Lake City surplus "match" ammo, but not by a lot.

"Worse" is as best as I can describe it since I didn't really measure, but it wasn't too bad really.

Wish I had bought LOTS more of the stuff :mad:

bofe954
December 5, 2006, 12:27 PM
I shot some of the South African stuff Sunday in my short Fulton, and it was worse than the Lake City surplus "match" ammo, but not by a lot.

Yeah, I guess it is just me then...:uhoh:

I bought up some of the SA before it went but not enough. I ordered a 20 round sample of pakistani the other day to test out. If it functions I plan to get a few thousand rounds.

My point about the ammo was more that the precision of the rifle may not be as big of a deal as you think unless you plan on using it in the conditions where it will perform that way.

TexasRifleman
December 5, 2006, 12:41 PM
My point about the ammo was more that the precision of the rifle may not be as big of a deal as you think unless you plan on using it in the conditions where it will perform that way.

Absolutely, which is why I love the SA stuff so much! Bang my head for not buying all I could, when I could.

30Cal
December 5, 2006, 12:44 PM
2-4 MoA is what you should expect out of a standard grade rifle. An AR doesn't have as much stuff hung off the barrel and stock fit is not an issue with it. A freefloat tube is about all it needs to shoot 1MoA'ish.

If you want something in the 1MoA neighborhood, then buy a National Match or Supermatch model and feed it match ammo.

Ty

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
December 5, 2006, 12:49 PM
I've been priviliged to shoot a few Springfield M1A's, including one I owned. Out of the box accuracy on a Standard grade, as far as mechanical accuracy, is better than, in my estimation, 90% of the people who will shoot it.

Years ago, I was competing with a NM. If I did my job, the rifle wouldn't let me down. Same applies for a box-stock rifle that costs a lot less than I had in mine. Fulton, Springfield, and everyone else who assembles these rifles have a reputation, and an expectation of mechanical accuracy that they'll stand behind. If you do your part in working up a load the rifle likes, maintain your rifle, learn the discipline, and spend time at the range working on your skill with that rifle, then you'll be formidable. If you want to shoot on a highly competitive line at one of the Majors with people who live to compete, then a standard grade may not offer what you're after.

I don't expect match accuracy from milsurp ammo (excepting known-quantity LC Match). I have a reasonable expectation of battlefield accuracy from a standard-grade rifle and standard ammo. Minute of Man is battlefield accuracy. From a new, properly serviced and maintained M1A/M14 type rifle built from quality components, properly assembled, with commercial, not milsurp, ammo, I'd be pleased with 3 inches or less at 100 yards.

Regards,
Rabbit.

pyrolater
December 5, 2006, 02:29 PM
I'm interested in using the rifle for High Power competition. I know that off hand I got a long ways to go but prone and sitting I'm not to bad.

I know that when I'm using my RRA AR with quality ammo and I miss the 10 ring its me and not the gun.

I also know that after fighting a Colt Hbar and iffy ammo that I can concetrate a whole lot more on shooting when my gun is runniing like its supposed to.

I can be kinda anal about accuracy ( I think every body should be) and would like to have a rifle that will shot at least 1 1/2 at a 100 yards with good ammo and still be able to use SA or some other imported surplus for messing around.

30Cal
December 5, 2006, 03:06 PM
I'm interested in using the rifle for High Power competition. I know that off hand I got a long ways to go but prone and sitting I'm not to bad.

Then you need to get one of the match models (or better yet, shoot the AR if you truly want to be competitive). Your rapidfire scores will probably take a decent dive if you shift to the M1A--it's very unforgiving of a less-than-perfect position.

Ty

The Guy
December 5, 2006, 03:12 PM
I have a M1A, and I love it. My next M14 style will probably be a barreled reciver from LRB. Forged reciver, crome lined barrel. Will cost more than my M1A did, but LRB is suposed to be the bees knees.

Fulton is certainly an option for the first rifle, as they use as many G.I. parts as they can. Their recivers are not cast, but I have yet to hear of any reciver stretch like I do with M1A. They also offer a Kreiger barell option for their NM rifles. I read their complete assembly guide, and I was impressed by Clint, the man in charge.

Springfeild does offer a lifetime waranty, and I hear they need it as QC may have gone down as of late, but mine is opperating like a champ.

Getting a NM rifle from any of the three listed should get you well below your goal of 1 1/2 moa with proper ammo. Good luck!

AZ Jeff
December 5, 2006, 05:48 PM
When the M1 and M14 were in production for the US Gov., the acceptance standards were that all production rifles must shoot a 4" group at 100 yards with a given lot of approved military ball ammo.

That's 4 MOA.

That said, the average issue grade M1 or M14 does much better than that, on the order of 2-3 MOA, when firing ball ammo. Modern quality copies of the M1 or M14 should be expected to perform similarly. (Match versions of these rifles will do better, of course.)

AR-15's are notorious for being EXCEPTIONALLY accurate in issue form, even when firing ball ammo. It's NOT unheard of for a run-of-the-mill AR to shoot 1-2 MOA. Match rifles, of course, will be better, and some of them are scarey in their accuracy.

pyrolater
December 5, 2006, 05:52 PM
Then you need to get one of the match models (or better yet, shoot the AR if you truly want to be competitive). Your rapidfire scores will probably take a decent dive if you shift to the M1A--it's very unforgiving of a less-than-perfect position.

I figured the M1A would be a little more challenging. Thats one reason I'd like to know what kind of groups people are getting.

It's not that I don't trust the sales department but before I plunk down a bunch of money I'd like to hear from some people that are shooting one.

BozemanMT
December 5, 2006, 06:45 PM
a good running M1A/M14 should shoot 2 to 3 MOA (3" at 100 yards, that BTW is 9" at 300 yards) with surplus ammo.
Almost NOBODY shoots even that well.
Even off a bench, much less off real world conditions and positions.

The sights are fantastic on a M14 (just like your garand).
With a bunch of work (and money) a good M14 can get down into the 1MOA area with match ammo

I guess you need to ask what you are shooting for.
Are you a benchrester, you can do more for less money with an AR.
Are you shooting field positions at long long distances, the M14 can do mighty fine.

30Cal
December 5, 2006, 07:54 PM
Some M1A Supermatch groups. Two of them are from 100yds, the rest are 200yds from the local reduced course highpower match. All were fired using handloads from position (SR targets are sitting, the rest are prone).

http://webpages.charter.net/tyoberg/upload/DSCN1622_edited.jpg

Probably my best one fired at 300yds
http://webpages.charter.net/tyoberg/upload/DSCN7774.JPG

Offhand is a little easier with an M1A, IMHO. It takes a lot of work to find a rapidfire position that will hold up to the recoil. Prone slow is about the same.

Mannlicher
December 5, 2006, 09:16 PM
I get a consistant 1 1/2 inches from both my Springfield M1A Loaded, and my SOCOM. Thats using the factory iron sights.
In my rifles, the Portuguese MilSurp stuff works best, with the LC ammo not far behind. I have the largest quantity of South African, and that shoots fair.

ocabj
December 5, 2006, 09:17 PM
The M14 is a great rifle. But if you want to go highpower, the AR is the way to go. Cartridge difference is not an issue. Either way you go, you need to know how to read wind. .223 vs .308 simply means you need to use more windage adjustment (in .223 over .308).

Offhand and sitting are a lot easier for me with the AR. Prone only slightly more.

And with the amount of rounds you're going to put through your rifle in highpower, the AR is a lot better since you can simply switch uppers whereas the M14 will require a rebarrel, putting your gun out of commission. You could keep two upper receivers on hand. One for competition and the other for practice/backup. Or you can shoot one all the time and then when it needs a rebarrel, either do it yourself or order another one and sell of the older one or rebarrel it for a practice/backup upper.

10-Ring
December 5, 2006, 09:30 PM
I'm just a noob when it comes to long guns and I just love my M1A. I've had it for a little over a year and she's been awesome :D

pyrolater
December 6, 2006, 12:28 AM
Some M1A Supermatch groups. Two of them are from 100yds, the rest are 200yds from the local reduced course highpower match. All were fired using handloads from position (SR targets are sitting, the rest are prone).

Now thats what I'm looking for.


I guess you need to ask what you are shooting for.
Are you a benchrester, you can do more for less money with an AR.
Are you shooting field positions at long long distances, the M14 can do mighty fine.

I'm just a regular shootin kinda guy. I just want to be able to hit what I'm shooting at.

If I'm making up some reloads I want to know my gun will shoot where I point it. I use a lead sled when I'm workin up some loads and then make up a bunch I like and that work well in my gun.

I just hate making up some nice loads and have my gun fling them all over the place. My old AR barrel did that and I never knew what was what. Now I have a RRA NM upper and a rebarreled colt. Now I know when I miss some thing its all me. (I hate that part)

I don't need a M1A but I really WANT an M1A to shoot out a long way and just to play with. I'll keep the ARs because I like them and the ammo is a bit cheaper.

Quintin Likely
December 6, 2006, 01:40 PM
Accurate M1As are expensive, fragile things. They do exist, they just take a lot of work from a skilled M14 plumber to get the level of accuracy you're asking for consistently, and a lot of work to keep it there.

Shooting an M1A across the course isn't necessarily a bad thing; you'll shoot the barrel out learning, but when you do eventually start to figure things out, you'll have a rock solid position that's the foundation for shooting any rifle. And if you ever decide to go to the AR, it'll feel like a cakewalk compared to the M1A.

But shooting an M1A across the course can be a bad thing too, if you've got a questionable gun - and M1As are questionable guns compared to an AR15. The sights, if poorly fitted, on an M1A can dance around during a rapid fire string under recoil. Point of impact can change as the rifle heats up during slow fire. A wooden stock may contract with temperature changes and cause zero shifts. They're cool rifles, they're a lot harder to shoot well than an AR15, and they're certainly a lot more expensive to build and maintain.

Powderman
December 6, 2006, 02:02 PM
Almost NOBODY shoots even that well.
Even off a bench, much less off real world conditions and positions.



Um, we have a lot of nobodies here in Washington State.

For off hand shooters, my son can shoot an AR under 3 minutes at 100 yards--offhand.

I get the occasional honest 3 minute group offhand with my AR.

For "real world" conditions and positions, I can and do shoot sub MOA with my duty rifle, a Savage 10FP-LE2A at 100 yards. Load is standard Federal 168 gr. GM Match.

Since I got the M1A back from Springfield (with a new Douglas heavy match barrel), it will shoot sub MOA from the bench, easily.:)

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