Sad realization about M1A's...


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rockstar.esq
March 21, 2007, 06:45 PM
So I've just read Scott A. Duff's book on the M1A. There are a few things I've learned about them that lead me to be very dissapointed with it as a whole. Please note that I am drawing the following from that singular reference.

1) The gun wasn't designed to prevent slamfires. (The SKS has similar problems but it's a MUCH older design, the US military knew about the problem and didn't try to fix it)

2) The gun wasn't designed to contain slamfires to a closed bolt position. (Potentially fatal to shooter)

3) The gas system is not adjustable to accomodate different powder charges and bullet weights. (batters the gun to death with commercial ammo)

4) The bedding material is only rated to last for 1000 rounds maximum. (1 year for average match shooter)

5) The barrel must be cleaned from the muzzle. (Much harder than it needs to be)

6) Bore solvents supposedly deteriorate the bedding. (Seriously stupid)

7) The ejection system batters brass so hard that reloads aren't realistic. (Annoying but common enough among all military semiauto rifles)

8) One MOA is considered the pinnacle of accuracy from this platform. (Depressing considering the folklore about how amazing it is)

9) Well bedded rifles require a hammer and a brass drift punch to field strip. (Again, annoying but "match" stuff is generally a PITA to disassemble)

10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.


After my reading I've come to identify the two main reasons for the record of accuracy associated with the M1A. The first is the sights. Without a doubt the iron sights on the M1A are superb. The second is the ammunition. The 7.62x51 was/is loaded to a much higher level of quality and consistency than the 30-06 was for non match ammo. The powder advances no doubt play a huge role here. If I'm wrong about my conclusions I'd love to hear arguements against them. I'd really like to believe that the M1A was/is the finest rifle the US military has ever fielded but I need to see some evidence to disprove my earlier contentions.

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plexreticle
March 21, 2007, 06:54 PM
It's an old design not originally intended to be a match rifle.

rockstar.esq
March 21, 2007, 07:00 PM
The intention as laid out by the military was to render a product improved M1 Garand. The Garand already had a long and storied past of being accurate and reliable.

zinj
March 21, 2007, 07:08 PM
1) The gun wasn't designed to prevent slamfires. (The SKS has similar problems but it's a MUCH older design, the US military knew about the problem and didn't try to fix it)

Early SKSs did have a firing pin return spring to prevent slamfires, but it was deleted as a cost cutting measure.

EDIT: And to add, I became a bit disillusioned with the M1a when I began hearing all of the maintanence and tinkering owners had to do to the rifle. Additionally there seem to be an abnormally high number cost-saving measures and outright manufacturing defects. I mean, SA recycling GI stocks, and then the paint coating chipping off? That is absurd in a $1500+ rifle.

Neo-Luddite
March 21, 2007, 07:29 PM
Hey, you wake up after a few years and realize all the nasty habits and shortcommings of your spouse---you don't have to get divorced. It's much the same with prized weapons you once thought were the cream of the crop and above reproach. None of them are perfect.

I've talked to guys that were in when the switch from M-1 to M-14 took place and many felt betrayed. I've read accounts that soldiers resisted giving up the m1903 for the Garand. I'm sure if you went back far enough, someone would fiercly argue that flint ignition still beats cap and nipple any day.

Point being, it's all relative and depends on training, preference and mission needs. Most of the negatives about the m-14 you cite are (at least in part) true. The slamfire issue is there because the design is based off the M-1 (which predates the Simonov of course) and the risk is very low (UNLESS the weapon is frozen and filthy dirty). The bolt chews brass up.

My biggest beef is what SA wants for one of theirs. They are just out of the ballpark.

Zullo74
March 21, 2007, 07:43 PM
rockstar.esq,

With so much about an M1A that you don't like, you SHOULD NOT get one......E-V-E-R !!!! :mad:

TexasRifleman
March 21, 2007, 08:07 PM
You are right, they are teh suck, don't ever get one.

And don't buy any surplus ammo either, it's all garbage.

When you find a rifle that's in the same category but better please let us know though.

I'm not sure what you are really looking for however.

I'd really like to believe that the M1A was/is the finest rifle the US military has ever fielded but I need to see some evidence to disprove my earlier contentions.

What does bedding stocks and brass beat so bad you can't reload them have to do with a good battle rifle?

In fact, your items 3 through 10 have nothing to do with a military battle rifle either so I'm not sure what you were looking for.

30Cal
March 21, 2007, 08:08 PM
1) The gun wasn't designed to prevent slamfires. (The SKS has similar problems but it's a MUCH older design, the US military knew about the problem and didn't try to fix it)
The receiver safety bridge retracts firing pin as the bolt closes. Same as on the M1.

2) The gun wasn't designed to contain slamfires to a closed bolt position. (Potentially fatal to shooter)
The spur on the hammer forces the bolt fully closed if it's not already there. The hammer can't contact the firing pin until the bolt is closed.

3) The gas system is not adjustable to accomodate different powder charges and bullet weights. (batters the gun to death with commercial ammo)
Military firearm. Not meant to digest commercial ammo. Being as how .308Win didn't exist when it was designed...:rolleyes:


4) The bedding material is only rated to last for 1000 rounds maximum. (1 year for average match shooter)
Big deal. Learn to skim glass. I've got a rear lugged rifle and get about 8000rds between repairs. That's the nature of shooting the Man-Gun.

6) Bore solvents supposedly deteriorate the bedding. (Seriously stupid)
Just like rust attacking metal, it's easily preventable, not seriously stupid.

7) The ejection system batters brass so hard that reloads aren't realistic. (Annoying but common enough among all military semiauto rifles)
ORLY?

8) One MOA is considered the pinnacle of accuracy from this platform. (Depressing considering the folklore about how amazing it is)
Pretty much true. The only two perfect scores fired on the National Match course were done with an M14. Go figure. Seems that even the hardest of holders have a tough time staying inside 2 MoA all day long.

9) Well bedded rifles require a hammer and a brass drift punch to field strip. (Again, annoying but "match" stuff is generally a PITA to disassemble)
Glass bedding wasn't part of the design.

10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.
You'd think they could have anticipated CNC technology and still have managed to design the rifle within 30 days. :rolleyes:

Jacka L Ope
March 21, 2007, 08:09 PM
People seem to forget that the M1 rifle and follow-on models took more than 20 years to develop into what is otherwise known as a superbly designed and well tested COMBAT rifle.

If there were any, the M1s only real deficiencies were that the operating rod could seize under sustained fire in heavy rain, a difficulty in loading partially empty en-bloc clips. Other than that, the M1/M14 and M1As still don't float. :p

People seem oblivious to the fact that the M1, including the M14 and M1A, was designed to fire only standardized military ammunition that was NEVER intended to be reloaded, negating any need or someones desire for an adjustable gas system or less robust ejection. Whip out your SA M1A owner manual and read page 4:

The M1A is designed and built to specifications to shoot standard factory military 7.62 NATO ammunition. The specifications for standard military ammunition include harder primers to withstand the slight indentation from the firing pin when the bolt chambers a cartridge. This slight indentation is normal. The use of civilian ammunition with more sensitive primers or hand loads with commercial primers and/or improperly seated primers increase the risk of primer detonation when the bolt slams forward. This unexpected "slam fire" can occur even if the trigger is not being pulled and if the safety is on. Use of military specification ammunition will help avoid this. Every shooter should use extreme caution when loading this or any other firearm. See page 15 for instructions on proper loading to help avoid a "slam fire". Also see enclosed article on “Slam Fire” written by Wayne Faatz.

Regarding out-of-battery and slam fires, these are very rare and largely attributed to none other than the owners themselves and their improperly hand loaded ammunition or stuck forward firing pin tips - a condition resultant of poor maintenance by the none other than, you guessed it - the owner.

Returning to battery, what we have here is a list of "deficiencies" that, in reality, do not exist. Some seem more than ready to forget, the M1s are well-designed and superb COMBAT rifles. That said, if a body does not like the design, they shouldn't own it.

Cheers! http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a62/lakcaJLOpe/beerchug.gif

RecoilRob
March 21, 2007, 08:18 PM
Not very impressed with Mr. Duffs' knowledge of the M1A.
Point by point: 1 & 2. The M1A very much is designed to prevent slam firing. The firing pin is restrained by a large and substantial web of metal until the bolt has turned enough to engage the locking lugs. If the firing pin and this mechanism is working properly, any slamfiring because of the unsprung firing pin will be non-eventful...should it happen. The rifle will not come apart and worst you have is a round downrange. Now, high primers are another case altogether....and not the rifles fault.

3. The rifle was designed for Nato spec ammo. So, it will not run on hotter stuff...big deal. That is like complaining that your diesel will not run well on gasoline. Wasn't designed or intended for it...not the rifles fault.

4 & 6. Bedding on stock battle rifles is wood and metal. Lasts really well. Not affected by solvent. Good design. The complaints are of a custom bedded 'target' rifle and do NOT reflect badly on the M1A design. A rifle modified for 'gaming' is NOT a battle rifle. As a battle rifle, the M1A does pretty well for what it is.

5. Cleaning from the muzzle is not that big of a deal, is it? The factory flash supressor prevents excessive crown wear from careless rod use...but that is only on the battle rifle. Again, a modified target rifle without supressor cannot be a strike against the design.

7. Funny. My rifle (a pre-ban all GI except for the receiver) doesn't hurt the brass at all on ejection. If you are running HOT ammo, well, I guess it could do some damage...but again, we are dissing the design when the problem is ammo compatibility or some individual mechanical problem. Not the rifles fault.

8. My rifle in my hands will produce one MOA (or darn close to it) with good ammo. Iron sights (great that they are) aren't as precise as good glass so I am not discounting the rifles ability to shoot. It is better than the man holding it in most cases. Again, comparing a modified 'match' rifle against purpose built target rifles isn't fair. A modified Camaro may be fast, but a purpose built race car will be no match. It is all relative...

The M1A (and M1 Garand) are fantastic rifles for what they were designed to do. Asking them for more is placing the blame on the modifier, not the original design. And, I have read of the problems with keeping them running over in the SandBox....but that is more to do with them being old, rebuilt, repaired (perhaps badly) and not understood well by the persons running them. Just my opinion...

Edit: WoW!! Several replies saying the same things whilst I was typing my rant....great work guys!

SoCalShooter
March 21, 2007, 08:20 PM
My friends m1a has several thousand rounds through it without a problem, match weapons are very tempermental and you dont clean them very often if you dont have to, you also only SHOOT them for practice and matches especially when bedded. If you want a plinker get a lower end m1a, they are awesome rifles.

The brass damage? I have not seen it damage any brass.

Gordon
March 21, 2007, 08:25 PM
I've 40 years of experience with M-14, 10 of which I seriously competed with one and the writer's comments are almost pure horse pucky. :banghead:

DMK
March 21, 2007, 08:38 PM
There's one answer to all those issues: It wasn't designed to be a commercial match rifle.

It's been 'modded' to do the things it does. When you modify a machine from the original intent, there are usually tradeoffs.

It was never designed for commercial ammo. Adjustments to the original design were made to allow for that.

It was never designed to be bedded. Adjustments to the original design were made to allow for that.

It was intended to be used with a certain spec ammo, all the time. Gas adjustment was largely unnecessary.

Most military rifle designs would have the same issues.

Gator
March 21, 2007, 08:59 PM
I almost swallowed my Skoal reading that first post. Thanks to all who answered much more eloquently than I could have.

Perhaps Scott Duff was speaking of the M1As shortcomings as a match rifle when compared to an AR15? The book is about match M1As, after all. Match rifles are a whole different animal than the battle rifles they are derived from. Kind of like comparing a NASCAR car with the one sitting in your driveway............

AK103K
March 21, 2007, 09:08 PM
The M1A very much is designed to prevent slam firing. The firing pin is restrained by a large and substantial web of metal until the bolt has turned enough to engage the locking lugs. If the firing pin and this mechanism is working properly, any slamfiring because of the unsprung firing pin will be non-eventful...should it happen. The rifle will not come apart and worst you have is a round downrange. Now, high primers are another case altogether....and not the rifles fault.
While the M1 and M14/M1A do have the "web", slam fires are still possible and can be catastrophic. I was lucky enough to come through one with a GI Springfield M1 from the DCM about 20 years ago using LC 69 issue ammo. The rifle held together for the most part, but did fire out of battery on loading a single round in slow fire. If it had been in a rapid fire string, I most likely would not be typing this right now. The rear of the receiver from just aft of the serial number was blown off and the stock cracked with a big chunk blown out of it. The bolt was jammed into the back of the receiver and would not come forward. The op rod handle ripped the palm of my hand open, and you could read the head stamp of the case in reverse on my palm. The recovered empty case was about an inch long. Never did find the rear of the receiver. The DCM took the rifle back and never did tell me what they determined went wrong. They replaced it with a brand new, and I mean, brand new, never issued H&R.

If you shoot either the M1 or M14, I would highly suggest you either use a SLED with the M1 or load single rounds from the mag on the M1A. Reloads should use the harder primers, like CCI, and I check mine with a seating gage.

There is nothing wrong with reloading for them, and I always have had the best results with good, commercial brass over the military. Its easier to work with, and lasts longer. The military brass usually fails first, and I always lost more to case necks getting beat up on concrete floors and walls than from case head separation failures.

bofe954
March 21, 2007, 09:16 PM
I think most people agree that for a NRA highpower or other target type match gun you are better off with an AR. 5.56 is so much cheaper to shoot that ammo cost alone is reason enough.

So, don't buy an M1A for that.

I have a M1A from the '80's. With 168gr HPBT handloads I can get 2 inch groups off of a bag at 100 yards (iron sights).

So far it has had no slam fires. Once I was having some failure to feed issues. These were solved with a new recoil spring. For all I know the one in it may have been 20 years old.

It isn't bedded and never will be. The milsurp and handloads I use in it are made to be used in it. Why would I want to use anything else?

A lot of the "problems" with a lot of firearms are more of problems in books and on the web than in real life. Quit reading so much and shoot more. The bedding problems with M1A's, the AR gas system problems, glock kaboom problems, sig bore axis problems and 1911 unreliablilty problems become a rarity and stop being the norm out in the world. This is if you take halfway decent care of your stuff.

HorseSoldier
March 21, 2007, 09:31 PM
The level of unethical practices and corruption demonstrated by Ordnance back at the time the M14 and M60 machinegun were being worked up is just appalling. The M14 was not a product of the best technology and theory that the post-WW2 years had to offer, it was basically an attempt to stave off obsolescence for the M1 Garand (a fine battlefield weapon in its historical context).

Which ain't to say the M14 is not a decent enough weapon, but I've never really understood the religious levels of enthusiasm some people have for it.

AndyC
March 21, 2007, 10:05 PM
I'll still take one.

1911JMB
March 21, 2007, 10:08 PM
Fear not my friends. I have a solution:neener:

http://www.dewaarheid.nu/images/fn_fal.jpg

Jacka L Ope
March 21, 2007, 10:10 PM
Almost bought one of those once. Opted for the HK-91 instead. :p

AK103K
March 21, 2007, 10:21 PM
I'll take a HK 91 over either the M1A or FAL too.

P-32
March 21, 2007, 10:23 PM
The M1-A was NEVER a military rifle, The M-14 was. No M-1A was built by the same people who built the M-14. Lets not forget that.

The M-1, M14 and M-16 all have free floating firing pins. All three will dimple a primer on a chamered round. Slam fires with GI ammo is few and far between with any of these rifles. The M-14 and M-16 can be fired in full auto to boot.

You have to clean the M-1 Garand from the muzzel end as well. Use a bore guide and this becomes a moot point.

Glass bedding is affected by removing the reciever from the stock and solvent will eat it. Glass bedding is only found on match tuned rifles, not those used in the field.

With a M-14/M-1A or even a M-1 in 308 should only have a fired case reloaded 3 times as they all are hard on the brass. The reason 308 costs more to shoot than a AR is because there is more powder in the case and the bullets are bigger. A shooter used to shooting a M-14/ M-1A and has the skills can shoot along with any AR in a High Power match. I don't think scores have gone up when the M-16/AR started getting used for High Power, it's just easier to shoot without the same skills it takes to shoot a M-14/M-1A.

I now shoot a AR for High Power, but back in the day I wore out 3 M-14's shooting High Power.

The M-14 was a fine rifle.

iamkris
March 21, 2007, 10:31 PM
Many of my points I was going to make have been made above so I won't repeat them. That said, sometimes it is better to actually own a gun and try it out rather than take someone's word for it.

As for me...here's my own experience. BTW, the FAL is my favorite battle rifle platform, but I do love my M1A Loaded just the same.

#1, 2 nothing to add

3) The gas system is not adjustable to accomodate different powder charges and bullet weights. (batters the gun to death with commercial ammo)

I reload

4) The bedding material is only rated to last for 1000 rounds maximum. (1 year for average match shooter)

Mine isn't bedded, sits in a USGI synthetic stock and delivers wonderful accuracy with my homebrewed cartridges

5) The barrel must be cleaned from the muzzle. (Much harder than it needs to be)

Agree, I'd rather have a easy system to clean from the bore...use a coated rod then.

6) Bore solvents supposedly deteriorate the bedding. (Seriously stupid)

Mine's not bedded

7) The ejection system batters brass so hard that reloads aren't realistic. (Annoying but common enough among all military semiauto rifles)

Hmmm...mine doesn't

8) One MOA is considered the pinnacle of accuracy from this platform. (Depressing considering the folklore about how amazing it is)

Mine must be broken then...I get about 0.5-0.75 MOA from it

9) Well bedded rifles require a hammer and a brass drift punch to field strip. (Again, annoying but "match" stuff is generally a PITA to disassemble)

See #4

10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.

Hindsight is 20/20

AK103K
March 21, 2007, 10:36 PM
With a M-14/M-1A or even a M-1 in 308 should only have a fired case reloaded 3 times as they all are hard on the brass.
What brass are you using? I have both M1A's and a M1 in .308, and I get around ten loadings on commercial brass, as long as the case mouth doesnt get to boogered up.

Either of them can be cleaned from the chamber if your willing to use the old pull through type cleaning gear. I agree, a bore guide is a desirable item and does make it much easier, and safer from the front.

cracked butt
March 21, 2007, 11:07 PM
30 Cal debunked it pretty darn well.

The second is the ammunition. The 7.62x51 was/is loaded to a much higher level of quality and consistency than the 30-06 was for non match ammo. The powder advances no doubt play a huge role here.

The 7.62x51 didn't use any new powders that I'm aware. I'mpretty sure it was loaded with a non-canister grade of powder similar to IMR4895 or IMR4064, both of which were around a full decade or more before the cartridge itself. M2 ball ammo (30-06) was not loaded to its full potential- not because of a lack of powders available, but because the M1 garand's gas system couldn't handle hotter loadings or loadings with a different pressure profile. The 7.62x51 was loaded more efficiently than m2 ball, not neccessarily to a higher level of quality.

I personally don't believe the M14, the M1, or even the M16 are the best battle rifles that were ever fielded,but at the end of the day its the Indian that counts and not the arrows.

glockman19
March 21, 2007, 11:13 PM
I have no problems with any of the info you present. I only shoot Factory 7.62 NATO ammo. I'll be getting a national match and SOCOM to add to my M1A collection.

I'm a believer

cracked butt
March 21, 2007, 11:14 PM
10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.

The M14 required complete retooling from the M1 production equipment. Even at that, between Springfield and Winchester a new M1 garand was produced every 30 seconds or so on average during WWII. How they did it might not fit today's concept of 'lean manufacturing' but somehow the job got done. Pressing tin cans into receivers for sturmgewehr style rifles might have been able to cut production steps in half/ but why bother when the machinery and tooling was available and skilled labor was still cheap enough to build a high quality product?

telomerase
March 21, 2007, 11:23 PM
at the end of the day its the Indian that counts and not the arrows.

At the end of the day it was the Gatling gun and not the Indian. Unless you think that cavalrymen were the cream of European humanity, and the Nez Perce were a bunch of untermensch.

And here we are discussing which bow and arrow to hang on the wall... M1A, FAL, whatever... they're all weapons from the middle of the last century.

cracked butt
March 21, 2007, 11:37 PM
At the end of the day it was the Gatling gun and not the Indian. Unless you think that cavalrymen were the cream of European humanity, and the Nez Perce were a bunch of untermensch.
There are always exceptions to rules.

TexasRifleman
March 21, 2007, 11:46 PM
At the end of the day it was the Gatling gun and not the Indian.

At the end of the day it was the Indians and tax free casinos not the Gatling Gun.

MassMark
March 22, 2007, 12:10 AM
For a rifle from "the middle of the last century", the M14 sure is hanging tough. Consider that Fulton Armory is ramping up production of MK14 Model O and shippping them directly to the sandbox, Troy is creating a truly modular weapon system with - you guessed it - the M14 as the foundation of the platform, (Troy MCS) and Ron Smith is doing the same with Crazy Horse M14 rifles built on LRB receivers. CMI, (Checkmate Industries) is churning out M14 mags at a fever pitch and is producing true USGI issue magazines. Also consider that CMP has recalled all lease M-14 rifles nationwide. More Clinton torch-cutting? Don't think so. Look for a M-14 CMP gun fitted into a Troy MCS coming soon to the Airborne unit near you...Why not the AR-10? FAL? G3? FNSCAR? there certainly are plenty of them...Hmmm.... For a 50-year old rifle, the M-14 is certainly proving itself to be on par, (or better) than most rifles in the field today....:neener:

By the way, as stated before, glass bedding is for match rifles and is giving way to steel bedding and tension bedding, (i.e: SAGE, JAE and Troy MCS).

Lastly, with 5,000 rounds downtown and minimal cleaning in the last year, my Springfeld Armory M1A SOCOM has been spot-on flawless...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v202/MassMark/HPIM1246.jpg

rockstar.esq
March 22, 2007, 12:31 AM
So first off I'll reiterate that ALL the basis for my points came from Scott Duffs book and my personal experience shooting a friends M1A.

I have tremendous affection for rifles commonly used for "Designated marksman" use because for the most part they strike me as reliable, effective, and accurate enough for nearly all purposes. As such the M1A (the only type I'll ever be allowed to own) is one of the few American made military rifles.

So since my comments about the slamfire possibility seem to have stirred the pot somewhat I'll address that first.
It seems like the danger it presents are getting ignored. Further the repeated contention that "hard" primers being the only acceptable solution is obtuse when the original engineering of the rifle could have addressed this in other ways. Perhaps learning from the SKS shortcomings as I posited earlier. Anything that prevents the soldiers gun from killing/injuring that soldier should merit as a positive attribute for any "Battle rifle".

AK103K, thanks for giving some personal evidence regarding the danger of slamfire.

The gas system comment has more to do with reliability and versatility than anything else. Unlike nearly everyone who's posted thus far I've found military ammo to be inconsistent and dirty. By incorporating an adjustment valve (like the FAL) the operator can ensure that the gun cycles properly even when dirty. Further it allows the operator to adjust the system to prevent battering the action. Given the mechanical simplicity of this option, it seems like a pretty reasonable beef to have with it. Again this would make it a true "product improved" M1 Garand as was it's intention.

By the way Winchester launched the .308 Winchester BEFORE NATO approved the 7.62x51.


bofe954 - "Quit reading so much and shoot more."
My friend and neighbor bought a Fulton Armory National Match M1A very recently. I've shot it personally and everything I've posted about was a result of that experience and an owners manual written about the M1A.
I send 10K+ rounds downrange annually - I shoot plenty thanks for asking. Ridicule for asking about what I've read isn't helpful nor does it cast you in good light.

I'm glad to hear that there are some THR M1A reloaders to refute Mr. Duffs contention. Three to ten reloads per brass is reasonable, Duff made it sound like the first firing through the M1A ruptured the case head on several brands of brass. Glad I asked!

If the accuracy reputation of the M1A was possible with an unbedded M1A I wouldn't have added the bedding comments. Since they are, I included them. Further I don't do battle, nor do I feel compelled to limit the use of a rifle to some esoteric list of qualities only clear to elitists.

I'm still amazed that several posts claim that bedding that degrades from solvent contact is OK when we've had JB Weld since 1968. If bedding is only an accuracy/ match grade thing, it would seem screamingly obvious to me that making the bedding out of something thats solvent resistant is a good idea. Sort of like making your car's paint resistant to gasoline so that you don't have a section of bare metal below the gas tank fuel port.

Cracked Butt: As it was my understanding that the 30-06 loading of 1906 utilized powders that were greatly improved by the advent of the 7.62x51 (circa 1956) I made that the basis of my assertion. Granted, the 30-06 military ammo of 1942 wasn't likely made with the same type of powder as the 1906 loads, the thrust of my point remains that the .308 benefited from said powder development.

Thank you all for posting!

Onmilo
March 22, 2007, 12:32 AM
All has been covered in previous posts yet I feel compelled to add that the M14 was not originally designed as a Match rifle, it was designed as a combat rifle using very consistent lots of ammunition removing the need for a gas regulator.

Good standard bedding will last much longer than 1000 rounds.
If the shooter decides to refresh the bedding after 1000 rounds it is because he is attempting to maintain an accuracy edge that may help him win a competition.

Good steel bedding will last over 5000 firing cycles and that is with the shooter removing and replacing the action repeatedly.

Fiberglass stocks are comparable to any and all of the modern stocks and in most cased are far more durable than a rifle using a two piece design of stock and seperate handguard.

When using correctly dimension ammunition in an M14 type rifle that features a correctly dimensioned receiver bridge and properly dimension and unbroken firing pin extension precludes any possibility of a slam fire even when the weapon is fired on full automatic setting.

zinj
March 22, 2007, 12:47 AM
Cracked Butt: As it was my understanding that the 30-06 loading of 1906 utilized powders that were greatly improved by the advent of the 7.62x51 (circa 1956) I made that the basis of my assertion. Granted, the 30-06 military ammo of 1942 wasn't likely made with the same type of powder as the 1906 loads, the thrust of my point remains that the .308 benefited from said powder development.

A bit of a tangent, but wasn't M2 ammunition originally designed to allow rifle ranges with shorter backstops, and this was accomplished by a reduced loading?

Of course that still leaves the question of why the Garand was designed for M2 .30-06 rather than the more potent M1.

Zullo74
March 22, 2007, 12:50 AM
rockstar.esq,
Your comment about the M14 gas system is ill-informed! It DOES NOT batter the rifle at all. It is designed as an expansion and cutoff system. Here is a quote from http://world.guns.ru/assault/as15-e.htm

"The M14 is a gas operated, magazine fed, selective fire (originally) design. The gas system is located under the barrel, and has a short stroke (about 1 1/2 inch - 37 mm) gas piston which operates the M1 Garand style action rod. The gas system features an automatic gas cutoff feature, which limits the amount of gases used to operate the weapon."

It accomplishes this by having an internal expansion chamber in the front of the piston that can only hold as much gas volume as is needed to move the piston aft. When it moves completely aft, a vent hole in the piston lines up with a vent hole in the gas cylinder and any gas pressure that is not needed is vented overboard. Simple, yet elegant! :o You really should get yourself better informed.

http://www.northfloridashooting.com/images/M1A.GIF

Zullo74
March 22, 2007, 12:57 AM
zinj,

The development of M2 Ball ammo had to do with the fact that M1 Ball ammo was battering the Garand op rods. It had nothing to do with shorter range backstops. The 150 grain bullet used in M2 Ball ammo is just perfect for Garands, as they do not have a gas vent system as the M14 has.

Telperion
March 22, 2007, 01:02 AM
So first off I'll reiterate that ALL the basis for my points came from Scott Duffs book and my personal experience shooting a friends M1A.
Are we reading the same Scott Duff? Where does he say that brass can't be reloaded? Where does he say the rifle isn't designed to prevent slamfires? Every U.S. rifle since the M1 has used a floating firing pin. I do not hear the same complaints about the M16, and people sure do love to whine about that gun. Scott Duff has never heard of an Otis kit, so that means an M14 can't be cleaned breach-to-muzzle? :scrutiny:

The gas system comment has more to do with reliability and versatility than anything else. Unlike nearly everyone who's posted thus far I've found military ammo to be inconsistent and dirty. By incorporating an adjustment valve (like the FAL) the operator can ensure that the gun cycles properly even when dirty. Further it allows the operator to adjust the system to prevent battering the action. Given the mechanical simplicity of this option, it seems like a pretty reasonable beef to have with it. Again this would make it a true "product improved" M1 Garand as was it's intention.
The lack of an adjustable gas system makes perfect sense for a military that has standardized its ammunition manufacturing. Why put a knob on a rifle so some knucklehead private can render his rifle a straight-pull bolt action? Aftermarket adjustable gas nuts are available for the M14. If you want to shoot various commercial ammo, use one.

Dienekes
March 22, 2007, 01:13 AM
If the M14/M1A was a cartoon character from the past, it would say "I yam what I yam."

Which is a pretty darned good .30 caliber battle rifle that has, on balance, a lot more plusses than minuses any day of the week. And turned in some impressive performances on the range as well. Some days it even makes me look good.

Oh, well, at least Duff didn't call it a "terrorist rifle".

I'd better go down to the safe and give mine a hug in case it got hurt feelings from all the badmouthing.

zinj
March 22, 2007, 01:32 AM
The development of M2 Ball ammo had to do with the fact that M1 Ball ammo was battering the Garand op rods. It had nothing to do with shorter range backstops. The 150 grain bullet used in M2 Ball ammo is just perfect for Garands, as they do not have a gas vent system as the M14 has.

I am looking into this and the story seems to be very consistent that M2 Ball was meant to duplicated the ballisitics of the original 1906 ammunition, for which the ranges were designed. Both loads use a flat-based bullet, rather than the boat-tail used in M1 Ball.

gezzer
March 22, 2007, 01:47 AM
Neat!! Finally, the original poster realizes the truth, .gov put in the fix to get the M14. The FAL was sabotaged in testing so the US could get one of its shortest term rifle ever made. (Reason not designed here)

The so called Springfield Armory M1A1 the company tries to riley on the .gov Springfield Armory reputation is a sad replacement in the long run. They have problems on customer service and quality control. (This will enrage owners/disciples) As much as I have tried to like them after 2-3 trips back to the factory I will nor recommended them.

I love my Garand and wish the M1A were as nice, until they are I will stick with my own built FAL’s

rockstar.esq
March 22, 2007, 01:49 AM
Zullo74 You are the first to offer an explanation about the gas system. Scott Duffs book; The M14 Owners Guide and Match Conditioning Instructions states on pg 106 "Slow burning powder will spike gas port pressures. Fast burning powder will increase chamber pressures, exacerbating the brass problems mentioned." I surmised that since the chamber pressure spikes causing "brass problems" described on pg 106 specifically in the phrase "The most frequent failure is case head separation." would thereby indicate that the absence of a gas regulation system was the cause of these problems. Add to that the excessive force required to rip case heads off can be interpreted as bolt velocities well within the envelope of those causing battering.

So I stand corrected in that there is a gas regulating system.

Still doesn't explain why Duff claims case head separation is the single most frequent failure from firing commercial ammo in the M1A.

Asking about what I've read is one process of "getting myself informed".

Telperion page 104 " The M14 was not designed to be fired with reloaded ammunition. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you do not use reloads."

He doesn't state that the M14/ M1A wasn't designed to prevent slamfires, he repeatedly states that the ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THEM IS WITH HARD BELOW FLUSH PRIMERS. So the only "designed" aspect to prevent slamfires is not intrinsic to the rifles design. Please read the earlier post by AK103K to further illustrate the point.

Neo-Luddite
March 22, 2007, 01:50 AM
By the way Winchester launched the .308 Winchester BEFORE NATO approved the 7.62x51.

I think you're on the money with that.

Telperion
March 22, 2007, 02:13 AM
Telperion page 104 " The M14 was not designed to be fired with reloaded ammunition. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you do not use reloads."

He doesn't state that the M14/ M1A wasn't designed to prevent slamfires, he repeatedly states that the ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THEM IS WITH HARD BELOW FLUSH PRIMERS. So the only "designed" aspect to prevent slamfires is not intrinsic to the rifles design. Please read the earlier post by AK103K to further illustrate the point.
Well on page 104 I note the principal author of that section is Clint McKee and not Scott Duff.

Clint is entitled to his opinion, and you can read more of his thoughts on the woe that will befall you if you reload:
http://www.fulton-armory.com/ReloadingThoughts.htm
Suffice it to say, thousands of competitive shooters have reloaded for the M14 and M16/AR-15 safely and I don't think he has the most credibility on the subject.

Edit to add: I note that Clint adds, "NATO specification Israeli, Portuguese, Venezuelan, German, and USGI ammunition are all excellent, and usually relatively inexpensive when purchased by the case." My, have times changed! I suppose one has the luxury of discouraging reloading when surplus ammo is available for cheap, on demand.

Jacka L Ope
March 22, 2007, 02:27 AM
He doesn't state that the M14/ M1A wasn't designed to prevent slamfires, he repeatedly states that the ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THEM IS WITH HARD BELOW FLUSH PRIMERS. So the only "designed" aspect to prevent slamfires is not intrinsic to the rifles design. Please read the earlier post by AK103K to further illustrate the point.

Given a rifle with a receiver and/or parts not worn well beyond design specification and using ammunition as specified, there are no slamfires to "prevent".

Owners and their improperly handloaded ammunition - that's a different ballgame.

Again, if you don't like the design, don't buy it. Otherwise, perhaps write to the manufacturers with your concerns. They've been addressed here.

rockstar.esq
March 22, 2007, 02:35 AM
Telperion: The heading does indeed list "Clint McKee with Scott A. Duff and John M. Miller. I clearly quoted the primary author of the book and should these passages be primarily/ entirely Mr. McKee's work I stand corrected. Again I cited where I got it from, and posted here to determine how much weight it carries. There are certainly reloadophobes out there and I accept that some get more press than they are due. Where I feel a significant issue remains is that the rifle has a documented history of blowing up because of high primers. Something that many/most rifles don't do. Something being outright unsafe unless all primers are countersunk doesn't bode well. Not being well informed on the M16 I can't explain why it doesn't have similar problems to the M1A. All of this misses the greater point which is that the unsafe design continues to be manufactured when corrections can and should be made. For crying out loud theres a guy making firing pins for SKS's that prevent this condition and he's only charging $3.00 for them!

marksman13
March 22, 2007, 02:40 AM
Pardon my ignorance, and I know they are expensive, but wouldn't a SAGE stock fix the problem of having the rifle bedded? I could be wrong. I'm definately not an expert, but many, many designated marksmen are using these stocks very effectively.

VA27
March 22, 2007, 03:30 AM
Hmmm...A friend of mine blew up an AR15, shooting GI ammo. Of course, the ammo company didn't replace the gun.

I was standing about 20 feet behind a guy when he blew up a Mini14 (AC556) with new commercial ball ammo. The ammo company DID replace the gun.

My agency has had about 120 M14s in the field for over 10 years now...all shooting commercial reloads for practice and new commercial ammo for training...nope, we haven't blown up a single one. :what:

I hope this helps.:D

General Geoff
March 22, 2007, 04:14 AM
Bottom line: If you believe the "shortcomings" you listed are a problem, then don't use an M14 or M1A.


My M1A is the best rifle I've ever owned, and most likely ever will own. It's never jammed, slam-fired, failed to fire, or had any part or piece break. I know it's anectodal, but that speaks far louder than any words written on the subject by some guy I've never met.

Grump
March 22, 2007, 04:48 AM
The M14's gas system is designed to work, WITHOUT ADJUSTMENT, with port pressures of 12,500 PSI, +/- 2500 PSI.

Can you tell me what the FAL is designed for and will work with? I don't know the port pressures, but with light reloads it ate loads that choked an FAL. The Frog-gun wouldn't cycle below about 2000 fps or so, but the M1A with USGI components went down to 1600 fps.

Full-power loads are NOT battering my receiver, either.

I've never had a bore solvent or oil soften my bedding. Choose the right epoxy and mix it right.

I'm reloading commercial brass with no problem.

The only way to produce a "slam-fire" on demand is with a high primer backed up with spherical powder in the primer pocket. During the heyday of slam-fires in NRA highpower matches, it required a combination of a short SAAMI "match" chamber, full-length or "long" USGI ammo, and loading a round in the chamber with a full-speed bolt slam. There is also some suspicion that excessively worn firing pin tang/receiver bridge camming surfaces also played a role.

And in fact, the design of the Garand was changed to prevent slam-fires. Check out EClancy's posts. The firing pin was reduced in weight. The M14 firing pin is even lighter.

The hammer and punch is needed for ONLY for the first disassembly after installing the bedding. After that, just an upsidedown rap of the heel on a padded surface and you're good.

I've never seen an M14-type rip a caserim off. HAVE seen the remains left behind by an HK 91 type. It was brutal, and with factory NATO surplus! On the other hand, the times I have fired over-sized 3x reloads in and M1A to the point of case breakage (at about the same point as the M852 cannelure), and 19 out of 20 just ejected BOTH pieces of the brass.

Can your FAL or HK 91 do that?

IF the slamfire is caused by a broken/stuck forward firing pin, NO design can prevent the unlocked bolt "problem" you cite from Duff.

The M14 type is also easier to clear from stoppages which involve the bolt stuck anywhere other than fully forward. One of those case breakages DID leave the forward part of the case in the chamber, and the next round fed into it and was solidly jammed. The new uber-long cartridge "unit" was too long to eject before the bolt was all the way to the rear, but I could get to the extractor and pop it off, then wiggle everything around to pull the bolt and clear the way. Couldn't do that with an M16 type or FAL or anything that uses that stupid bold cycle parts extending into the buttstock design.

Don't believe everything you read. Shoot one with a variety of loads and see what happens.

Nomad, 2nd
March 22, 2007, 04:51 AM
You're right. They suck.
Leave the M1A's and .308 ammo for me.

wayne in boca
March 22, 2007, 05:35 AM
All your M14 are belong to me.

cwmcgu2
March 22, 2007, 06:53 AM
(Thoughts while reading first post) "hmmmm, ok, uh-huh, uhhh, huh?.... whatever, I still want a Socom II !"

razorburn
March 22, 2007, 07:58 AM
It seems now after reading the op the ar-10, ptr-91, maybe even the .308 saiga seem like they'll do everything the m1a will do at a lower cost, with benefits of either increased accuracy or durability.

Dr. Dickie
March 22, 2007, 10:09 AM
I guess mine must be broken. It does not seem to suffer all the terrible problems that it should.
Course, mine is not bedded, as a battle rifle is not likely to be designed with that in mind.

MechAg94
March 22, 2007, 12:20 PM
AK103's slam fire experience appears to be related to single loading a round and then letting the bolt slam forward. I have heard that isn't the best thing to do with any rifle with a free-floating firing pin. M1's and M1A's make it very easy to let the bolt down slowly.

Nearly 100% of these complaints don't apply to me and my standard M1A. Seems like a bunch of minor complaints exaggerated to the point of absurdity.

I have owned, fired, and been around several M14 clones and have NEVER seen one that beats up brass. I have had my M1A double fire, but never heard of a slam fire. Also, I don't see FAL's or HK91's that are any more accurate or that don't have their own issues to deal with.

AK103K
March 22, 2007, 12:59 PM
I grew up shooting the M1 and M14. We were taught to single load the M1 by slipping a round into the chamber and letting the bolt go. Everyone I ever shot them with did it. I had never even heard of a SLED until after my gun blew up. I use one now with my M1, and as MechAg94 said, it is very easy to let the bolt down easy and push it closed, and I do, and highly reccomend you do the same, especially if your using reloads.


I have owned, fired, and been around several M14 clones and have NEVER seen one that beats up brass. I have had my M1A double fire, but never heard of a slam fire. Also, I don't see FAL's or HK91's that are any more accurate or that don't have their own issues to deal with.
If your shooting an M1 or a M1A and you start getting doubles, I would stop shooing immediately and find out why. The first thing I'd look at was my brass and go from there.

As for the 91 and FAL, I have yet to see a FAL that will shoot up to an M1A, the 91 will give it a good run for the money if your using comparable rifles for the comparison. I always thought the 91 had the best, all around combat iron sights going. The M1A's are the better "target" sight.

ALS
March 22, 2007, 02:07 PM
Yeh don't buy one they are real pieces of junk from the start.:rolleyes:
I have over 7,000 rounds through my Springfield M1A Supermatch. I had it tuned up last year and was told that I should look at re-barreling her in the spring. They had to replace the extractor, firing pin, replaced the sear in the trigger assembly and re-set the trigger weight to bring it up to spec.
I asked about re-bedding the gun while it was there. They decided to not re-bed the gun since the action and stock were still quite tight. This gun I bought new back in 1988.

30Cal
March 22, 2007, 02:17 PM
Where I feel a significant issue remains is that the rifle has a documented history of blowing up because of high primers. Something that many/most rifles don't do. Something being outright unsafe unless all primers are countersunk doesn't bode well.

I think you are confusing a slamfire with an out-of-battery discharge. Slamfires do happen on blue moons. The rifle goes bang when it's not supposed to.

An out-of-battery discharge is where the rifle goes off before the bolt is fully shut. The bolt/hammer/safety bridge design has redundant features to prevent this from occurring (safety bridge and hammer spur forces bolt shut).

Ty

MrDig
March 22, 2007, 02:40 PM
What you mean there are flaws in the design? you mean to tell me that I can"t put a round up a gnats backside at 1000 meters on a factory rifle? Shame on them shame on all who own them, what a travesty of commerce, justice and the American Way. :barf:

Give me a break these are excelent rifles and for you to nit pick as you have is to ask for a brass toilet and then complain that the TP isn't guilded.:cuss:

amprecon
March 22, 2007, 03:59 PM
wayne in boca <------ that was funny, LMAO, no cheet maing, you guize don lahk jur aim wunaize, 'and em over :D . We will lahk dem for ju.

MechAg94
March 22, 2007, 04:39 PM
If your shooting an M1 or a M1A and you start getting doubles, I would stop shooing immediately and find out why. The first thing I'd look at was my brass and go from there.
AK103K, my double fire was due to milking the trigger while bench shooting. Nothing really wrong with the rifle. I now hold it firm on my shoulder even off the rest and am careful not to try to shoot it like a bolt gun. It is not something that had ever happened to me shooting in the woods or off a single point make-shift rest.

rockstar.esq
March 22, 2007, 08:34 PM
MDig the flaws I cited in a very literal fashion. Either read what I posted or continue to bray on off topic nonsense.

30CAL, the slamfires I'm referring to are out of battery slamfires. Hence my statement that it's a potentially fatal hazard to the shooter. Seriously AK103K's post earlier pretty much addresses everything I'm talking about.

Grump, I don't know the FAL adjustment range, your reply is the sort of information I was seeking from the beginning. My earlier post regarding the FAL was when I was asking about why the M1A didn't seem to have any sort of gas regulating system. If you read carefully you'll note that I indicated that I stand corrected. The thing you might also notice is that an "informed" opinion wasn't registered until the 12th post! Even among M1A owners the knowledge isn't absolute! Granted the slamfire thing continues to be a contention Clint McKee has made repeatedly in the text I've previously cited. AK103K's post provided anecdotal supporting evidence to suggest that the potential danger associated with the out of battery slamfires are more than just one authors contention. I'm glad you're M1A has run well, I'm curious as to what differences there might be between yours and AK103K's rifle to determine why his blew up and yours doesn't. Seems pretty reasonable doesn't it?

MechAg94:
Seriously show me where I exaggerated anything and I'll cop to it. Ignoring a potential risk is not the same as an informed position. I started out admitting I could be wrong as could the text from which I cited. You've cited your anecdotal evidence which is tremendously helpful, and precisely what I asked for.


Dr.Dickie & MechAg94 :
If your gun isn't bedded my question is does it regularly shoot 1MOA? If not your dismissive comments aren't proving any particular point. Aside from your unwavering loyalty to a particular gun.

Folks I see a trend going here that seems like the general impression is that I'm reaming a long loved rifle. The deal is that I read a book that contradicted many of my expectations of the rifle. Since a book is a singular and potentially flawed source, I sought counsel from THR members. I stated in my original post that the M1A is a gun I'd love to love.

The dismissive posts revolving around "don't buy one then" are missing the more constructive point. Using the SKS as an example, the slamfire potential can be reduced to the owner through the installation of a $3.00 part. If M1A owners had such an option available I'd expect that most if not all would pony up. More to the point it seems like manufacturers would just include that modification for the commercially retailed M1A's currently being made. As for the rest of the points I made originally, no rifle is perfect nor did I claim the M1A was supposed to be.

I've tried to illustrate the M1A design in the context of options available to the engineers at the time it was developed. Many of you seem to take umbrage with questioning a guns design once it's been manufactured. If it weren't for this sort of thinking, most if not all modern firearms wouldn't have been created. I guess more to the point, if the debate angers you I'm not sure why. If any of you would be kind enough to elaborate I'm sure I could learn something from it.

AK103K
March 22, 2007, 08:51 PM
my double fire was due to milking the trigger while bench shooting.
Gotcha. I've never had that happen, but I've heard others talk about it. I was more referring to it happening and you not knowing why.

Even after all this time, I'm still a little leery of the whole design and seem to be more tuned into what these type rifles are doing while I'm shooting them. Its as if I have "spidey senses" now when I shoot them. :)

bofe954
March 22, 2007, 11:13 PM
OK rockstar, the "shoot more read less" crack is out of line since I don't know you. Honestly it wasn't really directed specifically at you but more at the constant internet overanalysis of every minute aspect of every firearm (car, motorcycle etc) done by people with little real world experience with them.


But if you want to nitpick posts-
MDig the flaws I cited in a very literal fashion
Seriously show me where I exaggerated anything and I'll cop to it

From your first post-
batters the gun to death with commercial ammo
Much harder than it needs to be
Seriously stupid

I wouldn't say these things were presented without bias. They weren't posed as questions but as statements complete with extra commentary.

I don't see a question mark in the whole post so I am not sure what you are really asking. But...
After my reading I've come to identify the two main reasons for the record of accuracy associated with the M1A. The first is the sights. Without a doubt the iron sights on the M1A are superb. The second is the ammunition. The 7.62x51 was/is loaded to a much higher level of quality and consistency than the 30-06 was for non match ammo. The powder advances no doubt play a huge role here. If I'm wrong about my conclusions I'd love to hear arguements against them.

Answered in earlier posts.

I'd really like to believe that the M1A was/is the finest rifle the US military has ever fielded but I need to see some evidence to disprove my earlier contentions.

I don't think there is an answer to the above. Everything has pluses and minuses.

This thread actually has brought up some interesting facts, but to me it is basically a post trolling for an argument and then wondering what the fuss is.

byf43
March 22, 2007, 11:29 PM
Consider that Fulton Armory is ramping up production of MK14 Model O and shippping them directly to the sandbox,
Troy is creating a truly modular weapon system with - you guessed it - the M14 as the foundation of the platform, (Troy MCS) and Ron Smith is doing the same with Crazy Horse M14 rifles built on LRB receivers. CMI, (Checkmate Industries) is churning out M14 mags at a fever pitch and is producing true USGI issue magazines. Also consider that CMP has recalled all lease M-14 rifles nationwide. More Clinton torch-cutting? Don't think so. Look for a M-14 CMP gun fitted into a Troy MCS coming soon to the Airborne unit near you...
Why not the AR-10? FAL? G3? FNSCAR? there certainly are plenty of them...Hmmm.... For a 50-year old rifle, the M-14 is certainly proving itself to be on par, (or better) than most rifles in the field today....




Sources, please!

telomerase
March 22, 2007, 11:41 PM
While the M1 and M14/M1A do have the "web", slam fires are still possible and can be catastrophic. I was lucky enough to come through one with a GI Springfield M1 from the DCM about 20 years ago using LC 69 issue ammo. The rifle held together for the most part, but did fire out of battery on loading a single round in slow fire. If it had been in a rapid fire string, I most likely would not be typing this right now. The rear of the receiver from just aft of the serial number was blown off and the stock cracked with a big chunk blown out of it. The bolt was jammed into the back of the receiver and would not come forward. The op rod handle ripped the palm of my hand open, and you could read the head stamp of the case in reverse on my palm. The recovered empty case was about an inch long. Never did find the rear of the receiver.

Ouch! Is it possible to retrofit a firing pin return spring?

At the end of the day it was the Indians and tax free casinos not the Gatling Gun.

I stand corrected. Now that I think about it, I don't think American citizens are even allowed to own Gatling guns (at least not the electric kind), and they certainly aren't allowed to own casinos.

Zullo74
March 22, 2007, 11:44 PM
I stand corrected. Now that I think about it, I don't think American citizens are even allowed to own Gatling guns (at least not the electric kind), and they certainly aren't allowed to own casinos.
Both assertions are bogus and untrue!

trbon8r
March 22, 2007, 11:51 PM
rockstar,

I'm trying to be polite here, but how can I politely tell you that you don't have a good grasp of the subject at hand?

Get yourself an M14 type rifle, or better yet three of them like I do, and then you will be more qualified to talk about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the rifle. Until then, you are just repeating speculation, and the words of a questionable source like Scott Duff. Scott may be good at identifying whether it was Mabel Smith or Agnes Jones on the SA assembly line in January 1943 who cranked out the first -5 or -6 or whatever minor revision of an M1 Garand part you might imagine. When it comes to tech advice I would look elsewhere.

There are plenty of good smiths that are experts on the M14 platform and can help fill you in on the good, bad, and the ugly; Gus Fisher, Ted Brown, Clint Fowler, Phil Arrington, etc.

The M14 has its drawbacks like any other platform. Yes bedding is one of the biggest drawbacks, but that is managable. Double lug the action with welded in front and rear lugs, and the bedding should shoot to match standards for the life of the barrel. Try more like 5000+ rounds instead of 1000. In fact, a nice tight fitting GI fiberglass stock and some minor match tuning will get you a 1.5 MOA rifle without bedding. I'm talking stuff like unitizing the gas assembly, trigger job, and a good quality barrel. Not exactly high tech stuff.

Regarding the "safety hazard" of slam fires, I don't see the point here. The M14 is a military weapon first and foremost. It was never designed to be single loaded and have the bolt dropped at full speed on a loaded chamber. Single loading the rifle was a creation of service rifle competition which the M14, like the Garand was adapted to do, but was never designed for. The rifle is designed to have a full mag inserted, charge, pull trigger until empty, then repeat.

Lastly, my rifles don't beat up shell casings, nor do the receivers hammer themselves into disrepair. I'm not trying to be rude here, only saying that you need to get some trigger time with the M14 before believing everything some guy writes in a book. :)

rockstar.esq
March 23, 2007, 12:25 AM
bofe954 You've made some cogent points, thanks for your reply. I agree that I didn't pose a series of questions so much as I tendered a series of contentions and asked for correction and or confirmation from THR members.
For what it's worth, questions can be asked without a question mark.

That said I can see your point about how it could be taken as asking for an argument. I was asking for arguments for or against a list on contentions, not a hate thread. In fact in my first post I described the bittersweet feeling of wanting to believe the M1A is the finest military rifle extant in the face of information coming from "authorities" on the subject indicating otherwise. So my bias about the flaws is absolutely negative, my bias about the rifle otherwise is absolutely positive. I elaborated on this point several times.

In later posts I was positive with posters and quick to admit corrections made by those with more knowledge. Hence not being a troll nor trying to encourage the notion I wanted to annoy people, especially helpful people.


Granted "...batters the gun to death..." isn't literal so much as it is descriptive. That would be why I wrote it as commentary to my literal point just prior. The same rational was applied to my complete list: Literal reason, personal take on it, correct me if I'm wrong.

In fact that's been my M.O. throughout.

Fingolfin
March 23, 2007, 02:00 AM
What has always amazed me about both the Garand and the M-14 is that the action is completely exposed to the elements! Uncovered bolt, external guide rail and op-rod. I think that they worked at all in combat with that sort of design is pretty neat. Hahaha especially when the Japs were putting dust covers on their bolt guns.

No_Brakes23
March 23, 2007, 06:06 AM
Those are all excellent reasons why I choose to look at a Saiga .308, FN FAL, or POF upper AR10 rather than an M1A. Plus that whole pistol grip thing.

But for reasons already stated, The M1A/M14 is still a fine MBR.

The indignation and furor of the M14 set defending their rifle sounds like us 1911 fans beating back the hordes of Glock/etc shooters decrying Old Slabsides.

Geno
March 23, 2007, 07:14 AM
To allow a single read to so overwhelmingly alter your perspective of the M14/M1A paltform is not prudent. One should engage in general review of the literature to determine the pros and the cons from a wide range of writers. God forbid the readers would have jumped on the Zumbo bandwagon based on one post, and forsake the "black rifles". :rolleyes:

RecoilRob
March 23, 2007, 08:13 AM
To expand on the 'Slamfire' thing a bit, AK103K's blowup was most probably NOT initiated by the firing pin. If it was, it could have been prevented by proper maintenance and repair of the firing pin and associated bridge/slot in the receiver which is there to prevent premature release of the pin...until the bolt is locked.

More likely, the blowup out of battery was due to a high or senstive primer that went off before the bolt was locked up. That is NOT the rifles fault and, given that same round in all the other MBR's, would have given some amount of discomfort. Only a true blow-back design would have allowed that kind of a slam-fire without much damage.

Worrying about the firing pin on the M1A is something you needn't do. Mine leaves only the faintest of marks on soft Winchester primers in normal operation. I have no worries that it will set anything off....but, I watch the pin camming surface for wear and am ready to repair when any is evident.

AK103K
March 23, 2007, 10:25 AM
More likely, the blowup out of battery was due to a high or senstive primer that went off before the bolt was locked up.
If it had been reloads in my case, I would tend to agree with you here. I was using DCM issued, Lake City 69 when my gun went. I'm not saying the LC69 didnt have a high or sensitive primer, but thats even scarier if it did.

The rifle was a DCM gun that I had just got. It wasnt my first M1 and I was very familiar with them and how they worked. I totally striped it when I got it and it had about 100 rounds fired through it without any incident before this happened. I asked the people in Anniston for a report on what they found, but they never got back to me on it, other than sending me a new rifle, so I guess they figured it wasnt "my" fault anyway. They got my rifle, what was left of the case, and the bandoleer of ammo I was shooting, so if they figured it out, they stayed mum on it. They may well have just chucked it all in the trash, who knows.

Prior to this happening, I shot a lot of reloaded 30-06 and .308 out of M1's and M14's/M1A's using a number of different primers, many of them match primers, and never had one issue with the gun going off other than me pulling the trigger. Afterwards, I still continue to shoot these rifles, but I became a little more anal about my reloading practices for them. I now use CCI's primers and use a primer mike on all cases.

If you consider the number of rounds fired through these rifles each year, the number of these incidents are insignificant. I think most are probably due to improper/sloppy reloading, some may be to parts failure or improper maintenance, whos to say for sure. No matter what, it still goes to show that you had better be paying attention to all of what you do and dont be getting lackadaisical about any of it.

Onmilo
March 23, 2007, 11:39 AM
Uh, Fulton Armory doesn't have a contract to produce MK14 Mod 0 rifles.
Crane Naval Depot and Smith Enterprises do.
Smith is also contracted to produce the Product Improvement M14 program which includes standard battle rifle upgrades and Sniper and Designated Marksman rifles.
You can, as an individual, buy most or all of the goodies that go into upgrading these rifles from Fulton Armory or Smith Enterprises direct.

TexasRifleman
March 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
There are no M14s in service, are you people crazy?

I mean, who would want such a horrible weapon?

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/9821/m14inchinookhb8.png

Janes Defense doesn't know anything about weapons either.....

http://www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/news/idr/idr060510_1_n.shtml

And no, Fulton is not in on the govt contract, they are making a semi only clone for civilian sales.

MrDig
March 23, 2007, 12:14 PM
Rockstar... I read your comments I read carefully what I got from it was this, your expectations exceed the production quality of the gun. I have read a wide variety of posts and or threads such as yours. While technical and generally accurate they, like yours, all over look one thing, to make something exactly as you want it you have to modify and or upgrade and tinker with it. If unwilling to do so you will never get what you want unless you Pay five times the price for someone else to tinker with it.
My friends refer to me as Mr. Warrenty, since many times on purchasing a product I wind up with compliants like yours. Then after I settle in and make it my own I am happy with it.
So my point is this, Lower your expectations or accept that you will need to modify the rifle to meet your standards.
BTW while never actually shooting the platform each and every Person I know that owns an M1A has said they are fine shooters out of the box, and all have added to and or tinkered with them a little to get what they wanted out of it.
Sorry my original post was snide but my statement still stands, These are great rifles, you seem to want and or expect more than Stock spec's allow for.

Add On:
Disappointment means my expextaions are not met.
Disillusioned means I see reality.
I can choose to be disappointed or disillusioned.

HorseSoldier
March 23, 2007, 12:15 PM
There are no M14s in service, are you people crazy?

It's a stop gap until better solutions are avilable. It's main claim to fame during OIF and OEF is that it was available free through regular channels to units that did not have the budget or authority to obtain mission specific weapons outside their MTOE.

I mean, who would want such a horrible weapon?


Actual user comments from over in the sandbox seem to have been rather less universally enthusiastic than internet M14 fans would like. Mediocre performance of M14s seems to be one of the reasons the USMC decided to give their DMR's M16-based weapons, for instance. The Army, likewise, opted for a non-M14 platforms for semi-auto sniping and DMR work, SOCOM is ditching what M14s it has in favor of SR-25s and (starting this year) SCAR-H etc.

Fingolfin
March 23, 2007, 01:45 PM
Actual user comments from over in the sandbox seem to have been rather less universally enthusiastic than internet M14 fans would like. Mediocre performance of M14s seems to be one of the reasons the USMC decided to give their DMR's M16-based weapons, for instance. The Army, likewise, opted for a non-M14 platforms for semi-auto sniping and DMR work, SOCOM is ditching what M14s it has in favor of SR-25s and (starting this year) SCAR-H etc.

What sort of problems are they having?

As I mentioned before I always wonder about the open action. I've heard soldiers criticize the Beretta M9, saying they don't like the open slide as a lot of sand and dust gets into the action. I don't see how a greasy M-14 would fair better, although I could see it as not being as sensitive to it, which I assume was the case with the M1. Perhaps being exposed that way gives the action a chance to clear itself instead where debris in other designs(FAL sand cuts anyone?) wouldn't be able to.

TexasRifleman
March 23, 2007, 02:16 PM
It's a stop gap until better solutions are avilable.

Which means that it is the best rifle for the job.

That's sort of everyone's point, that it's the best tool available.

ANYTHING can be improved, there are always better solutions.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 23, 2007, 02:53 PM
What sort of problems are they having?

Well, off the top of my head, I bet you are going to have serious function and reliability issues anytime you take a rifle that was last issued in the 1960s and put it back into use - except without any trained armorers, tools, or manuals.

As I recall, the Army was relying heavily on NRA High Power shooters for the training and knowledge to get these rifles back into service. One thing about this war, it has definitely highlighted the many beneficial points of an armed populace outside the National Guard.

1) Without relying on ammunition plants selling to civilians, the U.S. would be unable to keep up with demand.

2) Training and knowledge of civilians have been critical in the Army's training efforts. Whether it is NRA High Power shooters teaching DMs or Gunsite teaching deploying National Guard troops.

3) Look at all the COTS accessories from the civilian market that are being swept off the shelf by the military now that they realize the need for them

Wesson Smith
March 23, 2007, 03:07 PM
Hope this isn't a repeat.

Anyone have first-hand experience with the Springfield SOCOM 16?
I have a real hankering for one, but sure would appreciate some
feedback. Thanks.

trbon8r
March 23, 2007, 03:17 PM
Well, off the top of my head, I bet you are going to have serious function and reliability issues anytime you take a rifle that was last issued in the 1960s and put it back into use - except without any trained armorers, tools, or manuals.


Exactly.

As if to emphasize the point about there being no support structure in the military for the M14, take a good look at that picture posted by TexasRifleman. Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, the M14 on the far right doesn't have a bayonet lug on the flash suppressor. Looks to me like some poor armorer probably had to scrounge a commercial flash suppressor from state side. This is a small and inconsequential thing, but it makes me wonder what kind of shape the rest of the rifle is in if parts are that hard to come by. Thanks a lot Slick Willy for cutting up all those serviceable M14s. :barf:

In my opinion its a testament to the design of the M14 that it has performed as well as it has considering the lack of support, knowledge, tools, parts, etc.

AK103K
March 23, 2007, 04:58 PM
Which means that it is the best rifle for the job.

That's sort of everyone's point, that it's the best tool available.

ANYTHING can be improved, there are always better solutions.

Its what they have available in inventory to use. I too believe its a stop gap. Its not that its the "best" tool, just the only tool at the moment. I'd be surprised if the next one wasnt based on the M16 in some way, and especially in a caliber that will work with just an upper swap.

Anyone have first-hand experience with the Springfield SOCOM 16?
I have a SOCOM. Mines been fun, and no major problems. Springfield has some issues with all models, you just need to work around them sometimes. My only complaints about the SOCOM are, the rail and the stock. The rail is NOT mil spec, and some mounts wont work with it. The stock is just a poorly done over GI glass stock with a bad paint job. If you get one, you may want to buy one from Fred and do it over how you like.

The SOCOM's sights are made for close range shooting and can be a chore to shoot with any precision at 100 yards and beyond. For fast, up close shooting, they are fine. I like mine best with an Aimpoint on it.

Some people complain about the brake and gas system. They seem worried about noise and function. I never had any problem with the rifle working, and I never noticed it being loud. The only time I got any real flash out of it was using hot Brazilian CBC surplus, which also gave a fireball out of my Bush and standard length rifles that have flash suppressors on them.

trbon8r
March 23, 2007, 05:19 PM
While we keep waiting for all these wonderful weapons that are so much better to get adopted, "'ole stop gap" just keeps getting the job done, and continues to receive updates to make it even better. :uhoh:

I guess it's similar to the "stop gap" M16 and M4 that seem to persevere despite being written off for dead numerous times, while we continue to wait for next great uber tactical HK prototype creation that is so much better, but oddly enough never seems to go anywhere except the recycle bin. :confused:

AK103K
March 23, 2007, 05:31 PM
The one thing that always amazed me about the M14 is, it was one, if not the shortest lived and issued rifle our military used, but somehow its the greatest, and people seem willing to argue on endlessly in its defense. The despised M16 series and all its variations is now I believe, the longest lived.

I also get a kick out of the MBR designation these different rifles get. All the "MBR's" arent, at least in any major army around the world I'm aware of.

I always thought the rifle you had in your hands at any given moment was your main battle rifle. :)

Creeping Incrementalism
March 23, 2007, 06:15 PM
Anyone have first-hand experience with the Springfield SOCOM 16?
I have a real hankering for one, but sure would appreciate some
feedback. Thanks.

I have a SOCOM II, the version with 4 forward rails by VLTOR. I've tried a bunch of accessories and they all fit all the rails just fine. The stock flakes off its black coating if you look at it wrong. Using a 2005 Lake City XM PD lot, I have had three jams in about 150 rounds fired--the brass would not extract from the chamber. I had to wail on the charging handle with a brass mallet to extract. I'm not sure if the rifle is still being "broken in" or what--I think I've only fired maybe 200 rounds so far.

The muzzle flash can be exciting, but I don't find it distracting, with earplugs AND earmuffs, and glasses.

Lake City 150 gr. chronied an average of 2650 fps. 180 grain Federal got in the 2400-2480 fps range.

Accuracy on mine seems like it is 3 MOA, but I'm not sure. I was getting like 4+ MOA with the iron sights, but everytime I shoot it is hot with the sun out and sweat is running in my eyes. I've yet to try it out under ideal conditions to see how good it really is.

trbon8r
March 23, 2007, 07:17 PM
Ya know the other thing I can't help but wonder, is how long does a weapon have to serve to no longer be labeled Mr. Stop Gap?

AK 103, bear in mind I'm not picking on you or your post at all because you happened to use that terminology. It's just that I keep hearing that stop gap term thrown around by a lot of folks to describe the M14 when used as a long range precision platform.

The M14 served as a precision sniping platform in Vietnam. It performed that role through most of the '80s before being replaced by the bolt action M24 in the late '80s. Somehow it still hangs around today as a viable semi automatic long range platform.

Anyone that has ever had the pleasure of visiting the Springfield Armory Museum has seen the various Garand prototypes that led up to the Garand as we know it. There are also mid-war prototypes that were an evolution of the Garand as we know it, but never produced. For example, the Garand T20 that John Garand modified to select fire, and to take 20 round BAR magazines. Since there was something theoretically "better" on the drawing board that was in the works before WW2 ended, does that relegate Mr. Garand's original rifle to being a stop gap measure during WW2? I think not. :)

Fingolfin
March 23, 2007, 08:45 PM
I guess it's similar to the "stop gap" M16 and M4 that seem to persevere despite being written off for dead numerous times, while we continue to wait for next great uber tactical HK prototype creation that is so much better, but oddly enough never seems to go anywhere except the recycle bin.

Just because other weapons weren't adopted as replacements doesn't mean the ones they were designed to replace are superior. Snail bureaucracy and money politics have a way of stifling change when it's called for and demanding it sometimes when it's not.

Sven
March 23, 2007, 09:40 PM
What? Nobody has posted a link to the web's premier source of info for the M1A/M14 rifle yet? That has to be fixed!

http://www.imageseek.com/m1a

More info that you can shake a 308 hurlin' stick at!

http://www.imageseek.com/sven/gallery/albums/m1a/its_here.sized.jpg

And for those who wanna start talking about barrel break in, here are first five shots out of a Krieger 1-10 stainless... iron sights, on a sandbag... M118LR. No cleaning between shots, what is this a space gun? No its a battle rifle! :)

http://www.imageseek.com/sven/gallery/albums/m1a/100_yards.jpg


Yeah, you've probably guessed it by now, I absolutely hate my M1A. Especially all those TRW parts, the McMillian stock, the rear-lugged receiver bedded in Devcon by Hook Boutin... unitized gas system by the same dude... in fact, I've had it with this rifle. I'll sell it to the first person who offers me $5K. Thanks. :) :) :)

Jacka L Ope
March 23, 2007, 10:41 PM
The only reason the M14 was the "shortest lived and issued rifle" because some fellow named McNamara shoved another rifle down the throat of the services. Not saying he was right or wrong but otherwise, the history of the rifle would be very different. I'm not surprised that the M14 still makes its presence felt around the world. Not so well known too is that the M14 rifle remains in use today aboard U.S. Navy ships and submarines.

Anyway... That said, I don't have major complaints about my OlyArms version of the CAR-15. It rests right nicely alongside my M1A. I'm fond of both.

trbon8r
March 24, 2007, 12:58 AM
Just because other weapons weren't adopted as replacements doesn't mean the ones they were designed to replace are superior.

Yeah exactly, and that is the point you don't understand. :confused: You can look at any conflict in our nation's past and probably find weapons on the drawing board that were "better" than what the individual soldier had. All that means exactly Jack Sierra if the weapons never left the drawing board and made it to the field. Instead of whining about what should have been made and how there are so many "better systems" that could have been adopted, lets give the M14 at least a little bit of its due.

Why is it so hard for the M14 detractors to admit the rifle works, and give it at least a tip of the cap as a viable system?

rockstar.esq
March 24, 2007, 01:31 AM
"Why is it so hard for the M14 detractors to admit the rifle works, and give it at least a tip of the cap as a viable system?"

Nobody has stated the rifle doesn't work (sarcastic comments aside).

Just to refresh some memories, the whole thread is actually about the M1A not the M14. Granted, it's hard to speak intelligently about the M1A without reconciling it's past as a military rifle.

I really appreciate the great posts, I've learned some things.

Groovski
March 24, 2007, 01:42 AM
1) The gun wasn't designed to prevent slamfires. (The SKS has similar problems but it's a MUCH older design, the US military knew about the problem and didn't try to fix it)

Actually, I think this is incorrect. The M-14 benefitted from the wisdom gained on the M1 Garand (http://www.fulton-armory.com/SlamFire2.htm), an even older design than the SKS. They simply lightened the firing pin, as well as the other mods posters pointed out. So they did fix it (relatively), just earlier in the lineage. Mr. Stoner apparently never got the memo (http://www.fulton-armory.com/SlamFire3.htm), and relearned the whole slamfire issue again.

2) The gun wasn't designed to contain slamfires to a closed bolt position. (Potentially fatal to shooter)

There are in battery slamfires and out-of-battery slamfires. Isn't this just the definition of those two types? The out-of-battery type are dangerous on any rifle, and as far as I can tell are due to one of four causes:


Commercial "sensitive" primers rather than military style primers (I have read that this is an issue potentially independent of the firing pin)
stuck firing pin on a free-floating design (cleaning/lube issue)
primer set too high
excessive parts wear (safety bridge, pin, etc.)


I would even speculate that an unlucky chunk of debris could cause an out of battery slamfire on any semiauto.

He doesn't state that the M14/ M1A wasn't designed to prevent slamfires, he repeatedly states that the ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THEM IS WITH HARD BELOW FLUSH PRIMERS. So the only "designed" aspect to prevent slamfires is not intrinsic to the rifles design.

As I understand it, the hard primer is to counteract the free-floating firing pin design. An above-flush primer would seem to be an issue on any large caliber semi-auto because it's the bolt slamming forward on the primer.

For crying out loud theres a guy making firing pins for SKS's that prevent this condition and he's only charging $3.00 for them!

It sounds very simple, but I think there are design tradeoffs. The SKS was originally designed with a firing pin spring (http://www.murraysguns.com/sksown.htm)to prevent slamfires, but they took it out! Colt tried a firing pin spring on the M-16 to resolve slamfires, but opted for a lighter pin design instead. Why? probably reliability. You can go titanium, but there are problems there as well (http://www.armalite.com/library/techNotes/tnote02.htm). Go any lighter and you may end up with broken pins. I'm sure it was a tradeoff of some very low risk of slamfire vs. reliability. It is a combat rifle at heart after all.

3) The gas system is not adjustable to accomodate different powder charges and bullet weights. (batters the gun to death with commercial ammo)

This seems to have been dealt with in other comments.

4) The bedding material is only rated to last for 1000 rounds maximum. (1 year for average match shooter). I'm still amazed that several posts claim that bedding that degrades from solvent contact is OK when we've had JB Weld since 1968. If bedding is only an accuracy/ match grade thing, it would seem screamingly obvious to me that making the bedding out of something thats solvent resistant is a good idea.

I am not aware that any manufacturer actually does a bedding job on the rifle - is that not between you and your gunsmith or your rifle builder? There are many different ways to bed the M1A that I have seen, some probably better than others. You can even do it yourself (http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/M1A_Bedding/) and use any material you like.

5) The barrel must be cleaned from the muzzle. (Much harder than it needs to be)

This doesn't seem too out of line for a semiauto. As someone pointed out, there are alternatives, like boresnakes that allow you to clean the other way if you wish. Probably the most important thing is to clean it upside down because of the gas system, which doesn't make it any easier.

6) Bore solvents supposedly deteriorate the bedding. (Seriously stupid)

Again, as someone said, this is only if you choose to bed it in a wood or fiberglass stock. If you choose the evil SAGE chassis, it's not an issue, because it is instantly bedded. Frankly, I think any wood or fiberglass rifle you choose to bed would suffer this problem. It's a wood stock problem, not an M1A problem.

7) The ejection system batters brass so hard that reloads aren't realistic. (Annoying but common enough among all military semiauto rifles)

As beaten to death, I don't think this rifle was ever intended for reloads, and I'm not sure it is any harder on the brass than other .30 cal semiautos.

8) One MOA is considered the pinnacle of accuracy from this platform. (Depressing considering the folklore about how amazing it is)

Sub-MOA and semiauto battle rifles just aren't something that goes together as far as I can tell. As I am learning, sub-MOA is important to snipers, but not "riflemen." The MOA standard for riflemen is 4 MOA, based on what I've read (http://www.fredsm14stocks.com/column.asp?ITEM=20). I think the M1A is considered more a rifleman's rifle than a sniper. As I understand it, the more you accurize a rifle, the more finnicky it gets (except going with a bolt action). That said, I'm not sure there are semiautos out there that significantly exceed the accuracy of the M1A, and many that do much worse.

9) Well bedded rifles require a hammer and a brass drift punch to field strip. (Again, annoying but "match" stuff is generally a PITA to disassemble)

Bedding is tight for a reason.

10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.

It's not perfect for sure, and it's from a different era and philosophy of design for sure, but it does seem to do the job after all these years.

The one thing that always amazed me about the M14 is, it was one, if not the shortest lived and issued rifle our military used, but somehow its the greatest, and people seem willing to argue on endlessly in its defense. The despised M16 series and all its variations is now I believe, the longest lived.

This is one statement I don't get. If I'm not mistaken, the M-14 has been continuously issued in one form or another since it was originally built. Granted, except for 1960-67 or so, it has always been for special purposes, but it has been issued nonetheless. The Army is even issuing them again from what I understand. So, in actuality, it is the oldest continuously issued design.

MassMark
March 24, 2007, 01:47 AM
Onmillo: Uh, Fulton Armory doesn't have a contract to produce MK14 Mod 0 rifles. Crane Naval Depot and Smith Enterprises do.
Smith is also contracted to produce the Product Improvement M14 program which includes standard battle rifle upgrades and Sniper and Designated Marksman rifles.

You are absolutely right and I stand corrected, (thank you). It's SEI that has ramped up production and Fulton has a civilian copy. SEI is making their CrazyHorse rifles and they are being used in theatre as we sit in the comfort...The CMP recall and reissue is conjecture on the part of many, (including myself), but seems oddly coincidental considering the times we are in. As for Troy and their MCS stock, I live near the Troy facilities, am waiting for my own MCS stock and have followed the system's progress. I happen to know that the stock has been tested extensively by the US Army (Ft. Bragg) and is now in full production.

For those who may not know what a Troy MCS is, it's a modular drop in stock, which actually envelops the M14 action and allows for complete field stripping without tools, (unlike Sage) and also allows user to cowitness all popular optics, (Eotech, PVs-14, lasers, etc) through the use of a BUIS sight system. The unit uses push pins, like an AR to field strip and it can be done without disturbing the optics. The stock literally takes the M-14 and transforms it into a multi-role platform. It is designed to accept all AR15/M16 buttstocks, so it can be used in the Designated Marksman role, or as a more compact weapon platform, (i.e: collapsable stock, grenade launcher). If you want a good look at this stock you can check out This Link (http://www.law483.com/stocks/ti-mss.html) or go to EBR SOPMODS (www.ebrsopmods.com) and look under the Troy MCS section. This stock, along with prior and continuing innovations from SEI, Sage, VLTOR and others have brought this rifle into the modern age and developed into a true platform - the aged to the ageless.

As for the Springfield Armory SOCOM-16 and SOCOM II - I love mine. I am a realative newcomer to the M1A/M14 platform. I've had my SOCOM-16 for over a year now and it has quickly become my favorite rifle - hands down. If you want a match gun, this isn't for you, but it's more accurate than I am. To say the sights are for "CQB only" and not much good out to, or past 100-yards is sheer nonsense and shows a lack of understanding for the sight and it's purpose. Again, it's not a match sight. It's a sight designed to hit people - period. Before I added my Trijicon Tripower, I was minute of paper plate at 200-yards all day long and hitting the mid-section of a 55-gallon oil drum at 400, (and I stink). With the Trijicon Tripower on board, I can lay accurate fire from 25 feet to 400 yards, (that as far as I've shot it and can barely see anyway) all day...My only regret is that I didn't get into these rifles earlier. Like any mechanical object, there have been users who have experienced problems. Most I've seen have been extractor, magazine, or user related. Good mags are essential and unfortunately, there have been a lot of bogus "USGI" and "USGI Spec" mags floating around. M14 mags were at a premium and fakes made their rounds. Fortunately, CheckMate has been making real-deal new USGI mags for the military for years. They are flawless, reliable, inexpensive and now available to civilians.

The one thing, (of many) I learned about this rifle is that in order for it to be a great rifle it first has to be understood. It's not like an AK, where you can pull it out of the box, snap in a mag and blast away. These rifles need to be set up. Once they are, they are not at all hard to maintain. Many of the failures I've read about have come from users who feel reading owners manuals is a waste of time. The gun is shipped from the factory coated in oil as a rust preventative. The gas system however, must be void of oil. So too the bolt face and chamber. If not, first impressions may not be good.

In my case, I was fairly well-read before I purchased, (thanks to forums much like this one) and prepped my rifle before my first range trip. Other than 2 FTF's dues to a bad gun show mag purchase, and two recent FTE's with some really old smelly Port surplus, this rifle has not missed a beat -(and I'm not at all anal about rifle cleaning). I keep the oprod spring, oprod spring guide, bolt roller and rails greased with Militech. I clean the gas system "whenever", (usually every 500 or so) keep the chamber clean and dry and run a patch of Hoppes down the barrel after a shoot. Other than that, I've done thorough cleanings a few times in the past year. I just finished loading up 12 mags for tomorrow and hauled another 500-rounds up from the basement. As of tomorrow, I'll have over 5500 rounds downtown in 14-months. Not too bad for a "dinosaur"... me and the rifle...:)

Groovski
March 24, 2007, 02:01 AM
The CMP recall and reissue is conjecture on the part of many, (including myself), but seems oddly coincidental considering the times we are in.

Not long ago, I ran the numbers and figured there must be fewer than 200K M-14s in inventory, and possibly less, despite 1.4 million produced. They appear to be scrambling to find as many as possible. Ironically, the Taiwanese may have as many as 5 times the number of M-14s in their inventory as we do.

Jacka L Ope
March 24, 2007, 02:14 AM
Just to refresh some memories, the whole thread is actually about the M1A not the M14. Granted, it's hard to speak intelligently about the M1A without reconciling it's past as a military rifle.

Actually, this thread is about the M14 given that the M1A, less but 6 mechanical parts (none of which have been mentioned or are relevant to this discussion) and a bit of machining, is the M14 in civilian dress. ;)

rockstar.esq
March 24, 2007, 03:46 AM
Jack, I am aware of the M1A's history however the M14 wasn't bedded for GI issue. As I pointed out earlier my points against the materials used for bedding are all based on the M1A's that have been "Match Conditioned". Since the accuracy of 1 MOA isn't realistic with an unbedded M1A/M14, I've tried to focus the field on this issue. As you pointed out, the differences between the two pertaining to select fire aren't relevant and I agree with you.

No_Brakes23
March 24, 2007, 05:13 AM
All the "MBR's" arent, at least in any major army around the world I'm aware of.The FN FAL was for quite some time for quite a few countries. It is still the Venezuelan MBR in spite of Chavez trying to replace it with the AK-103.

As for the term MBR, some folks think if the bullet isn't about .30 cal it isn't an MBR. To be fair, the M16A2 is referred to as a service rifle, at least in the Corps.

AK103K
March 24, 2007, 10:40 AM
This is one statement I don't get. If I'm not mistaken, the M-14 has been continuously issued in one form or another since it was originally built.
It hasnt been "the" issue rifle since the 60's and other than a few instances, has been held as a reserve since the M16 was adopted. Last I checked, the M16 in one form or another has been the issue rifle of US and other forces since.

To say the sights are for "CQB only" and not much good out to, or past 100-yards is sheer nonsense and shows a lack of understanding for the sight and it's purpose. Again, it's not a match sight. It's a sight designed to hit people - period. Before I added my Trijicon Tripower, I was minute of paper plate at 200-yards all day long and hitting the mid-section of a 55-gallon oil drum at 400, (and I stink).
I understand the sight and its purpose, and still stand by my comment. The sights that come with the SOCOM are meant for close range shooting. They are not the standard M1A type iron sights. (they can be replaced with the standard type using the Scout height front sight if they bother you) The rear is a standard peep drilled out to a ghost ring, and the front sight post is very big(read that as FAT) with a tritium stripe insert, and will completely obscure an IPSC silhouette target at 100 yards. Trying to shoot at bullseye targets for precision is tedious at best and the bull looks like a pin point on top of the very wide post, and not even close to a sight picture with normal M14 type sights. If you can consistently hold the same sight picture and hit an 8" pie plate at 200 yards with them, more power to you, I know I cant. Even with a 4MOA Aimpoint that would be a chore. With my Scout scope on the rifle, no biggie. Personally, I still like the Aimpoint on it the best.

At 100 yards, using an Aimpoint on each and fired from a cross legged sitting position, my SOCOM and my 14" barreled AK are about the same accuracy wise. You tell me which rifle shot which target. ;)
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid168/p7d015dea6879709e3f822eb7c4446650/f420593d.jpg

HorseSoldier
March 24, 2007, 11:22 AM
As for the term MBR, some folks think if the bellet is about .30 cal it isn't an MBR. To be fair, the M16A2 is referred to as a service rifle, at least in the Corps.


"Main Battle Rifle" as a descriptive term is kind of cheating, really. The term was invented by fans of .30 caliber rifles that, when issued, proved to be crappy assault rifles. Since they sucked as "assault rifles" they became "main battle rifles" (leeching coolness off the "main battle tank" designation -- which is a real military term, unlike MBR), with the implication that the MBR may not work as well as the assault rifle "in the assault" but are superior all around weapons. Since an "MBR" is basically defined by rattling off the specs for the M14, any other weapon will obviously come up short (except for FALs and G3s and other semi-auto 30 cal rifles, I suppose).

As for the merits of a "main battle rifle" . . . well, no military organization on the planet has agreed with the civilian American gun writers who dreamed up the "Main Battle Rifle" term and concept. Not one of the world's militaries that has adopted a true assault rifle has ever gone back to full-power rifle rounds and the rifles that fire them for general issue. Quite the contrary, the general trend seems to have been that the more actual combat experience a nation had after 1960 or so, the shorter the life of general issue MBRs in their service. Mostly only nations that were at peace or which lacked the resources to buy new rifles retained 7.62x51 general issue rifles for more than a few years after adopting them.

This trend is explained by the fact that every bit of evidence from the battlefield has been pointing away from the MBR type rifles (for general use) since World War One. Their adoption in the 1950s says more about what corrupt technocrats at US Army Ordnance forced on NATO than about their actual merits for battlefield use.

The only reason the M14 was the "shortest lived and issued rifle" because some fellow named McNamara shoved another rifle down the throat of the services. Not saying he was right or wrong but otherwise, the history of the rifle would be very different. I'm not surprised that the M14 still makes its presence felt around the world. Not so well known too is that the M14 rifle remains in use today aboard U.S. Navy ships and submarines.


I don't know. The only reason the rifle and the round it fires were adopted in the first place is because US Army Ordnance blocked any debate or adoption of a true intermediate cartridge and then rigged the rifle tests to ensure their canditate won out over competitors. The M14 was pretty much doomed as a service rifle, MacNamara or not, the first time it went head to head against the AK-47 and demonstrated how much better an assault rifle was than a semi-auto full-power rifle for general use by troops.

MassMark
March 24, 2007, 11:31 AM
At 100 yards, using an Aimpoint on each and fired from a cross legged sitting position, my SOCOM and my 14" barreled AK are about the same accuracy wise. You tell me which rifle shot which target. ;)

SOCOM on the right, AK on the left... :neener: Just a guess. I must be lucky, or have good eyes as I do not find the target obscuring phenomena at the ranges I shoot, (25-200 and 400 on very rare occasions). Again, I wouldn't want these sights on a match rifle and changing out sights to standard on a SOCOM would require serious tweaking. I'm happy with them and comfortable enough to not rely totally on my Tripower. The beauty of the Tripower is that chevron recticle. Tip o the triangle for precise shooting - cover for longer ranges and battlesight. Sublime really.

lionking
March 24, 2007, 11:54 AM
I just wanna thank Sven and Texasrifleman for the photos.

Sven,that is inspiring.

Trm,great photo,hope they put those AT-4 rounds up Osama's a**.

AK103K
March 24, 2007, 11:56 AM
SOCOM on the right, AK on the left...
Actually, its just the opposite. :)

The AK's have a bad rap for being inaccurate.

Switching the sights would be a simple swap, and dont know what you'd have to "tweak". I've actually considered it, as I prefer the standard sights. I rarely shoot mine with anything by the Aimpoint anyway, so its a non issue really.

Groovski
March 24, 2007, 12:13 PM
It hasnt been "the" issue rifle since the 60's and other than a few instances, has been held as a reserve since the M16 was adopted. Last I checked, the M16 in one form or another has been the issue rifle of US and other forces since.

Whether it's "the" issued rifle or not, it has been issued, and has served in every major conflict we have had since it was first issued as far as I am aware.

JShirley
March 24, 2007, 12:24 PM
Actual user comments from over in the sandbox seem to have been rather less universally enthusiastic than internet M14 fans would like. Mediocre performance of M14s seems to be one of the reasons the USMC decided to give their DMR's M16-based weapons, for instance. The Army, likewise, opted for a non-M14 platforms for semi-auto sniping and DMR work, SOCOM is ditching what M14s it has in favor of SR-25s and (starting this year) SCAR-H etc.

That's what I'm seeing. The new ODA here has at least two SR-25s, and no M14s- because they, being Special Forces, get The Good Stuff. And, sorry, guys, the M14 is not it.

John

Sven
March 24, 2007, 12:25 PM
more photos at:

Different's Gallery: http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/gallery

My m1a/parts gallert: http://www.imageseek.com/sven/gallery/m1a

Still saddened by this thread and in deep M1A liquidation mode, I'll take the first who steps up with $2K for my spare USGI bolts:

http://www.imageseek.com/sven/gallery/albums/m1a/IMG_4474.thumb.jpg

;)

Groovski
March 24, 2007, 12:26 PM
As for the merits of a "main battle rifle" . . . well, no military organization on the planet has agreed with the civilian American gun writers who dreamed up the "Main Battle Rifle" term and concept. Not one of the world's militaries that has adopted a true assault rifle has ever gone back to full-power rifle rounds and the rifles that fire them for general issue. Quite the contrary, the general trend seems to have been that the more actual combat experience a nation had after 1960 or so, the shorter the life of general issue MBRs in their service. Mostly only nations that were at peace or which lacked the resources to buy new rifles retained 7.62x51 general issue rifles for more than a few years after adopting them.

I think the problem here is when people get locked into the idea of the one rifle fits all mentality. There's room for more than one. Sure, there's one rifle that will be issued en masse, usually one that's light, with light ammunition, and an assualt rifle type. There's also room for a DMR type rifle, as well as bolt-action sniper rifles.

Look at the evolution of the Soviets. They basically adopted the assault rifle concept after WWII. Meanwhile, they developed the Dragunov as a .30 caliber semiauto sniper/DMR while we were issuing the M-14. Later, we gave in and basically did the same thing, but one-upped the Soviets by adopting an even smaller caliber M-16, which they later adopted in 1974. To my knowledge, the Russians are still using the old Dragunov with great effect in their little adventures in Chechnya and elsewhere. We, meanwhile, still find use for the old M-14.

MassMark
March 24, 2007, 12:50 PM
AK103K: Actually, its just the opposite.

The AK's have a bad rap for being inaccurate.

Switching the sights would be a simple swap, and dont know what you'd have to "tweak". I've actually considered it, as I prefer the standard sights. I rarely shoot mine with anything by the Aimpoint anyway, so its a non issue really.

I hear ya - my SA M7s with the Po3 5x21 is among the most accurate rifles I own... ;)

Actually, the mechanical switch of the sights is not the problem on the SOCOM. The problem comes in sight height and adapting a sight meant for a 22" rifle, down to a 16" barrel. Owners of M1A Bush/Scout fifle, (18.5") often have issues sighting in and this is one reason why. You'll need to file down the front sight a bit, (tweaking) or possibly go with the SEI HK-style gas lock front sight.

Groovski
March 24, 2007, 01:09 PM
That's what I'm seeing. The new ODA here has at least two SR-25s, and no M14s- because they, being Special Forces, get The Good Stuff. And, sorry, guys, the M14 is not it.

The SR-25 looks like it would satisfy Rockstar's quest for a sub-MOA semiauto with up to .75 MOA, but $7500 a pop is a pretty heavy price to pay. Correction: looks like you only need to pay $6800 (http://www.impactguns.com/store/KMC-98169-R.html).

AK103K
March 24, 2007, 01:11 PM
I was told by Springfield that the front sight for the Scout/Bush model is a different height than the standard M1A's, and will work without issue with the SOCOM. Then again, Springfield also swore the rail was mil-spec and the stock wasnt done over GI. :)

trbon8r
March 24, 2007, 01:32 PM
The only reason the rifle and the round it fires were adopted in the first place is because US Army Ordnance blocked any debate or adoption of a true intermediate cartridge and then rigged the rifle tests to ensure their canditate won out over competitors.

Ok this is another thing that often pops up when discussing the adoption of the M14. How and in what way specifically was the testing rigged?

Jacka L Ope
March 24, 2007, 03:50 PM
There's room for more than one.

True that. http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a62/lakcaJLOpe/thumbs.gif

HorseSoldier
March 24, 2007, 04:00 PM
Ok this is another thing that often pops up when discussing the adoption of the M14. How and in what way specifically was the testing rigged?

The story is that the testing was supposed to involve standard production rifles as might be issued to Joe and such. Ordnance got alarmed about the competition they were getting from the T-48 (FAL) so they starting rigging the tests by using armorer and gunsmith tuned weapons. These weapons were optimized for use during arctic testing up at Fort Greely in Alaska and so outperformed the (production) FALs they were lined up against.

There are also stories from the M14 selection process and later when Ordnance was fighting the AR-15 tooth and nail that they mechanically tampered with competing weapon designs to insure their test performance was substandard.

As for the authenticity of these claims, I think (but am not certain) that they've been pretty solidly documented and proven. They're pervasive enough that they've turned up in a number of books. And they seem to be the reason why weapons design was taken away from Ordnance.

John C
March 25, 2007, 12:28 AM
I must post in solidarity with Rockstar and Horse Soldier. Although I do agree with the viewpoint below, I am deliberately stirring up the pot.

(Disclosure: I have an M1a and it is a fine rifle. It is a fine battle rifle. The subject of this post is the specific requirements put forth for the M-14).

I read Iannamico's book, and he states (and I agree) that by 1961 it was realized that the M-14 was merely a product improved M1 Garand. The Army had spent $100 million dollars on development.

The M-14 was intended to be a replacement for not only the M1 Garand, but for the BAR, the M1 and M2 carbines, and the M3 Greasegun. It was intended to provide effective full-auto capability to the rifleman and launch rifle grenades.

The rifle was too light to EFFECTIVELY fire full-auto, and therefore many, if not most, were issued without a selector switch, limiting them to semi-auto fire only. The M-15 (a heavy barrelled M-14 intended as a BAR replacement) was cancelled in 1959 due to being too light to absorb the heat of sustained fire. The rifle was too big to replace the carbine or greasegun. The barrel was too light to effectively fire grenades. In effect, like so many times before, Ordnance wanted a one-size-fits-all solution that was a failure from the beginning.

In the late 1940s the Army had convened a panel to create requirements for a new rifle. The panel found that not only did firefights rarely occur at ranges farther than 300 meters, but that usually a firefight only occurred when things did not go according to plan. (US Army doctrine was (is?) to bring as much firepower to a fight as possible. Thus, infantry would try to engage the enemy as much as possible with machine guns, mortars, or artillery in lieu of initiating a firefight with rifles) The side that usually won an engagement did so by firing the most number of rounds in the least amount of time.

Army Ordnance, intent of developing a rifle with long range capability, disbanded the panel in favor of continuing the development of what became the M-14. This continued the Army's unrealistic fetish with completely impractical long range rifle fire with which it had been obsessed since at least 1873. This fetish proved to be even more delusional with the advent of machine guns and mortars, which much more effectively engaged targets in the 300+ meters range. MacArthur himself fell victim to this delusion when he ordered the M1 Garand rechambered from a revolutionary medium powered cartridge, the .276 Pederson, to the .30-06 due to the large stockpile of ammo left over from WW1. (While the M1 Garand was a world-beater until 1945, the M1 in .276 would have been revolutionary!)

This is pure speculation on my part, but I think the US Army Infantry, since WW2, has resented it's relegation from being the primary arm of battle to their proper role of security guards for the true arm of decision, the radio operator and Forward Observer. The infantry still clings to dreams of the power of long range volley fire carrying the day versus the reality of doing the dirty work of walking into ambushes so that the artillery, armor, gunships, or, God forbid, Air Force can bail them out.

Thus, in order to correct what had been a collosal waste of tax-payers' dollars for a marginal improvement over the M1 Garand, McNamara had to jam the M-16 down the US Army Ordnance's throat, since the Army was incapable of reasonably evaluating externally developed rifles. While it had some teething problems, the M-16 at least met the Army's own requirements of allowing for controllable full-auto fire, and did fill the rifle, carbine, and sub-machine gun roles.

The M-14 is excellent for its current role, SDM or sniper. This is how it should've been fielded from the beginning, although the Army bureaucracy would've never allowed it.

-John

Jacka L Ope
March 25, 2007, 12:47 AM
Good read. http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a62/lakcaJLOpe/thumbs.gif

JShirley
March 25, 2007, 05:41 AM
Eh. I agree pretty much with almost everything you've said, but this: The M-14 is excellent for its current role, SDM or sniper

seems to be overbroad and perhaps even untrue. An average M14 is not accurate enough to fill either of those roles.

The initial equipment consisted of National Match Grade M14 rifles. These rifles were glass bedded into impregnated stocks that were impervious to water. The rifles were carefully tuned to achieve a high degree of accuracy. Finally, the sniper used 7.62-mm. National Match Grade ammunition to further insure accurate firing. (From (http://www.army.mil/CMH/books/Vietnam/tactical/chapter6.htm), pg 74)

The M24 Sniper Weapon System, fielded in 1988, represents a return to bolt-action sniper rifles by the U.S. Army from the semi-automatic M21(the M14-based sniper system)

There is a REASON this happened...twenty years ago. So, while the M14 might have made a decent GP infantry rifle (though, much as I hate to say it, not as good as an M16), it does not make a great sniper system.

If you have one and like it, great, but don't try to imagine your personal choices have ANY relevance to the military.

John

MechAg94
March 25, 2007, 11:47 AM
I like my M1A. I doubt I would want to pack it or any other .308 rifle I have around as a soldier. A lighter smaller caliber is probably better for general issue.

Wasn't there a lot of problems with M14 production once the Army started trying to issue it to everyone?

Groovski
March 25, 2007, 12:51 PM
So, to sum up, there are two schools of thought on the M1A/M-14:

Those who go to bed each night with their wood and blued steel beauty lovingly cradled in their arms, mumbling the words "I don't need no teenage queen, I just want my M-14 (Full Metal Jacket)," drifting off to sleep with a smile on their face....dreaming of making spectacular 200, 500 and 800-yard shots together....

and

those who irrationally point out her ever so subtle flaws, most likely as they pull the wings off helpless, screaming flies

Peter M. Eick
March 25, 2007, 01:14 PM
As an M1A fan, it struck me yesterday walking around the local gun show how many of them there were. Lots of SuperMatches and Nationals. Prebans everywhere.

For all of their problems they sure are still popular!

JShirley
March 25, 2007, 02:35 PM
For all of their problems they sure are still popular

So is imagining the US would have won in Southeast Asia if the damn politicians would have just let that happen.

John

AK103K
March 25, 2007, 02:56 PM
....dreaming of making spectacular 200, 500 and 800-yard shots together....
I dont think your to far off here, and dreaming is the key word. :)

Not that long range shooting with open sights isnt possible, but it just seems to be one of the main issues when the "discussions" between .30 caliber rifles and all others start. From a lot of the comments, I often wonder how many have actually "qualified" on the reduced 100 yard course, let alone actually tried to shoot for groups at 600.

I'd like to see how many could pick out the top half of a brown cardboard IPSC target at that range and hit it with open sights on the first shot....uh, third shot...tenth shot...... :)

Zullo74
March 25, 2007, 04:03 PM
I'd like to see how many could pick out the top half of a brown cardboard IPSC target at that range and hit it with open sights on the first shot....uh, third shot...tenth shot......

Hundreds are doing it every week. Try a 6 inch X ring at 600 yards with irons (all that is allowed in Service rifle NRA competition) and you'll be doing what hundreds of guys are doing every weekend! ;)

AK103K
March 25, 2007, 04:12 PM
That nice black bull on a nice buff background on a nice numbered backer, sitting on top of your front sight post, is a little different from a 16" piece of brown paper sitting on similar colored ground with no backer. Can you see it there.....? Its there, really. :)

rbernie
March 25, 2007, 04:36 PM
Can you see it there.....? Its there, really.More to the point, try to find it when you don't know where it is.

The days of 300+ yard engagements as the norm are long since past, and in most case never really were.

AK103K
March 25, 2007, 04:38 PM
There ya go.

John C
March 26, 2007, 02:36 AM
JShirley;

I see your point about the M-14 vs. the SR-25. Keep in mind, though, that the original contract for the M-14 in 1959 was for $68.75 per rifle. Adjusting for inflation, that's $477.43 in 2006 dollars.

Now, imagine you had a maker bid to build SR-25s to hit that price point. Would the SR-25 perform any better than a rack grade M-14? From the other perspective, how does a $2500 M-14 (Smith Enterprises Crazy Horse or comparable) compare to an SR-25 in the sandbox? I'm interested to know to your opinion and observations from the front.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service. I appreciate your first hand observations.

-John

JShirley
March 26, 2007, 03:51 AM
John,

In all honesty, I really don't know what quality a $500 7.62 AR would have. I do know that various shooters whom I respect, who own M1As and fire lots of rounds, describe problems keeping them very accurate. (These people typically LIKE the M14/1A, and regret they aren't better for accurate work without heavy amounts of maintenance.)

For some reason, most AR-15 and M16-type rifles seem to be quite accurate. I am less sure how accurate 7.62 versions of these rifles are.

I'll see if I can get a chance for more direct comparison of an accurized M14 vs the Knight's, John.

John

tailfeathers
March 30, 2007, 12:41 AM
Holy cow...where do I start...How about...What a load of crap...This is the observations of someone completely ignorant to this fine rifle...Almost none of what you wrote is accurate...1...I shot an M1A at Camp perry for 8 years with several thousand other M1A shooters with as far as I know >0< slam fires...2...You adjust ammo to the system...3 ammo was designed for the rifle not the other way around...4...bedding isn't necessary for 1.5 minute of angle...5...so what...who cares what end you clean it from...6...screw the bedding...7...mine never so much as scratched the brass and all I ever used were reloads...8...1 MOA is better than most men can shoot within a National match course...9...You do not field strip a bedded rifle...it stays together forever or until it shoots loose...10...A bunch of nonsense...You need to get out of the house more...I have thousands of rounds down range from an M1A...Not >1< failure to fire or function in 8+ years at Camp Perry...

Gary



So I've just read Scott A. Duff's book on the M1A. There are a few things I've learned about them that lead me to be very dissapointed with it as a whole. Please note that I am drawing the following from that singular reference.

1) The gun wasn't designed to prevent slamfires. (The SKS has similar problems but it's a MUCH older design, the US military knew about the problem and didn't try to fix it)

2) The gun wasn't designed to contain slamfires to a closed bolt position. (Potentially fatal to shooter)

3) The gas system is not adjustable to accomodate different powder charges and bullet weights. (batters the gun to death with commercial ammo)

4) The bedding material is only rated to last for 1000 rounds maximum. (1 year for average match shooter)

5) The barrel must be cleaned from the muzzle. (Much harder than it needs to be)

6) Bore solvents supposedly deteriorate the bedding. (Seriously stupid)

7) The ejection system batters brass so hard that reloads aren't realistic. (Annoying but common enough among all military semiauto rifles)

8) One MOA is considered the pinnacle of accuracy from this platform. (Depressing considering the folklore about how amazing it is)

9) Well bedded rifles require a hammer and a brass drift punch to field strip. (Again, annoying but "match" stuff is generally a PITA to disassemble)

10) 211+ quality assurance testing fixtures, 400+ manufacturing steps, all based on M1 fixtures and jigs, to produce a rifle design that was/is flawed from the beginning.


After my reading I've come to identify the two main reasons for the record of accuracy associated with the M1A. The first is the sights. Without a doubt the iron sights on the M1A are superb. The second is the ammunition. The 7.62x51 was/is loaded to a much higher level of quality and consistency than the 30-06 was for non match ammo. The powder advances no doubt play a huge role here. If I'm wrong about my conclusions I'd love to hear arguements against them. I'd really like to believe that the M1A was/is the finest rifle the US military has ever fielded but I need to see some evidence to disprove my earlier contentions.

rockstar.esq
March 30, 2007, 02:29 AM
Tailfeathers: It seems as though you simply read my first post, ignored the 127 other posts that include others I authored along the way. If such is the case it stands to reason that you're unaware/ unconcerned with the actual purpose of my post.

"This is the observations of someone completely ignorant to this fine rifle...Almost none of what you wrote is accurate.."

Perhaps you're inclined to ignore that I was and have been asking THR members to relate their experience to confirm or contradict the assertions I made as a result from reading a book AND SHOOTING AN M1A! Ragging on me for asking folks with more experience than I have to determine the truth about something doesn't embody a sage voice of reason. More to the point, your comment "You need to get out of the house more." pretty much spotlights your unwarranted aggressive tone. If you'd read the preceding posts you would have noted that AK103K posted about how a slamfire nearly killed the shooter. Sure it didn't happen to you, that isn't proof that it can't. Just so you know, out of battery slamfires have been pretty thoroughly discussed up to this point and it seems that it's a pretty rare occurrence. For that matter several other points have been made, all of which precede your post by a good 75 replies. Most of which were made in a respectful manner.

ALS
March 30, 2007, 11:23 AM
For those who love their M1A's here is the forum for you.
http://M-14Forum (http://www.m-14forum.com/)

M1A Pic from Oleg Volk
http://images.libertyoutlet.com/samples/s-peace.jpg

emitt1
March 30, 2007, 03:07 PM
I just picked up on the thread and was shocked to say the least. I must agree with 30Cal and RecoilRob (nice job guys) and say I've placed many rounds down range with my M1A and have never had a single problem. Using the correct primers (as many have said before) will solve the 'so called' slam-fire problems. Proper care is all this fine battle rifle needs and it will serve its propose well.

AK103K
March 30, 2007, 07:44 PM
Using the correct primers (as many have said before) will solve the 'so called' slam-fire problems.
If you reload, its an issue, what do you do about factory or GI ammo?

RecoilRob
March 30, 2007, 09:02 PM
What can we do about factory or GI issue ammo? Maybe cross our fingers and hope that the Gun Gods are smiling on us today?

Seriously, (not that keeping in the Good Graces of the Gun Gods is not a viable stategy) I think that maintaining the rifle properly and inspecting the ammo for obvious flaws (high primers) is about all we mortals CAN do.

As has been discussed, the M1A design will not allow the firing pin to contact the primer until the bolt is sufficiently locked to be safe if it should inadvertantly discharge. That is a good thing.

A round that goes BANG before the FP strikes the primer just from the impact of the bolt chambering it (aside from the aforementioned high primer) is something that happens rarely but is the risk we take as shooters and is there each and every time we pull the trigger.

I'd like to hear about other rifle designs that accomodate this rare but catastrophic event better than the M1A. I can't think of any that would not blow up. I can't think of anything we can do but inspect the ammo and rifle and then concentrate on hitting our target.

Anything bad that happens afterward is Providence and maybe out of our control.

Oh, and may I say Welcome to Tailfeathers! We here at THR are a different lot than any you might have experienced on the Web. Much, MUCH experience and, while we have disagreements on things, it is (and should be) done with respect and civility. Your initial post was a bit strong. Relax and ease up a bit and you will have a nice experience here.

AK103K
March 30, 2007, 09:40 PM
My point about the factory/GI ammo was that it wasnt just reloads. I agree, the slam fire thing isnt a common occurrence, especially with GI, but they do occur and I'm not the only one to have had it happen.

I dont know if its because the M1/M1A are more prevalent here or what, but when you hear "slam fire", they tend to be the rifles it happened to. I cant ever remember hearing of catastrophic failures occurring due to a slam fire in HK's or FAL's or even AK's, and the one I'm always waiting to hear about with all the bump firing going on these days. I know there have been some reported issues with the AR's, dont know that slam fire was the issue though. Hey, anything can and sometimes do blow up, but I'd be willing to bet that most are usually due to user error. Then again, Providence can be a very nasty female dog on occasion. :)

Your right about the risk, and actually, more like the lack there of if your reasonably careful. At this point in my life and who knows how many rounds down range I've only had a couple of incidents that drew blood, splash back at indoor ranges and one load of bird shot in the shins being the others. I'm leaving out foolishness as a kid and things that go boom, thats a whole other category! :)

trbon8r
March 30, 2007, 10:08 PM
Of course the M14 and Garand tend to be the one's that are associated with "slam fires". The reason is simple. The Garand and M14s are the guns that until most recently dominated the competitive shooting circles for 40 years before the AR took over as top dog. As I said before, the whole single loading thing for the slow fire stages of competition is something that neither the Garand nor the M14 was designed to do. They are combat rifles designed to fire semi automatically from a magazine, or in the case of the M1 from an en bloc clip until the gun is empty.

When you factor in how many Garands and M14s there are, and how many clueless shooters there are that think it's ok to pull the op rod to the rear and slam it home on a cartridge that has been single loaded in the chamber, it's amazing there aren't more problems.

You don't hear of similar problems with the HK and FAL because there aren't too many folks that have ever bothered trying to make them into competition rifles where single loading would even be an issue.

wcwhitey
March 30, 2007, 11:04 PM
I will put my Springfield Standard against any other .308 battle rifle in whatever test you want to give it, period. Bring it on! :neener:

MGKelly
March 31, 2007, 12:30 AM
Back in the early 70's I was issued a Winchester built M14, wood stock and all of the standard amenities. I was able to score Expert with this weapon and had zero malfunctions (except for a dented magazine - not the rifles fault). Every rifle now seems to be purpose built to some extent and may not do all jobs perfectly, this is true of the M14/M1A also. There has also been some spirited debate about shooting comercial .308 in the 7.62 chamber, bent op rods and the like, but I have never seen any proof first hand or pictures of such (I am not claiming it does not happen; just that it's not a prevailent as some claim). I believe that as a bonified MBR the M14 fits the bill very well, but as a CQB weapon not so much. Too much cartridge power, recoil, and muzzle blast. AK's and M4's are a much better choice for door busting house to house fighting. The point I'm trying to make is every tool has a specific use and the same is true of firearms.

The comment was made about the SKS slam fire issue, when I inspected the bolt of my Yugo M66 the firing pin channel was very rough (looked like it was drilled by a 5 yr old with a very worn drill!) and would cause the pin to stick at various and random times. After very carefully reaming and honeing the channel I have had no slam fire problems since (although the return spring idea still looks like a good saftey addition in my mind). So even the manufacturing process can play a big part in a rifles popularity.

I have seen Romainian WASR 10's that shoot very well (I own one) and others (Bulgarian, Polish, Egyptian, etc.) that were absolute junk. No weapon is "Perfect" as is out of the box, some times a few personal modifications and machining is all it takes to make the weapon more task appropriate.

In my opinion, as far as a good rifle that is acurate and can deliver a healthy amount of fire power accurately is always a good thing and that is why the M14/M1A series will always be at the top of my list. (now if they could only do something about the price issue...) :rolleyes:

One last thing; learn every thing there is to know about your choice of weapon, and become well practiced with it and you will always out shoot any one with some "Uber-Rifle" that they only shoot casually now and then. :scrutiny:

And yeah, I almost cried when "Slick Willie" ordered all those M14's destroyed! :cuss:

MG

glockman19
March 31, 2007, 12:34 AM
MGKelly,

I ageree I love my M1A and believe it serves it's purpose well.

In my opinion, as far as a good rifle that is acurate and can deliver a healthy amount of fire power accurately is always a good thing and that is why the M14/M1A series will always be at the top of my list. (now if they could only do something about the price issue...)

Thanks

tailfeathers
March 31, 2007, 01:41 AM
It wasn't my intention to offend anyone but the original post wasn't even close to being in the form of a question. And you used the word...con·clu·sion...
1-the last main division of a discourse, usually containing a summing up of the points and a statement of opinion or decisions reached.
2-final decision: The judge has reached his conclusion.
and as·ser·tion...
1. a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason: a mere assertion; an unwarranted assertion...

Well so much for this evenings english lesson...Not to mention the title of the thread...Sad realization about M1A's...Those kind of words would normally come from someone that has at least used a product extensively to be able to have some authority behind his opinion...I was just shocked by what I thought to be misleading information...No biggie...Don't guess you will introduce me to your sister now huh?...:>) Getting out of the house is a euphemism for experience...Its not a tone...sorry...:)

Gary

Tailfeathers: It seems as though you simply read my first post, ignored the 127 other posts that include others I authored along the way. If such is the case it stands to reason that you're unaware/ unconcerned with the actual purpose of my post.

"This is the observations of someone completely ignorant to this fine rifle...Almost none of what you wrote is accurate.."

Perhaps you're inclined to ignore that I was and have been asking THR members to relate their experience to confirm or contradict the assertions I made as a result from reading a book AND SHOOTING AN M1A! Ragging on me for asking folks with more experience than I have to determine the truth about something doesn't embody a sage voice of reason. More to the point, your comment "You need to get out of the house more." pretty much spotlights your unwarranted aggressive tone. If you'd read the preceding posts you would have noted that AK103K posted about how a slamfire nearly killed the shooter. Sure it didn't happen to you, that isn't proof that it can't. Just so you know, out of battery slamfires have been pretty thoroughly discussed up to this point and it seems that it's a pretty rare occurrence. For that matter several other points have been made, all of which precede your post by a good 75 replies. Most of which were made in a respectful manner.

AK103K
March 31, 2007, 08:55 AM
When you factor in how many Garands and M14s there are, and how many clueless shooters there are that think it's ok to pull the op rod to the rear and slam it home on a cartridge that has been single loaded in the chamber, it's amazing there aren't more problems.
Good point. I'm really surprised that we never saw more reports from the military due to it over the years with the M1. I grew up shooting the M1 and was taught to shoot them by active military shooters who were issued them at some point in their careers, and they all let that bolt fly, as did just about anyone else I ever saw shoot them. I dont ever remember seeing a SLED until the 80's. Not that you really need one if you just "heel" the bolt home.

You don't hear of similar problems with the HK and FAL because there aren't too many folks that have ever bothered trying to make them into competition rifles where single loading would even be an issue.
I hadnt thought about that with the HK's and FAL's. The M1/M1A's open top makes it a lot easier to single load by just dropping the round in, especially from prone. My HK's and FAL were always loaded by mag, I cant ever remember loading a single round in them. From the standpoint of ""competition" rifles, the M1/M1A's are the target rifles, the HK's combat rifles, and the FAL's clubs. :)

I will put my Springfield Standard against any other .308 battle rifle in whatever test you want to give it, period. Bring it on! :neener:
Like I said, the M1A's make a nice target rifle, but for an all around combat rifle, the HK wins. It is much more versatile and has better "combat" sights and a sling system everyone else is still trying to copy. They can be dot sighted or scoped at will with no modification or need for a cheek piece, that also interferes with the iron sights when the scope is removed. The 91/G3 is as, if not more accurate than most standard grade M1A's. Configuration changes are simple and quick,(not that you want to shoot a 91 with a collapsing stock on a steady basis) and bipods are easily attached if thats something you like.

4fingermick
March 31, 2007, 09:20 AM
Nice rifles JMB1911/1911JMB, I carried those but with wooden stocks in the Australian Army. I think if I could get three minutes of angle out of an FN/FAL I'd be delighted. Now try me on a fast moving target and I will nail it, SLRs point like upland shotguns (SLR= what we call the FN/FAL, later on, the troops call them slurs)

MechAg94
March 31, 2007, 11:41 AM
AK103, I like my PTR-91, but I would not be so quick to say it is as good or better. It is just as heavy if not heavier and has about twice the recoil. People say they like the sights, personal opinion I guess. You can pop a scope mount and scope on the M14 almost just as easily. It rides just as high as the HK and can be taken on and off without worrying about denting the receiver. I never used a cheek piece with my Dad's scoped M14. I plan to get a cheek piece for my PTR simply because using it comfortably with the recoil demands it for me. Just my personal opinion I guess. The well made and cheap surplus mags are a big advantage to the HK though. :)

I guess it has been said that the original post's remarks were solely about M14 target rifles and some problems people have had. Those problems are not indicative of all M14's at all; neither do they seem to be indicative of all M14 target rifles.

AK103K
March 31, 2007, 01:33 PM
My 91's weighed about the same as my M1A's, the balance is a little different and seems more forward on the 91's.

I never noticed the recoil to be much different, just a different impulse.

I never liked the scope mounts available for the M1A's. They always placed the scope way to high for me and they didnt feel natural to shoot with. Unless there was a cheek piece there was no cheek weld.

I've been thinking of picking up one of the new Ultimak rails for my SOCOM if I keep it, I've grown to really like red dots and while the mount on my SOCOM works, its a little high and not mil spec. I've got a couple of the Ulltimaks on my AK''s, and they work great. Well made and they keep things low.

For the HK's the ARMS claw mount is actually more versatile and usable than the HK's ring mount. It gives you the option of any scope or red dot, and allows them to be mounted lower. With the right scope, the whole thing fits in a pocket. Both mounts repeatably hold zero, and are instant on or off as needed. With the stock design on the HK the need for a cheek pad is pretty much eliminated if you keep the scope down. You just slide your head up the ramp a little and you still get a decent, natural weld. You also still have instant use of the irons too.

The M1A's irons are definitely better for a target rifle, but the HK''s sights are easier and faster to use as a battle sight. You cant miss that big rear notch and the front globe for quick, close shooting, and the post is always instantly available for more precision shooting. You also dont have to remember "clicks", just turn the knob to the number.

I think most all of it is user preference. We probably all tend to like what we learned on just a little more, then again, maybe for some, its all there is to know. I've been lucky and unlucky enough to have owned and shot most of the different combat type rifles at some point in my life and if I had to grab just one, believe it or dont, it would be the lowly AK in 7.62x39. Light, handy, brutally simple to use, and plenty accurate for my needs. I'll still keep one M1 and M1A though. :)

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