My dream is to own an M1a, but...


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cbn620
December 21, 2007, 12:37 AM
...There's no way in heck I will be able to afford a brand spankin' new one from, say, Springfield Armory. I am a student and won't be able to afford one for some time. I would still like one to train with, though.

I'd like to know what my alternative--read: cheaper-- options are.

My first thought is to buy a used one. How much should a used M1A go for?

I have also heard of other brands and copies from other countries. What are my best options here? What prices would I look for on these, both used and new?

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

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geekWithA.45
December 21, 2007, 12:47 AM
M1As hold their value pretty well, so the aftermarket probably won't help you much.

Norincos are much less spendy, if and when you can find them.

If you want a militarily credible .308 on a student budget and can't find a Norinco M-14, consider Saiga .308s, and some of the PTR-91s. They're not m-14 type rifles, but they are solid values and occupy the same ecological niche.

Bazooka Joe71
December 21, 2007, 12:52 AM
How about a rack grade M1 garand?

Or are you looking for something that doesn't weigh 150 lbs?:)

zinj
December 21, 2007, 12:53 AM
Try a CMP M1 Garand. After all, it is the ancestor of the M1A at less than half the cost, plus there is still reasonably cheap surplus ammo for it too.

EDIT: Bazooka joe beat me to it. Although a loaded Garand weighs less than a loaded M1A.

Oohrah
December 21, 2007, 03:10 AM
A plus for the Garand is when you are better able to afford upgrades,
a 308 (7.62x51) barrel can be installed without alterations:D

asknight
December 21, 2007, 03:26 AM
Would a Mini-14 qualify as a M-14 or M1A trainer?

Winger Ed.
December 21, 2007, 03:36 AM
Keep saving your change...... you'll get there.

In the Summer of 1973, I was in almost the last Platoon going through
basic training at MCRD Parris Island with M14s.

I REALLY, REALLY got attached to that rifle.

After I got in the Fleet Marine Force- at several different Duty Stations--
they'd all switched over to the 'Rat Guns'.
(Just like all the Recruit Platoons who got to Parris Island a couple of weeks after I did).

That was June of 1973.........


As times change,,,,,,,,, and fortunes improve:
The closest I ever got to getting (at least a replica of) my old Boot Camp issue M14 was a Springfield M1A.

Its in the gun safe, even as we speak.
I saved my Nickels & dimes, etc., etc.,
and finally got it in the Spring of 1990.


To answer your next question,
"yeah. It was worth the wait".


Hang in there buddy, and never settle for '2nd best'.


.

Winger Ed.
December 21, 2007, 03:39 AM
Asknight:

The mini-14 to a M1A:
is like putting a .22LR "conversion kit" in your 1911 Colt .45ACP.

wayne in boca
December 21, 2007, 07:07 AM
Can you afford a dollar? Sure you can.Stick it in a box.Want a Coke? Drink water.Stick another dollar in the box.Sooner than you think you will have an
M1A.That's how I did it.

H2O MAN
December 21, 2007, 08:25 AM
cbn620: My dream is to own an M1a, but...There's no way in heck I will be able to afford a brand spankin' new one from, say, Springfield Armory.

Save your money and buy the best Norinco or Polytech M14 you can find.
Post a "WTB" ad on a few M14 related forums and search for an unaltered,
all original rifle with a low round count.
You will also want to shop for CMI or Norinco or Polytech mags and some
surplus ammo.

It will take a little work and effort, but you will be able to live your dream.

I prefer the Chinese M14 over all others, they are great out of the box and
excellent to build on.

SEI offers the Cali legal M14 Muzzle US Coast Guard Muzzle Brake that will fit a Chinese barrel.

HTH ~

GunTech
December 21, 2007, 09:18 AM
There are a couple of used M1As here in town, one for $899 and the other for $999. You can typically find a used standard model for around $1000.

funfaler
December 21, 2007, 09:40 AM
I too would suggest that you consider the M1 Garand. It is more CA friendly, 30.06 is much cheaper to shoot and the initial rifle investment is much less.

The M1 will hold it's value as well, so you can still save your pennys for the M1A and then sell your M1, if you have to, to make up the difference.

Don't know enough about the Polys and Norincos to say yea/nay on them, but getting a used Springfield is even a better deal than new. The new ones don't have the USGI parts that they older ones have. You can quite often fine used ones for @$1000 or even less. A used Standard M1a is nothing to be afraid of buying, they are seldom shot much, if the owner shot it a bunch, they would not be selling :neener: Match M1As are different, they may be shot out, so you will want to gauge them and inspect them before buying, beware of the $1200 Match M1A.

Since you are in CA, the FAL is not a good option, but if you ever move to a less commie state, you might consider it as well, a very fine 308 platform.

As to the Mini-14 being a good "trainer". I would suggest a Ruger 10/22 with Tech-Sights, extended mag release and perhaps some trigger work first. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, and works great as a trainer.

Get to one of the 3 California Appleseed Shoots in the early part of 2008, gain some valuable marksmanship skills, and get to see some different rifles in action http://www.appleseedinfo.org

Good luck

ocabj
December 21, 2007, 10:10 AM
THR is a great forum, but being a Californian, you're asking this question on the wrong forum.

Go here: http://www.calguns.net

The participating members are more in tune with current California laws and issues relating to firearms.

Information there will help you make a better decision on what rifle to get. Or you may be able to score an M14 clone for a decent price there.

MarshallDodge
December 21, 2007, 10:18 AM
I remember when I was in school in the late 80's I wanted a Taurus PT99 in the worst way.

I had a 30 hour a week job and did odd jobs on the side including plowing snow with my old International truck. It took a year and a half but was able to pay for it with cash.

Years later I ended up trading the Taurus for a Gold Cup. :)

Darthbauer
December 21, 2007, 10:53 AM
I get Springfield for 22% off of dealer cost and my wife still wont let me buy the scout that I want.

Damn wife!

kBob
December 21, 2007, 11:47 AM
cbn620,

How much prior shooting experience do you have?

How much money do you have to spend now, a year from now or two years from now?

Got a place to shoot High Power at?

I liked the suggestion to just use your soda and cracker money by not using either and dropping the money in a piggy bank. Though a $1000 seems a lot of sodas. Until you consider giving up two sodas a day for a year $730 and that is getting close to a used M1A right there. Eat out less, buy less crap, organize a gun rag sharing group with your buddies if you are addicted to gun rags ( you know "we are all students and end up buy ing off the racks so I'll buy G&A, Fred will buy GW, Mark will buy ST, Don will buy Handgunner etc and we will swap them around. Yeah no library of thirty years worth of magazines in thirty years to fill up half a closet the tops of every book case in the house and a fifth of the shop...you should thank me for that alone)

If you feel you can wait then save those nickles and dimes (see how old I am? WHo uses Nickles ad dimes these days?)

Personally I like the idea of buying a CMP Garand today if you can. and then start saving again all you do not spend on Garand stuff.

The Garand has basically the same trigger as an M-1A, the same safety, close to the same bolt manipulation (m-1A has an external bolt release so you do not risk a thumb any time you wish to clse a bolt on an empty rifle).

It also has the same feel as the stock is more like the M-1A than any of the non M-14 type rifle listed. Most importantly it has pretty much the same sights as the M-1A.

You may very well need to add the price of a new stock (or if not competing in Garand or some other CMP matches glass bed the action) and or a new crown on the barrel to get even 3 inch groups from your CMP Garand, and it won't likely be pretty. But you will have an M-1 in your hands. If you have dreams of opening the CMP cardboard box and finding a like new Garand with lovely un marred Walnut and capable of hitting a silver dollar sized mark everytime at 100 meters you will be dissapointed. But you will have a semi auto .30-06 caliber rifle that goes bang and feels like your dream gun in real life. It can be made pretty and more accurate as those dimes and nickles continue to pile up. Unfortunatly you might get that actual historical US Service rifle shooting well enough and looking sharp enough that you forget to keep saving for a fake M-14.

-Bob Hollingsworth

ScottsGT
December 21, 2007, 11:59 AM
If your a college student, you cannot even affor the ammo with the prices they are at these days!! Go for the Garand. My M1A stays at home and the Garands get to go play all the time.

Wes Janson
December 21, 2007, 07:38 PM
The Garand's ammo prices are nearly as bad, these days.

Gunsnrovers
December 21, 2007, 07:45 PM
Since you are in CA, the FAL is not a good option, but if you ever move to a less commie state, you might consider it as well, a very fine 308 platform.

I'd beg to differ. A California FAL is a piece of cake to put together. There are bucket loads of them here.

goon
December 21, 2007, 07:58 PM
I don't own either but I have bought and sold more guns in the last 6 years than many people will ever own.
Some of them were bought as guns that "settled for" instead of putting the money toward what I really wanted.
I would suggest that you start saving money toward an M1A and keep going to gunstores to handle them. Try to find a way to try one out to make sure that's what you want.
Then if that is still what you want, buy one.
Whatever you do, don't "settle" for a Garand or a Saiga or a FAL or anything else. Get what you really want.

I LIKE IT!
December 21, 2007, 08:26 PM
Hey buddy,

Do you have a job?

College or not, I don't see why you can't afford an M1A.

Took me 2 years to pay off an MP5, patience is key if your making 23K a year
bracket like me.

College? I hope your learning something that pays, then perhaps 1600-2000.00 will seem like a joke.

Good Luke;)

Dienekes
December 21, 2007, 08:38 PM
I do own both the M1A and Garands. I don't know how I would choose between them for a variety of reasons. The advice on getting up and running with a Garand is good and that is what I would do. You really can't lose and I guarantee you will enjoy the experience as you go down the road--and learn a LOT.

You probably have something that many of us don't, and that no amount of money can buy: young (and if necessary, correctible) eyesight, and time. That's a winning hand!

There is a LOT of good info available over at the Culver Shooting Pages (www.jouster.com) otherwise known as "Garand Central Station". Check out the CMP at www.odcmp.com, and see if you can find a CMP-affiliated club that runs service rifle clinics anywhere near you. Great way to get started and squared away.

I got started in high power rifle very late. Great hobby. You can spend a lot of money--but you don't have to.

Good luck.

I think I envy you.

wcwhitey
December 21, 2007, 08:38 PM
It took me many years to save up the $900 (sounds funny doesn't it) for my M1A. Was it worth it, yes! I did go through a few Garands and a BM59 in the process. I like the Garand but I love my M1A, it will get handed down through the generations. Only problem I see currently is that ammo is expensive, not so with the 30-06 and don't forget magazines. A Garand for half the price of the M1A with a good supply of ammo will bring a big smile to any gun guys face and admiration at the range. If you have the funds now get the Garand and save for the M1A. Shoot in the mean time and enjoy yourself, learn good marksmanship.

MachIVshooter
December 21, 2007, 08:58 PM
Since you live in CA and cannot take advantage of the M1A's only advantage over a Garand (capacity), I'd go for a Garand. They can be had as low as $600 in most areas.

8 rounds .30-06 vs. 10 rounds .308 is pretty negligeable, especially when that extra 2 rounds will cost you $500-$1000 extra dollars.

lamazza
December 21, 2007, 09:04 PM
Save for a Springfield M1a and don't settle for second best or Chinese clones.
norincos and Polytechs are nice shooters, but in the end you will have reciever troubles with Chinese clones.
Save 10% of your earnings until you get there and don't lose sight of your goal.

H2O MAN
December 21, 2007, 09:11 PM
Save for a Springfield M1a and don't settle for second best or Chinese clones.
norincos and Polytechs are nice shooters, but in the end you will have reciever troubles with Chinese clones.

:what: You have that backwards - the forged Chinese receivers are as close as you can get to USGI - they are excellent!

http://www.athenswater.com/images/Crazy_Horse_LITE-004.jpg

Save up and get the M14 type rifle of your dreams - you can lock the mag and trigger group in place and top off with stripper clips...

cbn620
December 22, 2007, 03:15 AM
Thanks for all the great replies folks.

For those who wondered, I didn't mean a training rifle for a new shooter. I have been shooting since I was about 5 years old and am intermediately skilled with rifles in general, but don't have a lot of experience with semi-automatic rifles. The M14 design seems to me the holy grail of semi-automatic designs. My dad speaks fondly of them, he served in Vietnam and went through basic with one.

As for the part about me living in California... The M1A is a very California friendly rifle, I have seen people use them in competitions locally very frequently. The detachable 10 round box mag is not banned here, nor are the muzzle breaks (anymore). The only thing California laws tend to get squirrelly on are pistol grips on semi-auto rifles with detachable mags. So things like the FAL, AK and AR-15 become a little touch and go. As has been said, though, they can be converted to be legal. California laws are coming a long way. Trust me, we're not all socialists. We have a strong rifle culture and a strong history of outdoorsmen. Don't believe all the lies about us.

All the new ones I've seen around here have been pushing 2000... But 1000 is much more doable. I could certainly make 1000, maybe 1200. If I found one used and in good condition at 1000, that seems like a great buy to me.

TimboKhan
December 22, 2007, 03:35 AM
Good Luke indeed. College is expensive, man, and you know a part time job can only pay for so much after things like "rent" and "food" get paid for. Trust me, when you have to drop $600.00 bucks on books, pay for gas, pay for a girlfriend, buy your own clothes and generally have to start paying your own way in life, $1000.00 bucks is a big deal. Trust me, he isn't making anywhere near 23k a year, and the chances are good that he is piling on student loan debt like it's going out of style.

I can feel for you.

Gunsnrovers
December 22, 2007, 09:07 AM
All the new ones I've seen around here have been pushing 2000... But 1000 is much more doable. I could certainly make 1000, maybe 1200. If I found one used and in good condition at 1000, that seems like a great buy to me.

You just need to troll the For Sale section of CalGuns and your rifle will appear as if by magic. Lightly used SA's and Polytechs show up on pretty regular basis.

ScottsGT
December 22, 2007, 10:18 AM
The Garand's ammo prices are nearly as bad, these days.


Not true!! CMP is selling .30-06 for .26 cents per round. I googled .308 battlepacks and the cheapest I could find "IN STOCK" was .60 cents per round, and the prices went up from there.
I priced out reloading my .30-06 brass, and I cannot reload it as cheap as I can buy it for, so I'm just saving my brass because I know one day I will have to start reloading it.

W.E.G.
December 22, 2007, 10:27 AM
Would a Mini-14 qualify as a M-14 or M1A trainer?

With this rear sight???

NO.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/Mini14rearsight.jpg

Green Lantern
December 22, 2007, 10:45 AM
Tagged to watch - I REALLY want a Garand, myself.

ScottsGT
December 22, 2007, 12:21 PM
Green Lantern, I LOVE your signature line!! Might have to copy and paste it in an e-mail to some anti's I know!

takurpic
December 22, 2007, 12:55 PM
I had a Springfield Armory Nat'l Match M1A. Paid about $1200, reg price was $1600. It was a good shooter, but it had to be sent back SA to have the cracked stock replaced (warranty fix). I sold it after that.

I also had a G3 clone (aluminum receiver) and an FAL.

The alum reciever on the G3 clone showed significant wear after very little use.

Overall, the FAL was my favorite. I sold it to offset the M1A, but never really got back into 308 after the M1A.

TooTaxed
December 22, 2007, 07:10 PM
The M1A uses a detachable box magazine...one of my buddies in the San Francisco area was told by the police that his treasured WWII M1 carbine was illegal unless a ten round magazine was welded into the action. :cuss: He moved the rifle out of state...

cbn620
December 22, 2007, 09:42 PM
Fellas, I assure you the M1A is a California legal firearm. California loves the M1A, it's one of the best selling rifles here. As long as you use 10 round mags, the gun is legal.


The M1A uses a detachable box magazine...one of my buddies in the San Francisco area was told by the police that his treasured WWII M1 carbine was illegal unless a ten round magazine was welded into the action. He moved the rifle out of state...


I don't know who told your buddy that, but that's a real shame. If the carbine had a 15 round magazine in it, yes it would be illegal, but you wouldn't have to weld a 10 rounder to it.

You just need to troll the For Sale section of CalGuns and your rifle will appear as if by magic. Lightly used SA's and Polytechs show up on pretty regular basis.


Thanks, I'll definitely check it out.

Good Luke indeed. College is expensive, man, and you know a part time job can only pay for so much after things like "rent" and "food" get paid for. Trust me, when you have to drop $600.00 bucks on books, pay for gas, pay for a girlfriend, buy your own clothes and generally have to start paying your own way in life, $1000.00 bucks is a big deal. Trust me, he isn't making anywhere near 23k a year, and the chances are good that he is piling on student loan debt like it's going out of style.

I can feel for you.

Yep, I'm making way less than 23k per year and I certainly am taking on student loans. I've got a full course load of linguistics, anthropology and philosophy. It's tough but when I finish my degree the career opportunities in this area will make up for it. I am saving my money though, I don't mean to piss on the advice of folks saying I should be saving. 1000 bucks is actually not *so* bad when you look at it, the problem was I've always seen M1A's for twice that around here. I was expecting anywhere from 2000-2500 dollars, I had no idea people were scoring them for as low as 999-1200.

cbn620
December 22, 2007, 09:48 PM
Get to one of the 3 California Appleseed Shoots in the early part of 2008, gain some valuable marksmanship skills, and get to see some different rifles in action http://www.appleseedinfo.org


Hey, thanks for the info, I didn't know Appleseed was coming to California. I read Fred's column in Shotgun News from time to time, he's an interesting fellow and Appleseed is a great cause. I checked the Website though and don't see any dates listed for California. Am I missing something?

silverlance
December 23, 2007, 04:58 AM
Your choices in CA for 308/7.62NATO are generally as follows:

1. FAL (note my sig line) $899
2. M1A $1200 on up to a lot
3. SAIGA 308 $350 - 450, but hard to find both gun and SAIGA-ok FFL

Beyond that you have the choice of guns for whom making them CA-legal makes them also a pain to reload (such as the 308 CAL-AR types) or are very expensive (like the HK SL7).

I personally prefer the FAL for many reasons, but would conceed the M14 provides a superior platform for long distance shoot (after 400 yards. Both stripper-clip okay. The FAL has a pistol grip while the m14 does not (unless you spend 600$ for a JAE); to make the FAL CA-legal the magazine would be fixed. The fix is preferrably non-permanent and many manufacturers offer a free ship in/ship out return to detachable magazine option upon request.

The saiga 308 is a fine rifle with a beautiful wood stock. However, the rifle sights leave a bit to be desired unless you are proficient with them (I am from years of Mosin shooting).

hoji
December 23, 2007, 05:08 AM
I prefer the Chinese M14 over all others, they are great out of the box and
excellent to build on.
:what: Odd, I have never seen one that worked well at all{and I have seen quite a few}:scrutiny:
You are not a dealer with a truckload to move are you?:scrutiny:

H2O MAN
December 23, 2007, 08:12 AM
Quote:
I prefer the Chinese M14 over all others, they are great out of the box and
excellent to build on.

Odd, I have never seen one that worked well at all{and I have seen quite a few}
You are not a dealer with a truckload to move are you?

I'm not a dealer, but I do have a small truckload of keepers :cool:

amprecon
December 23, 2007, 09:51 AM
I have wanted one since 1994 when I qualified with one in the Navy. I never could afford one either though but I could afford the Garand. Many, many years and jobs later I was finally able to afford one and bought my dream gun. I do love it, but after finally having it, after all these years of wanting one so bad, I realize that I could've probably been just fine with the Garand.
They are so close and the only real differences are with the magazine designs.
For our uses as civil citizens the Garand would be more than adequate for most uses, however, if I had to choose which one I'd grab because the S just HTF, I'd grab the M1A just because of the greater mag capacity. But if all I had were the Garand, I'd grab it with great confidence and without hesitation or reservations.

THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR
December 23, 2007, 01:54 PM
My advice to you is to join the National Guard. The pay and benifits far outweigh the risks. If you join ROTC as well, all your college expenses will dissapear and you'll find yourself with lots of spare cash. Joining the Guards paid for my Sprinfield Loaded M1A. And my SKS. And my truck. And 2000 rounds of ammo.

Browning
December 23, 2007, 02:09 PM
Just keep saving your money a little at a time and you'll get there.

I don't know if you're single or not, but when I was single if I wanted something I just saved every penny I could by eating Top Ramen, buying cheap smokes (when I used to smoke), by not going out to eat, by not making long drives unless I really had to (back when gas was $1 a gallon in the mid 1990's) and by saving up anything I got for Christmas or birthdays (if you're married your wife's not going to want to live like that so that you can get a new toy though). If you do that before you know it you'll have enough.

As far as used ones go, they're fine just so long as you know what you're looking at and just so long as you're dealing with someone with a good reputation. There's really not to much to go wrong with them unless some kitchen "gunsmith" has gotten a hold of it and butchered it beyond recognition.

The classified M1A section of AR15.com has used M1A's on there quite a bit, when it gets near the time that you almost have enough money maybe those ads will help you out. To me there's really not much sense in settling for something that you're just going to regard as second best later on down the road. It's better to just save up and get what you really want. Dreaming and waiting makes it more special when you finally do get it.

AR15.Com Classifieds.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=7&f=134

Good luck.

che_70b
December 24, 2007, 03:41 AM
I am not an expert in cali law but I know the box my M1A came in said not legal in California.

hamourkiller
December 24, 2007, 04:14 AM
CMP has Correct grade SA & HRA Garands for sale now right @ $1000

Plus Ball ammo 480RDs for 110 plus shipping

OR

Get a Service Grade SA or HRA Garand 768 rds on clips and 480 rds in boxes for right @ $1000 (Rifle and 1248rds)

Enbloc 8 shot VS 10 shot clip plus the PING! when done.

Warning, Garanditis has no known cure! Buying more Garands only slows down the disease!

http://www.odcmp.com/

Have fun

funfaler
December 24, 2007, 04:15 AM
The flashider needs to be replaced with a muzzle brake, to be California Legal. Springfield sells both Cali and non-Cali rifles, thus they have to label them as such.

English Bob
December 24, 2007, 04:29 AM
Hold out for the SA M1A if you can, they really are a superb rifle.

I had the same dream but due to restrictive gun laws it was impossible to own one. After a change of country and some hard saving I finally have one and couldn't be more pleased with it.

crazed_ss
December 24, 2007, 07:28 AM
Fellas, I assure you the M1A is a California legal firearm. California loves the M1A, it's one of the best selling rifles here. As long as you use 10 round mags, the gun is legal.

The gun is legal with a 20 round mag or even a 70 round drum. Possession of high capacity magazines is not controlled in California. They are illegal to manufacture, transfer, or sell. That means if a person owned 20-round M14 mags before the ban, they're perfectly legal to use.

Since the the M1A is a magazine-fed, centerfire, semi-auto rifle, it cannot have any evil features. California-legal M1As have a muzzle brake instead of the standard flash hider (which is an evil feature).

I don't know who told your buddy that, but that's a real shame. If the carbine had a 15 round magazine in it, yes it would be illegal, but you wouldn't have to weld a 10 rounder to it.


Once again using a 15 round mag, in a M1 carbine would be perfectly fine as long as the mags were acquired legally before the ban.

Now, it's possible this guys buddy did have an M1 Carbine that might have been considered an "Assault Weapon". Some M1 Carbines had collapsible stocks which would be a no-no with a detachable magazine. Collapisble stock stocks are evil features. M1 Carbines with fixed stocks are good to go in Cali. They're pricey though. Might as well just get a M1A.

ALS
December 24, 2007, 12:35 PM
Just remember to get it before Jan 20th 2009. Just in case the anti everything party gets into the White House. They may push through another Anti AW bill in the first 24 hours.

General Geoff
December 24, 2007, 12:38 PM
California-legal M1As have a muzzle brake instead of the standard flash hider (which is an evil feature).

Which is interesting because I heard the military contracted out SAI (or was it someone else?) to provide the few troops who have been issued M14s/M21s with said muzzle brakes, as they're actually quite effective and more useful than the standard flash hider. :)

Illuminaughty
December 24, 2007, 01:24 PM
I'm in the same boat. Go with an M1 Garand from CMP. ;)

I LIKE IT!
December 24, 2007, 01:27 PM
TimboKhan & Cbn620,

Ok so your hurting financially, that's part of college no surprise.
The rifle itself is really not expensive, your other commitments are
the issue, which do you value more? Can you compromise any?

There are ways around anything in life it just takes sacrifice.
I'm not saying give up on college, I'm saying find what it is you really
don't need.

Some people don't have it in them to live without "creature comforts".
Just take alook at how you live, how can you save $$$?
If there is a will there is a way.

Illuminaughty
December 24, 2007, 01:29 PM
Yeah, I had to change my lifestyle a bit and stop putting the bestest most bleeding edge components in my computer and just settle for a certian fps, but now that I have some money I can at least save up and occasionally get a rifle I have a nice little collection now.

And of course, I definitely have to say my income affects my collection, but I'm happy with it. :)

H2O MAN
December 24, 2007, 01:33 PM
Quote:
California-legal M1As have a muzzle brake instead of the standard flash hider (which is an evil feature).

Which is interesting because I heard the military contracted out SAI (or was it someone else?) to provide the few troops who have been issued M14s/M21s with said muzzle brakes, as they're actually quite effective and more useful than the standard flash hider.

SEI has sent hundreds of Vortex flash suppressors to the troops issued M14s.
The Vortex has been proven to perform better than USGI :)

Roswell 1847
December 24, 2007, 01:37 PM
Clint, tell us about the Chinese M14S

I'd be happy to go through this. Here's the scoop:

1. The locking lug helix (surface contour) of the Chinese bolt does not agree/match the locking lug helix of the receiver. Thus, the bolt locking lug surfaces only partially contact the receiver locking lug surfaces. As you fire the rifle, the bolt will "collapse" back onto the locking lugs of the receiver until "enough" surface contact is engaged to stop the rearward force caused by the 50,000 PSI or so that is produced on each firing. As the bolt moves rearward, headspace is lost. Often/mostly/always massive headspace loss occurs. I have seen Chinese bolts that close & move back & forth with a field gauge. I have witnessed headspace readings estimated (no gauge long enough to be certain) at greater than 20 thous. beyond Go. G.I. bolt's will also "collapse" when receiver locking lugs are not correct (commercial receivers sometimes have poor locking lug surfaces which is why we at Fulton Armory always hand lap every bolt to every commercial receiver to ensure excellent engagement before we install/set headspace), though they move rearward more slowly due to better heat treat & steel. The fact that the Chinese bolts are very soft, amplifies the problem. BTW, the locking lug helix of the Chinese receiver does agree/match the helix of the G.I. M14 bolts quite nicely. I have never had to hand lap a G.I. bolt for more than say, 15-20 minutes to get a beautiful engagement. It's quite odd. It's as though someone ground on the Chinese bolt lugs with a handtool.

2. The Chinese bolt is "too long" as it relates to the firing pin bridge of the receiver, which retracts the firing pin on loading. As the Chinese bolt moves reward, the firing pin tail also moves reward. So much so that the firing pin bridge does not effectively/at all retract the firing pin! I have seen Chinese rifles where the firing pin did not retract at all. This is quite dangerous. Add to this bolt "geometry" problem the fact that the trigger & sears, & hammers are also way too soft (hammer fall will occur) one can see the train wreck ahead.
http://www.fulton-armory.com/M14S_Eval.htm

Note to Walt: The barrel must be replaced to allow for a G.I. bolt to fit, and even then, the receiver needs relieving to safely accept the bolt! THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT! Also, the Hammer, Trigger & Sear need to be replaced.


So to make a good rifle using a Chinese receiver you have to do some modifications to allow use of a GI barrel and bolt then replace a number of internals with GI surplus parts.

H2O MAN
December 24, 2007, 03:33 PM
So to make a good rifle using a Chinese receiver you have to do some modifications to
allow use of a GI barrel and bolt then replace a number of internals with GI surplus parts.

Not really - the IDE Poly Tech rifles are usually GTG out of the box and a qualified M14 gun smith can head
space a USGI bolt to the existing barrel. Others want to sell parts and services that may not be needed.

That said, all of my shooters are built on pre-IDE Chinese receivers with new SEI/Wilson barrels and TRW bolts.
Two of my trigger groups are all TRW and two are all Chinese and you can't tell the difference :cool:

lamazza
January 8, 2008, 08:19 PM
the IDE Poly Tech rifles are usually GTG out of the box
Yes...for awhile and then the improperly heat treated gen-u-ine milled reciever s t r e t c h e s.

Rshooter
January 8, 2008, 10:47 PM
I am a little late to the party but I might be able to impart a little wisdom to the mix. I own a mini-14, AR-15, Garand, M1-A, and a few others, now if my right eye still worked.

Personally I would save for what you want. I am currently a Disabled Veteran on a fixed income and I am back to saving for what I want myself. :( Shooting ammo is a bummer at the current cost, even with reloading.

Do not buy a Polytech, at least the ones I have come across were not holding up as well as the Springfields. A mini-14 has a similar action to the M1-A but the Ford Focus has a similar motor to the Cadillac. An AR-15 is an option now but they can cost as much as an M1-A. A Garand is always nice, nothing beats the Garand.

Good Luck.

H2O MAN
January 8, 2008, 11:45 PM
Yes...for awhile and then the improperly heat treated gen-u-ine milled reciever s t r e t c h e s.

The 4 ChiCom receivers I have rifles built on were checked for hardness and
none of them required any additional heat treating - they are as good as USGI.

Stories of a few problems in the early days have been blown way out of proportion.


On the other hand... ChiCom M14s are crap - I'll give you $300 for yours.

Bazooka Joe71
January 9, 2008, 02:00 AM
One more thought about your decision, if ammo is a concern, is that the garand is coveted more for its historical value and just all around fun time to shoot(gotta love the ping!:D) rather than its accuracy; the M1A is more of a precision rifle(especially if you intend to add optics later), so ammo price isn't a big difference, because you will tend to rapid fire the garand a bit more, and take more slow, methodical shots with the M1A, trying to get the tightest groups possible.

So in the end, you shoot the cheap(er) ammo more, and shoot the pricier ammo less.
(At least I do:)).


With that said, I still think you should get an M1 garand first. The M1A will be around for awhile, while the garands are slowly drying up.

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