I am looking for some advice about the Springfield M1A. I know that there are several models/variants that Springfield has put out that range from reasonably priced (for someone on a military salary) to very expensive. I am not the most experienced or skilled shooter in the world, but I have a strong desire to improve my skills and knowledge base. Having said all that, my question is this: from a strictly financial standpoint would it be better to purchase the base model M1A, tighten up my shot group with that model, and then just upgrade the parts (barrel etc.) or just lay down the money up front and get the match grade model?
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June 12, 2008, 04:50 PM
I am not a real knowledgable person on the prices on M1As but an "off the shelf" model will out shoot your abilities. I know of a NM with a Leopold scope that a retired officer wants $1,700 for. That seems like a good price and if interested can chase it down for you(NC). wc
June 12, 2008, 05:02 PM
Shop around for a slightly used Scout or Standard.
Look for one that was built with some USGI parts.
Another option is a used Chinese Poly Tech or Norinco M14 :cool:
June 12, 2008, 05:03 PM
Accuracy in an M1A generally comes from labor (i.e. bedding), not so much parts.
June 12, 2008, 05:49 PM
The basic M1A is plenty accurate IMO. Still expensive at $1250 to $1300 (around here, anyway). Still 1-3/4" groups at 100 yards with handloads not too shabby for a guy that has a hard time with irons.
June 12, 2008, 05:50 PM
Do your best to try and buy a National Match if you can. It is usually worth the extra money not to mention in the event you have to sell it you will be able to sell it faster and for more money. Spending time on it as stated above is also a great plan. See if the armorer at your base will let you help him in the shop for a while to get some tips and experience.
June 12, 2008, 06:10 PM
30Cal Accuracy in an M1A generally comes from labor (i.e. bedding), not so much parts.
Yep, bedding the traditional way or tension bedding that never wears out
(i.e SAGE EBR Chassis Stock System) and a tuned trigger couldn't hurt :)
June 12, 2008, 06:21 PM
I'm thinking about one also. I hope a lot of THR members share their insight.
June 12, 2008, 06:35 PM
Get what you can afford, you can always upgrade it with bedding and or barrel later. They are capable of shooting decent groups My M-21 shoots some very good 3 shot groups but tends to open up on the 4th and 5th rounds from barrel heating.
Here are a couple of 100 yard targets targets.
June 12, 2008, 06:46 PM
Another option is a used Chinese Poly Tech or Norinco M14
Speaking of Norinco, has there been any word on when they are offering the new US made M14s here? That sounds like it'll be a great deal compared to the $1300+ options we have now. I found the website but all it has is a picture of a 120round AR mag available in June (all the links on the page went nowhere).
The top is my Super and the bottom is my National. I used to have loaded and other M1A's but I only kept these and all of the mags. Spring for the match gun up front. If not then you will always blame the gun for your failings. Just get the match gun, find a good load and get it out to the range. Even with iron sights I am happy with what my National can do off the bench at 100 yrds. It is an eye limit for me right now.
June 12, 2008, 08:37 PM
MK14 SEI Mod 1 - MOA groups with Portuguese NATO surplus.
Both rifles have 18.0" barrels - Accuracy improves with M118LR ammo.
June 12, 2008, 08:50 PM
if you are tight on $$, join CMP and get a Garand, at 1/3 the price. the shooting characteristics of the two rifles are almost identical, and M2 ball ammo for the Garand is 1/3 the price of equivalent priced 308.
try to visit one of the stores (in Ohio or Alabama) borrow a gauge at the counter, and find one with little muzzle wear and a decent crown. the employees are very helpful in helping you find what you are looking for, especially if you want a "shooter".
June 12, 2008, 11:24 PM
But the most M1A that you can afford eodgrunt. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a loaded model as a base-gun for the budding rifleman and you can always upgrade it in the future. Just be sure to select a gunsmith that knows & understands the M1A platform though.
As 30cal said... accuracy in an M1A comes from labor which can equate to some serious $$$$. The rising costs of parts doesn't help either!
Mine started off as a loaded model and was upgraded to a NM, and then a supermatch.