Springfield M1A or Armalite AR-10


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Tank45
October 23, 2008, 12:58 AM
I'm looking to get a semi-auto 308 and have narrowed it down to a Springfield M1A or a Armalite AR-10. What are the perks to either of these rifles. How do they compare in accuracy, reliability, and build quality. I also will be reloading for whichever I end up with so I don't want it beating the hell out of the brass. Any help is appreciated.

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General Geoff
October 23, 2008, 01:03 AM
Both should be very reliable, the AR will have a slight accuracy advantage due to inherent design (though the higher priced versions of the M1A tend to close that gap). Build quality of M1As is typically top notch, can't tell you about AR-10s since I don't own one.

Really it comes down to personal preference of operating procedure and aesthetics. Given the choice I'd get the M1A (if I didn't already own one), or the AR-10 if I was already familiar with and liked the operating and take-down procedures of the AR-15.

toopercentmlk
October 23, 2008, 01:06 AM
I think it comes down to era-loyalty, I'd go with the M1A.

General Geoff
October 23, 2008, 01:08 AM
Oh, big question: Do you plan on installing a scope on the rifle you choose?

Tank45
October 23, 2008, 01:28 AM
Yes, I do intend on mounting a scope.

toopercentmlk
October 23, 2008, 01:35 AM
-Just a scope, M1A.
-Scope, green laser, tac light, bi-pod, bayonet, IR emitter, red laser, clown horn, electric can opener, ect... Go AR.

General Geoff
October 23, 2008, 01:39 AM
If you intend on getting a scope off the bat, I recommend going with the M25 "white feather" model of the M1A (should you choose M1A), because it has an integral scope rail, as opposed to the standard M1As for which you'll need a separate scope mount.

elmerfudd
October 23, 2008, 01:49 AM
For accuracy, I'd go with the AR10. For reliability the M1A. The AR design is about as accurate as semi-autos get. There's no piston or operating rod to affect the barrel harmonics, they can be easily free floated and scope mounting is simple, rock solid and leaves you with a proper cheek weld. Unfortunately, AR's have had reliability issues in the past and after handling numerous M16A1's I don't have much faith in them.

The M1A on the other hand has excellent reliability but probably won't be able to match the AR for accuracy. It can still do pretty darn well though and it's iron sights are superb. The biggest problem with them is that they weren't well designed for scopes. Most mounts won't be as solid as an AR's upper receiver and unless you add a cheek piece you won't get a good cheek weld with a scope on it.

TIMC
October 23, 2008, 10:15 AM
I have both although my AR-10 is made by Bushmaster and my M1A is the M-21 sniper version with all the bells and whistles.

Both rifles perform very well from the bench and I have seen some very impressive groups from both rifles with hand loads in the 1/2" range at 100 yards. Both guns have always been 100% reliable. I think the M-21 is a hair better in the accuracy department. The M-21 prefers 168 grain bullets and the AR-10 prefers 150's. Both rifles are not too bad on brass. Which ever you get some kind of brass catcher is the best way to prevent damage to your brass. Most damage to my brass is done when the empty cases hit concrete at the range. I use a 20" net on a camera tripod and it works very well.

Ease of mounting a scope I had no problem with either rifle. I went with a Smith enterprises M-21 mount with Millet medium rings on the M-21 and since the AR-10 was a flat top no mount required I just used Millet extra high rings.

For hunting by far the AR-10 out shines the M-21. The AR-10 is lighter, shorter and easier to move around. It is also easier to clean. The AR-10 has become my main hunting rifle for deer and pigs. I will add I have been through a lot of different .30 caliber semi-auto rifles looking for the perfect pig gun and the AR-10 is it IMHO. Using bullets topped with Hornady 150 grain SST's the rifle is an efficient killer.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/m21sept122007.jpg?t=1224770686
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/BushmasterAR10smile-1.jpg?t=1224770739

H2O MAN
October 23, 2008, 10:25 AM
I had both and sold the AR-10.
The Armalite was very nice, but my MK14 SEI Mod 0 & 1 are much better rifles.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/16and18.jpg

navajo
October 23, 2008, 10:41 AM
Have both. One of my AR10s, Armalite makes the AR10, is scary accurate. Out shoots my NM M1A. But not by much.
Reliability. I have had one mag malfunction out of three AR 10s. Too much phosphate inside the mag.
Thirty years and seven different M1As, zero malfunctions. Not one.
Hand loads, commercial and surplus, not one.

Get what you like.

Nacho Libre
October 23, 2008, 10:49 AM
A good quality M1A would be my choice. No direct gas into the receiver, lighter recoil, easier to clean and maintain. Accuracy and reliability should be similar between the two if you get good quality ones. But as mentioned above, if you plan to put lights, lasers, vertical forend grips and so on, it's easier done on and AR than an M1A. If you just plan on puting a scope, I'll definitely go with M1A.

SuperDuty7.3
October 23, 2008, 01:29 PM
i heard AR 10 werent made anymore? any truth to that

HorseSoldier
October 23, 2008, 01:58 PM
The real-deal Armalite AR-10s have been out of production for a long time. AR style rifles in 308 caliber, however, including the new Armalite brand name, are going strong. The design seems to be gaining in popularity at a pretty brisk rate, actually.

navajo
October 23, 2008, 02:39 PM
Yes but there are many differences between original AR 10s and current production AR 10s.

mljdeckard
October 23, 2008, 03:03 PM
Give a good loot at TIMC's photos. Long story short, I bought an M1a, and discovered that A: Without a raised comb, like the one his photo, you are going to have to lean so far into the scope it will hit you. Repeatedly. This means that you will need at least a custom stock, and while you're at it, bedding, etc. B: I wasn't shooting it any faster than I would shoot a bolt-rifle anyway. I switched back to a Rem 700.

AR-style rifles chambered in .308/7.62 are often referred to as AR-10s, but no one makes an actual AR-10 from Stoner's original design anymore. The Armalite would have been the closest. Most of the others are AR-15s with a bigger mag well. If I were looking to get another semi in .308, I would probably start with the bare-bones DPMS and get to tweaking it.

navajo
October 23, 2008, 03:53 PM
If you can find one with a receiver marked Paragon you will have an original without the group therapy switch. Made in the late 70s and early 80s.
Uesd original mags also.

Tarvis
October 23, 2008, 04:02 PM
If you intend on getting a scope off the bat, I recommend going with the M25 "white feather" model of the M1A (should you choose M1A), because it has an integral scope rail
You do realize spending an extra $2500 on a rifle just because it has scope rails is pretty ridiculous, right?

They both have trade-offs, but for a scoped application, the AR-10 flat top is as simple as it can possibly get. I'm not completely informed on all of the options for the M1A, but I do know springfield has an "extended cluster rail" for their loaded version, possibly even others. There is also the side mount as pictured above, but for some reason I don't really like those.

AR-style rifles chambered in .308/7.62 are often referred to as AR-10s, but no one makes an actual AR-10 from Stoner's original design anymore.
Actually, they are all from Stoner's design, but the design has been modified. You still call it a Chevy Silverado, even though it has changed over the years and significantly from it's original design. Armalite markets their 308 rifle as the AR-10. I can't figure out why you brought this up; at first it seems like you are more interested in the namesake and keeping with the original design, of which Armalite is the closest as you say, then you say
I would probably start with the bare-bones DPMS and get to tweaking it.
What would you tweak and why?

Beagle-zebub
October 23, 2008, 04:20 PM
If you can find one with a receiver marked Paragon you will have an original without the group therapy switch.

What the heck does "group therapy switch" even mean? Select-fire?

If so, I think I might start using that euphemism.

navajo
October 23, 2008, 04:36 PM
Yes, been around since the sixties.

mljdeckard
October 23, 2008, 07:25 PM
Spending the extra money for a white feather isn't as ridiculous when you consider that a stock M1A will need significant upgrades to handle and fire reliably, accurately, and without cutting your eyebrow on the scope. I'd rather get it right the first time.

The rifles Armalite now markets as AR-10s, are not the same as the originals. None of them are. In 1995, former Army Ordnance officer Mark Westrom, owner of Eagle Arms, purchased the Armalite brand and the company became Armalite Inc. Shortly thereafter, Armalite introduced a modern version of the AR-10. The new Armalite AR-10 was patterned after the AR-15A2, scaled up to take the 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) cartridge, along with various other design improvements intended to strengthen the rifle. Ironically, the original AR-15 itself was a scaled-down AR-10. The new AR-10 is offered in several versions including a carbine with collapsible stock, a target model, and one version chambered in 300 Remington SAUM. SIMILAR rifles does not mean the SAME rifle. Few if any of the parts are interchangeable, it is a completely different design.

The first thing I would tweak on a DPMS would be to put in a RRA 2-stage trigger. I would have backup folding sights with tritium inserts. I would switch out all the springs for Wolff, and I would probably shop for a better barrel and put a muzzle break on it. Is that alright with you?

H2O MAN
October 23, 2008, 08:36 PM
The White Feather is fine, but for about the same money one could have a Crazy Horse
M14SE custom built on an LRB M25 receiver by SEI and end up with a superior rifle :evil:

ParaElite
October 24, 2008, 03:35 AM
I could not afford an M1A or an AR10 so I bought a DPMS LR 308. It depends on how much money you want to spend. It also takes more money to buy a finely tuned M1A -- check out the Peerless Grade M1As at Fulton Armory. It also costs money to maintain the level of accuracy on a M1A platform. Even the Armalites are expensive. So I went with the DPMS LR 308 -- Stainless barrel black teflon coated, threaded barrel with Miculek comp from R&R arms for $1034.00 I have a bunch of Fed Match ammo and Lake City Match ammo. The accuracy has been excellent - about 1moa at 100 yards. Others have done better.

Tank45
October 24, 2008, 08:32 AM
Thanks again for all the advice and opinions. I would like to keep this rifle under the $1500 mark. The only things that I will add to the rifle is a scope and bipod. I don't need the lasers and all the other stuff. The main reason that I mentioned the Armalite AR-10 is because of their reputation and mainly the warranty. I am open to other brands of "AR-10". The two main rifles that I am looking at right now is an Armalite AR-10 A4, or a standard Springfield M1A. I can only wish I could get a Whitefeather. Thanks again.

nuffsaid
October 24, 2008, 03:01 PM
ParaElite, I was in the local gun store the other day with the same decision. The DPMS is selling for $1100. How is the reliability of your DPMS .308? I had a DPMS Light AR15 that jammed something awful.... Have not trusted DPMS since then, bought a Bushmaster M4. Is the .308 more reliable?

JMusic
October 24, 2008, 03:13 PM
I only have the M1A. There's something about the rifle that lures you. They are heavy though. You'll have to buy a "Smith" mount though. I don't hunt with mine but If was to pick the two I'd pick the AR do to weight. After reading this thread I think you should have both!:D


Jim

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