ar-15 vs. m1a


October 25, 2008, 11:00 PM
That's right, it's the latest spin on the ever-present "what AR-15?" thread.:D:uhoh: It's really one of those "maybe in the future" things, but I'm looking for a do-all gun with less recoil than my 12 gauge.(And this is for if I decide not to just get a heavier, semi-auto 12 gauge.) It would be used for home defense, some hunting(deer/coyotes, and maybe black bear)/animal defense(black bear/wolves/coyotes), and maybe some target shooting. (It seems I want a hi-capacity 25-06, but I don't know of any.)

I like the modularity of the ar-15, it seems you can get it in many different calibers, from .22 to .50 B. The m1a, on the other hand, seems to have a better reputation for reliability, and I think I'd like the regular stock as opposed to a pistol grip. Can you get a regular stock for an ar-15? However, having it in 2 seperate calibers could be more expensive than simply buying 2 seperate guns. Anything else I should know?

Also, what would you pick, and why?

Sorry if I forgot anything, and for any spelling errors, it's pretty late.

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October 26, 2008, 03:51 AM
Firstly, a semi-auto 12 gauge is going to be lighter than a pump.

Given your requirements to shoot large animals, the M1-A is better suited. You can get close to a high-cap .25-06 - Armalite has their AR-10 in .243.

October 26, 2008, 12:03 PM
How's the .243 work on black bear? I think the m1a or AR-10 may be better, because I'll want stopping power if I ever am attacked.

October 26, 2008, 12:24 PM
Nother vote for the M1A. Shooting characteristics are just so much better. The experience improves dramatically going from an AR-15 to an M1A. The rifle simply has a solid feeling that the AR lacks. The ergonomics and control placement are better, at least for me, on the M1A. The safety and mag release are ambi, and the charging handle is located farther forward than the charging handle on the AR-15, which makes it more accessible. And while it doesn't seem to bother others as much as it does me, not having that damn buffer spring on the AR going "SPOING" next to your head every time you fire is a good thing.

The 7.62x51 may not be the best choice for indoors, where blast is going to be excessive. But it does offer the potential to be dramatically more effective than the AR in this regard as well. With expanding ammunition, such as Hornday's TAP-FPD line loaded with 155 or 168 gr Hornady Amax bullets, the 7.62x51 offers 75% of the wound volume of a typical 12 gauge buckshot load. This is tissue displacement and cavitation that the 5.56 just can't match. From an M1A, it offers you most of the effectiveness of a 12 gauge with less recoil, faster follow ups, and a larger magazine capacity--not that much of this is important, because the whole point of using a 7.62mm rifle is to need as few follow-up shots as possible.

As a do-it-all rifle, it is hard to beat the M1A. The M1A doesn't need to be all that modular, because it got it right the first time. It is accurate and reliable, well balanced, with controls located where they should be. Everything works as it should, and the rifle offers a good balance of controllability, capacity, and power that allows it to excel at everything from defense to hunting. I am hoping to take my deer this year with my M1A. So if you're looking to swap out a bunch of parts and play mad scientist on your rifle, the M1A probably isn't what you're looking for. If you just want to become intimately familiar with a single rifle that will do everything you ask of it as it is, the M1A is the best there is.

Al Thompson
October 26, 2008, 12:40 PM
Umm. Really a .308 vrs. .223 thread.. I agree with everything MTMilitiaman posted with one addition - I'm a FAL fan. :)

.223 is OK, but if it's one caliber, the 7.62/.308 will do everything the .223 or .243 will do plus more. You can always load the .308 down, can't load the .223 to catch up.

October 26, 2008, 12:47 PM
get one of each. that solved the dilemma for me.

October 26, 2008, 04:19 PM
Really a .308 vrs. .223 thread..
Well, I would probably get the AR in a larger caliber than .223.(maybe 6.8 SPC.)

October 26, 2008, 04:28 PM
can't load the .223 to catch up.
You don't need to.
Well, I would probably get the AR in a larger caliber than .223.(maybe 6.8 SPC.)
Or 6.5 grendel, or 300 fireball/whisper (similar to 7.62x39), or 50 beowulf, or 458 socom, or one of the phantom cartridges by JDJ.

November 13, 2008, 06:50 PM
Now how's the penetration with the 6.5 Grendel? I've seen some gelatin tests that didn't look too impressive, but that was from 100 yards.

November 13, 2008, 08:03 PM

November 13, 2008, 10:23 PM
I own both.
Buy now.
'The times, they are a changing!'

November 13, 2008, 10:34 PM
M1A, even the M1 Garand is a riflemans rifle IMO. I have a M1 Grand in 308 Win...I'm picking up a DPMS 308 tomrrow!

November 14, 2008, 06:06 AM
ar15 good rifle but .223 is not legal for taking deer so thats out then
m1a is a very good self loading rifle

November 14, 2008, 09:03 AM
get one of each. that solved the dilemma for me.

Or two or three of each. The M1A is bit large for a HD gun and the AR is a bit small for large game. You need both.

November 14, 2008, 10:03 AM
6.8 SPC caliber

November 14, 2008, 10:27 AM
JImbothefiveth I'm looking for a do-all gun with less recoil than my 12 gauge.

... I have a semi-auto 12 gauge, a 7.62x39 AKM and a 5.56 AR, but the
7.62x51 M14 is my do-all gun and it has far less recoil than my 12 gauge.

November 14, 2008, 11:04 AM
M1A. Once you mentioned bear that was all it took for me.

November 14, 2008, 11:24 AM
M14 style rifle , cant go wrong !

November 14, 2008, 11:27 AM
If in a different caliber than .223, the AR. yes, "regular" (well, similar) stocks can be gotten for them, IIRC. 6.5G has more bullet, going at a higher velocity, with a better bullet selection and SD than the 6.8. Really, the 6.8/6.5 should oonnly be bought if you reload, as the factory ammo is expensive.(unless you can find wolf 6.5)

Then there is 7.62x39 if you want cheap ammo, or .300 whipsper if you want a do it all, from large deer down cartridge. For bear, i would like something like the .338 federal, AR-10, or larger. hence .458 socom. Or .50 beowulf.

If you don't mind having multipule uppers, which, BTW is cheaper than multipule rifles, the .458 is a good choice. If you reload.

If not, and bear is on the list, the .308 is a better cartridge than the .223.

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