Help me decide on an M1A


November 18, 2008, 09:35 PM
There are a lot of configurations. Any and all expert advice is appreciated.

Socom, barrel length, other bells and whistles, match vs. regular, etc., wood vs synthetic etc.?

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November 18, 2008, 09:53 PM
I don't own an M1A, I'll say that, but I have shot them.

My uncle has the National Match M1A. I love how it shoots, very classic and authoritative. Accurate too. This model has the Glass Bedded National Match Gas Chamber. It's more accurate, but one terrible downside. If I remember correctly, you can't remove the gas piston to clean it, due to the glass bedding. You will ruin the bedding if you remove it. This is definately not a feature I would want in a combat rifle. Other than that, it is a great gun.

The other one that I have shot is the Socom 16. Love it!:D Absolutely sweet to shoot. Smooth, smooth, smooth. I almost want to say that it has less recoil than my AR. Well, it is less sharp, less abrupt. Probably the same, amount of movement, but is slower and smoother. I do very much like this rifle. I DO NOT, however, care for the Socom II. The picatinny forend on the SOCOM II is awkward, heavy, and uneeded

My vote is for the M1A Scout with a synthetic stock. This is
a good middle ground between the two. It is lighter and easier to move in tight places than the Standard, but has a little more velocity and accuracy due to a longer barrel than the Socom.

November 18, 2008, 10:05 PM
It kind of depends what you want it for. If you like a tactical style weapon like an AR-15 with tons of rails, lights, lasers and optics, I'd get the SOCOM. If you are primarily planning to use it for punching paper, and you are not going to compete with it, I'd get the Standard or the Loaded. The deciding factor between the two would be weather or not you ever want to take it out in the field or hunting or so forth. The Loaded is listed as 0.5 pound heavier, but I have been told it's actually 1 pound heavier. I own the Loaded Synthetic and couldn't be happier with it. It is a very accurate rifle.

If you want to get into competition with the rifle, you'll have to ask someone else. I'd say my Loaded is good for about 1.5 MOA pretty consistently.

Kind of Blued
November 18, 2008, 10:39 PM
What are you going to shoot with it and how far away is that thing going to be when you shoot it? :p

I'd go Loaded on Walnut for just about any purpose that I personally could think up. It seems to be the best value of all of the models, and I personally don't see the point in buying a large, heavy, full-powered rifle and neutering it to try to make it a "CQB weapon". If you grow tired of the walnut, you could always toss it in one of those supercool JAE stocks.

wayne in boca
November 19, 2008, 04:57 AM
Well,I have a Socom 16,a Scout in walnut,and two Standards in walnut.If I could only keep one,it would be a Standard.If I could only keep two,it would be a Standard and the Scout.But I love my Socom too,it kind of grew on me.I guess I'm no help,because I couldn't decide either.Get one,you will love it.

November 19, 2008, 05:13 AM
If I remember correctly, you can't remove the gas piston to clean it, due to the glass bedding. You will ruin the bedding if you remove it.

This is not correct. Removing the gas piston for cleaning will not affect the stock's glass bedding. Failure to remove built up carbon from the gas piston will affect the rifles ability to function after a period of time. Its the removing the rifle from the stock that could have an adverse effect on the bedding.

English Bob
November 19, 2008, 05:47 AM
I have a Springfield Armory M1A National match which I have been very happy with.

I had a slight problem with it early on with it spitting the extractor out. I took advice and changed over to a USGI extractor, ejector and plunger and I've not had the problem since.

Accuracy wise I have had 1MOA on a regular basis, sometimes just under with homeloaded ammo. I will have put just over 3,000 rounds through it now and have not noticed any significant loss in accuracy.

November 19, 2008, 06:48 AM
I have a Springfied M1A Scout with wood stock. Great gun and last year it was only $1300 new. (does have a rail on top)

November 19, 2008, 08:51 AM
I have three Springfield M1A rifles now. The one pictured here is a preban M1A loaded. The scope rings are QD, so turn the levers, and you have the NM
iron sights available.
Great at punching paper, and with the Leupold scope, it makes a pretty decent weapon for a possible time of unrest.

November 19, 2008, 09:10 AM
I went with a Loaded. ;)
Does everything I need it to.

November 19, 2008, 09:30 AM
I like wood and steel on my M1A's. I save the picatinny rails for the AR's.

November 19, 2008, 09:32 AM
double tap, my bad.

November 19, 2008, 10:36 AM
I have a Springfield Loaded M1A and love it. I will be adding a Scout before any AWB.

November 19, 2008, 10:55 AM
My one and only Springfield M1A was a Scout. I learned a great deal about the M14 with this rifle.
Pictured here in NM trim just before I put in my 1st SAGE EBR stock. I parted it out and sold everything off.

I prefer the 18.0" barrel on an M14, but there is nothing wrong with a 22.0" barrel.
Wood stocks are great eye candy, but I prefer USGI synthetics and SAGE EBR stocks.

I no longer own an M1A, I buy Chinese M14s and have the exact configuration I want custom built on their forged receivers.

November 19, 2008, 11:36 AM
I love my loaded. It makes me happy when I shoot well with it. I have only had one problem with it and it was user error and not rifle error. I like wood so I put a wooden heat shield on mine. I think it makes it look a ton better but then again I hate plastic on anything but an AR.

Thats my wife.

Thats me

November 19, 2008, 04:24 PM
To me the best deal is the Loaded model. That's what I ended up with:

I tried real hard to convince myself to get a Scout instead, because I figured the shorter barrel would be handier out in the woods, but to me the Scout just did not balance as well as the full length rifles. I'm sure that would not be the same for everyone, since different folks have different LOP's, etc. I have no regrets on the Loaded whatsoever. It's by far my favorite rifle. I killed a doe opening day of gun season with it this year.

It's still fairly new, so I can't comment on long term reliability yet, but so far there have been no hiccups with any ammo I've tried.


November 19, 2008, 07:14 PM
I vote for the National Match with Walnut. Looking at the prices on Big Sky Guns, the National Match did not have as much of a premium over the standard I expected.

I'd go for the accuracy over the gadget details. I have been mulling over one of these, too. So, you have given me an opportunity to think out loud. Good luck. Hope you get it!

November 19, 2008, 08:48 PM
Love my loaded walnut.

November 19, 2008, 10:09 PM
I like my standard, but my scout is my favorite

November 19, 2008, 10:20 PM
The scout is a nice place in the middle if you cant make up your mind. It really depends on what you want to do with it. I want to build a match rifle so Im starting with the super match from SA and putting a JAE stock on it.

November 19, 2008, 10:22 PM
I've been very happy with my Loaded model and it would most likely be the last rifle I'd get rid of in hard times. They are well-built, accurate rifles that require neither batteries nor a lot of attention.

November 19, 2008, 11:15 PM
I own both a loaded and scout. The loaded is in a walnut stock while the Scout is in a synthetic stock. Both do the job, but I really prefer the Scout! Accurate, very handy and just a great gun to shoot. This is my preferred SHTF tool as well. IF I could only get one, it would be the Scout.

November 20, 2008, 03:01 AM
I went back and forth on this decision too. I bought a standard (lightly used) Springfield M1A from a local gun shop but returned it the next day and ordered a Scout version from Impact Guns. I'm looking for a 0 to 300 yard semi-auto in .308 so the Scout fits my needs. I have other firearms better suited for 300 to 1000+ yards. As for which brand of M1A ... there was only one choice for me and that's Springfield.


November 20, 2008, 04:59 AM
Socom11 all the way

November 21, 2008, 10:17 PM
This is just the question i'm agonizing over - My thoughts so far are that the shorter barrels are OK, since i'm not putting anything down at ranges over 500yds, and don't need the extra kinetic energy a longer barrel provides. However, I think the sights on SOCOM are too thick, so I'm inclined towards the Scout Standard, or the Loaded...lately, looking at prices on gunbroker and elsewhere, it seems there is more value in a Loaded - however, i'm drawn to the forward top rail on the shorties. I've learned from my CX4 that mounting stuff on the sides effects my accuracy, so the SOCOM II is out for me - thats a lot of metal weight & bulk too. But Fulton makes an under-rail, which i'd put on whichever option i go with.

Can someone who is knowedgable chime in on whether it would be viable to put a Scout rail on a Standard or Loaded? and how that might effect the balance and overall performance? To get the best of both worlds -

(My impetus there is to put a holographic sight up front, and keep my night vision scope on a regular gen3 mount, and have a great weapon for all lighting conditions; although it might be hard to keep the NV zero'd with the taking it on & off. I still need to think this part out.)

Wow. I'm rambling. Sorry, I don't want to thread-jack - but am interested in these trade-offs. Cheers! -D

November 21, 2008, 11:00 PM
The forward Scout rail will fit any length barrel as long as the rifle has a standard contour barrel.
A better option is the railed hand guard from UltiMAK. It sits lower, runs cooler and it is rock solid.

If you are using a standard synthetic or wood stock and plan to run anything other
than an Aimpoint Micro or a Scout scope in low rings you will need a cheek rest.

I hope that helps.

November 21, 2008, 11:39 PM
I also like the scout M1A config best. It still has enough barrel to not waste too much MV and produces much less blast than the short bbl version.

November 23, 2008, 12:30 PM
Thanks H2O.

So you're implying that you need a cheek rest for a gen3 mount, regardless?

I just bought a Loaded (my third SS/walnut rifle, after a .223 Mini14/Ranch Rifle and a custom .243 Montana 99); so i guess the Ultimak is a mute point for me now with the NM barrel, but it does look cool....

November 23, 2008, 03:01 PM
most, but not all require some kind of cheek riser in order to get
a good repeatable cheek weld with that scope/mount combo.

November 23, 2008, 03:21 PM
For any optic mount on a M1a in a USGI type stock (SEI, Sadlak, ARMs, Basset) you will need to add some sort of a cheek piece to get your eye up to the correct height. I have the Fulton Armory strap on that has 3 different sized pads so you can adjust for height. The Kydex ones are nice also but you have to put some holes in your stock.

Some advice on a mount would be the SEI weaver mount, it's steel and only $125. Compared to the regular Sadlak and SEI picatinny mounts it's the best deal around. You do need to use Weaver rings but as Weaver steel rings are only $18 and rock solid that is only a positive IMO. Btw the Springfield 3rd generation mount is not very good IMHO. If you want that style just get the generic version for $28 it's an exact copy.

On the OP's question, for a first M1A I decided to get a full sized SAI Loaded, but was pretty tempted by the scout. I figured though that since this is my only HP centerfire rifle I would get the full sized for full velocity and range. After waiting and saving for years I got mine delivered on election eve, not by plan but that is just how the payments worked out. I am glad I did though as I missed out on paying $400 more for it. People are crazy glad I'm all stocked up on ammo and mags throughout the year before my rifle got here.

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