M1A or AR?


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Wildyams
May 27, 2009, 11:44 PM
I've been thinking about getting a new rifle, but cannot decide which one I want.

The ones I've been looking at are M1A's, either the Socom II or the Scout Squad.
Or an AR, not sure if I would build my own, or buy a complete one

any input would be great.

Mainly just using it to target shoot, possibly for self defense while camping.

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FlyinBryan
May 27, 2009, 11:46 PM
are we talking about an ar in 308? or 223?

Wildyams
May 27, 2009, 11:47 PM
the AR would be a .223

also, I'm curious about costs for building my own AR, would it be possible to build one for less than $1000? I'd like something that I could upgrade later.

Arbor
May 27, 2009, 11:57 PM
Yes, it's possible to get a good AR15 for under $1000. Someone will probably be along shortly to tell you that all ARs under $1500 are junk, however. :D

I voted AR15, but I guess I should have asked... do you plan on carrying it around much? M14 wins for durability, AR15 for weight. Kind of a washup on accuracy, I think a basic AR will outshoot a basic M14 though.

sarduy
May 28, 2009, 12:02 AM
I've been thinking about getting a new rifle, but cannot decide which one I want.

The ones I've been looking at are M1A's, either the Socom II or the Scout Squad.
Or an AR, not sure if I would build my own, or buy a complete one

any input would be great.

Mainly just using it to target shoot, possibly for self defense while camping.

answer those questions and you'll make a decition ;)

1. you want a 308 or a 223 rifle?....
2. what distance you want to shoot with your new target rifle? 100, 200, 500, 1000 yards?
3. where are you going to camp? a very dangerous place with some bears? or something not as dangerous....



i would recommend an AR, just because you can get what you want and...if you want to change anything it's easier to do it with an AR, Building an AR is easier than what it looks. but if you want to buy a complete rifle that's a good option too.

a good target/self defence while camping/ can be the following setup

20'' heavy barrel rifle with a Quick Detachable 3x9 scope and/or backup sights and a carbine style stock to make the overall lenght smaller

ETA: a .223 bullet can be accurate at 500 yards but you can get great accuraty at 600/800 yards (that's pushing it all the way) with a good scope, and since you want it for self defence while camping.... 30 rounds of .223 will drop ANYTHING that attack you

Hunt3r
May 28, 2009, 12:07 AM
If you don't intend on using a Harris bipod or attaching weapon lights, then all you really need is an A4 style carbine from Armalite. It comes without a carry handle so you can buy one from them if you like.


If you want the closest thing to the real deal M4s, Noveske or LMT is the way to go. If you can find one, the Colt 6920s also work. All are quite expensive, but having "mil-spec" is expensive because mil-spec comes at mil-spec prices.

The M1A is an expensive gun to shoot. If you want to shoot with the accuracy of an AR, you have to pony up the money for a better trigger, bedding the stock, and also unitizing the gas system. I wouldn't recommend getting it scoped unless it's an M25, and if it is then feel free to scope away.

Both aren't going to be cheap unless you feel like going for a Bushmaster. If you don't need "mil-spec" then good choices also include Stag Arms, CMMG, DPMS, Armalite, and all of which are reputable manufacturers.

If you're getting an AR, make sure that you have an AR that has the gas-key staked right, unless you're a masochist or you feel like coming up with new lists of three and four letter words.

If you want to go the M14 route, definitely get the Scout Squad. The SOCOM II just gives too much muzzle blast. Building your own AR is going to need some armorer's tools if you aren't just getting complete uppers and lowers.

If you aren't going to shoot very far, and you're just shooting for groups and possibly using for HD, but you don't want to spend a lot of trouble building it, then the pre-built AR route is good.

Wildyams
May 28, 2009, 12:08 AM
I think I'd be happy with either a 308 or 223,
I would love something that I could really reach out with accurately, but realistically it would mostly be shot at 100 yards or less (I'm lucky enough to have a piece of property that I can shoot on, so my ranges can vary)
I camp in northern Idaho, there are a few grizzlies up there, but I also have a 12 gauge so defense isn't really high up there on that list of deciding factors, just something to think about.

I'm just looking for input on what other people might suggest and the reasons they have for suggesting them

Maverick223
May 28, 2009, 12:16 AM
I voted M1A, but I am changing that to a AR (factory) due to additional info. If you don't want to reach out further than 100yds for target a AR is more than enough, for that range a 17HMR may be the best caliber. If you decide to reach out a bit further (500+yds) then the M1A might start to have some advantages.

P.B.Walsh
May 28, 2009, 12:18 AM
Gas piston AR.

ccsniper
May 28, 2009, 12:29 AM
i'll say it lightly
SOCOM!!!!! SOCOM!!!!!!! SOCOM!!!!!!! SOCOM!!!!!!!!!

Maverick223
May 28, 2009, 12:29 AM
Gas piston AR.I would normally agree, but not since this is for target use...a GP system is less accurate than direct impingement.

FlyinBryan
May 28, 2009, 12:49 AM
i voted prebuilt ar.

i think if your going to have 1, the ar should probably come first.

i have an ar and love the platform.

i dont have an m1a so i cant speak from direct experience, but i do have a garand, and i love it. the feel of the garand/m1a is hard to explain really, i guess solid, and powerful, are words that come to mind.

still, if your going to just have one, its hard to argue with the ar15.

its a tough call for me really though, lol, its so close i might say ar today, and springfield tommorow.

but today i said ar.

10-Ring
May 28, 2009, 12:59 AM
If you want a carbine length rifle and the SOCOM is in the running, I'd go w/ the std SOCOM w/o the cluster rail (II). Adds way too much weight to be of any real use or good.

Hunt3r
May 28, 2009, 01:53 AM
Since you're plinking, you shouldn't waste money buying .308 ammo when you aren't going further then the 100 yard line most of the time.

If the wind is good and you've got good ammo you can shoot as for as .308 anyhow.

Travis Bickle
May 28, 2009, 01:59 AM
Mainly just using it to target shoot, possibly for self defense while camping.

For that, I'd want an AR. For a TEOTWAWKI or militia rifle, I'd definitely want the M-14.

LoneStarWings
May 28, 2009, 02:41 AM
I voted for M1A scout, it's what I chose when I was in your shoes about 3 months ago.

It'll do about 1-2 MOA with match ammo, 2-3 with milsurp FMJ. I have a pistol scope on my scout and it really works great. Sure it's heavier than your typical carbine length AR, but the reliability you get combined with additional power of the 7.62x51mm is worth the tradeoff in a semi-auto, in my opinion. I paid $1600. I've probably spent almost that much in ammo too!

Sure, I wouldn't mind having an AR someday too, but if I could only have one in semi-auto, I'd take the M1A. If money is real tight, an AR is better because 1) they're cheaper 2) ammo is cheaper 3) .22lr conversion is possible, and then ammo is really cheap

C-grunt
May 28, 2009, 03:30 AM
Thats a tough choice. I like the Scout versions better than the Socom for the M1A.

I hate to do it but either would be a great choice. Try to handle and fire both and see which one "calls" to you.

But the AR will most likely be cheaper and have cheaper ammo. Plus you can switch out upper for around 5-600 bucks and have a different rifle.

The M1A will give you more range and better wind resistance but tend to be less accurate stock for stock. The M1A definitely wins in the looks department.

RX-178
May 28, 2009, 03:32 AM
I voted scout squad, unless you feel a pressing need for a quad rail (that's not meant to sound condescending. Some people honestly do have more need for rails than others.)

Waibaddayu
May 28, 2009, 03:55 AM
Colt 6920. Buy once, cry once!

MarineOne
May 28, 2009, 06:04 AM
I voted for build your own AR.

I bought a Bushmaster and while I've not had any stoppages with it and have put more than 3k rounds through it, I did have some warranty work done after I bought it and didn't like the way it came back.

I took it to the range to sight it in and it was shooting way to the right. After 26 clicks to fix it I was just barely on the edge of the 3 foot target I was shooting at 100 yards. Come to find out, they over-torqued my barrel nut while building it, which warped the index pin and caused the problem I was having. I sent it in for warranty repair and they screwed up my barrel nut fixing it. The barrel nut is really jacked up and I know I'm going to have a bad time removing it so it will need to be replaced, but it just gives me a reason to buy a flat top upper and free float the barrel. Of course the front sight assembly/gas block will need to be removed so I know I have a bit of work ahead of me. I made my complaint with customer service about the shoddy warranty repair and how angry I was at how it was returned, and decided not to buy from them again.

Now the big question is .... do you want mil-spec or not? This of course will change how much you spend on it.

And then for the barrel length .... did you want a 16, 20, or 24 inches? Free floated or not? Carry handle or flat top upper? Flip up sights? Collapsable stock, standard A2 style, or a skeleton style?

The trigger assembly can be a Timney or Jewell drop in, so this makes the build even easier and you get a better trigger.

You'll need the AR wrench, the vise blocks so you can put it in a vise to tighten everything to spec, a good manual, and some basic hand tools.


I'm hoping I've got the time while I'm home from the sandbox to fix my Bushmaster. I'm not too worried about it since I'm getting the AR-57 upper for it.





Kris

lipadj46
May 28, 2009, 03:53 PM
Personally I'd buy one of each. That's what I did at least. Not at the same time, bought the M1A (SAI Loaded) first as that is what I always wanted then I bought the AR (Bushmaster 24" A3). They are both great.

JShirley
May 28, 2009, 04:02 PM
This is mostly a fun gun for you, so I'd use the experience to build your own AR.

The only reason I'd get an M1A, is if you find some intrinsic satisfaction in shooting longer distances with iron sights. In that case, I'd get a standard length M1A, not one of the cut-down recent versions.

John

natescout
May 28, 2009, 04:07 PM
M1A squad scout gets my vote, but i have both ( AR and M1A)

H2O MAN
May 28, 2009, 05:25 PM
I'd get a standard length M1A, not one of the cut-down recent versions.

Springfield has offered an M1A with a factory 18.0" barrel since the mid 1980's.
The Bush, Scout and MK14 are excellent rifles.

Bwana John
May 28, 2009, 06:08 PM
I'd get a standard length M1A, not one of the cut-down recent versions if you find some intrinsic satisfaction in shooting longer distances with iron sights.
+ 1
Unless you really want to cut down the sight radius on the finest iron sights in the world.

Of course a "real operator" would go for the shorty, with rails everywhere, and the biggest scope available. :banghead:

CoRoMo
May 28, 2009, 06:11 PM
I've been thinking about getting a new rifle, but cannot decide which one I want.

We have something in common then. I certainly can't decide which one you would want either.

Other than that, I've decided that alphabetical order is good enough when jumping into the black rifle pool.


AR
M1A
Mk14
Saiga


:D:neener::neener::D

dscottw88
May 28, 2009, 06:22 PM
.223, although hard to find, is much easier to get a hold of than .308. Also, an AR15 is going to be pretty dang handy weighing in at 7 or 8 lbs. A Loaded M1A gets up around 10 or 11lbs, and you'll be able to tell a difference.

If your going to be shooting past 600 yards or plan on running into a family of bears than you should probably get the M1A.

But if your just going camping in places that dont have hundreds of bear attacks and your not scoping/shooting at long distances than the AR wins again.

So lets say you decide to grab an AR, well now you have to make another decision. Do you feel that you would be better off building from reputable manufacturers or would you rather just buy whole? it'll be cheaper building too.... oh the possibilities.

Maverick223
May 28, 2009, 06:38 PM
Of course a "real operator" would go for the shorty, with rails everywhere, and the biggest scope availableJohn why are you picking of water man's EBRs? :neener:

Wildyams
May 28, 2009, 10:25 PM
We have something in common then. I certainly can't decide which one you would want either.

that is true, however you can provide some insight that could help influence my decision. that is all I'm asking for. :)

J&J
May 28, 2009, 10:46 PM
I marked scout squad... partly because that is what I did:rolleyes: and partly because if this is a "one gun" type of purchase, the M1A scout seems to cover an awful lot of bases.

That being said... as some one who was "raised" in the world of firearms on an M16 (Semper Fi, baby)... it took quite a while for me to adjust to the M1A. Something about the weight distribution, grip angle, maybe lack of pistol grip... not quite sure really. I have grown accustomed to it, but am still considering an aftermarket stock, like the Vltor... and am still considering getting a quality AR.

It does get hard to put a lot of rounds downrange as the price of even surplus 7.62 gets expensive... 5.56 is almost half the price...

So many variables...

cipher
May 28, 2009, 11:27 PM
Full length M1A or scout squad at the least: cause rifles with pistol grips are like those cute little doggies with one short leg.

sprice
May 28, 2009, 11:30 PM
i said make ur own ar; its not that hard. but if it were my gun i'd say get an fnh usa semi auto .308

benzy2
May 29, 2009, 12:31 AM
I would probably go AR. You can get a good setup for less than $1k if you look around a little. If this is a fun rifle as it sounds, and not something that you will rely on to be 100% without a hiccup then a lot of the mid range ARs fit well and get you out the door under $1k. Building is the same way. The options I want didn't come out much cheaper than a factory built setup but I went with a plain M4 setup and a lot of factories have that setup. If you want rails or something unique it is often cheaper to build. Building, especially if you put the upper together, gives you a better feel for the rifle but it does take time and if doing a upper it takes a few specialty tools as well.

I like the M1A. I don't like a lot of the setups some people seem to love. That rifle to me needs a wood stock and no pistol grip. I don't know why but the all metal "chassis" looks ugly to me. I know they shoot well and are durable, they just look ugly. For a fun gun I pass on ugly. I also think they look better with longer barrels. Something about the extra power makes me think the rifle should be longer. From a functional point it won't make much difference and will be easier to carry the shorter rifle but from an aesthetics again the longer looks better.

All that said it doesn't matter what I think as I'm not in the market for another of either. You are. This is a fun rifle and both are fun. Slightly different fun and forms that you need to decide on your own. Both are quality rifles and will be fun. You won't be making a huge mistake either route so just pick what seems like more fun.

RockyMtnTactical
May 29, 2009, 02:47 AM
Build an AR15. :)

H2O MAN
May 29, 2009, 10:46 AM
RockyMtnTactical Build an AR15. :)

Sell it for a profit and buy yourself an M14 :evil:

ARNETT44
May 29, 2009, 08:45 PM
Buy them both. They are really two different systems. So what are going to do with them?

Zach S
May 29, 2009, 09:25 PM
I'd get the AR first.

Then, when funds allowed it, I would get the M1A scout.

Unfortunately, I still dont have an M1A scout:(

4v50 Gary
May 29, 2009, 11:55 PM
I opted for home built AR. You develop familiarity with the gun. Familiarity breeds confidence. I like the M-14, but setting the caliber aside, it's never going to be as good as an AR. Gas piston guns have more moving parts and this affects the harmonics of the gun. The M-14 type action is harder to maintain too (if you're talking about target guns). It's a prima-donna that requires a lot of extra work to keep it sub-moa (though there's a new bolt together stock that reduces a lot of those issues).

If you're talking about camping, go with the lighter gun. The AR is more portable (pull out two pins and you break it in half). If you're thinking of dangerous animals, then get a bigger bore upper (as well as the magazines for it).

H2O MAN
May 30, 2009, 08:26 AM
4v50 Gary
I like the M-14, but setting the caliber aside, it's never going to be as good as an AR. Gas piston guns have more moving parts and this affects the harmonics of the gun.
The M-14 type action is harder to maintain too (if you're talking about target guns). It's a prima-donna that requires a lot of extra work to keep it sub-moa (though there's a new bolt together stock that reduces a lot of those issues).

That may have been true years ago, but things have changed for the better and the M14 is relatively easy to maintain and keep sub-MOA.

Wildyams
May 31, 2009, 08:44 PM
not much love for the Socom huh?

hadmanysons
June 1, 2009, 07:42 AM
I personally have no experience with the M1A but I now a former Navy SEAL who loves the M1A. He says he used it over the M4/M16/AR15 because it was way more reliable and more stopping power of the .308

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