Accuracy of an M1A?


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Lovesbeer99
June 8, 2009, 08:17 AM
I shot my first M1A this weekend. I only had a chance to handle it for a few minutes, then took 5 shots off hand to get the general feel of it. I really liked it. This was a scout sqaud with a synthetic stock.

So let's take a standard M1A, or a scout squad. What can I expect of accuracy using decent or standard ball ammo at 100 yards and 300 yards? Are we talking 1moa, 2moa, 3moa?

What does the Loaded version have extra? Is it worth the money?
Any accuracy advantage between the wood and synthetic stock? Are either of these free floated?

Thanks in advance.
Lovesbeer99

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H2O MAN
June 8, 2009, 08:42 AM
1.5 to 2 MOA is easy, sub MOA is po$$ible.

lipadj46
June 8, 2009, 11:15 AM
What does the Loaded version have extra? Is it worth the money?

The main upgrade is the medium weight barrel. They also have the match tuned trigger, the match rear site (non hooded aperture), match front sight and match flash suppressor. When I bought my M1A last year they loaded was around $100 more than the standard so for me it was worth it. It depends what you want though, it is heavier than the standard.

Any accuracy advantage between the wood and synthetic stock? Are either of these free floated?

The wood is stiffer in the forend and is preferred for bedding. They are not free floated the M14 does not work that way. Instead of having zero pressure on the barrel people put pressure on the barrel during the bedding process or by using a sling while shooting.

LoneStarWings
June 8, 2009, 11:25 AM
My scout averages 1.5 MOA with match ammo. I've had groups as small as 3/4" but can't get those consistently.

Milsurp or regular FMJ will usually do 3-4 MOA.

This is true out to 300 yards, I haven't had a chance to shoot it beyond that yet. The rifle is factory springfield with no modifications.

SlamFire1
June 8, 2009, 11:32 AM
It is my recollection, but a GI M14 had to shoot within 3.5 inches at 100 yards (or 100 meters) with GI ball ammo.

This was actually difficult to do as Ball ammo was not consistently capable of holding 3.5 inches. See bottom target.

This is mentioned in a Larry Moore technical report in the Collector's series book on the Garand to the M14.

Because I have no sense, I had a M1a built around all GI components, and then had the gunsmith bed the action, unitize the gas cylinder, add Garand era NM sights (no rear aperature, MOA on windage but 1 MOA on elevation), and ream the flash suppressor. Still, it has that thin HRA barrel and that thin GI stock.

I have only shot the thing a couple of times, in a couple of 100 yard highpower matches. The first match, the front sight was loose and I got an oval group. Once I figured that out, I shot it again in another 100 yard match.

With the very light GI stock, and that light barrel, slung up in the prone slow position, this rifle is very twitchy. I found as I was shooting my 20 round string. Just tiny positional changes would send bullets flying anywhere. When I was finally getting used to the rifle, (and a goofy aimpoint with that 1 MOA elevation adjustment), I was consistently hitting in the ten ring as long as my position and trigger pull were perfect. But everything had to be perfect. The low and high shots are just me sliding up and down on that stock, or trying to figure out the post position.

I am not going to shoot this in any more matches, because it is a waste of my time. But I will bust rocks with it.

A M1a with the heavy barrel, heavy stock, is much easier to shoot and is not as sensitive to twitches as a GI configuration.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/ReducedM1a156575HRAChromedbarrel185.jpg

This target is 1968 WRA GI ball fired from a very accurate Ruger Tactical. How anyone could expect to shoot well with garbage ammo like this, is beyond me. But this would be what you would have been shooting in your M14 in Vietnam.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/150gr1968WRABall.jpg

Incidentally, this is IMI FMJ's. These bullets are not so great either.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/148IMIFMJIMR3031.jpg

This is a 10 shot group with Hornaday 150 FMJ's. Which is darn good. If you shoot stuff like this, you might get a good idea of what capability your rifle has.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/150Hornday410grsIMR3031-1.jpg

RobMoore
June 8, 2009, 11:42 AM
The loaded is well worth the extra cost over the standard M1A. The others up the chain are not quite worth their steep increase.

The loaded gives you the best bang for your buck.

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