PTR 91 vs. M1A


July 28, 2009, 11:51 PM
What one do you think is better, why, do you have one of the two above, how accurate is it? simple-smart-sexy

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July 28, 2009, 11:59 PM
M1A, why, vecause it's AMERICAN, decendent of the M1 Grand and is a really nice looking rifle, IMHO or course. :)

July 29, 2009, 12:00 AM
What does better mean? :)

The M1A/M14 is more accurate by a LOT.

The PTR is half the price or less.

Mags for the M1A are $20 or so, HK mags are 3 bucks.

If you remove money from the question then the M1A wins hands down. But, that's a big price upgrade from one to the other that may be hard to justify.

Pony Express
July 29, 2009, 12:02 AM
more accuracy, although at this point i've probably regressed to the point where the PTR is more accurate than i am (but thats my fault. too much time with the 12 gauge)

July 29, 2009, 12:25 AM
I own a H&K 91 and a SA M1A ---- the M1A is more accurate , could be part of the reason is the trigger --- a factory HK91/G3/PTR has AT LEAST twice the LBs. to fire the rifle --- you CAN get a after-market replacement trigger for the HK but it ain't cheap.

Both are about equal in terms of being reliable ---- I've used both for 3-Gun/IPSC and for hunting --- both ran 100% with factory/mil. surplus/handloads.

I think the stock on the HK is a little short and I am not a big guy --- it has great sights and i've hit man sized targets at 600 meters with them. The other thing that bugged me with the HK is NOT having the bolt lock back on the last shot --- I've read that the Germans used to load the last three rounds with tracers , so they would know when the gun was almost empty.

I own two SA M1As --- a full size "loaded" and a SOCOM ----- LOVE THE SOCOM -- softest recoiling .308 battle rifle I've ever owned and I've owned about all of them at one time or another. And as stated above , both M1As have MUCH better triggers out of the box then the HK/PTR.
The bottom rifle is my SOCOM ---- I put it in a BM59 Nigerian wood stock --- I should take a better photo of it as it was not finished in above photo.

July 29, 2009, 12:33 AM
More recent PTR-91s have an improved trigger pull (at least mine did).

I had and sold a PTR. I hated the ergonomics, and could not shoot it accurately. I think the gun's inherent accuracy is OK, but the ergonomics and sights make it hard to shoot. I really don't have a lot of good things to say about them except that it was reliable.

The PTR design (HK91 design) is at the production-engineering level of an AK. Oh, it's very well and precisely made, but the stamped metal and trunion system is much like an AK (don't bore me with the difference in their operating mechanisms, I know that, it's not my point). As a cheap commodity it's good, but it just doesn't feel inspiring to hold or shoot. Really the HK91 should be compared with AKs and not with finely machined guns - but HK marketing has largely prevented that very reasonable comparison.

In contrast, the M1A is up there with the FN-FAL and AR-15 as a fully machined gun made by skilled tradesmen (or CNC mills) with lots of steps. It costs a lot to make but is really nice when it's done. IMHO the M14 is the high point of battle rifle design, although the FAL has some features that make it as good or better for equipping an army of conscripts.

Recoil of the M1A is very mild. Recoil of the PTR ranges from mild to violent depending on the bolt gap, the ammo used, and how clean or dirty the chamber is. I didn't like that. When violent it kicks almost like a 12 gauge, partly because of the poor ergonomics that magnify the recoil.

The delayed-blowback mechanism of the PTR also dirties the chamber and bolt as quickly as an AR-15, and it destroys cases (I guess you can reduce that problem with an add-on port buffer). It also ejects cases up to 30 yards away, so good luck finding them unless you use a brass catcher (more $$ and hassle).

Although the PTR-91 is very well made, for what it is I think a fair deal price would be $500-600, which is far less than what they go for. In contrast I think an M1A is a fair deal at its $1400+ selling price.

July 29, 2009, 07:28 AM
Good info Z-Michigan, thanks. :)

July 29, 2009, 10:49 AM

Much better balance and ergos, at least as accurate and reliable as the PTR-91, and by most accounts, less felt recoil. The M1A also has a better trigger and better sights.

I have an M1A Loaded. For general use, I wish I had gone with the Scout, but that is my only complaint, and it's a minor one. I am very satisfied with this rifle. It has been very reliable, shoots 2 MOA or better with iron sights and the cheapest ball ammo I can find, and hovers around half that with match ammo.

The best part of the M1A, however, aren't quantifiable. The M1A is a pleasure to own and shoot. It represents the last of the wood and steel battle rifles and comes from a lineage of such fine American rifles, all known for their reliability, durability, and exceptional accuracy and range. Like the M1903 and M1 Garand before it, the M14/M1A is a rifleman's rifle, built by and for riflemen and proven on both the firing line, and the battlefield. And no matter what variant you get, this bloodline is apparent. There is a reason these rifles remain popular in this country despite the rifle's short service life as a standard issue rifle--no other rifle I've ever shot, including my bro's AR-50, the M2, M240, or M249 is as satisfying for me as my M1A--and apparently, a bunch of others feel the same way.

Make mine an M1A.

July 29, 2009, 06:10 PM
I have both.

The 91's what I would consider a closer combat rifle, the M1A I would consider a farther combat rifle.

My particular M1a is setup for comp shooting. I'll prob leave it that way. The 91, I'm thinking about removing the sight and installing a holo sight.

Both have plus and minuses, one of which is the weight difference. Adequate parts are available for both. The ammo costs the same for both.

July 30, 2009, 09:42 PM
Subjective factors such as ergonomics really don't rate a mention because each individual interfaces differently with artifacts.

Both are good rifles.

Figure out what you intend to do with your rifle, and then pick the best tool for that job. For a "people gun" the PTR91 is, after my testing and comparos, the better of the two, UNLESS you throw the SoCom in the mix. The SoCom is not as accurate in our testing as the PTR91, and each has about the same recoil impulse. The SoCom seemed to point better and both had about the same recovery time between shots. But recoil was the same in our tests.

Now, to go to the standard M1a, and things change. Its recovery time between shots is noticeably greater than either the SoCom or the PTR91. But it is without a doubt the most versatile of the three rifles. The sights are graduated in meters, and are just about right on the money.

I like the modularity of the PTR91, and really enjoy it. The accessories abound. That said, the next rifle I am likely to buy is the M1a.

But. My go to rifle is the PTR91. It is dialed in at 400 yards, and has a quick detach scope that mounts instantly, and will extend the range to 600 yards. It is easier to clean, magazines are less expensive, and it is absolutely reliable. I prefer the sights on it to the M1a, given the relatively short range limitations. Only 400 meters.

Try both out and see what you prefer.

July 31, 2009, 01:53 PM
I own both PTR-91 and M1A.
In the case of the M1A I own more than one.

The PTR-91 is basically a full power battle rifle version of the AKM.

The M14/M1A is more "refined".

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 31, 2009, 01:55 PM
What TXRifleman and MTMilitiaman said.

"M1A" is such a poor unfortunate choice of a model designation for Springfield to use - I really wish they wouldn't have done that.

July 31, 2009, 02:22 PM
I own an M1A standard. The rifle shoots great. Mine wears a Burris Signature Select 3-12x scope on top of a Smith Enterprise mount. It is my #1 choice in a semi-auto .308 long gun.

With that being said, I'd love to find one of these PTRs for half the price of an M1A. All the ones I've seen in the past few years have been $1000 or more.

July 31, 2009, 07:36 PM
im a fan of the M1A because it is an american classic.
it looks better and is overall in my opinion better =)

but to each his own.

July 31, 2009, 10:51 PM
I've got a PTR-91, FAL, and M1A standard model.

The PTR/H&K G3: brilliant design but I can't seem to warm up to the ergonomic quirks. Seems like it was created by folks with PhDs in engineering who did their level best to design a mechanically fascinating more or less gun-shaped object. Also--and maybe it's because I'm a cranky yankee who was never particularly enthralled by German engineering--I can't see why I should pay more than a few hundred bucks for something made of welded sheet metal.

I prefer the M1A over the others. It is the rifle I shoot best with. It also handles like a custom-made fowling piece compared to the PTR. Plus, all that oiled walnut just smells so damn good.

July 31, 2009, 11:57 PM
Well the PTR-91 to me isn't that great. It really isn't. It's a design that makes mounting optics worse then trying to do so on an M1A, it's iron sights are terrible, the charging handle is misplaced, the chamber flutes gum up, jamming the gun, and the recoil is heavier then it should be.

The M1A isn't without problems though. It has the big issue of being difficult to mount optics, and requiring a new stock or a cheekpad to get a good sight picture, you risk bending op-rods with 168 grain and heavier ammo, it requires bedding to get any real accuracy.

So both have their problems, but at least the M1A doesn't jam and you can get the M25 for optics.

August 1, 2009, 01:24 AM
Negative on the M1A not handling 168 gr and heavier loads. With the stock gas system, the M1A/M14 is good all the way up to 175/180 @ about 2550 or so fps.

A good many National and Super Matches have been fed 168 and 175 gr OTM loads exclusively with no problems.

I've ran 168 gr Hornady Match through mine and it ran like a champ. I also disagree with the "needs to be bedded" comment. Depends on what you consider "real" accuracy, I suppose, but when even the cheap stuff shoots as good as you can see, and the match stuff hovers around MOA with iron sights, all without bedding, I would say the rifle has more accuracy than truly needed for most applications, right out of the box, no bedding required.

Roger that on needing a cheek piece to use with a scope. Mounting the scope really isn't that difficult--ten minutes with the included manual and I had an ARMS #18 on mine. But getting tall enough rings to get the ocular lens over the iron sights, and then having a cheek piece that allows proper cheek weld with optics in place, is probably going to be a requirement with the M1A.

August 1, 2009, 09:37 AM
It's a design that makes mounting optics worse then trying to do so on an M1A

Really? My experience has been quite the opposite. Between the fact that the M14 wasn't expressly designed to be used with optics, to the frequency of out-of-spec dimensions on SA M1A receivers, I'd say the PTR-91/G3/HK91 lends itself to far easier optics mounting.

the charging handle is misplaced

Definitely a matter of opinion, which, of course, everyone is entitled to. I have no problem with the placement of the cocking tube and handle, maybe because I'm a lefty.

the chamber flutes gum up

This is the first time I've heard of this. Again, my experience and that of everyone else I know who is familiar with the platform, is that this observation is decidedly incorrect. The fluted chamber and roller-locking design make for an inherently reliable design, capable of running when very dirty.

The PTR-91 is a very well-made, accurate and dependable rifle. With all of that said, I still prefer the M1A, in standard form, USGI parts, chrome-lined barrel, open sights;)


August 1, 2009, 09:51 AM
Definitely a matter of opinion, which, of course, everyone is entitled to. I have no problem with the placement of the cocking tube and handle, maybe because I'm a lefty.

As a lefty, the charging handle placement actually bugs the crap out of me. Can't reach it with my left hand with the rifle shouldered. Have to either reach over the rifle with my right hand (covering the sight picture) or--and this is borderline inexcusable for a rifle designed for combat--drop the rifle from the shoulder and run the charging handle at waist level. This would be less of a problem if the rifle had a bolt-hold-open, but having to do gymnastics every time I install a magazine is pretty infuriating.

It's a shame because the basic H&K design is simple and perfectly sound. Accurate, too.

Joe Demko
August 1, 2009, 09:55 AM
I owned a PTR-91 and a Chinese M-14 clone at different times. The PTR-91 was a substantially harder recoiling gun and had a less friendly trigger.

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