M1a - am I missing something?


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General Disarray
February 7, 2011, 10:05 PM
I searched for a M1a, and particularly a Bush rifle for ages, and now that I have it I'm just not getting what all the fuss about M1a's is about. I have a few .308 MBR's: a Springfield 18" M1a Bush rifle, an FN FAL, a DPMS LR308. The M1a cost twice as much as the FAL, literally ($1500 v. $750); because of this and it's reputation, I had high expectations for the M1a.

Basically, every time I shoot one and then the other I can't help but find myself annoyed at the clickity-clacking of the M1a's action, versus the smooth cycling of the FAL's bolt. My M1a had 50 rounds fired thru it when I got it, and it's bolt, op-rod, and trigger are USGI (from TRW); so it's pretty much as good as it gets. I just find that when I'm firing it the action isn't anywhere near as smooth at the FAL. The recoil isn't bad, per se, on the M1a, but the FAL is adjustable and so much less. Am I crazy for wanting to just bail on the M1a?

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HorseSoldier
February 7, 2011, 10:10 PM
Guys that like M14 clones really like them. The rest of us really don't get it.

Nothing wrong with not being a fan -- if it works for you, good, if it doesn't you can sink a mountain of additional money into it trying to basically build a FAL with worse ergonomics or you can sell it on down the line and get something you like more. Someone will probably be along to tell you that you're a lunatic for not loving the M14, but no gun suits everyone on the planet.

Z-Michigan
February 7, 2011, 10:27 PM
OP - you're not crazy. I have both M1A and FAL and I largely agree with your comments. I find M1A recoil snappier and a bit stronger than FAL recoil (both of which are snappier than .308 AR recoil).

Basically, the M1A/M14 is a pretty good gun that has a large cult-like following. If you like it, great, if you don't, that's fine too. I agree with HorseSoldier as well.

General Disarray
February 7, 2011, 10:32 PM
That point about the price is really valid. It was $1500 just for the rifle; then to get the ergonomics of the pistol grip, etc, its another $200 for a choate or E2. Or, you can really go mental and put a SAGE EBR on there for $600+. I had one on mine at one point, but it made the front end so heavy it was ridiculous.

Z-Michigan
February 7, 2011, 10:42 PM
If you want a pistol grip or telestock, you shouldn't spend any time thinking about the M1A. Other platforms are ridiculously superior for using those features, not to mention less costly and usually lighter.

When I shoulder my M1A, I feel like I'm shouldering a Pennsylvania Rifle. That can be good or bad depending on your plans. The FAL doesn't exactly place in high-power competition, but I don't think you see many people running M1As in 3-gun either.

General Disarray
February 7, 2011, 11:18 PM
Well, I don't know about high powered competitions, but I know I hit 18" steel plates at 600m with both using iron sites. Side by side they're both equal for me; I don't use either with a scope, and I'm not trying to make 1" groups, ya know? Again, is there something I'm missing?

Rancho Relaxo
February 8, 2011, 12:39 AM
Glad to hear I'm not the only one that thinks the M1A is overhyped and overpriced.

Birdmang
February 8, 2011, 12:41 AM
Are the DSA FALs nice? Id like to get one. Or ptr91s? Where do i start?

General Disarray
February 8, 2011, 01:14 AM
Are the DSA FALs nice? Id like to get one. Or ptr91s? Where do i start?
PTR-91's and DSA FALs both can be as expensive as M1a's, but heck yeah both are amazing. The PTR-91's are American made clones of HK91's, and are $1200+; the DSA FALs are a separate animal altogether. My understanding of DSA's deal is that they take parts kits that had their receivers cut off and give them a new US made receiver and barrel. They also re-parkerize the parts from the kit, and put US made furniture on them. They're the brand-new-second-hand rifles is the best you can say about them; and they start at around $1100 for their basic models. My FAL is a G1 parts kit on an Imbel receiver and cost me $750 :)

ElToro
February 8, 2011, 01:26 AM
i cant have a fal in prk.... without it being emasculated so i have m1a .. if the laws change or i move to free america i will buy a fal

HorseSoldier
February 8, 2011, 01:29 AM
DSA does 100% American rifles (their SA-58 series) and also does 922(r) compliant builds using foreign kits (their StG-58s and Imbel rifle series).

The Wiry Irishman
February 8, 2011, 01:35 AM
My understanding of DSA's deal is that they take parts kits that had their receivers cut off and give them a new US made receiver and barrel.

That's not quite the whole story. They do make rifles using their receivers and Steyr parts kits, those are their STG-58 series of rifles. They've started making a rifle using IMBEL parts kits as well. Their SA-58 series are 100% brand new US made.

General Disarray
February 8, 2011, 01:35 AM
DSA does 100% American rifles (their SA-58 series) and also does 922(r) compliant builds using foreign kits (their StG-58s and Imbel rifle series).
Ahhh....thanks; I've always been confused about that. I first thought they were like JLD making a US made clones, but then I saw their Austrian's were on Austrian kits w/ DSA receiver/barrels. Now I get it.

So with my OP I was really trying to find a reason to like my M1a and justify how much money I shelled out so that I could find out I liked my FAL more. Again, is there something I'm missing?

NWCP
February 8, 2011, 02:09 AM
Why try justifying a rifle that you've already convinced us was a waste of your money? I own a M1A Supermatch and really enjoy it. It's not a hunting rifle and it's not for 3 gun, it's M1A. I trained on M14s while in the service and I suppose the nostalgia is a big part of the pleasure I get from the rifle. I don't happen to like the FAL, but I really enjoy my HK91. When it comes to hunting I grab my CZ550FS .308. Different strokes for different folks. Just remember, the M1A isn't a FAL. Apples and oranges. If you really don't like it sell it and move on.

madcratebuilder
February 8, 2011, 08:10 AM
That point about the price is really valid. It was $1500 just for the rifle; then to get the ergonomics of the pistol grip, etc, its another $200 for a choate or E2. Or, you can really go mental and put a SAGE EBR on there for $600+. I had one on mine at one point, but it made the front end so heavy it was ridiculous.
Sounds like you really wanted an AR10.


So with my OP I was really trying to find a reason to like my M1a and justify how much money I shelled out so that I could find out I liked my FAL more. Again, is there something I'm missing?

NO, sell it and invest the money in the FAL.

Z-Michigan
February 8, 2011, 09:18 AM
Are the DSA FALs nice? Id like to get one. Or ptr91s? Where do i start?

Having owned examples of all four major .308 platforms (M1A, FAL, PTR-91, LR-308) I am increasingly convinced that some form of .308 AR is the future, in terms of the combination of reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, and ease of service and upgrading. At the moment either the LMT or the Armalite. There are some pending additional .308 ARs that may be worth looking at too.

LemmyCaution
February 8, 2011, 09:37 AM
I bought an M1a scout/squad because it suited my needs. I don't feel I got ripped off.

If others have no use for the M1a, it neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg. It's not a matter of religious faith. It's a rifle. A tool. Nothing more.

That said, I'd sure like to have an AR pattern in 7.62x51 with an 18" barrel, as well. And a FAL.

Why not?

SlamFire1
February 8, 2011, 10:13 AM
Basically, every time I shoot one and then the other I can't help but find myself annoyed at the clickity-clacking of the M1a's action, versus the smooth cycling of the FAL's bolt. My M1a had 50 rounds fired thru it when I got it, and it's bolt, op-rod, and trigger are USGI (from TRW); so it's pretty much as good as it gets. I just find that when I'm firing it the action isn't anywhere near as smooth at the FAL. The recoil isn't bad, per se, on the M1a, but the FAL is adjustable and so much less. Am I crazy for wanting to just bail on the M1a?

If this is a comparison between the FAL and the M1a, well flip a coin. Both are battle proven rifles with decades of service. Each has strengths that are not found in the other.

I am still shooting the M1a in Highpower Competition. I got my Distinguished with the thing. The last “malfunction” I had was 1996 or 1997, and I have shot out three barrels since then. My malfunction was totally reload related, not a fault of the rifle. January I won a “vintage” rifle match with the thing, the club duplicated a 1961ish Service rifle course, shooting on the 5V target at 200 yards. It was a blast.

40-7V Prone Slow Fire

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/200ydsSlowFireProne40-7X.jpg


I have never been able to get as fine a trigger pull with a FAL as I have been able to get on M1a’s. Once you learn to tune a Garand/M1a trigger it is easy to do the trigger job yourself. I spent hours parts swapping on my FALS just to get an acceptable trigger. The best trigger pull I was able to get parts swapping unfortunately doubled. Repeatably. That combination of parts did not last long.

FALs are rear lockers and stretch cases something awful. M1a’s are front lockers. I took one set of LC brass 22 to 24 reloads in a M1a without any case head separations. I only pushed the shoulders back .003” when full length small based sizing, but the real life extender was leaving the case lube on, or rubbing Johnson Paste wax on clean cases. Case heads were not stretched in the chamber or during unlock. Gentlemen who have tried to use FAL actions as the basis for competition rifles find that their cases stretch so much, they get 3 to 4 reloads before case head separations.

I really like the adjustable gas system on the FAL but that does not mean you can use inappropriate loads or powders. All gas guns are limited by the operating characteristics of the action.

I have not found a set of rear sights for the FAL that provide the same level of precision adjustment as a tight set of M1a sights. My FALs have these ramps, elevation tuning has to be done with the front sight as the ramp adjustments are course. Plus the sight wobbles on the ramp. Acceptable for a battle rifle. Not the best arrangement for precision shooting.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Rifles%20various/Fn-FAL520aperature.jpg

FAL’s have excellent ergonomics, really easy to take down and clean.

After reviewing what you think is most important, it turns out that your criteria is totally different from what I think is important. If action “clickety -clacking” and “smoothness” are your most important criteria, go join those critics who also think that these are the most important characteristic of a rifle design, and go buy something else.

The M1a is not for you. It will never be for you.

And don't buy a Garand. You won't like it either. It also pings when the gun is empty. You will probably find that annoying.

Rshooter
February 8, 2011, 12:22 PM
Different strokes I say, personally I prefer the M1A over the FAL. The rifle just feels right but then I also love the Garand. The really nice thing about the M1A is that you should get a good price if you sell it to somebody else. :D

Sheepdog1968
February 8, 2011, 03:18 PM
I have reached the conclusion that price is the least important consideration of the purchase. A firearm is something that will last you the rest of your life and your children's life with some care along the way. For almost all firearms, its just a matter of how long you want to save for it. Is brand "x" worth/better than brand "y" is a classic question for which there is no true answer. I understand what you are asking by this question, but in many respects its like asking why did you marry that specific person over others. Unlike marriage, at least we can own mulitple firearms.

General Disarray
February 8, 2011, 03:47 PM
I really appreciate all the insight here. I'm not just contemplating the virtues of one over the other so I can make a decision; I stepped up and shelled out what's basically a mortgage payment for me, ya know? After shooting it a bunch I'm at best in-like with it. I'm searching for what others love about there's; maybe there's something I'm missing, right?

I can see what Slamfire1 is saying about the superior sighting of the M1a, and the abuse that rounds take being ejected from a FAL is a bit excessive.

I'm curious why the Army is moving away from the M14 in favor of the S.A.S.S. to fill the role of semi-auto .308 for some of it's teams?

henschman
February 8, 2011, 03:56 PM
I didn't know what the big deal was about M-14s either, until I actually learned proper rifle marksmanship and started shooting at ranges over 100 yards, requiring elevation come-ups and compensating for wind. The M-14's sights are head and shoulders above those on any other battle rifle. Nice easy 1 MOA clicks for both windage and elevation right there at the rear sight. And the long sight radius aperture sights really go a long way toward helping you be as accurate as the rifle. They have great triggers from the factory and can be tuned up even more with a little work.

I am one of those wierdos who cares more about things like the sights and trigger on a rifle than I do about how it's action sounds, but maybe that's just me. ;)

Of course all my experience with M-14s is with full 22" length barreled models, which have the proper sight radius that those sights were designed for, so I guess your mileage may vary some in that regard with the 18" scout.

WNTFW
February 8, 2011, 04:12 PM
I tend to like rifles that are American and have an M designation. M1A is one of the best all around rifles IMHO. Price is not the biggest selling point. You can get other rifles to work better for a more specialized task. I depends on your interests as well.

451 Detonics
February 8, 2011, 04:18 PM
My NM M1A hasn't been out of the safe in 2 years...lol. I always reach for my FAL when I need a .308 MBR for competition. I just prefer the rgonomics on the FAL and it has provided me with more than adequate accuracy.

WNTFW
February 8, 2011, 04:28 PM
Henchman,
I hear you. Any rifle that allows me to compete in a match is a selling point. Good sights that are adjustable are a selling point.
Noise of action, tend not to notice

Slamfire,
When I saw the 5V I thought "Oh, so that is why it is a black & white photo."


(to those of you who don't get that, the target is in black & white in a color photo)

JDMorris
February 8, 2011, 04:34 PM
I like M1A's, I will surely own one once I get older, I have only handled an FAL once, so I can't say I do or don't like them, I haven't fired an M1A yet, but I shot a Garand and I liked it alot, so I'll probably have one of those too.

henschman
February 8, 2011, 04:42 PM
If you don't like the sound of the M1A's action, how do you feel about the pogo stick sound of the LR-308?

Z-Michigan
February 8, 2011, 04:51 PM
how do you feel about the pogo stick sound of the LR-308?

I have an LR-308 and I actually don't notice any "sproing" with it... and I know exactly what you mean as most of my 5.56 ARs have the sproing.

longdayjake
February 8, 2011, 05:31 PM
I guess I don't really understand the point of this thread. Was it just to say that FAL's are better?

I have looked around quite a bit but I have not been able to find an FAL for $750 for about 7 years now. If you recently found one for $750 then please let me know where you found it because I would love to get one for myself. If you are comparing your recently bought M1a price to a FAL bought 7 years ago for $750 then you have a lot to learn about fair comparisons. 7-8 years ago M1a's could be found for $750-900 too you know. Though I admit that there are various ergonomic differences between the two that some might prefer over the other, there is no real difference in usability. Some people like the pistol grip. Others like the rifle stock. So what? That doesn't mean one is better than the other. They are both great guns and you prefer what you prefer. I don't much care for the shorter M1a's very much either but I don't think that is a fault of the design. I just like longer barrels for long range shooting. What was said about the trigger is my biggest reason for liking the M1a though.

So, the reason so many people prefer the M1a over the FAL is probably because they are different and they both work. Different people like different things.

General Disarray
February 8, 2011, 06:02 PM
longdayjake, you don't seem to have grasped the nuance of what I was searching for in my OP, but no biggy. I bought my Imbel FAL last summer at a gun show for $750, and just last weekend bought a G1 FAL on an Imbel receiver with a 16" barrel at that same show for $750 as well (talked him down from $800). But, how you could have decided I started this thread as a ruse to express an opinion that I think FALs are better than M1a's is a strange conclusion. I bought my M1a mostly because I don't have any peers or mentors in this rifle game, so for me to learn about stuff I have to buy the thing and start at it from scratch. I did as much research as possible and bought an M1a hoping I would love it. I'm at best in-like with it, so I wanted so insight from folks who are fans to tell me what it is I might be missing. I've made this point several times; it's even in the title: tell me what I'm missing. I'm quite familiar with the M1a v. FAL debates, and I wasn't looking to start a new one. Just curious what about M1a's I might be overlooking. I was prejudiced by the FAL with it's great ergonomics and light recoil, so I can't help but compare them when I'm at the range. But I wanted to hear from the M1a fans for further insight, that's all.

longdayjake
February 8, 2011, 07:56 PM
Good response. I wish I could find an FAL for that cheap around here. Anything military and semi auto in .308 goes for over 1k around here. For you to find one at a gun show (of all places) is a miracle.

One more question? What barrel length are your FALs? If they are 21" barrels that might explain a little of the recoil difference.

Welding Rod
February 8, 2011, 10:23 PM
The long sight radius, the excellent sights, the wood stock, the excellent 2-stage trigger.... those are things that make me love the STANDARD M1A.

If you don't have a full size gun and/or a wood stock, it probably just isn't the same. IMO those things are essential to the M1A experience. I have a SOCOM too, and I didn't feel much for it either until I put wood stock on it. And it still needs a better / conventional M1A type front sight like the Standard model wears.

Pat M
February 8, 2011, 10:31 PM
Not to change the subject too much, but what kind of groups do you guys get with your standard M1As, and what bullet weight do you shoot? I'm in the black at 200yds, but cannot group in the 10 ring even from the bench (and don't say it's the shooter....I'm fine with my other rifles).

henschman
February 8, 2011, 11:24 PM
I do about 1.5 MOA from prone using a sling with 147 grain ball.

Bob Lee Swagger
February 8, 2011, 11:50 PM
I bought my M1A new in 1974 and I think that was the first year Springfield sold them, but maybe they started earlier. I got it because it looks like, feels like, and shoots like the M14 I took ashore at Danang in 1965 and carried for 13 months. I loved that rifle and so did a lot of other guys, so I suppose we're the ones who still rave about them. They were dependable and the ammo was mucho heavy, but I would have married mine if I could have kept her. It was one of the few times I was thrilled that we Marines were going to be sucking rear tit in getting new equipment, the M16 in this case. I didn't buy mine to go hunting with, just to have, but nowadays a man needs a good, dependable battle rifle and I don't have to waste time looking at all those ugly suckers trying to scare everyone.

General Disarray
February 9, 2011, 12:22 AM
I didn't think it likely when I started this thread, but I'm really starting to wonder if I haven't given mine enough credit. I really appreciate the insights.

Roughneck08
February 9, 2011, 01:31 AM
135956


I'll admit, I am a follower of the cult. By far my favorite, even over my AR. The scout was a great choice it sure is handy.

General Disarray
February 9, 2011, 02:24 AM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_rkptNkwPbGg/TT82LYhsMvI/AAAAAAAAAiA/YiT3gGPHh20/s1024/056.JPG

longdayjake
February 9, 2011, 11:40 AM
Now you need a picture of the FAL next to the M1a.

I can group 1 moa with my m118 handloads at 200 yards and my Loaded M1a.

These groups were shot at 200 yards while prone using a sandbag as a rest using iron sights.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee232/longdayjake/CIMG2183.jpg

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee232/longdayjake/CIMG2185.jpg

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee232/longdayjake/CIMG2186.jpg

Rshooter
February 9, 2011, 12:30 PM
I'm at best in-like with it, so I wanted so insight from folks who are fans to tell me what it is I might be missing.

I either break out my M1 or M1A when I want to shoot for accuracy. The rifle stocks fit nicely without my hand being "out of place". Recoil is manageable and return to sight picture is quick and steady. The sights are superior to the FAL in my opinion. The rifle is far more accurate than I will ever be able to maintain. Being able to load with stripper clips makes the rifle more versatile also. After ten years magazines two through five are still in the packing grease.

Polar Express
February 9, 2011, 03:50 PM
Thanks for starting this thread, I've enjoyed reading it.

When it comes to ergonomics, and 'feel', everyone is different. We are all shaped different, with different preferences. To me, that's a huge reason to buy any platform over another: "What 'fits' you best?"

I own an M1A. I bought it new, in 'standard' configuration, 2 years ago. I bought into the hype that the new political admin was going to push to limit/ban/??? more guns, and I wanted to be grandfathered in if that did in fact happen. (I realize that's a debate for a separate thread, and I'm not trying to start it here, I was just sharing my motives for why and when I bought)

I wanted a .308 caliber battle rifle. And, I narrowed it down to 1) M1A, 2) AR-type, 3) FAL. Given the market status of the time frame, they were all harder to find, and really jumping in price. I had a friend that worked at a store, and he said he'd set aside a Armalite "kit" for me when they came in, if I didn't find one before then. It was going to be about $900. And frankly, I don't even know what would have been included in the 'kit'.

Having never shot any of those 3 platforms, I had no first-hand experience with any of them. I respect(ed) the pros and cons of each platform. But everything I 'knew' was based on books, articles, or second-hand statements from folks that had their biases. From what I could gather at that time, here's the jist of what I learned: AR-type is more sensitive to elements, and the DI is more accurate , FAL is less sensitive to elements, but less accurate but could deal with different ammo better. M1A was almost as accurate as the AR, and almost as rugged as the FAL. I was also talking to a few folks that had returned from the sandbox, with their observations of more of the M14s being placed back in service for both cartridge issues and environmental concerns. So when I got a phone call from a friend with a NIB Standard for $1200 (in that market), I jumped on it. I love the gun. But, I also put it into a SAGE stock, (a choice heavily influenced by the photos posted by H2OMAN here)

Now, I'm not trying to say that the M1A is any better or worse than the other platforms listed, but I'm just super-happy with mine. My standard came with a cruddy feeling plastic stock, but I didn't care. I wanted to put it into that SAGE stock. I love that SAGE, sure it's a little heavier, but I'm a bigger guy. So, I don't mind the weight. But... I'm also not lugging it around the desert, or jungle, and I realize that. But that SAGE also changed how it shoulders. And, I like it!

Personally, I WANT to put a DSA FAL (para) in my collection, as well as an original FN 'normal' one for historical purposes. But, I made my choice based on the potential that I might be able to only afford one before a potential ban was enacted. If I could only have one, I went with the M1A. Clearly, there has been no ban as of yet, so my fears have not materialized (thank God), but the prices haven't changed much either, so I didn't really cost myself any $$ with my haste. But, now, the 'next' rifle, I plan to buy an AR-type lower receiver, to secure the serial #.

I like mine, but I don't see any concrete reasons why it's clearly superior in all ways to other platforms. I want all of them in my collection. :D

PE

jeepguy
February 9, 2011, 06:43 PM
i bought a m1a ss loaded about a year ago for $1250. liked it but i thought it was too long. so i got a deal $750 on a 18" english fal on an imbel receiver with a muzzle brake. my friend and i went out to shoot it. we both did not care for it at all. sold it for a loss and didn't look back. a few months later i found an older m1a bush rifle with usgi parts and fell in love. it was what i had been looking for. i will probably have my loaded switched over to the 18" configuration. im getting about 2" to 2.5" inch group at 100yds open sights while standing with my 42yr old eyes. i think it has more accuracy potential if i can keep improving. i am wondering which rifle you shoot more accurately? btw i never thought you were bashing m1a's, and have really enjoyed this post.

General Disarray
February 9, 2011, 09:14 PM
i am wondering which rifle you shoot more accurately?
Well, to be honest I'm not really what folks might call "proficient" with a rifle. Nobody has ever taught me anything, so I don't even have anything to guage. I live in the mountains, and our range has about 75 members; I've never met one of them as nobody is ever out there when I'm there. That's just the deal for me, but aside from not having any peers to show anything, I also have a funny range in that it's basically perched on a hill. Picture this: there's a 100 yard range perpendicular to a slope that drops to a ravine which ascends back up directly across from you; so you fire down range with the hill dropping to the left. There's only one bench here, with one target at 100 yards. Here's the fun part; off across this hill on the other side of the ravine is another hill that's got steel targets scattered from 100 yards away to 1000 yards, all various sizes. There's easily 50 targets to engage; some animals, some small squares, large squares, triangles, etc. Those things are so fun to shoot off at that I've never bothered putting any paper up to find out about groups, or what have you. I put paper up at 25 yards, fire a new rifle at it 3 times to make sure I'm kind of on target, make adjustments, fire 3 more which hit on target, and then have at that hillside of steel enemy combatants. :D

Horny Toad
February 10, 2011, 10:31 AM
.....Picture this: there's a 100 yard range perpendicular to a slope that drops to a ravine which ascends back up directly across from you; so you fire down range with the hill dropping to the left. There's only one bench here, with one target at 100 yards. Here's the fun part; off across this hill on the other side of the ravine is another hill that's got steel targets scattered from 100 yards away to 1000 yards, all various sizes. There's easily 50 targets to engage; some animals, some small squares, large squares, triangles, etc......

That sounds like the coolest range ever. :D

GCBurner
February 10, 2011, 11:33 AM
If you're shooting surplus 7.62mm ammo, there can be big variations in group size, even if it's supposed to be NATO spec. I started out with some cheap Indian surplus, and it printed all over the target at 100 yards. That almost made me give up on it, until I found the Indian ammo didn't perform any better in my .308 bolt action, which shoots pretty well with commercial loads. I got some later production German surplus, which shoots much better, in the 3"-4" range with iron sights at 100 yards, and that's about as good as my old eyes can handle. I want to put on a scope mount to better see what it's capable of.
Mine is the Norinco M1A clone, BTW. I bought it cheap from a guy who read Internet horror stories from Smith Enterprises and Fulton Armory about how the bolts and receivers of the Chinese made guns were all too soft, too hard and brittle, not heat treated right, bolts didn't headspace or "collapsed" under firing, etc. My friend bought it for $400, got scared to shoot it, and sold it to me for $250, and was happy to get rid of it. I've only put 500-600 rounds through it so far, but haven't noticed any measurable changes in the bolt or headspacing yet. I figure if any problems crop up after a few thousand rounds, I'm in it cheap enough to get a GI bolt installed later, if necessary. The only things I've done to it so far are replace the original stock with a surplus walnut M-14 stock and fiberglass handguard, and replace the non-functional flash hider with a GI one with the bayonet lug.

General Disarray
February 10, 2011, 02:46 PM
That sounds like the coolest range ever. :D
I tend to think so. I like to go out almost every weekend. For posterity I should try and see what kind of groups these different rifles shoot, shouldn't I? This probably sound riduculous, but I don't quite know specifically what that means. Should I put the rifles on sandbags on the bench sitting down and hold real still, and see what happens? At 100 yards? I don't even think I can see that far. Doesn't the little black circle just look like a dot in open sights. I've done this to sight in a scope before, but with open sights are you supposed to use a closer distance? I'm sure I can't distinguish the center of a target that far away.

ripcurlksm
February 10, 2011, 03:18 PM
M14's??? just a matter of good taste... :)

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/m1a1911/JAE2010.jpg?t=1297369049

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/m1a1911/may2010-target1.jpg

General Disarray
February 10, 2011, 03:28 PM
M14's??? just a matter of good taste... :)

That's a nice setup; you're not saving for anyone's college tuition, are you? I estimate about $5K sitting on that bipod, right? Oh, and I assume another $2k for the Les Baer? Don't mind me, I'm just exceedingly jealous. This puts my $1500 investment into an interesting perspective.

This is kind of the crux of my issue with these; I don't have piles of cash and these M1a's seem to have gotten astronomically expensive these days. Then to have to drop it into a $500-$1K stock to trick it out just shorts my circuits. I'm thinking if I had something like an M1 Garand I wouldn't be so hung up about the price and could maybe enjoy it more?

So what about the BSZ and grouping questions I asked previously; any advice?

LemmyCaution
February 10, 2011, 04:31 PM
GD-

Here is a battle zero target for the M14 with M80 ball ammunition:
http://www.popintheyap.com/Targets/25_m_m14_zeroing_ltrsize.pdf
Make sure you do not have printer scaling enabled when you print it out.

Range is 25 meters.
Point of aim is the bottom center of the black rectangle.
Point of impact should be the 'X' above the rectangle.

This will give you a BZO good to about 275 meters.

Alternately, zero the rifle at 200 yards and reset the elevation drum to read at the '2' mark. Then adjust the elevation knob to a known distance target, out to 1000 yards (or meters, if you have a metric drum on the rear sight).

d2wing
February 10, 2011, 08:58 PM
Accuracy. In the Army I put 9 out of 10 shots in 1 hole with an issue M-14. I personally prefer the M-14 but FAL has more than it's share of devoted followers. If you don't like it sell it. No problem.

General Disarray
February 11, 2011, 12:59 AM
I think I've been convinced I was definitely missing something; thanks everyone.

ripcurlksm
February 11, 2011, 12:30 PM
That's a nice setup; you're not saving for anyone's college tuition, are you? I estimate about $5K sitting on that bipod, right? Oh, and I assume another $2k for the Les Baer? Don't mind me, I'm just exceedingly jealous. This puts my $1500 investment into an interesting perspective.

This is kind of the crux of my issue with these; I don't have piles of cash and these M1a's seem to have gotten astronomically expensive these days. Then to have to drop it into a $500-$1K stock to trick it out just shorts my circuits. I'm thinking if I had something like an M1 Garand I wouldn't be so hung up about the price and could maybe enjoy it more?

So what about the BSZ and grouping questions I asked previously; any advice?

Yes I put a lot of work into it, but for the record, it started as a scout and still shot sub moa with match ammo off a rest. you dont have to trick it out. I have an LRB M25 receiver on order, I plan to drop it into a walnut stock and keep it traditional. Also thats a Kimber Warrior II :)

Put a good mount on it and a decent scope and see what you can shoot

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