Best M1A


January 4, 2004, 03:08 AM
For a standard, run-of-the-mill M-1A, which company produces the best? Fulton Armory? Is Springfield really that bad?

If you enjoyed reading about "Best M1A" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 4, 2004, 03:16 AM
Fulton Armory doesn't make M1A's. Only SA does. 'M1A' is a brand name. Your only consideration is how much money do you want to invest. Fulton Armory takes a commercial M1A and does all the match grade accurizing for you and makes it pretty. If you're just looking for a nice rifle to shoot, buy the SA. SA's customer service is second to none. If you're not happy they fix it.

January 4, 2004, 07:47 AM
ARMSCORP out of Baltimore has been making M14's for years. Standard through SuperMatch.

January 4, 2004, 09:02 AM
I don't know what all the bad notion about the Springfield are except maybe snobbery or self-justification for buying expensive things. I have a standard basic Springfield M1A. It is a great rifle and I have been using it in Highpower competetion for two years now. I bought it before I even considered doing the matches as I just wanted an M14 look alike. I'm sure a match rifle will do me better in the competetion and I may get an AR match rifle someday.

My Springfield works fine and shoots real good.

January 4, 2004, 12:43 PM
The M1A is not an M14 in my 300 round experience:

1. The rifle was delivered new with a broken stock which was replaced by SA.
2. Rifle would not seat fully loaded USGI or SA mags. 19 rounds ok.
3. 97% reliable with about 3% failure to feed.
4. Bolt roller retainer came off during firing and was found in the op rod track while cleaning. Replaced.
5. After 300 rounds, the hammer now follows the bolt forward during recoil. This is not poor trigger control as it is reproduced with an empty rifle. Fortunately it did not fire out of battery or go full auto.

Ammo is South African and Austrailian surplus only.
Grease is Automotive ball bearing grease to metal - metal surfaces.
Mags= 3xBRW S-1, 1x KMT, 1xOM, 1xUHC, SA 10 rounder

SA has the rifle now and is paying for shipping to and from the factory. They seem to be standing by thier product, but losing $50 shipping costs every time it breaks is not going to help their profits.

January 4, 2004, 01:18 PM
SA is not your only option. In order, I would recommend:

LRB Forged Receiver (

Too bad is down right now - its an otherwise excellent source of information on M14-type rifles. (

I really enjoyed putting a super accurate M1A together myself on a SA rear-lugged receiver. Don't see any reason why I couldn't have started with a SA 'off the shelf' first, it was just that wanted to do McMillan stock, all USGI parts, Krieger barrel, bedding, etc... the intent of this rifle is to get me started in Highpower Competition so I wanted it as accurate as possible. Your Milage May Vary.

January 4, 2004, 04:28 PM
I have owned a Springfield Armory M1A "loaded model" for almost a year and it has functioned flawlessly. I could not be more pleased. It is a fine piece for which I am very proud to own.

Jim Hall

January 4, 2004, 04:32 PM
How accurate are the standard M1As or the loaded standard M1A/s? How bout the scout model (I read on chuck hawks website that his shot 6.5" groups out of the box:what:

January 4, 2004, 04:37 PM

January 4, 2004, 06:00 PM

Second Best = Smith Enterprise

Third = Heat Treated Poly

Forth = Armscorp

Steve Smith
January 4, 2004, 06:40 PM
I think the best ones (now) are built, not bought. Of course, that negates your run-of-the-mill criteria. I think that SA and the Norinco/Polytech models are the only "production" models out there. All else is custom or semi-custom. There are some that are good at it, and others that are horrible.

January 4, 2004, 06:50 PM
Fulton Armory doesn't make M1A's. Only SA does. 'M1A' is a brand name.

Again with the semantics. Another person came here asking about M14s and everybody got all sarcastic, making references to pre-'86 rifles and such.

That's it. I'm throwing down. Next time one of you guys calls a military M16 or M4 carbine an "AR", I'm going to get all huffy. You watch. :neener:

January 4, 2004, 07:17 PM
Springfield products seem to rely on luck of the draw. My M1A (TM :rolleyes: ) has been perfect, but then I bought it used from a friend and he spent several years sorting it out before selling it off (all USGI parts). Others have problems that range from minor to significant and sending your gun back and forth to SA while they attempt to fix it can be frustrating (another SA TM). If you get a good one, count your blessings and pity those who weren't so lucky.

But the "best" one is Sven's. ;)

January 4, 2004, 10:12 PM
I have a SA M1a SuperMatch bought in 1987 and shot highpower for a couple years. Outstanding accuracy and flawless function.
Bought a M1a Bush Rifle around 1991 and it is almost as accurate as the SM even tho it shouldn't be. Function has also been excellent.
Had a Navy armoror check my Supermatch at camp perry in 1988. As I handed it to him for inspection, he asked me if I had a good one. I said "yes". He said "Springfield Armory makes the best rifles on the line- they also make the worst." that was >15 years ago- maybe still true?

January 5, 2004, 01:12 AM
RE: Accuracy

Shooting offhand today at 100 yards (even with a jacket) I managed to keep all shots on the paper with my M1A, and even some black and a couple Xs... more importantly, I could call my missed shots pretty well. All that said, it was a humbling reminder that the most important thing is just to GET an M1A of any stripe and learn to shoot it. Accuracy is very nice and I know I cannot blame my rifle - unfortunately, that takes away a great excuse. ;) You may want to get a "Standard" so you can explain away any 'flyers'.

After a few shots on the bench to prove its salt, I'm no longer shooting the M1A as a benchrest rifle unless re-zeroing. Its Highpower Service Rifle Hammer Time. My goal is to beat a good shooter using an AR. Might take a while. ;)

January 5, 2004, 06:55 AM
And you base your list on what?

A You have owned several of each.

B You had heard/read a great deal.

C The most advertising determines the best make in your opinion.

D. Fulton Armory (they make rifles as a public service, not for profit) has a good Web site and its THEIR list.

Steve Smith
January 5, 2004, 09:33 AM
Personally, I am of the opinion that the best builders don't have to advertise.

January 5, 2004, 07:14 PM
You have never worked the retail industry then? The accuracy of my M14 "clone" has a warranty by the manufacturer. That might be of value to some purchasers and be a deciding factor yet without some form of advertising how would you know? Heresay? Rumor?
[/QUOTE][Simply the best in its class. No compromise guaranteed sub minute of angle at one hundred yards. We use all USGI parts or the equivalent on our own NM or M21 Rear Lugged Receiver and your choice of a McMillan fiberglass stock or laminated wood stock.
Our M14 semi-auto Standard Rifle features USGI excellent condition forged metal parts assembled on our Armscorp NM Receiver (no lug). Others offer "Loaded Packages" – in most cases "LOADED" with commercially cast parts. As noted in Scott Duff’s Book "The M14 Owner’s Guide", he says, "Rifles assembled from cast parts should be avoided… If many commercially produced components are found on the rifle…do not pay a high price for such a rifle. You will spend a considerable amount of money to replace reproduction parts…walk away and continue your search for an example with G.I. parts.

January 5, 2004, 11:29 PM

Fulton would never promote another reciever as the best now that they have their own (made by armscorp no less).

January 5, 2004, 11:41 PM
Fulton claims to hold them to a tighter specification. I'm sticking with what the old guru told me - get a rear-lugged SA receiver from Champions Choice. Only problem is - they are backordered. ;)

If you enjoyed reading about "Best M1A" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!