M1a help please


March 9, 2011, 11:50 PM
Decided on the polytech, pictures below

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March 10, 2011, 12:14 AM
Also what is better to have, a stainless barrel or a walnut stock?

Does either make the gun shoot better or are both just a preference in looks?

March 10, 2011, 12:41 AM
Springfield Armory...Polytech is not even close to the same quality. Springfield Armory has the M1A business down pat....Or if you even wanted to go nicer, get a Fulton Armory.

reuben mishler
March 10, 2011, 05:21 AM
I agree, not sure I would spend the money on a knock off, but that's just me. Plus, Springfield has a lifetime warranty, so they'll take care of any issues that might come up. Also, it's American made...

Double Vision
March 10, 2011, 05:37 AM
Springfield M1A all the way.
I prefer the walnut stocks, it's just a personal preference.

March 10, 2011, 10:24 AM
The poly has a very nice forged receiver if you are doing a custom ground up build. That is the only reason I would buy one. Buy the SA loaded, put a usgi extractor in it and it's gtg, you won't regret it.

March 10, 2011, 10:40 AM
I would go with walnut stock and the carbon barrel. M1A/M14 look and feel best in wood!

Also when considering an M1A you need to consider the extras as in the tools and accessories you need to keep it up. You may want to accurize it and add GI parts, a scope mount etc. Just some stuff to keep in mind.

March 10, 2011, 12:38 PM
Depends on your budget. The Chinese rifles generally work okay, and most USGI parts are interchangeable on them. I've got a Norinco, and the Chinese chrome lined barrel shoots fine on mine. I did replace the stock with a GI surplus walnut stock that looks better than the Chinese wood, and I've added some other US made parts so the GI flash hider with bayonet lug will be legal. I've got well under $1k invested in it, and I'm perfectly happy with the way it shoots, which is the main thing I'm interested in.

March 10, 2011, 02:43 PM
You could buy the Polytech, install a USGI bolt, and potentially have a better rifle than the Springfield.

But you won't have the lifetime warranty and Springfield's excellent customer support.

If there's a problem with the SAI rifle, Springfield will make it right.

March 10, 2011, 03:26 PM
The Polytech has a better receiver (forged instead of cast), and actually comes with a chrome-lined barrel, unlike the SAI. For my money, I'd take the Poly.

Part of it is that I don't like the heavy Loaded M1As with the medium weight barrel. The Polytech will be lighter weight. I'd check the headspace on the Polytech though, and if it is off, buy a GI bolt and have it fit to the rifle by a gunsmith. I might also replace the rear sight with a GI piece, and if it has one of those dummy flash hiders that some of them came with, I'd replace it with a NM hider.

March 10, 2011, 04:15 PM
New with a lifetime warranty, or used with no warranty? Ummmm, let me see. I think I'd go with the loaded Springfield. It's not like you're going to be purchasing several more M1As this year, at least you haven't expressed a desire to do so. I have an M1A Supermatch that was made in '93. No issues with the rifle. I tend to think as with many other weapons you get what you pay for with rare exceptions and at least Springfield will make things right for you. I put a little more money into my gun up front in order to avoid issues down the pike. My Supermatch is the only M1A I own so the quality of the rifle and the warranty was important to me. I could have saved some money and gone with an import, or some other knockoff, but I stayed with Springfield and haven't regretted it.

March 10, 2011, 06:51 PM
Is the argument that you would choose to support one economy (ours) over another economy (theirs), germane to your descision?


March 10, 2011, 07:22 PM
their economy is our economy

springfield armory

March 10, 2011, 08:10 PM
Is the argument that you would choose to support one economy (ours) over another economy (theirs), germane to your descision?


Shouldn't be. The Polytech is used. The ban on importing them has been in effect since long before the PRC became a significant threat to our economy.

Purchasing a Polytech puts money in another US citizen's hands, and does no more to hurt the US economy than purchasing any other second hand goods.

March 10, 2011, 11:31 PM
I cannot comment on the imported Polytech rifle but I can tell you that I have had an extremely positive exprerience with my Springfiel M1a - Loaded.

It is well made, has handled all the different ammo I have fed it and has functioned flawlessly.

The customer service from SA has been very good and I feel like any extra dollars spent on my M1a over an imported rifle has been money well spent and will more than pay off over my life and the lifetime of the rifle (whoever gets it after I am dead and gone, my sons can fight that one out.)

Also, and many may not agree, but I like knowing that my rifle was made in America. It is, after all, patterned on an American service rifle.


March 11, 2011, 04:05 AM
word of advise when buying guns.......

whenever you try and save money.....it will cost you money. buy the M1A SAI and dont look back. the only people that buy those chineese M14s are looking for parts in a gun build.

spend the extra 500 and get yourself a good gun for crying out loud!:)

March 11, 2011, 05:50 PM
I bought the polytech hope its a good project.

cost me $600. like new condition. box. papers. 4 mags. sling

March 11, 2011, 06:08 PM
whenever you try and save money.....it will cost you money.

That is only an opinion. There times when folks get extra value for $$$$ spent. I suppose the Winchester 52B I purchased a coupled of years ago for $50.00 in excellant condition only missing the papers and org. box as money ill spent?

Sounds like he got a good deal.

March 11, 2011, 07:17 PM
Good price!!! Pics are REQUIRED!!!!

BTW I wouldn't buy anything from Fulton right now...biggest news is FA new production M1A bolts are soft.....

Average Joe
March 11, 2011, 07:41 PM
Think resale...someday you may want to sell it.

March 12, 2011, 07:56 AM
Ill get some pictures later. I think I will get a scope mount now!

March 12, 2011, 08:52 AM
Here is what one of mine turned into......


March 12, 2011, 04:48 PM
You will spend the $500 savings + to get the Polytech up to snuff and in the end will have a forged receiver rifle.
That said, I have three investment cast M1A rifles, all work just fine but none are exactly current factory either.
Mine all have USGI bolts, trigger groups, USGI or quality aftermarket operating rods and sight assemblies.
The gas systems use a mix of USGI and high quality aftermarket parts also.
One is on its third Spring Inc. barrel, one has a USGI barrel and the Match rifle is on its fourth aftermarket barrel.
Your question is a pertinent one.
'Is a Spring Inc. better than a Polytech, (In factory form)?'
In my humble opinion, no, both are comparable and both require a bit of work and tweaking to get them up to the standards of a genuine military issue basic M14 rifle.
Your other two questions which is better, a stainless steel barrel or a walnut stock?
Does either make the rifle shoot better?

A walnut stock will not make the gun shoot better, it will make the rifle look better.
A stainless steel barrel may, or may not, make the weapon shoot better, that is entirely up to the quality standards of the barrel.
As a general rule Spring Inc. S.S. barrels do tend to produce better groups than the chrome moly barrels. as is right from the box.

March 12, 2011, 06:35 PM
Polytec is Chinese. Normally their bolt is of softer metal.

Springfield Armory with out question.

March 12, 2011, 09:02 PM
Ill have pictures later, anyone want to tell me how to remove my ugly flash hider?

It doesnt even have holes in it!

March 13, 2011, 12:26 AM




March 13, 2011, 12:28 AM





March 13, 2011, 01:12 AM
When Gun Tests publication did a comparison several years ago, they said the Polytec was the equal of the SA and would buy the Polytec over the SA because of the $ saved.

March 13, 2011, 01:16 AM
Gotta agree with #9. Nothing wrong with the Polytech that a GI bolt won't fix.

March 13, 2011, 07:27 AM
$600 - you got a real deal. I'd buy all I could find at that price. 'Bout the only changes I'd make would be to have a USGI bolt (TRW) fitted and flash hider installed. In my experience, the chrome lined factory barrels are as accurate as USGI, so I'll bet you got a shooter there. Nice going!


March 13, 2011, 08:27 AM
Any idea where the sights should be at to start off? I was twisting them.

March 13, 2011, 10:11 AM
Any idea where the sights should be at to start off? I was twisting them.
At 100 yards, you should start off with the rear sight centered, and about 8 clicks up from the bottom. There are instructions online for making adjustments to zero it in.
The fake flash hider does look ugly, and is probably tack welded to the castle nut holding it on. You can change it for a real GI or after-market flash hider, now that the assault weapons ban has expired, but to keep it legal for the Feds, you'll have to add come additional US made parts. To be able to have "evil features" like a bayonet lug, pistol grip, or functional flash hider, an imported rifle can have no more than 10 "named features" off the BATFE list:
(1) Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings or stampings - YES
(2) Barrels - YES
(3) Barrel extensions - no
(4) Mounting blocks (trunions) - no
(5) Muzzle attachments - YES
(6) Bolts - YES
(7) Bolt carriers - no
(8 ) Operating rods - YES
(9) Gas pistons - YES
(10) Trigger housings - YES
(11) Triggers - YES
(12) Hammers - YES
(13) Sears - YES
(14) Disconnectors - YES
(15) Buttstocks - YES
(16) Pistol grips - no
(17) Forearms, handguards - YES
(18 ) Magazine bodies - YES
(19) Followers - YES
(20) Floorplates - YES
The Chinese M14S has 16 of the 20 Named Parts on it, so by replacing 6 with US parts, you can add any additional "evil features" you like.
A US made magazine counts as 3 parts by itself, but you can't use or posess the Chinese mags if you want to stay legal with the flash hider.

March 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
I wouldn't worry about the bolt until I saw sign of it being soft....some are soft many are not.....remember this rifle is set up to use 7.62 NATO headspace gages NOT .308....

On the other hand...Fulton Armorys new production M1A bolts ARE soft...do not use one until they get their act together....

March 13, 2011, 11:52 AM
How do you test for hardness? isnt it the moh hardness test....college geology is coming back to me

March 13, 2011, 01:52 PM
How do you test for hardness? isnt it the moh hardness test....college geology is coming back to me
If I recall correctly, Moh hardness is for rocks and minerals, the Rockwell "C" test is for ferrous metals. An M14 bolt has a very hard case-hardened exterior surface to resist wear, around RC57-59, I think, with a less hard core for toughness, maybe RC37-39. The only way to properly test that a bolt meets all specs is to destroy it by cutting it in sections, to test the various parts separately. A bolt whose exterior is too soft will show up quickly in wear on the locking lugs and the rear of the bolt where it hits the hammer and the back of the receiver. FWIW, I've put a couple of thousand rounds through my Norinco with no signs of damage or excessive headspace developing. YMMV, so keep an eye on it to see how yours does. The receiver will take a USGI bolt with minimal fitting and lapping, if you ever wear out the bolt you've got.

March 13, 2011, 02:53 PM
Ok, $600 for a polytec. Good deal.
Now, spend some money on a good bolt and get some USGI parts.

You should feel great about your purchase.
I would.

March 13, 2011, 04:08 PM
No reason to spend any money on US parts yet....that rifle might be fine as-is...

April 23, 2011, 12:13 PM
You'll need a castle nut wrench to get the faux flash hider off. Best to find out if any local gunsmiths have a good reputation with M1As and ask if they have a castle nut wrench for them. If they don't know what you're talking about take a pass and keep looking. Failing finding a good smith with a castle nut wrench order one off the internet.

If you do find a smith with a castle nut wrench, have him check the bolt for hardness. Keep an eye on the lugs to make sure you don't see stretching/cracking. Best to find a USGI bolt/bolt carrier and have it fitted and keep the Chinese back as a spare.

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