M1A or FAL?


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Averageman
June 12, 2011, 07:21 PM
I am considering buying a 7.62 rifle and have narrowed it down to these two choices. I am weighing the pro's and con's of each and thought I would ask here for opinions.
What is important to me is the reliability, strength and adaptability. I would like to be able to scope the rifle with both glass and a red dot sight.
Which would you choose and why?
Thanks
A/M

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jobu07
June 12, 2011, 07:28 PM
Averageman,

reliability, strength and adaptability You will find all three of those in the two weapons systems you've listed. The most expensive one, however, will be adaptability. The FAL (thanks to DSA) and the M1A (thanks to groups like Sage) can be made into highly adaptable platforms. Neither one will start that way, though. I can be expensive, but you can get rails suitable for mounting accessories forward and you can get a rail suitable for an optic on both. You can also get a form of adjustable stock on both of them as well. Retrofitting to make yesterday's .308 MBR into something similar to today's 5.56 AR is fairly common and easy to accomplish nowadays, sometimes it just isn't affordable.

What this decision will come down to is what you find more comfortable ergonomically. From there you modify to your heart and wallet's content.

jeepguy
June 12, 2011, 07:47 PM
i second what jobu said, i would also say try & find some people who will let you try them at the range. see by first hand experience which one is best for you.

Z-Michigan
June 12, 2011, 10:07 PM
I own examples of each, and both are excellent rifles. They are also both obsolete in many ways, particularly modularity, ergonomics on the M1A, and scope mounting options on both.

That said, I personally like the FAL better for all-around purposes, but would quickly choose the M1A for using iron sights to punch paper targets on a known distance range in bright daylight (i.e., CMP service rifle competition).

You will find all three of those in the two weapons systems you've listed. The most expensive one, however, will be adaptability. The FAL (thanks to DSA) and the M1A (thanks to groups like Sage) can be made into highly adaptable platforms. Neither one will start that way, though. I can be expensive, but you can get rails suitable for mounting accessories forward and you can get a rail suitable for an optic on both. You can also get a form of adjustable stock on both of them as well. Retrofitting to make yesterday's .308 MBR into something similar to today's 5.56 AR is fairly common and easy to accomplish nowadays, sometimes it just isn't affordable.

I agree 100%. Also an M1A kitted up with rails and stuff weighs 14-15lbs typically. A fully outfitted FAL will end up in the 11-12lb range. The .308 ARs are generally a bit lighter after all is done if you want a lot of accessories and mounting options.

TexasPatriot.308
June 12, 2011, 10:12 PM
My Springfield Armory M1A standard loaded I bought about a month ago reminded me of why I love American made Garand type rifles, I already got enough saved to get me the Scout Squad version in a few weeks....I have shot the FAL and I think the M1As outshine em.

Vaarok
June 12, 2011, 10:39 PM
Just follow the conclusions of the Ordinance board during the trials... before they rigged them. FAL all the way. It's an old warhorse, not a lego-block AR, but it's the better rifle in most all regards than a battle-rifle-turned-target-rifle-if-you-spend-twice-what-you-paid-to-start like a M1a.

The-Reaver
June 12, 2011, 10:49 PM
Having both and loving both equally. I will say that.

" If you have the money, the M1A is the way to go 100%. But at $55.00 a magazine and a crazy amount of money for that sage stock and or some other after market version. It's a No-Go.
It's much more affordable to run the FN, I am in the works of turning my Socom 16 into a safe queen, and the FN into the go to rifle. "

That is my opinion, basically what you can afford I cant do the M1A no matter how much I wan't to I just can't so. FN it is. Was easy for me.

Kliegl
June 12, 2011, 11:06 PM
M1A mags are more like 20 a piece where I am.

I like my M1A a bunch, but, part of the liking is the iron sights. I would not put a scope on it due to the shell ejection path, and I am not too sold on the scout scope style up further front. A red dot out front might be neat.

I think though, for optics, the FAL solid dustcover replacement mounts let a scope sit lower than one on an M1A.

Z-Michigan
June 12, 2011, 11:18 PM
M1A mags are only $27, free shipping, for true new USGI mags at:

http://www.44mag.com/category/m1a_m14_magazines_usgi

FAL mags are becoming scarce and heading toward $25 for good ones. The old mag price equation has reversed.

M1A iron sights are far better, but FAL sights are good enough for most uses other than CMP style competition. Both designs are mediocre at best for scope mounting, where a flat top AR is in a whole different (better) category. The FAL is somewhat less mediocre with the quality dust cover mounts, but they aren't perfect. Scoping an M1A is a challenge and eliminates the top-loading capability that I really like, plus it will generally screw up your cheekweld requiring a riser, making overall ergonomics a bit strange, etc.

The-Reaver
June 12, 2011, 11:44 PM
When I collect my things that are worth collecting I don't waste on Non factory, I don't care if they are " USGI " I am a US-GI 11Bravo and I know how Checkmate industries crap works. I'm perfectly ok with denying them.

Springfield Armory Mags are http://www.springfield-armory.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=22_33

$55.00

FN Doesn't have a " Factory Magazine " so I go by what is best " IMHO " I actually prefer the Isreali one.
http://www.gunthings.com/falmag.htm

You guys can take it as you wan't it.. I'm not going to use korean junk in a Springfield Armory rifle. Nor the " USGI " junk.

Z-Michigan
June 13, 2011, 09:31 AM
I am a US-GI 11Bravo and I know how Checkmate industries crap works. I'm perfectly ok with denying them.

Springfield Armory Mags are http://www.springfield-armory.com/st...ex&cPath=22_33

$55.00

Checkmate makes the Springfield Armory magazines, which SAI then charges nearly 3 times as much for. Buy whatever you want. I have over a dozen CMI mags bought over the last few years and they are all well made and work fine in my M1A.

I can't tell if you're saying that you've used an M14 in military action. If you have, obviously you have experience with the platform and mags under worse conditions than the rest of us are likely to try. However I don't know what to say when you report that true USGI mags made by CMI are junk, while the SAI mags, which are 100% identical and also made by CMI, are the thing to buy.

FN Doesn't have a " Factory Magazine " so I go by what is best " IMHO " I actually prefer the Isreali one.
http://www.gunthings.com/falmag.htm

I have FAL surplus magazines from at least four countries and all work great. I've never heard of an FAL magazine made by an FN-licensed manufacturer (most of them state-owned like IMBEL) that didn't work. Oh, some of my magazines were made by FN Herstal in Belgium (the shiny blued followers are the main sign of this). I don't know how that could not be a "factory" FAL magazine.

You guys can take it as you wan't it.. I'm not going to use korean junk in a Springfield Armory rifle. Nor the " USGI " junk.

I've never actually seen a Korean M14/M1A magazine. I own some of the Taiwan T57 mags and they work pretty well, although I think CMI is better.

Oh, I do have a couple of the new Korean-made FAL magazines, and those are poor.

USSR
June 13, 2011, 09:58 AM
I think though, for optics, the FAL solid dustcover replacement mounts let a scope sit lower than one on an M1A.

If mounting a scope is your intention, then I believe the FAL has a slight advantage. The DSA heavy duty scope mount is a good one and allows for mounting very low with the right scope and rings.

Don

http://ussr.clarityconnect.com/FAL1.jpg

dprice3844444
June 13, 2011, 10:00 AM
cmp.org

fragout
June 13, 2011, 10:51 AM
Have you fired both types in thier relative "stock" format to find which type you prefer?

I have owned both examples in the past ( DSA FAL, SAI M1A, NorincoM14S,, along with an HK91.... and had them for several years comparing them, and getting familiar enough with both to make a decision on which one me and mine preferred and why.

This is what we came up with, and most of it is based on personal experience/preference.

RELIABILITY : All were very reliable, and no hassles with them here. Being U.S. Army Infantry myself, I have more first hand experience with the M14 service rifle vs the FAL, and have confidence that this type of rifle can handle any types of extremes in relation to climate, terrain, etc..... ( I have used it in several different extremes across the globe, ranging from Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, and Africa... so my confidence with this type of rifle is fairly high because of this.)
FWIW, our M1A/M14's did seem to reliably feed a wider range of ammunition better than the FAL.... even though the FAL had an adjustable gas system.

ERGONOMICS/ MANUAL OF ARMS/OVERALL BALANCE : The M1A/M14 was the definite winner in this category for me and mine.... and by a long shot. The location of the safety in relation to the op-rod handle was a big reason for this, along with mag changes. The design of the M14 lends itself very well as a "point and shoot" type of rifle, and it felt better balanced as compared to the FAL.
Unlike others, I dont believe that a pistol grip is a mandatory item for rifles such as these, but with the M14/M1A...... one has the option of using either or.
The M1A/M14 works well for shooting right or left handed from my experience, and is something I do consider to be important when it comes to a rifle.

LONGEVITY/DURABILITY : Either would make the cut here from my experience. ( Provided that both are maintained properly)

CURRENT/FUTURE PARTS (magazines) AVAILABILITY : Several companies are now making quality parts for the M14/M1A as of now, and to include magazines, but I don't see alot of Fal components, other than milsurp kits/mags that are quickly drying up stateside. If something were to happen to DSA, they might become so scarce that it wouldn't be worth the trouble.
We have no issues with the current production checkmate Industry mags, or 60's era GI mags. This includes M14 government rifles as well as the semi auto clones. CMI 20rd GI magazine NSN = 1005-00-628-9048.
NOTE: This same 20rd magazine is also the same magazine that Springfield Armory Inc (SAI) sells at 55 bucks a pop. The only difference is the logo stamped on the side. Calling USGI crap, then calling SAI mags wonderful equates to lack of knowledge regarding this...since they are both one and the same.
I cant comment on the Korean mags, as I don't have any. Norinco/Polytech mags that I have had since the early 90's still work fine.

IRON SIGHTS : We preferred the M1A/M14 here. They can be dialed more precisely fo a given load, are less prone to damage, and has a wide range of options to choose from depending on the application. ( Examples include different sized rear sight apertures and different sized front sight post widths.)
FWIW...... There is quite a big difference in the irons sights of a Socom vs a Super match for example. This, combined with the difference in sight radius will show a big difference when actually looking down them prior to firing.

OPTICS MOUNTS/STOCKS : Both have plenty of ways to mount optics nowadays it seems. It all comes down to where a body wants them, and the costs involved. I'm currently running 2 different receiver mounts for the M14/M1A.
The ARMS #18 split rail, and 2 different versions of the Bassett mount. Both types have their pluses and minuses, but I prefer them over the SEI/Sadlak mounts.
As with most things made out of rails, the more one adds to the rails, the more weight one ends up with in the end. I don't care for alot of rail space, as I simply do not need it for adding things to, nor due I need the additional weight that comes with it.....but others mileage seem to vary a great deal when it comes to adding things to rails.
As I mentioned before, I am rather picky at what should or should not be added to a rifle because I like the way it feels and handles as is (overall balance), but also like to use optics. This really comes down to personal preference to such an extent, that one really needs to try it out for themselves at this point. (Just my .02 here)

OVERALL COSTS : Nowadays, the FAL costs less, and is the clear winner here.If this is the end-all factor in a decision on which to purchase, then it should make decision easier I would think. In our case..... we went with what worked the best for us

END STATE :
I sold off the Fal's and HK91, along with several other rifles of various design...... and haven't regretted it since.

I like the 18 "ish" inch variety personally.........
http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r178/fragout2000/Pic%20set%202010/SANY1252.jpg
http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r178/fragout2000/Pic%20set%202010/SANY1245.jpg

The one at top is an M1A-A1 Bush rifle built from the factory with an SAI (Wilson) std weight 1/11in twist non chrome lined bbl, and all USGI parts.
The rear sight aperture is std GI, while front sight is 0.062 in (NM)
(I use a Bassett mount with this rifle when I want glass) Sight radius = 22.75in
Weight (as pictured) = 8.5lbs
http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r178/fragout2000/Pic%20set%202010/SANY1267.jpg


The other is a custom build using a Norinco M14S receiver, and Criterion (Kreiger) 18.5in chrome lined std contour 1/12in twist bbl. Parts makeup is a mix of GI/SEI/OEM ...along with ARMS #18 split rail receiver mount. Rear sight aperture = std GI, and GLFS-H = 0.062in.
Sight radius = 21.25 in. Weight = 8.9lbs.
http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r178/fragout2000/Pic%20set%202010/SANY1262.jpg



http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r178/fragout2000/Pic%20set%202010/LRBM14SABushrifle.jpg
This one was built by LRB ARMS using their M14SA receiver.
All NIB/like new USGI parts with same bbl as the M14S mentioned above. SEI GLFS- DT 18. Std GI rear sight aperture. Front sight post = 0.062in
Weight will be about the same as the M1A-A1, and sight radius will = same as the M14S..... or very close.

Im thinking about installing an Ultimak M8 rail/red dot sight on the M14SA, but haven't quite made up my mind yet. This combination should allow for co-witness with the iron sights, but wont know for sure until I get my hands on it all. I also will use a Bassett mount for a more traditional scope, as well as a 3gen Raptor NVS.
http://www.bassettmachine.com/prod_smpr.htm


My next one will be built off an LRB Arms M25 receiver..... which might be of interest to you regarding optics mounting.
http://www.lrbarms.com/m14receivers.html

11B

TexasPatriot.308
June 13, 2011, 02:38 PM
just wondering....I see lots of troops in Afghanistan with M14s with scopes mounted, any info on what they use as far as mounts and optics?

fragout
June 13, 2011, 03:06 PM
I have an issued SEI mount on my M14 over here now.(NSN = 5855-01-56-5750

The scope is a Leupold.

I changed out the Sage stock/op-rod block for a GI synthetic.

The SEI mount required me to build up the cheek weld. I was using a velcro cheek piece, but it went to crap, so made my own.

Brought a Bassett mount as a back up, but haven't needed it as of yet.

I have a few pre 60/s issued mags, but most are the newer CMI. All of them work fine with exception of one OM marked mag that sustained damage due to shrapnel.

11B

bergmen
June 13, 2011, 03:20 PM
My Springfield Armory M1A standard loaded I bought about a month ago reminded me of why I love American made Garand type rifles, I already got enough saved to get me the Scout Squad version in a few weeks....I have shot the FAL and I think the M1As outshine em.

I have a walnut Scout Squad I bought NIB about a year and a half ago. Man, do I love this rifle, can't believe I went this long without one.

BTW, good write-up on the Scout Squad:

http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/07/bryan-hyde/gun-review-springfield-armory-m1a-scout-squad/

One other point that I find important (at least to me). The Springfield M1A's are made right here in the United States of America.

Dan

ripp
June 13, 2011, 03:26 PM
Williams Trigger Specialties always used to say that FAL lockwork was made of soft metal and couldn't be given a trigger job that would hold. Dunno, maybe the newer ones have addressed that issue? if I wanted a hunting rifle, I'd get a Remington, used, for $400 or so. Have you considered what you want it FOR? The AR in 223 is THE match rifle, varmint rifle, defensive rifle etc, and it offers a $150, 3/4 lb, 20 second caliber-swap .22lr conversion unit for low cost, low noise plinking, small game and varmint taking, and training.
I believe that the M1A receivers are made in Brazil, or at least, they used to be.

Strykervet
June 13, 2011, 04:03 PM
I've own or have owned the M14, SR25, FAL, and G3. I can say that the FAL is the most "rounded" choice. The SR25 is the most accurate, but most prone to reliability problems (from my experience, and this was whether or not it was clean). The G3 seemed to be the most reliable, but you gotta get a good one --more junk out there than not these days. It will chew brass up, practically bending it in half, so if you reload, keep that in mind.

The M14 is rugged, and more accurate in general, than the FAL. The FAL on the other hand, is a well designed and reliable battle rifle. Not a sniper rifle, a battle rifle. While you can scope it (and the DSA mount is the best around) the M14 will provide better accuracy. The M14 will make a good SDM rifle. The FAL will suffice, but I'd rather have the M14 in that role. On the other hand, if I had to kick in doors and live with the rifle, I'd rather have the FAL, mostly for ergonomics. It feels better and it is very well balanced.

The FAL and the M14 have a lot in common. Both are built TOUGH. They aren't built like that anymore. The FAL has a heavy trigger, and there isn't much you can do about it unless you are crafty (I have mine worked down to about 5 lbs., but I won't go into that here). The M14 trigger is better, but not much so. However, a little work will yield a better trigger than the FAL.

Magazines. There are more M14 magazines, quality ones anyway, at a better price now than before. Used to be that FAL mags were real cheap and plentiful --good ones too. Now they are mostly junk and costly. The real good ones are getting harder to find and even more expensive. I bet this is mostly due to the fact that there are lots of rifles made now that accept FAL mags, made by manufacturers that don't make magazines. DSA makes a lot of FAL stuff, good stuff too, but they also have had magazines on backorder now for almost a year. A year. I doubt they'll pull it off.

M14 or FAL? Could be all in the flip of a coin. But if accuracy is important (and I mean here 1 or 2 MOA vs. 3 or 4 MOA) then go with the M14. If a tough battle rifle with good ergonomics and balance is optimal, go with the FAL.

If money is no option, the M14 with about $1000 worth of upgrades will get you a 7.62 without peer. .5 MOA or less. I also hear you want to get the Springfield rifles of a certain vintage... Supposedly they used to build them using all military parts, but ran out a decade or so ago. Keep that in mind if it is important. Also, believe it or not, the Norinco rifle has a very good reciever (the rest of it is junk though).

If you want to spend $1000 on a rifle and be done with it, the best all around choice is the FAL. I slapped a rail, scope mount, adj. stock, and reflex sight and ended up with a better battle rifle than the M4, but less accurate. Probably 2-3 MOA. If you go with the FAL, save the good scope for something else.

You can spend big money on an FAL, but don't bother. Diminishing returns is why; it won't get much more accurate, and it is about as reliable as it can get.

Averageman
June 15, 2011, 10:27 PM
Went to a shop here in Colorado Springs and handled both.
Selling a Sig 556R to get the Scout Squad.
Seemed the best overall.
Thanks
A/M

Stevie-Ray
June 15, 2011, 11:19 PM
I wanted either a HK-91, an M1A, or a FAL over 20 years ago. I ended up with the FAL. (SAR-48HB) I've never been sorry and it's still my favorite rifle to shoot.

Averageman
June 16, 2011, 11:29 AM
Going to go with a Scope mount and the forward rail on the Scout-Squad and move between an EO Tech and a 3X9 scope.
I dont need a lot of extras and looking at everything over all the M1A just felt better in my hands and I dont want to go down the uber tactical road.
Minimum to get the maximum.

bergmen
June 16, 2011, 11:44 AM
Going to go with a Scope mount and the forward rail on the Scout-Squad and move between an EO Tech and a 3X9 scope.
I dont need a lot of extras and looking at everything over all the M1A just felt better in my hands and I dont want to go down the uber tactical road.
Minimum to get the maximum.

Wait until you go out and sight it in. You are really going to love this rifle. I have shot only Winchester white box ammo so far (until I get set up for reloading of this round) and it has performed flawlessly once a few hundred rounds went through it.

Dan

KodiakBeer
June 16, 2011, 12:15 PM
I own a FAL. I love my FAL. It's just a superb rifle in so many ways.

Yet, when I pick up an M1A, it just feels better. It has the right "hang" to it. It shoulders better, the sights fall on the target more naturally.

I'd swap my FAL for a decent M1A without much prompting.

bergmen
June 16, 2011, 01:15 PM
Yet, when I pick up an M1A, it just feels better. It has the right "hang" to it. It shoulders better, the sights fall on the target more naturally.

That is exactly what I found as well. Two of my rifles are best at this, my marlin 336 and the M1A. The M1A pulls up to my shoulder as if it were custom made for me and the sights just fall right into place. It is a natural shooter and is exactly what I want in a rifle of this type.

Dan

JustinJ
June 16, 2011, 01:33 PM
For general use or infantry use I'd go with the FAL, hands down. Weight in a battle rifle, and pretty much any rifle besides a bench shooter, is an extremely important variable. I also like the ergonomics of the FAL better and believe it to be a more reliable and durable system but that is just my own assesment. The only edge i see for the M1A is the potential for more accuracy but even in a DMR role the FAL can be more than accurate enough. There are also a number of new accessories, rails and stocks for the M1A so it may be more modular but i couldnt say which is more. Also there are 30 round mags available for the FAL. Just be sure the FAL is a DSA if not an original factory build.

TexasPatriot.308
June 16, 2011, 03:25 PM
just wondering as far as some of you guys in country in Afghanistan, are yall having to rig out your M14s yourself as far as your choice of optics etc?

Float Pilot
June 16, 2011, 05:10 PM
I have had both a real FN-FAL and a few M-1as. Plus I used to have access to numerous military M-14s and M-21s. The M-1A , particularly my old Super Match were more accurate at long range. The FN was more versatile as a general all around weapon for 200 meters and closer. The original sights being not so swell for fine work.

HavelockLEO
June 16, 2011, 05:30 PM
I have two FAL's, a Loaded Standard M1A and I've had a G3 type rifle (not the Century stuff) and I like all but the G3 type. I got rid of the G3 so fast you wouldve thought it was on fire.
I love the M1A I'm puttering around with the idea of a SAGE EBR stock for it, but thats a ways off.
I have a full size L1A1 and an FAL carbine, theyre solid and reliable and I wont part with either.
Accuracy wise the M1A edges out the FAL in my experience, but I wouldnt feel under armed with either one.

Just my .02

nyc71
June 16, 2011, 08:13 PM
I recently bought the Squat Scout, the FAL it's next.



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"- Benjamin Franklin

skipbo32
June 17, 2011, 05:35 AM
to the original poster:

i respect your question. two rifles that have always been compared to each other through their history. i have good news for you....... by saying you've decided to choose between those two weapon systems, you have already stated that you are a smart guy and i can tell you, you will be satisfied with either choice.

i get so tired of hearing the AK vs AR debate because you really can't compare those rifles in the same POU because it is a reliability vs accuracy debate. the FAL and M14, however, present platforms that provide proper and well balanced ratios of both accuracy and reliability.

as a owner of both rifles i will lay it out as simple and honest as i can. both are rugged, beastly battle axes that will do anything you ask of them and more. bottom line: you are choosing between two tough and proven SUV trucks. the M14 is the luxurious cadillac escalade and the FAL is a trail rated jeep cherokee w/ jacked up 10 ply tires. both of these battle rifle beauties are no strangers to terms like: accuracy, reliability, firepower, toughness, efficiency and history. the M14 and FAL are both "jack-of-all-trades" rifles IMO. they both have served as assault rifles, light machine guns, standard service rifles, and sniper systems. they do it all!

both rifles can be "scoped", however if you are looking for a precision weapon then the M14 gets the nod. you can do more to a M14 to fine tune it to match grade specs and it's design is more inherently accurate. if you want to shoot iron sights then the M14 gets the nod again. the M14 arguably has the best iron sights of any rifle ever made!(yes, i just said that.) so in a nutshell, all around accuracy belongs to the M14.

but......the pros of accuracy aren't everything, just like the cummfy power steering and climate controlled seats of a cadillac aren't everything. the FAL has enough accuracy to hold it's own with the M14 and enough simplicity and ruggedness to hold it's own with the AK 47. the FAL is a "mud-gun" that is VERY robust and can be cleaned in the field extremely easily. the parts are crude and simple and you can break it down and put it back together blind folded in your sleep (with out tools i might add!!!!). actually.......if you are really in a SHTF situation, you never have to clean the MoFo ever because it has a regulated gas system. you can literally put thousands and thousands of rounds through the thing and as carbon builds up, you just adjust the gas system and the dang sucker keeps running!!!

the meat and potatoes of a FAL are all metal parts so it locks up the same every time and works the same every time. i always thought the thing looked a tad butt-ugly, but in a good way! kind of like a worn pare of blue jeans. it is not a work of art......it's a killing machine!

this brings me to the M14..........and besides a "killing machine" (which it is!), it IS a profound work of art (both aesthetically and function-wise). an absolute gorgeous rifle! if you are a old school traditional man like myself, then you will appreciate the sheer joy of the look and feel on the wood stock and BALANCE of the design. im telling you.....the thing is an absolute dream to shoot. it is more ergonomically american friendly being that the charging handle is on the right side and it has that CLASSIC american look like the M1 garand. personally i'm not a big fan of pistol grips when im trying to gain that eagle-eye point of aim with a high powered battle rifle. everything about the M14 design is geared toward luxurious dead-eye shooting. nobody ever mentions this minute detail but i love the flip-up buttplate design when shooting prone. every rifle should have this.......sorry, but it's true. wonderful feature!

you are going to pay more for a M1A/M14 but rightfully so. if you hold the two rifles side by side you will quickly notice that the M14 is a much more complex and sophisticated rifle. the engineering of the M14 is one for the ages. it will take the harshest punishments but you will not want to inflict them, if you get me. it's like having a beautiful sweet and innocent girlfriend that will let you do whatever you want yet you feel reluctant to abuse the power.

the FAL on the other hand is the better value gun at the moment. M14s have been more popular in the past so original GI parts have dried up and prices have gone way up (only a concern if you want a pre-ban M1A/M14). but now, the popularity of the FAL is on the rise and original parts are going up as we speak, however they are still cheaper to get than original M14 parts. DSA offers a STG58 model that basically has all original parts except the upper receiver, barrel and furniture ect for a MSRP of $1,150 (a price i expect to increase soon)

your question is really a flip of the coin, but i think the deciding factor will be - what you are really looking for. i will not say which is better because that is subjective and opinionated. i will stand by, however, that you get what you pay for. if you drop the extra bills for a M1A/M14 then you will reap the benefits and not be sorry.

if you were to ask me personally......if i could only have one gun for the rest of my life it would be a M14. if you were to ask me personally "what gun would i pick between a FAL and M14?"......i would say both. i would get the FAL now while prices are still reasonable and then opt for a M1A/M14 when i spot a used one one for $1,100-$1,200.

hope this helps. sorry it was long. it's just that i feel your question.

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/DSC04377.jpghttp://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/DSC04375.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/DSC04195.jpg

skipbo32
June 17, 2011, 05:48 AM
sorry,
im a tad slow. i just read the whole thread. i understand that the OP wants to go with a shorty M1A with a red dot. may i suggest the Ultimak rail. if you use it with an Aimpoint you can cowittness the irons. i would not get a Eotech as they ride a bit high on M1As and they are more of a AR15 optic IMO. here are some pics.....and i will tell you that the Ultimak is a solid rail. classic, sleek, light...and does the job.

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/m142.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/m148.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/charlene2.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k141/skipbo32/DSC03590.jpg

Bwana John
June 17, 2011, 09:34 AM
I own examples of each, and both are excellent rifles. They are also both obsolete in many ways, particularly modularity, ergonomics on the M1A, and scope mounting options on both.

That said, I personally like the FAL better for all-around purposes, but would quickly choose the M1A for using iron sights to punch paper targets on a known distance range in bright daylight (i.e., CMP service rifle competition).


Well said.

GunTech
June 17, 2011, 11:43 AM
skipbo32, I agree the right option for the M1A is the ultimak. It leaves the clip guide intact and mount the optic low. In my experience, the aimpoint will not cowitness with the irons, but it's very close.

http://guntech.com/m14/m1a-aimpoint.jpg

skipbo32
June 17, 2011, 01:23 PM
guntech.....thanks for the info. im speaking from experience with my full size 22" barreled standard. im guessing the cowittness feature doesnt work on a 18" barrel. thanks for clearing that up. nice rifle by the way! looks like she is ready to kill some hogs!:D

W.E.G.
June 17, 2011, 01:34 PM
Camaro or Mustang.

Both are fine choices, and there are many very good other choices besides those two.

Averageman
June 17, 2011, 04:55 PM
The difference to me was made by shouldering both.
The M1A Scout Squad just "Fit".
As far as optics go I want a Scope mount and the red dot option. I would really like the added versatility + I have the scope + rings that mounts a mini red dot and the EO tech on hand.
This is one rifle I kind of bought backwards, I essentially got the optics first.
I will purchase the scope mount and 5 more magazines when I get it home.

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