Accuracy (MOA) M1 vs. M1A


June 25, 2012, 01:35 PM
I've been trying to find out what the average MOA performances are for an average Service Grade M1 from CMP compared to an "out-of-the-box" Springfield M1A (Standard).

I tried finding the answers online, but tended to only find the extremes... For example, one guy bragging about 1/2 MOA with his M1 and another complaining about 6 MOA. I'm more interested in what's typical, although I do realize there are some extenuating factors involved.

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PBR Streetgang
June 25, 2012, 01:45 PM
M1a- 2 to 3 on average ( out of the box-standard)
M1- 1+ to who knows,,,,just depends on the barrel and stock fit

June 25, 2012, 01:50 PM
All of my Garands have been more accurate than the M1a I owned, and others I have shot. Even my PTR/HK rifles have been more accurate than the M1a. But we are talking small sample sizes here, so take it for what its worth. The M1a supposedly has a 'reputation' for greater accuracy.
also, handloading is a huge variable. one garand will go from 3" to 1" just with a different powder. The most extreme example I know of is a G.43 that could barely keep its shots on paper with a dozen loads, but the last load shot into 2". So, if you do your part behind the trigger, and load for the rifle, 2" out of a garand is not unrealistic....maybe even 1".

June 25, 2012, 03:22 PM
I have had both, and there doesn't seem to be any appreciable difference in their accuracy. I would say it depends more on the ammo you use than any differences in the rifle.

June 25, 2012, 04:26 PM
It's impossible to say. Too many variables.

June 25, 2012, 05:48 PM
2 - 3 inches on average. Less than 2 inches is a good one.

June 25, 2012, 08:36 PM
My 5.8 Mil M1 Garand correct grade and my standard M1a in fulton walnut stock are too close to call with open sights. Both shoot very close to 1" groups with iron sights at 100 meters.
My six digit springfield with a more worn barrel will shoot 1.5 moa-1.25 moa with Greek surplus ammo. My national match M1a (stolen) would shoot 1 moa or better with match ammo.
Another M1 garand I had (arsenal rebuild) would shoot closer to 2 moa.

June 25, 2012, 08:43 PM
I can get 1.5 minute of angle with M1A and WWB 147 rain 7.62 Nato using iron sights. That is either "slinged-up" or off a Harris bi-pod. One must, however, really pay attention to the basics -- trigger control, breathing, and consistent sight alignment.


June 25, 2012, 08:52 PM
Most service grade M1s are really about 4 MOA. That's equal to about 1.5 internet MOAs.:D

June 25, 2012, 10:06 PM
Most service grade M1s are really about 4 MOA. That's equal to about 1.5 internet MOAs.:D
That's awsome! :D

Welding Rod
June 25, 2012, 10:21 PM
In my experience they could be considered about equal. I have owned 6 M1s, and shot others, and owned 3 M1As (not counting a SOCOM).

The big variable is how the wood fits the M1. It is very easy clearance a M1 stock and handguards so they don't influence the barrel much as it heats. It is just a matter of ensuring this is done, and peening the barrel splines so the gas cylinder / front sight doesn't move (if there is any play). If these things are done, it will likely shoot about equal to an average M1A for practical purposes.

Yesterday I shot my CMP Special in an "Old Soldiers Match". 30 rounds prone at 200 yards. I shot 292/300 10-X. Most if not all of the 8 dropped points (all in the 9 ring) were likely me. I dropped 5 points on the first string of 15 shots as I needed one more click up of elevation. I am pretty sure the gun could clean the event. The only thing I did to the gun was clearance any rub spots in the stock and make sure the handguards were fit slightly loose.

With the M1As (iron sights) I generally can shoot 10 shot groups at 2 MOA. Obviously the gun is going to be mechanically capable of better, but that is what I shoot with irons.

I find that with irons on either, any difference in practical accuracy is inconsequential.

Welding Rod
June 25, 2012, 10:54 PM
I just reread your question and noticed you asked about a Service Grade. I can't speak to that as I have only owned Specials and Service Grade Specials which all came with new tight fitting stocks and new or virtually unused barrels.

BTW another consideration may be overall quality. With a CMP Garand you can get an essentiall new Service Grade Special or a rebuilt and refinished Special delivered for less than 1 grand.

The SGS is a genuine like new military quality firearm, sans the commercial walnut stock. The M1A, while sometims nice commercial guns, are not in the same league when it comes to build quality, while they cost more.

June 26, 2012, 07:17 AM
The M1A replaced the M1 in service rifle comp because it was slightly more accurate. This case is comparing two different rifles, both prepared for competition.

Comparing my NM Wilson six groove medium contour M1A to my NM prepped M1 with a Kreiger barrel I see the same results. It seems I'm the limiting factor.

All internet claims of accuracy need to be taken with a grain of salt, and in some cases a whole truck load.

Any difference between a service grade M1 and a standard M1A well be luck of the draw.

June 26, 2012, 08:36 AM
Once again there's not a single post that offers enough information to determine if the MOA values claimed are valid at all. The details matter...

In my own experience with 3 (scoped but otherwise unmodified) SAI Standard M1As made from 2007-2010, they all held 2 MOA using the ammo they liked, which was typically Federal Gold Medal Match 168s or (surprisingly) Federal Power Shock 150gr JSPs. This MOA value was determined by firing the rifles from a benchrested position with a sandbag placed at the front a rear and measuring four 10-shot groups fired at 100 yards.

IIRC, Springfield claims that up to 4 MOA is within spec for a Standard M1A rifle, although from my experience I'd tend to believe they are capable of doing better.

Welding Rod
June 26, 2012, 12:30 PM

What was the magnification level / setting of the scope(s)?

Wood stocks or GI fiberglass or SAI sythetic?

Was the rate of fire?

Barrels allowed to cool between groups?

Single loading or shot from 10 rounds loaded in a magazine?

June 26, 2012, 06:13 PM
I've had a bunch of M1's. They generally shoot at least as well as the standard M1A I had. Some a little better. But I'm good at picking out M1s.

June 26, 2012, 07:15 PM

What was the magnification level / setting of the scope(s)? 10x and 12x. Of course, with a rifle that is bench rested with a sandbag front and rear to eliminate the shooter from the equation, this really doesn't contribute to the results much at all.

Wood stocks or GI fiberglass or SAI sythetic? One Boyd's Walnut (which IS factory SAI) and two USGI Synthetic (which were also factory SAI stocks coated with their bedliner crap).

Was the rate of fire? One shot every 45 seconds to 1 minute. One minute is pretty much the standard for accuracy testing in a non-Magnum caliber.

Barrels allowed to cool between groups? Roughly 10 minutes. Consistency in the conditions is the key. Wouldn't make sense to get the barrel nice and hot before pulling the trigger on the next group, would it?

Single loading or shot from 10 rounds loaded in a magazine? 10 rounds loaded into a CMI magazine.

Again, yes, details matter. I'm still not seeing much of ANY in this thread. Just a bunch of talk about "my rifle shoots 1.5 MOA" and other such meaningless drivel. But, nonetheless, I chuckle at someone clamoring for even more details when they have provided none. :D

June 26, 2012, 07:44 PM
Most service grade M1s are really about 4 MOA. That's equal to about 1.5 internet MOAs.

I remember when we were sighting in for deer season. I had a Leupold scoped Ruger varmint rifle and a Swiss K31. I had a friend with a spotting scope calling shots for me. With the 10X leupold it was easy to see my own shots with the ruger. And I put 4 or 5 shots into 1.5" I was somewhat disappointed because I wanted it to group all into an inch since I had seen it shoot 2" groups at 200. But no such luck.
Next I got out the K31 with Hornady 165 gr. ammunition. I could not see my own shots and my friend sat quietly as I fired a 4 shot group. The last shot I was starting to tighten up and didn't know if I pulled it. After I touched it off I looked up and he had a big grin. He looked at me and said "You just fired the same size group as you did with your Ruger!"
At least for me these old rifles shoot much better than 4 moa.

June 26, 2012, 07:56 PM
In the Appleseed shoots, shooting Expert Rifleman equates to being able to shoot a 4 Minute Of Angle group with a rack-grade rifle and service ammunition from 100 to 500 yards. That's a 1-inch group at 25 yards, a 4-inch group at 100 yards, and a 20-inch group at 500 yards.

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