a little help from experienced service rifle shooters


January 12, 2013, 11:01 PM
I'm looking for opinions/advise/experiences from experienced service rifle shooters who used to compete (or still do) with M14/M1A's. I've really wanted to get an M1A for years now, but could never justify laying down the cash. With the current hysteria going on I decided I could sell some of the AK's I bought when I was in my early 20's (that I've never shot anyway) for a pretty penny and use it to get a match worthy M1A.

So here's the question, are the Supermatch rifles really as good as some would have you believe? What kind of real world, on the line on Viale, accuracy can one expect (with handloads) from a supermatch? how about a "loaded" with NM sights, trigger and barrel? The reason I ask is that I feel most of these factory built "match" rifles are overhyped, and are inferior to those built by a skilled, competition gunsmith. I came to this theory after shooting a Springfield Trophy Match I won, as compared to my wad gun. I'm just worried my money would be better allocated buying a custom service rifle as opposed to a Supermatch. With AR's it's pretty common knowledge that a White Oak, or CLE is pretty top end, but you can be very competitive with a RR, Bushmaster, or Armalite; there doesn't seem to be such a clear distinction when it comes to M14 pattern rifles.


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January 13, 2013, 11:32 AM
They are just as accurate as the AR, it's the recoil that messes with people, you must over come this, unlike the AR. As, far as getting one, great investment, you will never get as much out of an AR, ever, someone is always looking for one, I purchased an equivalent to a super match a few years ago that the army teams built and never fired. Hope this helps.

January 13, 2013, 11:44 PM
Thanks for the reply, but I don't think I stated my question very well. I'm getting an M1A/M14, it's just a matter of which one. Recoil doesn't bother me, I've got a handful of Garands I shoot semi-regularly whenever a Garand match is held around here.

What I'm not really familiar with is who to buy it from, Springfield is almost 3k for a supermatch, I've seen mixed reviews about Fulton, and I just don't know of any other gunsmiths that build them. I've seen people buy $2,000 AR's that couldn't hold a candle next to a White Oak/CLE for almost half the price. I don't want to make that mistake. But if a Supermatch is really that much better than a "loaded" model I'll get it. I'm curious what that $1000 buys accuracy wise.

January 14, 2013, 08:24 PM
The Super Match is a totally different firearm than the standard model. I say that because the Super Match is glass bedded, has the match sights and the others are not so equipped. I shoot and compete with a Supermatch with all of the bells and whistles. It is a great firearm, but the 'average' shooter can add 10 - 15 points to his score in a High Power Match just by picking up an AR15. Point number 2 is, the AR15 shoots well, until it does not. Basically, if it doesn't shoot, it is the barrel. Screw on a new barrel, you are back in the game. Point 3, the AR15 ammo is a lot cheaper to load than the .308. And, if you forget your ammo at the match, someone will loan you enough to shoot the match. The .308 is just not as popular as it once was.
Don't get me wrong, I like my M1A better than any of my AR15's, but it just cannot compete. Something that the M1A has going for it is, sex appeal. OK, I think that it is sexy. I have been pointed out more than once as 'the guy that shoots the M1A'. And, by the way, when I am serious about doing well at a match, I shoot the AR15. DennyMac

January 14, 2013, 08:31 PM
The national match m1A is also glass bedded. Call Creedmoor sports and talk to Dennis, he can tell for sure if it is worth the extra 700, his are 2100 and 2800 respectively, and a guy year before last made the pres hundred with a match garand, so it depends on who is shooting as far as accuracy goes, but I do agree with comment above as far as ammo goes.

January 15, 2013, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the information guys. I agree with your points about the AR's, I shoot a WOP, and have a WOA w/ a Kreiger as my back up rifle, so belive me, i dont need to be sold on ghe AR's. I just am not familiar with how much accuracy you gain over a standard rifle (m14/M1A) as you add the barrel, bedding, assorted NM parts etc... or if its worth Springing for a Kreiger unless you bed it. And if anybody other than Springfield, Fulton, and Smith ent. is a better option, I've seen mixed reviews on the latter two, and had a less than impressive encounter with Springfield, although that was with a pistol. I guess I feel like that guy who's all ready to drop over 2K on a high dollar AR like a LWRC, when for half the money he could get a CLE or WOP because he's never heard of them but LWRC is advertised all over.

January 15, 2013, 07:19 PM
Get on the NM forum and look through a few listings on building vs buying an M1A. I think you'll find the consensus is to get a base model and send it off to one of the several named 'smiths and have it built to NM standards.

At ~3k I'm not that impressed with the results I've seen from the SuperMatch as delivered ... personally know of 2 guys who sent them back in to SA numerous times and still ended up peddling them.

Dennymac is correct up above ... a match M1A is not as accurate as a match AR, and the difference is not just recoil.

Here's the link to the NM - under Forums choose NM and then do the simple registration. Lots of info under the M1a/M1 sub-forum.


January 16, 2013, 08:31 AM
I own a Springfield National Match and shot some High Power Service Rifle competitions with it before sticking with my White Oak AR. It's a nice rifle for sure. Both the National Matches and Super Matches are glass bedded (unlike the "lesser" models) The difference, as far as I know, is that the National Match has a medium weight barrel whereas the Super Match has a heavy Douglas barrel. Also, the Super Matches have a rear lug and the National Matches do not. I really think the addition of a rear lug is a big benefit and could show some accuracy increase in the hands of a competent shooter. Before the Army Marksmanship team went to the AR in 1994 or so, their M14's didn't have this rear lug and the USMC M14's did. Many believe USMC M14's were superior because of this. If you have the cash to spend, it would be worth it IMO. As far as the knocks against Springfield go, some of it is hype and some if it is true. The front sling swivel pulled out of the stock on mine but to their credit SA honored the warranty and replaced it. Springfield M1A's come with a lifetime warranty and everything I have heard and experienced with their customer service has been outstanding. It's not uncommon to hear about guys wearing out or breaking a part on a 20 year old M1A and having Springfield fix it free of charge. Keep in mind that no matter how much you spend buying a Super match rifle or a custom made M-14, you will be lucky to keep it shooting 1 MOA consistently. Mine does 1 MOA on a good day with my handloads (iron sights from the bench.) Internet postings of 1/2 MOA M14's are either fantasies or just flukes the aren't repeatable on a consistent basis.

Some knock the SA rifles because the receivers are cast and not forged. Of course if they were forged you would be paying the same price that LRB charges for their rifles so it's a cost/benefit thing. Personally it doesn't bother me (makes no difference in accuracy) and Springfield has been at it for a while know and has the process down pretty well.

Sounds like you already know it, but no matter what you spend on an M14 style rifle, it will almost never out-shoot an AR in a high power competition (shooter skill being equal) and if it does it wont for long due to the high-maintenance, inherently less accurate design of the platform. Depending on how much you shoot, a re-slick of the bedding is in order every season or two. It's still hands down a lot more fun to shoot though

January 18, 2013, 06:42 PM
Have to agree with the others about the M-14 in High Power.

The increased maintenance and cost - ammo, new barrels, parts - make the M-14 a museum piece in HP matches.

If you have your heart set on one just 'cause, I wouldn't buy it from a mass-production facility. Spend the money to have it built by an outfit that really knows High Power competition.

January 18, 2013, 11:46 PM
It's not just 'cause....I haven't been able to shoot the Springfield M1A match at Perry because I don't have one. Plus, I've got White Oaks, 03's, 03A3's, a dozen Garands now, a 1917,......but only a Polytech M14 that I haven't decided if I'm going to change all the parts on. I've got 5 AK's I'm about to stick on GB for a nice chunk of change. The M14 is one of my favorite rifles and I only have 1, and it's Chinese....

I really just want to try and figure out who to get one from, I've had my eyes open for years waiting for some one to sell a match rifle they don't shoot any more, but they don't come off them. I still don't have the name of a top of the line M14 gunsmith. I might just be better off getting a supermatch and shooting it. I can always sell it if it doesn't work out.

January 19, 2013, 12:08 AM
Thanks every one for the input.
Good luck this year,

January 19, 2013, 11:03 PM
I would go with a custom builder and either an entry level Springfield as a base, or a reciever and parts kit.

I like Phil Arrington. He is getting ready to build me a custom rifle right now.

If I'm paying $3k or more for a rifle, I want it to be just the way I want it.


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