I want a 7.62x51/.308 battle rifle. I'm suddenly keen on the Springfield M1A.
I like the Scout Squad or perhaps the loaded in walnut
Tell me about these. Good, bad and the ugly.
Or suggest alternatives with wood stocks.
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April 21, 2013, 06:39 PM
lrbarms m25 is the best
April 21, 2013, 09:26 PM
The extra features of the loaded model make it worth the extra money. Avoid the new plastic SA stocks as they are terrible and get the walnut. I personally prefer the scout model with a LER or "red dot" type optic. I only sold my Scout because I wanted an FN Scar 17. Nothing wrong with the rifle, I just wanted a SCAR.
April 21, 2013, 09:27 PM
I went with the Loaded model back when they still had some USGI parts in the mix. I've been very pleased with the performance and haven't regretted my purchase for a second. Wonderful sights, great trigger, and surprisingly accurate for an iron-sighted rifle. I know a lot of folks want optics on their battle rifles, but being a big fan of the M1 Garand, I prefer sticking to irons.
I got the walnut stocked standard loaded model....love it. my next one will be the shorter barrel version. Springfield Armory for me. open sights, deal feral hogs misery with it. got the mexifornia legal muzzle brake on it and prefer it to flash suppressor. I am lucky to own lots of combat rifles, 40 years ago, I carried an M14, no finer a battle rifle in my opinion.
April 21, 2013, 10:46 PM
I ordered one in December....
It's still backordered.....
with no ETA....
April 21, 2013, 11:27 PM
Both of mine have been all sai parts. Both shot less than 2 MOA easily. My favorite setup is a black synthetic standard that I sub into a fulton armory walnut stock. I like the utility and feel of the black stock but the rifle is more accurate in the wood. If you are going to sling it and carry any distance get the lighter std barrel.
April 22, 2013, 12:25 AM
I bought my latest M1A (a "loaded" M9222) in 2005. It has been literally flawless, and has never fired a factory cartridge in all its 6000-plus rounds fired. Accuracy is excellent, as well.
I agree whole-heartedly with those who recommend AGAINST mounting an "optical sight". Doing so makes an awkward, bulky, ill-balanced, heavy and UGLY beast out of a rifle that was designed and intended as an infantryman's constant companion.... sleek, heavy-enough, well-balanced, with great sights, reliability, and power.
Most of those who mount optics on M1A rifles have little or NO experience with iron sights, and have no idea about either HOW to use them, or how effective they are. Their loss, of course, but it's a shame to see the abortions they create from what once was a fine rifle.
I can't stomach the "SOCOM", either, but any other M1A will be a fine thing to own.
April 22, 2013, 12:36 AM
I bought a Scout Squad a few weeks before the crazyness. It is my first M1A and I like it but it jettisoned the extractor and spring/detent on round #33 on the first trip out. I didn't bother with SA and just bought an M14 extractor w/spring/detent and it has worked great since. I wouldn't say that the stock is terrible but it's not great either. It does its job but is more flimsy than wood or fiberglass. Lighter weight/better handling is part of the scout equation.
Plenty of naysayers about Promag magazines but the ones that I have work in my rifles. I load them to 19 because 20 slows the action down a lot and can cause problems going into battery. That being said, I am not impressed with the inconsistencies in the magazines. I ordered several from different places and the packaging was the same, but the mags were different. Called ProMag and they said that due to the high demand they were expediting manufacture. Importing, cutting corners? I will buy Checkmates in the future.
They are great if you are a fan of iron sights. If you like optics and bolt-ons there may be better options. The scout rail seems kinda hokey to me. It's a two piece clamped onto the barrel with set screws. Seems to me like it will turn any mount or optic into a heat sink.
April 22, 2013, 03:51 AM
Very interesting about the Pro-mags. In the .223 AR15, they work well for me.
My magazines for the M1A include Taiwanese M57s, US-issue M14s, and Checkmate M14s. I reckon I've been fortunate, because ALL of them work just fine. I have seen some others that were pure junk, however.
Last time I looked a few days ago, www.44mag.com had some Checkmate magazines in stock at very fair prices.
April 22, 2013, 07:50 AM
"awkward,bulky,illbalanced,heavy, & ugly beast". I would not tell that to the MEN useing them as dedicated sniper rifles in the sandbox, strangly enough with optics on them.:banghead:
April 22, 2013, 07:54 AM
Scout squad in walnut is a nice rifle.
April 22, 2013, 06:10 PM
I've got a Bush Rifle (the old version of the Scout Squad without the scout mount) made back in '94 out of USGI parts. I love it. It wasn't terribly accurate in the factory walnut stock, but dropping it into a USGI Fiberglass stock cut the 5-shot groups down less than 1.5" at 100 yards.
I just got through putting it into a VLTOR stock, which I also love. I would like to keep the iron sights, but there's no way to get the buttstock in line with the bore and still use the irons. I really bought the stock so I could reduce muzzle flip by getting everything in a straight line, so I'm looking at going with optics. Right now I'm thinking a Basset Machine mount and a 1-4x Leupold Hog scope, but I haven't entirely made up my mind yet. I'd still be really tempted to mount an Eotech if I could find one.
April 22, 2013, 06:30 PM
I have one that was a gift from my wife back in '95. It's a SA NM in walnut. The rifle has always fired flawlessly. I hand load for it and it also shoots very well with Federal Gold Medal ammunition. I have assorted magazines for it including a pile of GI 20 round. I also have some 5 round magazines. The rifle never seems to care what magazine is feeding it. Whenever I saw a good deal on mags over the years I would just buy them. The same is true of all my guns.
I also was going to bed it in an over sized match stock but have yet to get around to it and no rush as after 18 years it shoots just fine. If I didn't have one would I buy one? Absolutely, however, like many rifles it's a love it or hate it type rifle.
April 22, 2013, 08:41 PM
Scout squad in walnut is a nice rifle.
Yeppers, had mine a couple years. Absolutely fantastic, accurate, reliable, tough.
Ordered the black loaded model back in November from Buds. Finally on its way. (Guess I should start loading some .308)
Will probably run it with iron sights for a while & save up for a good mount & optics!
April 27, 2013, 09:48 PM
I have a SOCOM and a Loaded model. I prefer the SOCOM; of course the SOCOM does not have wood. The Scout Squad was nice, but if I was going the extra length, I'd go the full sized rifle. In reality, all of them are fun.
April 28, 2013, 04:15 AM
Since you said you want a battle rifle, I would go with the Standard. The Loaded has a heavier profile barrel under the handguards that is nice for match shooting, but adds weight and makes it not as nice to carry in the field. I love how my old Standard was just 8.5 lbs. unloaded. Still more than accurate enough for a battle rifle. Most will do at least 2 MOA.
June 3, 2013, 08:42 PM
I was looking at an AR but then looked at these. I wasn't really planning on going with lots of options on the , possible, Ar.
Plus .308 is a monster round.
June 3, 2013, 08:55 PM
I kept my standard and sold my national match. The standard is something the nm will never be: light.
June 3, 2013, 09:14 PM
Mine was a gift from my wife back in the early 90s. It's a SA NM version in walnut and I am very fond of that rifle. I just returned from a USMC 45 year reunion I took it to with a Colt SP1 and a M1 Garand and the guys loved that rifle as it brought back memories.
The M1A is a lot like the M1 Garand as to likeability. The sort of rifle you either like very, very much or have no interest in at all.
June 3, 2013, 10:43 PM
I have been happy with my loaded walnut M1A. Except for fondling the other models at the retailer, I cannot make an educated comparison with the other models.
June 4, 2013, 03:29 PM
I really like the M1A. Just a pleasant all around rifle to shoot.
June 4, 2013, 07:14 PM
This is a reply I posted on the CMP forum a few days ago:
My latest SAI, a Super Match bought new in the last few years, was the kicker for me. I figured if they wouldn't do a good job on their top of the line rifle, even after a trip back for warranty service, they wouldn't be keeping me as a customer.
Mine had the sloppiest op-rod to receiver fit I have seen on any M1/M14 style rifle. It had significant radial gouging in the chamber. One gouge was deep enough the brass was coming out with a radial ring around case body. The gas plug continuely came loose, and due to the sloppy fit and minimal amount of thread engagement, it always felt like it was about to strip when tightening it.
After it came back with a new op-rod that still fit embarrassingly loose and what started out as a match chamber that had the gouges "polished" out of it (they were gone), the best I could get it to shoot was in the 2 MOA range.
Then I have my Socom that had to go back as it was not capable of shooting elevation coincident with the sights. It's accuracy is horrible. After removing the muzzle brake it appears the crown is cut off center.
My Standard came out of box with a large dark blotch of dripping dried finish on the stock. Looks like someone wiped about 5 inches of the stock forearm with a cheeseburger. An ear on the front sight was disturbingly non-symmetric with the other.
It shoots really well though, about 1.25 to 1.5 MOA. Very happy with its shooting performance! However it pretty much ruins the brass as the cases end up stretched something like .015" to .022" after each firing. So I only feed it brass that I have used in another gun and which is on its last loading before disposal. PITA. As good as it shoots, Because of this, I intend to get it rebarreled when I can afford to do so. My Socom and Loaded are both pretty easy on brass.
I do have a Loaded too. It is the only SAI I bought used, and it was built around 2005 or 2006 I believe. No problems with it and it is respectably accurate.
1 out of 4 didn't cut it though. I have no experience with Fulton, but I would definitely consider them over SAI.
June 4, 2013, 07:15 PM
Personally I like the GI fiberglass stocks, but they are getting harder to find in really good shape.
My most accurate M1A, my Standard (of all things) is in walnut.