M1A Forum


February 20, 2003, 11:27 AM
What is the best forum for the M1A / M14?

Thanks in advance,


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Steve Smith
February 20, 2003, 11:34 AM
Depends...what info do you want?

If you're looking for competition info, one of the HP sites would get you farther, but if you're looking for collector's info or maintenance info, www.jouster.com would be best. They don't like M1As though...some have them there, but they are an M14 group mostly.

February 20, 2003, 11:42 AM
Thanks Steve,
What is an HP site?

My interest is competition and maintenace.


Steve Smith
February 20, 2003, 11:58 AM
HP = Highpower, as in NRA Highpower Rifle.

Frankly, the M1A/M14 is just about dead in the Highpower world. A little can be gleaned from the Jouster M14 forum as far as competition, but most of those guys were either competitors 30 years ago or just collectors. They CAN help tremendously with maintenance and troubleshooting. Just be prepared for "the problem is obvious, you have an M1A not an M14" comments. :rolleyes: The Jouster "On the Firing Line" site is pretty good for generic competition info and has some really good shooters posting there.

Anyway...for additional generic competition info, I'd suggest you go to www.nationalmatch.us and http://forums.delphiforums.com/flahighpower/messages for competition related info. The second site is a really good one even though it says "Florida" It is really active and has shooters from all over posting there. There will be a drop down window at the top with more local HP sites.

Perhaps I can help you too...got a question?

February 20, 2003, 12:18 PM
Perhaps you can help Steve. I was thinking of getting an M1A this year, and I wanted to do a little competition with also. Mostly, I like this rifle, but I also thought that the competition would be fun.

You mentioned that this rifle isn't used that much in competition. Why is that? Is is accuracy? Maintenance? Do bolt guns rule?


February 20, 2003, 12:44 PM

Steve Smith
February 20, 2003, 01:15 PM
You sound like me a few years ago.

I wanted an M1A and got one. Started wanting to "do" something with it. Started talking to competition guys, and found out I had the "wrong tool for the job." I shot the M1A a while, but quickly found that those guys were right...the AR dominates the sport now.

So, if you want to shoot an M1A, go for it, and I can tell you what will and won't help you. Just be aware that you will be at a distinct disadvantage to the AR guys. The first problem, and the one you will face from the beginning, is the recoil. It isn't bad, but it will move you and the slick buttplate on the rifle doesn't help. Positions must be perfect for you to really perform in the rapid stages.

More later...the world demands my attention.

February 20, 2003, 02:03 PM
Hey, wait a minute. Don't stop there. I need more input Steve. Why do the AR's dominate besides recoil? Has it simply turned into an AR game?


Steve Smith
February 20, 2003, 03:08 PM
lol...I'm back.

Ok, first of all, you have to keep in mind that I am only coming from a Highpower perspective. There are other rifle games. I don't know of any that will favor the M1A, but that had to be said.


The recoil issue isn't the only reason for the M1A/M14's demise in HP. In fact, it was just a minor reason. The real reason is the cost to make and keep the M1A in match condition. Lots and lots and LOTS of work has and still goes into making M1As shoot consistently well at 600 yards. Bedding the rifle to a wooden stock is just the beginning. Add to that the cost of anchoring that gun into the stock as described in Kuhnhausen's book or one of the other methods (hidden screws or bolts anchoring through the stock into the receiver), adding lugs to the receiver, tuning the gas system, and gluing the handguard to the front ferrule so it doesn't move around (you can never handle your rifle that way again after doing that!) and correcting the slop in the rear sight. So, you start with a $1200 rifle and then you do all that. You'll have $2200 in it before you blink your eye. Then your rifle will recoil into all that work and eventually degrade it, forcing you to do it again. Rebarrelling is a higher cost, too. Enter the AR-15.

(I'll keep this short since you're interested in the M1A, not necessarily HP)
The AR, due to its modular design, is really more of a match rifle to begin with than it is a fighting rifle. The NRA and CMP approved free float tubes since all the bedding was allowed on Garands and M14s. So, about all you have to do to an AR to make it shoot is give it a good trigger, a strong float tube, and a good barrel. Maybe upgrade the sights. Amazing machines, and they will put the shame on an M14 even at 1000 yards if the right nut is behind the trigger. Of course, all this has to do with punching holes in paper, not knocking anything over. But the training is what you're after. A completely top-notch match ready AR will run less than $1500. Those that are really "in it" spend less than that.

Snap back to reality. You're a beginner. You're so much of a beginner that you don't even know if what I'm talking to you about is what you want to do. So. Take all this high-echelon stuff with a grain of salt. The bottom line is that you could probably make it to the bottom of Expert class with a bone stock AR or M1A if you try really hard. You likely won't be winning classes or getting "leg" points (another discussion altogether) though. So, if you want to get an M1A, by all means get it. Take it out and shoot the crap out of it and have fun. Shoot it in matches as much as you can. You'll learn a ton. If you want to learn riflery AND be competitive, I'd say to get an AR, as it will be easier and cheaper to upgrade and much more competitive with the rest of the line.

February 20, 2003, 03:40 PM
OK Steve, I can see that I am getting hooked already. I am not married to the M1A, at least not yet. If I were to get an AR for competition and etc. which one would you recommend?


Steve Smith
February 20, 2003, 03:56 PM
There is a lot to talk about here. I really don't want to pull you away from getting an M1A...you just sounded a lot like me when I thought I wanted an M1A. I still have it, but it doesn't get used.

I am going to give you an assignment that will keep you busy for a while. Search here and TFL for "Highpower" and if you get too much Browning High Power crap then re-search for Highpower and cross reference with my name. You will read that there are several varieties of HP, with Match Rifle and Service Rifle being the two main types. I shoot Service Rifle and that's what I've been talking to you about. All of them focus purely on the basics of marksmanship. It is a tough sport but the mastery is in optimum positioning, breathing, sight alignment, trigger control, follow through, and wind reading. If you master HP, you will have the foundation to master any riflery sport. The inverse is not always true. You will also read what I and others think about AR brands and equipment. You'll also see that its not a cheap sport to get into, but in the long run its not bad at all. The poster JC121 is a good friend of mine and is a very good shooter. His posts are very worthwhile as well.

Above all, do not jump at what you "think" will work...ask first. If anything is true in the sport, its that REAL Highpower shooters look out for newbies like their own hatchlings. None of my friends will ever try to get you to buy something in order to help them line their pockets.

February 20, 2003, 03:59 PM
Thanks Steve,
The education begins.


February 20, 2003, 05:21 PM
Try going to & watching a HP match. Speak to the competitors. If you are going to be serious you will have to meet them & shoot against.

February 20, 2003, 05:51 PM
But I'm quite biased, too. I cut my Highpower teeth on an M14NM, even though I own a couple AR's. Last time I was at Camp Perry, you could see how the firing line had gone over to the Dark Side, as it were. Steve's right, for poking holes in paper way out there, those heavy-bullet, single-loaded Stoner guns are dominating. And proving that we dinosaurs are indeed a dying breed. ;)

February 20, 2003, 05:56 PM
I guess its hard to argue with success.

February 20, 2003, 09:12 PM
Then I'll do it. :)

Very earrly on, I had the chance to shoot a couple of tweaked AR15's. I agree with eveything Steve's said about them; for economy and accuracy between the two, there's no question that it's cheaper and quicker to use a '15 than an M1A if the goal is to be more accurate (cheaply and quickly). As I recall, the first time I shot a '15, I got ~.375 MOA from 100-300yd with it (scoped). The other one shot just under .30 MOA at 100yd; I got these kind of results with almost no rifle-shooting experience (at the time). I had always wondered why the '15s and the AK's held so much appeal to the masses--now I know--it's so damned easy to get moderately good groups with little inherent skill or practice. (That's not to insult the masses of AR and AK users; it's just a reflection of my findings after shooting a rifle for the first time and getting such results.) So little work was required in comparison to all the trials I went through to get me and my M1A to the point of "accuracy"; (and that "accuracy" is in no way comparable to the '15's I shot). My friends, who own those AR's, told me what kind of 'smithing was necessary to get those guns to that potential; it cost about half what my M1A cost me. Their work with reloads was about 60% of the work I had to perform to get my groups to 'satisfactory' accuracy(in my mind) -- on a good day, I'm getting between .4 and .5 MOA; on a bad day, I'm in the .8MOA's. One of the AR's I shot was guaranteed to shoot 1/2" at 100yd! (that's the one that I remember shooting ~.375 MOA out to 300yd with reloads.) My M1A is guaranteed 1" at 100, and I paid $100 less than my friend did for his, as I recall.

I'm just ready for competition now; I've never shot in one, though I've shot the LR with friends. My point is, this is from a guy who's got no competition experience--I'd rather be in the competition with my M1A. There's just no "there" there in the '15. It feels like Mattel. There's nothing 'classic' about the AR, if that's important to you. (I really found the "sproinnng" of the recoil spring to be quite annoying--in both the guns I shot, the sound was exactly at the right vibration and pitch to buzz in my ears for a couple hours after I shot them, and that was only 20 and 30 rounds at two different sessions. I must admit that no one else I know has ever complained of this.)

If winning competitions (or at least, scoring high among the field) is important to you (and I don't mean this in an insulting manner to anyone in competitions) then maybe the AR is the only road to the top.

If you can't / haven't made a decision, buy a couple of boxes of Black Hills or Fed GM in .223 and .308 and "stalk" the local rifle line for M1A and AR shooters. Explain your situation to them; ask them if they'd mind if you shot a box of ammo thru their rifle, (when they're free of course) and maybe leave them a box as a 'thank you'. Don't forget to ask how long you should wait between shots; you don't want to burn out a barrel, nor alarm the owner by capping of your 20 rounds in 3 minutes--they'll tell you how much time they'd like you to wait if you asked. It's one hell of a cheap experiment and might help you decide if you haven't already.

Jon Coppenbarger
February 21, 2003, 12:07 AM
how are you doing Dobe.
with either rifle you are going to have fun.

you need to sit down and decide what you want to do with the rifle you want.

if you want my opinion here it is.
I shot the m1a from about 85 to 93 in service rifle competitions and even used it in numerous long range matches. dang I love those things and they look great also.

you are looking at about a grand at least to get into one of them and around 500 more for a match grade. (its been awhile since I looked so those prices could be a little off).

my last m1a match rifle back in the late 80's cost me about 3,500 to build and to compete at the national level its not going to be any cheaper.

ammo cost alot more
mags cost alot more
parts for repairs and to keep it in top shape cost alot more.

I put several thousand rounds a year down the barrel of my m1a's and never ever had a problem with them but they were being built by folk's that were winning championships also.

there is nothing wrong about a m1a and I have seen guys shoot and win at the local level in the last year with great scores.

now the ar15. a bushmaster or rock river match rifle threw the cmp is right at under $900 to your door plus the mags and ammo is alot lower than the 308.

what you might try (what area of the country are you in) is call a local club as most ranges that do highpower have rifles for you to use. either a m1 grand or ar15.

we have clinics here in co. that last the whole day and the match ar15 and ammo is provided for that course of fire that day.

remember what ever you try have fun as that is the reason you are out there.
also you will get better each time you go out for awhile and its fun to see a improvement and remember no body started at the top we all started just as you are.

as far as accurracy goes? I have no clue what is better from a bench or sand bag as I have never shot either from one. it is not the position I shoot from so I do not practice from a bench it does me no good.

I could clean the target in slow fire prone with either the ar15 I shoot now or the m1a back then so its half of one or half of the other.

now where the big difference is for the ar15's as was pointed out by steve is in the rapid fire stages. I have never cleaned the rapid sitting or prone with a m1a but the ar15 is alot easier to do that and have done it in both of the rapids.

what may surprize you is that the ar15 is getting very close to beating the match bolt and space guns at the nationals. in reduced matches the ar rules the field over everything around here.

if it was me and I was just starting out and wanted to have fun why not a m1a as you can always upgrade to a match ar15 later.

if you are really planning on a match rifle get the ar but other wise buy what makes you happy but please do not buy the m1a and plan on upgrading it as it will cost you.

boingg I remember that sound, put a light coat of grease on the spring and you will not here that again as I find that noise annoying when I shoot.

if you are here in colorado and you go to a match with me you may use my match service rifle ar15 and I will furnish the ammo and equipment as only my ammo goes threw my rifle. all it would cost you is the match fee and the time.
email steve smith and he will get you a range that shoots highpower close to you.

good luck and ask more questions, jon

February 21, 2003, 09:23 AM
I live in Louisiana, but I appreciate the invitation. It looks like the AR may be the answer to what I really want to do. I too like the M1A, but I am pragmatic. I cannot afford the constant upkeep that you and Steve are telling me.

I have been reading the old post of yours and Steve's. I have not finished them yet. When I do, I will have additional questions.
At this point, I would like to shoot service rifle. I am assuming that this is a class where the rifles still actually look like rifles.

Highpower seems like a great fraternity.

Steve Smith
February 21, 2003, 11:21 AM
Looks like a real rifle to me! Here's a great pic of SSGT Grant Singley, USAMU, three time winner of National Interservice Championship.


Yes, this is a great fraternity. There are a few bad apples, but they are few and far between.

February 21, 2003, 04:56 PM

If you live in South Louisiana, Baton Rouge Gun Club is about to open it's new range between Donaldsonville and White Castle on the Palo Alto Plantation property. March, I think. Initially they will have 300 yards available, but have the impact berm and shooting points for a 600 HP line already in place. As soon as they get the money, they will complete that range. Don't have a contact number or website, unfortunately. The information on supplied by a quick "Google" search is outdated. If you are interested, I can find out.

Fusilier Complex, formerly Hub City Rifle and Pistol Club in Lafayette, has purchased a section of land near Arnaudville and will have rounds downrange on a 300 yard line by summer. There is room for a 1,000 yard range and as soon as they have the finances, they will construct it. Expect '04, for that one.
Can be contacted by at:


Beaumont has a really fine range with both HP and LR matches. Can be contacted at: http://www.thepeepsite.com/gtgc/

Southwest Gun Club/Louisiana Shooting Association stage matches at Fort Polk, LA on range KD-23. (They have a matches on Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23, 2003) You can contact them through the LSA at: http://www.lsa1.org/ (Look under "Ft. Polk Matches")

If you live in North Louisiana, Panola County Gun Club in Carthage, TX is another fine place to shoot. Contact at:


Several other places to shoot, check with the NRA.

When Fusilier is operational, if are in the area, you will be welcome to try my M1A. It will hold .448 MOA at 100 yards (Bench, Scope). Federal Match or Black Hills will be acceptable.

You're right, the HP fraternity is a fine group of people.

Hope this helps.



February 21, 2003, 05:48 PM
I was a member of that club for a while. We went through two ranges that we were forced to close. I will get in touch with some of my buddies from the club.

Thanks again

February 21, 2003, 07:29 PM

You're very welcome. Check on us at Fusilier in a couple of months. We hope to restart the reduced range HP matches this summer and it will be in the NRA Shooting Sports magazine.

Short range courses are an excellent way to introduce yourself to HP Competition.



February 21, 2003, 08:02 PM
Great thread - thanks to all for the information.

Very frustrating to read this from behind 'enemy lines' in California - not many options for new shooters interesting in really competing, are there?

This is very distressing and depressing.


February 21, 2003, 09:21 PM
Steve and jc121, Thank you both! Now I know why I keep some things in the corner and stash M 118 while tinkering with AR's.

February 21, 2003, 09:49 PM
I'll be there, and thanks for the invitation. Now, Steve, 7.62, and jc121, I need a basic idea on what it will cost to get started. There is the rifle. From what I have read, it seems like I can get set up fairly well for under 1200. I suppose a shooting glove and jacket is in order.

I had better start completing those honey-dos, so that I can book some points.

Thanks agian fellows.

February 22, 2003, 12:16 AM
The following is by no means comprehensive, but only a start. There are many fine suppliers and sources that I don't have time or space to list. Many that I don't even know about.

But here goes:

For a list of equipment and a comprehensive study of HP competition go to:

http://www.precisionshooting.com/books.html (http://)

and look into the following two books:

Modern Highpower Competition
By Randolph Constantine
Price: $39.95 (Softcover)


The Highpower Shooting Primer
By: Masters, High Masters, National Champions, & leading writers and accuracy gunsmiths
Price: $34.95 (Softcover - full page size 8 ½ x 11")
520 pages and 173 of the very best articles taken from the pages of Precision Shooting magazine.

Those two are an excellent start.

Equipment: (Costs are estimates, you may be able to do better)

Shooting Jacket - $100 - $300
Shooting Glove - $40
Shooting Mat - $45
Shooting Stool (For your gear) $60
Spotting scope (Essential for spoting shots and reading mirage at 300 and 600 yards) $100 - $800
Scope Stand - $50 -$200
M1A leather sling - $50+ for a comeptition grade, heavy leather sling.
Data Book - $8

Constantine's book has a whole chapter dedicated to clothing and equipment.

Go to this site for a good survey of getting started:

http://www.bcsportsmen.org/hipower.html (http://)

It contains a list of the major suppliers.

You can find equipment at many places but I have used Creedmoor Sports and find their equipment and service to be excellent:

http://www.creedmoorsports.com/ (http://)

Another excellent site to visit is Fulton Armory. Probably one of the best M1A builders and a wealth of information:

http://www.fulton-armory.com/ (http://)

Hope this helps.



Jon Coppenbarger
February 22, 2003, 12:56 AM
7.62 you beat me to it so this info may repeat what you have already listed.
ok here is what I would do if I was just starting out.

go to the cmp site and get a copy of the requirements to get a rifle threw the cmp. if you do that you will save big bucks on both rifles.
you will have a choice of a few different national match grade rifles.
the bushmaster rifle from the cmp is a very good rifle at $875.
I also believe you can go threw rock river arms with proof (call them for how to do it at rra's) at about $10 less or so.
like I said they are both very good rifles.
( the rra's has a very good trigger,sight set up and float tube) plus it is the rifle of choice to send to the top gun smiths to have worked over if you decide later to do that.
they are both capible of carring you to high master.
get 3 mags 20 round usgi if your rifle does not come with a mag or up to 3 if it does.( one for the slow fire and two for the rapids)
a mat for laying on the ground is a great way to go because you are going to be on it for 3/4 of the match, you have a few choices but they also last for decades. champions choice, creedmore. go to a match and see what the other's are using. about 60 to 80 dollars.
a shooting glove or mitt really helps, a good leather mitt will last you a few years from creedmore or ok weber for around $30

I think they might not come with a sling (not sure) but a turner 54" or 56" sling for the ar15 runs around $45 and will last you a few seasons. again the same places carry it.

get a can of sight black from them at the same time.$5

that gets you started pretty good for right at $1065.

now ammo, you want to shoot good ammo threw it and not blasting ammo.
if you already reload it does not cost much to get going on that.
if you do not already reload black hills remanfactured 75 match hornady's (blue box) are the way to go. now your club may buy them threw black hills at a great price or tommy haskins at georgia precision has killer deals on it also. ( have never met a match rifle yet that did not like those rounds). I believe a case of 500 to your door runs around $150. he has a deal right now for I believe $279 for 1,000.
it gives you brass for reloading also and uses usgi brass.

now that above will get you going.
with the ar15 you can get away with not using a spotting scope or jacket but will want both soon if you like it.

the creedmore shooting jacket is the one of choice hardback canvas.
the spotting scope is also a choice of what to get and you will also need a stand.
all of these 3 items can be bought used at great discounts and you can ask steve where to look when you decide on those items.

I hope that helps. jon

February 22, 2003, 07:58 AM
jc121, didn't mean to step on your tongue. ;)


A few thoughts. As you have seen, if you like competition and want to excel, get an AR and you will have a decent CQB rifle.

If you prefer a .30 Cal Main Battle Rifle, then get the M1A. You won't be as competitive against the ARs but it is a lot of fun. The M1A, as John Denver used to sing, "Fills up your senses"! :D

The M1A is harder to shoot well. It, and the Garand, are demanding and as one poster said, one has to have one's rapid-fire positions down perfect to shoot good groups.

The AR would probably be cheaper to start, especially if you start competing on the reduced range courses. You can get by without a scope, but it is aggravating in practice because you can't see where your shots are going.

In any event, shooting competition will really sharpen ones marksmanship skills. It forces me to keep in shape, practice, and handle the weapon regularly. All good things.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.



February 22, 2003, 01:25 PM
I went to the local gun store today, in order to look at AR's. I looked at an Armalite for about 1500 - National Match. What do you think?

Also, why not a flat top? Is it legal in all matches? The concept is great.

February 22, 2003, 01:55 PM
$1500 is too much to spend on a rifle with those capabilities, when the same thing can be purchased for <$1000.

The flat top isn't legal for Service Rifle competition.

As stated, buy either a Rock River, Bushmaster, or call John at White Oak Precision (http://alccrl.org/whiteoak/whiteoak.htm and see what he can do for you. While you're at it, check GunsAmerica, Auction Arms, or a similar site for an FFL near you that will do a cheap transfer for you. Spend the savings on a spotting scope or shooting coat upgrade, and you'll have the expensive durable stuff out of the way.


Steve Smith
February 22, 2003, 04:27 PM
First of all, Sven, most guys in Cali either use M1As or shoot in Match Rifle division with a tricked out bolt gun (a better option because you will be as competitive as anyone at Perry or anywhere else out of state).

Ok, I have been in airports and a hotel for the last 24 hours (Jon I JUST got to North Carolina!) so I haven't been able to chat with you guys like I normally do. I'll be in and out until Monday.

$1500 is WAY too much for a Service Rifle AR...especially a factory stock one! IF I pay that much it had better come with be best Kreiger barrel that John Holliger can find and it should also come with a Playboy model as well. IOW, you shouldn't pay more thn about $1K for a factory Service Rifle. I don't have the time to tell you how but JC121 can tell you how if he hasn't already. My suggestion is RRA all the way, and have Holliger build his RRA upper for you...you'll still be under $1K for the rifle. You don't want to get the Bushy CMP IMHO because you'll have to replace that atrocious trigger than that will raise the price another $150 or so...the rest of the gun is great but the trigger is an abortion.

Anyway, you can sped a ton on this game if you want, but somewhere back on TFL I gave some "cheap" tips for beginners. Search the Competition forum for "cheap" and my name. Not the best stuff, but it will get you competing. Put your money in the following items first and in order: Gun, scope, scope stand, sling, coat, some reloading gear. All else (mat, glove, cart, you name it) can be hobblled together with what you have untill you get more scratch. Gotta go...will type more later.

February 22, 2003, 11:13 PM
Thanks again. I will continue the research. And by the way. I just got back from North Carolina. I go up there often on business.

Steve Smith
February 22, 2003, 11:30 PM
To add to what Jon said earlier, and to give other options, I'll type a little more.

As far as guns go, the Armalite, RRA, and Bushys are all great factory guns but only the RRA has that great trigger out of the box. They are often too light and will get you disqualifed at Perry or a big state match, so its best to send it to John and have him tune it for $25...can't beat that with a stick. That way you'll have a great, dependable trigger that is just a hair over 4.5 lbs so you're legal as can be. The other brands of guns have problems of their own such as weak float tubes and wobbly non-repeatable sights. Things that the casual AR shooter would never notice or care about will be a real problem for you.

For slings, that new Turner biothane is about the best thing since sliced bread. Before they came out I got myself a custom Les Tam sling and it is better than the leather Turners, but the biothane is kind of a breed of its own and is SR and CMP legal. It doesn't look even a third as good as the Les Tam, but this isn't a beauty contest. I like a little history on my gun and I'll keep the Tam sling and get another or two for my other match guns, but I do think that the Turner Biothane is a RCH better as far as holding. Les uses WWI frogs on his slings and the leather and keepers are the best you can find.

For ammo, I also agree that you should put absolutely nothing down the barrel except match ammo. This is not because it will hurt the gun! This is why:

Your barrel has a finite but unknown amount of rounds it will fire before it will start to fall apart at 600 yards.

Each round you fire takes a chunk out of that life.

Each round fired should either be a learning experience or a match experience or both. Wasted ammo down that barrel will only teach you bad habbits and encourage a non-chalant attitude when you are at a match. IOW, when you pick up that rifle you should never have a "blasting" urge...that thing is for business and business only.

Shooting cheap ammo from a match rifle will only confuse you when you check your target or see your scores. Since you don't know how accurate it is, how do you know whether the poor shot was because of you or because of the lousy ammo?

Even better than the Black Hills price is some Hornady ammo. It is in LC brass just like the Black Hills but is topped with the Hornady 75 grain BTHP. I shoot 80 SMKs at 600 myself, but I know quite a few guys using this ammo across the course and they love it. Its about $230 per 1K delivered. At that price it is almost not worth reloading (my 80's cost me about $160 per 1K) LMK if you need an address.

Hopefully I don't have any typos in this post as it is late.

February 23, 2003, 07:24 AM
Dobe & Steve;

Hey guys,

I have been shooting the Nationals for about 7 years now and yes, there has been a real decline in the amount of 30's on the line. I currently shoot and have been shooting the M1A, the only other rifle I ever shot in the matches is the Garand.

The Mouse guns have all but taken over the Nationals, they are very accurate, especially when built into competion rifles such as G. David Tubb has used. The so called "30 cal rule" has even been eliminated do to the .223.

They are easier to shoot due to reduced weight and recoil.
The .223 is an inherently accurate round given the correct load specs. and bullet.

In the league that I shoot in they do not differentiate classes such as match rifle vs. service rifle.:cuss: [a whole 'nother issue, that's not why I'm posting] this is where the AR's shine.....BUT

My M1A is consistent at all ranges, out to 600....where the little .223 gets pushed around in the wind.:scrutiny: The recoil is not that of an AR, but if you learn and condition yourself to the M1A recoil is NOT a factor.

I would suggest you shoot both rifles first/ go to a match. Some clubs will even let NRA members shoot the matches and rent club rifles. My club, owns Garands and AR's from Bushie, which they rent to NRA members who wish to shoot. Once you are done you must clean the rifle, but they are in the process of buying an ultra-sonic......

Bottom line is shoot 'em both then deceide. My advice is buy the M1A, but as you can tell, I'm jaded.

Try this.


February 23, 2003, 09:04 AM
Sounds like good advice, and I like the M14/M1a. I like the round and the sights, the feel, and ....

The problem is what I have been reading since my first post on this thread. After Steve responded, I did more research. I have called a few members of local clubs. Others have responded on this thread. The consenses is that it would be much cheaper to get started with an AR. Cheap equates to getting started sooner.

I shot both in the Army. Both are good weapons. But I think I will start with the AR. But let me tell you something else. I will own and shoot an M14/M1A some day.

February 23, 2003, 12:18 PM
Cheap equates to getting started sooner.

I hate to rain on my own parade; if that's your desire, and ya just can't wait (I know the feeling!), then as much as I prefer the M1A, my advice is AR15 all the way.

Getting the M1A to shoot "half as well" as the AR will cost ~twice the money (in gunsmithing costs alone). With what little experience I have, I'd say it'll take twice as long (in a time sense) to learn to shoot it well and consistently, especially under time pressures. Go AR first.

Steve Smith
February 23, 2003, 12:19 PM
M14nut, . I agree that recoil isn't a real factor with a good position...re-read my post about M14 costs vs. AR costs and you'll know the real reason the M14 has lost favor.

Now, since the 600 yard slow prone event is two fifths of the National Match course and one quarter of the Regional Match course, your statement would mean that the mouseguns would have an upper hand only until the slowfire portion of the match, and then we'd all just be blown away by the mighty .30 cals. Umm, sorry, but the M14s just don't win anymore, and the 600 yard scores and records haven't gone down with the use of the AR...they have gone UP. We aint shootin' 55 grainers. If the M14 was all that for match shooting, do you really think the Marine and Army teams would have switched? No way! Those who are not too set in their ways have already switched. The records have fallen AT EVERY YARD LINE, and the new kid on the block is undisputed. When the next Service Rifle comes along I'll pick it up and use it if its as good or better than an AR. Remember, this is not a "macho" contest...it is ONLY a shooting contest. Use the best equipment you can.

February 23, 2003, 02:18 PM
Steve- bub:

My comments were based on my personal experience at the club that I shoot at. The 600 line is actually above the targets and so to shoot at them you're kinda shooting down hill. The wind that whips thru my range is enough to make even the 80 grainers drift almost 4" at times.

The AR is by far taking this sport by storm, but the 30 cal still has it's place and does win at times. My comments were not one of a Macho stance as you have stated (bub), but of experience. If you re-read my post also, I suggested that Dobe try both rifles and deceide which he prefers.

My posts were not intended to be a narrow minded AR vs. M1A statement, but instead another point of view about the M1A. Almost in the same line as some shooters do not shoot semi-auto, but instead stick to their bolt guns such as the 40x and Savage BT112 series as well as others.

So interpret my post as you will....or not.


February 23, 2003, 04:03 PM
it is ONLY a shooting contest. Use the best equipment you can.

EEyup. The game we're discussing is focussed on precision and accuracy. If the purpose of these competitions were knocking down steel at "long" range, the AR would disappear from this game overnight. Since that's not the case, the AR will remain king of the hill.

For them's of us that are too 'set in our ways' or were caught by the PRK bans (like me--I didn't get into rifles until after the ban, so the AR's are automatically off my list of choices) we're 'stuck' with the M1A as one of our few service rifle choices.

February 23, 2003, 06:39 PM
For them's of us that are too 'set in our ways' or were caught by the PRK bans (like me--I didn't get into rifles until after the ban, so the AR's are automatically off my list of choices) we're 'stuck' with the M1A as one of our few service rifle choices.

Especially since the mousegun in the PRK is being sold either without the pistol grip attached (uncomfortable at best) or by folks like DPMS as a pump-action gun. A muzzle-braked M14/M1A seems quite preferable in that environment.

And, were the military able to support the maintenance of the M14 system, it wouldn't have fallen from favor at the 600-1000 yard target range so recently. There's just no logistic train to feed the M14, save for the few M-21 and DMR rifles in the loop. You could probably count the number of M14 armorers in any branch of service on one hand. The modular Stoner gasgun is considerably easier to maintain and interchange spare parts, and as such, will remain a favorite until the next iteration of issue rifle comes out. (If it's the OICW, the armorer may have to be MCSE/A+ certified, too) Not that I think it's gonna be a popular long-range target rifle, either, with the 10" .223 barrel under the 20mm grenade barrel.

I still compete at High Power matches with my M14NM, but the longest range I have here in Central Florida is 600 meters. I cried when the .30 caliber rule went away.

But that doesn't mean I have AR-15 on the brain. Far from it, I own two of the poodleshooters. One preban Colt Competition HBAR would sell for $1200.00 were I to let go of it. I'm hoping the '94 Crime Bill will sunset, so that the prices on these guns will drop. I don't feel the sum of the parts in the gun represent $1200.00, considering it's just a bayonet lug and flash hider that separate it from the postban variants. But I've got it, just in case the AW ban doesn't sunset. I tried the Colt for High Power, and it felt as clunky to me as my quickly-sold Glock 17. My scores reflected the discomfort. It's a great gun for practicing before my yearly M16 qualifications, and a fun gun to punch paper with. But not during the course of fire for NRA High Power. That honor still goes to my M14NM.

Dobe, I wish you luck in your search. It may be something as simple as which gun feels good to you. Too bad you can't test drive either of them before committing to a purchase. Then you could make your decision based on your own actual experience, and avoid being called a "bub" if you err on the side of the M14/M1A. And just think, were you to need a rifle that could do more than poke a hole in paper out there past 600 yards, you would have the extra confidence of a .30 caliber! :neener:

Steve Smith
February 23, 2003, 09:05 PM
"Bub" was friendly, but I took it out.

Anyway, I too have encouraged Dobe to try both...but the answer today is the same as yesterday, and will most likely be the same after he tries both. There is really only one solution for the person who is just starting Service Rifle, and that of course is the AR, wimpy or not. I haven't once suggested that the AR is much of a fighting tool, but this thread isn't really about that, is it?

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