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M1A Standard vs. Loaded?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ds92, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. ds92

    ds92 Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I seem to be thinking more and more about buying a SA m1A, But i can't decide which model. I like the looks of the m1a loaded, but i cant tell what the major differences are between the loaded and the standard, other than the stainless bbl. I'll be using the gun mostly for punching paper, and hunting, so ballistic performance and flexibilty of ammo use are critical. However, unless for some reason the m1a loaded is more reliable, accurate, etc. i cant justify spending $300-400 more for it.

    Does anybody have any experience with either of these guns? please share, i'm in need of some guidance!
  2. az_imuth

    az_imuth Well-Known Member

    I opted for the M1A Loaded for the following reasons:
    Air gauged medium weight national match barrel​
    National match front and rear (non-hooded) sight​
    National match trigger assembly​
    National match flash suppressor​
    Also, from what I see out there the price difference is closer to $150. I think the Standard is a fine rifle and can be upgraded if and when needed, but the minimal price difference convinced me to go with the Loaded. I went with the lowest priced Loaded model with the synthetic stock and then added a nice USGI stock that I picked up for next to nothing.

    Trust me, you'll love whichever one you choose to get!
  3. FLRon

    FLRon Well-Known Member

    I am a recent M14/M1A devotee who decided to purchase the Loaded model because it had a few upgrades as mentioned above that i thought were worth getting.

    It is great fun to learn about this rifle and how to do a perform a few tweaks to it, such as upgrading the spring guide, unitizing or shimming the gas cylinder, swapping the Springfield bolt parts to USGI parts, etc. Then of course you will want some necessary tools and the "The M14 Complete Assembly Guide" Book by Walt Kuleck with Clint McKee.


    I would also suggest you visit The Firing Line Forum and do a search of this topic (Loaded vs. Standard) and see what you think after reading some of the posts.


    Be prepared! It's a great rifle and you will love it.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  4. karnaaj

    karnaaj Well-Known Member

    I opted for the standard because I couldn't stand the look of a stainless barrel on a military rifle.
  5. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    There are a few loaded models. I have the Loaded in a walnut stock and it looks exactly like a standard walnut, no stainless anywhere. I think if you are interested in working towards accurizing your M1A but do not want to spring for a full NM the loaded is a great deal. I liked the upgraded barrel and trigger and did not want to worry about a glass bedding. The NM flash suppressor is no big deal and the upgraded sights are good but just know that the rear site does not have the hooded NM aperture, or does the rifle have a unitized gas cylinder (guess they have to save some goodies for the NM and Super Match).

    Here is my loaded (in a USGI synthetic stock until I finish the Boyds or if Fred's ever decides to send me a walnut USGI stock):


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