1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Springfield M1A: any issues?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by arthury, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. arthury

    arthury Well-Known Member

    As some of you may already know, I am in the market for a semi-auto 308win and I noticed that besides the usual suspects for AR platform, there is also Springfield Armory (SA) M1A platform.

    Are there any issues or pains with the current M1A platform compared to the AR (or AR-10) platform? Is the current offering from SA a reliable and accurate rifle (I'm considering the National Match version)?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  2. 303tom

    303tom member

  3. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    hmm, you have the AR-10, FN FAL, HK91, M1A, SAIGA, SCAR-H, and a collection of other rifles to choose from...it all depends on what feels most comfortable to shoot, they all have their tradeoffs
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    guys, it sounds like he's asking for known issues with the M1A, not a list of alternatives

    my experience is that they are reasonably reliable and the NM version can be quite accurate. however, it's an ergonomic nightmare, especially if you try to put a scope on it. i like the look of them a lot, but don't care to shoot them at all
  5. arthury

    arthury Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I have changed the title, so I hope it helps to narrow down what I was asking.
  6. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    great rifle,if you want to spend big money and not get moa unless you spend more.ar10's are moa out of the box,and don't need alot of maintanance to keep it there.
  7. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Well-Known Member

    Springfield Armory Inc. extractors tend to be garbage. Replacing them with a USGI extractor is highly recommended and typically solves any extraction issues.
  8. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob Well-Known Member


    I was once in your shoes, Im a big fan of the M14, having used the M14 EBR for a time in the Army, and was in the market for one at one time. What I discovered is that you have to be willing to drop some serious coin to get a Springfield M1A as accurate as the M14s and still not be satisfied. For me to spend 1500-1700 for the base model Springfield M1A and get a 2 to 3 MOA rifle was to much money for that kind of results. But if you want to spend, Crazy Horse/Smith Enterprise rifles as well as Fulton Armory have excellent reputations for M-14s that still utilize USGI parts. Still there are inherent issues scoping the rifle and maintaining zero without adding a modified rail or stock. Magazines as well are not cheap.

    I spoke with a few NRA High Power shooters i know who told me how much they invested in trying to accurize M1A's and M14s only to eventually go to the AR-15 and get better results for a fraction of the costs.

    The AR .308 pattern rifles were cheaper and more accurate and fit my needs accordingly for what I was looking for. I was looking for a long range precise semi auto MBR, i got that and more with what i bought and with scope spent less than what it costs for an M1A scout.

    Hope this helps, the M14 pattern rifle is alot of fun and a very unique design. It just doesnt meet my needs for the money it costs.
  9. arthury

    arthury Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your opinions, BigBadBob. I appreciate it.

    However, one has to note that a decent AR-10 (or any 308win AR style) rifle is not cheap either. They seem to be in the range of $2,500 - $5,000 (or more); mostly around $3,000 for the ones with a good track record.
  10. rehorne

    rehorne Well-Known Member

    I have been shooting a M1A for many years> I have had to replace extractors a couple of times, thats to be expected.
    I shoot in the local Hi-Power matches and the CMP Matches close by. I do pretty well considering I'm in my 60's. Not a High Master by any means. LOL

    I have found that routine maintaince is the key to accuracy and a few tweaks to the stock to action fit.

    Most of these tips can be found on M14.com.

    Also using the right ammo is a big factor. I am and have been a BIG FAN of the M14-M1A platform.

  11. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

    IMO the M1A from Springfield is a superb rifle. I am not as experienced as many of the expert posters here but I can tell you that my Walnut Scout Squad I bought NIB a couple of years ago is an absolute joy to shoot. I cannot tell you what the MOA accuracy is, only that I can hit anything I want, where I want in off-hand shooting out to 400 yards or so (I know that is not much help but it meets my acceptance criteria).

    The sights are excellent and it comes to the shoulder as naturally as any rifle I've ever owned or shot.

    It had a few growing pains in that it would not go completely into battery after about one in ten shots for the first fifty rounds or so. After break-in, complete reliability. I have only shot Winchester White Box (Q3130) so far and can only highly recommend this rifle. It is a bit spendy as others have mentioned but I certainly consider it worth every penny.


  12. tk1971

    tk1971 Member

    I bought a Standard back in 2004-6 (can't remember exactly when). New SA receiver (cast), 22" new (not chrome lined) barrel, NM front sight blade, muzzle brake (no flash suppressor in CA) and a USGI fiberglass stock painted with a black crinkle textured paint.

    I love my SA M1A. It's more accurate than I am. Having said that:

    Right out of the box, the rear sight bottomed out and I was still shooting 5 feet high at 100 and 200 yards.

    Called SA and they were helping me diagnose the issue. They suggest I go out and shoot it again and report back. 2nd time out, the elevation knob broke off (looks like a cast part from un-even-ness of the break). Still shot high before the rear sight broke.

    Called SA and they immediately sent me a new rear sight assembly. They were very apologetic and genuinely interested in resolving my issue.

    In the meantime, I pull the rear sight off my CMP Greek M1 Garand and shot with it (still on the M1A to this day). Didn't even need to adjust the sight. Left the zero settings from the Garand... I'm right on target. Nice. Very accurate, easy to aim, low recoil, easy to carry (for a shrimp like me @ 5'7" tall). The new SA rear sight came in the mail a few days later and I tossed it in the safe (never to be used).

    Then the obsession started. I found m14forum and immediately started replacing parts with new surplus USGI parts: TRW bolt, op rod (GI SA), H&R trigger group, and a genuine M14 walnut stock from Fred's. The only aftermarket (non USGI) part was the Sadlak National Match spring guide. I think I dropped at least $500-$600 for these parts (maybe more, since this is the amount I admitted to my wife). USGI parts were hard to get, even 5-6 years ago.

    I also bought cases of South African surplus ammo (remember those days?) and shot almost every weekend for about a year. It's the most accurate rifle I own. It never disappoints me and there's always someone asking about it at the range (say... is that a Fulton M1A?).

    Back in the day, SA M1A's would occasionally come out of the box with one or more USGI parts on it, but those days are long gone. Now that USGI parts are even harder to get at reasonable prices (if not impossible).

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd spend the extra money on a Fulton, LRB, etc, so I wouldn't have to deal with things like a rear sight that fell apart, etc. Lifetime warranty gets old when problems actually occur. Plus, as I recall, the LRB and Fulton receivers are forged and chrome lined barrels are available.

    I feel like I can't mention it enough, but I absolutely love my SA M1A in it's current configuration.

    It's just getting more and more expensive to shoot 308 and I don't reload.

    As far as the AR platform vs the M1A platform: My 20" barreled AR (223) is also very accurate, but I think my M1A has the edge. But to be fair, I only shoot cheap (really cheap) stuff through my AR.

    I've never competed, nor have I ever bought expensive match ammo for any of my rifles. But from what I've been told by guys who re-load, cheap surplus ammo (or anything made by Wolf) is not what you want to use to gauge the accuracy of one's firearms.

    Good luck and have fun choosing.
  13. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob Well-Known Member

    That is really good point to mention that the M1A has probably one of the best factory iron sights out there. I will give it that for sure. But what happens when and if you want to put a scope on it? The ergos are a nightmare unless you have an extra long neck.

    My DPMS LR308 with a 24inch stainless bull barrel i bought on sale for $998 a year ago, I put a 3x9 40 Nikon Pro Staff Target. Its sub moa with the right ammo.

    Im not knocking the M1As for what they are, like I said I used an M14, I think for what they are, they are great rifles. I think they cost more than they should be priced but it all comes down to what you are using it for.
  14. tk1971

    tk1971 Member

    Bob has a point there. Technology and designs improve and nostalgia only takes you so far.

    It got my M1A during the semi-auto rifle "dark days" in California (before the bullet button was invented and became widely accepted as legal). Having missed my deadline for registering my evil assault weapon by one day, I had to cut up my lower receiver. I replaced it with the closed mag-well Fab-10 lower, which is not at all fun to shoot, since it requires breaking open the AR upper like a shotgun in order to load it up. In short, I hated it. I was pretty much done with anything 223.

    I've always thought the SA M1A's were expensive for what you get and a little antiquated looking, but I figured at the rate California was going, I'll end up regretting not getting one when I had the chance. So I did. I have to admit that I wasn't very happy the first few times out with what was THE most expensive firearm I've ever bought. I was even less than overjoyed to have the elevation knob break off during adjustment.

    But at the end of it all, I'm glad I bought it. It's a great rifle (now). But you know... the only problem I've ever had was that crap rear sight. I've never had a jam, misfire, or any kind of functional failure.
  15. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Well-Known Member

    I've had no issues with my SA M1A standard. It never seemed to really need any breaking in. The match version may be a little tighter and might need it, but I don't have one so I don't know. I went thought the same desicion process when I got mine, but it was a rifle I'd wanted pretty much since I first laid eyes on one. Once I'd saved up enough money I really started to look at all the other .308 options out there. I ended up sticking with the M1A and don't regret it. The only thing I'd do differently is buy a used one. I could have saved a few bucks or at least gotten one that came with a few extra mags or ammo or whatever.
  16. Jason_G

    Jason_G Well-Known Member

    The most common complaint is the extractors. I've never had an issue with mine. Great rifle.

  17. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    After shooting ARs and M16s over the years it's hard to get really excited about another AR platform, even if it is a larger caliber.

    There is just something about the M14 platform. I have yet to go to the range and not have someone with questions or want to shoot. As for accuracy, my current M1a scout is plenty accurate.

    Sub moa. 308 ARs are fairly common, but only with the combination of tbe right shooter and ammo. There are a lot of folks and rifles that average over moa.

    I'd venture to say that the a SA loaded and DPMS .308 would be about equally accurate with South African Suplus.
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    Any issues? Absolutely possible and to list potential issues would get long and dull as at any given time one thing or another has poppod up and some remain - as noted with the extractors - but if you can afford it, anything that might come up is already a known and resolvable issue.

    They're fun to shoot, have a quasi-historical background, swallow most anything and are damn good looking.

    But to hit on a couple of constant issues - though others will site example of these not being a concern - I would cite;

    Scoping can be problematic and relatively expensive for quality.

    Magazine quality and availability is not always guaranteed and the mags one rifle likes may be loathed an rejected by another.

    Ultimate accurizing in the form of bedding is expensive (for a pro to do), heavy and commits the platform to the bedded configuration.

    The fallback resort for true GI backup parts is scarcer literally every day.

    These are just some regular issues but that said, I would still sell either of mine - A Smith and an Armsorp (Baltimore) - only as a last resort and though either is a significantly better rifle than a current SA offering, I would go SA as a replacement.
  19. Jason_G

    Jason_G Well-Known Member

    Never heard of anyone having issues with the CMI mags.

  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    Then you're lucky to have never run across the fake in-the-wrapper ones. I haven't seen a single military M-14 mag - original contracts or CMI - that hasn't been faked. I'm just sayin' if you're going CMI and it's not directly from CMI... caveat emptor! There was a major online/mail order player (that I feel, knowingly) passed them off as they did fake ACOGs a few years back.

    We found out because we sent them back to CMI after trying them for AR-10 platforms and later in our own M-14/M1As. We were politely, quietly and quit clearly shown that they were in fact knock-offs.

Share This Page