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Springfield M1A or Armalite AR-10

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tank45, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Tank45

    Tank45 Active Member

    I'm looking to get a semi-auto 308 and have narrowed it down to a Springfield M1A or a Armalite AR-10. What are the perks to either of these rifles. How do they compare in accuracy, reliability, and build quality. I also will be reloading for whichever I end up with so I don't want it beating the hell out of the brass. Any help is appreciated.
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    Both should be very reliable, the AR will have a slight accuracy advantage due to inherent design (though the higher priced versions of the M1A tend to close that gap). Build quality of M1As is typically top notch, can't tell you about AR-10s since I don't own one.

    Really it comes down to personal preference of operating procedure and aesthetics. Given the choice I'd get the M1A (if I didn't already own one), or the AR-10 if I was already familiar with and liked the operating and take-down procedures of the AR-15.
  3. toopercentmlk

    toopercentmlk Well-Known Member

    I think it comes down to era-loyalty, I'd go with the M1A.
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    Oh, big question: Do you plan on installing a scope on the rifle you choose?
  5. Tank45

    Tank45 Active Member

    Yes, I do intend on mounting a scope.
  6. toopercentmlk

    toopercentmlk Well-Known Member

    -Just a scope, M1A.
    -Scope, green laser, tac light, bi-pod, bayonet, IR emitter, red laser, clown horn, electric can opener, ect... Go AR.
  7. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    If you intend on getting a scope off the bat, I recommend going with the M25 "white feather" model of the M1A (should you choose M1A), because it has an integral scope rail, as opposed to the standard M1As for which you'll need a separate scope mount.
  8. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    For accuracy, I'd go with the AR10. For reliability the M1A. The AR design is about as accurate as semi-autos get. There's no piston or operating rod to affect the barrel harmonics, they can be easily free floated and scope mounting is simple, rock solid and leaves you with a proper cheek weld. Unfortunately, AR's have had reliability issues in the past and after handling numerous M16A1's I don't have much faith in them.

    The M1A on the other hand has excellent reliability but probably won't be able to match the AR for accuracy. It can still do pretty darn well though and it's iron sights are superb. The biggest problem with them is that they weren't well designed for scopes. Most mounts won't be as solid as an AR's upper receiver and unless you add a cheek piece you won't get a good cheek weld with a scope on it.
  9. TIMC

    TIMC Well-Known Member

    I have both although my AR-10 is made by Bushmaster and my M1A is the M-21 sniper version with all the bells and whistles.

    Both rifles perform very well from the bench and I have seen some very impressive groups from both rifles with hand loads in the 1/2" range at 100 yards. Both guns have always been 100% reliable. I think the M-21 is a hair better in the accuracy department. The M-21 prefers 168 grain bullets and the AR-10 prefers 150's. Both rifles are not too bad on brass. Which ever you get some kind of brass catcher is the best way to prevent damage to your brass. Most damage to my brass is done when the empty cases hit concrete at the range. I use a 20" net on a camera tripod and it works very well.

    Ease of mounting a scope I had no problem with either rifle. I went with a Smith enterprises M-21 mount with Millet medium rings on the M-21 and since the AR-10 was a flat top no mount required I just used Millet extra high rings.

    For hunting by far the AR-10 out shines the M-21. The AR-10 is lighter, shorter and easier to move around. It is also easier to clean. The AR-10 has become my main hunting rifle for deer and pigs. I will add I have been through a lot of different .30 caliber semi-auto rifles looking for the perfect pig gun and the AR-10 is it IMHO. Using bullets topped with Hornady 150 grain SST's the rifle is an efficient killer.

  10. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    I had both and sold the AR-10.
    The Armalite was very nice, but my MK14 SEI Mod 0 & 1 are much better rifles.

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  11. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member


    Have both. One of my AR10s, Armalite makes the AR10, is scary accurate. Out shoots my NM M1A. But not by much.
    Reliability. I have had one mag malfunction out of three AR 10s. Too much phosphate inside the mag.
    Thirty years and seven different M1As, zero malfunctions. Not one.
    Hand loads, commercial and surplus, not one.

    Get what you like.
  12. Nacho Libre

    Nacho Libre Active Member

    A good quality M1A would be my choice. No direct gas into the receiver, lighter recoil, easier to clean and maintain. Accuracy and reliability should be similar between the two if you get good quality ones. But as mentioned above, if you plan to put lights, lasers, vertical forend grips and so on, it's easier done on and AR than an M1A. If you just plan on puting a scope, I'll definitely go with M1A.
  13. SuperDuty7.3

    SuperDuty7.3 Member

    i heard AR 10 werent made anymore? any truth to that
  14. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    The real-deal Armalite AR-10s have been out of production for a long time. AR style rifles in 308 caliber, however, including the new Armalite brand name, are going strong. The design seems to be gaining in popularity at a pretty brisk rate, actually.
  15. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member

    made any more

    Yes but there are many differences between original AR 10s and current production AR 10s.
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Give a good loot at TIMC's photos. Long story short, I bought an M1a, and discovered that A: Without a raised comb, like the one his photo, you are going to have to lean so far into the scope it will hit you. Repeatedly. This means that you will need at least a custom stock, and while you're at it, bedding, etc. B: I wasn't shooting it any faster than I would shoot a bolt-rifle anyway. I switched back to a Rem 700.

    AR-style rifles chambered in .308/7.62 are often referred to as AR-10s, but no one makes an actual AR-10 from Stoner's original design anymore. The Armalite would have been the closest. Most of the others are AR-15s with a bigger mag well. If I were looking to get another semi in .308, I would probably start with the bare-bones DPMS and get to tweaking it.
  17. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member


    If you can find one with a receiver marked Paragon you will have an original without the group therapy switch. Made in the late 70s and early 80s.
    Uesd original mags also.
  18. Tarvis

    Tarvis Well-Known Member

    You do realize spending an extra $2500 on a rifle just because it has scope rails is pretty ridiculous, right?

    They both have trade-offs, but for a scoped application, the AR-10 flat top is as simple as it can possibly get. I'm not completely informed on all of the options for the M1A, but I do know springfield has an "extended cluster rail" for their loaded version, possibly even others. There is also the side mount as pictured above, but for some reason I don't really like those.

    Actually, they are all from Stoner's design, but the design has been modified. You still call it a Chevy Silverado, even though it has changed over the years and significantly from it's original design. Armalite markets their 308 rifle as the AR-10. I can't figure out why you brought this up; at first it seems like you are more interested in the namesake and keeping with the original design, of which Armalite is the closest as you say, then you say
    What would you tweak and why?
  19. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Well-Known Member

    What the heck does "group therapy switch" even mean? Select-fire?

    If so, I think I might start using that euphemism.
  20. navajo

    navajo Well-Known Member


    Yes, been around since the sixties.

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