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Comparison of an FNAR and an M1A (on order)?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MCMXI, Jan 3, 2009.

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  1. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I ordered a Springfield Scout Squad in Mossy Oak back on 11/10 for $1,499.99 along with two 20 round M14 M1A Magazines (USGI New) for $41.99 each for a grand total (including shipping and FFL fee) of $1,733.97. Since placing that order, the price of the M1A alone is now $1,799.99 and I doubt that the company is going to honor the price on my original order. Today at my local gun shop, I was thoroughly checking out an FNAR with the heavy fluted barrel. It comes with one 20 round magazine, a hard case, three interchangeable cheekpieces, three butt pads and five shims to fine tune the cast and drop. The total price (including tax) is $1,699.75. The store owner told me he'll include one additional 20 round magazine for free and FN has a coupon for a shooting mat (valued at $180 ... :confused:).

    So my options now are to ...

    1. Wait for the M1A to come in and hope that the order price is honored. If it isn't, I'll be paying just under $2,000 compared to the original $1,733.99.

    2. Buy the FNAR for the price shown and cancel the M1A order.

    3. Buy something else.

    4. Don't buy anything.

    It seems to me that there are a number of similarities and differences between the M1A Scout and the FNAR. Here are some of the main features.

    M1A
    18" six-groove 1:11 RH twist barrel with proprietary muzzle stabilizer
    Parkerized
    Detachable magazine (10 round with 20 round option)
    Iron sights
    Scout scope mount
    Gas piston
    2-stage military trigger 5 - 6lb
    40.3" (L)
    9.3lb (W)

    FNAR
    20" four-groove 1:12 RH twist heavy fluted barrel with chrome lining and target crown
    Parkerized
    Detachable 20 round magazine
    Multiple MIL-STD 1913 rails
    Gas piston
    41.5" (L)
    10.0lb (W)

    I'd really be interested to hear some thoughts on what you think is good/bad about either rifle. I will agree at the start that the M1A is a much better looking rifle but I've read some articles that claim that the stock on the FNAR is very ergonomic as is the pistol grip. The fact that the stock is adjustable (cheekpiece, LOP, cast, drop) should be a plus. I found it very comfortable to hold/aim and the balance with the heavy barrel was good. The trigger was ok, the position of the slide release makes it fairly easy to operate with the index finger of the left hand underneath the forend. The lack of iron sights is a problem although it might be possible to mount front/rear sights to the top rail (short sight radius though). How about accuracy? The FNAR is supposed to be sub MOA with factory ammunition so how does that compare to the M1A Scout?

    Thanks.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  2. mattw

    mattw Member

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    I'd go with the M1A for the following reasons:

    - Much more aftermarket support
    - Much easier to find magazines
    - Much more common operating system (gunsmiths will know it, you can pick up spare parts just about anywhere)
    - Battle proven design
    - Better sights
    - Lighter

    And parkerizing and manganese phosphate are the same thing. Also I'm not sure about FN's warranty policy, but any Springfield Armory weapon has a lifetime warranty.
     
  3. J32A2

    J32A2 Member

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    Good things come to those who wait!!
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    they've been flying off the shelves around here, but i don't know anyone who's actually shot one, much less brought a sub MOA group back to the gun shop to brag
     
  5. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    I found this on FN forum. It may help you a bit:

    They have a whole section dedicated to FNAR. Is not much tho.

    http://www.fnforum.net/viewforum.php?f=99



    Gunblast has a review but the site is down right now.

    http://www.gunblast.com/FN-AR.htm
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  6. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I don't get it ... who the heck is buying these rifles? I can't find any definitive reports either ... just vague descriptions and lots of excuses.

    Jaws, thanks for the link ... I've been looking through the numerous posts but have yet to find anything definitive.


    matt, some good points although I would make a few modifications to your list.

    Much more aftermarket support ... true but is that important? The only aftermarket item that would interest me would be a trigger ... everything else mounts to the rails as they do on AR15, M1A etc

    Much more common operating system (gunsmiths will know it, you can pick up spare parts just about anywhere) ... isn't the FNAR gas system based on the M1A system? I'm not sure about parts.

    Battle proven design ... no argument there.

    Better sights ... true for iron sights but the FNAR rail is superior to scope mounts typically used on the M1A ... I have no idea about the scout rail.

    Lighter ... only just and not enough to be significant. Once you add a mount to the M1A (assuming you're not using the scout mount) they're probably very close in weight.

    Anyway, good stuff and I hope to get more feedback. The lack of reviews bothers me though. I can't believe that this rifle is so new that no one has been able to put together some hand loads, shoot some groups at 100 yards and post the results. Makes me wonder if this rifle is popular with the younger crowd that don't reload ... perhaps.

    :)
     
  7. chauncey

    chauncey Member

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    if you are looking at a FNAR you should also consider a Remington 740/7400. the only difference is magazine capacity, and since it doesn't look evil it will be a lot less expensive.

    sorry, I just don't think the FNAR is a military-style weapon. it's a hunting-style rifle with a high-cap mag and synthetic stock, very different than an M1A.

    try shooting it with open sights or field-stripping it, and you'll understand the difference.
     
  8. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    It doesn't have any iron sights and I've heard that stripping it down is a real PITA!

    The fact that it's built on an old design (the BAR sporting semi-auto) doesn't bother me ... heck, the M1A isn't exactly a modern design. In fact, how many innovative, modern designs are there? The Stoner design or AK-47 and the numerous offspring are all 50 or so years old.

    Either way, I'm still researching my options and wish I had more first-hand accounts of the FNAR. The M1A has been around so long that it's a known quantity.

    :)
     
  9. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    The FNAR is an unproven rifle based on the BAR hunting rifle actions from the 60's and the M1A is based on the M14 and that on the Garand both highly regarded American military rifles. The only thing the FNAR has on the M1A is the built in rail though the LRBs have that too. I would go M14 all day any day until the FNAR has proven otherwise.
     
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    If everyone was thinking this way we would be still hunting/fighting with stones and sticks.:neener::p
     
  11. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Exactly.

    It's a tacticool modification of the Browning BAR sporting rifle.

    No different, really, than what Arms Tech did for a while with their Browning (aka, FN) BAR-based Interdiction Rifle, as supplied in limited quantities to the U. S. Army in the countersniper role a decade or so ago.

    [​IMG]

    At least the older Arms Tech version had a decent McMillan stock, vs. the leftover thing intended for the FN Tactical Shotgun. :(
     
  12. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    Well the M14 is still going strong and probably would see wider use today if much of the M14 arsenal was not chopped up in the 90's. Of course it will be replaced by something better eventually but I do not believe it is going to be replaced by the FNAR.
     
  13. utahvarminter

    utahvarminter Member

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    m1a is prettier :)
     
  14. natescout

    natescout Member

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    +1 on the M1A ( i like the scout/bush ) wait for your M1A ,no experience with the FNAR, have you looked at the Browning BAR ShortTrac Stalker , great caliber options , standard plus WSM calibers ?
     
  15. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    That's what I've decided to do and if the price is too high when it gets here I'll pass on the Scout. I just can't find anything on the internet that gives me enough confidence to buy the FNAR. It may well turn out to be a great firearm and if there were more reviews, range reports, reliability reports, shot targets etc I probably would have bought one already. On paper it should be considerably more accurate than the M1A Scout given that heavy, fluted, four-groove barrel, but sub MOA accuracy isn't my only consideration. The lack of iron sights is a problem for me ... plus it is kind of ugly looking ... it's a lot nicer "in person" though and I can attest to its ergonomic feel.

    I just took a look at the Browning BAR ShortTrac Stalker ... definitely not for me .... but thanks.

    :)
     
  16. Remington 700

    Remington 700 Member

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    Battle proven reliability, you cant go wrong with that.Plus McMillian has great stock for them and Troy Industries can make them look like an AR-15 look at Sage Tactical also
     
  17. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I was looking at Troy's site today ... talk about expensive!! The stocks for the M1A/M14 cost $1000 or more!! :eek: They're probably very functional and I'll certainly be considering something along those lines in the future.

    :)
     
  18. barry960

    barry960 Member

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    Today I went down to the local gun store and discovered the FNAR, which I was suprised I hadn't heard of or read about before hand at all. They had one M1A there too. I held an M1a for the first time, then handled the heavy barrel AR, and based on handling, liked the AR better. It just seems so comfortable, and the M1A seems so bulky to me. The price is an issue to me too, the M1A was a California model on consignment and priced at $1500, the new ARs $100 less. My hesitations are: no iron sights, not that big a deal to me, but kind of lame, the magazines are proprietary and special, didn't see how much for extra mags, but you know right from the start there won't any military surplus ones wrapped in greasy paper, and I like bayonet lugs whenever possible. I can let these slip, and it's more a sniper rifle than a battle rifle, so not really a bayonet type rifle, but I like that little extra level of patriotic defiance. I also like the idea of possibly using bayonet lugs for flashlight or bipod mounting.(I know the AR has standard tri rails though)
     
  19. cat9x

    cat9x Member

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    i'd say if the action has stood up to 42 years of hard hunting and sporting use then it's a pretty proven design. The MKI Bar has been around since 1967 and the FNAR is a derivative of that original action.

    Having said all that, i'd go with the M1A :)
     
  20. cat9x

    cat9x Member

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    *double post*
     
  21. Marty

    Marty Member

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    Rember that the M1a and AR's are proven battle rifles. The FNAR is a sniper rifle. Thats apples and oranges. I have a SOCOM-16 M1a. The trigger is heavy, the saftey is loud and cumbersom. The telescoping stocks of the ARs are not intended for shooters comfort. It seems to me that the FNAR is designed to be a shooters rifle and not a fighters tool. I would go for the FNAR
     
  22. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    I've heard a lot of complaints about rifles before but "loud safety" is a new one :)
     
  23. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    The FNAR is not a sniper rifle until someone starts to use it as such it is more a DM rifle. The M14 was configured as an actual sniper rifle in the M21 and M25 and was used is still being used today by the US military as sniper and DM rifles. Can you say the same about the FNAR? I highly doubt the FNAR trigger is any better than a well adjusted 2 stage M14 trigger, your SOCOM does not have a match trigger like say a loaded or nat'l match does. If your safety is loud and cumbersome you need to use it some more. The FNAR seems to be to be a cobbled together rifle by FN to use an action they own in order to try to get in on some of the DMR contract action, but the rifle to replace the M14 has already been chosen and it is not the FNAR.

    You surely should buy it if you want and I'm sure it's an excellent rifle but don't make it what it is not. It is a "lite" tactical facelift of a hunting rifle. The M14 is a battle proven design and much beloved by those who had the privilege to carry one in their short time in the limelight.
     
  24. desidog

    desidog Member

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    I was contemplating an M1A Scout...til the prices went up and availability wasn't there....i ended up with an M1A loaded for 1850. i know it's not apples for apples, but i'm very pleased with what i got.

    If you aren't set on the shorter barrel, (as i guess since you're thinking about the FNAR (which i know little about)) i'd get a regular M1A and an ultimak forward rail....they're steel, not aluminum like on the Scout rail, and you could probably be into it for a similar price. (the ultimak doesn't work on the thicker loaded's barrel...)

    Also, the fixed sites are nice, and a Gen3 scope mount doesn't preclude your using them - can't do that with the FNAR!
     
  25. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I decided to pass on the FNAR weeks ago ... I'm still waiting to see what the price will be for the M1A Scout version if it ever comes in. If it's still at $1500 or thereabouts I'll buy it ... if it's $1800+ then I could care less about owning one and I'll find something else to enjoy.

    :)
     
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