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Help me choose an M1A. or, tell me I'm nuts!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Erik Jensen, Sep 30, 2008.

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  1. Erik Jensen

    Erik Jensen Member

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    for a while now I've been thinking of getting both an EBR of some sort, and a "target/sniper/varmint" rifle of some sort.

    then it dawned on me. I bet an M1A would do both jobs tolerably well! good capacity, semi-auto, and, I think, accurate enough.

    so my questions are three fold:

    1: do y'all think the M1A would make a good compromise between something like an AR and a scoped 700? or have I actually lost my mind because of the way the M1A feels in my hands?

    2: how much accuracy difference is there really between the standard or loaded and the National Match? realize that here in michigan it would be unlikely that I would be able to shoot past 300 yds.

    3: is there enough real-world difference between the Std., Loaded, and NM to warrant to far greater cost?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  2. cuervo

    cuervo Member

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    I don't know that I would try to answer #1, but I do prefer an M1A for high-power shooting since I feel the heavier bullet works better at longer ranges. If I wanted a rifle that was lighter, and accurate at lower ranges, I'd go with an AR.

    The "Loaded" package is a marketing ploy by Springfield to replace GI parts with commercial parts. If they are running out of GI barrels, they put on a medium-weight commercial barrel and call it a NM barrel. Supposedly the loaded triggers have been tuned a little, which would be a little better than standard.

    There is not a great amount of difference between a standard and loaded. The NM models are bedded and may be lugged receivers. These should be more accurate if done correctly, but will also require re-bedding to maintain accuracy. For casual shooting, not worth the cost.
     
  3. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    An M1A is a great choice for a rifle to do match shooting, hunting and plinking.

    The biggest consideration IMHO of choosing an M1A over an AR15 for shooting is the cost of .223 rounds vs. .308 rounds. Also the cost of magazines.

    You could rationalize/mitigate the cost difference by the fact that you are buying, reloading for and shooting only one platform. There has to be some sort of cost-savings there, and you also focus your expertise. "Beware the man with just one gun. He likely knows how to use it.":)
     
  4. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    What stock do you plan to use?
    22.0" or 18.0" barrel?
    Scope?
     
  5. Erik Jensen

    Erik Jensen Member

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    I'm planning on using a USGI type Walnut stock, 22" barrel. I likely will get a scope for it (probably a 10X fixed power), but I generally prefer to use irons.

    to be clear, I guess I'm really looking for a SHTF type rifle that I could use for hunting and accurate shooting at the range as well.
     
  6. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I have an M1A and an AR-10. Both are great shooters but for anything but bench shooting I prefer the AR-10. The M1A is a lot heavier and does not handle as well in the field but it is a nice accurate rifle.
     
  7. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    I have a Loaded Standard with the "match" stainless barrel and walnut stock. I luv my gun. :D
    The main differences between it and standard are the barrel, a National Match bored flash suppressor, the Match trigger, National Match front sight and a compromise Match rear sight. For more accurate work, I'm sure the "loaded" is a more accurate and FORGIVING piece........but it's far from National Match accuracy. I upgraded mine a bit by tuning/shimming the gas system, installing the full Match rear sights and a Match Op Rod spring guide.

    One thing you may want to consider is scope mounting if you are planning on scoping it. It is a TON easier to get a good solid scope mount on an AR than it is on a M1a....................cheaper too.
     
  8. Erik Jensen

    Erik Jensen Member

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    scoping is an afterthought for me, really. that, and being somewhat of a traditionalist, the AR just doesn't do much for me aesthetically, and I would prefer 7.62 to 5.56.
     
  9. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    The AR-10 is 7.62

    But each to his own The M1A is a nice rifle too, I really like mine.
     
  10. JCUMM2

    JCUMM2 Member

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    If you are not planning to compete in NRA highpower service rifle matches I would suggest going the AR10 route instead. They are considerably cheaper, more accurate, and much less fussy about upkeep. They are also easily worked on and can be rebarreled without a lathe.
     
  11. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I have owned 2 M1A "Loaded" rifles. Both were accurate and reliable. My question is the following: if you prefer iron sights, why are you not looking to a CMP M1 Garand? The ammunition is about 50% less expensive, and the rifle itself will cost you about 60% less. I should add, I do have two M1 Garands, and they are a blast. It is no secret that many folks use the Garand for 1,000 yard competition.

    Just a thought.

    Doc2005
     
  12. Erik Jensen

    Erik Jensen Member

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    I had considered an M1 Garand, and I will own one, but for the idea behind this rifle, I'd rather have something in .308 with a detachable mag.
    between the AR-10 and the M1A, I prefer the feel and look of the M1A, but that said, what mags does the AR-10 take? are they proprietary, or do they take a mag that is available surplus? I'm by and large a military rifle collector, but if the AR-10 is clearly a superior rifle, and is cheaper to own an operate ( easy to find parts, commonality with other rifles, etc..) then I would certainly consider it, even though I don't like it much aesthetically.
     
  13. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    OK.
    If you are going to buy a brand new rifle - consider the Loaded version.
    The medium weight barrel, national match trigger assembly, national match front sight
    & non-hooded rear sight assembly, and national match flash suppressor are included.
    Shim the gas cylinder and you are good to go with a warranty to back it up.


    I prefer having SEI build what I want on old Chinese M14s and the USGI fiberglass stock would be my choice.


    :) I had an AR-10 and sold it so I could build another M14.
     
  14. ATAShooter

    ATAShooter Member

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  15. Brother in Arms

    Brother in Arms Member

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    Erik

    Sounds to me like you have the same dilemma as I have. I want a good battle rifle to be my all around gun but seem to never fully conclude what that is.

    I originally was way into the FAL and bought a South African parts kit then I went to colorado and started shooting highpower with an M1's and M1A. Incidentally I never built the FAL and went out and bought an older used Armscorp M14 with All USGI parts except for the receiver. It cost $900 private sale. But the head space was excessive in the original Sako lowell barrel so I had it rebarreled with a Criterion GI contour Match grade barrel wich is unfortunately not chrome lined and sold the original barrel to fund the new one. So overall I have about $1200 in the rifle. Now for mags I have been fortunate enough to find used original magazines here and there at gun shows and the like for around $20-$25 but remember these are 40-50 years old and I would suggest purchasing new CMI magazines which are government contract for the same price.

    My rifle is in a fiberglass stock which is excellent for field use...though it doesn't feel like a wood stock, its much more resilient to weather conditions.
    Other than the Match grade barrel my rifle is stock and I shoot it with iron sights only. I bought this rifle for competitive use as well as SHTF but must say a 18' barrel might be a more practical way to go if you aren't doing High power....the 22' is super long, and so is its birdcage Flash suppressor.

    I have contemplated making a "modernized" M1A carbine for SHTF purposes and relagate my old school M14 to the target range. I also have an AR and many other firearms but I feel the most deadly with an M1 or M1A style rifle in my hands.

    Brother in Arms
     
  16. cuervo

    cuervo Member

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    Don't buy an AR10 thinking you'll have a cheap supply of parts on the AR15 market--very few of the parts are common between the two.

    The AR10 uses proprietary magazines, but an M14 magazine can be converted to an AR10 by Armalite (or at least they used to convert them, probably still do with no guarantees on functionality).

    Finding a good scope mount for the M1A is going to be expensive. I'd look at the ARMS or one of its copies; avoid the Springfield and anything cheap. Hopefully you won't believe the Hollywood fables that you can take a scope off and put it back on and still have a perfect 600 yard zero. Once you put a scope on an M1A, you'll probably end up leaving it on, even if you have quick-disconnect rings and leave the base on all the time.
     
  17. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    22.0" barrel over an 18.0" barrel. Vortex flash eliminators and GLFS from
    SEI are used for reduced length and for mounting DC sound suppressors.
    Painted USGI synthetic stocks with the short lived RRM.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Erik Jensen

    Erik Jensen Member

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    I have to say the 22 doesn't look that long to me, but this is coming from someone who uses a MN 91-30 for hunting. :p
     
  19. Vityaz

    Vityaz Member

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    I'd go with the Loaded. It'll do most anything you need it to.


    Here's a pic of mine in a USGI walnut stock with a Les Tam sling. It's got a completely USGI trigger group and a Sadlak NM spring guide.
    SAI using cast parts isn't really as big a deal as people make it out to be. They'll stand up to more abuse than you're likely to ever put them through.
    100_1844.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  20. For Freedom

    For Freedom Member

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    The Standard comes with a NM flash suppressor too.

    The Standard isn't that long. It's definitely usable for CQB.

    I have a Standard and a SOCOM. USGI fiberglass furniture, Turner M1907 slings, USGI extractors, complete USGI trigger groups, Badger Ordnance NM spring guides, gas cylinder shims, forged bolts, and the Standard has Smith Enterprise's excellent hooded gas lock front sight and DC Vortex.

    M14 parts are cheap. I've never had a single functional issue. I have 21 CMI USGI magazines. They were only $23 each shipped. That's only $5 more than PMAGs (and I have both, I think the M14 magazines are better than PMAGs), so they're quite reasonable.

    14002-1-1.gif
     
  21. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    I don't think SAI is using USGI parts anymore period, especially barrels, so it's not really any marketing ploy.

    Jason
     
  22. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    If you are set on getting a nice M1A you could alway just go crazy like I did and buy an M-21. I love this rifle and have hunted with it but as I said my AR-10 is what I use in the field.
    My target rifle
    m21sept122007.gif

    This is my hunter...
    Bushmaster AR-10 not made anymore, it uses cheap FAL mags
    December102007buckpic2.jpg
    pigswithar10.jpg
     
  23. A square 10

    A square 10 Member

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    i like the M1A as the go to gun and scoped it makes a great range/hunting rifle too

    mikesrifles002.gif

    i shoot with the synthetic stock and have a nice military walnut one for looking at - it switches easy enough ,

    but know you wont stop with one -
    i ended up with a FAL

    FN-FAL003.gif


    and an AR , or two , or three , or four and they just accumulate over the years

    mikesrifles003.gif

    mikesrifles005.gif

    mikesrifles026.gif
    this is a retro M16

    mikesrifles2009.gif
    this is a dedicated 22cal
     
  24. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Obviously this was written by someone who just loves "GI" everything. I have personally shot a standard and I own a loaded. The loaded shoots about 10 times better with better sights and trigger than the standard. Here are some pictures of me and my loaded and a 2 groups at 400 yards.

    CIMG2182.jpg

    CIMG2185.jpg

    CIMG2186.jpg

    One of the prego wife too

    CIMG2154.jpg
     
  25. 06

    06 Member

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    My plain jane "chink" M1-A has never let me down. Was shooting a 2 inch snag at @ 200 yds recently and was blowing it out of the water--with iron sights. It is my "truck gun" now. I trust it and know what it can do. I keep soft points in the first mag but have two others in the case. One with military ball and one with AP. One can just never tell what one may come up against--LOL, wc
     
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