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M1 Garand .30-06 v. Springfield M1a .308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by HammeringHank, Dec 8, 2011.

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  1. HammeringHank

    HammeringHank Member

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    Can you tell me which rifle will shoot more accurate, all things being equal. A rebuilt M1 Garand with a new barrel .30-06 or a Springfield M1a .308. I am only interested in these rifles only. I will hand load for both rifles.
    Thanking you in advance, Hank
     
  2. HarleyFixer

    HarleyFixer Member

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    Either rifle is capable of accuracy exceeding Your capability. Choose your poison. That is assuming that the rifle is set up properly.
     
  3. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Come-on, to Quote General George S. Patton "the greatest battle implement ever devised"
    enough said.......
     
  4. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    You will get a Garand a lot cheaper than you will an M1a.
     
  5. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    All things being equal, I'd give the edge to the M1A. The improved gas system, shortened operating rod and bolt roller system are all improvements over the M1 design.

    I'm not bashing the M1 as it's a great rifle. Both rifles can be accurized and be made to shoot very accurately.
     
  6. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Pick the platform you like to handle the most. IMO there's no inherent difference in accuracy in either one. Both are great shooters.
     
  7. Lightning12

    Lightning12 Member

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    The M1 Garand was designed to achieve 4 MOA accuracy only. They can accurized for tighter groups, but I don't know what all is involved. A new barrel will help, but it is not enough by itself to really improve the accuracy.

    I don't see MOA spelled out for the M1A on the Springfield Armory website but most discussions I have seen refer to about 2.5 MOA accuracy for a Loaded version M1A. So there is a slight advantage.

    You can also get a national match M1A that is capable of much better.

    Unless you spend 3000 dollars for the national match M1A, with open sights for both rifles, you may or may not see that much difference. I have had both and I found that the M1A clearly shot a little more accurately at 100 yards, not a huge amount though, probalby because the sights were a little finer tolerance.

    chaz
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    The stock front sight on a Garand is so broad that it makes shooting tight groups an issue. Just replacing that with a thin sight will bring groups down to 2 inches or better. That Mil-Spec front sight is broad so it can be picked up in low light. And even with that broad sight it's easy to hit a torso sized target at 400 yards. Battle rifles are for hitting people at battle ranges, not for shooting tiny groups on paper.

    I doubt there's much difference in accuracy between the two rifles if they have the same sights.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Both are capable of excellent accuracy. Without tweaks/work you're more LIKELY to get an M1A that's more accurate, IMO. The garand's handguards can influence accuracy.

    If I could only own one, it would be the Garand, through. Coolest rifle ever made. :)
     
  10. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    Either rifle will serve as an excellent platform for building an extremely accurate weapon, it is six of one - half a dozen of the other.

    My personal recommendation? Get both and make them projects for your own satisfaction. There are other attributes that contribute to accuracy that are not entirely resident wthin the firearm. Balance, fit to the shooter, sight acquisition, weight, quality of ammo, etc. all can effect accuracy.

    I have a new M1A, my son has a Service Grade Springfield Special M1 Garand from the CMP. We are working up loads for both rifles right now and it won't be long before we will be seeing who can get the tightest group at 100 yards.

    My prediction? There won't be a measurable difference but who cares? It is a terrific fun and enjoyable hobby and activity for Steven and myself.

    Dan
     
  11. henschman

    henschman Member

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    M1A's have a bit of an edge due to less reciprocating mass (shorter op-rod), less stuff touching the barrel, and possibly even because of their slightly shorter barrel. They also have a protected crown due to the flash hider.

    Whatever the reasons, M1As started beating Garands when they first became legal for high power matches, and it didn't take long for all the serious competitors to start using M1As (just like ARs later started beating M1As, and now are pretty much ubiquitous in that sport).

    Anyway I have them both and love them both... mine are close enough that I can't tell the difference in accuracy. Both are standard models. The M1A is definitely much lighter weight than the M1, though that might mostly be due to the fact that it is in a light plastic stock while the M1 of course is in original wood.
     
  12. DCoke

    DCoke Member

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    I have the NM M1A and spent half of that amount....just sayin....
     
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I read an article in either Handloader or Rifle magazine a number of years back, and they were saying the Navy rifle team did a study on just this, and came up with a sort of compromise. They found the .308 to be 10% more accurate than the 30-06, and the M1 to be 10% more accurate than the M14 (they use the real thing). What they did then was, barrel M1's in 308, and seem to have done well doing so.

    I have both a NM M1A, and a converted M1 in .308. For me, both seem to shoot about the same, and I doubt you could tell which gun shot which target if you compared them. I find the M1's to be the easier guns to shoot with, as you dont have to deal with the mag hanging down. I also find the M1's to be easier to reload in the stages requiring a reload. Other than that, theres really no difference.
     
  14. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    A long-long time ago I qualified at Parris Island with an M14 at ITR (infantry Training Regiment) used the M1 for all courses of fire. Having employed the M1 & M14 rifles for across the course rifle competition then later the Springfield M1A my impression is the M1 (rack grade) was less accurate period. Twenty plus years ago I had Clint Fowler build me a triple lugged M1 match rifle in 308Win. While accurate a comparable M1A Super Match was easier to maintain so the triple lugged M1 was sold off.
     
  15. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    Lots of good answers and info here.
    IMHO it's almost too close to call.
    You wouldn't be disappointed with the M1 or M1A. Why not get one of each? :)
    Good luck!
     
  16. memphisjim

    memphisjim Member

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    The bases have Been covered above another consideration is that the garand will be far cheaper and that's. Before you even factor in magazines
     
  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Always a good choice.
     
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Garands have a history, if they could only talk. M1As can be had new.

    My solution to the dilemma was to get one of each.
     
  19. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Since you said "all things being equal"
    I have an M1, National Match accurized and in 7.62X51,(.308) caliber.
    [​IMG]
    And I own an M1A, again built to National Match Standards and in 7.62X51
    [​IMG]

    Both have standard weight premium quality barrels.

    With all things being equal on the range, the M1A will shoot to tighter standards than the M1 Garand with the two guns very similar out to 300 meters.
    The M1A is a consistently tighter shooting rifle at longer ranges.
     
  20. conhntr

    conhntr Member

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    Im a m1 fan; but as im not a handloader id think the wide variety of 308 match ammo (weights and brands) compared to m1 suitable 30-06 options that wiuld be a big plus for the m1a or a 308 rebarreled m1!

    Greek m2 does it for me though.
     
  21. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Both rifles were made to be battleground accurate. Minute of man in normal field conditions.

    While I own an M1 Garand, I trained with a M14, both were/are top notch. Neither was a sniper/benchrest rifle.
     
  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Rack grade M1a's and Garands, neither are target rifles and I believe the acceptance criteria for factory M14's was that they were to shoot inside 3.5 inches at 100 yards.

    I have a 1957 publication in front of me, for factory fresh NM 1957 Garands, fired with National Match ammunition, which grouped 0.6 inches at 100 yards in test barrels, out of a population of 665 rifles, 59.7% shot an average of 3 ten shot groups of 3.4 inches or less. I don't know how to calculate the number rejected, from the histogram, but rifles which grouped greater than the black, 4.2” were not sent to competitive shooters. That was a large number of rifles. The lowest average of 3 ten shot groups was 0.8 inches, the greatest average was 9.5”.

    Garands were not glass bedded in 1957, that was a later modification. To me this data shows that a Garand, even in hand fitted stocks and metal parts, and carefully put together, was not that accurate. It took better barrels, glass bedding, all the later techniques to get them to shoot target grade accuracy.

    Rack grade rifles are not target rifles. Even though I do not have acceptance data for service Garands, I am of the opinion that rack grade M14's were more accurate than rack grade Garands.

    Target rifles are a different creature. If you perform all the match modifications, a Garand with a GI contour barrel is more accurate than a M14 with a GI contour barrel. In the 70’s a heavy M14 barrel was allowed in competition and the M14/M1a’s became the better target rifle in all particulars.

    Garands in 30-06 kick more than M1a’s. A match Garand looses its tune sooner than a match M1a. M1a's are just easier to shoot.

    Match Garand Targets fired in competition:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rack Grade Garand shot prone in practice.

    [​IMG]

    M1a, matched out except that barrel is a GI barrel, shot in competition.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. JSNAPS

    JSNAPS Member

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  24. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Member

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    I have owned both, Now i only own a M1 Garand.

    Yeah, the M14 was amazing and a delight to shoot, but its just not a M1...
     
  25. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I gotta figure in a true all things being equal scenario - and the only one I can conjure with these two - if both were built by the same armorer to national Match specs, the M1A would come out on top as it seemed to do when competitive shooters had the option early on to shoot either.

    With the parameters you pose - The SA coulda been built by a turd on his last day and the re-barreled might have the stars shine on it that day and be a tack driver.
     
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