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M1 Garand v. M1A, which one and why?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by chaim, Oct 26, 2003.

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  1. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I am finally going to save my money. Though I have the money for a gun (an affordable one) I'm going to save a month or two for a nicer gun. Anyway, there are two rifles on my list that seem to be very similar from a practical standpoint. Give me some plusses and minuses on the M1A and M1 Garand. Why should I pick one v. the other?

    A few M1A advantages. Removable box mag. Lighter and smaller ammo, means more can be carried (though I doubt that I'll ever be carrying it around). Plenty of .308 surplus available. A little bit lighter.

    A few M1 Garand advantages. History, history, history. Even with a new manufactured gun the design has more history. Otherwise, the clips are a bit lighter than the M1A's box mags (and no worries about unreliable mags).

    Both are very reliable, very accurate, and very solid guns.


    Anyway, there are a few others on my list (AR, FAL, Kimber Pro Carry, Kimber CDP, Python). More expensive guns I've long wanted but put off to buy cheaper guns immediately. However, these are much more similar than some of my other options and I have more trouble deciding between them.
     
  2. Jmurman

    Jmurman Member

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    Chaim,

    I just ordered the Garand. In Maryland, they aren't considered and "assault rifle" like the M1A is.

    That was not my only reason. The Garand in my estimation, is as about as good as it gets with a battle rifle for the money. Through the CMP you can get a Springfield Service grade for $500 plus freight. If you want you can have it converted to .308...although Ammoman.com has 30.06 ammo for a very reasonable price.

    I also own the Kimber Pro Carry, after the initial bugs were worked out,m this is a GREAT handgun. BTW this is the only hand gun that I own.

    There are some guys on this site that own ALOT of Garands, I'm sure that they will give you more info that what I can.
     
  3. VG

    VG Member

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    The Garand will cost you less than half what an M1A will if you go the CMP route. If you paid $0.40 a round for 30.06 (and that's commercial price) versus $0.15 / round for .308, you'd still have to shoot 2,000 rounds to save $500. As you can rebarrel a Garand to .308 for between $200 and $300, you'd still be ahead.

    You don't mention what you'll use it for but a good Garand is close to as competitive as an M1A in standard service trim. The AR's will beat either as long as they are allowed in "High Power" matches. National Match version of either IMHO are too finicky. And the JC Garand matches are designed for Garands and great fun.

    The Garand has a significant combat history and you can by the real war veterans from CMP. It was also used in the Korean war and those vets are still around to talk to about their training and use. And their NCO's and officers were mostly WWII officers, so there's a significant oral history.

    Garands are a lot of fun to shoot and always garner attention at even the most jaded range. Other Garand collectors will gather around and you can start comparing your rifles. The first rifle I got from CMP was an original barrel and receiver combo made in June 1944. I've since gotten the stock and other parts required to put it back to WWII configuration. Pretty cool. There are a lot of books available - start with "Hatcher's Book of the Garand."

    For about $75 you can buy the Band of Brothers series on DVD. If you watch that, 1. You'll be in awe of WWII paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, and 2. you'll buy a Garand. ping!
     
  4. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    Both the M1 and the M1A are good rifles. The Garand's main advantage is price, both price of the rifle and price of the en-blocs. A good Garand will run $500 from CMP, enblocs go for around $1 apiece last time I looked. A good M1A will cost around a thousand, with a forged reciever $1500 minimum, and 20-round magazines run $40-50 each.

    The M1A is probably a little bit more reliable (better gas system,) lighter, and as you said, it has the box magazine feed. Accuracy is a wash.

    For a sporting rifle, I'd get the M1 and shoot lots of John C. Garand matches. Fun stuff. For a fighting gun, I'd take the M1A, but it wouldn't be my first choice (much rather have an AR-15 or AR-10.) It all depends on what you want to do.

    - Chris
     
  5. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Member

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    VG, that was a really nice rundown. Thanks.

    Jaywalker
     
  6. m14nut

    m14nut Member

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    M1 Garand: Battle tested, match proven.
    M1a: Battle tested, match proven.

    It comes down to your original quandry....what do you want to spend.

    Buy a garand, you will not regret it.
    Then save like crazy for a used M1a. Many people buy them and then end up sellin' em to recoupe theere losses.:D

    I own both.
    A 1954 International Harvester M1.
    A Springfield National match M1a
    Im the National Matches, the service grade Garand is just as accurate as my m1a.:cuss:
     
  7. m14nut

    m14nut Member

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    the m1a....:neener:
     
  8. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    m1 for history
    m1a for SHTF.

    Both are a hoot!
     
  9. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I will mention a few things that I like about the M1 that I do not believe have been listed.

    You can get a lower prone with the M1 as there is no box mag.

    The M1 is easier to carry in hand because there is no box mag hanging down at the balance point.

    If you use leave the feeding devices loaded for long periods of time, I believe (and I know that mags can realistically be left loaded for a looooong time!) I would have more confidence in the en block clips.

    The advantage of the M1A is that it is easier to scope.

    Also, you cannot "top off a half empty rifle", however, this has never been a problem for me.

    Not even counting the history side, I prefer the M1 over the M1A.
     
  10. Brass Balls

    Brass Balls Member

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    Both are great rifles and you can't go wrong with either. You nailed the biggest reason to favor a Garand over an M1A and that is history.

    Personally I prefer the M1As as a practical rifle. There are more configurations available from the factory including the Scout Squad which works terrifically with an EOTech or other red dot sight mounted on its forward flat top receiver. The other big plus is using 20 round magazines rather than 8 round clips.


    clic pic
    [​IMG]

    Before you plunk down your money checkout the prices at Sporting Arms on the M1A and the M1 Garand. I have no association with them other than being a satisfied customer several times over.
     
  11. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Dumb question:

    I saw an M1A NIB at a recent gun show...

    It looked a whole lot like an M-14 - a whole lot.

    Is an M1A an M-14 clone?
     
  12. Barrelmaker

    Barrelmaker Member

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    M-14=Full auto
    M1A =Semi auto
     
  13. dave3006

    dave3006 member

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    Garand.

    You have a 50/50 chance of getting a problem M1A from Springfield Armory. Supposedly, they have great customer service. But, they need it.

    Did I mention mags? The M1As are expensive. The Garand loads faster and can take a bayonet.
     
  14. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Dave 3006 stated:
    An M1A is on my wish list - something I'm seriously considering buying. It is surprising to hear that there's a 50/50 chance that if I buy one it'll be hosed up right out of the box.

    What kind of problems do they have right out of the box? And if it's truly half of them then why in the world would anyone waste their money and time on one? Are the problems minor - i.e. something the average user can fix or a competent gunsmith could do in a day? Or are they something more serious that requires the weapon to be sent to SA for repair?

    NOTE: I don't give a hoot how good SA's service is. If I spend $1000+ on something it better work - sending it back and not having it for the 3 to 6 weeks I imagine it would take them to make it good is just plain unacceptable.
     
  15. Brass Balls

    Brass Balls Member

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    I've got two M1As that have been 100% reliable. The first is a National Match and the second is a Scout Squad. I don't know where that 50% number came from but it certainly hasn't been my experience or that of a few friends who own M1As.

    For more info on both rifles checkout: http://www.battlerifles.com/
     
  16. dave3006

    dave3006 member

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    My 50% number is anecdotal. It could be a little lower. The fact is that many, many, many of their rifles need to be returned for fixing. There is also some problems with the cast bolts they are using. Do a search concerning Skunkabilities problems with his M1A. Other sites will tell like stories.

    They go for $1200-$1500 in Kali. That is too high in my opinion for what you get.
     
  17. 45R

    45R Member

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    50/50 huh. Well we took all these babies out yesturday and not one. I REPEAT not one of these M1As had a problem.

    Actually I lied.....there was a MAJOR problem. Not enough time and they eat too much ammo!! :)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Sactown

    Sactown Member

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    I've never had any problems with my M1A. Shoots accurate as heck. For people in the free states, you can get 20rnd M1A mags for $37 from http://www.coledistributing.com/

    I also have a Garand. Your choice really should be which one will you get first. I enjoy both rifles, but the M1A gets the nod.
     
  19. TODD3465

    TODD3465 Member

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    Never had any reliability problems with mine either plus know 3 other people that have M-1A's with out any complaints.
     
  20. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    Okay, add me to the positive side of the 50/50 list. The only problem I had with my M1A was when I installed a recoil buffer. Made ejected brass get caught up between the bolt and the scope mount. No problems since I removed the buffer.

    Shoots sub-2" groups all day with surplus ammo. Prolly better w/ handloads or match ammo, but I'm too dumb/cheap to do either.

    Oh, and I recommend the .308 Garand. Definitely. :)
     
  21. Bostonterrier97

    Bostonterrier97 Member

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    Other advantages that a Garand has over an M1A

    1.) Left in the original 30-06 chambering, the M1 Garand is more powerful than the M1A.

    2.) The M1 Garand has a longer sight radius, resulting in fewer sight alignment errors.

    3.) You can get into a lower prone position with an M1 Garand.

    4.) The M1 Garand Receiver is stronger. Has been successfully tested in CUP pressures in excess of 120,000 psi, with out the receiver failing.
    (Try that on a cast M1A receiver)

    5.) The En Bloc clips can be kept fully loaded indefinately and the shooter doesn't have to worry about a magazine spring becoming fatigued from the constant state of compression like he does with an M1A.
     
  22. thefitzvh

    thefitzvh Member

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    Someone said that the M14 is fully auto, but it isn't... that's a common misconception

    M14A2 was fully auto. Also had a pistol grip and integrated bipod. Much different than the M14 which is essentially identical to the M1A. The name M1A was used to show it as a further evolution of the M1

    I know this because my old unit (the Old Guard) had M14s, and the appropriate manuals, which detail the difference between the M14 and the M14A2

    If anyone has a pic I'd love to see it (of the A2 that is) because all I've seen is the drawing in the FM


    James
     
  23. VG

    VG Member

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    All it took to convert an M14 to full auto was a kit with the selector switch.

    The only time I used one was in Ranger School, 1983 (just befor ethe SAW was fielded) and they were all full-auto and no pistol grip. Not sure whether it was to be used as a Squad Automotic Weapon, or just to weigh us down a little more. The RI's would consider the latter a "Major Plus." Firing on full auto was entertaining as long as you weren't really trying to hit anything.
     
  24. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Member

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    I can't speak to the reliability of the M1A, but of the three at my local gun botique, one had a loose handguard. Coupled with Skunkabilly's tales of woe, I decided to go another direction.

    Actually, two directions: I had decided on a CMP Garand (or a Browning A-Bolt II 7mm-08 - I was conflicted :D ), then spent the money on a Winchester M70 instead.

    Jaywalker
     
  25. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    If you are left handed, then I'd say M1A.

    I'm left handed, and "M1Thumb" from an M1Garand is not pretty..
    And the first time, if you are too stupid, then you try to yank your thumb out, and that leads to cuts and bleeding..

    The PRK muzzle breaks are horribly loud and ruin the vision of shooters next to you.

    Thanks a lot moron legislators of the PRK :cuss: :banghead: :fire: :barf:
     
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