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M1A Barrel length 18.5'' or 22'' standard?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dak0ta, Feb 3, 2012.

?

Which M1A barrel length?

Poll closed Mar 4, 2012.
  1. 22'' standard

    26 vote(s)
    45.6%
  2. 18.5''

    31 vote(s)
    54.4%
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  1. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    M14 Barrel length 18.5'' or 22'' standard?

    Hi,

    What are the advantages of each? 18.5'' is handier in close quarters, stiffer barrel? Longer 22'' has more muzzle velocity. Anything else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  2. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    I decided not to vote on this one. I think it totally depends on what you want to do with it. For target shooting you might as well go with the 22" but for a patrol rifle I'd like to have the 16" (unfortunately my dept. want to stick with 5.56). Either way you go, as the SA ad says, you've brought enough gun.
     
  3. 61chalk

    61chalk Member

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    Better accuracy at long range with the 22"....I like shooting out to 740 yds. An I like the looks of the 22" better.
     
  4. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    There have been prior threads, do a search.

    Springfield's 18.5" seems to be more accurate, on average, than their GI 22" or even the medium profile 22".

    For .308 barrel length in general, see:
    http://www.tacticaloperations.com/SWATbarrel/
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, usage oughta be the determinant. I happen to prefer more velocity and less noise, which is my reason for going with a 22".
     
  6. henschman

    henschman Member

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    The only other differences I can think of are weight (the 18.5" will weigh a pound lighter or so, all else being equal) and the fact that the MOA per click values are different on the sights... the 22" has 1 MOA clicks, and the 18.5" has larger clicks... somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.25 MOA if I remember right (and it is a little different depending on whether you use a standard front sight or a gas lock front sight).

    It is definitely a hard choice, since they are both good for different roles.
     
  7. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Does the 18.5'' make a big difference in weight and maneuverability while hunting in forests yet also good enough to take decent shots at deer in openings?
     
  8. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    A .308 with an 18.5" barrel would be effective on deer out to 600+ yards with appropriate ammo. More than twice as far as I would shoot at a deer.

    I haven't taken an 18.5" through woods but I can tell you that my 22" M1A feels mighty long.
     
  9. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Regarding using .308 winchester hunting ammo in an M14, what grains and pressures does one have to stay within to prevent excessive wear and damage to the receiver and gas system? The US NATO round is 158-164 grain right? How do 170-185 grains do in the M14?
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    An 18.5" .308 is an unpleasant beast that will blow your eardrums out without double hearing protection.

    Something I refuse to wear while hunting.

    rc
     
  11. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I shoot an 18" FAL regularly and don't consider it especially loud with single good hearing protection (good plugs or NRR29 muffs). I find that .308 has a dramatic difference in noise and blast going from 18" down to 16", but to me 18" is fine. YMMV.

    The standard military load is 147-150gr FMJ at about 2800fps. Match loads are commonly 168gr BTHP bullets, and Federal has an American Eagle load tailored to the M1A/M14 with 168gr BTHP bullets. For reloading you would want to avoid heavy charges of very slow powder, and most loads over 168gr probably aren't a great choice. The M1A is not nearly as sensitive to oprod damage as the Garand, due in part to the gas-compensating valve, but it's not a bolt action either.
     
  12. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    I ordered mine, it's a Norinco M14S 18.5'' Shorty for $450. Forged receiver and forged 1 piece op rod, USGI spec chrome lined medium contour barrel. 2x 20/5 round mags. These new ones apparently have better rear sights and tighter lock up of bolts than the 2009 Norincos we got. The finish is also supposed to be smoother. Comes with cleaning kit in the stock and crappy sling. Bayonet lug is useless due to piston gas plug. They say that these are worth the price just for the receiver alone. You can replace all the parts with USGI and still be under the price of a new SA. However, they work with the stock parts as well and reports are 1.5-2'' at 100 yards with stock iron sights

    [​IMG]
     
  13. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    I vote for the 18.5". It feels a lot better and hits the rifle weight/balance sweet spot for me. Much easier to move with and points very naturally.
     
  14. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    I don't have an M1A, but I've owned FALs in standard 21" and carbine 17.25" lengh barrels. IIRCC the loss of velocity is about 100 fps at the muzzle, not a big loss. The carbine does have a nice bark to it, but I wouldn't exactly shoot either without double hearing protection. The shorter barrel is noticably easier to swing and shoulder (and carry).

    My recommendation:
    If you are going for exteme accuracy/distance get the full size.
    If you are going to carry it around alot and shoot offhand at under 500 yrds get the 18".
     
  15. Buzzard II

    Buzzard II Member

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    18.5 is way too loud. If you buy this puppy, you should have ear plugs AND cups. Once you damage/lose your hearing, it does not come back. Nothing macho about losing your hearing! Bob
     
  16. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    It's not a big deal to double up on hearing protection. i have to since I wear shooting glasses as well so the ear muffs aren't a complete seal around the ear requiring ear plugs.
     
  17. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Furthermore, I'll just buy a 22'' M14 for $400 later when I want one.
     
  18. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    I know nothing of these guns, but could a different muzzle device help with noise? I know there a about a thousand muzzle devices for the AR platform.
     
  19. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I am really surprised about the noise comments. I find an 18" FAL less loud or painful to shoot than many 16" AR-15 types, even with A2 flash hiders. A 16" or shorter AR with a brake is painful, but common. I've shot a 14.5" .308 with a brake and that was out and out brutal, but to my ears the 18" .308 with a flash hider is nothing especially bad. Less loud than a typical 12ga I would think. (I do always wear good hearing protection.)
     
  20. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    There are lots of muzzle brake options for the M14 system. I think Smith Enterprises has a nice one.
     
  21. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    Unless you are recoil sensitive or live in a state that bans "flash hiders" I would recommend the Smith Vortex. They work great and won't make you rifle any louder like some muzzle brakes. I am unsure if the Smith brake will increase the noise, but you could probably call and ask.
     
  22. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Do muzzle brakes both reduce recoil and muzzle jump while also reducing muzzle flash?
     
  23. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

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    some actually increase muzzle flash from the shooters perspective
     
  24. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    Smith Vortex.
    I have one on a "Tanker" Garand and couldn't be happier.
    On an M1A I prefer the Scout Squad.
     
  25. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    I agree. This is the only downside I have found to my Walnut Scout Squad, the muzzle report is pretty sharp. It is less of a problem as shooter rather than observer standing right next to shooter but it still requires foam twist-ups + e-muffs to bring the noise to comfortable levels.

    In all other respects, I love it. Handy in close quarters and excellent balance, I wouldn't trade it for a 22".

    I would be willing to change the muzzle brake to a quieter version if one existed (muzzle brakes add significantly to muzzle blast behind the shooting line) but not sure which one to try.

    Dan
     
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