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M1A Forum

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dobe, Feb 20, 2003.

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  1. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    What is the best forum for the M1A / M14?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dobe
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Depends...what info do you want?

    If you're looking for competition info, one of the HP sites would get you farther, but if you're looking for collector's info or maintenance info, www.jouster.com would be best. They don't like M1As though...some have them there, but they are an M14 group mostly.
     
  3. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Thanks Steve,
    What is an HP site?

    My interest is competition and maintenace.

    Dobe
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    HP = Highpower, as in NRA Highpower Rifle.

    Frankly, the M1A/M14 is just about dead in the Highpower world. A little can be gleaned from the Jouster M14 forum as far as competition, but most of those guys were either competitors 30 years ago or just collectors. They CAN help tremendously with maintenance and troubleshooting. Just be prepared for "the problem is obvious, you have an M1A not an M14" comments. :rolleyes: The Jouster "On the Firing Line" site is pretty good for generic competition info and has some really good shooters posting there.

    Anyway...for additional generic competition info, I'd suggest you go to www.nationalmatch.us and http://forums.delphiforums.com/flahighpower/messages for competition related info. The second site is a really good one even though it says "Florida" It is really active and has shooters from all over posting there. There will be a drop down window at the top with more local HP sites.


    Perhaps I can help you too...got a question?
     
  5. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Perhaps you can help Steve. I was thinking of getting an M1A this year, and I wanted to do a little competition with also. Mostly, I like this rifle, but I also thought that the competition would be fun.

    You mentioned that this rifle isn't used that much in competition. Why is that? Is is accuracy? Maintenance? Do bolt guns rule?

    Dobe
     
  6. COHIBA

    COHIBA member

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  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    You sound like me a few years ago.

    I wanted an M1A and got one. Started wanting to "do" something with it. Started talking to competition guys, and found out I had the "wrong tool for the job." I shot the M1A a while, but quickly found that those guys were right...the AR dominates the sport now.

    So, if you want to shoot an M1A, go for it, and I can tell you what will and won't help you. Just be aware that you will be at a distinct disadvantage to the AR guys. The first problem, and the one you will face from the beginning, is the recoil. It isn't bad, but it will move you and the slick buttplate on the rifle doesn't help. Positions must be perfect for you to really perform in the rapid stages.

    More later...the world demands my attention.
     
  8. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Hey, wait a minute. Don't stop there. I need more input Steve. Why do the AR's dominate besides recoil? Has it simply turned into an AR game?

    Dobe
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    lol...I'm back.

    Ok, first of all, you have to keep in mind that I am only coming from a Highpower perspective. There are other rifle games. I don't know of any that will favor the M1A, but that had to be said.

    Anyway..

    The recoil issue isn't the only reason for the M1A/M14's demise in HP. In fact, it was just a minor reason. The real reason is the cost to make and keep the M1A in match condition. Lots and lots and LOTS of work has and still goes into making M1As shoot consistently well at 600 yards. Bedding the rifle to a wooden stock is just the beginning. Add to that the cost of anchoring that gun into the stock as described in Kuhnhausen's book or one of the other methods (hidden screws or bolts anchoring through the stock into the receiver), adding lugs to the receiver, tuning the gas system, and gluing the handguard to the front ferrule so it doesn't move around (you can never handle your rifle that way again after doing that!) and correcting the slop in the rear sight. So, you start with a $1200 rifle and then you do all that. You'll have $2200 in it before you blink your eye. Then your rifle will recoil into all that work and eventually degrade it, forcing you to do it again. Rebarrelling is a higher cost, too. Enter the AR-15.

    (I'll keep this short since you're interested in the M1A, not necessarily HP)
    The AR, due to its modular design, is really more of a match rifle to begin with than it is a fighting rifle. The NRA and CMP approved free float tubes since all the bedding was allowed on Garands and M14s. So, about all you have to do to an AR to make it shoot is give it a good trigger, a strong float tube, and a good barrel. Maybe upgrade the sights. Amazing machines, and they will put the shame on an M14 even at 1000 yards if the right nut is behind the trigger. Of course, all this has to do with punching holes in paper, not knocking anything over. But the training is what you're after. A completely top-notch match ready AR will run less than $1500. Those that are really "in it" spend less than that.

    Snap back to reality. You're a beginner. You're so much of a beginner that you don't even know if what I'm talking to you about is what you want to do. So. Take all this high-echelon stuff with a grain of salt. The bottom line is that you could probably make it to the bottom of Expert class with a bone stock AR or M1A if you try really hard. You likely won't be winning classes or getting "leg" points (another discussion altogether) though. So, if you want to get an M1A, by all means get it. Take it out and shoot the crap out of it and have fun. Shoot it in matches as much as you can. You'll learn a ton. If you want to learn riflery AND be competitive, I'd say to get an AR, as it will be easier and cheaper to upgrade and much more competitive with the rest of the line.
     
  10. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    OK Steve, I can see that I am getting hooked already. I am not married to the M1A, at least not yet. If I were to get an AR for competition and etc. which one would you recommend?

    Dobe
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    There is a lot to talk about here. I really don't want to pull you away from getting an M1A...you just sounded a lot like me when I thought I wanted an M1A. I still have it, but it doesn't get used.

    I am going to give you an assignment that will keep you busy for a while. Search here and TFL for "Highpower" and if you get too much Browning High Power crap then re-search for Highpower and cross reference with my name. You will read that there are several varieties of HP, with Match Rifle and Service Rifle being the two main types. I shoot Service Rifle and that's what I've been talking to you about. All of them focus purely on the basics of marksmanship. It is a tough sport but the mastery is in optimum positioning, breathing, sight alignment, trigger control, follow through, and wind reading. If you master HP, you will have the foundation to master any riflery sport. The inverse is not always true. You will also read what I and others think about AR brands and equipment. You'll also see that its not a cheap sport to get into, but in the long run its not bad at all. The poster JC121 is a good friend of mine and is a very good shooter. His posts are very worthwhile as well.

    Above all, do not jump at what you "think" will work...ask first. If anything is true in the sport, its that REAL Highpower shooters look out for newbies like their own hatchlings. None of my friends will ever try to get you to buy something in order to help them line their pockets.
     
  12. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Thanks Steve,
    The education begins.

    Dobe
     
  13. Grin&Barrett

    Grin&Barrett Member

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    Try going to & watching a HP match. Speak to the competitors. If you are going to be serious you will have to meet them & shoot against.
     
  14. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    TFL is a good source.

    But I'm quite biased, too. I cut my Highpower teeth on an M14NM, even though I own a couple AR's. Last time I was at Camp Perry, you could see how the firing line had gone over to the Dark Side, as it were. Steve's right, for poking holes in paper way out there, those heavy-bullet, single-loaded Stoner guns are dominating. And proving that we dinosaurs are indeed a dying breed. ;)
     
  15. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    I guess its hard to argue with success.
     
  16. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    Then I'll do it. :)

    Very earrly on, I had the chance to shoot a couple of tweaked AR15's. I agree with eveything Steve's said about them; for economy and accuracy between the two, there's no question that it's cheaper and quicker to use a '15 than an M1A if the goal is to be more accurate (cheaply and quickly). As I recall, the first time I shot a '15, I got ~.375 MOA from 100-300yd with it (scoped). The other one shot just under .30 MOA at 100yd; I got these kind of results with almost no rifle-shooting experience (at the time). I had always wondered why the '15s and the AK's held so much appeal to the masses--now I know--it's so damned easy to get moderately good groups with little inherent skill or practice. (That's not to insult the masses of AR and AK users; it's just a reflection of my findings after shooting a rifle for the first time and getting such results.) So little work was required in comparison to all the trials I went through to get me and my M1A to the point of "accuracy"; (and that "accuracy" is in no way comparable to the '15's I shot). My friends, who own those AR's, told me what kind of 'smithing was necessary to get those guns to that potential; it cost about half what my M1A cost me. Their work with reloads was about 60% of the work I had to perform to get my groups to 'satisfactory' accuracy(in my mind) -- on a good day, I'm getting between .4 and .5 MOA; on a bad day, I'm in the .8MOA's. One of the AR's I shot was guaranteed to shoot 1/2" at 100yd! (that's the one that I remember shooting ~.375 MOA out to 300yd with reloads.) My M1A is guaranteed 1" at 100, and I paid $100 less than my friend did for his, as I recall.

    I'm just ready for competition now; I've never shot in one, though I've shot the LR with friends. My point is, this is from a guy who's got no competition experience--I'd rather be in the competition with my M1A. There's just no "there" there in the '15. It feels like Mattel. There's nothing 'classic' about the AR, if that's important to you. (I really found the "sproinnng" of the recoil spring to be quite annoying--in both the guns I shot, the sound was exactly at the right vibration and pitch to buzz in my ears for a couple hours after I shot them, and that was only 20 and 30 rounds at two different sessions. I must admit that no one else I know has ever complained of this.)

    If winning competitions (or at least, scoring high among the field) is important to you (and I don't mean this in an insulting manner to anyone in competitions) then maybe the AR is the only road to the top.

    If you can't / haven't made a decision, buy a couple of boxes of Black Hills or Fed GM in .223 and .308 and "stalk" the local rifle line for M1A and AR shooters. Explain your situation to them; ask them if they'd mind if you shot a box of ammo thru their rifle, (when they're free of course) and maybe leave them a box as a 'thank you'. Don't forget to ask how long you should wait between shots; you don't want to burn out a barrel, nor alarm the owner by capping of your 20 rounds in 3 minutes--they'll tell you how much time they'd like you to wait if you asked. It's one hell of a cheap experiment and might help you decide if you haven't already.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2003
  17. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    how are you doing Dobe.
    with either rifle you are going to have fun.

    you need to sit down and decide what you want to do with the rifle you want.

    if you want my opinion here it is.
    I shot the m1a from about 85 to 93 in service rifle competitions and even used it in numerous long range matches. dang I love those things and they look great also.

    you are looking at about a grand at least to get into one of them and around 500 more for a match grade. (its been awhile since I looked so those prices could be a little off).

    my last m1a match rifle back in the late 80's cost me about 3,500 to build and to compete at the national level its not going to be any cheaper.

    ammo cost alot more
    mags cost alot more
    parts for repairs and to keep it in top shape cost alot more.

    I put several thousand rounds a year down the barrel of my m1a's and never ever had a problem with them but they were being built by folk's that were winning championships also.

    there is nothing wrong about a m1a and I have seen guys shoot and win at the local level in the last year with great scores.

    now the ar15. a bushmaster or rock river match rifle threw the cmp is right at under $900 to your door plus the mags and ammo is alot lower than the 308.

    what you might try (what area of the country are you in) is call a local club as most ranges that do highpower have rifles for you to use. either a m1 grand or ar15.

    we have clinics here in co. that last the whole day and the match ar15 and ammo is provided for that course of fire that day.

    remember what ever you try have fun as that is the reason you are out there.
    also you will get better each time you go out for awhile and its fun to see a improvement and remember no body started at the top we all started just as you are.

    as far as accurracy goes? I have no clue what is better from a bench or sand bag as I have never shot either from one. it is not the position I shoot from so I do not practice from a bench it does me no good.

    I could clean the target in slow fire prone with either the ar15 I shoot now or the m1a back then so its half of one or half of the other.

    now where the big difference is for the ar15's as was pointed out by steve is in the rapid fire stages. I have never cleaned the rapid sitting or prone with a m1a but the ar15 is alot easier to do that and have done it in both of the rapids.

    what may surprize you is that the ar15 is getting very close to beating the match bolt and space guns at the nationals. in reduced matches the ar rules the field over everything around here.

    if it was me and I was just starting out and wanted to have fun why not a m1a as you can always upgrade to a match ar15 later.

    if you are really planning on a match rifle get the ar but other wise buy what makes you happy but please do not buy the m1a and plan on upgrading it as it will cost you.

    boingg I remember that sound, put a light coat of grease on the spring and you will not here that again as I find that noise annoying when I shoot.

    if you are here in colorado and you go to a match with me you may use my match service rifle ar15 and I will furnish the ammo and equipment as only my ammo goes threw my rifle. all it would cost you is the match fee and the time.
    email steve smith and he will get you a range that shoots highpower close to you.

    good luck and ask more questions, jon
     
  18. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    jc121,
    Thanks,
    I live in Louisiana, but I appreciate the invitation. It looks like the AR may be the answer to what I really want to do. I too like the M1A, but I am pragmatic. I cannot afford the constant upkeep that you and Steve are telling me.

    I have been reading the old post of yours and Steve's. I have not finished them yet. When I do, I will have additional questions.
    At this point, I would like to shoot service rifle. I am assuming that this is a class where the rifles still actually look like rifles.

    Highpower seems like a great fraternity.
    Thanks
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Looks like a real rifle to me! Here's a great pic of SSGT Grant Singley, USAMU, three time winner of National Interservice Championship.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, this is a great fraternity. There are a few bad apples, but they are few and far between.
     
  20. 7.62mm

    7.62mm Member

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    Places to shoot - LA HP

    Dobe:

    If you live in South Louisiana, Baton Rouge Gun Club is about to open it's new range between Donaldsonville and White Castle on the Palo Alto Plantation property. March, I think. Initially they will have 300 yards available, but have the impact berm and shooting points for a 600 HP line already in place. As soon as they get the money, they will complete that range. Don't have a contact number or website, unfortunately. The information on supplied by a quick "Google" search is outdated. If you are interested, I can find out.

    Fusilier Complex, formerly Hub City Rifle and Pistol Club in Lafayette, has purchased a section of land near Arnaudville and will have rounds downrange on a 300 yard line by summer. There is room for a 1,000 yard range and as soon as they have the finances, they will construct it. Expect '04, for that one.
    Can be contacted by at:

    http://www.hcrpc.com/

    Beaumont has a really fine range with both HP and LR matches. Can be contacted at: http://www.thepeepsite.com/gtgc/

    Southwest Gun Club/Louisiana Shooting Association stage matches at Fort Polk, LA on range KD-23. (They have a matches on Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23, 2003) You can contact them through the LSA at: http://www.lsa1.org/ (Look under "Ft. Polk Matches")

    If you live in North Louisiana, Panola County Gun Club in Carthage, TX is another fine place to shoot. Contact at:

    http://www.tyler.net/pcgc/

    Several other places to shoot, check with the NRA.

    When Fusilier is operational, if are in the area, you will be welcome to try my M1A. It will hold .448 MOA at 100 yards (Bench, Scope). Federal Match or Black Hills will be acceptable.

    You're right, the HP fraternity is a fine group of people.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    7.62mm
     
  21. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    7.62,
    Thanks.
    I was a member of that club for a while. We went through two ranges that we were forced to close. I will get in touch with some of my buddies from the club.

    Thanks again
    Dobe
     
  22. 7.62mm

    7.62mm Member

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    Dobe:

    You're very welcome. Check on us at Fusilier in a couple of months. We hope to restart the reduced range HP matches this summer and it will be in the NRA Shooting Sports magazine.

    Short range courses are an excellent way to introduce yourself to HP Competition.

    Regards,

    7.62mm
     
  23. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    Great thread - thanks to all for the information.

    Very frustrating to read this from behind 'enemy lines' in California - not many options for new shooters interesting in really competing, are there?

    This is very distressing and depressing.

    -s
     
  24. HankL

    HankL Member

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    Steve and jc121, Thank you both! Now I know why I keep some things in the corner and stash M 118 while tinkering with AR's.
    :)
     
  25. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    I'll be there, and thanks for the invitation. Now, Steve, 7.62, and jc121, I need a basic idea on what it will cost to get started. There is the rifle. From what I have read, it seems like I can get set up fairly well for under 1200. I suppose a shooting glove and jacket is in order.

    I had better start completing those honey-dos, so that I can book some points.

    Thanks agian fellows.
     
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