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M1A Question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ExAgoradzo, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    so, I have a mini 14 which ‘famously’ is ‘totally inaccurate’. I use it for plinking when I can go with buddies and esp kids if I’m ever able to get on a ranch and mess around. For less than 100 yards I’ve never found it to be poor in accuracy. OK, I’m not taking it to competitions, but I’m not good enough to compete anyway...

    It seems that the M1A has a similar reputation. If Patton felt their big brother was the greatest battle implement then it seems to me that platform will have some similar characteristics and Patton didn’t think them so inaccurate that they weren’t still good... High praise in my mind.

    Now I have shot an M1A exactly one session and it was at a ranch where we exploded every bit of limestone we pointed at (when we did our part). All way under 100 yards, I’d say 50-80 or so, just across the draw.

    I read ‘every M1A needs to have these 5 things done...’ But I want to be serious: for the purpose described above, or for SHTF, just picking one up out of the box, I imagine this gun will cost me a fortune in ammo??? Am I right??? I don’t want to buy a gun then spend several hundred more on upgrades...

    I’m thinking one of their wood stock scouts probably. not one of their more expensive models...

    Thanks for the advice...
    Greg
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Sounds like you would be well served by the standard rifle.
    I would think twice about the scout thing, unless you just LIKE muzzle blast.
     
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  3. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I don't consider the Mini-14 and the M1-A to be in the same class. I've never seen a Mini-14 that was very accurate but they were dependable. The M1-A on the other hand was shot in competition for a few years and set and broke records. Sure, they were tuned and customized.

    The basic M1-A thats offered now should do what you want.
     
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  4. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I had a brand-new poly-stocked Loaded model with the stainless heavy barrel. Accuracy was fine- 1-2" at 100 yds was no problem with with either iron sights or scope. It was reliable and the fit and finish were good. The 2 stage trigger took some getting used to, but was light and crisp.

    My gas cylinder plug did come loose after a few mags and had to be loc-tited back down.

    There were a few things I wasnt in love with, though. The standard length is ridiculously long and the heavy barrel made it very nose heavy. Also, the NM sight aperature and front post were waaaaaay too small to aquire or track a target quickly. They would be nice for iron sight competition, but useless otherwise.

    The Army discovered in Nam that the wood stocks were less than optimal for top accuracy because they would swell when exposed to moisture.

    It wasnt perfect, but it was a nice rifle and I kinda regret selling it. Thinking about a James River Para model or Socom now......
     
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  5. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    Thanks for noting:
    No, I'm not a fan of muzzle blast.
    I don't intend to hunt with it.
    Iron sights would be all I'd use with this. I could see myself upgrading the sights if necessary.

    Hmm...too long of barrel, hadn't thought of that. Both my Mini14 and my AR have ridiculously short barrels IMHO. The extra umph of the 308/7.62 would need a longer(ish) barrel...but how long is too long??? As I said, it isn't a hunting rifle, more of a plinking/I need to defend my castle against marauding hoards (not unthinkable in my area...).

    Thanks for the input gentlemen...
    Greg
     
  6. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    Now, I have no personal experience, but from my research (I've been lusting after an M1A for some time) the SOCOM 16" barrel models really give you considerable muzzle blast, the Scout Squad 18" barrel gives some but not terrible, and the standard 22" barrel isn't bad at all. My personal choice would be the scout as I think the 22" barrel may get a bit unwieldy
     
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  7. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The M1a standard barrel is very awkward to try to maneauver around a house and nearly impossible to get in and out of vehicles with. Also, even the 16 and 18 inchers still have almost twice the muzzle energy of a .223, so for your purposes, I think the shorter variants would be better.

    Ive shot a Socom, and although loud, the muzzle device does a good job of controlling blast. Didnt feel any on my face, anyway. Still wouldnt want to be standing next to somebody shooting one, though.
     
  8. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I have a Springfield (military arsenal) M1 Garand I inherited from my grandpa, and a Springfield (commercial company in IL) M1A that I got with my share of the money I got when my mom was killed in a car accident. I don't think they are to be confused. Springfield Armory cuts a lot of corners that become apparent when you start putting rounds through their rifles. Google search "Springfield Roller Impact Defect." Short answer, yes, the cast receiver Springfield uses to cut costs does have a derogatory effect on the performance of their rifles. I had the gas system on mine rattle loose after about 1000 rounds of various M80 ball. Accuracy went from ~2MOA, which isn't bad for cheap FMJBT and iron sights, to 2 MOA in diameter with 6 to 8 MOA in vertical stringing, especially when using a tight sling. I sent it to Springfield and they agreed to fix it to factory specs for free, or they would install a unitized gas system for the price of the components. I went with the unitized components. I was super excited to get the rifle back from them, because I really liked the rifle. It has not only sentimental, but nostalgic value to me. I completely understand the appeal these rifles have. But I got less than a dozen rounds through it before the roller fell off the bolt due to aforementioned tendency of the roller to impact Springfield's out of spec cast receiver. I can only have so many parts rattle loose or fall off of my rifles from normal range use before I start to lose confidence in them. So I bought an Aero Precision M5 AR10, just to make sure I had a functional battle rifle while I was messing around with the Springfield. I then very quickly realized that the AR10 is just the better shooting rifle. It is more accurate, more reliable, easier to clean and maintain, easier to work on and find components for, cheaper to acquire...the list goes on.

    If you are a working man on a budget, you'll get a lot more rifle for your money with an AR10. If you already have an AR10 and are looking specifically for an M1 or M14, I would recommend going through CMP for an actual Garand, or saving your pennies for an actual M14 clone--like the Smith Enterprise or LRB. In my opinion, Springfield just cuts too many corners with their cast receiver rifles. They still aren't cheap, and they lack a considerable amount of the performance of the better built rifles. Just be advised that regardless of what you choose, the M1A/M14 is going to require more work on your part to keep accurate and reliable, it is a much more difficult design to produce and this is going to be reflected in the cost to acquire it, parts and service might be difficult to find (esp if you get the M1A, as many M14 smiths won't work on Springfield Armory receivers), and it isn't going to be as accurate or as reliable as some of the fan boys seem to suggest it is. Sure they are accurate enough to be useful and fun in a nostalgic sort of way, but you invest so much into them for what you get out of them, that I just can't recommend them without at least providing some warning as to what you are getting yourself into.
     
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  9. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I suppose it would be too much to hope for that an M1A thread didn’t devolve into a, “you should get an AR10” thread.

    @ExAgoradzo

    I had an Springfield M1A standard. After executing a few of the accurizing tricks and doing some load development it was a legitimate 5 shot 1MOA rifle. 3k rounds through it and had not one single failure. None. Quality of the SAI offering is commensurate with the price. If you want a forged receiver prepare to pay 2x for one from some of the other clone makers

    I ended up selling it to fund another purchase. Checked in recently with the fella I sold it to and he is very happy ringing steel out to 600yrds with it.
     
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  10. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    I grew up right next door to the 82nd Abn Div. I knew/worked with a bunch of retired NCO's who'd enlisted prior to Vietnam and the adoption of the M16. They had first hand experience with the M14 and said that the rifle would walk all over creation when in automatic fire mode and was almost impossible to control. They had no problems with it in semi-auto mode, so I tend to disregard any claims about M1A's not being accurate in general.
     
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  11. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The M-14 had a very long and complicated gestation--it took 13 years to be adopted, and another 2-4 years to be fielded (circa 62-63) only to be usurped in 1966-67.

    There's nothing really "wrong" with the design, there's just not enough "right" to make it a first choice.

    It's an entirely legitimate piece of US military history, and the M1A can make a decent enough stand-in.

    As a battle rifle, it shares some complications with its contemporaries--FAL, & G3. Rock-n-lock magazines, less-than ideal optics mounts, questionable ergonomics (not major defects, just things that are less well thought out).

    The manual of arms can be mastered, but, it's plenty of work, and you have to concentrate on the one weapon to really master it.

    Which is why the design Eugene Stoner set out, where the controls are close to one hand, and the magaine locking straight in, have so overtaken the market.
     
  12. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I am not really a conformist, but if you find the same piece of advise keeps popping up from people with experience on the issue at hand, there may be some merit to it. So if every time an M1A topic comes up, people who have owned an M1A and an AR10 suggest the AR10 over the M1A, there may be a reason. Or in this case, a lot of reasons. It is a logical choice. You get a lot more AR10 for $1500 than M1A. The M1A is difficult to manufacture, even with the cast receiver. The heat treating is complicated and some parts, like the recess for the left locking lug are awkward and can only be cut by specially made machines. This adds to cost. As compared to the AR, which can be entirely manufactured on common CNC mills. The ease at which modern manufacturing can turn out quality AR receivers and components is why they are so cheap. Parts for the M1A can be hard to find and expensive, whereas the AR10 is much more common, available, and again, cheap. This includes magazines, which are half the cost of most M1A magazines. The AR is easy to take apart for cleaning. The M1A is more difficult, and runs the risk of damaging the stock, which is why it is recommended you take it out of the stock as little as possible. An on and on it goes, from initial cost vs quality to ease of maintenance and cleaning to ability to accessorize and add optics too--literally anything the M1A can do, the AR10 can do better. It really isn't even subjective. The AR10 is just the better rifle, in every respect.

    I had to find all this out the hard way. I think it would be very irresponsible of me, and not really High Road, if I didn't at least try to warn someone in an effort to prevent them from making the same mistakes I made. So in terms of function, I stand by my recommendation for a decent AR10. If one is set on getting an M1-ish design, I again think they get more rifle for the money going through CMP for an actual Garand. But if they want an M14, I think it is worth it to save for the forged receiver rifles. My experience with Springfield's cast receiver has not been good. I stand by my assertion that they cut too many corners. The rifles still aren't cheap, but don't have the performance or long term durability that the forged receiver rifles do. Your experience may vary, and that is fine. I am just trying to keep someone from ending up with a $1500 paperweight gathering dust in their closet.
     
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  13. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I’ve got a Scout and the muzzle blast issue is over-stated. It’s no worse than most 308 rifles I’ve shot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  14. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    Very happy with my SOCOM; perfectly accurate at the distances I shoot and as already correctly noted: muzzle blast is not an issue.
     
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  15. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    The Mini will outshoot most folks. Quite often shooters blame equipment for their shortcomings.

    The M1A has even greater accuracy potential. Again more than most folks can adequately employ.

    I know my Mini and Scout will outshoot me.
     
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  16. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I have a standard M1a, my second. I currently have it in a walnut stock. It is very accurate as was my first. If you do your part the rifle will hit anything you can see, and some things you can't.
     
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  17. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    With a name like MTMilitiaman, the last thing I would think is ‘conformist’: LOL...

    I didn’t include the AR10 in my thinking for two reasons: both subjective, and both potentially overruled.
    1. I love wood stocks...warping, ok...heavy, yep... Do you have an AR 10 in wood...now we may start a conversation...
    2. I have an AR15. It’s fine. I like it, sort of. For the purpose...you betcha. The best gun I own. I hope I never use it for that purpose...
    I would need to do research on it: I understand that unlike the 15, the 10 has parts that are not interchangeable with other models. Kinda like the 8mm Mauser. I don’t like confusion, so I don’t plan on owning one.

    Now, the Garand idea...that has merit, but once again, I have to use 150gr bullets made for it or loaded right: I like the idea of shooting mass loaded 168gr 308s that I could turn into SHTF purposes, Lord willing that will never happen.

    thanks for the input everyone...

    Greg
     
  18. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    This is essentially the rifle our country took into Vietnam. The M1A is a copy of the rifle our country developed as an upgrade to the M1 rifle. In that regard their goals were to
    1. Reduce weight
    2. Increase firepower to counter the new assault rifles.
    3 Maintain or enhance reliability.
    4 Maintain the excellent sights and hit probability
    5 Maintain the familiar controls/ ergonomics of the M1.
    The barrel was shortened and a flash suppressor added. A 20 round detachable magazine was added. The rifle was select fire capable. The gas system was changed so that the op rod and piston became separate.
    Once you become accustomed to it, the rifle handles quite well. After all it sports only a light contour 22" barrel and relatively short LOP. It has less recoil than the M1 and faster follow up shots are possible. It is very accurate. The standard 2 stage trigger is outstanding with a clean break.
    Optics mounting can be done with several mounts, bassett, a.r.m.s., sadlak. The stock would need a cheek pad for a cheek weld. An optic makes the rifle unwieldy, but gives increased accuracy, and the ability to see targets 30 min earlier and 30 min later in the day.
    The rifle offers slightly better reliability, similar accuracy and more terminal performance compared to an AR15. However the AR15 user will enjoy less recoil, lighter weight, as well as more hits on target in a given time. The AR15 is also more wieldy with an optic on board.
    In hand to hand combat one would surely desire the extra length and weight of the M1A with bayonet.
    Standard M1A rifles with GI contour stocks are as heavy as you want to go in a carrying rifle. Weight will add up quickly if you opt for heavier bedded stocks, or medium/ heavy barrels.
    You will be very hard pressed to find an AR10 style rifle with a 22" barrel as light as the standard M1A. Its shortened Garand receiver and bolt are a more weight efficient design than the AR in spite of being all steel. Because of its remote short stroke enclosed piston, steel receiver, 2 lug bolt with massive lugs and no gas rings, and lightweight carrier, the M14 is a greatly superior rifle to almost all AR10s where carrying and open sights shooting are concerned. However a purpose built military grade lightweight AR10 with an 18.5" barrel and magnified combat optic would have some advantages requiring serious consideration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  19. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Ya, I agree, the lack of receiver/bolt/ magazine standardization with the AR10 platform is annoying, but pretty much all the manufacturers use AR15 small parts, so its not all proprietary.

    There are many .308 Garands floating about out there, and rebarrelling is pretty common. I believe the CMP offers a .308 conversion package as well as complete .308 guns.

    As far as regular Garands go, all you need is an upgraded gas cylinder plug to shoot off-the-shelf hunting ammo, such as one from Schuster or Garand Gear.

    Some food for thought.:)
     
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  20. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Well Greg, a lot of the reasons for why you wanted an M1A were the same reasons I did. If you have the itch for a M14 clone, an AR10 isn’t going to scratch it.

    5W4ub52.jpg

    I’d have no reservations buying another Springfield Armory model.
     
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  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I've got a 16" Socom16... it's a blast to shoot, and anyone who shoots it loves it. The proprietary muzzle brake absolutely works... but it is loud, particularly in the confines of a shooting stall or indoor range... but you are wearing hearing protection, right? Neither the Scout or the Standard have a 'brake,' just the flash hider, so they are not as loud, per se. Shooting outdoors, meh, whatever. Everything makes noise when you pull the trigger.

    I bought the Socom but wanted the Scout. A call to Springfield revealed there were none to be had (at the time) so I went into the store intending to buy a standard... and then they had that silly Socom16 hanging on the wall... I came home with the Socom16 and have never regretted it... for the purpose I intended it for. If I was more a bench rest guy, or a long-range shooter... the Scout or Standard would make more sense.

    People poo-poo the M1a's reliability or need for proper service... well, that's true enough. It DOES require proper maintenance and maintenance technique, so what? As far as the M1a vs AR-10... I've heard just as many reliability complaints about that platform as I have about the M1a, so it's all relative. I have about 5000 hard rounds through my Socom, I have never had a failure related to the rifle... this on a rifle that doesn't really receive the maintenance it deserves. As far as aftermarket parts... I shimmed the gas lock (about $5) and replaced the gas piston (not necessary, but nice) and it's GTG, 100% Shimming the gas lock is the easiest way to pick up accuracy... and is probably the cheapest, it's a no brainer.

    As far as the cost of ammo... well, that's up to you. Ball ammos can be had for .50/rd, which is about twice what cheapo 5.56mm goes for, but all things, again, are relative.

    ExtrAoNm.jpg

    CPrTRZym.jpg
     
  22. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I am not an M1 hater. I actually really like the design and enjoy shooting them. They do have an Old World, "real rifle" feel to them that is impossible to replicate in some more modern designs. I get that. I just think a potential user needs to be aware that the designs are more expensive to manufacture and require more from the user to maintain. If you want an M14, get one. I don't think they are the best choice, but they are certainly still a valid choice. I still don't know if I can recommend the Springfield M1A to scratch that itch, but certainly, they have a solid hold on the entry level market for that design. So again, if that is what you are looking for, knock yourself out. Just be advised they do cut some corners that will become apparent as you get more rounds through it.
     
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  23. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I call the M1 Garand and the M1a... 'very physical rifles' to shoot and operate. Everything is very slam, bam, chink-chink, pow! It's a lot of fun. The AR, for example, is far more refined in the 'user interface' portion of the manual of arms... not better or worse, just different... as a Glock is different from a 1911, etc.

    Besides producing a reasonable rifle, Springfield also has a Lifetime Warranty on the M1a (unless that has changed, recently) so it's very hard to go wrong there.
     
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  24. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Arguably one of the best in the business.
     
  25. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The program to develop what became the M14 was titled "The Lightweight Rifle Program"

    I find it somewhat amusing that the resulting weapon was almost exactly the same weight empty and actually heavier fully loaded, and longer that what it replaced....then they neutered the full auto capability on everything but the M14A1.

    To top it all off, after the M14 was adopted, the Army "dumbed down" the marksmanship syllabus, eliminating qualification requirements beyond 300 meters.
     
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