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What's the difference b/t M1A and M14?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by leadcounsel, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    What are the practical differences of the semi-auto M14 and the M1A?

    Are mags interchangable?

  2. Archie

    Archie Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    An M14, by definition, has the internal workings to be adapted to full automatic configuration. It is in the eyes of the government, a fully automatic weapon, even when not in fully automatic configuration.

    An M1A does not have certain connecting rod parts, and is not machined to accept those parts. Hence, it is not a fully automatic weapon in the eyes of the government. This is the reason for the M1As existance; it is legal for general ownership and use.

    I also have it on good authority - an old match armorer I trust - the M14 rack grade gun shoots as well as the M1A match gun. I sure liked the one I had in boot camp.
  3. cuervo

    cuervo Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    The M14 was (and still is on a limited basis) the military's rifle. They were designed to be select fire but later had the selectors welded to be semi only. Since they were made "machine guns," BATFE considers them to be machine guns and very few are in civilian hands. A very few match rifles were ruled to be semi-auto regardless of BATFE's opinion.

    The M1A, and other versions like Smith, Fed Ord, etc., is a civilian copy of the M14. They were made semi from the start so are much easier to find and buy.

    They have mostly the same construction except the M1A's receiver was modified slightly to operate without the selector parts to keep the op-rod attached.

    They take the same magazines.
  4. Pipe Burn

    Pipe Burn Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    On the nit picky side, an M1A is the name of the M14 clone made by Springfield Armory. Other manufacturers of M14 clones usually refer to their rifles as M14's. Such as Fulton Armory, Smith Enterprises, LRB, etc.
  5. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    What is the difference between an M1A and an M14.
    As stated, it is the happy switch.
    All M14 rifles are select fire weapons though most of them have a connector lock that limits them to semi-auto only.
    The lock on these rifles can be easily replaced with the select fire switch and this is why these rifles are not made available to civilians from military stores.

    M1A rifles have also been produced with full auto select fire capability.
    Very, very few are in civilian hands in the US, the window for legal sales was very small.
    Many more found their way down to Central America.

    What is the biggest difference between a USGI M14 and a Springfield Inc M1A?
    The USGI rifle is made with a forged steel receiver and the Springfield Inc rifle is produced using an investment cast steel receiver and investment cast small components.
    Some manufacturers such as very early Smith Enterprise and the somewhat rare and hard to obtain LRB receivers are also forged steel but the majority of clone rifles, regardless of manufacturer, use investment cast steel receivers.
  6. Yanker

    Yanker Member

    Nov 18, 2008
  7. P-32

    P-32 Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    the dry side of Washington St
    Archie....man this is quite the statement. I've seen some great shooting match M1-A's. I wore out 3 match tuned M-14's in my Navy days. My personnel best 30 cal score was fired with a borrowed M1-A. This was also back in the day when I thought only real men shot 30's. I have since beat my best 30 cal score, a 764, with a AR several times over.
  8. Medusa

    Medusa Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    EE, Europe

    Now, if I could get those FA parts for that.

    DRYHUMOR Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    The OLD GI issue cleaning kits, if I recall, had a happy switch in them. They are few and far between at this time.
  10. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Northern Orygun
    Very few of the issued M14's had the select fire ability. A M14 on rock and roll is a hand full. I only recalls seeing a few in nam.
    All the M14's in basic and ait where semi only, Everyone got to shoot one mag of full auto in ait.

    I think he was pulling your leg. Not going to happen.
  11. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    Dec 16, 2007
    The M14 is a USGI military select fire battle rifle built on a forged receiver with a chrome lined barrel.
    Yes, most were converted to semi-auto only, but they all left the factories as select fire rifles.

    The M1A is a semi-automatic consumer copy of the military M14 built on a cast receiver by Springfield Armory, Inc.
    The M1A was once built will many USGI M14 parts, but these parts are rare on new production M1As and they have
    been replaced with reproduction parts.

    Aside from the select fire components found on the USGI M14 all parts are interchangeable, but fitting them to a
    reproduction cast receiver can pose problems.
  12. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Anchorage, AK
    The main practical difference between a semi-auto M14 and a Springfield M1A is going to tend to be the lack of mil-spec USGI parts on the latter, I'd think, which may (possibly) translate into reduced durability.

    Mags and accessories should interchange 100%, even if actual mechanical parts may not be entirely interchangeable.
  13. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    The big differances between the M-14 and M1A are:

    select fire capability vs semi
    forged vs cast receiver
    GI spec forged chromelined barrel vs ?
    GI spec everything else vs ?

    Also the extra select fire parts on the M-14 also make the rifle safer and stronger.

    The FA connector system that also holds the op-rod captive is missing on the M-1A, the way M-14 op rods are held on their raceway is better IMO.
    The FA connecter as well as tripping the hammer in the full auto mode also prevents out of battery discharges during semiauto fire.

    By neutering the rifle they made it less safe. (to make us more safe):banghead::banghead::banghead:
  14. Grunti39

    Grunti39 Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    NE Alabama
    Full Auto M14

    When I transfered to Vietnam I was selected by my CO to attend the new sniper school in anticipation of a yet to be formed new regimental sniper platoon. Upon return to my line company I was issued one of our armorer's M14 sniper rifles. No selector switch! My squad had three FA rifles and as a Marine was wounded or rotated, the new automatic rifleman got that piece. At one point in time we were down to only six Marines in a squad but those three FA rifles stayed with my squad along with my special. A three round burst is all anyone could hold on target! Naturally, the challenge was to hold 20 rounds anytime we were burning off ammo that we had been humping for a while. The last round was always at 11 o'clock! Due to casualties and lack of replacements, I stayed with my line company picking up my third PH. Upon my return from the hospital I convinced my skipper and Top to let me complete my tour as the DM. At that time my former CO was the S4 and he gave me one of the new Rem 700 which I carried for five months. I love the M14! It saved my hide many times! I have an M1A Nat. Match today and it shoots just as good as my M14 did when it counted. The Corps has requisitioned 3000 of the old beauty's to take out IEDs that the little 5.56 just can't reach out and touch! A good dependable rifle in the hands of a good shooter will always save lives!
    Semper Fidelis!
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