Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by giggitygiggity, Apr 28, 2011.
What company makes the best M14/ M1A? Thank you.
just bought me a new Springfield M1A, I hope it is as good as advertised and praised everywhere I go on forums.
Springfield M1A...just as advertised
First time posting. I've found my Springfield Nat'l Match M1A to fire straight and true with it's iron sights. It functions as advertised and is up to the shooter to hit the target. Once you have it sighted in then let yourself have fun. It doesn't kick like a mule the way my Savage Model 12 does and falls back into a natural position for the next shot. I think you'll enjoy it.
I truly do like my Springfield M1A Supermatch.
Springfield Armory Inc. has the best warranty and a terrific rifle. I have a 1978 manufacvture Super match and a 2007 SOCOM 16.
Springfield Armory is the only one that goes by the name M1A....but there are many M14 "clone" makers. it depends on what you are wanting the gun for and how much money you are willing to spend. judging by your question, i am assuming you are new to the M14 world. in that case i recommend the Springfield M1A. it is the most quality M14 clone for the price. anything else is going to be overpriced or too cheap.
the ones that rank below the Springfield M1A are Armscorps and the Chineese made M14s (Norinco and Polytech). Fulton Armory is considered a step up from Springfield, but ive heard their gun does not warrant the price which is arguably the same quality as the M1A.
the most elite civilian M14 type clones are made by LRB Arms, Smith Enterprises and 7.62mm Fire Arms. they make genuine military spec hammer forged receivers and build the gun with original military M14 parts. you can buy 3 M1A rifles for the cost of one of those however. and most of the people that want those guns are buying them because of the collector value of the rare GI M14 parts. that type of gun is really more for bragging rights more than anything......i think newly made "cast" parts are just as good as 50yr old used "forged" parts.
Springfield Armory makes all their own parts and they have a lifetime warranty. you cant beat it. i own four and love them all.
so "the best" you ask?.........answer: Springfield Armory. simple and easy.
if money was no object and i could have a M14 built from the ground up with bran new GI guts.......i'd give 7.62mm Firearms a call. i hear they do great work.
whatever you do, don't buy a M14 that says "made in China". last i checked, the M14 was an American made rifle that was to fight communists.....not be sold by them.
You cant go wrong with SAI from my experience with owning several, and shooting quite a few in addition .
Note: They have their own parts made for the M1A's, and bbls are not chromelined, unless you find an older M1A with a USGI bbl. Receivers are cast.
LRB ARMS/ SMITH ENTERPRISE INC.
I would have to rate LRB ARMS as the top dog however, with Smith Enterprise at a very close 2nd......or tied at 1st. ( 1st hand experience with the M14Sa and M25, and the M25 was built by SEI.) I haven't had my mitts on the new SEI receivers, as they are not released yet.
Note: LRB uses GI parts for their builds, along with a few of their own now. Options include several different bbls and a few that are chrome lined. Receivers are forged, and you might also be interested in their M25 receiver.
Note: SEI builds rifles under Military contracts as well as for the public.
I have heard alot of great things about this company, and wish them well, as they actively are working with several reputable M14 doc's to produce the best product possible.
Note: They make alot of their own parts, forged or cast receivers, and chrome lined or non chrome lined bbls.
JAMES RIVER ARMORY
No first hand with any builds from them, but understand that they build with GI parts, chromelined or non chome lined tubes depending on what the customer wants, and also uses a variety of different receivers, such as LRB for example......
Nice builds from my experience with them. A mix of their own parts, and GI parts with various bbls to choose from. Cast receivers.
Chi-com rifles (Norinco/Polytech)
Good luck finding one in the states for a decent price nowadays. Decent rifles from my hands on with a few. Forged receiver along with chrome lined tubes. If you locate one, PM me with the contact info of the owner, and I will call him and see if he will allow me to dispose of it properly.
Out of business now, but can sometimes be found in the used market. Cast receivers. Be advised that some were built with GI parts, while others were built with chicom parts if you run across one.
What the rifle's ultimate purpose is may have alot to do with which one you want to go with..... not to mention allocated funds.
1. Match rifle for use in competition: ( Pick your poison from the above, as any of them could be great for match shooting)
2. M14 service rifle replica: ( 8620 Hammer forged receiver with all GI parts to include the bbl). LRB/SEI/762.
3. Walter Mitty: More preference here than anything. 18.5in standard weight tubes that are chrome lined (Criterion preferably in my case). Forged vs cast matters little to me in this regard, but receiver dimensions must be correct, as I prefer GI and SEI parts for them as builds, along with receiver optics mounts designed for the M14 service rifle. My #1 for this application = a "Tanker" build, using the above mentioned components assembled on a Norinco M14S receiver topped off with an Arms 18 mount.
The key point here is that this purpose build must be as reliable as possible.
4. Collector rating is as follows....
2. LRB ARMS
5. Chi com
5. A fun gun for the range= any of them and in any flavor. Depends on what you like to shoot, how you like to shoot, and when you like to shoot.
SAI would have to lead the pack in this category.
good overview Fragout......you went into more detail. and yes, the "Chi-comm" Chineese M14s are in fact in demand because they do have forged receivers and chrome barrels. they are great buys for people wanting to do a rifle build.........so, parts of them ARE quality. what the savvy M14 people are doing is buying the Commie M14s and then replacing the bolt, as they have soft (weak) bolts, and having a M14 smith headspace a GI bolt to put in there.
note to the OP: how much money do you want to spend? you can get a slightly used M1A standard for just over $1,000. im not sure what you are looking for, but if you want a normal GI looking M14 i recommend buying a M1A standard with fiberglass stock, then replacing it with an original GI wood stock. then find a flash suppressor with a bayonet lug. my biggest complaint about Springfield is that they still sell their guns with non-lugged flash suppressors.
Thanks for the kind words Skipbo32. I have a few speculations as to why SAI doesnt have bayonet lugs, but at any rate......it is annoying to say the least....lol
The M1A/M14's can be addictive. It is possible that you might end up with more than one.
As far as I know, there is no cure for this addiction once it sets in.
My wife didnt understand at first, until she became addicted too.....
FTR...... I had nothing to do with it, as it has not been proven to be contagious......
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it........
you are married to a woman that likes M14s too?! now that is what i call a good marrage! lol.
Fragout. fill me in on Fulton Armory and how they compare with SAI. i have not read much on them. they are good you say?
The FA that I have the most hands on with actually belongs to another family member, and is an older one back when FA had Armscorp building them receivers, and using GI parts for the builds. It sports a GI 22in std weight chrome lined bbl (Winchester), and a TRW bolt... if memory serves me.
Receiver geometry is spot on, as SEI, and ARMS18 mounts fit as should.
Heel mark says M14NM. (I have also seen M21 marked FA receivers before)
The stock is a walnut "GI contour", and without a selector lever cut....... which I prefer over the SAI walnut "Boyds" stocks.
If I was gonna build one from a stripped cast receiver, it would be an FA.......simply because they are not as common, and I like the way the receiver looks a tad more than the M1A.
Like you, I have been around more SAI M1A types,(compared to FA) and have not personally run into a bad M1A as of yet.
If both are built correctly, the M1A costs less, and has a lifetime warranty ( new or used) in comparison.
Customer service from SAI is excellent, as I did use it with a used XD handgun before.
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