Which M1A's for distance accuracy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Col. Plink, Feb 19, 2015.

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  1. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Member

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    Hey y'all,
    Have been asked to coach a buddy on a purchase for his son. I've seen ads for the M21, are there others? He's hoping to shoot 600+ yds.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    The best M1A for long distance shooting is whichever one you can trade for an AR-10.



    :what:
     
  3. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    if he wanted to know about a a-10, he would have ask. not every one wants a larger ar. eastbank.
     
  4. short barrel

    short barrel Member

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    From what I've read, the standard model M1A is as accurate as the ones that are supposed to be more accurate. I don't actually know though. I do know that my standard pre-ban is more accurate than I can shoot it, and I'm no slouch.
     
  5. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Yes and if someone wants to shoot 600 yards they are probably going to want optics.

    Have fun putting a scope on an M1A without spending a ton of money and winding up a nonexistent cheek weld.

    M1A's are cool rifles but they don't hold a candle to a more modern rifle unless you want to throw a bunch of money at them. And even then they are heavier than Michelle's butt.
     
  6. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    In my experience my Super Match, Loaded, and Standard were all very similar with the Super Match actually being the least accurate of the 3. They were all close to 1.5 MOA shooters with Federal GMM or my hand loads. Now my SOCOM 16 was another story, with HORRIBLE accuracy.

    All that aside, I wouldn't buy a SAI M1A again due to poor QC and sloppy workmanship. I would pick a M14 clone from a different manufacturer.
     
  7. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    Well to be honest, its a classic rifle. if they didnt shoot well, you wouldnt see the competition ones.

    but for the most enjoyment and quickest road to long range shooting you would want optics. so call up springfield and theyll talk your ear off on their products.
     
  8. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    he ask about a m1a and all of a suddon a a-10 pops up and 600yds and scope mounting, well why not a rem 700 it blows them both away at any distance. but he ask about a mia. eastbank.:banghead:
     

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  9. jogar80

    jogar80 Member

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    I would not choose any M1A for long distance. Is he open to other options, or has to be the m1a?
     
  10. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    You guys must be VERY old, if you think you need optics for 600 yards.
     
  11. CLP

    CLP member

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    If you have the money LRB appears to make a nice M14 variant with a forged receiver with an integrated rail system. Looks nice. And they're not even afraid of mounting a flash suppressor with an evil bayo lug.

    http://www.lrbarms.com/m14riflesstandard.html
     
  12. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    The Springfield, M1A rifles that I've shot are the Standard and the Scout Squad. Both with irons only. I've shot them both to just shy of 300 yards. At that distance, I'm getting about 2 MOA, using hand-loaded, 168 gr SMKs seated with a competition die in meticulously prepared brass. I'm also slung-in and seated at a bench.

    I have no doubt that I could hit a man sized target at 600 yards. If I wanted better results, I'd use optics. I don't want optics on my M1As, too much trouble.

    I know you didn't ask, but for less money, a Rem 700 SPSV with the no-name scope that it comes with, will out shoot anything else I own.

    I love the M1A, hearing the ring of the bullet as it hits a steel gong makes me smile every-time! It's just not my choice for ultra-precise shooting.

    Just my .02 :)

    Good Luck
     
  13. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    As to the M21 or M1A? My M1A is a SA NM gun that I have had for over 20 years and it shoots just fine. Marine Corps, 1969 Edson Range, Camp Pendleton CA and with a standard issue M14 I could place round after round in the black prone position 600 meters with standard issue ammunition. There were no scopes.

    The original poster mentions the M21 so we are talking about a scoped rifle done right. Yes, the early M1A guns had a bad rap for using a scope. Considering they were never really designed for a scope I never saw that as a problem.

    Today, if I were to get another M1A it would likely be one of the LRB flavors mentioned by CLP. This does get you into the $3,000 family for a high end rifle. Are they worth it? Beats the hell out of me, the one I have shoots better than me.

    Seems many people love to slam the M14 and M1A and the majority of the slamming is done by those who, in many cases never owned one or those who did and never mastered the rifle. Yes, I also own an AR10 but this isn't about AR10 guns is it?

    My advice is if the guy wants a high end M14 type rifle like the M21 and has the money then buy the rifle and learn to master it and shoot it.

    Just My Take....
    Ron
     
  14. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    If your buddy is serious about mid-to-long range shooting with an M1A, then he'll likely want to look into having one built by a reputable gunsmith who is intimate with the M1A/M14. As previously mentioned, the cost will be steep.

    I shot my M1A across the course in NRA/CMP highpower matches and upgraded it as my skills improved. At the end I had converted it to a double-lug supermatch in a McMillan stock, built by a retired USMC 2112. I've got a little over $3K invested in mine, but man-o-man will it shoot!
     
  15. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Member

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    This made me laugh:
    nbkky, I'm curious about your group sizes (I'm sure they are small). I'm curious what an M14 pattern rifle is truly capable of given enough effort.

    And no optics for 600 yards? Yeah, you don't really need them I suppose. Man-sized targets are doable at that range, even smaller is totally possible. Heck, if you have a big enough black bullseye on a giant piece of paper you can shoot to 1,000 yards with irons and still make competitive groups.

    The reality is that in practical long range competitions (or just having fun on the farm) scopes have many advantages that iron sites do not. Other than offering a clear view of the target, scopes allow for easy compensation for coriolis, spin drift and wind. Tangent sites like on surplus rifles will get your drop adjustment set for 600, but not if you want to use different ammo or tune a handload for long range shots.

    Scopes are simply superior for real long-range shooting, period. Irons are cool and fun to use, but they are by no measure the end-all, be-all in this day and age of ballistic computers and precision optics.
     
  16. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    I suggested an AR-10 because the Original Poster stated that he had been asked to coach the son of a friend of his through the procurement of a rifle. This leads me to believe that we are talking about a young person. He wants to shoot to 600 yards. We don't know anything about the kids finances. We don't know if HE wants an m14 or if his dad thinks he needs an m14 or if the original poster thought the m14 was the best choice.

    Yeah if you are on the 600 yard line on a perfectly groomed range with high contrast targets, you can shoot targets at 600 yards with iron sights. Speaking as someone who has iron sights as the sole sighting system on half of my rifles, that is WILDLY impractical. You will get your ass handed to you if you enter a practical sniper competition match with iron sights. I don't see the allure of spending $3k to turn a fantastic battle rifle (the M14) into something that it is not.

    I think a young shooter wanting to hit steel at 600 would be better served with a $1000 AR-10, $200 match trigger, $1000 optic and 1000 rounds of Federal Gold Metal Match, than he would with a $3200 accurized M14 with no optic and no ammo.

    I'm off my soapbox. Your mileage may vary. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  17. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    As a matter of fact, I took my M1A out of the safe a couple weeks ago and worked up some new loads using some Nosler 168gr CC. With my hand loads, I was getting .88MOA.

    M1A-1_zpsxbqnd1vk.gif

    With USGI M118, I was getting .58MOA. I didn't include the last shot in that group since the wind blew my target over as I fired. I declared that shot a "range alibi" ;) Including the last shot, the group comes in at around .9MOA

    M1A-2_zpsr2wu2rri.gif

    Each group was fired at 100 yards off the bench with a front rest.

    Now for the embarrassing part...
    I was shooting my loads for group size and was having the weirdest results. Nothing would group less than 1.5 MOA; not even 168gr FGMM. I must have fired about 40 rounds of the rifle when I realized that I forgot to torque down the action screws! DOH! :mad: Afterwards, group sizes shrank considerably.

    Here's a pic of the old girl

    DSC03913_zps0fb72d59.gif

    I haven't shot the rifle in quite a few years but she would reach easily reach out to 600 yards. I tried to look for my old data books to see what kind of accuracy I was getting at that range, but that info has disappeared with the sands of time.
     
  18. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Where are "action screws" in a M14?
     
  19. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    I don't know about you new shooters or wanna be shooters, 42 years ago I qualified with a standard M14, today I am lucky to own a Springfield Armory Standard Loaded and still can hit a human sillouette at 400 yards or so, back in the military we qualified at 600 yards....I can still eliminate hogs at 300 yards or more with iron sights...depends how good a rifleman you are.
     
  20. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    A standard M1A uses the trigger group to anchor the receiver in the stock. A double lugged M1A has lugs added to the front and rear of the receiver. These are threaded and use screws to anchor the receiver in the stock. The stock must be inletted to accommodate the lugs.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a link showing pictures of the screws in the stock
    http://m14forum.com/m14/150708-double-lugged-m1a-2.html
     
  21. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Wow, that is fancy! Thanks.
     
  22. physhphude

    physhphude Member

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    It's possible, but at a price.

    I own a 1 moa capable M1A. It holds 1 moa to about 600 yards. At 100 yards i'm getting under 1 moa groups. I haven't shot extensively past that, but i'm impressed it shoots that well with a factory trigger.

    It's a Springfield armory loaded, chromoly barrel, Sage EBR chassis, and Leupold mk4 4.5-14 on an arms mount.
    I'm loading 168gr SMK with benchmark or varget.

    I think the Sage Chassis is crucial to getting under 1.5 moa in the M1A. I'm not sure that all SA M1A's will shoot sub moa after installing it in the sage, but my example does. I never shot it prior to mounting it. The Sage chassis allows the action to be bolted down, and has a tensioning screw for the barrel. You can adjust it, and change the location to alter barrel harmonics, but i'm satisfied with the accuracy i'm getting from mine.

    It's possible to get good accuracy in the standard stocks, but the bedding is fragile and breaks down over use.
     
  23. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I had a Springfield Armory M1A SuperMatch that would shoot 1MOA so I know it is possible. (It was built by Glen Nelson in 1986 with an air-gauged Douglas barrel and fully glass bedded).
    A new one can be had today but its not going to be cheap.
     
  24. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Do you still drive the same car that was state of the art technology 42 years ago? :neener:


    Nostalgia is fun. I like old rifles. But I'm not going to steer a young kid who wants to get into medium range shooting into a platform like the M14.

    Quality optics are better than irons. If they weren't our soldiers would still be using iron sights.

    All of our snipers are using very high end optics. The Marines are putting ACOGs on every rifle, and the Army is using Eotechs, Aimpoints, and ACOGs. Marines don't even qualify with irons anymore.
     
  25. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    this standard 1983 SAM1A will hold better than 2moa to 600yds with a 178gr A-max with varget, if i do my part reading wind-mirage. yes scopes are better than irons for most uses, but you should have the basic,s in iron sight use and adjustment as scopes and reflexs-dots do go bad and get out of whack. snipers do not get to resight their rifles in once in their hides. eastbank.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
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