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Why are M1A's so expensive?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by pwrstrkd, Apr 26, 2012.

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  1. pwrstrkd

    pwrstrkd Member

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    I understand they are high quality, but does the cost make sense and worth it? Im not asking this in budgeting terms, just asking to see if the product matches the price.
     
  2. tk1971

    tk1971 Member

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    Have you ever shot one?
     
  3. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    They cost what they cost because people willingly pay the asking price - that is the same with ANY consumer product
     
  4. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    If I needed one rifle to get the job done, I would reach for my M1A. :)
     
  5. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    M14/Garand based guns are very not cheap to manufacture even with modern techniques - Mini 14s not withstanding - and the rifles share nearly no componentry whatsoever with other firearms for costs to be spread out by parts suppliers and sub contractors.

    It's clearly a market that never would have existed had the government not initiated the Garand program. No one would have spun up to manufacture the system to support a sportsman only market.
     
  6. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    Labor cost. That's it. New Polytechs go for $399 in Canada.
     
  7. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    Bottom line: the major parts of the rifle are expensive to manufacture. Look at the cost of a bare receiver: anywhere from $500 - $900, depending upon manufacturer.
     
  8. dubya450

    dubya450 Member

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    IMO I think they're just too expensive. I'd buy one if they were about half the price but when I was comparing one to the fnar I bought they just seemed heavy and clunky to me. They just didn't "feel right". Needless to say they are nice rifles and I would like to own one simply for the cool and historical factor but not for $2,000.
     
  9. jdh

    jdh Member

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    The Mini-14 does not use a Garand/M14 type operating system. It is closer to the M1 Carbine.
     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Not saying it does - just don't want it used as an example of an inexpensive (relatively) version as the Chicom ones are - erroneously.
     
  11. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    Lots of machining required in the receiver and bolt, just like a 1911. Machine time is expensive and takes a skilled (expensive) person to do it.

    Better question: why are AR10's so darned expensive! Much simpler machining there.
     
  12. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    I find them going for considerably less than $2,000. I have found them at my local gun shops with a sticker price around $1400-$1600.....Now the National Match rifles are upwards of 2 grand.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    M1a’s are expensive
    [​IMG]

    Because this rifle was expensive.

    [​IMG]

    I have a gun designer friend, we have talked about Garands/M1a’s. John Garand’s design requires special tooling and has un needed machining contours. My friend comment “hey, John Garand was a tool and die machinist”.

    The Garand was designed in a period where low cost production was hardly addressed. It took WW2 to make leaders realize that designs needed to take into account cheap and rapid production. The Germans went whole hog designing the HK 91 based on the lessons they learned. After losing several German Armies, complete with all equipment, the Germans had a real hard time getting enough rifles to their new recruits. They decided that building an expensive rifle that lasted 100 years did not make military sense when the soldier carrying the thing had a life expectancy of 9 months. What made more sense was producing lots of rifles. I heard some ridiculously low touch labor requirement for HK 91’s. You can look at them, sheet metal receiver, sheet metal magazines, stamped trigger parts, pressed to fit barrel, I don’t think they designed that rifle to be rebuilt. It just makes more military sense to build them faster.

    Incidentally, my friend told me the FAL receiver is even more expensive to make than a Garand/M1a. Which explains the $3000 (adjusted for inflation) a FN FAL was going for in the 70’s.

    Springfield Armory was a hidebound production engineer dominated organization. Springfield Armory was familiar with Garands, was tooled up for Garands, the powers that lead the organization did not want something different. Soldiers, if you ever worked with Soldiers, are even more resistant to change than production engineers. Soldiers like what they have, want something better but only a little different and totally reject revolutionary change. Given the votes and attitudes at the time, small wonder the M14 was adopted.

    I got my Distinguished with the M1a, love the rifle, but I know it is not a cheap thing.

    It is still my favorite 308 semi auto.

    Still, the cost of American firearms is peanuts compared to Swiss.

    I was told, and I believe that K31 bolts are totally interchangeable across all 800,000 rifles and thirty years of production. This is nuts.

    Swiss rifles are built like Swiss watches.

    And they are not cheap.
     
  14. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    All the rifles mentioned are expensive because people are willing to pay high prices and delude themselves into believing that brand A is far superior to brand B. I think the difference between stock weapons is so slight that most shooters wouldn't really notice a difference in a blind test.

    Again, another reason why the rifles cost so much is that there are no longer cheaper cost Chinese alternatives. US manufactures don't face much in the way of foreign competition when it comes to semi-autos. Prices can be artificially kept high.
     
  15. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    some parts on the M1a are foreign though its not even totally US made
     
  16. HankC

    HankC Member

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    +1. Developing new tooling is expensive and market is relatively small. 7.62x51 is also more expensive to shoot compares to .223.
     
  17. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    They are expensive, but no more so than a high end AR15.

    My Scout in Walnut cost me.$1500 after everyone was paid. I've seen ARs over that.
     
  18. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    my last M1A was the standard loaded with walnut stock (just like I used as a GI). they are kind of like a woman if you want one, gotta have it, you will pay the price. I want another, scout squad next time. I paid right at $1500 for it.
     
  19. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    You can find a nice M1A for $1200-1400 dollars if you look. I've seen them sell for $950 in a "quick I need money" sale. No more than a good 7.62 AR or a high end AR15.

    Look at the prices on usgi mil-surps from war1 and war2, M1A's are a bargain.
     
  20. conhntr

    conhntr Member

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    Comparing a springfield to a 1500$ ar is not accurate


    As far as "mil spec" and buildquality a
    1200$ springfield compares to a 699$ bushmaster

    To get the same quality as a high end ar15 we would be comparing to a 2500$ lrb m14
     
  21. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    You haven't owned many M1A's have you?
     
  22. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    QC is also part of it. Certain components are out of spec on the Chinese ones, and they need some work to shoot as well as U.S. made ones. Generally, the Receiver, barrel, op-rod and bolt on the Chinese ones are of relatively good construction, albeit the finish isn't as nice. Some of the smaller components can have quality issues, especially the sights. Mind you, with a little elbow grease and a few hundred dollars in parts, they can be made just as functional as a Springfield.
     
  23. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    I've gotten mine from Buds gun shop, pay the listed price, for me in Texas, no sales tax, shipping was free, only a few bucks to my FFL for transfer.
     
  24. conhntr

    conhntr Member

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    //You haven't owned many M1A's have you?//
    Wrong i owned 1 sprinfield INC, and currently own a cmp parts kit on a fulton armory.

    The cast springfield inc is the bushmaster of m14 clones. The early ones using mostly gi parts are except the action. The new ones with springfield parts are ok except the action and the springfield parts...
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    They're not that bad. I just picked up a used Scout for $1200. It's on par with a good quality AR-15.

    As far as the cast receiver thing, I've been relying on cast revolvers for a long time now and know them to be *stronger* than the old milled designs, not weaker. The technology for casting steel has improved enormously since the old days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
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