On the M1A, does the serial number at all reflect the model type of the rifle. Meaning if it were a standard model or loaded model, is it part of the serial number?
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The serial number indicates when the receiver was made and is the traceable item number for the rifle. When the receiver is finished, it goes in a box with other receivers until one is needed to assemble a partial or full rifle. Whatever serial number is picked is luck of the draw.
Having said that, Springfield Armory Inc can tell you in what form a particular receiver was sold. While in Illinois on business, I made a side trip to SAInc to see what was there. No plant tour like I got from Dillon. I never got past the front office. However, they looked up my receivers' serial numbers and informed me that one left their factory as a barreled receiver and the other as a bare receiver. They also gave me the dates when they were originally sold.