Need some insight here please. I am a pretty good shot but can't get my standard M1A to shoot better than 2 or 3 MOA at 100yds (have not shot past 100yds yet).
I have the standard sights not NM and have not scoped it yet.
I am breaking in the barrel with the old pain staking shoot 10 clean ea, shoot 3 clean ea 3 for 9 or so, shoot some more clean some more. I am doing it this way because the accuracy was not good enough in the first 100 rnds (of Nato 147gr) with 5 MOA groups! I did clean it very well with Sweets before I JB bore pasted it before starting the break in. Also did a very good clean up before firing the 1st rnd after the JB's.
After I bedded the action it came down to shooting 3 or 4MOA.
Now just for sh_ _ _ and giggles I tried some Black Hills 168gr match I feed my PSS on a few of those 3 shot break in groups. It avg 2.5 MOA. Best was a 2MOA group!
Is this standard M1A bedded and properly broken in capable of 1 MOA or close groups with open sights? Some experienced M1A owners please let me know before I waste any more of the expensive Black Hills 168gr in it trying to achieve the possibly impossible?
Since you said it is a "standard" I am assuming you have a chrome lined barrel.
It aint going to shoot 1" groups. Nope. Never. I have a standard that will shoot a 3 shot 1.5" group if I use 168gr Sierra HPBT and neck turned brass.
You really don't have to bother with breaking in a chrome barrel.
Check out www.fultonarmory.com He builds some great rifles but he only guarantees his standard to shoot 2.5" groups. You are going to need a match barrel to shoot those tight groups.
Tell me about your standard and the 1.5 MOA groups?
1.How many rounds thru the barrel before it shot this well?
2.Have you bedded and done a trigger job?
3.NM sights added or still the standard?
4.What types of ammo have you tried and do you think the 160 to 170gr range is the right weight for the standard barrel (1in12???) or should I go heavier like 180gr?
I love playing with this rifle is shoots like a dream, well the shooting part is a dream not the accuracy part yet :) I can live with 1.5 MOA until I feel like plunking $600 or so down on a good match barrel. But I need to get it to 1.5! I will try handloads when I set up the dies. I dug this rifle out of the safe while waiting for my other rifle to get back from the smith.
This is my first M1A and I think I 've shot less than 150 rnds thru it so I still have a lot to discover about it, just trying to get a head start with others knowledge.
All answers appreciated Gents, thanks!
My M1a has about 2000 rounds through it. It is exactly the same as when it came from Springfield last year. It has the standard trigger, sights and barrel. The barrel is not bedded. I use it for whitetail so bedding would be useless. I have to take the rifle out of the stock to clean it.
As for bullets I use Sierra HPBT 168gr. They are ridulously expensive compared to standard m80 bullets. 18cents vs. 5cents. I use Varget powder (46 grains I think), CCI primer, and a Lake city case. The key is to properly prepare your cases. I have found that neck turning does wonders for group size.
Once you get a scope you may be able to shoot very good groups.
My 2cents is to not worry about it. Shoot some cheap surplus ammo and be happy with it. The standard M1A is rugged and is made for killing commies, not benchrest.
As far as my M1A goes I don't care what size groups it shoots. I know that I can hit the 500 meter rams at the Whittington Center with the iron sights. Have some fun shooting your rifle at targets rather than shooting for groups.
I like to shoot the decent new manufactured ammo (Never surplus) and the match stuff for langer ranges. Though I have never seen your rifle, much less shot it, I don't think it will let you down.
There is nothing wrong with shooting good surplus:Port., SA, Radway Green,etc. Some standard GI barrels will shoot surprisingly well, some will not. This is a battle rifle, 2-3 inch groups are pretty standard. Snipermatt1 has it right.
I believe that the U.S. military standard for the M-14 was 3 MOA.
Maybe I'm missing something but if you're shooting iron sights at 100 yds I wouldn't be terrible unhappy with 2or3 moa.
GreyGhost, I strive to get closer to 1MOA since I had an AR15 A2 once with NM sights (sights I found at DPMS or JT Surplus) that I was able to shoot 1 MOA with.
As a lot of people responded about it being a battle rifle. Yes in it's standard configuration that is all it is. However, I want it to be more like an M21 rifle one day. Since I don't have the cash to just buy one I want to evolve my rifle in steps towards the M21. Now that being said I want to have fun with it as I go ( I'm sure we can all relate), and believe me this will be slow so I gotta have fun!
Next change will be trigger job.
2nd NM sights
3rd Smith Scope Mount with rings and LR M3 Illum
4th and 5th new match barrel and NM gas system
5th and 6th NM Op Rod Spring and NM Flash Hider
6th McMillan Stock
But before I got the sights or got to the scope mounting I was just curious how far could I push the accuracy on that standard barrel with or with out a scope.
I'd change the order of your mods a bit if you want to start getting greater accuracy ASAP and if money is a driving factor in not doing it all at once. Assuming that your glass bedding job is good.
1. NM sights
2. NM trigger job
3. NM flash suppressor mod
4. NM op-rod spring guide
5. NM gas system mod
6. match grade barrel
Save the scope purchase for last.
The NM sights will make a big difference.The Smith mount is a great choice,that's what I have.The Brookfield is accepted as the best M14/M1A mount and if the Smith is a clone of the Brookfield well then ......
My mid 90's made standard model shot bullseyes at 100 yards, out of the box, with '69 USGI ammo. (I impressed my friends, even!)
However, after a hot and sweaty shooting session, the group wandered to the left some so I packed it in, thinking it was me.
Upon cleaning, I found the front sight was "walking" in the dovetail.
I recentered it and snugged it down, so far, so good, over 10 years later.
Man, I feel like I know ya... It's funny to see you and HG112 show up in the same thread... looks like we all like M1A's and the same kind of scopes... lol.
I am new to this board, so if I am out of line, please let me know...
I think TEA is getting you off in the right direction... in getting your rifle "Match" ready. The M1A is a peculiar type of animal (IMHO) and much different from the AR's, FAL's, etc. It requires a good barrel and all of the barrel attached components to be working together, tight and in proper alignment... so a good barrel, NM flash hider or NM reaming, NM gas cylinder, NM op rod guide, NM op rod spring guide and your bedding at the proper angle to achieve that "correct" amount of tension on the front band, will get you shooting them good groups...
To help and aid you in shooting better, a trigger job, and NM sights will do the trick...
To validate your work and your shooting, a scope will help... A Brookfield (v. expensive), a Smith or an ARMS will serve you well... the Leupold is just "GOOD" glass... but you might consider the M1 turrets if you are shooting for groups. The M3 turrets are more for shooting "man size" targets and correct bullet drop compensation.
Right now, as you described your M1A, it sounds like you are getting decent groups as is... but to chase the elusive sub or 1 MOA, it will take some work.
Why did your AR perform 1 MOA? Maybe you got a super good one! It would be my guess... I don't know... but you can make your standard M1A shoot better than it is doing if you really want it to...
I am not sure if any of the "standard" grade battle rifles shoot 1 MOA or better. My FAL certainly won't and I know the HK91 doesn't...
In any case, Good Luck in your pursuit of the 1 MOA, I have a M1A Loaded rifle that I too am working on to do the same thing...
Aloha and Best Wishes,
My M1A has about 3200 rounds through it. With a GI surplus synthetic stock, Fulton Armory Trigger, and a $99.00 Springfield scope it will shoot 1.75" 200 Meter groups with Federal GMM 168Gn.