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Posted: 10/27/2001 8:54:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2001 9:09:40 PM EDT by bbauman]
Ok, decided I'm going to get an M1A finally. Full length, wood stock. After that I'm undecided. Use will be mid-range plinker, maybe some hunting. I'm leaning towards a new stainless "Loaded" model.

Any reason I should go Standard or National Match?

Blue vs stainless?

Pre-ban? What do the pre-ban's have that the post-ban doesn't?

Along the same lines, anything I should look for if buying used? Any problem areas?

How about good places to pick up mags? Any "must have" accessories?

Link Posted: 10/27/2001 9:06:16 PM EDT
National Match you have 1/4 clicks adjustment and a hooded read peep sights. The standard has regular 1/2 clicks. I live in a salt water environment. I would go with the stainless barrel. I like blue but I would have to contend with the rust factor. The only difference between the pre and post ban models are that the bayonet lug and the folding stock. So, you are not losing too much. If you are buying used, it is a bit cheaper, rifle will be broken in, and you may get some extras in the deal.
Link Posted: 10/27/2001 9:09:36 PM EDT
I think the Loaded model will do fine for your needs. As AR18 said, if you can find a good one used, you can get extras.
Link Posted: 10/27/2001 10:22:40 PM EDT
Pre-ban is pretty meaningless in an M1A unless you want a bayonet lug or a pistol-grip stock. For a plinker/hunter, no need for a match gun, in fact the smaller aperature on the NM rear sight is worse for hunting.

Springfield guns have a mixture of USGI parts and cast reproduction parts. Not always a big deal, but I had the trigger group on a Springfield NM gun fail after several thousand rounds. It was a cast reproduction housing, and couldn't be fixed. I had Fulton Armory send me a USGI group w/NM trigger mod. Springfield also had a recall of some cast bolts after a few catastrophic failures. They have their own gear to make forged bolts now, but there are still rifles out there with cast bolts (I got one, replaced it with a TRW bolt).

If you have the cash for a loaded stainless from SA, you'd be better off to buy a stripped SA receiver and have someone build you a gun. There are a few really good M1A 'smiths out there. I had Clint McKee at Fulton Armory build me a standard-grade M1A on a Springfield receiver, and it is a thing of beauty. He uses all USGI parts (except where specific match-grade parts are needed) and hand-fits everything to perfection. The fit and finish on the gun he built for me are far above anything I've seen from Springfield, and waaaayyy beyond the GI M14's I've used. With a GI chrome-lined barrel and iron sights, it will shoot 1.5 inch groups with Federal match at 100 yards. He takes a long time and isn't cheap, but it won't cost you too much more than that stainless loaded model, and you'll get a much better gun. You could also buy the receiver and a complete USGI parts kit from U.S. Armory and have another 'smith put a gun together for you. The guys at www.gunandknife.com could give you some names.

If you buy used, have a good 'smith check the crown for cleaning damage (very common on M1A's and Garands) and the throat for erosion. Cole's Distributing is great for mags- their 'used VG' mags are great. Get a gas cylinder wrench, a bore guide for your cleaning rod, and a bolt roller greaser.

Good luck- you've made an excellent choice in a new rifle!
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 5:42:27 AM EDT
The M1A "loaded" model exists because USGI parts are getting scarce so Springfield uses other parts and charges a premium for them .

Match M1A is almost an oxymoron as the AR15/M16 has been the winning rifle at Camp Perry the past few years.

If you want an M14-type rifle don't overlook the Chinese knockoffs. They're not match rifles (either) but shoot well. See the M14 forum area at www.gunandknife.com. Will take several hours to get thru the messages, but they'll answer most questions.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 6:03:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2001 6:05:58 AM EDT by warlord]
I would peruse the Fulton Armoury site, and find out all you can . They quite a bit of info out there about the M1A/M14 before buying your next toy. www.fulton-armory.com True USGI mags are going to be kind of expensive, probably around $50 U.S. per mag. I have used the communist chinese ones, and they seem to work fine for me. If you want true USGI parts, at one time CMP was selling a bunch of them from the Clinton(he is not a friend of the gun owner) ordered de-mil'ed U.S. M14s www.odcmp.com/Services/Rifles/Repair/M14_Rifle_Parts.asp.
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 8:44:23 AM EDT
I think CMP is scraping the bottom of the barrel on their M14 parts now- I ordered a trigger group and got one that was almost unuseable. The op-rod I got was completely bare of finish. It re-finished fine, but after you're done paying to bring the parts up to speed you might as well have bought new ones.
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 9:18:33 AM EDT
My $40 CMP trigger group arrived in perfect shape. Fulton Armory will tune these for like another $40 but won't touch the cast Springfield Armory originals.

I paid $32 a magazine for really sharp looking Chinese ones from Cole's and they function perfectly.

Even the National Match rifles are a mixture of good USGI parts and their own.
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 9:52:37 AM EDT
I have a Super Match and have used it in competition for some time now. Great shooting rifle! However, if you're just after a plinker/hunting rifle, the stainless "loaded" is an excellent rifle.
Link Posted: 10/28/2001 10:15:49 PM EDT
Speaking of trigger groups, how is it that the CMP charges $35 for a complete M14 trigger group, US Armory charges $99, and Fulton Armory charges $169? Am I missing something here?
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 10:30:04 AM EDT
Hell " FREDS " has M14 trigger groups $ 115-155, what a rip-off !
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 4:15:07 PM EDT
Because the trigger groups that US Armory and Fulton have are like new, and the ones the CMP sells are beat to crap. The one I got has very little finish left and the safety will barely function.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 12:36:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sparky315:
Because the trigger groups that US Armory and Fulton have are like new, and the ones the CMP sells are beat to crap. The one I got has very little finish left and the safety will barely function.

That makes sense. Question: what spare parts would you suggest one keep around in case parts become scarce in the future? I'm thinking a trigger group, bolt, and op rod for sure.

Also, how do the Fulton parts compare to the US Armory parts? Fulton is more expensive. Thanks.
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