Anybody have any experiences with the new SA M1? I am looking to purchase one and would like the good and the bad...Thanks...
ok.. here's my impression of the 'new' SA M1's
good: new receiver
POSSIBLY NOS GI parts
bad: internals are possibly reparked old parts
quality control has been shoddy lately
TOO high of a price....
ok... now my reasoning.. even though the receiver is new is it cast.. i have NO problems with cast receivers at all as the M1A receivers are cast...the barrels are good either douglas or wilson and i use both on my match Garands.... the wood, while new.. are Boyds.. and look TOO fat...the warranty is good.. but..they shoudl get it right the first time with NO need to send ANYTHING back.... while the NOS GI parts are good.. SA dried up the market on Garand kits by sucking up 10,000 kits :-( bad deal for those of us who look for Garand parts.....now the reasoning for the bad....while SOME of the parts are/might be nos not all will be.. a lot of them will be just reparkerised and who knows when they will wear out.. hence either a trip back to SA or if you know what you are doing.. you can fix it your self.. face it.. there are a LOT of people out there who buy thses weapons with ABSOLUTELY NO knowledge what-so-ever about how these rifles work...and there are NO new Garand parts being made.. PERIOD!!!now.. the quality control problem... i live over on the CSP forum and we get stories all the time of people having to send their M1A's back repeaditly back to SA and a buddy of mine was one of them... after 5 trips back to SA he just told them to keep the rifle and to send him a new bare receiver and some $$$ which they did...and now the price.. most of these 'Garands' are selling for around $1000 i can get 2 CMP Garands at that price... i'm not knocking SA ( ihave 2 of their 1911's and 2 of their M1A's) if i had a choice i'd just get a CMP Garand Service Grade for $500 and have the wood refinished, which won't cost much.. and most of the Garands coming out now from them in service grade condition are in excellent shape.. especially since they switched to their grading system ie service grade and rack grade..i have bought only 1 Garand from the CMP but have bought 7 more receivers from them and built up the rifles.. while costing a tad more but WAYYY less than $1000 i ahve rifles that will run circles around any 'new' SA Garand.... this is a lengthy rant so i cal it my .05 worth :-)
Highpowershooter has it right. 2 CMP service grades cost the same as 1 SA Inc. The "new" SA Inc ones I've seen at gunshows have been on Lithgow receivers, which I've heard very bad things about. I heard that some of the SA Inc "new" Garands were built on Berreta receivers, I haven't seen any. One CMP Garand lovingly restored by Deans Gun Restoration or Orion would cost about the same as one "new" SA Inc Garand.
We don't have much choice when it comes to M14 type rifles, since the BATF in its infinite wisdom (not!) has applied the OAMGAMG Rule to the M14 so we can't get the real deal from CMP. As a result, SA Inc is pretty much the only game in town if you want a complete M14 type rifle and don't have the time or skill to build one up or have the bucks to have a competant smith build one up. Luckily, we have the CMP for our beloved Garands.
I'd stay away from the "new" Garands. They use primarily new USGI parts EXCEPT the receiver. The first 900 had the excellent Breda and Beretta receivers. However, all the others use cast Lithgow receivers which have been very hit or miss (check on jouster.com's Garand board). After speaking to Dean of Dean's Gun Restorations (one of the very best Garand guys) in August, he mentioned that he had already had several "new" SA's in his shop. He said what was most disturbing was that all the problems were in the receivers. Baaaad and expensive juju. One of Dean's or Orion's Garands (as mnentioned my TEA) will cost about the same (maybe a little more) and be a true USGI heirloom.
That's another thing to consider....collectability. A "new" SA although limited in number will not retain the collector value that a "real deal....US Rifle M1" will have. CMP is the way to go. If you want a fixer-upper, order a Rack Grade from the CMP and send it to Dean (He recommends the Rack grades...if you're gonna replace everything why pay more). I have a Service Grade SA (made in June of '43....I wonder where it's been and what it's seen.) that'll hold 5 shot groups off hand at around 2.5" at 100yds. I have a Service Grade HRA on the way. You can't go wrong with the CMP.