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Posted: 12/10/2003 8:13:00 AM EDT
Hello all,...Ive decided that my addiction is worsening so to make my "chi" right I simply MUST have an M1A...What do I need to know?..Ive been looking at the Springfields..The fiberglass stock are cheaper but Im wood kinda guy..Can the Surplus M14 stocks be retrofitted?
What about Mags?...I assume USGI are the best and possibly the only one's to get.,What should i look for as far as pricing?
Anything thing esle I Need to know,...Thanks in advance...........UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 10:15:36 AM EDT
Check out www.battlerifles.com  It is THE site for M1A's
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 10:21:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 10:23:39 AM EDT
RGR that thanks...I did check out Battlerifles.com  A lot of scuttle about Springfields quality,,,Any comments?
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 10:48:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:50:46 PM EDT
It all depends on your budget. You could get one built up from a well respected shop that will contain a lot of hand fitted parts (like Fulton Armory), find a local gunsmith who specializes in the m14/m1a (I know of two in Oregon), or buy the Springfield Armory rifle and hope all is well and know that you have a well respected warranty working in your favor. Personally, I went with the Springfield armory rifle which was used but had GI parts (except bbl and receiver). The rifle functions very well, it is fun to shoot, and very precise. Magazines will run you about $36/each for good used. There are some things you could look for if you wanted to prowl around a gunshow looking for that older but not pre-ban rifle that has the coveted GI parts. You only have to go back a couple of production years to find Springfield armory rifles with most GI parts. Good luck and I hope you can get one. Delightful rifle!
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 3:59:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By krazy_karl:

...find a local gunsmith who specializes in the m14/m1a (I know of two in Oregon)...

Would one of those two happen to be Ted Brown?

I've got an M1A that he built.

All USGI parts on a Springfield Armory, Inc. receiver in a USGI synthetic stock. Shoots sub-MOA with Federal Gold Medal 168gr. Match ammo.

A true joy to shoot. Best rifle I've ever owned. Period.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:00:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 4:01:16 PM EDT by Different]
underdog75, it can't for you to read my article on M14 rifles.  A lot of the newbie questions are covered.  Admission is free.


Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:03:41 PM EDT
Thank you all.,.Different thanks for the link....Im think im leaning to the Springfield Scout w/walnut...........UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:47:04 AM EDT
The QC from SA on their M1As seems to be lacking.  I've never had a problem with their 1911s, but I did have an issue with their M1A.  The good news is they're willing to fix things for free, although some would rather they get it right the first time.  A lot of the griping you get is from the lower percentage of folks with problems with their rifles.  The people that don't have any issues with SA are less likely to voice their positive opinions.  Their synthetic stock does have a terrible finish, but I was planning on refinishing some wood and synthetic stocks anyhow.  Fred's has them for cheap and plenty of them.  If you hit the stocks forum on battlerifles.com, you'll learn volumes.  I understand that SA's walnut stocks are good project stocks.  A little sandpaper and a little varnish will clean it right up.  Another thing that you should do if you're planning on owning an M14/M1A is pick up a copy of Scott Duff's book.  I got mine from Fulton-Armory.  A lot of folks swear by all USGI parts, and if you can get them that's great.  On the other hand, the quality of some aftermarket parts are on par with USGI, only they don't have the govt's stamp of aproval . . . but that's another can of worms.  Stay away from Chicom parts and you'll be fine.  Stay away from aftermarket mags too.  USGI mags are easy enough to get, and aren't very expensive if you shop around.  Also consider other reciever makers.  SA gets a lot of press, but also consider Enterprise Arms, Fulton Armory, LRB (can never remember what that stands for), and Armscorp.  They all make high quality recievers, and I think EA and FA will headspace your barrel to the reciever at no extra cost.  FA will build you a high quality custom rifle for $1700-up (off the top of my head . . . check the website), and has top notch service (but I think the lead time is 4 months).  If you're looking for a good available starter M14, the Springfield may be your best choice.  Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:59:51 AM EDT

Yes, Ted Brown and Dan Geisert are the two guys I would recommend. I bought my m21 from Dan. Great rifle!
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 2:57:24 PM EDT
The M1A has really lost quality as the used parts from Israel dried up.  There's a problem with the cast extractors especially.  

The nice thing about half-surplus half-remade rifles like the FALs and the M1As is that you can filter in good parts from the shows if you know what you're doing.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 5:59:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 6:58:45 PM EDT
Agreed, you can't go wrong with www.billricca.com  Orion 7 Enterprises usually sells excellent condition M14 USGI parts as well.  www.m1garand.com  Orion 7 Enterprises is closed until 01/05/04 for annual vacation.  
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 9:50:06 PM EDT
underdog75, look for an older pre-ban springfield armory. it may sound like more money but in the long run youll be alot cheaper. if you buy a current production, then upgrade to GI parts you will have alot more into it

just my .02 cents
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 3:03:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 4:36:48 PM EDT
M14 extractors are still common parts -- they're the same extractor as used on the M1 (as is the ejector).

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:07:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chuck:
M14 extractors are still common parts -- they're the same extractor as used on the M1 (as is the ejector).

-- Chuck

 True true true!  Yet the boneheads at Springfield insist on putting cast extractors in their M1A rifles....what the hell are these people thinking?

 Underdog...bite the bullet and have a reliable company build you a rack grade M1A.  I will recommend Fulton Armory, but there are other reputable builders out there.  You won't regret it.  If you buy a current Springfield...you possibly will.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:43:06 PM EDT
What kind of money are you talking....when you say have a reputable builder build you a M14?  Rack grade? Can you be more specific since I am interested as well...If springfield has a lifetime warranty why would one regret getting a rifle from them?

Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:59:48 AM EDT
Regrets?  Try:

1.  Cast receiver.

2.  Cast bolt with cast extractor.

3.  Cast operating rof.

4.  Cast trigger group (all parts).

5.  Cast gas cylinder.

6.  Unlined barrel.

7.  Painted stock.

All but #1 can be replaced.  You can buy a Springfield (or other) M14-type receiver and fit all USGI parts to it -- if you can find 'em.  I'm awaiting the return of such a rifle from Smith Enterprise.  Only thing you really need a builder for is to fit the barrel to the receiver, it takes more effort and alignment than the M16.

My M1A Bush Rifle, which started life as a Scout Squad rifle, has had all those parts replaced other than the receiver and barrel.  I'm keeping the cast parts as spares.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:16:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 8:06:37 AM EDT
"Super Match" and "All USGI" are contradictory. Actually "Match M14" is an oxymoron since the M16 takes all the trophys at Camp Perry.

Link Posted: 12/25/2003 1:42:47 PM EDT
Well okay so what type of money are we talking about?  To have a M14 built?  I paid 1200.00 so how much more or less, which I am sure its not less....I like the Scout, and I would like to have a Rifle that shoots well. What about Receivers who makes them and please give me a ranking on quality from top to bottom.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 8:49:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 9:24:30 AM EDT
Thanks everyone.....Uh the M1A plan kind of took a little turn,I spent all the money(and then some)On a Ring for ma lady...Doesn't really change the plan just postpones it...Been keeping my eye open for a good used deal.,.The whole USGI parts thing kind of threw me a curveball....So anyway...New prices runs around $1200ish locally and a shop in town has a Preban Springfield "Match" for 1700$,..So I'm really not sure what I'm going to do as yet,But I've got some time to think about it.....UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:13:46 AM EDT
A "pre-ban" standard M1A is the one to look for as it's more likely to have the highly desireable chromelined M14 barrel which will be marked in the slot under the oprod.  Also more likely to have the other parts (listed above) be USGI M14 parts as well.  As the supply of M14 parts dried up Springfield (Inc) had to resort to reproduction parts.  Good but not as "good as."  "Loaded" or "National Match" is Springfield (Inc) speak for "we ran out of USGI parts."

The Springfield M1A receiver is a good receiver and like almost all modern M14 types is a casting.  A good casting.  There's no consenus of what's the "best" M14 receiver.  Just so you know, both of my M14s are on Springfield (Inc) receivers.

The very best M14 receiver that was available, for a short time, as a semiautomatic was the MKS M14A rifle, a true work of art.  And one that missed dotting a couple of i's with ATF.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:27:40 AM EDT
Thanks Chuck,..So then IYHO the "nat match" isn't worth the price increase over the standard,pre-ban or otherwise.
I can buy new standard M1A's all day at around 1000$.I'm not so worried about chrome lining,.I have several AR's chromed and unchromed,..I clean completely after each range outing and cant really see a difference,Stepping up to the 7.62 may make a difference so I don't know.
Also not so worried about USGI or Springfield parts persay, its just that I don't really care for spending large chunks of change on a rifle that will have to be sent back 4 times to even get a reliable piece...Am I going in the wrong direction here?...Should I be looking at other Makes?Manufactures?...The Fulton is a little pricey....Thanks,UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 7:17:23 PM EDT
The M14 barrel is not only chrome lined, but has a M14 chamber which is needed for reliable operation of a self loading rifle.  My commercial Springfield M1A Bush barrel is fine and I've had no problems whatsoever with it other than the broken (cast) extractor.  It's a handy length and I have enough USGI parts for it, or which I can put on it, to make it last a long time.

Fulton is famous for cosmetic finishes -- their rifles look great.  But they put little other care into their products and buy their parts the same place.  Their lifetime guarantee is no better than Springfield's lifetime guarantee (or Kia's 10 year automobile warranty).

These are not rifles one normally fires thousands of rounds thru, so look at any and all of them.  "National Match" is pure fluff, I can knock down 9"x9" steel plate targets all day long at 100-150 meters with a standard commercial Bush barrel, South African military ball ammo, and iron sights.  That's headshots at that range.  Oh yeah, I can do it standing.  The rifle does it part very well.  I'm sure I can't win the National Matches with this (or any other!) rifle, but this is good enough shooting for my use these days.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:21:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:37:24 AM EDT
Ok thanks,...Whats the best way to tell usgi parts from otherwise,..Is there a timeframe to when SA started away from USGI parts in their rifles?..........UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:58:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 8:05:34 AM EDT by raf]
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