I am at a crossroads on this buying decision. I am looking at buying one or the other, but not both.
I am looking for 2" groups at 100 yards, and durability/longevity. I understand the fal parts and receivers are machined and not cast as opposed to the springfield. The prices are comparable, but the real question is, which one is build to last and to shoot.
Thanks for any input.
Springfield M1A Vs SA58 Fal.
Okay I'm really a big M1A guy so ill try to be unbiased.
Ok first the cast vs forged debate,im of the opinion that a cast reciever Springfield M1A by todays standards of castings is just as good as the forgings of 30 to 40 years ago.Investment castings have come a long way.castings of today are of the spun steel variety.the steel is spun when it is hot and that insures there is no air bubbles in it,that is the main concern with castings vs forgings BUBBLES and IMPERFECTIONS.
The castings of yesteryear were mostly sand castings and were very porus and imperfect.
After the steel is spun while hot it is then poured into a mold and then after cooling its heat treated and then its machined.after this they heat treat the part to spec.
forgings are heated then they pound or use pressure to get out all the bubbles and imperfections out of it.kinda like horse shoeing.
Now M1a vs the fal,M1A's will meet your accuracy requirements easy,they are generally more accurate than Fals,they have a much better trigger and much much better iron sights.The M14/M1A platform is an awesome weapon accurate and reliable.
Fal's even though i dont own one i know a few guys who do and they love them they are accurate enough and will do the job that you seem to want it to do.The fal is a better optics platform than the M1A/M14 and its magazines are alot cheaper than a M1A/M14 type weapon.
I dont think that you can go wrong either way sir i really dont.
Springfield has a Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship so they do stand behind their products.Their service people are second to none.
I have a pre- M1A. Standard rack grade. I bought it back in 91. I love it and will never trade/sell it. But it has become a safe queen now that I have gotten into FALs. The 14 is a great 60 year old design, the ergonomics suck compared to the FAL (a 45 year old design). If you are going to drop all the $ for a full blown loaded M1A buy that one. The accuracy potential is much greater with the M1A. Plus there are alot more smiths that can make it a real tack driver.
Since I assemble and refinish my FALs I cannot see spending $1200 for one when it costs me about $500 to do it right. The FAL is a much more customizable weapon. You can have a clone of any of the following...
StG 58 Austria
R1 South African
Plus about 10 other models I cant remember.
OR just make a custom version of what you like.
FALs are a blast to shoot, they will print in the 2" range all day. I have 3 and am planning a couple more.
It might be easier on your wallet just to get a M1A.
Have had several of both over many years. Both are excellent rifles and both will outlast you if you take care of them.
One issue with the cast receivers in years past was that in NM competition, the constant adjustment of sights would, supposedly, wear down the detents and allow the rear sight to not hold zero correctly. Even if this was true (and it probably has some basis in fact), I can almost guarantee that not one shooter in 10,000 will ever have a problem with this.
The M14/M1A requires serious and expensive work from a very talented gunsmith to shoot its' best, but its' best is very good, indeed. Rack grade rifles display about the same accureay in both the M1A and FAL models, especially with surplus or "white box" ammo. Typically, the better sights and superior trigger of the M1A makes it easier to HIT with, even though the intrinsic accuracy is no better than...and sometimes not as good...as the FALs.
Use only GI mags with the M1A. Mark the mag(s) that show the best accuracy for more serious target work...yes, it can matter. GI mags work. Other crap out there won't. I have a box of 24 magazines I ordered long ago from an aftermarket mfg., all still new, that won't even lock into my NM rifle.
Both rifles should easily do 2 m.o.a. with decent ammo, and both are fun to shoot and well made. For SHTF use, the availability of excellent mags for the FAL plus the adjustable gas system has much to recommend it.
Me? I own and like both, but my choice for only one in today's market would be the FAL.