Posted: 4/16/2001 7:52:25 AM EDT
Anyone have opinions and/or knowledge to share about the current production M1A rifles?
Are they military spec and constructed of military grade materials? Can they use surplus Nato ammo? Are they reliable (for combat)? Are they accurate? Etc.
Would an imported Nato "parts" gun (FAL, G3, etc. (while they are still available)) be a better choice of bang for the buck, for a 308 Nato rifle? Etc.
Thanks, as since a member already broached the idea of a group purchase more info is desirable.
I bought a loaded M1A when they first came out with that deal. Mine even came with 3 20 rd USGI mags and I only paid $1100. I put a GI synthetic stock on it and I love it. Had the Springfield Gen 3 mount and 6x40 scope but sold it because of problems with the mount(zero) and IMO inferior glass quality on the scope(fuzzy edges). It is capable of sub MOA groups with Black Hills or Fed Match, but I usually shoot Brit or Portuguese surplus 7.62mm. It has never jammed. With a synthetic stock there are none of the bedding problems that people love to bitch about. On my rifle, most parts are GI(TRW) except the receiver which is cast(Springfield) as opposed to forged(GI), and the barrel which is Springfield NM. On the newer guns I have heard that most parts are made by Springfield as the supply of GI parts is dwindling. With a synthetic stock and GI mags, the M1A can't be beat IMO.
Current Springfield offerings have a mishmash of GI and aftermarket cast parts. The last one I bought had a cast op rod and bolt, both of which I replaced. There was nothing wrong with the cast op rod, I'm just a purist. The bolt, however, was another story. It came from a run of cast bolts that Springfield recalled due to a few catastrophic failures. Mine didn't fail, but better safe than sorry. Springfield just started making their own forged bolts, so unless you get an older model that happens to have one of the cast bolts in it, this shouldn't be a problem. My loaded Springfield had a GI trigger housing, but I still ended up replacing the trigger assembly 'cause it would bind in synthetic stocks.
If you want a rifle made with ALL USGI parts that will be absolutely reliable and as close to a genuine M14 as you can get without going class III, my recommendation is this: buy yourself a Springfield standard M1A receiver (stay away from Armscorp or Entreprise) and send it to Fulton Armory to have Clint McKee build you a rack-grade rifle. I just got mine, and couldn't be happier with it. It's better built than any of the M14's I've handled, and shoots great. None of the mass-produced rifles can touch his hand-fitting and attention to detail. You can get a Springfield receiver for about $400-425, and to have Clint turn it into a rifle will be another $1249.95. The total will run you a little over what a brand new Springfield 'loaded' rifle would, but you'll get a much better product. If you can afford it, spring for the extra hundred bucks and get a laminated birch stock.
I personally would stay the heck away from these cheapy NATO parts guns like the Century FAL and the CETME/G3. They are often poorly put together and shoddily re-finished, and the customer service if yours doesn't work is about nil. Springfield and Fulton Armory will at least stand behind their work and fix anything that isn't right. Although based on my experience, I can't see Clint letting anything that wasn't right out of his shop!
And no, Clint and Fulton Armory didn't pay me to advertise- I'm just an EXTREMELY satisfied customer!!!!