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Posted: 5/1/2003 6:40:31 PM EDT
Considering the purchase of what will be my 1st M1A. Looking at a pre-ban SA Std grade ($1100), vs a new SA std grade(bout the same $), vs a possible SA NM ($1600 - 1800?).

Although I don't currently shoot high power matches, I am interested in iron sight accuracy. Reliability w/ most ammo, & good handling are a couple of plus's as well.

Guess the question is, is there any real advantage to the older guns? Springfield told me yesterday that ALL SA receivers (even the old ones) were cast.

I did note that the pre-ban & a post ban SA std receivers had a different appearence. The oldie seemed to have sharper lines, where as the post ban was more rounded (trendy meltdown?)on the edges.

Thought I heard that the older "Texas" M1As were build on different receivers.

I'm tempted to pick up the oldie just for grins, but feel like if I'm not satisfied w/ the performance as is, I'll go broke over the upgrades.

Talk about issues, eh? Any constructive comments or suggestions will be appreciated! Thanks in advance! GCF
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 6:16:46 AM EDT
The main advantage in the older Springfield Inc rifles (vs current production) is the use of USGI parts and especially barrels in the earlier models. These produce the most reliable rifles. And you can fit a bayonet!

If you want to win National Match events (vs. merely shoot them) you need a M16/AR15 rifle. Match M14/M1A or M1 is darn near an oxymoron these days. Can make an excellent long range sniper rifle where the larger bullet will compensate for lower accuracy at long ranges.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 5:06:11 PM EDT
The Texas made receivers were the very beginning. One M-1A that I have (SN#003XXX) was made after the Texas period.Besides the older ones having G.I. parts, the older ones do seem to have sharper lines as you mentioned. I always prefered those prior to SN #10,000.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 6:36:17 PM EDT
Define older. I have an M1-A s/n 73xxx that I bought in 1990. It is constructed with all GI parts except the receiver. Just curious what was "older"?
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:18:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/16/2003 8:22:06 PM EDT by Different]
Except for about 260 Smith Enterprise M14 receivers all American commercial made M14 type receivers are cast alloy steel. Norinco and Poly Tech Industries (Chicom) M14 receivers are forged. Aside from the cast versus forged issue, dimensional geometry and heat treat is important as well.

I own Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A S/N 000049. It was made in 1971 in San Antonio, TX. I do own or have owned M1A rifles at one time or another of various serial numbers (030XXX, 052XXX, 059XXX, 075XXX, 115XXX, 123XXX, 134XXX, 141XXX). One of these is a NFA registered select fire model as well. I don't lose any sleep whatsoever when it comes to the quality of Springfield Armory, Inc. receivers. You can see minor differences in the machining of the receiver over the serial number range but it does not change the fit or function of it. FYI, Springfield Armory, Inc. in Illinois began their M1A production with Serial Number 0032XX. If the serial number is under 3200 it was made in Texas.

The other issue is how many USGI parts are on the rifle whatever the receiver serial number. Commerical made M14/M1A parts work fine for most shooters. If you are building a precision M14 type then my $0.02 is to use National Match parts. Otherwise, buy a standard model M1A and enjoy it.

A very economical but accuracy enhancing modification is to shim the gas cylinder. I did this on a pre-ban M1A. It took the groups from 4.5" to 2.5" at 100 yards using surplus ammo and iron sights.
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 4:14:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2003 4:17:48 PM EDT by TEA]
I'd say go with the pre-ban becasue of higher likelihood of all USGI parts. Also, if you ever want to put a folding stock on it, or mount a bayonet (pig hunting in thick East Texas forest?), it'll have to be a pre-ban - unless and until the AWB sunsets (knock on wood, throw some salt over my shoulder, and cross my fingers). If you're just starting out shooting matches, a standard M1A will be plenty accurate for you. As your shooting skill increases, then you can gradually start making the National Match modifications as your budget allows. Many of these mods you can easily do yourself.

Different, don't forget about the Entreprise Arms receiver. CNC machined from forged billet, same as the Smith Enterprises. There is also the new forged receivers by that other company (forgot its name ).
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 6:30:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2003 7:16:23 PM EDT by Different]
TEA, you are correct in that Entreprise Arms receivers are CNC machined from billet. But the billet looks like it is hot-rolled not forged. Entreprise Arms doesn't mention how the billet is formed. Here is the link describing their receiver fabrication.

http://www.entreprise.com/Fal/rcproduction.htm

The company that is / will be offering forged M14 receivers is LRB. I have not heard or read of any LRB receivers sold on the market yet. Perhaps they have begun to sell them. One LRB receivered M14 rifle was demonstrated at the last Knob Creek meet.

It is my understanding that USGI M14 receivers were made by the Drop Forging method.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 3:57:46 AM EDT
USGI receivers were indeed drop forged. I saw them being made at one of the TRW forges when my Dad was in the forging business. A long time ago!

-- Chuck
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