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Posted: 2/10/2006 1:40:01 PM EDT
I'm looking to get into the M1A / M14 world. Took a whole lot of thinking, but I think it's the right rifle for me. Traded my AK for an 870, sold some handguns and started saving. Bit by bit, I'm getting closer to being able to actually afford one.

I'm hoping I can get some advice before I plunk down that much money however. If you look long enough, picking an M1A can get pretty confusing!

Maker: Any thoughts on Springfield vs. Fulton? Is it better to go with an LRB forged receiver? Should I keep saving for something from Smith Enterprises?

Parts: Are USGI parts that much better than SA? Any SA parts in particular that especially suck? Any particular Smith Enterprises parts that are must haves?

I'm looking for something that has some reach, so I'm tending toward 22 inch barrels, instead of the Picatinny sporting 16 inchers. I will use it for 1) long range plinking, 2) looking at, while thinking of shooting and 3) SHTF best friend and companion.

Thanks for any wisdom you can offer. Just want to get things right the first time, as it'll be awhile before I drop this much on a weapon again!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:33:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 3:36:57 PM EDT by MadBodhi]

Originally Posted By DirtyBird:
I'm looking to get into the M1A / M14 world. Took a whole lot of thinking, but I think it's the right rifle for me. Traded my AK for an 870, sold some handguns and started saving. Bit by bit, I'm getting closer to being able to actually afford one.

I'm hoping I can get some advice before I plunk down that much money however. If you look long enough, picking an M1A can get pretty confusing!

Maker: Any thoughts on Springfield vs. Fulton? Both make good rifles,Fulton is expensive and there's a wait,Springfield's are readily available and they have a superb lifetime warranty. Is it better to go with an LRB forged receiver?Yes Should I keep saving for something from Smith Enterprises?If you have alot of money

Parts: Are USGI parts that much better than SA? not particularly,virtually no diffrence in operation,presumed slight diffrence in longevity but iv'e never heard of someone wearing out an SA part. Any SA parts in particular that especially suck? extractors,I personally would want a G.I. forged op rod rather than a cast SA op rod for peace of mind,that puppy get's moving and it's right near my face,i'm ugly enough without any more scars Any particular Smith Enterprises parts that are must haves?extended bolt stop

I'm looking for something that has some reach, so I'm tending toward 22 inch barrels, instead of the Picatinny sporting 16 inchers. I will use it for 1) long range plinking, 2) looking at, while thinking of shooting and 3) SHTF best friend and companion.
My suggestion is an LRB Standard rifle LRB ARMS ( LRB receiver,all G.I. parts with the exception of the barrel) and spend the extra 30 bucks for a chrome lined barrel.Add a Smith Ent. extended bolt stop,Badger Ordnance spring guide,Superior Shooting Systems op rod and hammer springs,Fred's synthetic stock,shim the gas cylinder and top off with a Sadlak scope mount. The vortex flash suppresor isn't any more effective than the G.I. one and a gas lock front sight will shorten your'e sight radius.Their great for 18 inch guns but I don't personally believe their warranted on a full length,unless you have a vortex compatible suppresor laying around

Thanks for any wisdom you can offer. Just want to get things right the first time, as it'll be awhile before I drop this much on a weapon again!


Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:10:55 PM EDT
Cruise the EE for a used Springfield Armory with USGI parts (bolt, oprod, trigger group, barrel) for $1100-1200.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:49:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:55:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By spartacus2002:
Cruise the EE for a used Springfield Armory with USGI parts (bolt, oprod, trigger group, barrel) for $1100-1200.


That's good advice. You can sometimes find them under $1000, if so, that's a buy! Hard to find them at GOOD prices on demand, though.

Another way to go is a Polytech, but you have to know what you're doing and what it'll cost to end up with a good rifle at a good price. But it's VERY possible to build a first-rate rifle out of a Poly for hundreds less than an comparable SA would cost you.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:02:23 PM EDT
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I really appreciate all of you taking the time to answer this newbie's questions. It's nice to hear from you.

So, my plan is to keep on saving, with an eye on an LRB. While I'm saving, I'll keep an eye out for any reasonably priced SA's with USGI parts. The EE is good stuff, and there are a couple of big shows here in WA.

Just got done surfing stocks at Fred's and pictures of custom work at Warbirds. Finished by looking at the tacked thread of members' weapons. Damn but there are some cool rifles out there.

Thanks again. I'll post some pics when I finally become a tribe member.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:47:04 AM EDT
Also go over to the M-14 site EE after cruising here. You will probably find a better selection over there as thats mostly what is posted. [parts and M1As] Also watch for Adon selling any, he has some VERY VERY nice one's he posts occasionally. [I've bought one, 4 digit SA NM never used] Like others said, look for USGI parts, if mags are included, round count [if possible] and BBL wear. I'm pretty new to them but I took my time finding a couple nice ones that had all GI parts [save trigger HSG which I "corrected" with a TRW one] The older ones will probably have a higher USGI content.
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