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Posted: 3/23/2006 9:12:17 AM EDT
Hey everybody. I'm from the AR side of the site and was wondering if building my own M1A from parts was a possibility as it is for ARs. I would like to build a match grade rifle, but i'm on a budget and can't afford SA 4K$ price tags. I was just curious to see if there were any websites that sold parts like lowers, barrels, FCG, ect.

Thanks in advance
James
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:17:48 AM EDT
It is possible but, parts kits are seldom found and expensive when available. FWIW tools req would be a significant investment.

HTH

Blitz
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:33:38 AM EDT
If money is a concern then building yourself is pretty much out. You should be able to find a NIB supermatch for about $2100 ($1500 used). It'd cost you that much in parts alone to build just a standard rifle.

The biggest part of a match M14 is in gunsmithing--glass bedding, trigger work, etc. The so-called match parts play only a minor role in accurizing.

Ty
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:34:16 AM EDT
You'll spend more on parts than you would just buying the whole product. I would probably keep an eye on the gun classifieds if I were you and look for good condition used rifles.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 11:13:28 AM EDT
hmmm, well i guess building one is out of the question. Is Springfield Armory the only company that makes M14 style rifles? I'm looking for an accurate rifle for a beginner that won't break the bank (say 1500$ +/-) so any suggestions for models would be great. I was thinking of maybe shooting NRA high powered or something similiar.

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 1:21:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 1:56:45 PM EDT
First off,building an M14 is not like bolting together an AR.Tha AR is a lego toy,the M14 requires skill,intimate knowledge, and abit of vodoo,even more so with a match grade gun.Secondly the words "on a budget" and "match grade M14" do not go together.I don't know where your'e getting this 4k price tag on SA rifles but I think you need to try a diffrent gunstore.Even their SuperMatch doesn't cost that.Your'e best bet is to look for a used SA National Match which can usually be had for around 1,200 and bang away with it or a "Loaded" model ,bed it,shim the gas cylinder and go.Go to one of the M14 specific forums and do lot's of research.M14/M1a type rifles are expensive but they also hold their value very well.It's very rare to see a rifle for less than 1k regardless of condition with the exception of the chinese clones and the occasional Federal Ordnance but that's a whole other post.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:56:56 PM EDT
Cruise the various boards and see what's out there. You should be able to find a NM model for well under $1500 without looking too hard. The loaded model has a match barrel and misc match parts, but is still a long ways away from being match grade.

Some thoughts about weight--the medium weight barrel you get on a loaded or NM gun will add an extra pound to the rifle. The heavy profile (standard on the Supermatch) adds two pounds, and it's all way out front--you'll have to add 1-2lbs of lead to the buttstock to get it to balance comfortably. The Supermatch is good for the Highpower circuit where a 15lb rifle is the norm, but for plinking and virtually any other use, the NM rifle is definitely a better choice. You'd have to be Mr Hardholder to be able to tell the difference in accuracy between the two models.

Personally, I'd look for a rifle that's been match tuned by an armorer over one of the match models that come off the SA Inc assembly line.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 5:56:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 5:59:15 PM EDT by James_Brown]
Thanks for the help guys.

I got the 4K figure from the M25 Carlos Hathcock model. I think i'm going to wait for a loaded or NM to show up on the EE or in my local shop. At first I wanted to get one of the black fiberglass ones to match my AR, but the walnut stock grew on me and reminds me of the rifle my grandpa would have carried in Korea.

I also had a few more questions. First, are magazines readily available and how much do they cost? I'm not going to stock up on like some guys do with their ARs (IE having 25 mags per rifle) but I don't like going to range and have to load mags. Second, what are some good optics and how would I mount it? I suppose i would only need a little rail to mount it on because i don't want a bipod. Jim Owens (www.jarheadtop.com) convinced me to use a leather sling :-P.

ETA: what are some M14 websites/forums?
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:57:44 PM EDT
Mags have dropped in price and used USGI's can be had for $20 to $25 at shows. However, do your research and reading before you buy as there are lots of fakes floating around. Anything with a W (winchester) I avoid as those are the most common fakes.

The $4K is pretty crazy for a rifle as you could get a SERIOUS M14 built for that and put an optic on it. The Crazy Horse rifles from SEI with an optic I've seen for sale were at least a grand less than that (and I think are probably a much better rifle at that)

There are two (some may argue three) options for mounting a scope on an M14 style rifle. The ARMS 18 and the Smith Enterprises mount. Sadlak also makes a mount, but from my reading, discussions and personal experiences, the ARMS and SEI mounts seem to be the most prolific and best options. Stay away from the springfield mounts as the ARMS and SEI are much better.

You can also mount an optic using the SAGE stock, but, if you're looking to sling the rifle and not use a bipod, I think the SAGE really isn't a viable option.

For an optic, I really think the particular style/power depends on your end use. Leupolds are very good optics and I don't think you can go wrong with one. I've been looking into an IOR Valdada scope recently and have heard really good things about them and they tend to run about $200 to $300 less than a comparable Leupold.

As for forums, there's M14forum, the American back yard forum and a few other ones. Its worth lurking on all of them to pick up what information you can find.

However, if you are serious about the M14 you really should find Different's website as he has compiled a downright amazing compilation of information on the M14 and his book is a required reading.

Finally, if you're going to be getting a M14, stock up on some South African while you can, also grab Port and Aussie when you see it as thats great ammo.

Good luck on your search for a rifle, let us know what ya get and keep em in the X ring when ya ger her!

Cheers
Lithgow303

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:13:18 PM EDT
Thanks for the info guys, you've been a great help.

I was checking out Ammoman's website for ammo and came across some XM80 for 279$ for 1000 rounds and was wondering if that was a good price. Also where can SA, Port. and Aus surplus be had?

This is probably a stupid question, but were the old M14 service rifles ever surplused like garands are through the CMP? My guess is they weren't because some were select fire, correct?
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:24:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By James_Brown:
Thanks for the info guys, you've been a great help.

I was checking out Ammoman's website for ammo and came across some XM80 for 279$ for 1000 rounds and was wondering if that was a good price. Also where can SA, Port. and Aus surplus be had?

This is probably a stupid question, but were the old M14 service rifles ever surplused like garands are through the CMP? My guess is they weren't because some were select fire, correct?



Ammoman is an okay price. I'd check the sportsmans guide before you drop any $$$ for XM80 ammo. XM80 is Lake City which is probably the best of the best available. However, its XM80, not M80, so its a slight step down from M80 in quality control.

Aimsurplus has south african for about $160ish for 980 rounds

Ammunitionstore has Port on links, which is kinda pricey, but its good ammo.

Aussie ammo has kinda dried up but turns up now and again at shows. If the price is decent, buy it as I found it to be quite good.

Keep an eye out for malaysian ammo as I turned up half a case recently and I was REALLY impressed with the quality of that ammo.

There is also some Izzy ammo kicking around which is okay. Its rather smokey and I've had a few bad primers, but I think I paid $50 for 500 rounds so I can't complain too much.

There are mixed reviews on Indian ammo. The best idea is to avoid like the plague, but I've heard that the stuff on strippers is marginal to okay. However, my rule of thumb for purchasing ammo is that if I wouldn't drink the water in the country I won't buy the ammo. And I would not drink the water in India or Pakistan, so none of that for me.

Wolf is now making steel case .308, but with the fairly ready availabilty of brass case surplus ammo, this option should be very very low on your totem pole of ammo options, especially if you wind up with a match gun.

And, the answer to you final question is a two letter word. No M14s were ever surplused. The parts from them were surplused for a while through the CMP, but the receivers themselves, being machineguns were destroyed by Komrade Klinton. I'd wager that a good number of the parts you see floating around today came from those destroyed rifles.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 2:19:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 2:28:18 PM EDT by MadBodhi]
Originally Posted By James_Brown:
Thanks for the help guys.

I got the 4K figure from the M25 Carlos Hathcock model. I think i'm going to wait for a loaded or NM to show up on the EE or in my local shop. At first I wanted to get one of the black fiberglass ones to match my AR, but the walnut stock grew on me and reminds me of the rifle my grandpa would have carried in Korea.

I also had a few more questions. First, are magazines readily available and how much do they cost? Mags are available but beware of knockoffs that have been making the rounds lately,some even have correct looking military packaging and markings.Different has a pictorial I.D. guide HERE to help you positively I.d. mags.Armalite was selling U.S.G.I. mags at 25 a pop and if you run across Chinese or Taiwanese Type 57 they run perfectly.NO american made mags other than U.S.G.I. is worth a damn.I'm not going to stock up on like some guys do with their ARs (IE having 25 mags per rifle) but I don't like going to range and have to load mags. Second, what are some good optics and how would I mount it? For mounts there are only 2 that I would use,Smith Ent. or SADLAK with the edge to SADLAK.Optics are wide open.what do you want to spend,what are the conditions and ranges you'll be using it.We talking leisurely Sunday morning 600 yard plinking or combat rugged,1,000 yrd capable bet your'e life on it optics. I suppose i would only need a little rail to mount it on because i don't want a bipod. ? Not sure what you mean here,can you clarify? Jim Owens (www.jarheadtop.com) convinced me to use a leather sling :-P. Jim Owens ROCKS,but might I suggest taking a look at the Turner biothane sling instead of the leather Turner Slings A leather sling will eventually stretch and requires care.The biothane won't stretch,won't wear out ,and is waterproof.
ETA: what are some M14 websites/forums?[/quote]M14 Forum,Battle Rifles,Rifle Company]
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 3:39:32 PM EDT

my rule of thumb for purchasing ammo is that if I wouldn't drink the water in the country I won't buy the ammo.


Sig line material.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 2:57:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James_Brown:
Can I Build an M1A?
James



Yes, you may.

(As others have said, it WILL cost, though.)
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 10:55:40 AM EDT
Best bet is to get a used, USGI national match or supermatch for around $2000. Many weren't shot very much and will be very accurate, without the frusturation of building. I found one for a friend, it was a NM safe queen, maybe a couple hundred rounds thru it, bedded action, NM sights, triggers, etc, extra mags, bolt repair kit for $1590 out the door with tax. www.gunsamerica.com and www.gunbroker.com have used USGi preban national match and supermatch all of the time. Those will be more accurate than you will probably build your first time out.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 12:04:11 PM EDT
whats a bedded action?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 8:07:55 AM EDT
a 'bedded action' is a thin layer of fiberglass that the barrel rests in on Wood stocks. Fiberglass, poly, & the new aluminum stocks don't require glass bedding. It's not extremely difficult to do, but it is time consuming and tends to wear out sooner if you remove the stock during cleaning.

By the way James Brown, I love your music.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 8:39:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By arex:
a 'bedded action' is a thin layer of fiberglass that the barrel rests in on Wood stocks. Fiberglass, poly, & the new aluminum stocks don't require glass bedding. It's not extremely difficult to do, but it is time consuming and tends to wear out sooner if you remove the stock during cleaning.



Yep, the SAGE beds your action and semi-floats your barrel.

It is user friendly and will not wear out.
More pictures are available @ TacticalWorks.ca
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