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Posted: 4/2/2006 7:48:12 PM EDT

im lost here guys... ive wanted an M1A since i was about 8 years old... since i started watching "Full Metal Jacket"

since then ive owned 2 mini-14s, 2 1/2 AR15s, an SKS... and yet the only experience ive had with an M1A was shooting 8 rounds through one at the range one day, pissing off the owner when i outshot him with HIS rifle, and handing it back to him. the gun was awesome, and he said he bought it for only $750 bucks....

im still hooked, but getting nervous. i keep hearing about all the problems people are having with newer SA M1As, having soft bolts and needing to replace new parts with USGI parts etc etc... and the price for them is up there... i built a hell of an AR15 last spring for less than what a used M1A sells for...

ill have to sell a rifle to buy this M1A i believe... would you guys suggest getting a NEW one, or trying to buy a pre-89 as ive read, or to not buy one at all... etc etc id prefer to buy one FTF if possible.

i need your opinions, coming from an OWNERS stand point. thanks
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:33:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 9:36:31 PM EDT by Maddogkiller]
Rumors never die. Especially on the internet.
There is no need to replace commercial parts with USGI parts. That is just a silly thing that some M1A owners do. They have to justify this silly behavior so they tell tales of inferior commercial parts and repeat rumors. For example, that "soft bolt" problem occured nearly 20 years ago. Also, most of the "soft bolt" stories involve Chinese made M14 clones.

I have owned 3 M1As. All had a mixture of commercial and USGI parts. With many thousands of rounds through them, I had to replace exactly zero parts. I sold the first two because I needed the money, not because they were not excellent rifles.

If you just have to have an M1A, by all means get one. I have one now and I love the rifle. However, if I didn't have one now, I wouldn't buy one. They are expensive and will continue to be so. Magazines are also expensive. Military surplus 308 is getting scarce and the price on it is climbing as well. If I were in your situation, I would stack up 10,000 rds of South African ammo before I even began looking for a 308 battle rifle. The guns will be around for a very long time. The ammo is drying up. Without ammo, guns are just expensive clubs.
For about 2/3 of the cost of an M1A, you could buy an M1 Garand and have it rebarreled in 308WIN and buy a few dozen enbloc clips. You would have an excellent USGI rifle and it would perform at least as well as an M1A.


Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:10:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Maddogkiller:
Rumors never die. Especially on the internet.
There is no need to replace commercial parts with USGI parts. That is just a silly thing that some M1A owners do. They have to justify this silly behavior so they tell tales of inferior commercial parts and repeat rumors. For example, that "soft bolt" problem occured nearly 20 years ago. Also, most of the "soft bolt" stories involve Chinese made M14 clones.

I have owned 3 M1As. All had a mixture of commercial and USGI parts. With many thousands of rounds through them, I had to replace exactly zero parts. I sold the first two because I needed the money, not because they were not excellent rifles.

If you just have to have an M1A, by all means get one. I have one now and I love the rifle. However, if I didn't have one now, I wouldn't buy one. They are expensive and will continue to be so. Magazines are also expensive. Military surplus 308 is getting scarce and the price on it is climbing as well. If I were in your situation, I would stack up 10,000 rds of South African ammo before I even began looking for a 308 battle rifle. The guns will be around for a very long time. The ammo is drying up. Without ammo, guns are just expensive clubs.
For about 2/3 of the cost of an M1A, you could buy an M1 Garand and have it rebarreled in 308WIN and buy a few dozen enbloc clips. You would have an excellent USGI rifle and it would perform at least as well as an M1A.





Good post, that does sum up alot of the BS about commercial parts and the monkey see monkey do on replacing them with usgi and wasting perfectly good parts and money. Sure parts do break, but not just commercial though and not that often or for more than a fraction of owners at all. I wouldn't wait to get a good M1A before you buy ten thousand rounds, but the ten thousands and the surplus drying up is a good point.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:18:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 12:18:20 PM EDT by Red_Label]
I went through the same hand-wringing and queasy stomach last fall when I put a new Springfield M1A on layaway. And I continued mostly sweating bullets (too bad they were not .308!) until I paid her off and took her home in January.

Now... a few months and 300 match reloads later I can say that I LOVE my SA Standard M1A. It has basically been flawless, except for ONE thing. When I got it I had the rear sight bottomed-out and still it shot high (2-3 inches at 25 and 12 inches at 100 yards). I could've tried to file down the bottom of the rear sight, but instead I emailed SA customer service. The nice lady replied quickly and in a day or two a brand-new taller front sight was on it's way to me. I hadn't even filled-out the warranty card and sent it in (still dunno if I ever did... can't find the card). So their customer service/warranty really is top notch. I didn't even really need the front sight to be on since I scoped it immediately (with an SA 2nd Gen scope). But I figured that since I paid the $$$ I wanted it to be perfect. And it is.

I'll give you the same advice that was given me here when I was nervous... just buy the gun and enjoy it. IF there are any problems, SA will make it right for you. There are a few guys who have legitimate complaints, but the vast majority of SA customers are very happy with their M1A's.

Oh... and I've been feeding my M1A strictly hand-loaded match-type ammo. I didn't spend that much money to feed it inaccurate crap. If I'd of wanted to do that I'd have bought a FAL.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:37:56 PM EDT
If you are worried about the new ones, look for a safe queen with mostly USGI parts. You won't regret the purchase. Or just buy a new one, they come with a forged bolt now.

Buy ammo now and if you find GOOD REAL USGI mags at good prices get those also.
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