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I am considering the purchase of an M1A rifle. I've shot a few on rare occasions and liked them. I've looked at some at the local gun shops, but there seems to be a fair amount of manufacturers, configurations, etc. and the prices seem to vary quite widely. I'm sure there are a fair amount of M1A owners on this forum and I would like to get some opinions as to who makes the best one, some of the different configurations to consider and just about any other comments you may have regarding this rifle or possibly an alternative model. I'm not really interested in an AR or AK types. Postings, PMs or E-mail are all acceptable and welcome.

Thanks!
 

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Some basic info on the M1A. First, M1A is not a military designator but rather a "name" Springfield Armory (not the REAL Springfield Armory) came up with. It is really a M-14 with a few minor changes. The only company that makes a M1A is Springfield Armory. Several companies make the M-14. The real U.S. Govt Springfield Armory closed down in 1968. A company was formed and used the "Springfield Armory" name as a rouge to sell Govt Surplus guns then later started manufacturing their own brand. Much of the Springfield Armory resources come from Brazil.

Typically, M1As or M14s are excellent shooters with 1 MOA accuracy being common, especially with the match grade barrels. They are chambered in the military version of the Winchester 308 called a 7.62x51. These are heavy rifles weighing over 9 lbs empty with no scope. Better break out the billfold .... thay ain't cheap either.

Armscorp, PolyTech, and of course Springfield Armory are decent M1A/M14s. The Chinese made Norinco is a piece of crap.
 

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The M14/M1A is an excellent long range rifle, and because its such a good rifle, everyone wants a piece of the pie, hence you have so many variations, and "copies" of it as Iowegan has mentioned.
 

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My personal opinion is to look for an early production gun when Springfield was still using GI parts on their receivers. I owned one such gun and a buddy had another. Both shot sub-MOA with the right ammo. Wish I'd kept mine...
 

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I have a Springfield M1A a loaded version with a heavier barrel and better sights it is a great gun .. If money is no object then get a fulton armory
 

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I have 3 Springfield Armory M1A's (SOCOM 16, Squad Scout and Standard).

All were purchased over the last 10 years.

All have been 100% reliable and trouble free. Build quality was excellent on all three and none have had any issues or breakages.

My only mods have been to remove the forward barrel mounted scope bases on the SOCOM and Scout and replace the slotted handguards with solid ones. (I'm an iron sight type of guy and have no use for red dot optics or LER scopes.)

I'm a big, big fan of this weapons platform.
 

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I shot one that Uncle Sam owned for a few years. As was stated earlier they are really M-14 although the ones we used were M-21 models which were National Match type guns adapted for our "shooting" needs. They were designed to shoot US Military M118 ammo, which was 168 gr ammo made by Lake City. Very reliable, accuate rifle to 1,000 meters and slightly more if needed. This rifle has a two stage trigger which may take some getting used to but is quite nice once mastered.

If you can find one, pick up an ART I (not the model II ) scope. This was built by Leatherman Industries to fit the trajectory of the M21 with the M118 ammo perfectly. It eliminates holdovers and is quite simple to use effectively.

Maybe this .02 cents will help , maybe not...
 

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Probably THE BEST receiver currently being made is the LRB, which is a forged unit rather than cast. They are very spendy, running north of $600 for a stripped receiver. They sell complete rifles built to order, or just stripped receivers. They come highly recommended.

Milsurp M14 parts kits are the way to go if you want to build one up on a stripped receiver. They are also quite spendy now, starting at about $700-800 and going up. I saw a VERY NICE one online today for $1100, but all the parts were either NIW or like-new.

I don't know if Springfield is selling stripped receivers now or not. I believe they're dedicating all of their receiver production to rifles now, and selling them like hotcakes!

Springfield rifles tend to be either real good, or not. There doesn't seem to be any in between. The good news is that they will make it right.

Armscorp recently split the blanket between the two primary owners, and had to stop making receivers for a while. Not sure what their status is right now. One former partner moved and was supposed to start selling his own receivers under a different name. I think the other partner was set to resume production under the Armscorp name, but I'm not certain.

Entreprise has a spotty reputation and I would avoid their receivers. The Chinese rifles have gained a pretty good reputation when properly set up, but they're a lot like Hillary - people either love them or they hate them!

I would suggest joining The Firing Line forum, which is dedicated to the M14 rifle. Lots of very knowledgeable folks there, and they won't steer you wrong.

I was fortunate enough to buy a very lightly used Springfield M1A a few years ago for a very reasonable price, complete with two extra synthetic stocks and handguards, extra sights, and a slew of magazines. A few months later I stumbled across a USGI M14 parts kit (less the barrel and stock) for $400. I happen to have spares of both, so now all I need is another receiver... :D
 

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I have a Poly-Tech M14-S which is the Chinese copy of the gun in question. It is a basic, essentially line-for-line copy, with plastic forward handguard on a relatively nice wood stock. The only really noticable deviation from the "real" rifles is that the slots in the flash hider are not cut clear thru, so this device is of questionable real function. Since I haven't done any night shooting with the rifle, I cannot address this from experience.

I have read several reviews of this rifle, with each giving it a somewhat different evaluation. The various "armory" people haven't been too kind to it, but at least one has in the past offered a rebuild package that emphasized proper fitting of the bolt as critical. Another review gave it good marks for metallurgy and heat treatment, but regarded some of the fitting as less-than-optimal. Considering the price when they were available, I was not too surprised at the various comments.

I don't know what the accuracy capabilities are when stretched out to "way past Ft. Mudge" but I can say it is capable of hitting anything I can see and get a proper hold on. As far as durability is concerned, it will probably last well into the lifetime of my grandchildren at the limited amount of shooting I give it.

I'd certainly be interested in any comments anyone might have. Please be gentle. :)
 

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I have a Polytech that I love. Best thing I can say is have someone check the chamber for go/no-go. Other than that, get one from any manufacturer and enjoy it!
"There are many rifles, but this one is mine......"
 

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I have a recient manufacture SA "loaded" version,and love it.It will easily stay under 4" @ 200 yards with MIL SURP ammo.
 

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M1-A...Buy the good one.

As I look at the receiver: U.S. Rifle, 7.62-mm M1-A, Springfield Armory,#019xxx. is on it. As stated before.This WEAPON is the real deal.This one has been change from what a factory super match is to the next level (it is still Camp Perry legal) by a friend. The stock is a oversize camo color aftermarket laminate one which has the shine of glass, the upper heat shield was painted to the stock.It has double lug receiver with a floated barrel, glass bedded action to the stock, rework the gas system, tuned trigger (4.5# O/A) per rules and a stainless steel Krieger match grade barrel with national match sites. It out shoots me, I have it scoped now for load testing and groups, she cuts the same hole at 200yds. A Gen 1 starlight scope with mount has found it's way to me. That would be fun but the range doesn't allow night shooting, I'll work on that. The military has call back all the CMP M-14s for reissuse. If you have a chance to get a GOOD M1-A, DO IT.!!! They are excellent piece of hardware and grow in value with each passing day..
 
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