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I am a relative rifle newbie, but I like the idea of selecting a fine weapon that I will use for mostly target that will last me forever. I also like this rifle for it's American military historical aspect.

I have been doing some reading, and the model that strikes my interest is the Springfield Armory M1A #9802 National Match, Walnut w/stainless barrel.



I know we have some rifle guys here, and a few Marines who might have trained with the M-14. I would be interested and appreciative if you could offer your thoughts on this weapon, or perhaps a different Springfield model if you feel strongly about one.

Thanks!
 

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I don't think you can go wrong with any M1A variant...I love the heck out of my Scout Squad, although I kinda wish I had a SOCOM 16.



:thumsup
 

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FLRon,

I've got two M1'a presently. One exactly like your picture, and another rack grade. Ones got the arms scope mounts [ #18 and #19 mating mount ] and sits with a range finding scope good to 800 yds on it. I'm also night vision capable with another mating mount and the AN/PVS 4 military unit I used for surveillance photos in the dark years ago.

I was professionally trained [ iron sighted ] on the M14 platform in 69 in the Corps at Parris Island, SC. Its a great go to rifle, and one of the most accurate, if not the most accurate battle rifle you can buy with the exception of the M1 garand, but that only hold 8 rds and is a bit heavier so I prefer the M1a's.

An M1a will last you about 10K rds and then you'll likely need to replace the barrel due to throat erosion. I've got enough milspec USGI parts put away to build three more M1a's with the exception of the receivers. I put those USGI forged parts away many years ago in anticipation of their drying up and skyrocketing in price for the purists who must have milspec forged parts. 2700.00 invested in parts then puts the parts at about 11K now. It's still not time to sell them though.

Don't worry about the cast parts in the SA M1a's vs forged USGI parts at all. Years ago the destruction testing showed that a forged receiver would last 475K rds and the SA cast receiver would last 450K. That's about 40-45 barrels being replaced as well as other parts and no one I've ever heard of has shot a receiver out in either one.

I also got three FAL's with Imbel receivers and South African parts which are excellent rifles but none of them touches the M1a for pure accuracy.

SA's lifetime warrantee is good to have as well. The pics show two of my m1a's, the sage stocked M1a is still with me. The other photo shows one I built up with an M4 stock and bush 18" barreled action. Hope you like the pics.

Brownie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brownie, I think you went to the best shooting school we have in the country! Parris Island, 1969... that was pretty interesting times.

Thanks for the information and pictures. I'm trying to get up to speed on this rifle. I liked the National Match model, but i'm a little confused if you disassemble the rifle frequently you can damage the glass bedding and the improved accuracy that the national match offers? Some have said yes, others say don't be concerned.

It's probably a moot point, as I will probably not shoot at a level that I really need the fancier/more expensive National Match, and the Loaded would suffice. Then there is the part of me that says for a few extra bucks, just get the better one.

By the way, thank you for your service! I have a huge respect for our military, and the Marines in particular. I tip my hat to you for joining and serving in a difficult time when most were looking to run in the opposite direction.
 

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Morning Ron,

Here's the advice I've heard from people who shoot these bang sticks all the time. Unless you are going to practice and shoot to a level of performance at long range that's required to win matches, forget the National match or Super match, stray away from glass bedding unless you actually need that extra precision.

My rack grade will hold inside an inch at 100 yds with the scope using a synthetic military stock, that is not bedded. Most will tell you to spend the extra money on 308 ammo instead of the NM or SM expense and you'll be farther ahead at distance when the ammo is gone and you know your rifle. A loaded M1a would be a superb shooter. I'd suggest the synthetic not wood stock as the rifle will be less prone to changing zero with weather changes of humidity and temperature. I don't have wood on any of mine and so they don't need to be bedded. Most who shoot bedded, even the guys shooting all year long in matches only break them down once at the end of the year to clean them.

Thanks for the thoughts on service, it was a long time ago.

Brownie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brownie, i think I will just get the loaded and be quite happy. I will probably get a second synthetic stock should I want to do some hunting, which aside from ducks, I've never done.

Thanks for your help! When you get down here I will add some rifle training to the list of things I wish to learn and improve upon.
 

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Love the M1As (and pretty much anything in 7.62mm)!. When I held an FFL years ago, they were my number one request around here. I moved a bunch of them (mostly NMs). Kept a rack-grade for myself. Looking to add a SOCOM soon, though.

Ron, I'd echo everything Brownie has said. You can't go wrong with any of them, but unless you plan on competing frequently at the longer ranges, go with a Loaded and spend the saved $$ on ammo and/or reloading equipment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Love the M1As (and pretty much anything in 7.62mm)!. When I held an FFL years ago, they were my number one request around here. I moved a bunch of them (mostly NMs). Kept a rack-grade for myself. Looking to add a SOCOM soon, though.

Ron, I'd echo everything Brownie has said. You can't go wrong with any of them, but unless you plan on competing frequently at the longer ranges, go with a Loaded and spend the saved $$ on ammo and/or reloading equipment!
Thanks Rv, that is exactly what I plan to do. Sometimes I can get needlessly fancy. Considering my limited time with rifles to date, I will not be too worried about my marksmanship skills overtaking the abilities of the weapon. :D

From what I hear, i better start saving for ammo! I can't imagine ever getting tired of having a weapon like that to plink and practice with.

Would you or anybody know of any particularly good video I can find online that would show basic cleaning procedures and field stripping/maintenance?
I looked on youtube and did not see much, surprisingly.

Thanks again.
 

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All of my brothers have M1A's and they swear by them.

I keep telling my wife, if I ever hit the lottery, I'm gonna have myself one (sigh),
till then I will have to be satisfied with my pre-ban SP-1 AR-15's.

But one of these days ....... :thumsup
 

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............

All of my brothers have M1A's and they swear by them.

I keep telling my wife, if I ever hit the lottery, I'm gonna have myself one (sigh),
till then I will have to be satisfied with my pre-ban SP-1 AR-15's.

But one of these days ....... :thumsup

why don't we just say today is one of them days????:dancingbanana
 

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why don't we just say today is one of them days????:dancingbanana
I'll tell my wife you gave me the OK to buy one!! :laughing
 

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FLRon,

Take a look at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) site. They require that you belong to a rifle/pistol club, or used to, in order to buy or bid on their rifles. Here is the web site.

http://www.odcmp.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks RD, I'll take a look. I went to the Fort Lauderdale Gun Show today and found some manuals for the M1A, so that will give me something to poke through and learn from.

It was my first gun show. I of course had to walk back to my car to place my bullets in a safe spot, as i just hated the idea of throwing away good self defense rounds for no reason.

The show was enjoyable. Lot's of handguns and knives for sale. Lot's of AR's in all sorts of configurations. I guess it was pretty much what i expected. I can be amused in a hardware store, so this held my interest for a couple of hours.

In the end, I realized I had pretty much everything I would ever want. I did get a chance to see a M1A in a couple of variations. The scout and SOCOM with 16" barrels seemed very sensible and a good size to have, but I guess I will stick to the more traditional model.

I would imagine if you get sick of one configuration, it would be possible to get a second 16" barrel and a different stock and make it shorter. If I am wrong, please let me know.
 

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I went to the Fort Lauderdale Gun Show today and found some manuals for the M1A, so that will give me something to poke through and learn from.
Ron,

Can you advise us what the crowd was like at the gun show?

Were there many people there? What size was the crowd?

Due to the economy, I wondered if people were going to be buying or just looking? Were prices reasonably low enough to encourage people to actually buy stuff?

Or ....

Due to the possibility of the Illinois Marxist being elected, I wondered if the people were concerned and were willing to pay high prices to purchase items before the November election, no matter what the item cost?
 

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Hi TS! It was busy when I was there around 1:00PM. The aisles were pretty crowded, but I heard a couple of vendors complaining about the show. I can't compare it to anything, so I don't know how to gauge the traffic. I saw quite a few people filling out the background check paperwork, so guns were definitely being sold.

It seems like a good place to find some odds and ends items. I saw some decent ammo prices, but frankly with the internet, you can zero in on anything you might want, and then compare prices and select the best deal all from your computer chair. I think the internet must really affect local shops and shows. Anyone with a bit of effort can really do their homework and get a good idea about what an item is really worth, so hopefully people are smarter shoppers.

I was surprised a few local gun shops were not there, but I guess if you are established, you don't need to waste your weekend trying to convince some guy your deal is the best, while he chews on his beef jerky and holds onto his just purchased Glock tee shirts and WWII war memorabilia. :D
 
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