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View Full Version : M1A or heavy barreled AR?


cgbills
August 10, 2009, 07:30 AM
Ok this may seem like an apples to oranges thing but I have been throwing around some ideas in my head and want your opinion. I currently have a standard SA M1a on layaway. I had a savage 12fvss in .308 that I used on trade in for it. I want to scope the M1a for some longer range shooting, within 400 yards. The thing is I started thinking. My Savage did not get much range time because of the simple fact that good 308 costs so much. So I started thinking that maybe if I want an accurate, scoped semi-auto rifle maybe I should get a heavy barreled AR. The DPMSs look good but I see that Sig now has the 556 DMR heavy barreled. Maybe I could get just the upper of that seeing how I already have a Sig 556 classic. Not only is good 5.56 much cheaper, but I already have 2000+ rounds of m-193. I know I won’t have near the range or thump of a 308, or the coolness of the M1a but I would get more range time.

blume357
August 10, 2009, 07:49 AM
but I think you are right and the heavy barreled AR is the way to go...much easier on the pocketbook and body.

darkgael
August 10, 2009, 07:59 AM
Shooters rightly have love affairs with both firearms. For your stated purpose, the AR - and HBar - is the way to go. Less $ per round, less recoil. And, with proper twist rate and bullet selection, the AR will shoot inside the M1A all day out past 600 yards. You won't do that, however, with 55 grain FMJ ammo.

olyinaz
August 10, 2009, 08:31 AM
I've been costing the same issue and it really does seem as if, bang for the buck, it's hard to beat an AR platform these days.

While it's not going to shoot with an M1A (or a 7.62 AR) the other low cost big bore that I've been considering (from a purely fun & cost point of view) is a Dragunov. They're darn neat to look at, it's a .30-06 class weapon, I assume that they're fun to shoot given my experience with AKs and Finnish 7.62 Valmets, and 7.62x54 ammo is still reasonably inexpensive.

I guess the whole thing comes down to what kind of shooting you're looking to do.

Best,
Oly

cgbills
August 10, 2009, 08:38 AM
will the 55gr do decent through a 1 in 9 twist with in 400 yards? What about through a 1 in 10. I ask cause the 24 bull barreled DPMSs come in 1 in 9 twist, the Sig 556 DMR is a 1 in 10

Alleykat
August 10, 2009, 08:47 AM
What is it that you intend to "thump?" If it's just paper or other inanimate targets, you'll find the 5.56 to be up to the job. Lots of 600-yd matches won by ARs.

Skans
August 10, 2009, 08:58 AM
I'll take a good M1A any day over a semi-auto AR15.

5.56 makes a good full-auto round because of the larger capacity magazines. But, unless you like shooting prarie dogs at 1000 feet, you can dress up that AR15 all you want with rails, scopes, flashlights, etc., but it still shoots (well, designed to shoot) .5.56.

Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued a semi-auto rifle in 5.56 to any of its troops?

Then ask yourself: What game do you specifically need .223/5.56 for....that a .22 long rifle or .22 magnum can't handle?

The point I'm getting at is that .223/5.56 is a pretty worthless round in a semi-auto rifle for HD or military purposes. And, I have a very hard time finding any game that I would actually prefer to use223/5.56 on over some other round. All these people buying semi-auto AR's.....I just don't get it.

Alleykat
August 10, 2009, 09:01 AM
Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued a semi-auto rifle in 5.56 to any of its troops?


Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued a bolt-action rifle in 5.56 to any of its troops?

Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued single-shot rifles in 5.56 to any of its troops?

Just ask yourself: Who wins at Camp Perry??

Just ask yourself: Who posts non-germane questions?

RT
August 10, 2009, 10:45 AM
LaRue OSR-- best of both worlds

Skans
August 10, 2009, 01:22 PM
Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued a bolt-action rifle in 5.56 to any of its troops?

Not that I'm aware of. But, I believe it currently issues the M24, chamberd for the 7.62x51 caliber round with a 5 or 10-round internally-held magazine.

Just ask yourself: Has the military ever issued single-shot rifles in 5.56 to any of its troops?

Maybe the Mouseketeer Paper-Punching Army....

Just ask yourself: Who wins at Camp Perry??

I don't know, maybe Kurt Palmer - Garand Trophy--Overall As-Issued ???

sneaky pete
August 10, 2009, 02:00 PM
old Sneaky here: Just to get my 2cents in--what wins "Service Rifle @ Perry???--Hell even the Jar-heads gave up on their m14s in favor of ARs-- But then I'm an "OLD Brown Shoe Marine" and like my Jan '43 SA Garand BUT my '73 Colt SP-1 shoots circles aroud it.THANX--SNEAKY:)

brian45auto
August 10, 2009, 06:19 PM
if you are even 25% serious about long range accuracy, you will not be buying off the shelf ammo.

DnPRK
August 10, 2009, 07:24 PM
There's a reason why M-16s and AR-15s replaced M-14s and M-1As in service rifle matches.

jborushko
August 10, 2009, 07:27 PM
as the old car adage goes... there's no replacement for displacement...

i have both a heavy barrels AR (among my 5 other ARs) and a national match m1a with the stainless steel heavy barrel... i love pushing her out to 900m something a AR cant

what kinda of shooting are you trying to do? with in 400yrds? i guess id go with the AR its just cheaper all the way around...

but me? i like my m1a NM

cgbills
August 10, 2009, 08:33 PM
see that is the thing, i dont have a place to shoot that is past 400m

darkgael
August 10, 2009, 08:57 PM
i love pushing her out to 900m something a AR cant

I'm told - I haven't done it and don't have the barrel to do so - that the fast twist ARs - at 1/7" - and heavy 80-90 grain match bullets will shoot with the M1A out to 1000 yards.
Pete

ronl
August 10, 2009, 09:08 PM
I have a HB Armalite and a NM M1A that has been tweeked a little and I really like both guns. If you are only planning to shoot out to 400 yds I'd go with the AR with a 1/7 or 1/8 twist so you could shoot the 77 and 80gr bullets. Both of my rifles will shoot under 1MOA rather easily provided I do my part and feed them what they like. I would also suggest investing in reloading equipment in order to tailor your bullets to whatever rifle you decide to buy. Personally, I prefer the .308 as it bucks the wind much better than any .223 round.

gun nut
August 10, 2009, 09:18 PM
Get the ar in 308. Armalite, dpms, remington.

olyinaz
August 10, 2009, 11:30 PM
>>>All these people buying semi-auto AR's.....I just don't get it.<<<

Hey no problem, I don't get why anyone would want to get pounded by a .30 caliber round for simple plinking out in the desert with his boys. I don't get why I'd want to spend 50% more on ammo vs. .223. I don't get why I'd bust hares and coyotes with a .308 when .223 knocks 'em flat. I don't get why I'd want to tote a rig that weighs 50% more if there's no need whatsoever.

So you see, there's lot of things we both don't get - you're in good company. ;)

Regards,
Oly

Skans
August 11, 2009, 07:50 AM
There's a reason why M-16s and AR-15s replaced M-14s and M-1As in service rifle matches.

As far as I know the military hasn't adopted the AR15 platform for anything. Semi-auto M-14's or M1A's have at least been in service.

You can't compare a full auto M16 or variant to an AR15. If you are going to do some slow fire style long range contests, well, a good bolt action rifle will out perform an AR15 any day. As far as shooting hares and coyotes goes, I'd much prefer having my Remington 700 22-250 back for that. Or, even a bolt action .223 if ammo cost is a factor. I'm not saying that an AR15 won't get the job done - just not my choice for doing that kind of work.

In my opinion, and AR15 is like having a castrated chiwawa. Some people might find that they look cute and make a lot of noise, but that's all they're really good for.

Its really hard to defend any military style 5.56/.223 rifle. If you're going to be limited to one shot per trigger pull, then there is no reason not to jump up to .308 or if you're just doing some target shooting go to a bolt action rifle.

FWIW, I have a Colt AR15, so I don't have any hidden hate or agenda against the AR15. Nor am I saying the M16 is useless - I'm specifically addressing the AR15.

I guess there are just a lot of AR15 fans here. People probably like them because they are the easiest platform to customize. Regardless of how you deck them out, that doesn't address the issue that, for a semi-auto rifle, they utilize a rather "wimpy" (I'm gonna take some heat for that) round.

blume357
August 11, 2009, 08:12 AM
but while we are rambling....

out of the many semi auto choices... for just about any use... home defense, war, target, hunting I would put an M1 Garrand last on my list.... if for no other reason...I value my thumb too much. with that said, that's just me... lot's of folks like the challenge of this old soldier .... and a hell of a lot of dead Japs and nazis could say more....

for the original posters wishes... I'll still stick with the target AR.

kraigwy
August 11, 2009, 10:11 AM
I know you're talking about scopped semis but I'll chime in anyway.

I've been shooting high power for over 30 years, Started out with a M1A that had been coverted in 1978 to a Heavy Barrel Super Match. I got dist. with it, and it still shoots today. The only problem I had with it, is I've shot our a few barrels and stretched out a few slings.

But I'm a realist, to be competitive now days in high power you need (and I needed) to move to the AR. (I use the WOA service rifle on my colt lower).

The new barrels, using heavy bullets make it more competive then the M1As. Not to mention cheaper to load for and eaiser to shoot.

I'll not give up my M1A, I still shoot it in matches, but for serious shooting I go to my AR.

Take into account both mine are quite heavy so you really couldnt call them tactical rifles, but they are shooters.

cgbills
August 11, 2009, 01:07 PM
Ok so I went into the gun shop to talk with the guy and they had a Bushmaster Varminter there for a good price. I read some reviews (sounds like an awesome shooter) and decided to pull the trigger on it. Also the barrel seems just right to be threaded for a silencer :cool: now I am debating on scopes. If I decide to go the $500-$700 range I think it will be the bushnell elite 4200 6-24x50. If I go $700-$900 it will be the Sightron SIII 6-24x50. Thanks for the input. I'll let you know how it shoots

Robert Yanichko
August 12, 2009, 01:05 PM
I have a NM M1A, Armalite AR-10T, and a couple ARs. They are all different. My AR10 will actually outshoot my M1A (could be it's getting a little worn). Both will outshoot my ARs, even my somewhat tweaked one. Yes an AR with a good twist and heavy bullets will shoot very well for the weight of the platform. But thats not taking advantage of the ammo you have on hand.

You will get lots of advice. Read it , weigh it, and then do what you want. You are going to be the one using it and the only person that has to be satisfied is you.

Mannlicher
August 12, 2009, 03:19 PM
sounds like you just can't afford all the toys you want.

Sadly, thats more and more the rule these days. The only advice I would offer is to figure out which you 'need' more, and stick with that platform.

Trust
August 12, 2009, 04:29 PM
Prefer the M1A over the heavy barreled AR's

M1A just seems to shoot like a dream

Quentin2
August 12, 2009, 07:57 PM
Carried their military versions in Vietnam and like them both. Neither let me down. I voted AR because it is handier and certainly what I'd want today.

Dwight55
August 12, 2009, 09:53 PM
Quentin2 said: " Carried their military versions in Vietnam and like them both. Neither let me down. I voted AR because it is handier and certainly what I'd want today. "

I've carried both, . . . I voted M1A because it is handier for me, . . . and it is what I have today. My wife has the AR in the family.

May God bless,
Dwight

Stevie-Ray
August 13, 2009, 12:15 AM
As far as I know the military hasn't adopted the AR15 platform for anything. You can't compare a full auto M16 or variant to an AR15. Huh? The M16 is the AR15 platform. The military gave the AR15 it's M16 designation; it didn't come from the manufacturer. The platform is still AR15.

darkgael
August 13, 2009, 05:38 AM
Poll. Interesting numbers. 56 votes. 21 posters. What happened to the other guys, I wonder.
Results sure show a love affair with both rifles.
Pete

cgbills
August 13, 2009, 01:02 PM
They like to vote and run. Most of them probably didn't even read the post, just looked at the poll and voted

Waterengineer
August 13, 2009, 01:19 PM
This thread is worthless without pictures. :o

cgbills
August 13, 2009, 01:26 PM
ok ill try to get some pics of it tonight. She won't have her scope on yet

shooter_from_show-me
August 13, 2009, 02:49 PM
" All these people buying semi-auto AR's.....I just don't get it."

I own a AR15 chamber in Rem 6.8SPC and I love it:D. I use Sierra Matchking .277" 115gr OTM bullets.

Bill

Kmar40
August 13, 2009, 03:19 PM
As far as I know the military hasn't adopted the AR15 platform for anything. That's an odd statement. You probably need to research what the AR15 platform is.
Semi-auto M-14's or M1A's have at least been in service.Well, I'm sure the military has NEVER issued anything related to an M1a, cheap cast look alike wannabe abomination that it is. Funny that if that thing said Rossi or Keltec or something, people would berate it for being a potmetal cheap cast piece of junk that it is. Heck a Norinco M14 semi clone is far superior to an M1a.

Quentin2
August 14, 2009, 12:29 AM
I've carried both, . . . I voted M1A because it is handier for me, . . . and it is what I have today. My wife has the AR in the family.


At least you got the one you like best, Dwight. What do I do? Get a civilian version of the AK that was shooting at me 40 years ago! :confused:
Gotta get an AR some day...

LoneStarWings
August 14, 2009, 01:11 AM
The M1A is better if you ever need to actually kill a medium sized animal, like a deer, or you want a rifle that will hold up over thousands of rounds in challenging environments with minimal maintenance. Mine has gone 3000 rounds in 6 months, and been utterly reliable, plus it's 1.5 MOA accurate with good ammo out to the 300 yards I've tested it thus far, and this is a basic scout model with no accuracy modifications. I've only field stripped it twice in those 3000 rounds. Nothing cheap or wannabe about it. It functions exactly the same as a semi-auto M14, looks the same, and readily accepts M14 parts. Norinco & polytech had a rep for bad bolts & trigger groups, not to mention out of spec recievers, but they're often a good bargain if you can find a used one for 6 or 7 hundred. I'd stick to springfield or LRB otherwise. The forged vs. cast argument is chicane sophistry.

The AR-15 is better if you want a target rifle OR you want a light and handy carbine. However, those two things are usually mutually exclusive in an AR. To get an accurate one you want a heavy barrel, which precludes the light/handy part. The "fighting AR" is probably not going to be a lot more accurate than the basic M1A, if at all. However, the target/varmit models are near bolt-rifle accurate. Both rifles have their merits, no sense in getting in a pee-pee measuring contest.

Skan21
August 14, 2009, 03:30 AM
Crud. I would have voted differently if I had known you were only taking out bullseyes. I thought you wanted a gp gun.

Alleykat
August 14, 2009, 06:41 AM
This'll probably come as a shock to one of our resident geniuses, but the M4 and M16 both offer a semi-auto choice on the selector and are frequently used in that mode. To assert that the 5.56 only has a military value when fired in f.a. mode is just sophomorically ignorant.

If you're just into nostalgia, and would like to tell your fellow anachronistic buddies that you own the "special" M1A, then have at it. If you want to shoot MORE accurately and inexpensively out to 600+ yards, get the AR! M1A's haven't made a significant showing at Camp Perry in years!

Oh, yeah, the reason the military's using the M1A in semi-auto, is because it's worthless in f.a. It's also heavy as hell, as is its ammo. ;)

Kurbsky
August 14, 2009, 09:59 AM
I have M1A Match and love it but I would pick DPMS Panther 308 B with a chrome plated BCG ($50 extra). It's accurate, powerful and INEXPENSIVE.