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Old May 14, 2012, 07:40 PM   #26
Ridge_Runner_5
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M1A has style and history. What would the bolt gun have?
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:05 PM   #27
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My experience has led me to realize that one rifle can do alot, but not everything.

I have always owned bolt-action rifles, then abandoned them, went down the "battle rifle" road and realized they didn't really fit what I needed either and am now back into a bolt-action.

I have learned that for a .308 caliber rifle, weight is a consideration. IMO to get the most from the caliber, the rifle should be scoped. Scoped "battle rifles" are just too awkward and heavy for my purposes. This experience brought me back to the bolt action in this caliber.

Regarding the AK-47/AR-15, I bought my SLR-95 long ago because I wanted an intermediary round in a semi-auto platform, I had went down the SKS road initially but "learned" the AK was a better platform, at least from this version of the AK.

I had always discounted AR rifles due to two main reasons, one is the direct impingement gas system, the other was the caliber. I have no use for the .223 caliber.

When AR's became available in alternative calibers (6.8spc) I began looking hard at them. What was offered in the AR in this caliber was much harder hitting ability in the same platform. I eventually got over my direct impingement bias and decided this was the rifle for me.

Had a 6.8spc AR been available when I bought my SLR-95, I probably wouldn't have bought the SLR-95 and not owned an AK at all. I am pragmatic and don't like overlap. But since I already own it and since it is a nice specimen I probably won't get rid of it.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:53 PM   #28
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M1A has style and history. What would the bolt gun have?
Bolt gun would be about half the price of the M1A.

Quote:
SLR-95
I'm generally not an AK fan, but this is probably my favorite one.

I feel like I should go with the M1A and anything else I'll be compromising and justifying it by saying, I get 2 for the price of one!
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:56 PM   #29
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I feel like I should go with the M1A and anything else I'll be compromising and justifying it by saying, I get 2 for the price of one!
If you're going for a do-all weapon, I think the M1A is money well spent. The only other option I think I would consider would be a .308 AR pattern rifle, but frankly, the M1A feels way better in my hands, and is more fun to shoot IMO. Especially if you like irons.

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Old May 14, 2012, 11:02 PM   #30
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Bam! Think I'm going to go M1A and eventually AR15.

I had a 308 bolt gun in the past and the hyper accuracy thing isn't real important to me, plus the kick is no fun.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:24 AM   #31
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The M1A kick will be less than a bolt gun of equal weight and less if the bolt gun was lighter. It will be about the same if it was a "sniper" rifle weight.

Keep in mind, if you are going to get a M1A, getting one that is good, may be a challenge. A large number of the rifles coming out now have almost all commercial parts in them. Very few real USGI parts. Sometimes this isn't a problem, sometimes it is. My brother had to send one of his in 2x because trigger parts kept breaking (I never saw which ones), the last time it came back, they had replaced it with a USGI HRA trigger group. He didn't have any other problems after that.

If you are just going to use it for light range fun, it really won't matter. If something fails you can just send it back to the factory and utilize their lifetime warranty.

If you are planning on doing alot of shooting and/or really need to depend on this rifle, you will need to seek out USGI parts and either replace or have the critical commercial parts replaced. That can REALLY increase the amount of money you are going to have tied up in the rifle.

You really need to define what your primary use is going to be.

The M1A/M14 is a fine rifle. But it is heavy, the ammo is heavy, and it is expensive to "scope well", if you get a good one, it is very accurate, if you get a "bad stackup" it will shoot all over the paper until work is done to it.

Just be aware of what you may be getting yourself into before you lay that type of money out and wind up disappointed.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:30 AM   #32
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M1A has style and history. What would the bolt gun have?
The bolt guns actually have more of both.

Quote:
If you're going for a do-all weapon, I think the M1A is money well spent. The only other option I think I would consider would be a .308 AR pattern rifle.....
The AR is definitely the more "do all", and readily adaptable to it. The M1A doesnt offer anywhere near that flexibility, and most of the add on fixes are more of an afterthought, where with the AR's, they are part of the design.

Quote:
plus the kick is no fun.
If kick is an issue, dont expect the M1A to be any better. Technique, and how you shoot is more of a factor here. .308's arent "kickers", but things like how you shoulder the rifle, shooting with stocks that dont fit properly, and shooting off a bench, can make them (or any of them for that matter) less pleasurable to shoot.


If you go with the M1A, Id suggest you go with the standard model. Unless youre a higher level competitor, I dont think youre going to see any benefit from the match models. Youre better off putting the difference in cost towards ammo, some good mags, and a proper sling.

With the AR's, a good "double" flattop will give you the most options with just one upper.

One thing is for sure, if you havent owned any of them, then you do need to get a decent model of each at some point, as they all have something to offer.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:59 AM   #33
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amprecon echoes my sentiments exactly. I had the M1A on my "to buy" list for eons, and finally took it off. I could never justify the price for a .308 gun that basically I could only hit at 150 yards with irons. Once you decide you want to scope a .308 platform, there are better options out there. I also realized that fast semi-auto plinking is best on cheaper cartridges, like .223 or 7.62x39. What's the point of blowing through a box of .308 in 60 seconds, really? This is all my personal opinion of course.

My only real reason for wanting an M1A was the looks and history, not practicality. If I had infinite money to spend, I'd probably get a PWS MK216 over the M1A anyway, and even that is of somewhat dubious use.

So yah, AR15 type platform for .223...sure. AK47, SKS or Vz.58 for 7.62x39 and boatloads of Brown Bear ammo...yep. A .308 battle rifle? Ehh....I'll take a bolt action myself and make each round count.

(Of course, if I was given an M1A, I wouldn't turn it down!)
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:18 AM   #34
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M1A has style and history. What would the bolt gun have?
Style and history are poor reasons to pick a tool.

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Old May 15, 2012, 08:26 AM   #35
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I could never justify the price for a .308 gun that basically I could only hit at 150 yards with irons.
Why are you limited to 150 yards with iron sights.

I've shot a lot of 1000 yard matches and my best scores have been with my M1A.

Shooting to and past 150 yards isn't about irons or glass, its about fundamentals.
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Old May 15, 2012, 10:31 AM   #36
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Shooting to and past 150 yards isn't about irons or glass, its about fundamentals.
A big AMEN to that.

When shooting 1,000 yds at Camp Perry, I could see the target. My limitation was judging mirage and wind speed.
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Old May 15, 2012, 10:38 AM   #37
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You guys must have some amazing eye sight. If you can hit (see) targets at 1000 yards with irons, what's the point of a scope!
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:18 AM   #38
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Ask how big the "bullseye" is on the 1000 yard target.

I find in certain cases, I actually shoot better with iron sights than I do with a scope, especially when shooting unsupported or from a rest. The scope actually provides to much information when it comes to perceived movement, making it a distraction.

As kraigwy stated, its not about the range or the type of sight, as much as it is the fundamentals. Get the basics down as best you can, and everything else just starts to fall in place. The more you shoot "properly", the more you learn, and I think youll find, you never stop learning.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:45 AM   #39
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checkmyswag -

Have you thought about the cost of ammo for each rifle? As I see it, the AK will be the cheapest to feed, followed by the AR, followed by the .308's (most expensive round).

Have you experienced the recoil of each rifle? In my experience, a .308 bolt (the Ruger Gunsite) will recoil the most, followed by the M1A, then the AK, and the AR will recoil the least.

Do you plan on adding optics or shooting open sights? What range do you plan on shooting?

Good luck, let us know how you decide, and whatever you get, practice with it.
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Old May 15, 2012, 04:12 PM   #40
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Irons mostly. Looking to a general purpose rifle. My range is set up for 1000 yards but that wouldnt be the norm. Inside of 500 yards is plenty good enough.
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Old May 15, 2012, 04:18 PM   #41
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You should try the excellent M14/M1A iron sights before you make your final decision.
The standard length (22.0") M14/M1A comes with the sights & sight radius you need.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:20 PM   #42
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most of the add on fixes are more of an afterthought, where with the AR's, they are part of the design.
To be fair to the M1A, that's not really the case. This is all the M-16 was ever originally designed to be.



It was never designed to be a match gun. It was never designed to be scoped. It was never designed for free-float hand-guards. none of that was ever "part" of the original design.

Quote:
I ain't buying that one little bit. I got my M1A in 1977 and have been shooting it quite heavily since. Shot for the NG until I retired in '92 and still shoot it in competition, which requires quite a bit of practice besides the matches.

I have had to replace a couple barrels and stretched out slings but that's it.
and how many springs did you have to replace to keep it operating? You replaced several barrels are were still operating the same recoil and extractor spring? How many extractors?
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:20 AM   #43
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and how many springs did you have to replace to keep it operating? You replaced several barrels are were still operating the same recoil and extractor spring? How many extractors?
Same extractor. However I might add, I bought the rifle in 1977, I started shooting for the NG, and in the early 80s I left it with Gene Barnett (Barnett Barrels, and armor for the NGB MTU) who converted it to a Heavy Match. I assume he replased the op guide spring when he put in a match spring guide.

But since then I haven't replaced any springs, extractors or anything else excluding barrels.

No barrel is going to hold up with the amount of rounds I put through it. Same with the sling, after years of use the leather slings get stretched.

None of the other internals, bolt, extractor, etc have been replaced. AND IT STILL SHOOTS TODAY.

The trick to NM M1A/M14 is not to take them out of the stock. There is no need, every thing that needs cleaned can be cleaned without removing the action from the stock.
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:27 AM   #44
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To be fair to the M1A, that's not really the case. This is all the M-16 was ever originally designed to be.
No "fairness" about it. Both were designed to be just that. Its just one is much more adaptable to other uses and went down an ever expanding evolutionary road, while the other, quickly ended up in the reserves locker.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:23 AM   #45
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Yes, the M14 is very adaptable and it continues to serve in specialized roles today
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:15 PM   #46
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M1A has style and history.
And it is amazing how the M1a/M14 battle rifle has evolved and is still in use......These current MK14's being used in the military are awesome.....
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Old May 16, 2012, 10:55 PM   #47
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I think I have come to terms with liking straight stocked rifles. I'm not in AKs and did the black rifle thing in the military. So really I'm looking at mini-14 (for a 223 non AR rifle), M1A and Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle for my 308 rifle. Haven't heard much encouragement in this thread for the GSR. It's around half the price of the M1A as is the mini-14.
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Old May 17, 2012, 02:45 AM   #48
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Haven't heard much encouragement in this thread for the GSR. It's around half the price of the M1A as is the mini-14
If you are looking for a "do all" rifle, then its hard to beat the M1A with it's semi automatic operation. It provides for much faster follow up shots and it's staggered column magazines hold more ammo.

The Ruger Gunsite rifle is still a fine choice, but it's more limited in it's capabilities thanks to being a bolt action. The Ruger will be easier and cheaper to scope, as it had a picatinny rail in place for a scout scope and the rear sight can be removed to mount a tradition scope.
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Old May 17, 2012, 04:50 AM   #49
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I'd get the M1A. I have one it and like it alot.
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Old May 17, 2012, 07:48 AM   #50
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The other "advantage" of a bolt-action, if it matters to you, is you can create reduced recoil loads as anything will fire from a bolt. With a semi, they may not cycle.
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