View Full Version : M1A recommendations and where to buy

January 30, 2010, 02:13 PM
I'm looking for an M1A sub-$1600 range. I cannot justify spending significantly more for 'match' barrels, etc.

Would you get a wood or synthetic stock. I love the look of wood, but the durabiltiy of synthetic.

I'm leaning toward a Scout - what would be the benefits of the standard vs. the scout vs. the socom?

What are 'must haves' in this rifle?

Anyone tracking any good deals on rifles 'in stock'? Seems they are hard to find.

January 30, 2010, 02:16 PM
Look for a pre-owned Scout.

January 30, 2010, 03:23 PM
what do you want to do with it?
the socom has a 16" barrel...is deafeningly loud and most times throws a 3ft fire ball that is blinding in even just lower light conditions....think heavily overcast day.

the scout's 18" barrel cuts down on all the above, but is still loud and still produces a fair amount of flash.

i have a socom....cause it was cheap. but i certainly would not track a new one down.

what i really wanted, and still do, is a regular length rifle version.

the plastic stock is ok, but they look better in wood.

January 30, 2010, 03:44 PM
the scout's 18" barrel ... is still loud and still produces a fair amount of flash.

what i really wanted, and still do, is a regular length rifle version.

I have two M14s with 18" barrels and two with 22" barrels... I have not
noticed the 18" barrels being any louder or flash prone than the 22" barrels.

IMHO, the 18" barreled Bush, Scout & MK14 rifles are the best general purpose,
do everything really well M14s made.


I would not talk you out of a 22" barrel, I just prefer the 18" barrel.


January 30, 2010, 03:57 PM
Had a 22" version, honestly too long for me, would recommend the 18" version too.

I don't know what you plan on using your guns for, I had a national match in walnut that was *GORGEOUS,* but that made it a safe queen. As such, I would prefer a synthetic stock so I can take it out, beat up on it, and not feel guilty.


February 2, 2010, 07:14 PM
I know this might get a lot of flak from M1A purists but if you want a sub $1,600 range M1A...look into a Polytech M14S.

Theres a lot of statements about the bolts being soft but most owners either do a heat treatment to harden it (which others claim isn't necessary), or swap in a USGI bolt.

You can find them for around $800 to $900 but you could probably snag a deal from someone who's fallen for the paranoia of the soft bolt. Swapping the bolt or doing the heat treatment won't cost you much and keeps you all under $1,600.

What you get is a fully forged receiver and an admirably chrome lined barrel that can be a real tack driver. My Polytech M14S performs extremely well with match grade ammo.

Depending on the gunsmith you go to if you do a heat treatment or bolt conversion, you'd actually still have room to install a match grade barrel and remain in the $1,600 range.

I'm not trying to bash on Springfield Armory, but in this economy getting the most bang for your buck can come in different forms/makers.

February 3, 2010, 07:36 AM
Check the for sale section here.


I prefer the full size rifle, but that's what i was trained on. The 18's are fine rifles. Buy the SA, life time warranty, even if not the original owner.

February 3, 2010, 08:28 AM
My vote is for the full size m1a and your local gun shop should be ableto put in an order for one or check around at gun shows.

February 3, 2010, 10:29 AM
I love the look of wood, but the durabiltiy of synthetic.

Not sure I buy that. I good impregnated (or what ever you call it when you bake in sealent) is every bit as durable ast synthetic. When the Army was using the M21, and the Marines were using the M-40 in Vietnam, the M-40 spent more time in the armory shops because of stock worpage then the M21.(of course that has been corrected now).

As for barrel lenght; There was a reason that 22 inches was chosen for the M14/M1A. Because its the best comformise in barrel lenght for this rifle ammo combination. Look at these test my grandaughter did for her science project ref; Barrel lenght for a 308. Granted this was 180 gr Rem. Factory ammo, but it will give you an ideal. The velocity would be less in the M1A.

26 2826
24 2722
22 2713
20 2677
18 2654
16 2552

The point with the 22 in M14 w/its flash hider and M-118 ammo, you could not see the muzzle flash at night.

If you just want a plinker go to the short barrels, if you want a shooter go w/the 22 inch.

And wood stocks do hold up. I've been shooting this one in compitition since 1977 with zero problems with the stock. A few shot our barrels and stretched slings but thats it.