View Full Version : How accuracte is your M1A ?

April 30, 2010, 11:41 AM
Ok, so in an earlier post I asked about considerations into picking a match barrel, and validated some info that I had collected earlier. Many have suggested that the big name manufacturers (Krieger, Shilen, Douglas, Barnett, etc) shoot about the same. SO, I thought I'd start a follow-up thread to validate that statement and hope you guys indulge me;

For the competitive M1A shooters--what match barrel have you installed (make/contour/material/twist), and what MOA accuracy have you been able to work up from a benchrest/sandbag? An idea of what kind of load and yardage you shoot it at would be nice too. :rolleyes:


April 30, 2010, 11:49 AM
I've never shot my M14 from a bench or sandbags.

Prone, single-loading each round (breaking position for each shot), with 168gr Hornady BTHP loads, I've been able to get a 5-shot group that is about 3.125 inches at 200 yards. That's about 1.56 MOA.

Barrel is a Kreiger-Criterion chrome lined 1:12 twist on an Armscorp M14-NM receiver. About 1800 rounds through this one so far.

I've just got from Midway some 168gr Hornady A-max bullets. I'll be interested to see if I notice any improvement... I doubt it, but the cost difference between BTHP and A-max was pretty slight just for the experimental value.

I doubt I'll notice an accuracy difference from field positions, and I know I'll never have a bench or sandbags for a situation where a rifle's potential accuracy actually matters anyways.

Back when I used to shoot from a bench, I had a Springer M1A Scout that I put about 2000 rounds through. Best I got from that was about 1.25 MOA using the same Hornady 168gr BTHP load as in the M14 I have now.

April 30, 2010, 12:15 PM
I dont shoot my M1A from a bench. I shoot it in NRA HP legal positions.

Its more then capibale of cleaning 300 yard rapid fire targets. Thats from a good tight sling, prone rapid fire position.

Thats better then 2 MOA at 300 yards. Thats the place to test the M1A and ammo.

Anyone can slop them in at 200, at 600 its more about the shooters ability to read conditions.

The gun is more then capible of shooting cleans across the course since the 10-X ring is pretty close to 2 MOA on all targets. Problem is, shooters cant do it. Not many 500/500 scores in the National Match course.

Thats why I dont pay much attention to all the claims of sub minute groups.

So, in reality, if your gun and ammo combo shoots less then 2 MOA, you are good to go.

Remember Carlos Hathcock, the one everyone says is the top sniper used a Model 70 in 30-06 that was good for 2 MOA.

April 30, 2010, 02:30 PM
I also never shot any of my M1-A's from a bench. The armorer that barreled my number 2 rifle claimed a 1.5" group at 300 yards when he test fired it. The best that I can remember was a 100-7x at 300 Rapid prone. The x-ring is 3" in diameter at that distance. That barrel,for no apparent reason, shot exceptionally well. It was purchased from Champions Choice and was not a 'Special', 'Select' or anything like that. Just another Douglas barrel from Barnett.
One has to remember that there are many other factors that contribute to gas gun accuracy. Moving parts, vibrations, bedding and tension issues, if not addressed properly, can nullify the potential of even the most expensive barrel. This is why I believe the armorer's skill is as important as the parts provided.

April 30, 2010, 02:39 PM
I never shot a 200 on the 100 yard reduced course with a M1a. This is my best prone slow fire target at 100 yards.


I did shoot cleans at long range with the thing, but by the time you get to the pits the target was replaced or had too many pasters.

I did get a picture of my best 200 RF sitting group with an M1a

a 100-8X


This was shot using a bench rest during load development. Nothing particular remarkable about this ten shot group other than it is AA4064.


The USMC Armorer's built their rifles to shoot ten shots within three inches at 300 yards. If the rifle would not do that, it was not suitable for the Rifle Team. You can expect that most rifles shot under that.

April 30, 2010, 03:41 PM
Question, Slamfire:

Why is this a 197?


The second hole from the top is pretty clearly a 9, not a 10. If one were to close the paper tear, it would be half a bullet diameter from the 10-ring line.

To my count, it would be a 196.

Is it because it is touching a tear of another hit that IS a 10-ring hit?

Can you string a series of hits together, in a line, all the way across the target and as long as all the holes are touching then they all count as X's?

Kinda like this?


April 30, 2010, 06:42 PM
The second hole from the top is pretty clearly a 9, not a 10. If one were to close the paper tear, it would be half a bullet diameter from the 10-ring line.

To my count, it would be a 196.

Why is it a 197? : Because the scorer said so.

Why did I not argue for a 196?: Because I ain't that stupid. :D

The results are in, and the game is over.

But I really like your scoring technique. I would have had lots of 200's with 18 or 19 X's easy. :D

April 30, 2010, 07:02 PM
If you can shoot this, you deserve a 200 at least. :D


May 1, 2010, 08:47 PM

Peter M. Eick
May 2, 2010, 04:54 PM

50 shots off the bench 100 yrds, Supermatch.


50 shots off the bench 100 yrds Nationalmatch.

May 2, 2010, 06:45 PM
Are those with the factory barrels ?

I doubt I'll notice an accuracy difference from field positions, and I know I'll never have a bench or sandbags for a situation where a rifle's potential accuracy actually matters anyways.
I'm new to the sport, only having started last year. I'm not interested in benchrest competitions per se, but considering that my positioning still has a ways until maturity, I try to eliminate variables as much as possible while working up my loads to find which one is truly better. Of course, that assumes that supported/benchrest shooting is more stable & consistent than shooting from a sling in position. Could I be wrong in that?

May 3, 2010, 02:13 PM
My M1A has been rebuilt a couple of times up to a double-lug supermatch by a retired USMC 2112. Currently sporting a Barnett 1-10 twist barrel.


The best group size I ever got out of mine was off the bench at 100yds using FGMM 168gr.


8 round group coming in at around 3/4MOA. Including to two fliers, just over 1MOA

I haven't shot mine competitively in a few years, since the first M1A match at Perry.

Peter M. Eick
May 3, 2010, 07:49 PM
Question to me about the barrels?

Yes those guns are absolutely stock Springfield. No internal changes on either. The Super has a scope on it though. The National is absolutely stock.

Just a decent reload and some basic bag techniques allowed me to do that. I am sure the gun is more accurate then I am with it.