View Full Version : Springfield Armory M1A

January 7, 2011, 11:14 PM
Just wondering from people who owned it what they thought about it.

January 7, 2011, 11:38 PM
Bought one a few months back. Cost over $2,000. Wouldn't group. Tried many powders with Sierra 168 grain Match Kings. Even bought factory Winchester and Federal ammo. Wouldn't group. Called Springfield Armory. Send it back she said. I did. Took about five weeks to get it back. Still won't group. Had a local gunsmith check it out. He used headspace gauges. It would close on the go and no go gauges. It also closed on the field gauge. He said I have an oversize chamber. I'm wondering why Springfield didn't catch that. I will call again and probably go through the process once again. Very discouraging.

January 8, 2011, 08:17 AM
I have a loaded M1A and have about 1200 rounds through it. No problems with it except some after market mags do not fit well. The factory mags work fine and I bought some from the Springfield supplier and they work fine.

Accuracy wise, it will never be a 700P but then again it was not supposed to be one. I had a pretty nice scope on it but find that it is much more fun to use the iron sights. I bought mine with the composite atock and full VLTOR rails.

If I were given a do over, I would have opted for wood. That rifle just REALLY needs a good wood stock. Just my 2 cents worth.

The ones from Cheaper Than Dirt did not work well.

The rifle works just fine for me.


January 8, 2011, 09:32 AM
SA rifle in a glass gi stock with TRW parts, HR barrel, groups 3-4 moa with surplus and irons. SA rifle in a SA wood stock, SA bolt and op-rod, Wilson NM 6 groove. I have tuned the gas system and it groups moa with surplus and glass.

I had to return one rifle for a bolt recall, SA paid freight both ways and had the rifle about two weeks total, did a NM trigger job while they had it for $25. I call that good customer service.

January 8, 2011, 09:41 AM
Every M1A I have owned has worked fine and I have had over a dozen. My best grouping ones were an NM which grouped just over MOA and a loaded which groups at 1.6 moa. My usgi guns all grouped 2-3.5 and worked just fine. You seemed to have gotten a problem gun. This stuff happens. I had a norinco M14 that couldn't group 5 inches to save it's life. I hated it. All my springfields have been good guns.

January 8, 2011, 10:28 AM
Ive owned a couple, still have an early NM thats been a great gun. My Bush model was also a good gun.

The last one I bought was a SOCOM, and I was not at all impressed, and didnt keep it too long. You needed a screwdriver to disassemble it for cleaning, the rail wasnt mil spec (they swore it was), the stock was a poorly done over GI stock (they swore it wasnt), and it was just OK as a shooter.

Ive owned a number of both Springfield's handguns as well, and there too, the older guns are the better choice, if you come across one. Their QC has gone down quite a bit. The fact they have a "great" CS deparment means noting to me, as I prefer to deal with companies that has one no one knows about from lack of use. Maybe if Springfield put the people in the CS department in the QC department, things would be better. ;)

January 8, 2011, 10:40 AM
I purchased a new Scout in 2001 - it was a lemon that was built without any USGI parts and it required 4 warranty
repairs before I could fire 500 rounds and another repair before I fired 800 rounds. The best parts of that Scout
were the receiver and barrel... my M1A experience is NOT TYPICAL, but I'll never buy an M1A again. All of my M14s
are custom built by a reputable M14 armorer. The accuracy and reliability of these M14s is nothing short of outstanding.

My M14 armorer is Smith Enterprise, Inc. and SEI makes M14s to stake your life on.

Good luck.


January 8, 2011, 10:50 AM
i have a scout model i purchased with last year tax return.... i love it. it has over 1500 rounds thru it, and other than a miss maunfactured trigger (the sear contact bar was crooked) it has been flawless.

i rate the M1A a definate buy!!

*** spent $20 at fulton armory for a new trigger and she works like a dream now!!****

Peter M. Eick
January 8, 2011, 11:01 AM
Accurate, Reliable, fun.

What more can be said.


Supermatch, 50 shots, 100 yrds off the bench.


Nationalmatch, 50 shots, 100 yrds off the bench.

I just bought 500 pieces of Winchester brass and 500 sierra 168's. I need to go shooting and make new target pictures!

January 8, 2011, 07:26 PM
I bought a match shooter's back up rifle some years ago.
I shot it in NRA High Power Rifle matches for a few years. Kept it after I stopped shooting them. I shot my best scores with the M1A.

Mine had some work done to it, bedding, trigger, etc. Came with a GI fiberglass stock and a couple of well worn mags.

A couple years ago I traded for a reddish stock, birch, I think. Expected that accuracy might suffer a little but it hasn't as far as I can tell.

The M1A is my most consistently accurate rifle. I have shot under MOA at 200 from prone with a tight sling. And shot two sighter shots touching at the same range at a match. (They were low and on the wrong target but that wasn't the rifle's fault).

My son has shot a variety of centerfire rifles including an AR clone set up for target shooting. He likes the M1A best too.

January 8, 2011, 09:44 PM
A reliable but dated design. Great in a Sage stock BUT an AR-10 is prone to shoot as well and have less felt recoil and be easier to shoot.

January 8, 2011, 10:11 PM
Buy it if you want something that looks like an M14. If you want something that shoots well, reliably, has good quality control and has good features/modularity look elsewhere.

January 8, 2011, 10:12 PM
acp320, an M1A that shoots moa is a rarity indeed unless it is a NM or maybe a loaded. I have never had a std M1A group better than 2 inches at 100m. Bit I have heard of some doing so.

Reminds me of that old western movie, winchester 73, I think. Every thousand rifles or so a perfect specimen is made. :D

here is the typical accuracy from 4 different Loaded M1A rifles. The Loaded version has match barrel, match front sight and match trigger, but is not bedded. Does not have match gas cylinder and match recoil spring guide.

Factory Load Muzzle Velocity (fps) Velocity Variation (fps) 100-Yard Accuracy (Inches)
Winchester-USA 147-gr. FMJ 2810 67 3.17
IVI-70 148-gr. FMJ* 2972 87 3.08
Black Hills Match 168-gr. HPBT 2635 23 1.75
Federal Gold Medal 168-gr. HPBT 2545 22 1.54
WinchesterSuprmeComp168gr HPBT 2736 19 1.63

The M1A loaded has an accuracy guaranty of 3 moa and the M1A NM is guarantied at 1.5 moa.

January 9, 2011, 08:32 AM
The M1A is based off of the M14, which was designed first and foremost as a battle rifle. As a battle rifle it is an excellent weapon and fills this role wonderfully. Problems often crop up when folks attempt to transform their battle rifle into a target rifle. Some get lucky and succeed while others get frustrated and blame the design, the company, or both. If you want a target rifle, buy a target rifle. Otherwise, be prepared to spend a whole lot of money to "get lucky" with your M14 clone.

I have a loaded M1A that has been an excellent rifle and does everything it was designed to do. The ergonomics are perfect for me, function and reliability have been 100 percent, and quality mags are readily avilable at reasonable prices. The M1A comes with iron sights that are second to none, and the accuracy is well within advertised specs. I have no regrets with my purchase and would do it again without hesitation.

January 9, 2011, 08:40 AM
accuracy for a battle rifle is quite good in the M1A and better than the FAL. Although my DSA seems to be very close to my M1A.

January 9, 2011, 08:53 AM
If you're just after performance I'd really recommend an AR-10 of some nature or an FNAR. FN is well... FN. Their reputation is beyond reproach as far as most professionals are concerned. LMT and KAC make an AR-10 to stake your life on. DPMS makes some pretty accurate ones. Like I said, I don't know what you're after. Personally, I love the looks and feel of the M14 series but I'm not that kind of buyer. For the price point they're not in the same league as contemporary designs.

January 9, 2011, 08:56 AM
I have two. A Std. and a Scout. Both run like scalded dogs!! Never the first problem with either! 'Mo

January 9, 2011, 12:32 PM
10mmauto, you can get an M1A for $1500. For that much there are many options, but a KAC will set you back nearly 6k and the LMT will set you back close to 3k. Big difference in price. FNAR is definitely in the range as is an AR-10 and a DSA FAL. I just can't bear to look at the FNAR, it is an ugly duckling.

January 9, 2011, 01:59 PM
This is like my dream rifle, I would LOVE a SA M1A ... Wow! Not sure the model, I think I'd go against my normal Blacktical Taktical preferences and get that nice walnut ... Just seems like the right thing to do... But which model is good for general use, and therefore barrel length? I mean for using it properly don't you need a decent sized barrel right? I would think the one with the 18" is minimum no?>

January 9, 2011, 02:05 PM
If I were to buy another, it would be a "standard" grade rifle. Freds has nice M14 stocks, both walnut and glass, and Id get one of each.

44 AMP
January 9, 2011, 02:39 PM
I got mine in the mid 1980s. All GI parts, except the receiver. GI stock with the cut out for the FA parts. I have shot a 100 yd, 5rnd 1.5in group with my ball equivalent handloads, from a kneeling position. While this was many years ago, (and maybe a fluke) I have never had any problems with its accuracy, reliablilty, or anything else. I have never bothered to bench rest the gun, it hits what I aim at, and when it doesn't, its my fault. What more can you ask?

Can't say about the new ones, my old one still works just fine!:rolleyes:

January 9, 2011, 06:01 PM
Earned my Distinguished rifleman award with an M1a. Used to be that the M1a was “the” service rifle. Mouse guns just were not competitive till the mid 90s. My first is the upper picture, it is a Super Match. Took that to Camp Perry for almost a decade. It is on its third barrel. It has never malfunctioned, never had a jam, never a failure to extract. Well, only partially true. I learned early from my Gunsmith to lubricate my cases as that prevented case head separations. Also made cases last a full shooting season. I did not like the greasey feel of RCBS case lube, which the Gunsmith never removed from his cases, so I rubbed on and left globs of Johnson paste wax on my cases . I found in cold weather I would get bolt over rides if I did not buff my rapid fire cases. Seems the globs of wax slowed the cartridge rise in cold weather. After polishing the brass, never had a misfeed.

I have had misfeeds in the AR15’s that were traceable to magazines. Never had a mag problem with the M1a even though I have used them until most of the finish is gone.



All HRA metal parts except for Douglas Heavy Barrel


All GI parts except for receiver

January 9, 2011, 06:14 PM
10mmauto, you can get an M1A for $1500.
Not an accurate one which was my point. Once you start looking at ones that will actually print tiny groups out of the box you're looking at all those being in your price range or not too far beyond it.

January 9, 2011, 06:19 PM
true, a sage ebr stock will set you back 7 bills and that will bring accuracy down to stock AR level if you start with a loaded model. so about $2500.

January 9, 2011, 06:23 PM
"Stock AR level" accuracy is in the 1MOA neighborhood from a quality manufacturer, almost always less if its got some kind of match features. The M1A can't compete with an AR for value, features, ergonomics, modularity, etc.

January 9, 2011, 08:25 PM
agreed, not to mention WEIGHT. A Sage stock will make a full size m1a well over 10lbs. I think a scout is 10.7lbs with the sage stock. However, if we are talking accuracy, the sage stock will put an M1A loaded near moa, probably closer to 1.5 moa. which is very good.

January 9, 2011, 09:11 PM
other than costing an arm and a leg to feed, i really like the socom2 i found used.
took all the extra junk off it, now its a lean short thing that spits a huge fireball.

January 10, 2011, 09:41 AM
"Stock AR level" accuracy is in the 1MOA neighborhood from a quality manufacturer, almost always less if its got some kind of match features. The M1A can't compete with an AR for value, features, ergonomics, modularity, etc.

We must be on different planets. If you do any reading on the numerous AR.308 platform forums you well read just as many complaints. The same complaints, mag issues, FTF, FTE, accuracy no were close to what is expected. People have problems with high end KAC's and even Noveske's....

I well agree that the AR platform is inherently a more accurate platform. The floated barrel free of a gas cylinder is a better design. The difference in a match prepped M1A and AR10 is so little most shooter well not see any difference.

January 10, 2011, 06:44 PM
First of all, if they're having problems with RRA or DPMS guns that's because they're fairly mediocre manufacturers in regards to QC. That being said, when it comes to rifles, so is SA.
People have problems with high end KAC's and even Noveske's
Yes, I've never heard of any but I'm sure some do. People have problems with their Mercedes and BMWs but saying that they do doesn't put them on the same level as a Kia

There is more than one reason the US Army's Standard Sniper rifle is the M110 (an SR-25) and not the M21. Accuracy, weight, ergonomics, reliability and modularity all come to mind.

January 10, 2011, 07:02 PM
The M1A is based off of the M14, which was designed first and foremost as a battle rifle. As a battle rifle it is an excellent weapon and fills this role wonderfully. Problems often crop up when folks attempt to transform their battle rifle into a target rifle. Some get lucky and succeed while others get frustrated and blame the design, the company, or both. If you want a target rifle, buy a target rifle. Otherwise, be prepared to spend a whole lot of money to "get lucky" with your M14 clone.

That pretty much sums it up right there.

I've had my M1A Scout for a few years and several thousand rounds. No issue what-so-ever. It's as accurate as it needs to be, and has never failed to go "Bang" when I squeezed the trigger.

January 11, 2011, 10:06 AM
There is more than one reason the US Army's Standard Sniper rifle is the M110 (an SR-25).
Accuracy, weight, ergonomics, reliability and modularity all come to mind.

There is negative feedback on the M110... some of what I have read.

Accuracy is great on the clean range, not so great with less than sterile battle field conditions.
The M14 EBR handles these dirty battle field conditions much, much better.

They are heavy. As heavy or heavier than the M14EBR-RI.

Ergonomics are great if your familiar with them, ergonomics on the M14EBR are also great if you are familiar with them.

Reliability falls into the same area as Accuracy, great on the sterile range, not so great in dirty battle field conditions.
The M14 EBR retains it's excellent accuracy in dirty battle field conditions.

Modularity - Both the M110 and M14EBR offer some sort of modularity.

For what unknown reason is the US Army's Standard Sniper rifle the M110?

No, the price for a M14EBR-RI is about 1/3 the price charged for the M110.

Nothing comes to mind.

January 11, 2011, 12:21 PM
I got my M1A in 1977, (four digit ser. # 0068XX). It was a standard grade when I got it, but in the late 70s it was converted to a super or heavy match by NG Armor's (none other then Gene Barnett himself of Barnett barrels). Since that time I've been shooting it quite heavily in competition and practice for competition. The only thing I've had to do to it was replaced shot out barrels and stretched out slings. It still shoots today.

I also went to sniper school and have taught sniper schools using the military version (M21). Not to mention running the AK NG Rifle team using M14s. They are highly accurate and reliable.

For carrying purposes the Super Match is a bit heavy, not so for the standard weight NM M14/M1A/M21s.

Contrary to what is said by those who don't know any better, the original M21s with the ART Leatherwood Scopes are accurate and hold up quite will. In fact according to an NRA write up on the M14 a couple years ago, the M21 held up better, and spent less time in the maintenance shops in the jungles of SE Asia then the Marine Corps M40.

A critical factor on the NM M14 is the bedding. It holds up if left alone. Meaning leave the damn thing alone. There is no need to remove the action from the stock. Any cleaning and maintenance can be accomplished without removing the action. The action should be removed ONLY by qualified NM armors. If removed the rifle needs re-seating and possibly a touch up of the bedding.

Even if one chooses the Standard M1A over the NM version, it should be capable of holding 2.5 MOA, with is enough to score in the high 90s on the NRA 600 or 1000 yard target. Something you don't see in real life on those rifles that reportedly shoot sub minute groups. Long range shooting is about the shooter not the rifle.

Contrary what you read on the internet, you don't need all the gimmicks and placic stocks on the M14/M1A. They will shoot, it's the operator that makes a rifle shoot, not the gimmicks.

M1A Super Match (34 years old)

M21 at the USAMU Sniper School, 1978


January 11, 2011, 04:04 PM
kraigwy, I would love to have you test drive my Crazy Horse M14 EBR-RINM-SEI.
It would be great to see how you do with it and process your personal AAR.


I should ask: Do you had any experience shooting the EBR?