View Full Version : M1A Question. First Post.

January 11, 2011, 09:49 PM
My uncle got me interested in the M1A rifle. I am considering buying a Springfield National Match w/ walnut stock mfg #NA9102 or the loaded model M1A mfg #MA9222 The only difference I can see in the 2 rifles is that the 9102 has a glass bedded stock, national match gas cylinder, national match recoil spring guide, and a nm flash suppressor. Accuracy means a lot to me in the choice, I have shot benchrest smallbore for years. Will I see a major difference in accuracy of the two? What kind of groups would you expect from the two rifles at 100 yrds? Which rifle would you buy?


January 11, 2011, 10:10 PM

And welcome to the forum :)

January 11, 2011, 10:46 PM
Will you be needing to mount some kind of scope?

January 11, 2011, 10:54 PM
There is a difference between the standard and NM version. Whether there is enough difference depends on what you plan on doing with the gun.

The Standard should group 2-2.5 MOA. That is enough to clean or nearly clean the HP 600 & 1000 yard targets. The NM version will go from 1-1.5 MOA. Whether you can clean the above targets is up to you the gun will do it.

I don't know if one needs the mount as mentioned or not, that is up to you.

I've shot mine in competition for the last 35 years. It does fine without the glass.

Too many people put on add on's or gimmick up the rifle to compensate for the lack of willingness or desire to put in the effort to learn to shoot the gun. (That goes for just about every type gun out there).

January 12, 2011, 06:43 AM
The only difference I can see in the 2 rifles

NM rear sight and aperture.

January 12, 2011, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the good information. So you went with the National Match model? about how many rounds can you put thru one of these before the bbl starts to loose some of its accuracy? Can the nm model get those kind of groups with standard factory nato rounds? I do not reload, what fair price factory ammo is out there that you would shoot? Will the national match model have just as much reliability? Any cons to the national match as opposed to the other Springfields?
Thanks for taking the time to answer.

January 12, 2011, 09:02 AM
If you buy the NM rifle do not remove the stock unless absolutely necessary. A bedded M14/M1A does not take kindly to it, after just a few stock R&R's it well need skin bedding. There's really no reason to take it down that far as all PM can be preforms with the stock in place.

January 12, 2011, 09:40 AM

The tension bedding utilized by TROY and JAE and the battle proven SAGE EBR deliver excellent results.
The action can be removed and re-installed by the average person as often as needed without fear of degrading accuracy.

January 12, 2011, 10:39 AM
about how many rounds can you put thru one of these before the bbl starts to loose some of its accuracy?

There is no clear answer to that. It depends on how you shoot it more then how many rounds. It's heat that does in a barrel. If you just fire the NM Courses and reasonable practice for the NMC, the barrel will last longer then one thinks. Most practice should be slow fire, standing, thats where matches are won or lost. In practice for rapid fire, you don't need to fire the full 10 round string. Stick to 4 or 5 round, Shoot the first two, load the second mag and fire 2 or 3 more. That's all you need to get the Rapid fire positions and technique down. For slow fire prone, it makes no since to lay on you belly shooting, its the wind and other conditions that will get you, that's where the practice is needed.

It's not how many rounds you fire for practice, its the quality of practice. Dry firing is great, and doesn't use up a lot of ammo.

But as I said, its how you shoot. An Infantry Trophy Match, or Rattle Battle is going to wear out the barrel faster then normal. Thats where you start at a given yard line and fire as many rounds as you can in 50 seconds.

Having said all that, cleaning or improper cleaning will ruin a barrel more then shooting it. Especially a barrel that has to be cleaned from the muzzle. When one picks a surplus Garand, Carbine, or similar rifle he checks the muzzle wear. GIs are hard on barrels with they clean them with those jointed cleaning rod. If you must clean the barrel with a cleaning rod, use a one piece steel rod. Coated rods pick up grit and carbon and work like sand paper on the muzzle. Use a rod guide. A shotgun shell fits the flash suppressor. De-prime it, drill out the primer pocket to fit the cleaning rod.

Bore snakes used from the chamber are better. Don't over do it. I've when long times without touching the muzzle. Keep the chamber clean though. After shooting a while you'll see parts of the gun that get shinny, thats where you put the grease when cleaning the gun.

As to Ammo: I've used mostly issued match or reloads. Most of my ball shooting was practicing for Off Hand. Just about any ammo will shoot better then I can standing on my hind legs.

Ball will shoot quite will up to 300 yards, its when you get to 600 and 1000 yards that you really see the difference. That difference is often off set by our abilities to judge wind and other conditions we find in long range shooting.

Right now I wouldn't worry a lot about round count. The barrel will last longer then you think.

The one item you need for your M1A, (or any other rifle) is a note book, score book, data book, what ever you want to call it. Use it, plot your calls, plot your shots, record any changes you make. Record everything. Wind, Temp, ammo, positions, etc, ..........most of all record any change you see or make.

January 12, 2011, 11:06 PM
Your knowledge of shooting and the rifle is amazing. I wish you were my nex t door neighbor. I have shot the M1 carbine quite a bit in the past, and always wanted something larger than the 5.56 My uncle purchased a well used standard Springfield M1A, put a new bbl on it and glass bedded the stock all himself. Loading his own rounds and lots of practice paid off for him. He won a match 18 months before cancer took him. I wish I had spent more time with him and learned more. I am leaning toward the nm gun with walnut. I most likely will never reload, so is there any ammo thats decent and affordable I could buy in bulk? I never thought you could clean a gun too much, or use a rod or brush that would hurt the gun. Did you learn all this thru the military? What book could I read that would teach me the most about use and care of the rifle? Thanks for your advice.

January 13, 2011, 08:27 AM
Under normal circumstances a barrel should last between 10k and 15k rounds for the average sharpshooter. If you're after a world championship you well change it ever 2500 rounds.

I would buy some good surplus and shoot the rifle, a lot. Get friendly with it then start working up a hand load for this rifle. Every one is slightly different.

I have two rifles, one is scoped and one has NM irons. I think I enjoy the iron sight rifle more. Shooting steel gongs at 200yds becomes almost boring. 300yds it becomes a challenge.

Get a copy of "M14 owners guide" by Duff & Miller.

Also get "The M14 Rifle Complete Assembly Guide (M14 Garand Rifle) by: Walt Kuleck, Clint McKee"

If you plan on doing any of your own work then a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's shop manual is a must have.

January 13, 2011, 12:19 PM
Both the NM and Loaded models shoot great. Over the past couple years, I have re-entered the M1A world again and have learned quite a few tricks this time around which tune in accuracy. Both the models you mentioned have all the big stuff already done so bedding is really the question at hand.

Myself, I generally shy from glass bedding. Reason is I take my rifles apart a lot and don't want to be bothered with skimming the bed every time I screw it up. That said... I do place shims in the stock to tighten the receiver/stock fit along with increasing the draw on the front band when the trigger gaurd cams in.

No way am I knocking glass or steel bedding. It definitely makes a difference at longer ranges. My shooting is generally 400 yards or less so never required it. Uhh... coulda used a 1 MOA shooter last year when our gang was shooting for who's buying drinks afterward. Since having to pocket those drinks, I've learned to tweak draw pressure, maximize op rod dwell time and remove rubs on the gas cylinder. All of which reduced my groups by more than half.

Bottom line is whichever model you choose, don't be afraid to investigate how it works and tweak to improve it. Just my thoughts.

January 13, 2011, 04:20 PM
Bill follow madcrate's advise on the books.

Good advise on glass bedded rifles - if you get one only take the action out of the stock once a year for a detail clean if that often.

For ammo try American Eagle 168 grain OTM ammo. My rifle will often shoot dime sized 5 shot groups with it and it is reasonably priced at $14 to $19 per box in most gun stores. 168 gain MBTHP Federal Gold Medal match can be bought on line from Cabelas for about $22/box (if you have it shipped to a local store for pick up). This also will very consistently yield dime sized groups at 100 yards. You can also try DAG surplus ammo from Midway for about $100/200 rounds. It has 147 grain pills and will get you 1 to 2" groups at 100 yards.

As far as accuracy (group size) its best after you fire about 5 shots from a squeaky clean barrel and gas system up to about 100 rounds. Then groups will start to open open up.

For cleaning use a good quality coated rod like a Dewey with a good rod guide or an Otis pull through system. The Otis system works well but takes about three times longer to get the barrel clean.

If you can afford it go with the Supermatch (glass bedded and rear lug receiver) or the national match (glass bedded). The rear lugged receiver will give you a little better bedding life before a re-skim is necessary. If you plan on going with a scope get a Basset mount (an outstanding mount for the price) and a cheek piece for proper eye alignment or go whole hog and get the M21 with the adjustable cheek piece - that is the one I have.

My 2 cents.

January 14, 2011, 03:14 PM
Buy the National Match... you won't be sorry. It will out shoot the Factory "Loaded" model by quite a bit.

And join this forum....http://www.m14tfl.com
TONS of great info.

January 17, 2011, 08:57 PM
I had a hard time choosing between the MA9222 loaded and the NA9102 national match. I picked the NA9102 and it came today. Nice looking rifle, I see no markings on it that says it is a national match. Should it be marked as one? Box has handwritten tag that tells the headspace and serial #, but no mention of national match, is the normal? Thanks for all the good advice on the earlier posts.

January 18, 2011, 12:44 PM
Markings under the hand guard maybe. My NM barrel marking was hard to find, under the hand guard just aft of the gas cylinder.