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Old February 14, 2021, 10:21 PM   #1
YankeeIronSights
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Springfield Armory M1A Demand

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday, I stopped by a couple of local gun stores and noticed how prices for M1As are through the roof. Entry level models that were readily available at the $1,500 range, new, are selling for over $2,000 used! To make things worse, stores have no .308 ammo in stock, and when they do, all you can buy is one or two boxes of 20 rounds at triple their normal price. I imagine that these prices will only go higher in time.

With this said, which of the M1A models would you buy before the market makes prices prohibitive? Standard, Loaded, Scout Squad, SOCOM, National Match or Super Match?


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Old February 15, 2021, 12:46 AM   #2
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I've fired the scout, scout squad and a match rifle full length. That said, the squad is a much better length than the socom. 16 inch version have a FAT front sight that does not lend itself for any kind of long distance shooting. The Scout has a standard front sight. The Match guns are superbly accurate.

Any M1A will shoot circles around a Mini 14 or Mini 30 from Ruger. Magazines are hard to get. Checkmate or USGI surplus are the ones to look for over the cheap Korean or Expensive Factory Mags.
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Old February 15, 2021, 01:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
With this said, which of the M1A models would you buy before the market makes prices prohibitive? Standard, Loaded, Scout Squad, SOCOM, National Match or Super Match?
None, for me, thanks, already have one. Standard, rack grade rifle, all GI parts other than the receiver. Got mine back when the going rate was $500, same rifle (minus the full auto parts) I trained on in the Army.

Shoots at least as well as I do, no point for me having a match grade gun for an inflated $.

Since I don't do houseclearing or in and out of apc's (and haven't in decades) I have no use for a short barrel M1A. I want, and can use the full velocity from the full length barrel, and don't need to reduce it for ease of carry. I have other rifles for that.

If you don't have one, get one, even at today's prices there's no better RIFLE with the same feel of history. Don't make it into a carbine that's what ARs are for.
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Old February 15, 2021, 09:34 AM   #4
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Bought a new standard model (wood stock) in late 70s when stationed at Ft. Lewis. Around 280.00 otd. Sold it to our unit armorer for same when I went overseas. Very acceptable rifle but way overhyped.
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Old February 15, 2021, 01:45 PM   #5
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Bought my SA M1A "Loaded" back in 2015 when the atmosphere was calm and think I paid $1520 new. Were in the middle of a gun panic with no end in sight. Doesn't matter what kind of gun it is, someone will panic buy it and pay about 20+% more that just a few years ago and ba happy with that purchase.
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Old February 16, 2021, 08:37 PM   #6
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I bought my new SA M1A "Loaded" back in the early 2000's and I paid $1250 with an extra brown synthetic stock and a couple hundred rounds of ammo with a few extra magazines thrown in. The LGS I shopped at frequently kinda put together the whole package to get me to go ahead and buy the gun.
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Old February 16, 2021, 11:17 PM   #7
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Always thought they were cool years back. Finally got to handle and shoot one. Give me a garand or an ar10. Hard pass, especially at those prices.
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Old February 17, 2021, 10:37 AM   #8
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My first experience in boot camp with the garand thumb deal did it for me. Hated 'em since that time.
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Old February 17, 2021, 11:32 AM   #9
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Have an older version standard SA M1A with mostly GI parts including chrome plated bore. Excellent open adj sights, little heavy and very accurate. The older i get, the heavier it gets. The SOCOM owned has the larger post sight set up and is not nearly as easy to use for distance, as they were designed for close up/quick. Put a short adj pistol grip stock on it to get weight more rearward, and it fulfills what i got it for quite nicely. And not planning on scopes for either one.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:58 AM   #10
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I had an H&K 91. I had an FAL. I had an SVT-40. I've had experience with a couple of different AR-10 type rifles. I still have and am going to continue to hang on to my M1A.

Mine has a really good service grade trigger. Still the GI two stage, but the final take up is smooth, crisp, and light without being too light.

And, it has just the right "rifle" ergonomics to suit me.

If you're going to get one, get a 5rnd magazine, just to have, and so the rifle can be considered legal for hunting in those places with restrictions. Unless modified with "something to grab" the 5rnd mags are a pain in the butt to remove from the rifle.

IF possible, get some 10rnd mags. Very handy, allow for a lower prone than the standard 20s and plenty to grab to swap mags with.

Of course, get a stock of 20rnd mags, though in recent years they've gotten spendy(er).

Coming into this now, you're going to spend more $ than I did 40 years ago, but I think the actual value (not number of $) will be close to the same.
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Old February 18, 2021, 02:48 PM   #11
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A range friend of mine had his brand new M1A™ SOCOM 16 RIFLE slam fire on him at the range. Shattered the stock, blew out the mag and sent him spinning for a few seconds. I jumped up and went to his aid, no blood or any serious injury's. Sent it back to Springfield, they determined the action was just fine and the slam fire was caused by shooting foreign commercial ammo PPI if I remember. Springfield re stock the rifle at his expense and he then got rid of it hdbiker
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Old February 18, 2021, 05:01 PM   #12
rc
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I would have been and made them fix it for free given he was using commercial ammo and not his own reloads. It sounds to me like the firing pin got stuck forward in the channel and springfield found a scapegoat with the ammo.
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Old February 18, 2021, 09:39 PM   #13
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I bought a M1A SA NM in 1988 brand new for $1100 or so back then. I got busy in self employment, and I put it up.

Fast forward 33 years later and I've never shot it. Never even loaded it, in fact. Not even once. The factory trigger tag is still attached.

Not sure of its value today. Anyone have any ideas on value for this item?

Lee Emerson published an article about rifles in this serial number range:

"042201 to 063000 This is the serial number range that I refer to as the Golden Age of the M1A. The receiver design had fully matured by this time. The receivers were hand finished by the original designer and master craftsman, Melvin Smith. Springfield Armory, Inc. was awash in USGI parts during this period. Thus, factory built standard model M1A rifles in this serial number range were built with a very high USGI parts count."

The bolt is stamped “TRW” on this rifle.

I'm still going to hold onto it. It's like an old friend...

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Old February 18, 2021, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayou
I bought a M1A SA NM in 1988 brand new for $1100 or so back then. I got busy in self employment, and I put it up.

Fast forward 33 years later and I've never shot it. Never even loaded it, in fact. Not even once. The factory trigger tag is still attached.
Too bad, your missing out on a truly wonderful and nostalgic shooting experience. I just do not get the "buy it, store it, never ever shoot it" thing. I buy 'em to shoot the living snot out of 'em. Life's too short and risky to just look, pet and admire one's guns... (just my opinions)
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Old February 23, 2021, 06:33 AM   #15
YankeeIronSights
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Springfield Armory M1A Demand

With the high ammo prices and shortages, these high priced rifles will become safe queens for many owners.


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Last edited by YankeeIronSights; February 23, 2021 at 06:54 AM.
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Old February 23, 2021, 12:15 PM   #16
bamaranger
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SOCOM

I had the first SOCOM to appear in my area in my hands when they first became available ( late 1988?) As I recall, the asking price was in the neighborhood of $1300. The M1A was approved as a .30 cal rifle bymy agency. The compact length was appealing for use as a patrol carbine, as was the .30 caliber punch. I did not purchase the rifle, that was a lot of money (then and now) that needed to be spent elsewhere. I've regretted not buying that rifle ever since!

As the hog problem worsened in other portions of the park, there were complaints that hogs shot with .223 AR's were escaping after hit on NPS lands ( the US lands were very narrow in spots) onto pvt. property and complaints re same. By great coincidence, a small quantity of genuine M14 rifles (sans auto sear) were being returned to DOD by a local sheriffs department. DOD advised it was "easier" to transfer them to our agency directly, than to return and reissue. The NPS was able to acquire and distribute them to selected staff, and I was lucky enough to get one. As recall, the NPS honor guard had walnut stocked M14's, but these rifles we used in the field had fiberglass stocks.

There were Winchester, TRW and Springfield rifles in that lot. Mine was a Springfield, but had a VERY good Winchester trigger group in it. With match ammo, it was astoundingly accurate, always firing 1.5MOA groups (even with iron sights) with 3 shot clusters often MOA or less, but occasionally displayed a slight wandering zero. The zero would shift by 1-2 minutes on occasion. The rifles were scoped by our agency, and lived in patrol vehicles almost exclusively. I could not say if the issue was the rifle or the scope/mounting system. Shortly after I retired, those rifles went back to DOD,and were replaced by AR10's.
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Old February 23, 2021, 02:24 PM   #17
zeke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
I had the first SOCOM to appear in my area in my hands when they first became available ( late 1988?) As I recall, the asking price was in the neighborhood of $1300. The M1A was approved as a .30 cal rifle bymy agency. The compact length was appealing for use as a patrol carbine, as was the .30 caliber punch. I did not purchase the rifle, that was a lot of money (then and now) that needed to be spent elsewhere. I've regretted not buying that rifle ever since!

As the hog problem worsened in other portions of the park, there were complaints that hogs shot with .223 AR's were escaping after hit on NPS lands ( the US lands were very narrow in spots) onto pvt. property and complaints re same. By great coincidence, a small quantity of genuine M14 rifles (sans auto sear) were being returned to DOD by a local sheriffs department. DOD advised it was "easier" to transfer them to our agency directly, than to return and reissue. The NPS was able to acquire and distribute them to selected staff, and I was lucky enough to get one. As recall, the NPS honor guard had walnut stocked M14's, but these rifles we used in the field had fiberglass stocks.

There were Winchester, TRW and Springfield rifles in that lot. Mine was a Springfield, but had a VERY good Winchester trigger group in it. With match ammo, it was astoundingly accurate, always firing 1.5MOA groups (even with iron sights) with 3 shot clusters often MOA or less, but occasionally displayed a slight wandering zero. The zero would shift by 1-2 minutes on occasion. The rifles were scoped by our agency, and lived in patrol vehicles almost exclusively. I could not say if the issue was the rifle or the scope/mounting system. Shortly after I retired, those rifles went back to DOD,and were replaced by AR10's.
For a number of years Wi wardens had M1A Socoms as truck rifles. As i understood it, largely due to dealing with large animals, in addition to their other duties. They eventually went AR-15 platform for compatibility with other agencys. Picked up a slightly used socom in local gun store soon after.

Last edited by zeke; February 24, 2021 at 07:23 AM.
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Old February 23, 2021, 06:54 PM   #18
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M1A/M14-anybody remember Norinco?
Right around 1984 at a Twin Cities gun show I handled a new in box Norinco M14 clone (semi-auto of course). $400 and I was sorely tempted but restrained myself.
Yeah, I know what could I resell that for today?
But I wouldn't resell it as I am an acolyte of Cheapshooters rule of firearms and I thought that rifle was as good as it gets for the type it was. Now, Norinco quality...it's totally possible I would have got a lemon but still, it's one of my greater firearms related regrets.
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Old February 24, 2021, 01:06 AM   #19
YankeeIronSights
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I am an M1A fan. My first one was a full size Standard model. I loved it until an opportunity to purchase an AR10 style "Other" (Stag Arms) showed up. Some months later, I bought a SOCOM 16 and a Scout Squad. Now I am saving to buy a National Match or a Loaded model. I want to buy it before semi-auto rifles are banned by the Democrats.


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Old February 24, 2021, 09:58 AM   #20
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Was the round that slam fired loaded from the magazine or single loaded?
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