M1A Sniper/Competition Rifle – New Adjustable Precision Stock – Scope Installation & Range Report

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Springfield M1A Loaded
http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/m1a-loaded/
Springfield M1A Scope Mounts
http://store.springfield-armory.com/m1a

FIND ONE ON GUNSAMERICA!

This is the new Springfield M1A Loaded with a polymer Precision Stock. It comes with this case that is large enough to accommodate the rifle with a scope.

This is the new Springfield M1A Loaded with a polymer Precision Stock. It comes with this case that is large enough to accommodate the rifle with a scope.


Of the all the .308/7.62 NATO semi-automatic platform rifles, the only one currently in production with a “mil-spec” design or origin is the M1A, our semi-auto equivalent of the military M-14. To experienced shooters, that little point is a big deal, and it is why you will seldom go to a busy range on a Sunday afternoon without seeing an M1A on the line. Against proprietary AR-15 designs in the same caliber (which most people don’t realize is ***all of them***), the M1A dollar for dollar will match or exceed the big boy AR-15s in performance, and as long as it is lubricated correctly, the rifle rarely if every fails. There are Vietnam era M-14s that are still in service today.
You may recognize the stock from my old Pro-Mag Archangel article. The Archangel is a tough as nails stock with click adjustable comb height and length of pull. The raised cheekpiece is crucial if you want to scope the M1A and shoot it at long range. This is that Archangel stock, but as an OEM printed with Springfield Armory.

You may recognize the stock from my old Pro-Mag Archangel article. The Archangel is a tough as nails stock with click adjustable comb height and length of pull. The raised cheekpiece is crucial if you want to scope the M1A and shoot it at long range. This is that Archangel stock, but as an OEM printed with Springfield Armory.


Geneseo Illinois based Springfield Armory is the only manufacturer of the M1A, and I have found it amazing that despite an amazingly successful polymer pistol line in the XD series guns, Springfield supports the M1A with all the enthusiasm of a new and sexy firearm design to this day. The latest in the M1A line is an addition to the “Loaded” guns, and this one comes with a adjustable polymer Precision Stock. The stock, adjustable for both comb height and length of pull, comes in both black and Flat Dark Earth. Street price for all of the Loaded guns is just shy of $2,000, with a two stage National Match trigger and medium weight stainless barrel. Our test gun performed as well as I expected.

This is my third article in an M1A series, and this particular Precision Stock gun I would like to take partial credit for because I was one of several reviewers a couple years ago to review the Archangel M1A stock from Pro-Mag. As a big fan of the M1A, I was blown away by how well my out of the box Socom performed with an out of the bubble package polymer stock. The clicks of the adjustments are positive and stay put, and that Archangel is still on that rifle. We saw that gun again in my more recent M1A Sniper – On the Cheap or All the Way!, where I put a scope on it, as well as a scope on a full length wooden stocked M1A.

The length of pull is also adjustable with another positive click adjustment knob, and the recoil pad is substantial.  Note the Made in USA logo.

The length of pull is also adjustable with another positive click adjustment knob, and the recoil pad is substantial. Note the Made in USA logo.


Since then, Springfield did a big service to those of us who love the M1A, but who also really need optics to fire the rifle at long range. When you put a scope on a rifle, you need a raised cheek piece in order to get a proper cheek weld. On the M1A, until now, you had a choice of either installing the military style leather cheek rest (which isn’t high enough), or investing another couple hundred bucks or more into an Archangel. The other option is of course to just hold your head up lol, which most of us do. But without a proper cheek weld your neck is just another muscle that you are trying to hold still. This Archangel actually says Springfield Armory on it, which makes the gun “all original,” with the adjustable comb that you really need to shoot the gun well.

The Archangel, which Springfield now calls the Precision Stock, equals the performance of the Springfield National Match wooden stocks, without the need for elaborate bedding. The design is fairly simple actually, but don’t confuse that with cheap. After hundreds of rounds through my original stock product, and another few boxes through this gun, I have never had either gun move in point of impact of loss of accuracy, and the positive clicks of the adjustments stay put, forever.

I prefer to shoot 5 round hot gun groups for my tests of a gun that is meant for competition. This is Hornady American Whitetail ammo, which has always been stellar in .308s, and I could reliably group into 1.5 MOA or better.

I prefer to shoot 5 round hot gun groups for my tests of a gun that is meant for competition. This is Hornady American Whitetail ammo, which has always been stellar in .308s, and I could reliably group into 1.5 MOA or better.


In my accuracy tests of this rifle with Hornady American Whitetail and Superformance SST, both in 150 grains, I reliably shot about 1.5 MOA over 5 rounds, rested. That means that the pattern of dispersal at 100 yards was about 1.5 inches. Some of my 3 shot groups were sub-MOA, but I don’t like to count those because most matches are at least 5 rounds. This was also with a hot rifle. In a sniper situation, with a cold rifle shot after a cold rifle zero, you can count on sub-MOA in my experience with these Loaded guns.

If you have never looked around before at adjustable competition and sniper stocks, they go into the 4 digits, and high 3 digits is not uncommon. The Pro-Mag Archangel was already a great deal on a great product, but included with the gun, I think it is a huge score. I’ll be buying this M1A from Springfield, which will be my 4th.

It was harder to keep the groups in the 1.5" range with the Hornady Superformance SST 150 grain ammo, but its hot ammo so not unexpected. For super long range the Superformance is popular.

It was harder to keep the groups in the 1.5″ range with the Hornady Superformance SST 150 grain ammo, but its hot ammo so not unexpected. For super long range the Superformance is popular.


As you can see from the pictures, mounting a scope on an M1A requires a purchased mount, and none of the guns come with one at present. Springfield has sold an aluminum mount for many years, the newest 4th gen is currently $123, and I personally have never had an issue with it. But for the purists and heavy shooters out there, they have a new 4th gen steel mount that is $299. I am going to ask them to send me one for another article to compare the two head to head, but for this build I used a copycat mount from UTG just to see how it works, and it is currently only 26 bucks on Amazon. I don’t like to cherrypick high end equipment for my tests, and from what I have seen so far the UTG mount works pretty good, and it doesn’t have those bothersome roll pins to deal with.
Please see my prior article on scoping an M1A. If you have the correct size punch and you are gentle it is easy to take out the roll pin on the stripper clip guide, which is discarded. The mounting point for the mount is the dovetail from the guide.

Please see my prior article on scoping an M1A. If you have the correct size punch and you are gentle it is easy to take out the roll pin on the stripper clip guide, which is discarded. The mounting point for the mount is the dovetail from the guide.


And speaking of the roll pins… If you read my last M1A article, you’ll see a lot more detailed explanation of how the M1A scope mounts work. The connection point is the stripper clip guide. You have to push through the roll pin that holds that guide on, then you use that dovetail for the scope mount, which is held in place by the same roll pin. I have had a couple wars with that pin and I’m not a fan of taking it out myself, so if you don’t have the right sized punch, and experience with taking roll pins out patiently, you might want to ask your local gunsmith (if you even have one), to change it out for you. They shouldn’t charge you more than $20, because it is literally just removing the pin and putting it back in with the scope mount block. This UTG mount still requires that you remove the stripper clip guide, but it mounts with a set screw.

At present, Springfield is shipping all of the M1As with the stripper clip guide installed, but I have lobbied them to ship at least this gun with the guide not installed. I think most people are using this gun with a scope, and if you plan to shoot the gun with the open sights, or you are buying the Springfield mount or a copy, putting the roll pin in is a lot easier than taking it out.

I used a $26 UTG mount for this test. It attaches with a set screw instead of a roll pin.  Most likely it will not show long term viability and I am going to get one of the $299 Gen 4 steel mounts from Springfield for a future installment in this series.

I used a $26 UTG mount for this test. It attaches with a set screw instead of a roll pin. Most likely it will not show long term viability and I am going to get one of the $299 Gen 4 steel mounts from Springfield for a future installment in this series.


If you want to order one of these guns, the stock number is MP9820. It has a medium weight stainless steel National Match 22″ barrel with six grooves in a 1:11 right hand twist, a National Match tuned 5 lb. trigger, and standard .052 adjustable rear peep sight with a .062 post in the front. The overall length with the standard M1A flash suppressor is 46.25 inches, and it weights just over 11 lbs. empty with the mag. The trigger on our test gun is just under 5 lbs., with a little bit of takeup and a crisp break with no scratch or drag. In several boxes of both high end Hornady ammo and cheap range ammo there were no failures. This is yet another great M1A in the Springfield lineup. If you don’t have one yet, don’t wait for the ban crisis.

These are the two mounts next to each other.  I first tried this rifle with the Leatherwood 1200, but I did my accuracy tests with the Burris Veracity First Focal Plane scope that I stole off of the wood gun. It is a really sweet scope.

These are the two mounts next to each other. I first tried this rifle with the Leatherwood 1200, but I did my accuracy tests with the Burris Veracity First Focal Plane scope that I stole off of the wood gun. It is a really sweet scope.

The UTG mount is much lower profile than the Springfield mount. For 26 bucks hello?

The UTG mount is much lower profile than the Springfield mount. For 26 bucks hello?

The bottom rail on the front of the Archangel stock comes with this cover.  It is nice to have the bottom rail for high end bipods, which these days mount to a Picatinny rail, not a sling swivel.

The bottom rail on the front of the Archangel stock comes with this cover. It is nice to have the bottom rail for high end bipods, which these days mount to a Picatinny rail, not a sling swivel.

There is still a sling swivel in the front, as well as front and rear ball bearing swivel mounts. The gun doesn't come with those swivels, nor does the original Archangel.

There is still a sling swivel in the front, as well as front and rear ball bearing swivel mounts. The gun doesn’t come with those swivels, nor does the original Archangel.

If you read my original Archangel article, I had to shave these two pads down to fit the stock to my Socom. These OEM stocks must have a slightly different spec because they are not shaved.

If you read my original Archangel article, I had to shave these two pads down to fit the stock to my Socom. These OEM stocks must have a slightly different spec because they are not shaved.

The trigger group and stainless steel barrel are both from the National Match custom shop at Springfield.

The trigger group and stainless steel barrel are both from the National Match custom shop at Springfield.

The ammo used in my tests were both 150 grain.

The ammo used in my tests were both 150 grain.

Taking apart the M1A and putting it back together is fairly simple, and the parts are readily available in what is a pretty flexible platform compared to proprietary AR-15 designs.

Taking apart the M1A and putting it back together is fairly simple, and the parts are readily available in what is a pretty flexible platform compared to proprietary AR-15 designs.

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Oscar August 7, 2017, 9:31 am

    Never carried the M1a in Hot situations but I’ve Never cared for 5.56 and feel them inadequate in stopping and/or neutralizing Human threat. I prefer a minimum of 140 grain bullet for a Combat round. You can Always tell wether it’s 556 or 308, which makes the hole. I grew up shooting the Garland and 700 Remington in 30.06 and to this day much prefer the M1a actions over any other semi-auto I’ve shot and I’ve shot quite a few. I’m the proud owner of Garands and M1a 308, Socom I, which I love. It’s not a competition rifle but I have No problem spinning a 5″x5″ plate off hand at 200 yards, with Vortex Red Dot. It’s taken a long time but the U.S. appears ready to rechamber Combat rifles to 7.62, which is the best thing since the M14 battle rifle. Lastly, I’m not nor have I ever been a competitive shooter but I think I’ve shot more than 90+ % of my peers, that said, if I go to the range with the intent of shooting real tight groups I take either a 700 in 30.06 or a 6.5 Mauser. No difficulty shooting less than a1 MOA at 200 yards with factory loads. Living in the MW it’s not easy to find places to shoot hundreds of yards but I’ve hit a 12×12 plate at 800 yards with little difficulty using the 700. Seems if your sincerely looking for the longest and best shot you generally use a Bolt action.

  • clifton e. pigg January 4, 2017, 6:41 pm

    I wanted and purchased aM1A loaded-added a gen.4 mount-a 56mm springfield scope-springfield sling-springfield case (it came with the archangel stock)-added a springfield bipod-heavy as **** but I can get 1.1 MOA at200 yds.i don’t completion,just for fun.

  • Steve Warren August 1, 2016, 3:47 pm

    When looking at this platform, the M1A/M14, keep in mind the main “Service Rifle” used by competitors at the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio was the M1A/M14 for many years. Most shooters started with the M1 Garrand and then moved up to an M1A or M16, but all serious service rifle competitors have spent a lot of time looking through the sights of an M14. That being said, the serious competitors that shoot to win, the High Masters, routinely clean the course, or a least shoot 199 out of a possible 200 with 8 or 9 Xs at 600 yards with iron sights. To put that in perspective, the 10 ring on the 600-yard target is 12 inches diameter and the X ring is only 6 inches on the 600-yard target…. and they don’t get sighters!

  • Steve Warren August 1, 2016, 1:24 pm

    BTW… as someone who has shot the M1A extensively, one quick comment about those leather cheek pieces I see laced to M1A/M14 butt stocks. Those were actually designed for the M1D sniper rifles with the scope offset to the left. The scopes were outset because the M1 loads with a clip from the top so the scope mount moves it to the left to give clearance for the clip. Those lace on leather cheek pieces were to move the shooters head to the left so it would line up with the scope. It was never meant to raise the shooters stock weld up to where his eye was in line with a scope. It actually doubles the shooter’s problem. Now not only is his eye too low, it is also too far to the left to get on the scope. What I have seen on M1A/M14 is the use of closed foam (sleeping mats) and 100 mile per hour (duct tape) tape to build up the comb of the rifle. That seems to work pretty well.

  • LRguru December 30, 2015, 10:20 am

    Article is good. I struggle, however, with an evaluation of a “Match” style rifle, using hot 5 shot groups as a measure of comparison to keep things on the level, but using non match grade ammunition which might be stellar, but is not a well known or vetted commodity. I can appreciate selection of equipment which is of good quality but not from a GQ level manufacturer, to test and evaluate gear that the common guy with a regular budget will purchase. However, with the supplied test info of 1.5ish MOA, I won’t be purchasing one soon. If it was a 0.75MOA rig, which it might be, I’d be much more likely to drop the coin. The Ammo might be the fly in the ointment. My point is, if you are testing a rifle for a company that needs sales in a tight market, giving it the best possible opportunity to shine would help them. It also will allow us mortals know what the best likelihood is if we by some premium fuel.
    Just my take.

  • SpYcHo December 29, 2015, 5:44 pm

    I appreciate most all the information I glean from the web, blogs and firearms rags for what it is. Information. What one does with it is completely up to them. Juat like television, if you dont like or disagree with what you see, change the channel. Its one of the freedoms our forefathers and Militady paid for and defend. Some just dont seem to appreciate it as much as others….. Keep up the good work!

  • KTK December 28, 2015, 4:01 am

    I am surprised there is no love for the Scar 17 anywhere on this page. It is currently in U.S. Military service, shoots sub MOA with 168gr match loads and weighs a lot less than the M1A. I realize the article is about the M1A I am just surprised with the fact that he said that no other semi auto .308 that have been in service can stand up to it. That is a falsity. The Scar 17 beats the pants off the M1A in several areas and you don’t need to buy a match version of it to do it. It’s extremely accurate, light weight, light recoiling, reliable as hell, and comes ready to accept an optic. Also the stock comes from the factory adjustable for height and length of pull. Just thought I would mention that.

    • Bellusci December 11, 2016, 10:55 pm

      I just checked out the scar 17. And at nearly 4000 the price point may be an issue for the common man

    • Fusedspine33 April 23, 2017, 6:18 pm

      FN needs to find a way to reduce the price on their rifle. It is not sub-MOA and beats the snot out of optics. Yes, I really want to try one, but just can’t justify over $1800 on any rifle (before accessories).

  • gabo August 14, 2015, 9:51 am

    The Rodney Dangerfield of semi .308’s has got to be the FNAR. Because it doesn’t LOOK tactical leaves many looking for another gun. I’ve had mine for several years now, besides being an awesome hunting rifle (handloads for the Hornady 180gr. SST) dropping whitetail, mule deer and elk, it also has shot sub moa groups out to 500 yards w/ the 168 SMK. Feeling like it was carved out of a block of granite, it shoots clean, and I would put it up against any semi .308 on the market.

    JSOU sniper instructor (active reserve)
    MacDill AFB

  • Ben Celano July 31, 2015, 9:45 pm

    Enjoyed the article. As far as scope mounts go try one from Bassett Machine Tool of Dripping Springs ,Texas. It takes less than 30 seconds to install, is rock solid and requires no modifications to the rifle. One model lets you still use the iron sights on the rifle. They have a website. Check it out.

  • Lenny July 30, 2015, 2:42 pm

    My unit carried the M-14 in Vietnam. We constantly kept them clean. But, the humidity was high, and we were never dry. In the morning, we would often fired the round left in the chamber, just to work the action, which seemed to rust overnight. But, as an AR-15 owner, 3 times over, I still prefer this weapon. It is sturdy and never feels, despite the caliber, like it will shake apart. And, even my M-14, with it’s service use, seems more accurate than the M-16, with open sights.

  • Lenny July 30, 2015, 2:41 pm

    My unit carried the M-14 in Vietnam. We constantly kept them clean. But, the humidity was high, and we were never dry. In the morning, we would often fired the round left in the chamber, just to work the action, which seemed to rust overnight. But, as an AR-15 owner, 3 times over, I still prefer this weapon. It is sturdy and never feels, despite the caliber, like it will shake apart. And, even my M-14, with it’s service use, seems more accurate than the M-16, with open sights.

  • Mike July 28, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Your article contains some wrong info. The new Springfield M1A Loaded with a polymer Precision Stock doe’s not come with a case that is large enough to accommodate the rifle with a scope. I purchased one a couple months ago and it comes in a cardboard box. Also called Springfield Armory to confirm and they said I was correct. Only the more expensive National Match Grade rifles come in a case.

    • Phil July 21, 2016, 10:36 am

      I just received my M1A Loaded, in the archangel and it comes in its own hard case, large enough to suit a scoped rifle.

  • Steve July 27, 2015, 10:51 pm

    MY SAI LOADED ARCHANGEL RANGE REPORT = AWESOME 1/4 MOA
    Iv’e had the same rifle for 2 years now, I installed the Archangel stock myself, had a M1A specialty master rifle smith do a trigger ‘adjustment’ as He called it ( basically a trigger job ) then installed a Tubb’s OP rod spring, also a Sadlak Op Rod, plus I shimmed the gas system, ( all of this is discussed in depth on M14Forum dot com ) , I also installed a mid priced Nikon M-308 scope and started to hand load for accuracy.

    With 147 US manufacture ball ammo it now shoots 1MOA, with my Berger 150 grain VLD hand loads, new Hornady match brass and the gold standard for the M1A powder which is IMR 4895 it puts 5 shots consistently behind a dime. ( no flyers ever ) and many times hole thru hole !

    The down side is the rifle is HEAVY , but as they say > if it’s too heavy then get stronger lol.

    Are there somewhat better made M1A’s out here YES , for example LRB brand M1A receiver is forged ( SAI is cast ) LRB installs forged extractors ( SAI’s extractors are known to break ) and LRB’s are made is much smaller batches with more attention to detail and the customize them to customers spec, they also tune them and they are made by guy’s who only specialty in the M1A platform but Your gonna pay BIG for a small shop LRB .
    There are others small specialty M1A manufacturers too such as James River Armory ….cheers

  • Richard Johnson July 27, 2015, 3:08 pm

    A simple little question. Is this CA legal or does that little pistol grip turn this into an AW.

  • Adrian Shell July 27, 2015, 3:06 pm

    This is the rifle in .308 against which all other rifles are judged against, this is the grand-daddy.

  • David Rodgers July 27, 2015, 1:36 pm

    Why wouldn’t you use the hornady tap or some kind of match ammo to do this test rather than regular hornady hunting ammo?

    Anything factory loaded with an amax or sierra match king bullet vs the hunting bullets would be a start. The ammo that you chose wasn’t meant for superb accuracy it was meant for shooting a deer 100-150 yards away.

  • Scott Silva July 27, 2015, 12:39 pm

    It looks nice, but it is another thing you can’t have here in Kommiefornia without some sort of magazine lock….
    M1A’s get by the laws stock, but the Archangel stock gives them an “evil” (sic) feature…

  • BDub July 27, 2015, 10:34 am

    I bought one of these stocks a little over a year ago, for my M1A Loaded. The Stocks are very nice quality, but the having to shave down the pads was a pain in the butt, and I was never happy with my result – thinking I shaved down a bit too much. Its barely perceptible but I feel like there is a bit of gaping between the receiver and the stock where the trigger group isnt locking it down tight enough because of the excess material that was removed.

    I wonder if Springfield will be sell the stock with the new spec by itself? If so, I would consider replacing mine.

    • Administrator July 27, 2015, 10:52 am

      They aren’t right now from my information. You could just make a shim for it. I warned about that in my original article on the Archangel. I used a razor blade to just scrape away a little at a time.

      • Paul W. June 20, 2016, 1:30 pm

        to shim, or not to shim……old “gift” cards work fine.

  • Rick S July 27, 2015, 9:23 am

    Found it it interesting that SAI decided to do an Archangel plastic stock.

    Also – as a point of information – they are the only manufacturer of the M1A – as they trademarked the name – but you can purchase a VERY FINE M-14SA (semi-automatic) from LRB (forged receiver) – Fulton (cast receiver) – James River Armory (forged receiver) – Smith Enterprises (CNC billet machined), and JY Wolfe is rumored to be bringing a forged receiver to market in the near future.

    These manufacturers offer both bare receivers for those of us that love building our own, or complete actions (and/or full rifles in stocks) for those that prefer “off the rack”.

    Aside from an SAI Super Match (which is an older vintage, built by Nelson Custom in ’98, they were doing SAI’s Match Builds at the time) – as an M-14 Armorer, I have built a variety of configurations on each platform – all with USGI parts (trigger groups, Op Rods).

    LRB – 22″ JY Wolfe Medium Modified SS Barrel – LRB Bolt – HRA Op Rod and Trigger Group – JAE Precision Stock

    Fulton – 16″ Criterion Barrel – Fulton Bolt – HRA Op Rod and Trigger Group – Juggernaut Bullpup Stock

    James River Armory (Rock Ola) – 18″ JY Wolfe Medium – JRA Bolt – HRA Op Rod and Trigger Group – Troy MCS Stock

    Smith Enterprises – 18″ SEI Barrel – TRW Bolt – TRW Trigger Group – Winchester Op Rod – Sage EBR Stock

    So – while Springfield builds very nice off-the-rack M1A’s (M-14’s), they are NOT the only game in town (wish they sold bare receivers – you can only get them at the match in Ohio once a year).

    There is also still a huge aftermarket for M-14 parts and accessories.

    Personally – while the plastic Archangel stock is a cost effective option for a “precision style sniper stock” – they are also not the most effective for a TRULY LONG RANGE sniper-type bedded action with accessory mount options. It’s still a cheap plastic stock – any way you slice it.

    For a TRULY FLEXIBLE stock, with high precision capability -l ook at the JAE (James Allen Enterprises) stock – pricey and a relatively long wait – but a PIECE OF ART. My LRB build shoots just over .75 at 100 yards with M119LR Lake City and 178gr Hornady Super Performance Match.

    The Sage EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle) Stock is also a precision stock that must be pretty good – since the military has revived the M-14 in this stock as a Squad Designated Marksman rifle for issue in Afghan and other places – and it is in used by SpecOp units all over the world. Sage stocked “re-issues” MUST SHOOT under a minute – when assembled at Anniston Depot, or they go back to figure out WHY (and are not issued).

    Archangel is a “weight effective”, low-cost (and readily available) option for M1A/M-14SA actions – but I wouldn’t be thinking about 800 yard “cold bore” sniper shots with it.

    Also – ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT – M1A/M-14 is a HEAVY PLATFORM to be lugging around. Especially in “full dress” with large optics and accessories. I would grab my JAE Sniper Setup for a “perch scenario” (with Bushnell HDMR) as it’s doped to 500 yards and makes consistent hits there, and has scored hits for ME at 700 yards (though I am admittedly at better at 300 and closer). But the thought of lugging this thing around in the field, demonstrates just how much I need to hit the “BowFlex” every day (instead of using it as a clothing rack).

    As much as I LOVE the platform (damn, I own and have built enough) – my FN SCAR-17 would still be the “first grab” out of the rack for a 7.62 NATO shooter that I have to move around with – lightweight, accurate, low recoil. I have friends that score consistently out to 6-800 yards with this platform. My Tavor would be the first grab for a 5.56 NATO shooter (again, small profile and accurate for shorter encounters).

    Not to take ANYTHING AWAY from SAI – they still build a fine “off-the-rack” 7.62 shooter – and their support is still excellent. But if you’re really into this platform (as I and many others are) – there are PLENTY OF OPTIONS out there.

    James Rivers stated goal with their M-14SA platform – was to give SAI a “run for their money”, and I think Mark and the guys there are beginning to make some really good headway on that goal.

    Perhaps Guns America should give JRA/RockOla a call, and get one of their fine examples of the platform for examination and review?

    Thanks for always keeping me abreast of the goings-on with my favorite topic – GUNS!

    Regards,

    Rick Stern
    M-14 Nut

    • Will Drider July 27, 2015, 2:36 pm

      The M1A/M14SA being a heavy platform is relative to the shooter the same as precieved recoil is. The M14SA I mentioned went back to the bush for several years with me in Idaho hunting mule deer and elk. A great advantage was being able to still use iron sights under the scope mount or remove the scope when terrain/stalk required. It was always the topic of conversation in Camp and with the few hunters I encountered.

      For “Johnny” in preceeding comment. The Author who you attempt to belittle with your comments is the OWNER of Guns America. Hardly a poser. Providing a procedures tip on something that may be difficult for some DIY folks in order to avoid damage to the firearm is prudent as people with different skill levels read this. Constructive comments and differences in opinion are fine, personel attacks are childish and only serve to qualify the character of the Poster.

      • Al July 28, 2015, 11:07 am

        Since the early 60s I have studied books on guns, owned guns and been interested in the mechanics and accuracy of them. Fortunately I am smart enough to know that if someone is going to share their experience both in what works and does not work for a specific model of gun, be it hardware accessories or optics. That person is saved me thousands of dollars in trial and error, I would not take anything someone said as gospel but if you talk to enough people and read enough articles about something you are much better off. I take away something valuable from any conversation or reading about a topic. That said you must have respect for someone who is willing to discuss things with you. I myself love to take everything I buy apart immediately and look for the sharp corners, the burrs, the possible hairline cracks, bad forgings etc. Smooth and clean everything up then put it back together. I would almost never fire a weapon that I didn’t completely disassembled and look at minutely. Tight-fitting pins and roll pins are hard to manage and you can end up with what was a great finish on your gun but now with a scratch you can’t remove. If it wasn’t a cheap gun it would be worth the money for a gunsmith to do the job. That being said I have a small drill press that I sometimes use, chucking up the right size punch or using a drill bit upside down in the chuck. That helps me apply even pressure to the pin. With the dawning of firearms blogs I can’t believe how much readily available information there is. I found the comments in this particular blog to be fascinating! I did not know a thing about the rifle being discussed it looks like a great rifle that can be customed out to a very enjoyable firearm. As always stay safe.

  • StevMT July 27, 2015, 8:21 am

    I think there were countries that adopted the AR-10. The only one that I know off the top of my head was Sudan. The Dutch may have also used it, but I know I have seen Sudanese AR-10 rifle. I know they were not major players like the M14, but the AR was a 7.62 before it was a 5.56.

    • Administrator July 27, 2015, 8:25 am

      Tinpot dictators buying a container of guns doesn’t constitute military adoption lol.

      • StevoMT July 27, 2015, 12:35 pm

        As I said, it was not a major player.
        Looking it up, I see there were about 9900 AR-10 rifles produced beginning in 1956. Sudan purchased 2500.
        Other buyers were; Guatemala, Burma, Italy, Cuba, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Finland and S. Africa.
        Another 7.62 firearm that certainty wasn’t only ordered by “tin pot dictators” is the FAL. It saw more military use than the M14 and is being produced currently in the US by DSA Arms..

        • Administrator July 27, 2015, 1:52 pm

          Yea, the DSA guns are nice, but I don’t know how many of the parts are actual current production.

  • Joe July 27, 2015, 7:53 am

    Yes, I wanted one of these badly but I couldn’t justify the price. I also wanted a M 1 Garand but the Obama administration saw fit to shut the door on all those Garands returning home from South Korea leaving the profiteers cart blanch on pricing them out of reach once again.
    So here I sit happy as a pig in swill with My $ 750.00 Palmetto State Armory AR 10 type proprietary Black rifle. And I don’t have to worry about that bolt rod bending if I go to the upper end of ballistics with a reload.
    Still wish it were a M1A though….

    • Frederick July 27, 2015, 10:52 pm

      If you really want a M1 Garand just jump through the hoops and get one from the CMP. I bought one a few years ago and was very pleased with the way the Greek Air Force treated the rifle for the many years they had it. Plus, by purchasing from CMP you are supporting a very worthwhile shooting program.
      JMHO.

      • Joe July 28, 2015, 5:22 am

        Thanks for the input Frederick.
        I considered going that route some time ago but it did leave me with a “chase the carrot ” taste in my mouth (a bit of a quirk for me as I am set in my ways). I admire your effort to get one fine piece of history and a fine shooter as well.
        Now that I have my AR 10 platform rifle I guess I will be happy with what I do have unless a deal comes up.

        • Markus Williamson October 23, 2015, 4:24 pm

          Frederick, I myself am like Joe, would like to have an M! Garand, but where to find it? You mentioned an organization called CMP. What is that, and do they have a website? Are these imports directly from overseas or sold outright here in the states? And if import, how to get by laws of importation? Lots of questions – so little answers. Any response would be greatly appreciated!

          • Doug Norwood December 28, 2015, 10:08 am

            Markus – The CMP is the Civilian Marksmanship Program, an organization tasked by the US government to promote rifle marksmanship among US citizenry. They are authorized to sell off surplus US stocks of certain weapons; there are requirements to purchase, which you can find at their website, thecmp.org

            I just picked up my first Garand, and wish I had done it years ago when the selection was better – but I am very happy with the one I got.

  • Chris July 27, 2015, 6:44 am

    Is not the AR10 a mil spec .308/7.62 platform?

    • Administrator July 27, 2015, 7:19 am

      No. The AR10 was the original Stoner design that competed against the M14 and lost. The eventual AR-15/M-16 was a descendant, but a .308 Stoner design was never adapted by the US or any other military worldwide.

      • Kurt July 27, 2015, 6:01 pm

        However, to say that there are no AR pattern rifles built to a mil-spec is playing with the truth…the SR-25 in its military guise is known as the Mk 11 Mod 0, Mk 11 Mod 1, and M-110 (which appears to be replacing the Mk 11’s in USMC service).

        Also, to claim that it will match the “AR pattern’s” performance dollar for dollar is also exaggerating things somewhat. I don’t know of ever having to rebed an AR pattern rifle unlike having to do it on an M-1A. An AR of similar cost won’t require a side mounted scope mount (You put a cheap $30 mount on this rifle?!?) and will likely shoot as good as or better than 1.5 MOA…

      • Jeff Ragan December 28, 2015, 6:48 am

        To Administrator. A little research into MODERN MILITARY SNIPER RIFLES will show you the EXACT OPPOSITE is TRUE!. The Knights Armament SR 25, M 110 S.A.S.S. Semi Auto Sniper System was adopted as THE ONLY .308 Cal. Semi Auto Sniper and Designated Marksmen rifles in the U.S. inventory. ALL .308 bolt guns in both Army and Marine sniper teams are now chambered in the .300 Win Mag!!!… The Knights M 110 was adopted by the Army and won an Army Top Ten Inventions of “2007”, award, and is in use SERVICE WIDE in all theaters of operation and with SOCOM forces. And the Knights Mk 11 mod O, Navy Seal sniper light precision rifle contract was awarded to Knights Armament in “2001”. Current military contract for procurement of the M 110, Mk 3, and the SOCOM battle rifle / sniper rifle M110 K-3 and it variants are ONGOING thru “2024”, and Knight has delivered MORE than 10,000 of the Mk 11 mod O, Mk 11 mod 2, Mk 11 mod 3, for Navy and Marine contracts, and the M 110 SASS, M110 Mk 2, M110 Mk 3, and M110 K-1 thru M110 K-4 variants to date!!!… The Knights SR 25 / M 110 SASS took on ALL competitors and WON the contract OUTRIGHT!!!… Eugene Stoner collaborated with C, Reed Knight to design the original SR 25 some 25 years ago, and I have been operating an SR 25 / M 110 for 20 years myself, and have had an M 110 K-2 for 5 years now, BOTH will hold SUB- MOA to 800 meters and the 20″ barreled M 110 SASS will do SUB 3/4 MOA at a GRAND!!!… The downfall of the M 1-A platform is the glass bedding required for SUB MOA accuracy, 2 years of constant shooting / cleaning a Match or Ultra Match M 1-A and it will need RE-BEDDING!. The Knight M 110 rifles need NOTHING but good cleaning for 10,000 ROUNDS!!!… I have owned M 1 -A variants by Springfield in the Standard, Loaded, Match, and Super Match variants but SOLD ALL in favor of the MUCH BETTER shooting and softer recoiling M 110 systems.

      • mike December 28, 2015, 12:11 pm

        The original ar-10 platforn with an aluminum cased steel barrel was adopted and used by the militaries of several african countries. ( I cant remember which countries as this was decades ago and I am old…) They were not very durable under heavy abuse with poorly educated troops and so eventualy dissapeared.. ( their barrels had a tendency to rupture under heavy full auto fire….they were a beast to control with that selector flipped over..LOL! They used aluminum 20 rnd waffle mags. several dozen of these original guns were brought back without the selectfire receivers many decades ago and had semi auto receivers made by victor at H&H in redwood city….. These few dozen are some of the only existing examples of the original design AR-10’s that I know of beyojnd several even more uncommon class three guns..

  • Will Drider July 24, 2015, 1:19 pm

    Nice setup and options. Great review and I fully support FIVE SHOT GROUP TESTING. There is another platform that fits the criteria of Mil design/origin/7.62X51mm, semi-auto add: PTR 91made on H&K tooling, I had a plain Jane FedOrd M14SA that must have been made on a good day from exceptional parts. Shot 2 inch three shot groups @100. Stock was filled where the selector woud have been located.

    Dave Higginbotham reviewed the PTR 91 (Link below) and got one inch groups at a list price then of $1225. This rifle had no accuracy upgrades and a heavy trigger!

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/ptr-91-wood-classic-kr-new-gun-review-shot-show-2014-preview/

    • Administrator July 24, 2015, 2:14 pm

      It is a good point. Those guns were based on the Spanish CETME design and they kick hard, but they work good. PTR91 has some pretty accurate models these days, but that is the only one we have reviewed so far. I wouldn’t put them in the same class as the M1A though. The product just doesn’t have that much support. You don’t seem them at competitions.

    • Brian July 25, 2015, 7:14 pm

      I also bought a M14SA from FedOrd. (early 80s) Having shot it entirely with the stock sites I got IMO good results of 2 to 3 @100. I only recently have considered scoping it so this article was most timely as I research scopes and “mounts”.
      LOL its ironic (and eye opening) that even a decent middle tier scope will cost more than what I paid for the rifle! Although with the release of this setup direct from Springfield I just might get one of these instead. Decisions, decisions.

      • Michael Warren July 27, 2015, 9:57 am

        Check out the mount from ARMS. Have an older Springfield mount and didn’t care much for it. Got turned on to the ARMS #18 by a Master Sniper buddy of mine.

  • Aaron July 24, 2015, 8:35 am

    Great article.

    Not sure why I was ignorant that Springfield was based outside the United States, though.

    I’ll never buy a Springfield as long as they’re headquartered in a state that actively undermines the freedom of United States citizens. I really feel for them, since moving their operations would be expensive. But their tax dollars support the destruction of our republic. They should be considered like Colt.

    • Johnny July 27, 2015, 12:44 pm

      Don’t feel bad. Heck I have met many shooters out at different ranges that think their M1A is a real Springfield made at the Springfield Mass of years gone by. I copied and pasted the following:
      In 1968, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced the closure of the Springfield Armory. Outer portions of the armory were sold off, including the “Water Shops” production facilities, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Water Shops Armory. The core site was preserved and the property was turned over to the city and state.

      It is now the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and is managed and operated by the National Park Service. As of 2011, the 35 acres behind the Springfield Armory (and several of its former buildings) house Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). STCC is the only “technical” community college in Massachusetts, and aims to continue the legacy of technological innovation at the Springfield Armory site.[8]

      BTW, Who is this guy that wrote this review? He has a fight with a roll-pin? Holly cow! Is this guy the only person they could find to give freebees too, and allow him to write about it? Anyone who has a fight with a roll-pin and suggest taking it to a Gunsmith is incompetent at the best, and a total “poser” for even asking for this job.
      Who ever Paul Helinski is, he should be working for his money. He dang sure isn’t doing a thing to earn it here.

      • Bob Ellsworth July 28, 2015, 5:26 pm

        Whoa big guy! I don’t know the guy who wrote this review but I’ll bet that only 1 in a hundred guys with a big fancy double decker school bus sized tool box set had cupped punches. While they are some times called “roll pin Punches” lots of us call them cupped punches. The inside is chamfered to let the roll pin nestle into it. That’s the reason good roll pins are “roundy” at the ends. Then when you tap on the punch it does two things. First, it slightly compresses the pins diameter making it tough for the punch to skip off and “F” up yours or someone elses weapon. Second, the same feature lets you know you are true on the punch when your are working in a deep or dark hole to know that you are centered on the roll pin. Just see what happens when you put a flat nose punch down a hole on a roll pin and pound on it, eh eh eh!
        They cost a little more, bout 20-25 bucks for a set of 4 or 5 common sizes.
        Last of all some guys are great shooters and a true marksman. At the same time I know some of those who are not able to repair or alter their own weapon and use a smith. That’s better than gauling a screw or breaking something because you’re not a mechanic.
        Best to all
        Bob

        • Tirediron August 24, 2016, 12:25 am

          As an older wrench and tow truck o/of back in the J-hook and sling days I can only support the previous entry. Most sling manufacturers also used roll pins. Adding several years of winters,plus road salt,and even never seize had an uphill battle . Roll pins are spring steel. Iron carbide always rusts. Broken more punches than I like to think about,and the finish was not at all an issue. Drilling spring steel is no joke. Thin ,small diameter roll pins grip like fury,and OEMS do NOT use never seize. The original article was written in such a fashion so as to offer industry standard suggestions to those unfamiliar with them. Nothing wrong with that. Cannot remember the price difference of pin punches,but it is measurable. Break one and it sours your day. Backwards drill bit is a trick an old pro taught me. Works too. There is a place for bash to fit and file to hide. The finish surface of a nice rifle ain’t it. Do it your first time, be conservative. The tricks come later when you have developed a feel for things. First you get good,then you get fast. Almost all apprenticeships were 5 years. There are reasons for that. Every part of the original article and much of the technical commentary following is just good sense. Shortcuts for someone wishing to tackle such a project themselves. Cheers.8

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