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Accuracy difference between the Springfield M1A Standard vs Loaded?

107087 Views 20 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Heckler&Coke
I am going to be buying a Springfield M1a as my first true battle rifle, but I wanted to know the accuracy difference (in moa) between the M1a Standard versus the M1a Loaded? I am trying to see if the higher end Loaded version is worth the extra cost...

For some reason, I cannot find any information on this important question online.....
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With LITTLE DOUBT, get the Standard over the Loaded.

The differences are:
Loaded has...
-Match trigger
-Match rear sight
-Match chambered barrel.

Here is the real story.

The match trigger is a Springfield trigger, nice, but any USGI trigger group will give you as good or better trigger pull AND will be a more durable group.

Take the money you save from purchasing the Standard and seek out and purchase an USGI trigger group. Use it, keep your Standard trigger group as a spare.

The Match Rear sight is the Un-hooded sight. This means that ONLY the windage is different than the standard. So, you have 1/2 MOA per click on the match, 1 MOA for the Standard. You will never know the difference. Even the hooded sight is not worth it for the 1/2 moa adjustment, only for the glare reduction.

The matched chambered barrel is not needed. The Standard will give you plenty of accuracy, to allow you (if you can) to hit targets out to 500 yards with iron sights, with surplus ammo. The match chamber has been cause of failure to feed/eject for surplus ammo, in both the Loaded and Match versions.

If you plan on shooting competition, then you will want to build your rifle, get the Standard today, shoot it until you learn to out shoot it, then use the receiver (if still in spec) to build a Match rifle.

Since you are on survivalist board, I would assume you are not looking for a competition rifle. I can tell you this, the difference in "accuracy" between the Loaded and Standard is not something that you will ever notice or miss. In fact, using surplus ammo, I would doubt there is any difference, with the better reliability going to the Standard.

If you were to run Match commercial ammo in both, you might see a 1/4 moa accuracy difference (that is about 1 1/4 inch at 500 yards).....maybe, but it is difficult to qualify this.

Again, the $$ you save with the Standard, put toward the USGI trigger, which is the only positive the Loaded has over the Standard.

BTW, Springfield says they are only installing match front sights on ALL of their M1As, so both the Standard/Loaded have the match front sight, which is good.
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Ok, I think I'm leaning towards the
Also, I have another question: What are the average prices of the Standard and Loaded M1a's?

I checked on Gunbroker and elsewhere, but I cannot find enough of a sample size to accurately determine the average price of these guns. I feel that Gunbroker prices are inflated, anyway.
I always go to Bud's Gun shop:

My experience has been that they have the lowest prices, consistently. So, I look at their prices, for the new firearms, then adjust my expectation accordingly.

Add to their price: Shipping, $25 for dealer transfer, then sales tax. This will give you a price to use in negotiations. If your dealer is not close to their price, plus the additions mentioned above, then simply order it from Buds.

Also, I would not have any issues purchasing a used Standard M1A. If the shooter is a competitive shooter, they would have traded up long before they "shoot out" their Standard. If they are not a competitive shooter and they are selling their Standard M1a, it is because they never shot it much. Either way, you are getting a quality rifle (this only works for the Standard, loaded/match may be shot out, if used for competition).

Parts are easy to get and replace. With the exception of the Op Rod, reasonably priced, if you need parts.

Also, Mags: Go to He is a great guy to work with! The CMI mags are current USGI and work great. If you can get the 20 round mags, they are the best price.

Good luck and feel free to PM if you have specific questions, the M1A is a rifle made for/by Riflemen, pure fun :thumb:
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