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Accuracy difference between the Springfield M1A Standard vs Loaded?

107043 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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Well put Funfaler. (Saved me a bunch of typing).

I would rather have a std than a loaded for the purpose of a go to/SHTF rifle.
Out of the rifles I have fired, the difference in accuracy was so minute, that it didnt justify the additional cost..for me at least. (My go to rifles are sporting 18.5inbbls, but thats a whole other topic;)
This gives me the best accuracy/reliability/long term durability/OAL/balance vs the other models.

I would recomend that you get the std for the same reasons as Funfaler mentioned. Shoot it as is, and only add accuracy mods if you need it as you go along, and without sacrificing reliability. ( Note: A NM M1A is designed for competion use in mind, and not for use as a combat rifle IMO. The added potential accuracy is diminished by the additional weight, close tolerances which ammount to close fitting parts, and tight chambers that are best suited for match loadings.)

Are you planning to use optics with this rifle after you become proficient with the iron sights?

One little thing that might be worth mentioning is to use rifle grease with any M1A/M14 if you want it to run at it's optimum level.

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Ok, I think I'm leaning towards the Standard now...... All I care about is if this gun is "battle accurate".....I'm not a competition shooter.

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.
NIB M1A standards run around 1100 bucks in my neck of the woods, and usually dont stay on the sales racks for very long. Loaded models run arounf 3oo bucks more here. I havent run across very many used standards around here, but the rifle's I have located have not been shot very much by the looks of them. Most have been safe queens. The loaded, and NM models that I have found used were usually shot quite a bit, and sold off after thier time in competion was over...apparently.
I have found a few stds and Bush models over the years that were built with USGI parts, to include the bbls.( If you find one such as this, I would snag onto it, provided that the rifle is in good shape.). USGI std weight/contour bbls are chrome lined and sport a 1/12in twist rate) The few SAI stds I have seen recently had USGI trigger groups fresh from the factory, and everything else was SAI produced. (Note: These were actually used, but had never been fired, and were being sold with org box/manual/mag...etc..... and even had the headspace tag still tied to the trigger gaurd.)
Parts are easy to find, but run more bucks in comparison to other models. ( Good quality CMI mags, and good folks to deal with)
If your new to the M1A, I recomend that you pick up a copy of the complete assembly guide, and owners guide. Fulton sells them, and they have some very detailed/easy to read information regarding this design.

I have also found that the std weight std contour, non chrome lined 1/11 twist rate bbls that SAI uses for thier builds to be very accurate.....example:

Both of these rifles will keep a 5 shot group inside of a 1 inch circle at 100yds consistently with the ammo they like. (This Socom prefers 168grTAP, and the Bush rifle Likes 155gr TAP. Both will most likely shoot better than this once we get our re-loading into gear, and tailor make ammo for both. )

This rifle is a "purpose built", go-to, better to have and not need than other way around, hunting rifle, more or less do anything that a centerfire rifle can do, DMR, "holy [email protected]/ got it covered, and then some, M14 Tanker, and will shoot even better than the 2 SAI rifles mentioned before...

Note: This is not an SAI build. the bbl is a Criterion std contour chromelined 18.5in. ( Modern chrome lined bbls have come a long way since the 1960's, as far as accuracy goes from my dealings with um.). This rifle has an identical twin that I had custom built for me which will shoot just as good. I put 99% of the rifle pictured above together myself, based on the other.

FWIW...... This Norinco M14 will shoot 1MOA consistently. The only mod I did to it was fit it with a sythetic stock.. ( std chrome lined 1/12intwist chicom bbl)

Note: All of them across the board will shoot WIN Q3130 147gr M80 Ball fairly decent.
Note: The new SAI produced synthetic stocks are very well made IMO. They are designed for the M1A specifically, and fit very well to the rifle right out of the box. Same goes with thier handgaurds, although I prefer the Fulton HG over the other types to include USGI HG's. They seem to be just as durable as USGI synthetics, and a bit lighter on average to me at least

I think someone mentioned this before, but it is worth saying it again. This rifle was built for rifleman, and makes for a very decent, reliable, portable pkg, that is chambered in a caliber that is very effective for use at distances from the muzzle on out to the shooters max effective range. (They are very fun to shoot as well:thumb:

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here's the holy grail of M14/M1A infomation....
A very good source of info for the M14/M1A indeed:thumb:
Very knowledgable folks concerning this rifle, and all it's varients.

( I wasnt sure if it was proper to put another forum website on a thread, so I sent him a PM regarding the firing line)

Hey there MilitiaMike! How is your Sage stock holding up? Have you had the chance to work up a range report yet? I would be very interested in your findings.
Thanks for all of the helpful replies.....great info!

Another question: I was holding an M1a the other day, and I've noticed that my fingers get dangerously close to the opening and closing bolt group.

Have any of you heard about people losing fingertips on their left hand when using this gun?

The Garand has a similar design, but a taller stock that gives the fingers more room to grip. With the M1a, your fingers are practically forced into the action. This is my one major gripe about this otherwise great rifle.
I have not heard of this from right handed people, but this may be a solution for you.......

The stock on this rifle is what SAI uses now, and has for a while. It is a Boyds stock, and the foregrip area has more of a garand contour as compared to a USGI Wood stock, which has the same contour as the synthetic USGI stocks on some of my other rifles pictured before. It is made from walnut, and has more of a Garand feel to it IMO.
Another stock that has very similar contour are the chicom (Norinco/Polytech) stocks. I have no idea what kinda wood it is made out of , but my examples are "soft" (similar to pinewood), and they are very light in weight.
USGI stocks were made out of walnut, and birch.
Note: Another stock design that is usually reffered to as "big birch" is a thicker version of a USGI std contour stock, and is sort of "in between" the thick ness of the Boyds, and USGI designs.
Note: Various aftermarket synthetics vary in this area as well, and some have a rail sytem that is usually thicker in the foregrip area, and with rails in place, a body could add a fwd pistol grip.....although I wouldnt. Be advised that the good ones are not cheap.
Note: Most of the handgaurds you will see are all synthetic, but they did make a wood (walnut) HG like the one pictured above.
Note: Custom built stocks . ( Tony can build about anything you want, and has a design that is purpose built in the foregrip area specifically with this in mind. amazing stuff, and might be just what your a lookin for. He can also shorten the LOP to your exact specifications, to include re mounting the M14 buttplate, an M1Garand buttplate, or whatever buttpad you like, to include adjustable LOP designs.

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