M14 Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guess I typed so much the first time that the "token expired" or some thing - and lost most of the review. Gonna try this AGAIN >:-/

Rifle received about 2 weeks ago. I disassembled it to inspect and clean it (in case any bits of machined metal might be anywhere. Wasn't too tough to take apart. Had to use the rubber mallet of love to get the trigger guard back down in order to finish reassembly. Everything is nice and tight.

Got to the range this A.M. to sight-in the rifle and work with the a buddy to call shots at 300 yard steel.

Sight-in range:
25 yards. 3 silhouette shapes printed on 8.5x11 paper (landscape)
Each target body is 2" high by 1.5" wide. Head is about .74" high by .5" wide

Ammunition: Lithuanian 7.62x51 NATO (GGG)

3 shot groups.
Group location based upon center of group and distance to "x" in center.
Group size based on 2 farthest shots, center to center (c2c)

1st group - 2" right/3" low - 1"c2c
2nd group - 2" right/2" low - .5"c2c
3rd group - .5" left/1" low - .5"c2c
4th group - .5" left/.5" low - .25"c2c (Yes. 1/4" - one hole)
5th group - .25" left/.25 low - 1"c2c (dang it!)

I then calibrated the elevation drum. 14 clicks down and 14 clicks back up.
For whatever reason I set the index mark for this zero at 200.

At 100 yards.
(someone took my paper target and lost/tossed it??)
I did take a picture with iPhone while it was still on the target stand, but group sizes are just guesses. Target seems to be some kind of standard 100 yard target.

1st group - 8 ring at about 10:30. 2"-2.5" group?
Moved windage two (2) clicks to the right.

2nd group - (only 2 shots) 8 ring at about 2:30
Moved windage one (1) click to the left

3rd group -
1st shot at top of X ring.
2nd shot 8 ring 12 o'clock (called it - I blinked or something)
3rd shot 10 ring

(Lost everything after this, so I'm cutting it short)

200 yards. 8"x13" paper targets to mimic steel plate challenge targets.
Stand was crooked, so targets were crooked. Old shoot-n-see's were still up and messed with sight picture as well.

Shots were fine, or slightly high, and left. Possibly due to crooked targets and me trying to figure out where/how to hold without canting rifle.

Final result - about 4"-5" groups.

300 yards - Steel silhouette plate about 20"x24"
First shots were called center mass or center/high (just under throat).
Then shots were going very low by 6"-12".
Burned a box of ammo messing with elevation trying to get back on target and quit for the day (3 hours and I was getting tired).

Got home and found elevation drum screw had loosened, which probably caused the rear sight to drop, causing my last low shots.

Will go back to range in a few days and recheck zero.

Are 14 clicks up for 25 yard zero acceptable? I've seen/read 7-9 click for most rifles.
Should the elevation screw come loose so easily? Or, did I make some noob error? What can I do to prevent this from happening again?

The rifle can, and DOES, shoot and I'm happy with what I was able to do with her for 80% of the time on the firing line.
I just need to make sure my targets are squared away next time (bring a level and paste them up after the stand is in the ground, for example).

Thoughts? Feedback? Thanks for reading!


14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The barrel is full length/standard 22”

As best as I can get the tape measure up to it, the blade is 1/4”. The base on which the blade is attached is 5/8”

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First off, a big THANK YOU to Jeremy for talking me back from the edge the cliff by spending some phone time to talk me through a couple tests which confirmed that, for the most part, the aperture system works fine.

I didn't realize that owning an M14/M1a is a hobby unto itself and I see, now, that I need to take a couple vacation days and just read the entire M14 forums.

So just today (as a quick overview):
After having set my elevation knob index at 100 (using 14 clicks up - my 100 yard zero) I verified my zero at the sight-in range. Everything looks good.

At 100 yards I fired two 3-round groups. Each group was about 3" BUT three of those shots were grouped together, dead center, within 1 inch. So I'm fine saying that the rifle has 1 MOA potential IF the shooter doesn't pull some shots - LOL

At 200 yards, things opened up to 4-6 inches which didn't thrill me as this was very slow fire.

At 300 I'm having trouble because of shadows around the gong.

HERE is where things got weird.
I started having vertical strings on the outside edge of my 8x13 target.

Groups would open at 200 but then I'd do great at the (14"?) 300 yard gong.

After 20 rounds I'd see that elevation screw loosen by about a 1/4 turn so I'd re-tighten it with my fingers. It didn't get loose enough to let the aperture drop like on Thursday because I was checking for it every 10-20 rounds.

Skipping a lot here, but what things came down to was this.....

After dialing back from 300 to 200, the elevation drum kept going and the aperture bottomed out.

Well blinkity-blank!

I said a few choice words and, after making sure I was bottomed-out, went up 14 clicks to where I know my 100 yard zero is, then 2 clicks to where 200 should be, and then 3 more clicks to where 300 should be.

I then went at least 7/10 at 300 yards (I only heard 7 definite hits but could have hit more).

The rifle can shoot.
The technical issue with the range markings on the elevation drum is one of these things which drives a perfectionist, firearms buff, History Major like myself just bat-crap crazy.

In conclusion, I'll clean her....shoot her again at 100/200/300 to verify that the clicks are holding (which I'm sure they are) and start trouble-shooting the issue with the elevation drum. THEN I get to look for rubbing/wear on multiple parts/areas (as I'm sure most of you old-timers have learned) to find out what - when the rifle heats up - is throwing shots off by so much (5"-7" right is crazy).

I'll do what I can because I don't want to spend $500-??? to accurize a $1500 rifle.

How did G.I.s deal with this crap?

I think I have one beer in the house.....so bottoms up!



14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep. Jeremy talking me through some of those points re: tightening things up on the sights.

I know my come-ups for 100/200/300 so I'm good, there (14/16/19).

I'll worry about the index marks on the elevation knob some other year (and 2018 is just days away - LOL).

I think I'll focus on wear points and anything which may be opening up groups as things heat up. I'd like to get things as tight as possible and I fear my STG-58 and A2 Standard have spoiled me rotten when it comes to military rifles and accuracy.

Was looking forward to competing with this rifle, buuuuuut that might take a year or four :D

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A service grade M14 type rifle of any make is rarely competitive in a match, it requires heavy barrels and stocks, and all manner of mods to be competitive. An unmodified service rifle is only really expected to shoot 2-3 inches at 100 yds and some wont do that.
But...but...but.... "Murica"!? I guess when Gunny Hartmann told Pvt Pyle, "Outstanding!", Pyle was shooting 2-3 MOA groups while I figured he must have been shooting 1-2 MOA - LOL

Okay. So I didn't do enough research and my expectations (based upon all that fancy High Power shootin') have been....."re-calibrated". :D

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What is your sight picture look like ? Are you putting the top of the front blade at the bottom of the black bullseye, so it would look like a lollipop. What compensator/brake do you have on the barrel? It seems like your sight will not stay tight. A standard M1A is a 2-3 MOA rifle at best.
I prefer a Navy hold. It's what I learned as a kid and I just can't visually/mentally adjust to the 6 o'clock hold.

The brake is the standard M14/M1a device.

Yeah. I think I confused what high-end competitive shooters use/get from their M1a's with what one should expect from an off-the-rack style rifle. It's just that my M1 is an MOA shooter, so I figured the M1a (being the improvement on the Garand) would match its performance. Oh, well.

It's not the end of my world by any means. I just figured it'd be more precise than 2-3+ MOA.

I'm really beginning to think that the rifle is throwing things around once the wood stock heats up just a little. I'll check for wear on the inside of the stock next time I completely break her down to see if anything is rubbing.

Live and learn.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts