Very astute Hawk, I couldn't of said it better.IMHO, they not only watch what is said, but do care. However, I also believe that they realize that for every bad post that they have, there are many more happy customers and that the negative posts do not represent the whole picture.
They also realize that to start responding to the issues out in the open rather than with the owner or smith via e-mail or phone call would be a lose lose situation. No matter what they might say, there will always be naysayers or biased opinions of those who prefer other manufacturers.
That of course is my opinion and I'm stickin to it!
While yes, there have been several small manufacturers building high quality receivers and bolts for M14s, that doesn't negate the fact that they are still relatively small compared to SAI. SAI is occupying the same position that they share with Kimber in the M1911 market. They make firearms for the weekend warrior who just wants a gun that works and doesn't necessarily care about authenticity to the original parts or manufacturing methods (obviously since you're here, you're an exception GI5). They offer enough distinct model lines that one can generally buy a gun with the special features that they want without breaking the bank.And you can see the rise of their competitors - much smaller operations that are FORGING recievers and bolts, making a profit and gaining new adherents daily. SAI, you need to get back on the stick and regain your mantle as the M14 leader or go home.
Price is a real object. SA offers a good product at a reasonable price, the standard. I suspect that's where they get most of their income.It should be apparent by now that the M1A "Civilian M14" Market is SAI's to lose. Under the original ownership, and up until, it seems, around 100,000 produced rifles, the Springfield Armory rifles were in general, excellent. The company used to take quality control seriously, and except for an occasionally incorrectly indexed barrel or some problems with initial runs of newly made commercial parts (like bolts and safeties) that they quickly made right, SAI was a pretty straight shooting outfit. Their warranty service covered, for the most part, their customers and people were satisfied.
+ 1 also. My first M14 type rifle was a M1A loaded model and it was a total turd with major problems. It almost turned me off the M14. I sent the rifle back with a pile of H&R parts and they built me a very sweet rifle. They replaced the receiver and barrel and used my bolt, op rod, and trigger group. This was a rifle in the low 124,000 serial # range.Everything that 82nd said is my opinion also. I could not, in good conscience, recommend new Springfield M1A's to anyone.