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Well, after some lurking around here and poking around I have decided that now is the time to get the ball rolling on one of these awesome rifles. I have been looking at getting a Loaded SA M1A as the starting point. But, here's what this is all going to boil down to for me. I have a friend who is an avid shooter and he says that the M1A isn't an accurate rifle. I aim to prove him wrong. So, with that in mind, should I start with a Loaded M1A or should I jump into like a LRB or something like it? I have the money for the loaded and I can get the extra cash for the LRB if I wait a little while longer. Is the LRB a better system, and is it worth the extra money for more accuracy? I want to have two of these rifles, one for target/long range fun and one for hunting, probably the scout version for that. Just figured I'd start on the target side first so I can start taking some $20 from him. Any info or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
 

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The loaded is the best bang for the buck, however you can't go wrong saveing for a LRB. I know this does not help much. You may have a better chance takeing $ from him by going the LRB route and haveing it built to your wishes.
 

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If you can spring for the LRB I say go for it. However tuning it for accuracy won't be cheap.

The Loaded is a good place to start but keep in mind you "may" have to send it to SA Inc. for some after production love to get it right.

Either one should be able to be tuned up, just depends on what you're looking for from the rifle for where to start.
 

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IMO the name engraved on the receiver makes no difference to accuracy. The name engraved on the barrel will make a difference. By most reports the medium weight barrels supplied on the Loaded M1A are capable of fine accuracy.

When you have time, go to the Accuracy Unlimited forum and read everything there... Some of the posts will not make much sense until you have your M1A in your hands and can actually touch and examine the parts of the rifle while you read the posts.

Any M14 type rifle you buy, unless it is a custom-built fully match tuned rifle when you buy it like an SAI Supermatch or a match build from one of the custom builders, will require some fine tuning and fiddling to get best accuracy. The good news is that some of the tuning and tweaking can be done at home for little or no $, such as adding a shim kit to the gas cylinder, checking and adjusting the stock for bumps or rubs on the barrel or gas cylinder, etc.

Also keep in mind that the rifle is not going to shoot well if you feed it surplus ammo made in a third-world country. Ammo is a huge part of the accuracy equation.

An SAI Loaded is a fine place to start, and if you can save $1000 on the initial price, that leaves a lot of bucks to buy some high quality ammo like the Federal 168gr Open Tip Match ammo that is made specifically for the M1A type rifle, or maybe some Federal Gold Medal Match or Black Hills Match. Then, shoot a lot. Shooter skill with the rifle is also a big part of the equation.

Also, if you do all of the tweaks that can be done for low or no bucks and it still isn't shooting as well as you'd like, you will have cash left over to have a good trigger job done by a skilled armorer, or maybe even get a full glass bedding job.

You will be fighting an uphill battle though, the M14 type is not a bolt gun. The cheapest Remington 700 you can buy will probably shoot less than 1 MOA right out of the box, and a semi-auto M14 type won't do that right out of the box. It is for sure a worthy endeavor though, and you will have a LOT of fun along the way.
 

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How accurate do you need it to be? The tighter the group, the more it'll cost to get there. Do you plan to use optics? If so, that too will add to cost
 

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If you are a capable shooter and want to impress your friend with MOA or better capability then either rifle you mentioned will do the job but with the LRB the odds are far better that you will not have little issues that require that the rifle be sent back under warranty for repair/tweaking. The difference is that LRB will take a little more time with each rifle because their reputation is everything to them.

There is one other element that you need to be concerned with though, the shooter. If you are not used to the old wood and steel type rifles then expect a little bit of a learning curve. There are some differences in how the rifle feels and that usually results in changes of how effective you are until you get used to weapon.

So don't go grabbing the rifle out of the box and try to show off until you have had a chance to properly break in the barrel and get used to old girl...then make your friend eat his words DI5
 

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M1A Loaded

I have the SA Loaded. Love it. I do not have a comparison to another brand however. I am looking to buy another one ASAP.
 

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I have the SA Loaded. Love it. I do not have a comparison to another brand however. I am looking to buy another one ASAP.
I've never owned one but I have fired several that belonged to others and I have to say that it is hard to beat the bang for the buck (pun intended). Even though I say that LRB rifles will probably have better odds at not having to be returned for warranty work I personally would buy the loaded model. I am confident enough in my own skills that I think I could fix any problems that come up and if the problem is beyond me Springfield has a very good warranty program. Besides, I have other M1As that I can shoot while they fix the loaded model.
 

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Take a look at James River Armory and what they offer. Forged receiver with all military parts and a few dollars less.
 

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To be honest, I think accuracy has a lot to do with the skills of the person building the rifle. Putting together an M14 isn't so much science as it is an art. It's not a modular rifle like an AR15 that any monkey can screw together. Assembling an M14 requires some serious craftsmanship.

The rifle below is a rack grade build. At the heart is an LRB receiver, all the parts are USGI except the barrel (criterion chrome lined 18.5"), sadlack op rod guide, tubbs springs, SEI vortex flashider and front sight. Absolutely zero match grade modifications were made.

The rifle was assembled for me by a true craftsman, Jon Wolfe. He really understands how these parts have to be put together for the parts to function harmoniously, which in turn allows the rifle shoot as accurately as the platform is capable of. A guy like Ted Brown also has these skills.



The rifle easily shoots MOA, and often sub MOA if I do my part. Here is the best group I have shot to date in the last year or so since I have had the rifle:

3 rounds of British Surplus at 100 Yards


Since I bought the receiver and purchased each USGI part new or as new over a period of a year or so, I do have over $3K in this rifle! And it is only a rack grade rifle!!! But I think when you have a rack grade rifle built by someone who really knows what they are doing, and hand-fits each part, it can probably shoot as well as a match grade rifle. So I personally think it is well worth the investment.

I also have another LRB configured the same way that was built by LRB, and it is about as accurate, but I use that one with a red dot sight at this point and don't shoot it from the bench. And yes, Lou and Paul at LRB also really know how to build a rifle.

If you have the money, by all means go this route and feel free to make some match modifications if you want. But maybe try it as a rack grade before you waste any money.

And a 22" barrel isn't necessarily more accurate than an 18.5". The shorter barrel is more rigid and often more accurate at shorter ranges, say less than 500 or 600 yards. The 22" excels beyond 500 or 600 yards because it produces more velocity and will hold accuracy further out than a shorter barrel. But if you aren't going to shoot 800 to 1000 yards an 18.5" is more than sufficient and might even be more accurate and the shorter ranges.
 

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. I have a friend who is an avid shooter and he says that the M1A isn't an accurate rifle.

I aim to prove him wrong.

Just figured I'd start on the target side first so I can start taking some $20 from him. Any info or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
I wish someone would make a bet with me. Here's a suggestion, and everyone tells me I am lucky, but I bought a standard model M1A from Springfield last November, and right out of the box, it shot MOA. After 48 rounds the barrel band was a little loose, so I shimmed it and shot it 32 more rounds...got 2 5/8" group and said, whoa !!! Something isn't right....So pulled the action and saw the gas cylinder hitting the ferrel had rubbed it shiny....filed it down and went and shot 68 more rounds next time out.....Now,.... I have a log book with all info, ammo, temp,barometric pressure, rounds fired, group sizes, etc,etc, etc,.....The largest group recorded was 1 5/8" with the average being 1'' and three of 1 1/4" this is from 23 range trips since 12-27-09 and the round count is now 812 rounds on this rifle. I fire others when I go too and they are similarly capable of same. Matter of fact, the log books look eerily the same.....So, when can I meet this buddy of yours ? Oh yeah, the only other thing I did was put a match .062 front sight on it for 600 yd. targets.
 

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I say go with the Springfield. If you need to do any thing to get the best out of your rifle. That will give you the chance to know her.

As far as having to send it off for repairs, if you do. You won't get the its not our fault, you must have do something treatment. I had a hammer hook break on a rifle I've had for ten years. I called Springfield, they wanted me to send the whole trigger group they e-mailed a Fed-X shipping label. I had it back fixed, no charge in two weeks.

Good luck with your choice.


I may be predigests, I have two of em. There both good shooters!
 

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I want to have two of these rifles, one for target/long range fun and one for hunting, probably the scout version for that.
Given the above intent my suggestion would be to buy the SAI Scout first and start getting acquainted with the platform, especially shooting it with iron sights. While that is going on you can start planning a custom build. By all accounts it takes about a year to gather the parts and have a custom rifle built. With a rifle in hand you can get a lot of trigger time during that year. Having a shooter first will also help you decide exactly what you want in the custom build as there are a variety of directions to go (barrels, stocks, optics, mounts, etc.).

There's also a devious side to this plan. Use the Scout to lull your buddy into a false sense of security. Maybe even intentionally lose a couple of small wagers with him. Then, when the match rifle arrives hit him with the big bet before he sees the new stick and WHAM! take ALL of his money. GI5
 

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with LRB you are getting a collectible work of art and with SAI Loaded you are getting a higher value for your performance. what are you into? you will have more bragging rights with the LRB......but what do you want to put your money into? if you want to blow your friends away at home with a beautiful rifle that is GI spec from head to toe, get the LRB......if you want to blow your friends away at the range, get the loaded.

what kind of ammo are you planning of purchasing? if you are not going to buy quality match ammo than getting a loaded is kind of a waste........in that case i would just get the standard m1a and use the extra money to get a butt load of ammo. spending $2,700 on a LRB meanings ( to me ) less money for shooting it (also).

this is an "apples and oranges" topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good info guys, I really appreciate it. I do plan on loading my own ammo as I do with my Remington 700 that I have gotten to .5 MOA with a light hunting barrel. I could do better with a heavier barrel, but this is a hunting rifle and I want it as light as I can. I plan on using a JAE stock for the target version and I want to shoot out past 1000 yards if it comes to that. I am a good shot within about 300 yards or so and I have been practicing the longer ranges with my buddies rifle. He shoots out to about 1250 yards with his .308, strictly for taget. Here's my ultimate goal, there is a tactical style shoot that happens near here that there are 10 "stations" with 6 targets each of varying given distances that he wants me to shoot in. Targets range anywhere from within 200 yards to around 1000 yards. I want to do good with that.
 
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