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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

A M1A newbee here....


Ok, I have garanditis and carbinitis, with a little 03a3 fever.

I like my rifles to have wood...

I'm working my way up through my "gathering" of shooters.
(I don't consider myself a collector, but more of a gatherer and casual shooter).

I've always wanted and have now gotten to the point of looking to add an M1A to the gathering.

In looking around at the forum, and doing a little lurking, and read "Are You Chasing Folks Away From the M14 ?" , I'm almost afraid to post this thread, so be kind!

I'm looking for a good shooter, sure would love USGI based, but seems hard to find and pretty $$ for USGI parts / built mostly M1A.

But I don't want to throw my money away.

I've also thought about a NM Garand (built - not a collectors grade original) so I could really experiance a rifle that can out shoot me.

Then thought if I'm going for a M1A anyway, why not make that the NM, since easier to get great 308 ammo (I'm saving brass, but no time for reloading in my life as of now. Don't get out as much as I want to shoot either).

Or maybe I just don't need it. Most of my garands probably shoot better than me anyway.

So first thinking was an SA Inc NM with the chromed barrel..

But why the Chromed barrel upgrade, worth it?


Seems for a shooter, the basic "GI model" of the SA Inc seems good enough for a casual shooter.


Then,read one article , where the writer / shooter had just gotten a NM SA Inc, had a standard before, and was in love with the SA Inc NM over the standard model.
Ok, I guess a well written article, cause he sold me.

Then , by the prodding of others, and I just may have enough for it, starting looking at LRB, and going NM parts on it seems to add about $400 bux, which buys a good bucket of ammo..

Basic USGI LRB is about 2500.

Awa, my head hurts...

LRB is about 50 miles away from me.
Just got off the phone with them about pricing and delivery time. I like buying in my own back yard.

But it's seems either way, LRB is about a $1000 premium, for a "shooter".

Not considering Fulton, but have heard many good things about their M14.. but my own experience, they have been terrible on communications and delivery. And their pricing seems inline with LRB, and back to LRB being in my back yard.

I'm not a competitor, but just love, and apperciate the service rifles from the WWII era, and those that came from that same rotating bolt design (ok, the 03a3 has a place in my heart too, but we wont go into that).

The M14/M1a is the grandchild of the garand, and a great rifle in our history.

I started with a mini14 35 years ago (my sub for a m1a and garand at them time), got married, kids, now at a point over the last few year, where I'm getting back to my passion for this design. And now ready to bring a M1A into the fold....

Please, these aren't loaded questions.
I do know everything has it's price, and with that comes pro's and con's.
I'm just un-educated on what they are for the M1A...

so..

Chrome barrel ??

Just a GI style shooter, or am I going to enjoy something alongs a "National Matched" rifle at 200yds (longest range here).?

I like the SA Inc 45's I've shot (don't own any right now- but have).. and they have their life time warranty... and the price is a huge step down from LRB. It's not funny money for me, been working hard to safe the monies.

So for a causual shooter.. LRB of SA Inc ?

Sorry for such a long post, but wanted to try and give a feel for where I'm coming from, related to the tough questions,bouncing and hurting my head..

Thanks for the HELP!! (I think) Or should I say I'm sorry a head of time for asking...
 

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I would say just buy a standard M1A Springfield that is meat and potatoes. I did for my first, and it will always be my favorite. 200 is no challenge whatsoever for these rifles so you are good to go there. Take the money you save and buy reloading equipment, projectiles, powder and primers...you will have a smile stuck on your face for a long, long, time.
 

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I was in the same situation, and went with a SA Inc. rifle. I saved about $1,000 and used that money for ammo, tools, and supplies for my M1A. It shoots well and does everthing I need. Is it as high of quality as an LRB, no, does it work, yes. I do not drive a Lexus, I drive a Chevy.
 

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Check out the M1A Loaded model. It's basically an upgraded standard with the upgrades most people do anyway. You can shim the gas system cheaply, drop in a Sadlak NM spring guide and probably end up with a solid shooter. As your skills with it improve you can put it in an over sized wood stock and have it bedded, unitize the gas system and have a hooded rear sight put in... this will pretty much make it a NM model.

LRB makes a fine rifle but as you pointed out you pay a premium for one. What that premium includes... less likely to need after purchase repairs, USGI parts where available, QC'd prior to shipping, parts are hand fitted, rifles are made to order and in most cases the receivers are made closer to GI specs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Forgot to talk about another reason for NM either garand or M1A...

I do shoot Appleseed events, but locally it's all 25meters.
Done 'em with both 22 and the garand.

Local ranges as mentioned only go out to 200 yds.

One day I hope to get off of LI and out to one of the AS's full distance events. IIRC , some of them in the North East are full 500 meters events.

Again, not looking to compete, but would like to do my best and patch on a full course.

I'm assuming it's something our fine/brave young men and woman serving do with a standard battle rifle... so shouldn't need NM to patch / qualify on a full 500 meter event ?
How much "hedging" my bet will I be doing going in with a NM rifle?

Again, I have zero experience with the M1A's , so sorry for what maybe noob questions.

Tnx!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
..... unitize the gas system ....

LRB makes a fine rifle but as you pointed out you pay a premium for one. What that premium includes... less likely to need after purchase repairs, USGI parts where available, QC'd prior to shipping, parts are hand fitted, rifles are made to order and in most cases the receivers are made closer to GI specs.
tnx all, so far many of the points that I've been pondering are being confirmed. I know SA Inc sells a ton of rifles, and any company is going to have some problems, why warranties exist. Mass production = cost savings..
With the little I shoot, I'm not afraid of modern metallurgy with cast receivers.


And one point touched on, that I've read about, but no real life experience with..
"unitize the gas system ",
in some articles / writings I've read, its been said that this process is done to the NM quality rifles , but some go on to say "it fixes one of the common flaws with the m1a" . ??
"And should be done to all", and "some mfg'ers do it better than others" .
Aw, talk about confusing the uninitiated.


Your comments on the LRB are what had me looking at the LRB, my thinking too , besides some heavy recommendations.
Then making it NM for a few reasons, AS 500 yds course...

I even thought about getting a m14 parts kit from the CMP (sans receiver, barrel, bolt) , and having one built.. Seems it's something LRB can do.. but I'm a little afraid of "luck of the draw" on the kit. some have had bad parts, so not wanting to start down that road. Kicking myself for not buying a kit I could have inspected when Orion 7 had them 6 months ago. I'm 1 town away.
 

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SAI Loaded

Look at the loaded as NoExpert said. This is what I have. I maid all the upgrades he mentioned except the oversize stock. It cost me Maybe $350 extra. I love that rifle, and she has gone bang every time I pulled the trigger!DI5MC1
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted by ramit View Post
....

I like my rifles to have wood...

...

That's classic!BEERCHUG1

LOL - yea, not a plastic stock in the gathering of long guns, but for one FN Police Shotty. Too good of a deal to pass up.
Even my Mini14 as the all original - all wood furniture.. no evil plastic add on's for it.
 

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It really comes down to you and what you want. I bought an SAI standard because I just wanted to put surplus ammo through it. I don't have reloading equipment and didn't want to spend money on match ammo. I'm not trying to be a super sniper, just want to be able to put some rounds down range. That's what you should consider. You mentioned some apple seed events shooting out to five hundred meters, we used to shoot that with the m16s in the Marines, you don't need anything too crazy to pull off that distance just know your fundamentals. It won't be the rifle that misses the shot. But like I said, it pretty much depends on what you want to do with the rifle. Either way enjoy it.
 

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Check out the M1A Loaded model. It's basically an upgraded standard with the upgrades most people do anyway. You can shim the gas system cheaply, drop in a Sadlak NM spring guide and probably end up with a solid shooter. As your skills with it improve you can put it in an over sized wood stock and have it bedded, unitize the gas system and have a hooded rear sight put in... this will pretty much make it a NM model.

LRB makes a fine rifle but as you pointed out you pay a premium for one. What that premium includes... less likely to need after purchase repairs, USGI parts where available, QC'd prior to shipping, parts are hand fitted, rifles are made to order and in most cases the receivers are made closer to GI specs.
Ramit, NoExpert just gave you some very good and sound advice!
 

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When I mentioned LRB's being closer to USGI specs I meant dimensionally as in things being how and where they belong on the receivers. Cast vs. forged is a moot issue for most people.

As for unitizing there are two methods... Weld and screw/glue. Weld has several small weld points between the gas cylinder and front band to keep it in place. This is best done by someone who really knows how to weld since doing it wrong is bad juju for the gas cylinder. Screw and glue is where two holes are drilled through the front band and into the gas cylinder just into the spindle valve. These are then threaded and screws installed with an epoxy on them and usually the heads are staked as well.

Both have pro's and con's. Weld method you retain the ability to use the shut off valve however if the weld breaks you're back to a loose front band (I personally prefer this method). Screw and glue method you lose the ability to use the spindle valve but if the screws back off you can tighten them.

I recommend shimming the gas cylinder with either method so that the lock is hand tight by 4:30 to 5:30 and just needs a little love from a gas cylinder wrench to get to 6:00. Doing this with either method is beneficial since if either method fails the front band is still captured resulting in minimal accuracy loss. It also helps avoid either method failing since it takes stress off the weld/screws as well as the gas lock. Really it's win win all around.

Shimming can also be done on it's own to sandwich the front band between the barrel shoulder and gas lock as well as get proper gas lock lock up. Depending on the rifle it can provide some of the biggest bang for the buck. I've seen a rifle tighten up from 4 MOA to 2 MOA just by doing this. Shim sets are about $10 to $20 shipped from a few places.
 

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I bought a loaded about 3 months ago and have put 500 rounds through it. Never have had so much fun with a rifle....only irons to boot! 200 yards are a joke, sling up, sit down and peg bowling pins all day.
 

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dont over think it. i'd buy the SAI standard and then dont look back. gun people can be finiky with their choices for their own personal needs...ie, chrome barrel or no, NM or no, GI or no.

it sounds like you just want a nice M14 type rifle. they are all nice. SAI is a high value good quality rifle. you can spend a heep of money on things you dont need.

why not just buy a rack grade standard w/ a chrome barrel. chrome will not give you better accuracy but it will last longer and is easier to clean. you can spend the extra cash on a loaded or NM but i wouldnt unless you plan on competing with your gun. they are a tad heavier too.

i say, buy a standard w/ synthetic stock then swop it for a real GI M14 stock and you have the "meat and potatoes" as someone already said.

remember: buying a cheap M1A is still an elite weapon GI1
 

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I concur with several others, go with the SAI loaded package. If you choose to make upgrades down the road you can, meanwhile you will be shooting a fine rifle, like the one in my safe.
 

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LRB is about 50 miles away from me.
Just got off the phone with them about pricing and delivery time. I like buying in my own back yard.

I live the same distance from LRB. Simply the most amazing customer service I have ever had from a firearm manufacturer. I've gone by a number of times for tweaks and parts. If it's not too much, it gets done right there on the spot right in front of your eyes. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet, not to mention some of the most skilled M14 people you will meet. Just the nicest people...that goes a long way with me.

Can you imagine how nice it is to be that close the manufacturer when you want a new part installed, or a little tweak made, and you actually get service from one of the owners who actually care about you, the business you bring them, and your rifle (after all, it is their baby!). It's tough to beat that.

Back in '04 when I had a Springfield M1A that was having several problems, and I didn't want to ship it back to IL, they even fixed it for me! I didn't even own an LRB and they never saw me before, I just walked in off the street! That's why I bought an LRB, these were good people.

Lou and his family took a huge career, life and financial risk investing in making a commercial forged M14 receiver from scratch, and buying up tons of USGI parts to build the rifles with. Basically before anyone else was willing to take such a risk. They deserve any and all success they have and much kudos! They also deserve our support, as do all new companies that are manufacturing new quality american made parts for our M14s. Can I get an "Amen" here?
 

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i must say ditto on the last remark. there is something to be said for supporting your local businesses. paying the premium for a LRB may not be worth it in terms of what you need, but it would be worth it to "invest" in your neighbors. and it sounds like you have very cool neighbors!

i'd say in your case, going the extra mile for a LRB would be a sound move.
 

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My advise.. Learn about them and when you see one for sale that meets all your criteria then buy it.
I hardly shoot my Garand. And my 03a3 thinks I don't love her anymore.
I just have a new love, A NM SS tack driving beast...Made by SA.
I toured the plant, Quite a bit of history there.
 

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Aloha Ramit...

You are in good company here! Everyone here has been in the same place as you are in now... GI6

For the purposes that you describe, it seems a NM will suit your needs but may be a bit overkill when you might be on a budget.

If your Garands shoot better than you do at this moment, then a standard M14 type rifle will be that and probably a bit more. So a good starting point IMHO is a "Loaded" type M1A or equivalent as already mentioned. The Loaded M1A will be equipped with a medium contour NM barrel (either stainless steel or chrome moly) which should be an excellent starting point. My Loaded M1A's shoot ball and match 168/175 bullets pretty good.

Learn the mechanics of this rifle thoroughly... from this model, you can readily upgrade to a NM at your convenience and budget. I would also recommend you getting the Kuhnhausen Shop Manuals and Duff's book on Match Conditioning. This will help you better understand your M14 type rifle and to plan any future upgrades should need or want them.

If you are planning on rocking and rolling with heavy use on your rifle, a standard with a chrome lined barrel may be your ticket. A chrome lined barrel will sustain longer life with heavy use as opposed to a Loaded with a NM barrel... a chrome lined barrel will give you longer barrel life, but will probably not be as accurate as a NM barrel.

A standard can be upgraded to a NM rifle as well as a Loaded but you will need to start from scratch on a standard.

Having some extra money for ammo will be invaluable. There is no substitute for "trigger time".

I suggested these two options as a simple starting point as opposed to a NM rifle right off the bat. I believe that once getting one of these rifles, you are most likely to;

1. Buy another M14 type rifle to add to your family of rifles.
2. Upgrade your rifle to a NM.
3. Sell your standard or loaded rifle for a higher grade M14 type rifle.

So there should not be any loss with starting with a standard or loaded rifle. If you buy another M14 (as many of us have) then you would have had time to consider other manufacturers, models, modifications, budget, etc. which will put you in a good position...

With all of that said... you will probably not go wrong whichever way you go.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

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I have a loaded SA M1A under the tree and I'm chomping at the bit for the 25th. It really doesn't matter which weapon you buy as they are all good. I would buy the standard or loaded and then don't look back. Many hours of fun will await you.
 
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