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I need help fast. I have a decision to make.

1986 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  RAYGUN
Hey folks. The subject line says it all. About a week or two ago, I needed your help in finding out info on a really nice used standard SA M1A that my shop had. I didn't have a lot of information on it, other than it was in the 121XXX serial # range, that it had a forged bolt, very nice wood, and was shot very little. Price was $1159, with box, paperwork, and two mags. I understand that this rifle was made in 1999. After reading your replies, I decided that I was going to go back and take a closer look at it. When I went back, I was told that someone had put it on layaway right after I left the shop. I was very disappointed. So, I picked myself up, and moved on. If I was going to get it, I was planning on trading my Arsenal Inc. SA M-7 towards it. I decided that I would find out how much I could get out the AK anyways in case something else came up. I was told that toward a trade I could get $680 out of it. So I got to looking at my AK more and it was sure nice, light and accurate. Let's just say that it is no slouch.....but there is always a but. It didn't have the same aura as a M1A or M1 Garand has and I have been wanting to get a rifle that I could do almost everything with. Hunting, run and gun, competition, plinking, and if need be, the proverbial SHTF situation. I know the Garand wouldn't fit the bill for all of these "needs" but it did have a historical factor that I also desire. Anyways, I went back to the shop today to pick up my new Kimber Annivesary and do a little shooting. What did I spy in the used gun rack but the M1A that had so caused me so much consternation. So I decided that I would try to find out more info on it to see if the price was worth it. I found out that it does have a chrome-lined barrel and it is pristine. So here are my questions:
1) Did SA install chrome-lined barrels in this serial # range or was this added later on? I ask this question, because unlike the rest of the rifle and barrel, the flash suppressor shows some wear.
2) Is this a good price on the rifle? Bear in mind that used M1As don't show up often around here. As a matter of fact, this is the first that I can remember in years. Also, the shop won't budge on the price given the fact that I would have to make a trade.
3) Would you trade the AK toward the M1A? Additional information - while my wife is very understanding and supportive of my gun addiction, I do have to justify the number of guns that I own. I do plan on getting a CMP Garand at some point or else a RRA AR. I can't justify to her that I need an M1A, an AK, an M1 Garand and/or an AR. It will have to be two of these rifles.

Please let me know what you think. The shop will hold the rifle a day or two and given the close call I had with it before, I would like to make a decision fast. Thanks very much.

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theres an old saying that goes something like this.

if ya snooze ya lose and from what i read in your post you sounded as though you should have jumped on it the first time but chose not to and someone else got it.

evidently its available once again and like i said if ya snooze ya lose and it does not sound like a bad deal to me and especially since you mentioned that the availability in your area is a factor ya might want to give some thought to not letting it slip by again.

i do not think that serial number range has anything to do with what type of barrel was installed as the standard rack grades basically all came with chrome lined barrels. national match and super match on the other hand are generally not chrome lined.

good luck

Do it. Trade the AK toward the M1A.
First off, AK's are going down in price since the end of the AWB, and everyone and their brother is making them now. If the shop is giving you that much, heck yeah!
Second, GI parts are going away fast, and a rifle built with them is of more value than one with aftermarket parts, plain and simple.
So, did you get it yet?
I think you need to back up & regroup.
You already have a nice medium range rifle in the AK so is there also a need for an AR?
M1 or M1A. Yes a Garand has a history to it. But so does the M14. I think the M1A is alot more veratile then the Garand.
Also look at the price of ammo.

My suggestion is to hold onto the AK & get the M1A.
My personal thought is that no stable is complete without an AR, M14 and a Garand (Still working on getting the last one). I ditched my Poly Tech AK a couple of years ago and have never looked back...

Aloha Huck,

I don't remember the original post on this rifle, but it sounds like a SA Standard M1A, chrome lined barrel, nice wood, mags, etc.

One of your questions was did SA put chrome lined barrels on post ban rifles and I remember seeing posts that many had SA post ban rifles that were produced with USGI chrome lined barrels from the factory.

The price of $1159 is close to the price of a "retail" standard M1A. I think it would be a "okay" price if I was in a hurry...

Whether you trade in your AK for this rifle, is a hard question and I think it is an "up to you" decision... I like to hang on to my rifles, buy ones that I like and then decide whether I want to sell off an older one. Don't make a rash decision on dumping your AK unless you really need the credit this fella is offering (but it does sound like good dollars).

If you lose out on this one, don't despair, other rifles of equivalent quality will come up. That I am very sure of and I think you might be surprised at the prices you can get if you aren't in a rush. I picked up a "pristine" standard M1A last year with a SAK USGI barrel and I would swear that this rifle looked "new"... the best part... $875 from our very own PX forum. Rifles purchased on-line can be sent to any FFL dealer you choose.

You got our support whichever way you go... so Good Luck...

Aloha and Happy Holidays,

Tom O.
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My story is much the same except I have planned all along to own just one pistol, shotgun and rifle. A true test of self control.

I had a very nice Bushy Dissipator that I could have traded in.
I decided to hang on to it just in case I didn't like my new Scout.
Took them both to the range for some side-by-side, fell in love with the M1A and sold the .223 a week later for $250 more than trade-in. No regrets!
BTW, Your trade offer sounds great!

To me the M1A is a classic, all-American heavy metal hot rod that begs to be modified and customized.

Good luck :)
WOW!!!! WILL THIS GUY GIVE ME THAT MUCH FOR MY SAM-7 ????I would do this deal right now towards another M1A !!! 8O I love my SAM-7 but I dont think anything can match the versatility and history of the Garands and M14s.I would jump on that deal.You can always order another Ak at anytime.Just do it and get it over with!!!!Then get another M1A and another and anoth..... UH OH !!!! Maybe you better not .I forgot how I got in so much trouble!If i were you I would just PM me this dealers info and Ill take it off his hands so you dont get in any trouble with your wife. :D
Okay, okay. From what I'm reading, and from all the mulling over that I have been doing, I will probably do the deal. Like I said before, rifles like this don't come along all that often. In fact, I was thinking back to all the gun shows that I've been to the past few years and I don't recall ever seeing any M1As, aside from NIB Loaded and NM rifles. A few Garands and 1903 Springfields here and there, a few M1 Carbines, a but load of AR clones, SKS derivatives, and el-cheapo AKs is it. What's funny, is I remembers seeing the same stinking guns at the same inflated prices at the same booths (which seem like are always in the same places). But that's another story. Also, as I said before, I can't recall ever seeing a any M1As at the gun shop, cept for new Loadeds. So I think that I should get the darn thing and get it over with. I always hate letting a gun go, you always take it in the shorts a little and you always wonder if you're doing the right thing. The problem is that if I'm going to get this M1A, I have to trade the AK. I'm getting a good price (he is getting 4 mags with it though but that's not really saying anything given the AWB being all washed up) and I know that if I wait longer, as the market gets more saturated with them, I will get less money out of it. Also, he's going to let me layaway the remainder of the balance, so that's another plus.

I really like the idea of having the M1A, I can get after market goodies and tweak it. It will be like having an 1911, cept it makes bigger holes. So now that this decision has been made, I need to know where to get a good scope mount and a good deal on an Aimpoint. I've read that there are some issues with certain mounts and newer models of the SA M1A. Is mine new enough where I need to worry about this? Thanks for the input and support. I never thought that I would need somebody to hold my hand in making this decision.

By the way RAYGUN, I don't think that he would give you the same deal after this. I could tell that he really didn't want to give me that much for mine. He's owned the shop for about 3 years now, bought it from another guy. The new owner seems like he's trying to change the image of the shop and doesn't seem all too interested in stocking or selling anything that doesn't have hunting or "sporting" purpose. Aside from some NIB SA Loadeds, he stocks a few of Olympic Arms and Armalites in the varmit configurations, but if you want anything else, you usually have to special order it. Although, he has stocked some of the collapsible stock versions, but I was told that was only because he got a good deal on them and it was right after the AWB went away. I could be wrong here, but I really get the impression that if he didn't have to, he wouldn't deal with any of them. He just keeps enough on hand to satisfy people like me. I suppose that its smart business. It's sad though.
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How much would the gunsmith trade for your wife? jest kiddin..... my wife is pretty much the same.... But. I can justify jest about anything when it comes to gunz..... I'm with Tom O. on this one.... if you can swing the transaction without the trade, jou might be able to decide later.....who knows, you might just end up with both :D
If you can swing it without the trade do that. You've got a top notch AK, and you will probably regret getting rid of it. Plus you can always use it as a trade for your second M1A. :D
I just put half that on a trw op rod trw barrel & trw bolt when I can round up the rest of the parts. I will be giving LRB a call to complete my third m14. Buy it and don't look back if it means leaving the ak on trade that's something you have to live with. Take care Fred
Trade that damn AK in and get a real rifle. If you don't get the M1A, at least get an AR15.

I did the same years ago, and am happy I did.

Guess what? Now I have more than one AK.

The moral of the story?

The M1A is a better gun. You will find this out quickly.

That, and an AK can be replaced CHEAPLY. And cheap AK's are the way to go anyway............
Well, I gone and done it and I think I done good. However I will save this conclusion to those of you who are more experienced in the realm of the M1A. I went to the shop after church and looked the beast over again. I took it down, wiped it off, ran a patch through the barrel, and inspected the parts. This is what I'm getting. SA M1A receiver, Winchester GI barrel (chrome lined, pristine condition, dated 1962(?)), USGI trigger group, SA Inc. op-rod, and from what I've been told, an SA Inc. forged bolt. However, the bolt did have the roller on it. I was unaware that it had this. The wood is very nice. The flash suppressor as stated earlier shows some wear, with parkerizing rubbed off on the bottom. One thing that I was initially concerned about was that there was some surface rust on some of the inerds - inside the receiver, on the recoil spring, the spring retainer(?) (I don't know what its called but it connects the spring to receiver and goes inside the op-rod) and at the base of the barrel where it meets the receiver. I had the salesmen oil it up and wipe it down. He also said that when I pick it up, he will have the gunsmith give it a bath which will take care of it all. I made sure that the salesman left some surface oil it while it is awaiting its new home. So, I'm overall pretty happy about the whole thing and it wasn't nearly as hard trading the AK as I thought it would be. Thanks for everything.

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Congratulations!!!!! Now the fun begins.Get a few thousand rounds of surplus ammo.I like the port and aussie stuff.Then pick up some GI 20 rd mags (never have enough) and some spare parts .Oh no here I go again....
Seriuosly enjoy it and shoot it often.The price that they gave you on a trade in was too good for you to pass up.Post some pics when you bring it home.Your in the best place to get any questions you may have answered.Good luck with it.Ray
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