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Sorry if this has been covered, but I tried the search function and didn't have any success.

I'm about to take the plunge into M1A world. I'd like to get an out-of-the-box rifle that won't need much in the way of mods to be reliable or accurate, and won't break the bank (so an LRB is not doable at the moment). I'm leaning towards the SA NM version over the Loaded, but is the extra $300 in price a good proposition or not?
 

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If you want to shoot competition, probably the National Match. Otherwise the Loaded or even Standard model will likely be more than adequate. Take the $300 you would have spent and get ammo, magazines, a USGI extractor for the bolt and take a local Appleseed marksmanship course. Springfield factory issue extractors are famous for breaking early on although I never had a problem with my Scout Squad prior to swapping all the bolt internals to USGI.

Also, check out James River Armory. They produce a quality rifle with many original USGI or equal parts already installed.
 

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Loaded, it's got a medium barrel, not bedded so you can strip and clean and accurize and swap out parts if you want. My loaded was my first and was extremely accurate, I learned about the platform and swapped out commercial parts for usgi parts and did some mods that customized it some.
 

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Go with the Standard.
I agree, and spend the extra towards ammo, scope mount, sling, etc.

I'm no Andy Oakley RNGR3, but I am amazed what I can do with my Standard:

100 yards, open sights, sitting at a bench and supported with my forearm:
 

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Go with a Loaded. My first M1A was a SAI Loaded SS BBL and black plastic stock. I put a TIN coated gas piston and a round op-rod spring guide and it shoots better than out of the box, BUT ... before I did that I was able to get, with IRON SIGHTS, a 1.5" 3-shot group @ 100yds with my handloads using crappy Hornady 150g FMJ-BTs.

But as was said. If you plan on shooting some serious competition then the NM would be more in order.

Also as was said, but really is good advice so worth repeating ... if you can be happy with a rifle that is under your original budget cap, spend the extra on accessories, like first, more mags, then some of the other accuracy items, and of course ammo ammo ammo!
 

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I vote for the loaded.

I took a relistic look at my skills and decided a loaded model would be the best fit.

I knew i wanted to shoot high power but figured I could upgrade it as my skills improved.
 

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I vote a Loaded and go from there. Although I would maybe like an all GI, not sure if you gain much over a Loaded other than reliability of a FEW parts. Doubt you gain much if any on accuracy if neither are bedded. Later if you NEED an all GI then go for it.
 

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I got the NM. I am extremely pleased with it. It is my first and only M1A. Although I have a scope on a Basset mount, it brought me back to iron sights. The bedding is a non issue. Based on the info here, let your budget be your guide.
 

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I have a loaded and I put a hooded rear sight on it. The darn thing shots as good as my mid-eighties SuperMatch. I guess the 300 extra bucks for the National Match gives you a hooded rear sight and bedding but not much more. I guess I'd go with the loaded then send it out after I shot out the first barrel.
 

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I don't recommend a NM for a first M1A. You won't be able to take it apart and learn about the platform. If you do take it apart, it will quickly become a "loaded " model.

Get the Loaded model with a wood stock. You can easily upgrade it to a National Match after you are done learning about it inside and out. Much more fun that way.
 

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Get a Loaded. The medium barrel weight and NM sights are worth the lil bit bigger price tag. Don't replace any parts on it till you out shoot the gun. Lifetime unlimited warranty for any and every thing that breaks, as long as you don't replace SA parts for USGI parts. Once you out shoot it, get a super match. Then trick out the super match.
Or...do what you want and can afford.
Look at fhe differences on the SA website. Ven diagram that stuff. The biggie with the many makes they have is the barrel and the glass bedding business. Yes the standard is great but temember that weight is good. Heat, accuracy, etc.

Dutch
 

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When I bought both of mine, Springfield Armory only had a 1 year limited warranty. P.S. I'd get the loaded
 

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I really like my loaded model, just wish I had gone with the walnut stock... the composite one may be good for the bush but definately sucks for benchrest when there is no down pressure and the thing actually bouces in the rifle rest!!
Ended up spending the money on a USGI stock now shoots like a dream!
Rodney
 

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The loaded is a nice compromise in my opinion. But if you are going to be carrying it a lot, and precision is not necessary, then the standard would be best. Oh, and definitely get the walnut stocked version. The plastic SAI stocks leave much to be desired.
 
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