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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been searching the message boards for similar topics with most being years old. With changes in prices and vendors over the last two decades I thought I would take another approach at an M1A Ranch Rifle.

My only criteria at this point it is will be used on 20 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I want to use a USGI parts kit while such things are available. The consensus seems to be 18.5" or 19.25" are the good middle ground. Other then that, I am totally open to suggestions.
 

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Welcome to the forums -

There is nothing wrong w/ the 22" barrel. What parts do you already have? My personal preference - a USGI bolt and USGI op-rod..at minimum. Receivers are not in stock like they were not long ago...so you may have to hunt for one. Do some reading on receivers and decide for yourself what you want in the rifle.

I am on the liberal side of VA..if I may help you w/ anything.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forums -

There is nothing wrong w/ the 22" barrel. What parts do you already have? My personal preference - a USGI bolt and USGI op-rod..at minimum. Receivers are not in stock like they were not long ago...so you may have to hunt for one. Do some reading on receivers and decide for yourself what you want in the rifle.

I am on the liberal side of VA..if I may help you w/ anything.
Thank you, I currently am in the liberal side as well. Attempting to rectify that I the New Year. I should have prefaced that I do currently have two SAI Loaded rifles and a Ruger Gunsite Scout. I love the maneuverability of the RGS and want to do my level best to recreate that in an M1A.
 

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WEll dude - you can PM me. See if I may be of help.
 

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Scout Squad AA9126
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I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains and there'll I'll take my stand,
I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains, boys, and there I'll take my stand,
With a rifle on my shoulder, boys, and a six-shooter in my hands --
God knows, I've been all around this world.

-Jerry Garcia
 

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Thank you, I currently am in the liberal side as well. Attempting to rectify that I the New Year. I should have prefaced that I do currently have two SAI Loaded rifles and a Ruger Gunsite Scout. I love the maneuverability of the RGS and want to do my level best to recreate that in an M1A.
You do not need something super fancy or heavy. I have a pre ban Springfield Armory bush rifle with 18.5 inch barrel that has awesome balance. Came with USGI TRW bolt and op rod and OM Winchester trigger group. At 200 yards I can put every shot in the X off hand with Remington 150 gr hunting ammo.
 

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IMHO you've made a good choice with the shorter barrel. I have three 22" barreled M14 clones and two 18"ers. The longer barreled rifle only make it out of the safe for matches while the bulk of my boom boom is with the shorter rifles.

I've installed SEI Coast Guard brakes on both rifles which shortens them a bit more. My truck gun sports a Choate folding stock which makes for a more compact package for storage.

Some like the SOCOM but I prefer the standard gas system and the ability to use a wider variety of bullet weights.
 

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I have been searching the message boards for similar topics with most being years old. With changes in prices and vendors over the last two decades I thought I would take another approach at an M1A Ranch Rifle.

My only criteria at this point it is will be used on 20 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I want to use a USGI parts kit while such things are available. The consensus seems to be 18.5" or 19.25" are the good middle ground. Other then that, I am totally open to suggestions.
You have 20 acres ;; but what is your longest line of shooting sight ?? 100; 200; 300; 400; are the trees getting in the way ?? I have heard that one of the Ruger rifles takes the M14 magazine is this the rifle you have ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You have 20 acres ;; but what is your longest line of shooting sight ?? 100; 200; 300; 400; are the trees getting in the way ?? I have heard that one of the Ruger rifles takes the M14 magazine is this the rifle you have ??
Half wooded, half cleared. The cleared is pasture and garden with longest ranges 400 yards. Sadly my RGS does not take M14 mags so I loose that commonality.
 

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I very much like my 18.5" standard contour barrel, and cannot think of a practical situation where it would be the limiting factor. I like it most often with either a Holosun 65 MOA circle dot, or just irons.

The M14 platform isn't really a great starting point if you're looking for either short or light, as the barrel is relatively forward of the trigger compared to some other platforms, and as a burly tough 'wood and steel' venerable dinosaur, even if you swap out the wood for a nice lightweight fiberglass stock, it's still got a good amount of steel, and bless it for that, but it weights.

But it can be certainly short or light 'enough' for certain situations, and certain uses, for the people willing to carry and maneuver (and setup to optimize/minimize the maneuvering required) and if you have the option of a folding stock or what not with a pistol grip, that simplifies storage and withdrawal a little bit. Choate offers one that Ted says was decent. I've got a similar one with the same mechanism on an SKS, and it's not pretty, but it's practical. Probably not match-oriented, but not stupid expensive or dangerously cheap either.

I think SOCOM form factors sure do look cool, though I haven't felt strongly enough about that to have purchased one yet. I don't know that I will, but I wouldn't say that I won't. :p

I cannot say with any confidence, though, whether you'd prefer a slightly shorter 'SOCOM' length, saving a little length with the integrated gas cylinder lock brake over something like an 18.5-19.25" barrel with an SEI direct Connect, or just get a barrel with no device, get a little more zing, possibly better factory ammunition accuracy compatibility, and less concussion. A SOCOM length would theoretically be a better tool for CQB scenarios with cinder block walls involved, though I don't know how much of that superiority you'd capitalize on in a ranch scenario.

My speculative opinion is that if you're talking about a standard profile barrel, and you're not planning on hoofing it around, but rather pulling it out of your truck/vehicle, select the barrel length that allows you to easily get it from it's stored location (whatever the best you can manage that to be) into use, safely, without any gymnastics. Depending on the physical aspects involved, that may even preclude an LPVO or even a red dot, and suggest you just run it slick with irons, and even Ssshhh) a 5 or 10 round magazine in place for initiation of any pleasantries. If you can do that with a 'scout' length barrel, I'd lean that direction for reasons of the above, but if losing an inch or 3 (depending on what's on or not on the muzzle) makes it significantly easier to get it safely and reliably into use, go with it. If you can manage all of that with a full length 22" barrel, why not? Though if you simply want a different barrel length, I also don't think you need to justify that either. Your rifle, your choice. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I very much like my 18.5" standard contour barrel, and cannot think of a practical situation where it would be the limiting factor. I like it most often with either a Holosun 65 MOA circle dot, or just irons.

The M14 platform isn't really a great starting point if you're looking for either short or light, as the barrel is relatively forward of the trigger compared to some other platforms, and as a burly tough 'wood and steel' venerable dinosaur, even if you swap out the wood for a nice lightweight fiberglass stock, it's still got a good amount of steel, and bless it for that, but it weights.

But it can be certainly short or light 'enough' for certain situations, and certain uses, for the people willing to carry and maneuver (and setup to optimize/minimize the maneuvering required) and if you have the option of a folding stock or what not with a pistol grip, that simplifies storage and withdrawal a little bit. Choate offers one that Ted says was decent. I've got a similar one with the same mechanism on an SKS, and it's not pretty, but it's practical. Probably not match-oriented, but not stupid expensive or dangerously cheap either.

I think SOCOM form factors sure do look cool, though I haven't felt strongly enough about that to have purchased one yet. I don't know that I will, but I wouldn't say that I won't. :p

I cannot say with any confidence, though, whether you'd prefer a slightly shorter 'SOCOM' length, saving a little length with the integrated gas cylinder lock brake over something like an 18.5-19.25" barrel with an SEI direct Connect, or just get a barrel with no device, get a little more zing, possibly better factory ammunition accuracy compatibility, and less concussion. A SOCOM length would theoretically be a better tool for CQB scenarios with cinder block walls involved, though I don't know how much of that superiority you'd capitalize on in a ranch scenario.

My speculative opinion is that if you're talking about a standard profile barrel, and you're not planning on hoofing it around, but rather pulling it out of your truck/vehicle, select the barrel length that allows you to easily get it from it's stored location (whatever the best you can manage that to be) into use, safely, without any gymnastics. Depending on the physical aspects involved, that may even preclude an LPVO or even a red dot, and suggest you just run it slick with irons, and even Ssshhh) a 5 or 10 round magazine in place for initiation of any pleasantries. If you can do that with a 'scout' length barrel, I'd lean that direction for reasons of the above, but if losing an inch or 3 (depending on what's on or not on the muzzle) makes it significantly easier to get it safely and reliably into use, go with it. If you can manage all of that with a full length 22" barrel, why not? Though if you simply want a different barrel length, I also don't think you need to justify that either. Your rifle, your choice. :p
I appreciate the input and at the end of the day, you are spot on, haha. I always knew handguns to be generally personal preference based on hand size and the method of carry.

I think with this, one of the biggest questions for me is what iron sights would be suggested. I know National Match in a snap shot situation would not be ideal. Ghost rings? Do any vendors make Ghost Ring sights as generous as the ones on the Ruger Gunsite Scout? Should I go M1 Garand Tbar?
 

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I appreciate the input and at the end of the day, you are spot on, haha. I always knew handguns to be generally personal preference based on hand size and the method of carry.

I think with this, one of the biggest questions for me is what iron sights would be suggested. I know National Match in a snap shot situation would not be ideal. Ghost rings? Do any vendors make Ghost Ring sights as generous as the ones on the Ruger Gunsite Scout? Should I go M1 Garand Tbar?
For a practical 'Do All', I like the regular plain jane sights just peachy. I would guess they are the way they are because they're ideal for mixed use, near and far.
 

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If you intend to use on galloping fence jumping home invaders, I suggest red-dot sight system. You can shoot both eyes open. Like the Shughart M14 rifle -Black Hawk down.

I am setting up one -
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you intend to use on galloping fence jumping home invaders, I suggest red-dot sight system. You can shoot both eyes open. Like the Shughart M14 rifle -Black Hawk down.

I am setting up one -
If my life depended on my horseback riding abilities Lord help me.
 

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Be glad you don't live in Arlington, where I do, and it's illegal to discharge an air gun or sling shot - seriously. Moving to Charlottesville but like all VA larger cities, it's as liberal at NYC.
 

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Be glad you don't live in Arlington, where I do, and it's illegal to discharge an air gun or sling shot - seriously. Moving to Charlottesville but like all VA larger cities, it's as liberal at NYC.
I have this daydream where the use of 'liberal' in political affiliation relates to the actual definition of the word.
 

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I have been searching the message boards for similar topics with most being years old. With changes in prices and vendors over the last two decades I thought I would take another approach at an M1A Ranch Rifle.

My only criteria at this point it is will be used on 20 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I want to use a USGI parts kit while such things are available. The consensus seems to be 18.5" or 19.25" are the good middle ground. Other then that, I am totally open to suggestions.
Scout Squad with a long eye relief Leupold 2x scope and an Arcangel stock is my ideal of a
ranch rifle. Using USGI parts alone, I don't see it. Zeroed at 33 yds, with 147gr Boattail PMC FMJ
and it's dead on at 250yds. Mine is set up for quick handling in the woods, hence the 2 power
scope. Works great with both eyes open style shooting. Using a higher power variable scope
could get you out to the 400 yds you mentioned. I also have a Marlin JM stamped 30-30
set up as a Scout rifle with a Bushnell red dot. Zeroed at 33 yds puts it dead on at 125yd. To me
a "Ranch" rifle is one that is quick to use, both eyes open to shoot. I apologize if it's not the
same for you.
Dano
Air gun Wood Trigger Shotgun Flooring

Air gun Trigger Wood Shotgun Gun barrel
 

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Keep dreaming.

kilrain, I’d go with a scout. Standard 16 socom sights aren’t that hot, too wide for use at range (opinions vary). I changed mine up a great bit.
the Choate stocks aren’t what they used to be, from what I hear. The folding mechanism is robust but they are not using GI fiberglass stocks any more. That stock also changes LOP.
The r e d neck painted one is 30 inches folded. the SEI stuff on the barrel adds about 1.5 inches, but it gives me a normal sight picture
Air gun Wood Shotgun Gun barrel Trigger

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Air gun Trigger Machine gun Gun barrel Gun accessory
 
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