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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Leftists adopting the term "liberal" is just like them adopting the color blue to distract real Americans from their true intentions. Political correctness has cost us dearly.

At a hair over 10 pounds, my M1A Scout is hardly a Scout Rifle, but it is as handy as a 10 pound rifle can be. My favorite feature is the flush fitting 5 round magazine that allows balanced carry at the receiver just like a Garand. I carry a loaded 20 round magazine in my pack should the need for more firepower arise, though for Scouts, it's all about first round hits, not volume fire.
View attachment 482878
I love that build, and honestly will likely do something similar. What I find is I am attempting to build the Ruger Gunsite Scout into an M14/M1A. I can replicate fairly close to overall length and barrel length, but the getting down to 7lbs will be harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
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
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Great looking builds and thank you. Totally concur on needing to be able to shoot with both eyes open. Jeff Coopers' "Art of the Rifle" drove that need home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
7 pounds will be difficult.

I don't know if you're going to find it, but if somebody will give up their carbon fiber stock, it might get you closer, but that's a pretty difficult order.
Agreed, I think I can get it down to 8lbs with the right stock, but that is part of the adventure of all of this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I would go with a Scout Squad 18.5” or BULA 19.25 barreled receiver in one of my Big Red Hardened Stocks. Either iron sights or something optic like a dot or chevron tip to quickly acquire the target.

stock is prepped and coated with marine-tex with a textured finish and if your weapon misfires you can use it to club anything to death! I have done many of the stocks for guys on ranches that don’t want to worry about beating up the stock.

M1Army

My #1 Hunting Rifle - 19.25” barrel with BULA bolt and USGI Parts.

View attachment 483893

Another example test fitted in a Scout Squad

View attachment 483894

Another example
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M1Army,
those rifles look fantastic and honestly I have been watching your stocks for a while.
 
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