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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I've recently decided to begin building an M1A EBR for long range shooting, and hunting purposes. The longest shot I will take will probably be around 500 yards, but I want to build a rifle that will perform well past that for years to come. While looking for information online, I found this forum and have been getting tons of information.

Unfortunately it has become a little intimidating and hard to pick out which tidbits of info I can apply to my build, so I was hoping I could get some help from y'all to make sure I get the right stuff.

I like the idea of making this gun a project and building it myself, as long as accuracy doesn't suffer due to not being able to properly fit components together I don't have a problem building the rifle part by part.

The only real decisions I've made are using a SAGE ALCS Chassis and wanting a 22" barrel. I believe a medium weight barrel will suit my needs just fine, and a 1 in 11" twist will work just fine too. I have already picked a Bi-pod, and am planning for one of those angled foregrips.

I don't mind running the rifle with iron sights for the time being and saving for a high end optic down the road, or I may just scavenge the scope off my Remington 270.

So what I would like help with:

Since I have little experience past taking apart my M1 Garand and cleaning that, should I attempt to build the rifle part by part? I don't mind spending a little extra time, and I feel like it would make the rifle feel more personal.

If so, where can I find a parts list that would specify exactly which parts I need to complete the SAGE ALCS Chassis, and where can I order them?

If that isn't a good idea, I've read purchasing a SAI Standard M1A would suit my needs, but it seems a little pricey (lowest I've found is $1,300) for something I'm going to immediately take out of the stock and put into something else. Are there other viable options for the SAGE ALCS? (Used, other manufacturers, etc.)

I think those are my biggest concerns right now, but any and all tips, info or feedback is greatly appreciated! I apologize if this sounds a little uninformed, but I am looking forward to learning more about this rifle and making a build that I will love for a long time!

Also, I'd like to thank all of you ahead of time for any responses I receive!
 

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Others will certainly chime in, but if you’re looking for a SAGE Chassis, Clyde’s Armory and Arms Unlimited sell them. I believe AU has the SAGE cantilever mount in stock. You can’t go wrong with getting a Bula barreled action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the suggestions!

The Cantilever mount is for mounting a scope correct?

And if I purchase the Bula Barelled Action with an op rod and stop, all I need after that is a trigger group?
 

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Welcome to the forum!

First, building your own will cost you more than a Standard M1A. It's also more intensive than the disassembly/reassembly of a garand.

Your cheapest cost of entry will be to purchase a used M1A. Best bang for the buck is probably the Loaded version. if you're patient, you can find them at the same price as, or cheaper, than a new Standard.
 

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Thank you for the suggestions!

The Cantilever mount is for mounting a scope correct?

And if I purchase the Bula Barelled Action with an op rod and stop, all I need after that is a trigger group?
bula is another option but it won't save you any money. It's a nicer setup that some are willing to fork over the extra scratch for, but whether it's nicer and makes sense to you is what matters. I like Bula, but it may not be what you need at this point if you're trying to keep the spend down.

And, yes, the DCSB cantilever mount is for your scope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha I figured, I only mentioned the garand because it?s so simple to take apart. I would consider building because of the sentimental investment, and the possibility of spreading the cost around a few months. But I am willing to wait it out if that is my better option.

What makes you suggest the loaded version?

As far as I can tell, it?s the same barrel, with a lighter trigger pull and it?s not glass bedded according to the SAI rep I talked to... does that mean it has a rear lug?

Do you have any suggestion on where to find a used Springfield M1A? Or are there cheaper/better options? I spent a solid amount of time today on the phone and online looking for one but I didn?t really like what I saw, and every shop said they didn?t have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Adding to my giant list of questions... I've seen people suggesting to buy the SAGE ALCS Chassis first, while I am waiting to find a good deal on a used M1A.

Do y'all suggest doing that? Or is that getting too far ahead of myself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
At that price point I wouldn't really be saving too much money compared to an SAI M1A.
Is that a better quality rifle? Or is there another advantage?
 

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A full Bula/JRA rifle normally costs around $2,000 and it has a Bula forged receiver and various other forged parts. It would be a great base rifle to buy. The finish on the receivers is much better.

SAI lost some of its customer base when it was discovered that they supported a bill that exempted them from other Illinois gun store and manufacturer restrictions along with Rock River arms as well. Very bad PR for them. They were the cheapest option for anyone looking to get into the M14/M1A game. Then along comes Bula partnering with JRA to give new owners another option at a comparable price.

Tony.
 

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There is a Rifle or barreled action only (Bula / Jon Wolfe Built) in the PX right now. Its not a 22" but you might want to take a look.
 

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What makes you suggest the loaded version?

As far as I can tell, it?s the same barrel, with a lighter trigger pull and it?s not glass bedded according to the SAI rep I talked to... does that mean it has a rear lug?

Do you have any suggestion on where to find a used Springfield M1A? Or are there cheaper/better options? I spent a solid amount of time today on the phone and online looking for one but I didn?t really like what I saw, and every shop said they didn?t have one.
As far as Springfield goes, it's what I consider to be the best value. NM trigger, sights, and barrel for relative price bump from the Standard. It not being glass bedded and not having a unitized gas cylinder (and hooded rear sight) is what it doesn't have compared to the National Match. It's not rear-lugged.

If the JRA (made by Bula), is available at Classic for $1500, I'd probably go that route.

Adding to my giant list of questions... I've seen people suggesting to buy the SAGE ALCS Chassis first, while I am waiting to find a good deal on a used M1A.

Do y'all suggest doing that? Or is that getting too far ahead of myself?
If you can, see if you can shoot an M1A/M14 in the Sage chassis before forking out the coin; it's not for everyone. Even if you're set on a Sage, I'd buy the rifle first. I wouldn't delay my ability to buy a rifle so I can have an empty chassis lying around.

At that price point I wouldn't really be saving too much money compared to an SAI M1A.
Is that a better quality rifle? Or is there another advantage?
I echo what TB says about the JRA/Bula.
 

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I'm probably going to get fiery darts for this, but try and find someone with a SAGE chassis and feel the weight of it. You will be surprised at how much they weigh. I own one and have a scout mounted in it. I would not consider that for a hunting rifle. I would gladly take a standard M1A to the field over a SAGE built gun. But that is just me. I have to say that the iron sights on a M1A are great sights and you probably won't even have to mount a scope. I can consistently hit the four inch gong at 200 meters with my M1A with standard sights. Just saying for what it is worth. My SAGE is built with a different application in mind............................your decision though.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a little update on how y'alls advice has formed my plan:

I'm watching some rifles on various websites for a few more days, hopefully I can grab a good deal on one of them.

If not, my second option is to part the gun out, but I'm taking that as a last resort if my first option doesn't go through, which is going to be a long shot.

I drove a few hours to a gun store and was able to get an in-person look at at a 22" barrel Standard M1A with a SAGE Chassis already installed. It felt great in my hands! it had a fore grip installed and a scope mount, but no scope. I realize with the additions I would like to place it will increase the weight of the gun, but as far as the balance and looking down the iron sights goes, I am pleasantly suprised by how it felt.

So I've pretty much concreted the type of rifle I want to put in, and the chassis I want, so I'll be watching a wide variety of sites to hopefully get a deal on what I need to get that together.

I'd like to talk scopes now... I haven't bought a scope before, and have only used the Nikon Buckmaster scope that is currently mounted on the Remington model 700 that was passed down to me by my father. Its a very clear scope that I am confident in shooting up to 200 yards with. But I definitely need an upgrade for this rifle.

Forgive me if this is a silly expectation, but I was hoping to get a scope that can comfortably magnify between 100 yards - 500 yards. I've been reading a few articles on scopes and getting a general idea on MIL dots and MOA and the focal points... but is there a good place to start to get a handle on what kind of scope I need to start out with? I've seen lots of good things about Vortex scopes, but magnifications and all that are kind of confusing to me.

Once again, thank you all for your input and help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also, just to clear up what I want to use this rifle for:

I have always really enjoyed long range shooting. Maybe not so much for hunting applications, but knowing I can place a round on a target from a very long distance. I love the focus and skill required to do so and it makes me so happy when I hit a quarter sized group at 150 yards with my current rifles.

That being said, Im confident that this rifle at 300 yards will be able to take some feral hogs out that are running around the ranch we use to hunt on, and that is the average distance from the ranch house across a field to the first stand where we see a lot of hog activity. So right now, my main uses would be:

Accurate, longish range shots from a prone position 200-300 yards for hog extermination

Accurate, long range shots from a prone position 400-500 yards for target shooting and practice.

My future hopes for this gun would be much farther down the line when I manage to get my own land and set up a nice long shooting lane (500-600) yards and be able to shoot down that.

I need to study bullet ballistics more before I start making statements about shooting deer and the likes from a range because I'm not sure how well the .308 will do, and I haven't been able to test my skills past 200 yards due to current gear restrictions. (Scope, Rifles, etc.)
 

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308 is very effective at the ranges you mentioned. Look into a good set of range finders and a scope that is either set for 308 or has the ability for a custom turret. Google Kenton industries turrets and read about what they do.

http://kentonindustries.com/category/riflescopes

Here I'll do it for you. Yes the scopes are higher priced but they come with a custom turret made for your specific rifle and round.
 
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