M14 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The mystique of the M14/M1A rifle draws me to understand every part of it. And what better way to better understand something other than by modifying it or trying to make it better... in this case a bit more accurate.

I decided to take a new SA Loaded Standard M1A and make it as NM ready as possible without the benefit of bedding the stock/receiver.

The SA Loaded Standard M1A comes with:
NM Flash Hider
NM Med. Contour Barrel
NM Trigger Assembly
NM Front Sight and NM unhooded Rear Sight

These are items that will be installed/modified or replacing the original:
WhamoCamo Synthetic Stock (no bedding but all other NM mods)
NM Unitized Gas Cylinder
NM Polished Gas Piston (not received yet from FA)
NM Op Rod Spring Guide
NM Hooded Rear Sight Aperture (not received yet from FA)
ARMS #18 Scope Mount
ARMS #22 Scope Rings
SA 6-20 X 56mm Mil-Dot Scope
Harris Bipod Adapter (Custom Installed)
Harris Bipod (BR-1A)
DSA Cheek Rest

Reference Sources and Material:
KuhnHausen M1 Garand/M14 Shop Manuals 1&2
Scott Duff's book - M14
Battlerifles.Com Forum
SparrowHawk.Com Forum

I have not completed this project yet, but I believe that I will be able to test the performance of this rifle against a factory SA NM rifle soon...

This endeavor would not be possible without the help and advice that I have received from members of this discussion group and BR.Com. I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for helping me better understand this wonderful rifle we call the M14 or M1A. The appeal is truly "mystical"... :lol:

Again, Thank You everyone, and I would like to wish all of you and your families a...

Merry Christmas and a Blessed Holidays!!! :lol:

Tom O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Aloha Tom,

How is this project coming? Do you have any pics and range reports for this buildup yet?

Kind regards,

Kobra1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Holy Smokes!, guys, where did you dig up that old post? Geez that was back in 2002!

I am sure I followed up with another post, but these are some of the pics I could dig up.




The SA M1A Loaded that I worked on is the one on the left with the massive SA scope (it is in a WhamoCamo Sage stock). I am not sure what I might have done with the single pictures, but the other rifle is exactly the same (SA Loaded M1A) but NOT fired or modified (that is set in a WhamoCamo Seminole design).

I wish I had more pics but after the big computer crash I had, many of the old archived pics are gone! :cry:

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Aloha Tom,

I was going through some really old posts trying to find info on stuff that hadn't been discussed in a awhile and I came across what sounded like a pretty sweet build-up - needless to say that your rifles sure do look nice! I'm glad you posted those pics!

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
So, what were the results of the no bedding match build? How did it compare to an SA Inc National Match model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Aloha TEA,

That is the same rifle that I ended up shooting in the Postal Shoot last year and is now setup for the M3A that I was last working on.

The results were pretty interesting IIRC. The test rifle in a "tight" synthetic with generally all else (NM hardware wise) the same did not perform as well as the SA NM rifle. IIRC, the groups were not as consistent as the SA NM rifle but were good. The funny thing is I also recall that as a SA Loaded, it shot pretty good as is.

The next step was to have it bedded. I purchased a SA NM stock in the PX and bedded the test rifle. The groups settled down and were excellent and very comparable if not a bit tighter than the SA NM rifle. Additional to bedding the rifle/stock, I also modified the handguard for proper clearance as well and opened up the front ferrule to insure proper clearance there also.

One of the things I can note is that I did the Tubbs Final Finish procedure on the SA Loaded/NM rifle as a "break in" process but did nothing but clean and lube the SA NM rifle. I had also shot more rounds through the SA Loaded/Nm rifle than the SA NM rifle and the action smoothness reflected that.

All in all, it was a fabulous learning experience and well worth the effort and expense. This was a great project for satisfying my own curiosity at the time.

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Tom,

What are the tightest groups one could get without bedding the action but converting the rest of the rifle to NM, based on your experience?

Thank you,

Kobra1
 

·
Forever Remembered - RIP
Joined
·
3,750 Posts
I'm glad this post re-surfaced. The other week someone was asking about what benefits he could expect on bedding a match rifle. Of course there are a lot of variables, how tight the stock fit before bedding, how good the barrel is capable of shooting, ect.. . With good ammo my Armscorp would shoot around 1.5 MOA but not consistently. Most groups would be close to 1 1/2" @ 100 but some would be closer to 2" & some at an inch. In the bedded stock with the same ammo if I shot a group over MOA, it was from shooter error. At 300 yards the difference was much more noticeable. I hope you saved your shooting data Tom. If so what kind of groups were you getting before and after? I also used a synthetic from WhamoCamo that was a pretty tight fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi Kobra1:

I can't really remember exactly what I got without bedding but I think it would have been around 1.5" or so. I remember the groups from the SA NM being smaller and more consistent. Both rifles were using scopes and shot from a bench.

A while back, I got to thinking... "...will bedding a stock alone achieve good accuracy or was having all NM parts without bedding sufficient?" So I did use a couple of rifles to test these thoughts out. Please be aware that these are not "controlled" tests that I was doing but more trying to work out thoughts that ran abound.

Some of the end resulting thoughts were...

1. Accuracy started with a good barrel.
2. Bedding alone, while better accuracy was achieved, did not yield the best accuracy possible out of a M14 type gun.
3. NM parts alone, while achieving better accuracy, did not yield the best accuracy possible out of a M14 type gun.
4. The combination of a good barrel, good NM parts, properly installed, bedded to a solid stock with a good trigger provided the best accuracy that I could eek out of an M14 type rifle.

In this process, other things came to mind as well... I will try to put them in words.

* I found that bedding a rifle without using a unitized gas cylinder was not as productive as having a unitized gas cylinder.
* In a bedded rifle, the handguards must not come in contact with the stock and the "front end draw" made a difference.
* A NM op rod spring guide, whether did or not, made me feel like the action functioned smoother.
* There are good NM trigger jobs and "run of the mill" NM trigger jobs and they are NOT the same. You will feel the difference between the two.
* I don't know if NM reaming of the FH prevents bullet deflection but rather than take a chance, I had all of my NM rifles setup with reamed FH's in case I ever had to shoot in the rain.
* Type of bullets make a heck of a difference in accuracy of an M14 type rifle, whether factory, mil surp or handloaded.
* Tubb's Final Finish made my clean up life a whole lot easier and IMHO, worked well enough to use in other rifles including my bolt guns.

I know this is nothing new to the old timers who have lived their lives around these types of rifles... and I am sure that their thoughts may not be the same as mine. However, as I started to work with the M14 type rifle, I developed a greater appreciation and fondness for it and these were just my thoughts that come to mind.

Please let us know how you folks do and what your thoughts are! I am truly leaning along the way!

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Hi Tom,
Wanted to say THANKS for all the usefull information past and present --- good job -- ;) Bird
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Thanks for all the useful info. :D By the way, the stocks on the 2 rifles are beautiful! 8) As always, more pictures, please, specially the m3a set up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys! Wow, there is lots more discussion on this old thread than before.

I have been wanting to update my web site with some of the pics of the M3A build, but as usual, having some transfer problems. So this is a few pics of the M3A build.

The McMillan stock is excellent on the outside but "rough" on the inside. Bedding will be applied to some of these areas, but some "patching" will be necessary.



The inside of the McMillan forearm.


The tape is unnecessary, but it helps me with errant fingerprints and speeds clean up.

This is after the front ferrule has been enlarged.


Bedded heel of the rifle.


The bedded op rod side of the receiver


Another shot of the heel area.


A shot of the rifle waiting for the bedding to cure.


The OD color of the stock was dull and did not match the painted handguard, so I decided to make it all match. This is a picture of the finished rifle again from the bolt release side.



The color is much more vivid now.


Thanks for asking. I like posting pics when I can.

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Tom,

I received my A.R.M.S. mount today and just finished mounting it. I like the fact that I can see my open sights without obstruction. Now I have to save for my ARMS 22M rings and then top everything off with a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm LR/T M1 scope. Thanks for the great photo shots!
:)
Kobra1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Tom ,
Very good photos --- nice, crisp and clean images. Looking forward to some others.
Take care,
Gunfighter123 aka Bird
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Bedding in Wood vs. Fiberglass

Looks like if I am going to get serious about this service rifle competition I better figure on bedding my M1A.
I am currently shooting a SA M1A "Loaded" in a walnut stock that has not been touched other than cleaning. What kind of work is involved in getting the wood stock ready for bedding? Is this somthing I could tackle myself or is it best left to the pro's? Is it better to go with a new glass stock so weather is not an issue?

By the way those rifles are FANTASTIC :!:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,923 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Aloha CTC:

If you're getting your rifle ready for competition, I know a bunch of members here that are much more saavy than me on getting your rifle ready... Try Warbird, TEA, Trung Si, Ted Brown to name a few.

But I will give it a shot (man, I hope the competition guys don't stomp on me...) :lol:

If you are really interested in getting your rifle to be as accurate as you can, if you read this thread carefully, it is my opinion that bedding alone is not sufficient to eek the maximum accuracy from your rifle. On a SA Loaded you would need or want to consider a unitized gas cylinder, NM op rod spring guide, maybe getting the trigger worked over even more, having your rear sights checked for tightness (maybe adding a hooded rear aperture as optional) as well as getting the rifle bedded.

Bedding is something that if you are good with your hands, mechanically inclined, and patient, should be capable of performing. Obviously, like anything else, it takes practice! And, practicing on beater stocks is one way of doing it. Also, read the Kuhnhausen and Duff books for as much detailed help as you can get from them, they are packed with excellent information and diagrams. The Art Lupino by Center X on Bedding is also worth the money.

For the average person, I would recommend having a "pro" do the bedding. Simply because of the learning curve, practice time, expense and the cost of the tools and materials.

But if you are interested and willing to spend the time and money or learn (and to make the mistakes)... I can only say that it is extremely satisfying and gives you a greater appreciation for the work that the "pro's" do when working on these rifles.

The SA wood stock for the Loaded rifles are pretty adequate for bedding your receiver to. There are better but it will do all right IMHO. There are many various wood "match" stocks available that are a bit thicker and made for this purpose.

A synthetic stock like a McMillan is an excellent choice, will not fear weather conditions and should give you a lifetime of service. But this is probably something that the "competition" folks would be better able to answer.

So, if you are interested in doing your own bedding work, get the Kuhnhausen and Duff books, read all applicable sections if not all) and I am sure we all can "hash" over what you might want to consider in proceeding in another thread.

Good Luck whichever way you go and the main thing is to have "FUN"!

Aloha,

Tom O.

HH: 58 registered users, huh? No wonder I didn't get much discussion on this thread back in 2002! 8O Hehehe, thanks for looking that up!
 

·
Forever Remembered - RIP
Joined
·
3,750 Posts
I agree with Tom, some very good advice. I'm guessing your range has local matches every month. I would start of shooting these matches as is. You will pick up a lot of good shooting tricks and habits from the guys who do it every month. Don't let ego hold you back. No one will ridicule you and most will help out in one way or another, just get good enough to hit your own target first ;) .
If you get a bedding job there are other mods that are not that expensive you should have done first. I suggest getting a copy of The M14 Owners guide by Scott A. Duff & John M. Miller from Fulton Armory, whether you plan to do the work yourself or have it done. It will give you an idea of what to ask for if you have someone else do the work, or decide what things you may want to do your self. It is an easy read, not too technical, and IMO a must have for anyone serious about the M14/M1A. Have fun with the matches, the competition is only part of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Tom,

Maybe I'll go through some more old posts to see what kind of interesting conversations can be stirred up!

kobra
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top