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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi from Nor. CA
Been lurking here over the last week or so to learn what I can. I got into firearms over the last year and got an AR15. Went to a buddy's ranch where he introduced me to his SAI M1A Scout Squad and I knew this is what I really want so I'm saving to get one soon. After being on this forum, It seems like the opinion of these firearms are pretty low, parts frequently malfunction and I need to change out everything for USGI parts if I expect to have a functioning rifle. On the other hand, much of what I am reading is over 5 years old. So in 2019, are their concerns I should have with getting a new SAI M1A scout?
Alternatively, I can save to get a better quality arm from FA/LRB etc., but I think it may be overkill for me. I'm not into any of the cool factor related to having something as close to the original version and personally, I prefer the look of the SAI version.
This will eventually become my SHTF rifle and once I feel I'm proficient with it, I will consider accurizing it (much further down the line). I'm just a regular guy, who will go shooting probably a couple times a month and the occasional run and gun drills at my buddy's ranch. I don't have the needs of military operators, but I do value reliability a lot. I found a few post that covers common mistakes new owners make but not so much about what I should be doing and thinking about with a new purchase. I do plan to get the Scott Duff M14 Owners guide.

So, Are the current generation SAI M1a Scouts still provide concerns with quality?
For my needs, is there still the hard recommendation of USGI parts? I read that the extractors and op rods are recommended USGI replacements if anything.
Are there any current manufactured parts replacements that can be recommended other than old USGI parts (they seem so expensive)?
Am I overthinking this and should just get my gun and book and have fun? (I'm hoping this)
Other general advice prior to making a purchase?

Looking forward to learning a lot here, this place is a great resource.
 

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I would have zero concerns out of the box, dead on reliable. 90% of what you will read on here is how to get them to shoot better. Wether it be a barrel, chassis, or moving parts there is always refinements that will be made, that are better parts. The factory parts are rarely an issue, these are just improvement mods that can be done. Go shoot the Socom scout and loaded and make a choice. Palmetto state armory has them on sale around 1200 bucks a lot of value for the money on all three.
 

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+1 on the Scout Squad. That rifle has excellent balance and in the right hands is capable of incredible scores on the range. 1" 100 yard groups are pretty common. Don't worry about parts SAI builds a great product and backs it up with a lifetime warranty.
 

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Welcome from Southeast Texas.

I have a 2012 Scout.

The only problems I ever had were due to cheap ammo and self inflicted issues.

First trip to the range was very disappointing, excessive failures to extract or FTE's.

I cleaned and lubed the rifle before going to the range, but didn't pay much attention to the chamber.

I've said it so many times many of the members are probably tired of reading it.

SCRUB THE CHAMBER, SCRUB THE CHAMBER. With the correct brush before a trip to the range.

All of what I know about the M1A I learned here, but I learned about FTE'S first hand before coming here.

Don't fall into the replace everything with USGI parts mentality.

If anything you might want a spare extractor or two.

I have spares that I have yet to use with over 3000 rounds down range.

Get your new rifle, watch the cleaning and maintenance videos you can find here, SCRUB the chamber, get some decent ammo, then put a few hundred rounds down range BEFORE doing anything to the rifle.

Get a baseline on how she shoots then make changes one at a time and check results.

I've enjoyed my Scout and how she preforms.....now the but, the muzzle brake is loud!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Wiz,
Can you elaborate, what is the "right brush" I'm guessing you're referring to the bristle type but please fill me in. I plan to purchase a cleaning and maintenance kit when I purchase. Thanks for the info.

I would like to get my hands on the Socom someday to try it out. I'm less interested in the standard or loaded because I really want something 40" or less. That length was one of my favorite things about it. Can the socom accept all of the accessories and mods the Squad and full size can? I thought I read somewhere that it couldn't but I can't remember for sure.
 

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Welcome in!

If it's going to be your SHTF rifle, yes a USGI extractor, trigger group, and op rod. C.M.I. mags too.
m14brian
 

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Thanks Wiz,
Can you elaborate, what is the "right brush" I'm guessing you're referring to the bristle type but please fill me in. I plan to purchase a cleaning and maintenance kit when I purchase. Thanks for the info.

I would like to get my hands on the Socom someday to try it out. I'm less interested in the standard or loaded because I really want something 40" or less. That length was one of my favorite things about it. Can the socom accept all of the accessories and mods the Squad and full size can? I thought I read somewhere that it couldn't but I can't remember for sure.
There are chamber brushes specific to the M14. Tappered brush.
But the Otis chamber brush is good as well as others. Get yourself a chamber cleaning tool as well. GG&G makes a good one. While your at it, get the Otis cleaning kit for the barrel cleaning.
Then you need the Sadlak drill bits and gas system wrench for cleaning the gas cylinder, plug, and piston. Or an equivalent, I’m not pushing Sadlak but they do make it easy shopping. Ask another question after you spent that $150, it’s tools you will need.
Check out Tony Bens videos on YouTube. They are really good and informative. Reference them whenever you need a refresher or in an area you haven’t been in before like a trigger group.

If you decide to save more and go with LRB, then you got a quality firearm from the get go and won’t have to buy it later. And there usually is a later purchase.

Good luck, happy shooting.
 

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When it comes to firearms, there are always folks who feel that purchasing a top of the line firearm is not only adviseable but necessary if you want something reliable. I don't buy into that philosophy. There are some bottom end products that are best avoided but most common, high production firearms (like an SAI M1A) will meet most shooters' needs. Keep in mind that when M14 type rifles were the most commonly used rifles in service rifle competition, the majority of shooters used SAI M1A's. That would not have been the case if M1A's were unreliable or of poor quality. Maintain your rifle properly, use good ammunition and good magazines and you will likely have no issues. Upgrading to GI parts can be beneficial in some instances - for instance, it is prudent to either upgrade the extractor or at least have a spare on hand.
 

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I have had my SAI Scout for quite a while now and have put many, many rounds down range through it. It is a fun rifle. There have been no issues with it.
 

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I own an SAI M21 and an SAI SOCOM 16. Both are still factory configured. No issues from the rifles. A few issues from the shooter as I learned how to properly control the two stage trigger, etc. The Scout looks to be a great rifle but before you buy one be sure to shoot the SOCOM 16 as well. When I take groups to the range and let them pick guns to shoot the often will want multiple sessions with the SOCOM 16. It is a blast to shoot and makes a great bug out rifle.
 

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Welcome to the forum. What they said Apedot. Even counting "back in the day" and running SAIs and a LRB for many years and truly the only issues I have had were ammo related.
Get what you like best and run with it.
 

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Read chapter 5 in the Field Manual, it covers proper maintenance and lubrication.

https://archive.org/stream/FM23-81968#page/n29/mode/2up

Watch this video. It explains in detail how the rifle operates:


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O67xXyEG9D4"]How the M14 7.62 Rifle Operates - US Army Training Film - YouTube[/ame]


The most important thing is to use quality ammunition that is designed for the M1A operating system. Avoid hunting ammunition. Commercial rifles have tight .308 Winchester chambers.

For the record, the only operating rods I have ever seen fail were USGI. Those were made by Mercury Machine.

The only part I consider mandatory is a National Match style operating spring guide. It will help the rifle cycle more smoothly.
 
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