My final choice of an M-14 style rifle was a Springfield M1A . I had pre -paid for a rifle from MK Specialties but ATF refused to let them sell it with the almost "Select switch" style receiver. When They returned my check I bought a Springfield. At the time Springfield had the "loaded Coupon" offer and the Government 6/40 Scope for $150 with the third Generation Mount thrown in. I have the black synthetic stock and parkerized barrel. So here is a summary of troubles and things that have happened to me with this rifle.
First: the synthetic stock is great. it does not need the metal. The black wrinkle finish around the magazine wears off but a black perminate marker touches it up easily. It is never bothered by moisture and humidity. If a totally original look is what you are after it may not be for you but if you want durability it is the ticket.
Second: when I first got the rifle it jammed constantly. I was so disappointed but after about 300 rounds it came out of it and it never jams now. My service rifle in Viet Nam never jammed and it was a relief to have my new one straighten itself out. Apparently the cast Vs. forged receiver deal is not that big a deal if the thing gets broke in.
Third: The Match Trigger is Too light. When I would shoot from the Bi-pod it would bounce off of my shoulder and touch off another round. The only cure for this "double tapping" was to shut off the gas valve or pull the clip after I chambered a round. I dropped Springfield a E-Mail and they had me return the trigger group. In about a week and a half they had it back to me and had returned the trigger pull to mil/spec. It works great now and I Wouldn't't have it any other way.
Fourth: Clips- the new clips seem to need use before they feed well. I am not totally sure that my beginning troubles with jamming were entirely the rifles fault. I have 20-10 and 5 round clips. I use the Five round the most because I shoot five round groups. The only thing I ever shot was people and targets. Being I don't shoot people any more my twenty rounders don't get much use.
Fifth: Groups---- with port. .308 I can shoot 1in. to 1.5 in. groups if I have a good day and stay away from the coffee Thats at 100 meters. further distances are good but most of my troubles with grouping are me not the gun. I'm improving......SP/4 Twiggy