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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought an M1A National Match. Is it a free float? It basically has the same idea as my free float AR-15. The sling is not on the barrel. Can I expect this rifle to maintain zero with sling tension? Does the stock push on the barrel at all?
 

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Aloha Kelvin...

"Free floated" systems on M14's and AR's are different. As Warbird said, the match free floated M14 type rifle would still have contact at the front ferrule and the front band.

Whereas the AR systems, the barrel and gas system is entirely independent of the handguard.

I am sure if you squeeze the handguard (gently) and the stock you will notice some compression there... that draw pressure is there for a purpose. It allows the barrel and gas system to return to its original state quickly and regularly. So your question on "...does the stock push on the barrel?" No, but the stock does "pull" on the front band (attached to the barrel assembly) to create this pressure or draw.

The thicker SM/NM SA stocks should allow you to sling up tight and not affect zero. Check your front sling swivel (it should be welded shut). It has been a problem with folks who sling up tight to open up the front sling swivel and thus, welding it shut (from coming apart) is normal on a NM rifle.

I hope this helps some...

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dighawaii said:
Aloha Kelvin...

"Free floated" systems on M14's and AR's are different. As Warbird said, the match free floated M14 type rifle would still have contact at the front ferrule and the front band.

Whereas the AR systems, the barrel and gas system is entirely independent of the handguard.

I am sure if you squeeze the handguard (gently) and the stock you will notice some compression there... that draw pressure is there for a purpose. It allows the barrel and gas system to return to its original state quickly and regularly. So your question on "...does the stock push on the barrel?" No, but the stock does "pull" on the front band (attached to the barrel assembly) to create this pressure or draw.

The thicker SM/NM SA stocks should allow you to sling up tight and not affect zero. Check your front sling swivel (it should be welded shut). It has been a problem with folks who sling up tight to open up the front sling swivel and thus, welding it shut (from coming apart) is normal on a NM rifle.

I hope this helps some...

Aloha,

Tom O.
I thought that SA was just too cheap to put a bearing for the swivel. So it is done on purpose? I have not yet shot the rifle to notice patterns and groups. At least now I have confidence to go ahead and use lots of sling tension. I got two uppers on the AR a practice non free float and a match free float. The difference zero is pretty noticable if I break position and walk away with the non free float barrel. When I was first learning to shoot and was starting to get repeatable, it was fustrating to have groups flying all over the place. What I didn't realize it was the rifle and changing zero. At least now I'm pretty confident I won't be chasing zeros with the M1A.
 

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Aloha Kelvin...

May I recommend the Scott Duff and the Jerry Kuhnhausen books for reference reading? The Duff book is an easy read and packed with useful info... the Kuhnhausen Shop Manual is very technical and will provide you with lots of diagrams and specs.

There is a method mentioned where an M14 is totally "free floated" however, I have never tried this method. And a member "M14Dan" noted that his father tried this method and it was not as effective as the "pressure" bed method.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Aloha,

Tom O.
 

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With a match stock, you shouldn't see any. Even with a standard stock, you won't see much. The M14 barrel is a little more substantial than a GI profile AR barrel.
 
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