M14 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to get into highpower shooting, and I have a bit of a conundrum. I am living (and will be for the next two years or so, at least) in a city that bans ARs, but allows M1As. It sucks, but it's the law and I'm not about to mess with that.

Given this constraint, but I'm left with a tough decision. I could get an AR, and get all the cost, maintenance, speed and longevity advantages it brings. But if I buy an AR, I will have to keep it in a locker outside the city, and travel to the range if I want to handle it. Contrast that with an M1A, which I can keep at home and dry fire every day, but will kick harder, and be generally less accurate.

What would you do in a situation like this? For now, assume I can afford a good quality NM AR, or a National Match M1A from Springfield (probably not a SM or anything fancy from a small shop). Since I'm just starting out, I don't expect to be posting even remotely competitive scores; I'll really be competing with myself. Will I regret spending hundreds of hours training on an M1A if and when the time comes to transition to an AR?

Probably the only really good "best of both worlds" solution I've come up with would be to build a fake AR-15 with a real NM trigger, and practice with that at home.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,174 Posts
Welcome? Contrary too popular AR-15 belief once the M1a is set up as a NM rifle its rather low maintenance. Recoil can also be as low as the AR as well you just need too be smarter about it than your avg. AR shooter is. With reduced recoil loads the points will pile up and up and up, making you look like a shooting stud running a Real Man's rifle.

But be that as it may be, and this being a very pro M1a board, I would go with the M1a or even a M1 chambered in .308, so pick your poison a "Real Man's" rifle or the generic Rat Gun? So really before you can start Across the Course 'YOU' need too make your first decision on what 'YOUR' going too use be it M1/M1a or AR, we can't make that decision for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the welcome! Very excited to have found this forum so early in my M14 journey.

I guess my biggest concern regarding maintenance is the barrel. I have had a surprisingly hard time finding out how much it costs to have a barrel properly installed and headspaced on an M1A.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Can't imagine owning a rifle that I can have with me. That said the only choice is the M1A. As you note, dry fire practice is critical to rapid improvement which leads you back to the only practical choice . There is no avoiding the truth that the M1a is more expensive to buy and feed. Dollar for dollar the AR is more accurate. One often overlooked benefit of 30 cal HP shooting is that recoil management forces good position technique.

Some HP programs have rifles for loan. I maintain 2 NM ARs and a Garand for our club to support new HP shooters. Might look into that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,822 Posts
Seems like an easy decision to me. By the M1A now or spend a little bit more and buy a boutique rifle and then when you move out into the Free World pick up an AR-15 if you really need to play with one! It's like going to the Ford forum and asking them if you should buy a Chevrolet, obviously the answer is no but you already knew that!GI2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
Have you thought about the 6.5 M1A? You should get a bit better accuracy with that round. Also you haven't said anything about if the matches shoot at reduced ranges or if they go out to the full 600yds? Locally we shoot at 200yds w/reduced targets and M1A shooters do just fine, but if you are shooting the full distance then a round that has a higher BC and does well in the wind then the .308 (or better yet 6.5) will be a better choice than an AR. If you reload then you can squeeze all the accuracy out of your rifle and even save a bit over buying boxes of factory ammo.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,174 Posts
Thanks for the welcome! Very excited to have found this forum so early in my M14 journey.

I guess my biggest concern regarding maintenance is the barrel. I have had a surprisingly hard time finding out how much it costs to have a barrel properly installed and headspaced on an M1A.

I've looked at the fight lite lower. Looks like it would be an excellent solution. Unfortunately the ban is very broad and includes "recievers" (no specification upper or lower).
Well that all depends on where you live or if you willing too send the rifle out to be done. I can't quote other people prices but Tonyben is real reasonable for barrel install and headspace with a quick turn around time or anything else you may need related to the M1a. He even has a few different reamers for you to choose from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,440 Posts
Have you thought about the 6.5 M1A? You should get a bit better accuracy with that round. Also you haven't said anything about if the matches shoot at reduced ranges or if they go out to the full 600yds? Locally we shoot at 200yds w/reduced targets and M1A shooters do just fine, but if you are shooting the full distance then a round that has a higher BC and does well in the wind then the .308 (or better yet 6.5) will be a better choice than an AR. If you reload then you can squeeze all the accuracy out of your rifle and even save a bit over buying boxes of factory ammo.
Unfortunately, the 6.5 is not a legal service rifle cartridge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Will I regret spending hundreds of hours training on an M1A if and when the time comes to transition to an AR?
Yes.

As someone who spent several years trying to compete with an M1A before switching over to an AR15, I can say that you will weep when you finally make the switch and realize how well you could have been shooting if only you had shot an AR.

I am in California. You are in Illinois. We both must do whatever it takes to compete while staying within the law. Almost no one here knows how painful it is to have to put up with the nonsense that you and I have to deal with on a daily basis. That said, if there is a legal way that you can buy and shoot an AR, you will be miles ahead if you do it.

Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Hey sightsaligned welcome to the forum. I take it that you must be around the Chicago area. The Illinois State Rifle asso. has a range at Bonfield just west of Kankakee and they have every spring a new shooter clinic for new high power shooters and it is taught by several high masters and John Holliger from White Oaks Armament is usually there. It is a EXCELLENT day at the range. They may be of some help with your conundrum and help get you into the high power shooting in Illinois.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,188 Posts
I am trying to get into highpower shooting, ...
--------------------
FIRST check around to learn about the various clubs, ranges and people in your area that involved with HP. Some clubs (and maybe individual people) might have suitable rifles for longterm loan. In addition to NRA / CMP Service Rifles (M1, M1a, AR15, M110) there are many other rifles that can be used - other semi-autos, and bolt-actions.
I suggest starting with as much borrowed equipment as you can - to learn whether you're really interested in continuing. If so, then you can purchase good quality equipment for yourself.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thanks to everybody for all the various opinions and ideas! I've dug a little deeper and started to find some real pricing for M1A barrel and bedding work, and I'm impressed with the relatively low costs for these services. I think the answer is probably going to be buying whatever I can reasonably afford for constant practice, and borrowing ARs whenever possible for "cross training".

If a purchase is made I will be certain to update you gentlemen with what I chose and how I like it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,053 Posts
I cut my teeth on a M-14 during the 1970's and shot M1A's until the mid 1990's before transitioning to an AR-15 for service rifle club matches. It took some work to make the transition, but once done you can switch back and forth between the M1A and AR-15 without too much difficulty.

If you are shooting reduced course club matches, a M1A that will shoot 3" at 100 yards will post some decent scores. Once you hit the ceiling with a standard M1A, you can spend money on accuracy improvements.

I suspect you are close to Chicago. Find out what the ISRA is doing to change the unrealistic, un-American, ineffective gun laws in your area and get involved.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,603 Posts
Wow, thanks to everybody for all the various opinions and ideas! I've dug a little deeper and started to find some real pricing for M1A barrel and bedding work, and I'm impressed with the relatively low costs for these services. I think the answer is probably going to be buying whatever I can reasonably afford for constant practice, and borrowing ARs whenever possible for "cross training".

If a purchase is made I will be certain to update you gentlemen with what I chose and how I like it!
Good luck! We'll most likely want to follow your every move if you can't already tell. BEERCHUG1

Btw, get the M1A loaded. I'd want for you to be able to have it whenever you want it. Better for maintenance among the other things mentioned. Shooting skills will transfer to other firearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I'd get an M1A Loaded or National Match and not even worry about the AR for your location. Shoot it until your skill is beyond the rifle's capability, send it off to be rebuilt, and keep going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds like we have a plan gentlemen! Thanks again for all the advice. I'm going to try and escape Crook County tomorrow and peruse a couple stores I know stock the Springfield match rifles. I'll keep everybody posted GI1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
If you are in Cook county or have a similar law, here's what you do.

(1) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a large capacity magazine detachable or otherwise and one or more of the following:
(A) Only a pistol grip without a stock attached;
(B) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;
(C) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock;
(D) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel; or
(E) A muzzle brake or muzzle compensator;

I'm a big M1A fan and I shot an M1A Supermatch more than any other rifle but today the game has changed and you want a 4 rail AR15 with a scope. You want to build a rifle with a WOA upper. https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/sh...ifle-optic-upper-w-mk7-rail-post-ban-1-7.html
Then add a HERA stock and you are no longer an assault weapon. My WOA service rifle and match rifle absolutely punch out the xring.

Shooting sport Target archery Recreation Circle Shooting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
Understood, but the OP stated that he's basically shooting for/against himself so it shouldn't be that big of a deal in the end. The matches I've taken part in allowed pretty much any rifle that a shooter may have and put them in the shooting category that best represented what they had. I only mentioned the 6.5 as it's an inherently more accurate round and anything that can help a newer shooter to the sport get that "spark" and start looking forward to the next match should be encouraged. Once the seed is set & the OP decides that he wants to get more serious then he can make that choice to get more appropriate gear. It took me some time personally, but I achieved the "Sharpshooter" rating. While not exactly "up there" with other shooters I'm proud of the fact that as a disabled shooter I can (somewhat) compete with the rest of them. I wish you luck OP and go for it. You'll find that the other competitors are extremely helpful and actually want you to do well instead of wishing that you would tank some shots.

Unfortunately, the 6.5 is not a legal service rifle cartridge
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top