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The SportMaster..... And now SA admits it.

2435 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Springfield SportMaster
All,
I inherited an old M1A from my father in law, Cool composite glass bead stock all black. In really good shape. With the original sales Paperwork.. Awesome. Noticed the serial on the heal plate "SM0276" with SPORTMASTER stamped above it, contacted SA and at first they said it was not a Sportmaster but left the factory as a general version of the M1A. I said that's odd.... Its marked "Sportmaster". They asked for a picture of the heal plate, which of course I was more than happy to send. The next morning I got an urgent call from SA...."Im sorry, I was mistaken.... It is a Sportmaster". Then the questions began "Where did you get it? Have you fired it? Do you plan on firing it? Can you send more pictures?" Needless to say, I am trying to get a feel for how many of these are on this site. I am sure it is few. My understanding is these were built and sold overseas (MEH), yet I have paper work saying they were sold here also. I am also told that only 278 were built. While SA does more research I am trying to compile data on these...

Sorry for the rant..

GS2N
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The Sport Master was sold around 1991 as a hunting rifle. All I have seen had special stocks with raised combs for use with scopes. Many had laminated stocks. This is the first I've seen with a standard stock. They were otherwise pretty much standard M1A type rifles. I've worked on a few of them in the past. Lee Emerson has one pictured in his book M14 HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT - THIRD ADDITION VOLUME 2. It's entirely possible that those now employed by SAI have not been there long enough to remember these rifles. About the same period SAI produced several special variants of the M1A of which the Sport Master was one.
 

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It's great that they were willing to take the extra step for confirmation, and contacted you instantly with a return call. That's customer service. Too bad their training is sub par.
 

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I can't imagine what kind of mouthbreather they have at SAI that would say a rifle that left the factory with Sportmaster stamped on the heel with an SM prefix on the serial number was not a Sportmaster.
Mouthbreather, haha - that's what I call Eli Manning. IIRC we have a member who has one, can't remember exactly who tho. From the Houston area I think. Maybe he'll chime in with some info for you.
 

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Mouthbreather, haha - that's what I call Eli Manning. IIRC we have a member who has one, can't remember exactly who tho. From the Houston area I think. Maybe he'll chime in with some info for you.
The only one I know of is ray55classic, but he won't be chiming in as he is in banned camp. I didn't realize it until I looked for a PM he sent me a while back.
 

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A rose by any other name

Surprise , surprise , surprise I've owned mine since 1991.
You have one of the very last produced SportMasters AFAIK SM0278 was the last one produced . Mine is an earlier double digit laminate.
Unfortunately you don't have the original Fajen stock that only came in 2 flavors a grey/black laminate or a solid walnut , looks like the P.O. swapped it out .
I've been studying them the last 27years, so if I can help answer any questions feel free to ask here or PM me .


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The Sport Master was sold around 1991 as a hunting rifle. All I have seen had special stocks with raised combs for use with scopes. Many had laminated stocks. This is the first I've seen with a standard stock. They were otherwise pretty much standard M1A type rifles. I've worked on a few of them in the past. Lee Emerson has one pictured in his book M14 HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT - THIRD ADDITION VOLUME 2. It's entirely possible that those now employed by SAI have not been there long enough to remember these rifles. About the same period SAI produced several special variants of the M1A of which the Sport Master was one.
Ted , I've spoken to you about mine a few years ago .
I too called SAI years ago , they argued with me that they never produced the SportMaster and I argued right back that I owned one with their brand on it.
They told me to call back and I finally got ahold of one of the old timers there who informed them of their error ,
but he had very little info on them other than it was produced only in 1991'

Rich D In all fairness to SAI's office staff, they've built well over 350,000 M1A's by now and it's been 27 years since they produced only 278 Sportmasters ,
along with a number of other limited production special editions
This was long before they computerized their records.
They usually can give you your rifles info immediately.
 
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'

Rich D In all fairness to SAI's office staff, they've built well over 350,000 M1A's by now and it's been 27 years since they produced only 279 Sportmasters ,
along with a number of other limited production special editions
This was long before they computerized their records.
They usually can give you your rifles info immediately.
Sorry if I came off as overly critical. All's well that ends well, and they got it right. Their reputation is a main reason I just purchased my new M1A Scout, couldn't be more pleased, and pleasantly surprised by the accuracy.
 

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GS2N Please understand this is all conjecture on my part but it is also entirely possible the very last SportMasters produced did not have the Fajen stock .
Somewhere I have a photo's of #SM0278 , it too didn't have the distinctive SportMaster Fajen stock so IMNSHO it's entirely possible Fajen only produced so many stocks,
I've seen Sportys up to the #SM0200 range with the correct stock.
But after #SM0200 or thereabouts the few I've seen had std stocks, I always assumed the owners either sold or traded the original stock
And believe it or not I've even seen a Chinese Norinco with a copy of the Sportmaster stock built out of that "funky" chinese tallow wood ,
at the Houston Gun Collectors Assoc. big show a couple of year ago.
 

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GS2N one other thing different on the last of the series is the heel marking' on the earlier rifles the script is :
US RIFLE
SPORTMASTER
SPRINGFIELD
ARMORY
SM00**

the later script changed the 1st line by adding M1A

US RIFLE M1A
SPORTMASTER
SPRINGFIELD
ARMORY
SM0***

A small detail no doubt , but I've noticed all the rifles I've seen with the later M1A added script [those few I've seen in the SM0200 plus range ]
did not have the Fajen Sportmaster stock .
perhaps that was the reason for the change . Again that's speculation on my part

To answer your question on the amount of Sporty's on site , besides yours, I know of 5 currently,
mine and another member here in Texas that prefers to remain nameless owns 4 Sporty's.
Soooo Welcome to the SportMaster Owners Club , GS2N , it's an elite group, and membership is limited...
 

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That's why I love it here...you learn something new every day. Never heard of the "SPORTMASTER" until I read this thread. Very cool.
Yes, same here. And I've been around here for a few years...
Another rare,but unintentional receiver marking had ARMORY misspelled to AROMRY.
 

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The Fajen SportMaster stocks are either a grey/black laminate or solid walnut and they're not oversize ,
however they do have a raised "Monte Carlo" style cheekpiece built into the stock,
that is the primary difference,
the others being no conventional stacking swivels, they have Uncle Mikes QD style swivels,
and they also have an Uncle Mikes padded butt plate instead of the conventional steel flip-up style buttplate .

As I mentioned earlier I've seen a single Chinese Norinco Sportmaster knock off,
however the stock was made of that FUNKY Chinese tallow wood not beech.
 
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