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Accuracy development with the M1A has undergone many changes since this excellent rifle became available to the public. Accuracy is what this post is about. There are two conditions involved in this post, across the course and off the bench shooting. How much the two are related is a question yet to be answered, I suspect there is a strong correlation between an accurate off the bench M1A and an across the course M1A.

We have the excellent information Gus has given us regarding the Marine testing procedure for the match M14's and Teds experience as a high ranking competitor and Armorer..

The matter at hand may disturb some of what we hold to be the only way, but the evidence is strong that there is another direction in the quest for making the M1A even more accurate..

It is not my intention to go into detail, but the long held belief in methods to assemble the parts of an intended accurate rifle may be in for a change. I use the word may because there is no proof, and probability will not be any. What there is however are new methods being tested that are producing very high levels of accuracy using slip fits and epoxy rather than drive fits, welded or screwed together parts.. This is somewhat like making things fit rather than forcing things together, force maybe on the way out..
 

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I agree, and what a fascinating concept! I believe that curious people, who can build upon the vast knowledge of what we have on this forum, will continue to tinker,play with, and cretique(sp) the platform using new technology. I can't wait!
 

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I've never been overly conserned about bench rest accuracy with the M14. Shooting one hole groups is great, but I'd be building bolt guns if that was my main goal. What I like to see is an M14 that will shoot 20X in 20 shots from the bench at 200 yards in the hands of an experienced shooter. That's all the accuracy required to win service rifle matches. It's also excellent accuracy from the M14.
 

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Accuracy development with the M1A has undergone many changes since this excellent rifle became available to the public. Accuracy is what this post is about. There are two conditions involved in this post, across the course and off the bench shooting. How much the two are related is a question yet to be answered, I suspect there is a strong correlation between an accurate off the bench M1A and an across the course M1A.

We have the excellent information Gus has given us regarding the Marine testing procedure for the match M14's and Teds experience as a high ranking competitor and Armorer..

The matter at hand may disturb some of what we hold to be the only way, but the evidence is strong that there is another direction in the quest for making the M1A even more accurate..

It is not my intention to go into detail, but the long held belief in methods to assemble the parts of an intended accurate rifle may be in for a change. I use the word may because there is no proof, and probability will not be any. What there is however are new methods being tested that are producing very high levels of accuracy using slip fits and epoxy rather than drive fits, welded or screwed together parts.. This is somewhat like making things fit rather than forcing things together, force maybe on the way out..
Mr. Luppino, Please . . continue to opine . . . DI5
 

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I've never been overly conserned about bench rest accuracy with the M14. Shooting one hole groups is great, but I'd be building bolt guns if that was my main goal. What I like to see is an M14 that will shoot 20X in 20 shots from the bench at 200 yards in the hands of an experienced shooter. That's all the accuracy required to win service rifle matches. It's also excellent accuracy from the M14.
I just pulled an SR-C out and measured the X-ring. It's 3", meaning 1.5 MOA at 200 yards. I feel like that relatively easily achievable FOR THE RIFLE off bench. I feel how well the shooter aligns the sights however as an issue outside the control of the accuracy of the rifle.

This is going to sound somewhat strange but it is my opinion that sights are a part of the shooter, not the rifle. Therefore, if a rifle is capable of 1 MOA with a scope, it is capable of 1 MOA with irons. It just takes more skill from the shooter to match the scope using irons.

Therein lies the difference between Across the course rifles and Bench rifles. I think a lot more accuracy is required out of a bench rifle. If I took a 1.5 MOA rifle, and 0.5 MOA rifle and shot prone with sling, I doubt I will see any significant difference in groups (ok maybe a little, a better shooter than me will see more of a difference). However if I were to shoot the two of benchrest, I would absolutely be able to tell the difference.
 

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As to the original post, I find this very interesting and would love to hear more. I've heard multiple theories on this, especially involving the gas cylinder.
 

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This isn't meant to be a snide comment so hopefully nobody gets their panties in too much of a bunch...

I think as we get more and more shade tree gunsmiths putting their own rifles together, we'll see more slip fitting and epoxy getting used. This is mainly because there isn't the experience with screw and glue/welding a gas cylinder or knurling a barrel.

As for bench vs. course accuracy... I think a rifle on the bench is more of proving the rifle's accuracy, a rifle in a course is proving the shooter's accuracy. Two different things, but each one makes the other better.
 

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This isn't meant to be a snide comment so hopefully nobody gets their panties in too much of a bunch...

I think as we get more and more shade tree gunsmiths putting their own rifles together, we'll see more slip fitting and epoxy getting used. This is mainly because there isn't the experience with screw and glue/welding a gas cylinder or knurling a barrel.

As for bench vs. course accuracy... I think a rifle on the bench is more of proving the rifle's accuracy, a rifle in a course is proving the shooter's accuracy. Two different things, but each one makes the other better.
Hey, I resemble the "shade tree mechanic" comment, but no offense taken. I do not have the training nor the know how to do the welding and knurling and other known practices, epoxy became my friend.

Here are some examples of the use of epoxy.

1. Bedding the sight aperture rack to the rear sight base. No pinning, no skills required, the end product is a slop free fit as the rack glides up and down the base.

2. Since I use a large mouth FH I use epoxy to hold the FH in place. No peening of the splines required. Of course I still use the castle nut, but not torqued down hard against the step on the barrel, the epoxy is doing that chore. No mechanical stress.

3. Gas cylinder unitizing is another application for epoxy. I can't weld and I do not like the unitized system on a jig. Epoxy unitizing in place in the assembled rifle I feel a lot better knowing the band lip is will sit neutral to the front band. No stress. Again, out of necessity and lack of armorer's knowledge lead me to the use if epoxy.

In the industry I retired from had the engineers sat still and stayed content with the things we were so comfortable in doing and did very well with great results, the world will still be using 8 bit processors.

This shade tree mechanic got the time to play with different stuff on these rifles. Failures and not so good of an outcome are well accepted as part of continuous improvement effort.

Life is too short to maintain status quo.
 

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As for bench vs. course accuracy... I think a rifle on the bench is more of proving the rifle's accuracy, a rifle in a course is proving the shooter's accuracy. Two different things, but each one makes the other better.
Exactly. There shouldn't be any question that a quality shooter would want the rifle to be as accurate as possible in competition. Simply put, the only way to figure out the rifle's true potential is to put it on bags or in a rest on a bench.
 
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