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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last summer I decided I wanted an EBR. I thought I would build it for long range, and that's exactly what I did. I ordered an M1A Loaded, dropped in a brand new Sage stock, and put a fancy scope and bipod on it on it. I was a happy camper. The thing performs great and I absolutely love it. But there's just one problem...I NEVER get to use it. In lower Alabama, I'm lucky to find somewhere to shoot past 200 yards. There aren't any ranges in Tuscaloosa that go further than that. Having a long 22" medium weight barrel makes it too cumbersome to deer hunt, and it's so damn heavy I couldn't imagine taking it for any distance in to the swamp to shoot pigs with. In hindsight, it was very silly of me to build a gun like this considering the environment I live in.

I've decided I want to turn it into a battle rifle. I'd like to move the Nightforce over to another rifle, and put a red dot on it (CompM4 possibly). I'm particularly fond of the 16" SOCOMs but am also considering an 18" barrel. I love the way this guy has his setup:


So I figure these are my options:

1) Get a new op rod block, reassemble the M1A back into its original stock, sell it, and either get a SOCOM or Scout.

2) Send it to SEI and have them put an 18" barrel on it

3) Same as above but the 16" CQB barrel. I list this separately because I don't know how feasable it is to put a 16" barrel on a non-SOCOM M1A. They say any M14 receiver will work, but my guess is that this will get pricey considering the different gas systems.

So what are your opinions? What do you think my best option is as far as price and effectiveness goes?
 

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I don't own a shorty M1A. I do own a shorty "Tanker" Garand, have come to appreciate the skill it took to build it right. The more I see disappointments and glitches reported here and elsewhere from owners of SAI's SOCOM and Scout version rifles the more I think if I wanted to go that way I'd send my receiver and parts package to Tim Shufflin for barreling and completion. Other builders may be doing good work with these, too. Or if you buy a barrel from Krieger you can hire them to install it to your receiver.
 

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Krieger has 18.5 inch barrels in stock. They are cut rifled and going to run a bit more but are deadly accurate. These are medium weigh barrels. Then you can get a fluted jon WOlf barrel, I believe he has them made with criterion blanks but I am not 100% certain. Lrb has criterion make them a version of the DMR based on a criterion blank or you could just order one direct. You can order a custom one from Satern engineering but you will wait forever to receive it, lets put it this way I am still waiting for an order confirmation form them for two AR barrels I ordered in March. I think I will be dead and gone by the time I get it. Just a couple for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Grubby, do let me know how much it end ups costing you. They don't list the price on their site, and I assume it varries depending on whether you have a SOCOM or non-SOCOM M1A.

I agree however, in that I'd rather stay away from the SOCOM/Scout and have it re barreled. I love my national match sights and match trigger anyway.

EDIT: Thanks for the input 82nd. You wouldn't happen to know if anyone besides Smith and Fulton make a 16" barrel? I don't think Krieger makes one, but I may be mistaken.
 

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No I am sorry to report I dont know. Drop Noexpert a line. He has a sage with an 18.5 med kriger, i think he plans on changing his config yet again, I lost count. He is dumping the med weight for a standard weight but not sure if he is going socom or 18 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, I will check out what he's got.

Looking at the picture I posted above, I never realized how goofy the EBR looks with a 22" barrel. I'm digging that 16" look. So sexy USN3

Ok is it just me or dose the top picture not look like an 16” barrel.
The top 2 are Photoshopped, so it may look a little funny. I guestimated the length figuring the flash hider to be roughly 4" and used that as a reference.
 

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Why not just chop your 22" barrel down to 18.5"??

I've BTDT more than a few times, and this works out well.
http://www.members.shaw.ca/lazerus2000/m14.htm

an 18.5" barreled M14 balances better for me than any 22" barreled 14,
no matter what stock it is in. And this way, if you cut the barrel you can also thread the muzzle to take a modern, effective compensator, rather than that too long and awkward M14 flash hider.


YPMMV
but cut down "shortified" M14 rifles make sense to me,
[;)
LAZ 1
 

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Id like that, an 18.5 is perfect. How much does it run average to have that done?
 

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Last summer I decided I wanted an EBR. I thought I would build it for long range, and that's exactly what I did. I ordered an M1A Loaded, dropped in a brand new Sage stock, and put a fancy scope and bipod on it on it. I was a happy camper. The thing performs great and I absolutely love it. But there's just one problem...I NEVER get to use it. In lower Alabama, I'm lucky to find somewhere to shoot past 200 yards. There aren't any ranges in Tuscaloosa that go further than that. Having a long 22" medium weight barrel makes it too cumbersome to deer hunt, and it's so damn heavy I couldn't imagine taking it for any distance in to the swamp to shoot pigs with. In hindsight, it was very silly of me to build a gun like this considering the environment I live in.

I've decided I want to turn it into a battle rifle. I'd like to move the Nightforce over to another rifle, and put a red dot on it (CompM4 possibly). I'm particularly fond of the 16" SOCOMs but am also considering an 18" barrel. I love the way this guy has his setup:


So I figure these are my options:

1) Get a new op rod block, reassemble the M1A back into its original stock, sell it, and either get a SOCOM or Scout.

2) Send it to SEI and have them put an 18" barrel on it

3) Same as above but the 16" CQB barrel. I list this separately because I don't know how feasable it is to put a 16" barrel on a non-SOCOM M1A. They say any M14 receiver will work, but my guess is that this will get pricey considering the different gas systems.

So what are your opinions? What do you think my best option is as far as price and effectiveness goes?
Been in your exact scenerio, i went from a 22" SAI upgraded to a
SEI CQB 16" http://m14forum.com/modern-m14/107227-my-sei-built-ebr-nsg-mod-0-cqb-16-mk14.html it was the lightest most compact set up less than 11 pounds, i then switched the actions to a LRB SEI 18" medium MK14 type SEI configuration only reson i did that is i wanted the lrb instead of SAI, but if you want the lightest shortest most accurate configuration upgrade to the SEI 16" CQB you have to take into account that yes you have to upgrade the gas system but you can sell your old complete barrel assy to offset cost, this is what it looks like now http://m14forum.com/modern-m14/107697-ebr-porn-sei-mk14-ebr-nsg-mod-0-lrb.html
 

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Cost to re & re the barrel, cut it, crown it and turn a muzzle thread??

I'd like that, an 18.5 is perfect. How much does it run average to have that done?
I've done LOTS of M14 shorties,
and most of them are simple, and quick and easy to do.
BUT,
every once in a while, the worst case scenario crops up ...
which mans, if you are paying by the hour.,
the price may also vary.

The best advice I can give you is
make sure whoever you get to do the job has M14 experience.
If the "gunsmiter" you picked is not M14 experienced and [just one example] removes the barrel on a Chinese M14, WITHOUT FIRST REMOVING THAT TINY LITTLE "SECRET" BARREL RETAINING SCREW,
bad chit can and probably will happen.

To remove an M14 barrel, cut, crown, thread the muzzle, and reindex the shortified barrel back into the receiver properly, usually costs about $ 100 around here if everything goes back together like it should, nice and easy.

If the undercut [ acute angle ] barrel shoulder has collapsed too much, the distorted outer edge has to be rolled back into proper place for proper barrel to receiver draw and torque specs. This may or may not be feasible, depending usually on how many times that barrel has been off and on before.

Getting the shortified M14 barrel indexed correctly no longer involves a front sight to use as an index point, so it can get "complicated". You now need to index off the top spline of the three splines in the gas assembly boss on the barrel.

I'm sure that the serious M14 shops will have made up some super accurate fixture for indexing shorty barrels quickly and accurately. I have a gas ring front sight that has perfectly square top and sides, which I use to index the shorties I build. A GRFS will never be quite as accurate as a barrel alignment fixture because the ID of the GRFS and the OD of the gas plug may have a bit of play, but this method will generally be close enough for GOVT work.

If after torquing on the barrel the front sight is still off just a teensy bit, there is usually a small bit of play between the slots and keys of the gas assembly to barrel fit, which can be adjusted slightly by peening just one side of the slots. Be aware that adjusting this play will also affect the op rod to gas piston tail alignment.

If you can find some one who can competently cut an M14 barrel, crown it, and thread the muzzle [ usually 1/2" x 28 TPI AR 15 equivalent ] WITHOUT removing the barrel from the receiver, you can save some time and hassle. This saving is usually only cost efficient if your M14 already has perfect barrel indexing. However this method is NOT as simple to set up properly as merely chucking the barrel alone into the lathe. I've seen it done this way,
but ....

After all that, your rear sight might no longer go down far enough TO ALLOW A PROPER ZERO. Many shorties need the rear sight ladder trimmed a bit, or else a higher front sight installed. Some of the GRFS, the ones with the removable/adjustable post, come with built invertical adjustability. The GRFS that are dovetailed to take a standard M14 front sight, are usually approximately .100" taller, to provide sufficient downwards elevation adjustment to zero the shorties.

I don't really like GRFS [ see my previous comments about how they can ROTATE AROUND THE GAS PLUG, which, unless the GRFS is locked on with a set screw, can cause a change in zero every time you re & re the gas plug.

My favorite way of building an M14 shorty uses a screw on compensator, and a separate front sight base, as close to the muzzle as you can get it, which can be indexed properly independent of everything else, and then locked down securely.


Shorties are fun to shoot,
and they can be simple and easy to build,
but some times they get ...
complicated!!
YPMMV
LAZ 1
[;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
lord of war, thanks for the reply! Very helpful. If you don't mind me asking, how much in total did SEI charge you? And what kind of accuracy did you get out past 100 yards? I'm talking about the SA reciever/SEI barrel one.
 

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If you are not a Southpaw.........you should consider going Rogue! a 22" barrel will be 33.25" overall length, 18" barrel is 28.50", and a SOCOM 16 is 26" overall length. Installs in 15 mins with no gun smithing............and will be perfectly balanced! As far as distance, We were shooting targets 400-500 yds away last week, with a socom 16 with no problems.
 

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Just my opinion, but I wouldn't run a comp m4 on any rifle that nice. I've used them for years, along with the previous models of comp m sights. The eotechs cost about the same and I far prefer them, they are more precise, smaller, and cut off less vision. Also easier to shoot both eyes open, and maintain the reticle size regardless of how far forward or back you mount them. The only advantage of the aimpoint, as far as I'm concerned is the superior battery life.

Also, be advised that cuttin the 22" barrel is not the easiest operation, it requires enlarging the gas port. If you have a chrome lined barrel, it can get dicey. I researched getting that done to my rifle, but opted for the complete barrel swap.

It seems like there can be a wide variance in barrel swap prices. Fulton wanted $35 to change my barrel, but a local shop charged me $120. I kinda got raped, since they didn't even have to lap the bolt to make the barrel headspace.
 
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