My "new" M1A - What do you think?
I actually bought this in 1999 and it has been sitting in my safe since then. The set-up is a bit old school (more below), but I'm excited to shoot it and see what it will do. First a few pictures, and then the story.
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Back in the mid 1990's I shot hi-power competitively and bought a CMP Garand. The Garand was fun to shoot so I decided that I wanted a M1A. I really wanted the bayonet lug and found a used pre-ban National Match. It was overpriced at the time, but it was what I wanted. The first time I took it out it slam fired a few times and wasn't as accurate as I expected. Turns out it was sold as a "barreled action," so the dealer told me to send it to Springfield Armory and they would make things right
There were a couple of things not up to NM standard, so Springfield recommended a full NM upgrade package (about $1K). The dealer agreed, which was very cool of him because it probably took all of the profit out of the sale. I spent an extra $300 to get the Supermatch upgrade (Douglas barrel and oversize stock, everything but the rear lugged receiver). They replaced the trigger group, barrel, and flash hider, and took care of everything else. When I got it back I removed the action, cleaned the barrel, and stored the stock in one padded case and action / trigger group in another. I thought that would only be for a few months.
Shortly after I bought a Leupold Vari-X III 4-14 x 40 Tactical scope with the adjustable objective, mil-dot reticle and quarter-mil target adjustment knobs. Then I found a real Brookfield M14 mount (probably Vietnam era, marked "U.S. Property"). I bought some nice Leupold Mark4 scope rings and thought that I would install everything soon. I had a new child and a new job, and little did I know that this would sit safely in a locked cabinet for the next decade.
I was doing my annual firearms wipe-down for everything in the safe, saw this rifle, and started thinking. I bought the Wheeler scope mounting kit, watched a few Youtube videos, and was off. I thought this would take an hour or two, but that wasn't the case.
The stock looked a little dry so I put two hand rubbed coats of boiled linseed oil on it. Nice sheen without being shiny or slippery.
A few nights ago I installed the scope mount. It took about an hour to make sure the angle was dead-on (from the rear mounting point). Last night I installed the scope. That took about 3.5 hours (far more than I expected), but it turned-out perfectly.
Tomorrow I will bore sight at 25 yards, and within the next 2-3 weeks I want to spend a day to break-in the barrel (not much fun) and then get a 250 yard zero. I can't wait to see what it can do.
The fully outfitted rifle weighs-in at a hefty 13.8 lbs., but it feels very nice. I'm really impressed with the Brookfield scope mount. It is rock solid, as are the Mark 4 rings. I'm about $3,600 all-in. Probably not that unreasonable if I was buying today, but not so great considering I bought everything 13 years ago. I can't believe that it has taken so long, but am glad that I finally got around to finishing this project.
So, what do you think? It's not modern, but is kind of cool and should be a great shooter.