My "new" M1A - What do you think?

This is a discussion on My "new" M1A - What do you think? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; 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), ...

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Thread: My "new" M1A - What do you think?

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    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    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.

    M1A - 1.jpgM1A - 2.jpgM1A - 3.jpgM1A - 4.jpg

    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.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    It's beautiful!

    Don't bother with the "tactical" crap in my opinion. It's a fantastic rifle as-is and is one of my bucket list guns.

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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Verrry nice!

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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Lost of forum members will be jealous....... Nice piece.......
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
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    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    My safe ain't big enough to lose a gun in for 13 years,I love the M1A's
    atctimmy and cn262 like this.
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    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Crowman called it, I'm jealous. Very nice! Thanks for the story.
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

    Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.

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    Great looking rifle, have been wanting one just have not got around to purchasing one.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    It's amazing how easy it is to "lose" something like this, although I still can't believe it was so long. Having kids took a lot of time (and money) away from shooting. My kids are old enough now where I take them shooting, so that helps. I've been out deer hunting, but that is with my trusty Win 94 30-30. And over the past two years my focus has been handguns (training and concealed carry). I oil everything in the safe at least once a year, so that was really the only time I thought about it.

    The funny thing is that it was seeing a Savage 110 BA at a gun store a few weeks ago that got me thinking about long-range shooting again. It didn't take long to "remember" what I already had and get motivated to finish it off.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    When I purchased the rifle Springfield Armory confirmed it was pre-ban. I just did some searching and see that it was originally manufactured in late Jan or early Feb 1980. So, my "new" 13-year old rifle is now 19 years older. It certainly looks like new. Most of the parts are TRW. Hopefully this is a case of older = better.

    Just curious if anyone knows much about M1A history. Until then I will keep searching. Learning more about it is almost as fun as shooting it will be (well, not that much fun).

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Nice.... you need to send it to me ..... would love to have one.
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    The one I carried in Vietnam had a little switch on the right rear but other than that........................

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    Your new M1A is a great rifle! It will serve you well! Sorry about your Slam fire!
    I took my scope of my M1a because I needed a high cheek rise on the stock for me to use it ( causes a different check weld every time )and I did not like the brass hitting the scope mount when it ejects. For what ever reason I seem to shoot mine better with the iron sites ( and the iron sites are easy to use and adjust). I also can use a stripper clip to load it if I wanted to. I am not trying to be negative just letting you know where I am at with mine. My team shooting partner has a scope on his heavy barreled model along with the high rise check piece. He shoots it well! I know all my come ups on the rear site. My team partner keeps his zero at 300 yards and has the adjustments in his shooting log for all the come ups and downs.
    I have one Super match with the Douglas Barrel. It took three trys for Springfield in Genesso IL to make it right. But they did. On my short list the Douglas barrel will get replaced with a stainless steel Krieger very soon. Keep your eye on the crown. I know several guys who shoot these and had problems with the crowns on the Douglas barrel. Not sure why, be very carefull with the cleaning rods. If you have any accuracy problems deep six the Douglas. If it shoots good now it will probably will for a long time. They have good barrel life. Mine shoots good but not even close to the Krieger barrel, that one is a "tack driver".
    Keep the piston clean, you should be able to hear it move back and forth when you move the tilt the muzzle up and down.
    I am also a fan of the breaking in the barrel. Good for you.
    I hope you enjoy it and stay safe!
    cn262 likes this.

  14. #13
    Member Array johnnydollar's Avatar
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    Great looking rifle! I really like the M1A (mine's a SOCOM 16),
    "In a world of compromise, some men don't." HK ad slogan from the 1980's.

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    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    I'm very jealous. Very nice, Sir.

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Very nice! Congrats on being a proud owner of such a nice M1

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