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Gun Talk
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
deliroast
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Some advice

ok, so I'm looking to get an M1a scout squad and since im deployed i would have to order it online and do the paperwork when i get back. What would be the easiest way to do this. Already missed out on 3 nice ones for good prices on GB trying to figure this all out.

tl;dr

never ordered online, deployed, whats the easiest way to do this? M1A scout squad under 2200
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:12 AM   #2
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Before you're 100% set on the M1A, would you mind sharing the following info?
-Why an M1A?
-Why the Scout model specifically?
-What do you want to do with it?
-What are your expectations of the rifle for reliability, durability and accuracy?
-Do you have any previous experience with the M1A platform? If so, what?
-Why do you want an M1A over a more modern design?


As a previous M1A owner, I'd like to help you with this decision.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Reedo302 View Post
Before you're 100% set on the M1A, would you mind sharing the following info?
-Why an M1A?
Looking for a rifle in .308 and dont really want to deal with another ar
-Why the Scout model specifically?
still get plenty of accuracy out of the 18" barrel without having to sacrifice maneuverability
-What do you want to do with it?
Just some range time. for now anyways
-What are your expectations of the rifle for reliability, durability and accuracy?
Buddy carried one (m14/21) in Afghanistan and said it was pretty damn reliable. I'd expect one for my use to be more than capable
-Do you have any previous experience with the M1A platform? If so, what?
Never but I've been wanting one for a few years and
-Why do you want an M1A over a more modern design?
not looking for an AR, not a fan of FAL or SCAR, parts are readily available where ar parts are near impossible to find right now


As a previous M1A owner, I'd like to help you with this decision.
What else would be a good option to look into?

Last edited by deliroast; 03-18-2013 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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Here's some stuff to consider, depending on if this is applicable to you or not..

The AR platform is far more reliable than the M14/M1A platform, depending on the model purchased. Understand that the M1A is not all that durable overall. Situationally durable, yes. Overall durability, no. By situationally I mean that in short term incidents and usage, they generally don't have problems. The problems arise in longer use. Pat Rogers from EAG Tactical, Jeff Gonzalez from TRICON and others have all noted that M1As will not make it through their courses. They run multi-day courses with round counts ranging from 400-600rds per day, and M1A/Mk14/M14 rifles do not finish because they all inevitably go down with some major catastrophic malfunction. Keep in mind that these are guys who have a lot of military and SpecOps training experience, as well as being at the top of the training game for commercial, LE and MIL/FED training. They can't handle high round counts because the stress causes operating and gas related parts to fail. Pat Rogers has been conducting training with EAG Tactical for nearly 10 years, and while he has seen numerous M1As in his courses, he is very vocal about how one has never finished a course.

Precision instructors like Jacob Bynum and Frank Galli of Rifles Only, Bill Graves of GPS Defense, John "Shrek" McPhee (former SF), Jerod Johnson and Rob Pettorsson of STA Training Group, among others have noted that M1A/M14 family of rifles cannot function in their courses because they lack the accuracy necessary to make the accurate hits at long range. When you consider that the average M1A ranges from 1.5-3MOA for the match/service rifles, to 2-4MOA for the standard grade rifles like the Scout, this makes sense. And this is with magnified optics using match grade ammunition, mind you. At one point, I had an SA M1A Loaded ERC that I had dumped a total of about $3400 in upgrades and tuning, and the best I could do with that National Match stainless barrel was 1.5MOA with match ammo. With M80 BALL I was getting considerably worse. This was back before I understood the limitations of the platform. I then went on SnipersHide and found out that most other people have reported M1As to be giant money-pits and that trying to get consistent accuracy out of them is difficult. Without going into too much detail, it takes a lot of manipulation with the barrel, gas system, stock, trigger, mount, etc. Regardless of immediate accuracy, M1As are prone to heat deviation issues, and they lose accuracy as they heat up.
Contrast that to the SCAR-17S, which gets 0.75-1MOA consistently with match ammo. Most quality ARs are getting 0.5-1MOA with match ammo. All are more reliable and durable than the M1A
When you look at the following options, you have durability, reliability and accuracy:
LaRue OBR -- Has won the USAISC (Int'l Sniper Comp) the past 3 years
Knights Armament SR-25 -- Commercial versions are the same as those purchased by SOCOM and Crane NSWC groups, which is very accurate and more reliable than the USA issued M110.
LMT 308MWS -- Current issue heavy carbine for designated marksman use in the British military, designated as the L129A1. New Zealand just picked it up, and I believe the Aussies are/have as well.
FN SCAR-17S -- Currently in use as the Mk17 within the SOCOM realm and has been a very reliable and accurate heavy carbine for use in A-Stan.
S&W M&P10 -- New production rifle based on the SR25/LR308 pattern. This rifle is newer in production and I've seen several on shelves in guns shops. All have been going for around $1500-$1800. S&W is a reputable company.

If all you're going to do is pop off some rounds at the range, you're likely fine with the M1A. However, if you plan to get into precision or want to do some carbine or heavy carbine/battle rifle courses with "big name" training groups, you will find that the M1A is not going to cut it. The M1A is an antiquated weapon system that is based on an even older operating system- it just moved from a long stroke piston to a short stroke piston operating system and switched to a very awkward box magazine feeding system.
Parts are available, but only certain ones. The magazines are all in high demand, just like the ARs.

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer- I'm just hoping to make sure you make an educated decision. If you feel the M1A is for you, by all means do what you want. I dumped my M1A because it was too expensive to keep running and it could never do what a rifle costing $1000 less could do (LE/MIL price for a SCAR-17S). As a previous M1A owner, I want you to know what the other side of the coin is that a lot of people don't know about, or don't make known.

To give a perspective, I have been doing some consulting for a training group and we're working with the idea of an outright ban on M1As and Mini-14/30 rifles for their training due to reliability issues. It doesn't sound like there will be an outright ban of the M1A for the heavy carbine course, but they are considering requiring the student to have a backup rifle just in case. They will likely not be allowing M1As in their precision rifle courses, however.

i know you said you don't want to deal with another AR, but what specifically about the AR pattern don't you like? What has been your experiences?
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Last edited by Reedo302; 03-19-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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Know its been awhile since I asked this question but after some more thinking and a lot more shooting since ive been out here, decided to build my own ar. Every custom one I looked into the wait was insane. Thanks for all the advice and Ill probably be doing one upper in 5.56 and one in 300 blackout
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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That's a great idea. If you don't have a quality AR yet, you certainly will like it when you get one. Focus on the 5.56 right now, as .300BLK ammo is beyond scarce in any form of bulk quantity. I was going to get a 9" .300BLK upper for one of my SBRs and then reform 5.56 brass and reload my own, but I can't get any reloading components (and likely won't for 6-12mos).
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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That was the plan, focus on 5.56 then when things settle out build a .300 upper while saving all the brass i can from the 5.56, already getting pretty excited about this build. Still finding good prices on things, just have to be a little more patient to find them.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Post pics if you can! We love seeing a build come together. Good luck with it!

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Old 04-30-2013, 02:43 PM   #9
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Ill post pics when I get back to the States. Still stuck out here in the middle of the desert. Just doing my research and ordering my parts now but I'll definitely be posting pics once I get back
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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Ill post pics when I get back to the States. Still stuck out here in the middle of the desert. Just doing my research and ordering my parts now but I'll definitely be posting pics once I get back
When is your deployment over? And where are you stationed?
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:30 AM   #11
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got a few more months out here. just one of the usual spots these days though (opsec)

Cant make up my mind between the 16 and 18 inch barrel now. Played with the DD M4V7 LW and really started liking that setup but im stuck here lol
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:56 AM   #12
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got a few more months out here. just one of the usual spots these days though (opsec)

Cant make up my mind between the 16 and 18 inch barrel now. Played with the DD M4V7 LW and really started liking that setup but im stuck here lol
Fair enough

I too am eying that setup closely. In fact, I'm pretty sure it will be my next build (M4V7 LW). As for the 16 or 18 inch, that's to ask Reedo. My gut says that the 2 inches aren't going to noticeably improve ballistics on a carbine, especially if you're using ball ammunition. So that being said, I'd go 16. But then again, I could be wrong.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:20 AM   #13
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What David said.
Unless you're going for an SPR precision setup like a Mk12, there is no reason to go with an 18" barrel. An 18" barrel is only necessary for running hot loaded match rounds for long range use, like with the Mk262 Mod1, where you need the extra inches to get the velocity up, since the 77gr 5.56 OTM load goes transsonic in the 700m range. Army Rangers have confirmed kills at over 900m with Mk262 using Mk12 rifles. That's what those barrels are for.
For modern carbine use, anything over 16" is useless if it's not specifically for longer range precision.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:47 AM   #14
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Got it. Thanks for the replies and you guys definitely cleared that up. Figure i can get a low profile gas block and run my hand guard up a little closer to the muzzle to get that little extra on the sight line for my back up irons. Thanks again, cant wait to order some more parts lol.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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No prob. Just make sure to do some research on any parts you want to order. Always be aware that there is a difference in quality with parts from different companies. The biggest problem I see with people I talk to with guns that I work on is that they bought XYZ parts from XYZ company because they were inexpensive and readily available. Then they have problems and can't figure out why.
Cheers, and keep us up to date on what you get planned. We love reading about it and seeing pictures.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #16
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #17
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Some advice

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