View Full Version : M14 thoughts....

06-04-2006, 8:30 PM
M14 thoughts

I bought my first new M1A standard six years ago shortly after the SB 23 AW Ban. By the late 90ís I had sold my XM15, and had already began planning to buy an M1A. My family had purchased many magazines before the 1994 ban, so the M14 type rifle seemed logical for a variety of reasons. The rifle came with almost all USGI parts including, a new chrome lined USGI H and R barrel. The bolt was a SAI bolt stamped 7790186, SA; B00038 which meant it was machined from bar stock. The rest of the rifle came assembled with USGI parts. I never noticed these parts until many years after I had purchased the M1A. This rifle is one of my favorites, and has never jammed and always grouped at around 1.5 MOA Ė 2 MOA consistently. I bought the rifle for just fewer than 1100 dollars out the door. This rifle always receives special attention.

Five years had passed and I began to look for another M1A. This time I had done plenty of homework and decided that I would buy another new M1A standard model (should have bought a pre-owned rifle and saved some dough, but whatever). I had considered a Fulton, Poly, and a LRB, but felt that the SAI fit my budget and I would be able to take delivery of the rifle within 10 days. The rifle was factory head-spaced and included a lifetime warranty. After looking at several standard models I noticed that SAI had run out of USGI chrome lined barrels and were building the rifles with almost all cast parts. I called a local gun store in the SF Bay Area and the owner just received from his distributor a loaded standard with a forged bolt, USGI national match trigger group, carbon medium weight barrel, and a beautiful walnut stock. The rifle was a little over 1500 dollars, yikes! It was a lot of money, but the rifle functions flawlessly and shoots very tight groups. The loaded model is heavier than my standard and shoots about the same. I justified the expense by selling several hunting rifles that were not being shot. Over the past four or five years I had decided to consolidate calibers to three center-fire calibers to save money and 7.62 x 51 was one of the three I selected. Many rifles were sold including a Marlin 336 SS in 30-30, Remington 700 ADL in 223, and a Remington 700 LSS mountain in 7mm-08 to fund the rifle.

Buying a quality M14 type rifle takes research, patience, and lots of luck. These days, I would probably build a match grade M1 Garand with a scout mount and nice optics. Surplus 30-06 can still be bought at reasonable prices, and real USGI parts are still affordable. M14 type rifles are expensive, and really the detachable GI box is the only advantage over the M1. Well, thatís my two cents. :p

Brass Balls
06-04-2006, 8:53 PM
I like them a lot too. The first time I shot one I recall thinking how mild the recoil is for a high power rifle. Because of that it's nothing to shoot 200+ rounds in an afternoon.

Just bought my third one today, it's a Super Match similar to this:


The Fultons are also very nice, by all reports, and I've been considering one until this deal came along. It pays to browse the guns for sale forums regularly. :)

06-04-2006, 9:02 PM
I'm a Garand / M1A guy also... love my NM 7.62 Garand and my SA M1A (Similar to your, sports a TRW barrel and HRA trigger Group, SA Inc bolt and op rod.) these two are feed on a diet of Radway Green and SA surplus. My 30-06 Garands runs on Greek HXP and LC... great design and good stuff... 2" at 100 yds is fun enough for me, I have more precise rifles, but these are more fun to shoot... congrat!

06-04-2006, 9:12 PM
My M1A is probably one of THE BEST investments I ever made... no matter what ANYONE says :D

06-04-2006, 10:18 PM
You should check with SA Inc... those bar stock bolts were the subject of a recall a few years back.

06-04-2006, 10:44 PM
You should check with SA Inc... those bar stock bolts were the subject of a recall a few years back. The cast steel A series bolts and unmarked bolts were recalled. The B series bolts machined from bar stock replaced the earlier cast bolts and were succeeded by the F series forged bolts.

I have three M1A's, two super match and one older 1988 vintage. The two super match rifles shoot better than I do. I'm playing around with scopes on the older one using an ARMS-18 mount and ARMS-22 QD rings. All are USGI now, the two super match rifles had horrible triggers, and the guard on one would pop open on its own. Replaced with Fulton Armory match tuned USGI (Olin Mathewson). The bolt roller clip on an SAI forged bolt broke in one of the super match rifles. The oprod fit tightly enough to keep the roller on the stud but it beat up the stud. I don't fieldstrip the bedded rifles every time I shoot so a few hundred rounds had gone by before I discovered the problem. After finding the problem I headspaced a spare bolt from a stash of spares I had bought a couple of years before. I had nothing against the SAI bolt, it wasn't serviceable.

It's easy to burn a lot of ammo in one of these and they're a lot of fun to shoot.

06-05-2006, 7:04 AM
DOH!! I knew I had it wrong!!! Thanks for correcting me djl4570!!!!!

That's what I get trying to 'know it all' before I hit sack!

06-05-2006, 7:25 AM
"The cast steel A series bolts and unmarked bolts were recalled. The B series bolts machined from bar stock replaced the earlier cast bolts and were succeeded by the F series forged bolts."

Believe it or not, there have been quite a few SOCOMís with A series bolts. A few people have asked about them on the M14 FORUM. SAI was still assembling rifles with A series bolts.

From Different:

These are the recalled bolts:

Springfield Armory, Inc. issued a recall of M1A bolts in 1987. The recall applies to M1A bolts marked as follows: 1) no numerical or alphabetical characteristics on either the top or back of the bolt (completely unmarked) 2) any bolt with any numerical or alphabetical markings at all on the back of the bolt 3) any bolt with the top marked 7790185 and with SA RRR centered below that number 4) any bolt with the top marked 790185 and with SA centered below that number. If the reader has such a bolt, contact the Customer Service Department at Springfield Armory, Inc. politely discuss your situation with the Customer Service Representative. Springfield Armory, Inc. still honors this recall if applicable to the part concerned.