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View Full Version : AR-15 vs M1A


chris_m90731
12-08-2011, 10:59 PM
Howdy Everyone

Got a predicament and maybe you guys can offer up some opinions -- I've got a Smith and Wesson M&P15 (essentially a CA legal M4, and it's dialed in @ 100meters, pulling 1" groups), considering investing in an ACOG and Magpul accessories to create a highly accurate medium-range weapon. Yet, I've been VERY impressed with Springfield's M1A's.

So, here it is -- spend bookoo bucks on tricking out my already satisfactory short-range M4, or go in for a M1A w/scope for a medium and long-range rifle...?

I know, I've probably over-complicated crap, but hey, I was grunt...

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7052/1226266440669622827725.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/97/1226266440669622827725.jpg/)

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http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/9949/mp151911.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/847/mp151911.jpg/)

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madjack956
12-08-2011, 11:18 PM
go for it! M1A's are a good war rifle and fun. I have 2, a supermatch and a Socom I built of mostly surplus GI parts. I also own a couple ar's. the two rifles are totally different from each other and I think you will like what each has to offer. good luck

BrianRodela
12-08-2011, 11:18 PM
Chris, both rifles are excellent. I'd be more concerned where you are shooting. If your range is only 100 yards, and don't plan on shooting past 300, then I'd stick with the AR. Other factors to consider is cost and availability of ammunition. If longer ranges are in the near future, then by all means, the M1A is a fine addition to any gun safe! It's just a bummer to see some purchase a 600 to 1000 yard rifle only to be restricted on precision shooting to 100 yards, and thanks for serving!!!!!

bloodhawke83
12-08-2011, 11:31 PM
If I was able to go but in time I would go m1a over my two ar's.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

xSARSx
12-08-2011, 11:38 PM
go with the m1a

hcbr
12-08-2011, 11:48 PM
Why not have both ;)

Cali-Shooter
12-08-2011, 11:57 PM
If you had a 20'' barrel AR, I would say you won't need the M1a (my 2 cents), it's redundant.

But you have an M4-style AR so it looks like it doesn't cover as much overlapping ranges to shoot out to.

Go for it! Gonna be pricey though. :o

chris_m90731
12-09-2011, 1:32 AM
Many thanks!

All valid points too. And yes, the range I use has 1000m mark -- Angeles.

Think I'll do a little more research on M1A brands -- really only familiar with Springfield (which to my great dismay, fabricated my 1911 in Brazil WTF?! -- it was gift). Anyhow, the iron-sighted M4 just doesn't give me that level of long-range accuracy I'd like to achieve. And for whatever reason, I get a warm and fuzzy thinking about dialing in a tricked out piece of history...

BTW, just recently became a proud owner of American made Kimber Custom II TLE/RL. Wow. Just wow...

kemikalembalance
12-09-2011, 1:34 AM
i was pondering the same question. cept a 308 ar vs a M1. thanks for your service. i think im gonna go with an M1 though.

chris_m90731
12-09-2011, 1:34 AM
Chris, both rifles are excellent. I'd be more concerned where you are shooting. If your range is only 100 yards, and don't plan on shooting past 300, then I'd stick with the AR. Other factors to consider is cost and availability of ammunition. If longer ranges are in the near future, then by all means, the M1A is a fine addition to any gun safe! It's just a bummer to see some purchase a 600 to 1000 yard rifle only to be restricted on precision shooting to 100 yards, and thanks for serving!!!!!

--you're very welcome, proud to have served.

kemikalembalance
12-09-2011, 1:36 AM
And for whatever reason, I get a warm and fuzzy thinking about dialing in a tricked out piece of history...

BTW, just recently became a proud owner of American made Kimber Custom II TLE/RL. Wow. Just wow...

Amen to that. And enjoy the Kimber, best 45 out there.

E Pluribus Unum
12-09-2011, 1:48 AM
Howdy Everyone

Got a predicament and maybe you guys can offer up some opinions -- I've got a Smith and Wesson M&P15 (essentially a CA legal M4, and it's dialed in @ 100meters, pulling 1" groups), considering investing in an ACOG and Magpul accessories to create a highly accurate medium-range weapon. Yet, I've been VERY impressed with Springfield's M1A's.

So, here it is -- spend bookoo bucks on tricking out my already satisfactory short-range M4, or go in for a M1A w/scope for a medium and long-range rifle...?

I know, I've probably over-complicated crap, but hey, I was grunt...

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7052/1226266440669622827725.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/97/1226266440669622827725.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/9949/mp151911.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/847/mp151911.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

I've got ARs.. and I've got my M1A. Honestly, after years of shooting both, I liken your question to this one:

"What should I get for a business vehicle, a 35 MPG Honda, or a 20 MPG pickup?" The answer to that question depends on what kind of business one is in.

For up close and personal, I like an AR. For varmints up to and including 300 yards, I like the AR. For hiking 10+ miles in the mountains, I like the AR. For pretty much EVERYTHING else, I prefer the M1A.

Even at the range, when everyone is shooting their ARs around you, it's music when their little "ping ping ping" is interrupted by a "thud". That .308 screaming down range just makes a different sound, and it has a lot more energy retention at great distance.

I have my M1A sighted in with a 4-8 power scope zeroed at 200 meters. This puts me dead on at 200m, and 50m... +2" at 100m, and -2.25" at 300m. It essentially means that anything I shoot at from 25-300 meters, all I have to do is aim directly at it, and I will always hit within 2" of my point of aim (POA); it's great for hunting.

The same can be done for ARs, but the numbers are a bit different; the .223 is faster at the muzzle but slows down quickly.

If you are ever near the Bakersfield area, if you buy the .308, you are welcome to come with and give it a try.

chris_m90731
12-09-2011, 1:50 AM
Amen to that. And enjoy the Kimber, best 45 out there.

I have to agree.

Off to meet the sandman, gents. Happy holidays.

chris_m90731
12-09-2011, 1:55 AM
I've got ARs.. and I've got my M1A. Honestly, after years of shooting both, I liken your question to this one:

"What should I get for a business vehicle, a 35 MPG Honda, or a 20 MPG pickup?" The answer to that question depends on what kind of business one is in.

For up close and personal, I like an AR. For varmints up to and including 300 yards, I like the AR. For hiking 10+ miles in the mountains, I like the AR. For pretty much EVERYTHING else, I prefer the M1A.

Even at the range, when everyone is shooting their ARs around you, it's music when their little "ping ping ping" is interrupted by a "thud". That .308 screaming down range just makes a different sound, and it has a lot more energy retention at great distance.

I have my M1A sighted in with a 4-8 power scope zeroed at 200 meters. This puts me dead on at 200m, and 50m... +2" at 100m, and -2.25" at 300m. It essentially means that anything I shoot at from 25-300 meters, all I have to do is aim directly at it, and I will always hit within 2" of my point of aim (POA); it's great for hunting.

The same can be done for ARs, but the numbers are a bit different; the .223 is faster at the muzzle but slows down quickly.

If you are ever near the Bakersfield area, if you buy the .308, you are welcome to come with and give it a try.

I appreciate the notes and the offer. Will definitely keep it in mind.

E Pluribus Unum
12-09-2011, 2:01 AM
I appreciate the notes and the offer. Will definitely keep it in mind.

I meant that if you buy the .308 ammo, you are welcome to come shoot my M1A before you buy one... everyone that has ever shot mine beforehand, ended up buying one.

When I re-read my quote, it sounded like I was offering to go shooting after you bought the .308 rifle.

dwtt
12-09-2011, 2:29 AM
Think I'll do a little more research on M1A brands -- really only familiar with Springfield (which to my great dismay, fabricated my 1911 in Brazil WTF?! -- it was gift). .

You can look up LRB, they make very nice M14 rifles. Ted Brown in Oregon builds LRB rifles for Hi-Power competitors and others who want long range accuracy. They're not cheap, but I've only heard good things about the rifles. I can't afford them myself, because of personal finance issues. Good luck.

Edit: for those nitpicking, when I say M14, I mean the civilian semiauto version of the M14, since I'm old school and we referred to the "M1A" rifles in Hi-Power as M14 rifles.

BigNick
12-09-2011, 10:55 AM
I own both I have several AR-15, a AR-10 and a m1a. I like them all but the m1a is my favorite. No bullet button is also a nice plus.

Jpach
12-09-2011, 11:16 AM
Since you seem to like ARs, and you obviously like .308, would you consider getting a .308 AR?

The Colt SP901 is coming out soon and should be available for sub-$2k from several places, and the LMT .308 (which I own, check it out in my sig) can be had for ~~$2.4K. Both guns come with tons of cool features and will outshoot the M1A any day and have that familiar AR feel.

I own an M1A and although it's cool, I never shoot it. I'm too busy with my LMT 308.

chris_m90731
12-09-2011, 12:23 PM
Since you seem to like ARs, and you obviously like .308, would you consider getting a .308 AR?

The Colt SP901 is coming out soon and should be available for sub-$2k from several places, and the LMT .308 (which I own, check it out in my sig) can be had for ~~$2.4K. Both guns come with tons of cool features and will outshoot the M1A any day and have that familiar AR feel.

I own an M1A and although it's cool, I never shoot it. I'm too busy with my LMT 308.

Outstanding LMT. How's the recoil?

No disrespect, but I gotta believe the M1A has the ability to really reach out and touch someone better than an AR platform.

kemikalembalance
12-09-2011, 12:57 PM
Im still learning so please dont get upset if im off a bit. But the platform doesnt have as much to do with what the bullet can do. I hit 635 yards with my 16 inch AR, but (as far as im understanding) that doesnt mean the bullet has enough energy to take down a target.

So the military uses 7.62 for up to 700 or so. though the rifles are capable of more, they usually dont use them in longer ranges. As i stated, im still learning the whats and whys. I read an article posted here a bit ago that said the military is bumping some of there arsenal up to 300 win mag for up to 1000 yards. And if i interpreted it correctly, its just due to the knockdown power.

So for the medium range, ide park my AR and go with an M1.

civilsnake
12-09-2011, 12:58 PM
No disrespect taken, but you would be incorrect in that assumption.

It's actually significantly simpler to get high precision out of the AR platform in .308. The design just lends itself toward accuracy better.

West coast
12-09-2011, 1:40 PM
Just get both of them. Hands down.....

Go Navy
12-09-2011, 2:21 PM
Get the M1A, or a SCAR 17 (7.62).

Legasat
12-09-2011, 3:59 PM
Having both is certainly the answer.

A repairman carries more than one type of screwdriver, because he never knows what situation he might run into.

aermotor
12-09-2011, 4:03 PM
If it's really between buying an ACOG or buying an M1A, ummmm, it should be self explanatory.

rojocorsa
12-09-2011, 4:41 PM
Many thanks!

All valid points too. And yes, the range I use has 1000m mark -- Angeles.

Think I'll do a little more research on M1A brands -- really only familiar with Springfield (which to my great dismay, fabricated my 1911 in Brazil WTF?! -- it was gift). Anyhow, the iron-sighted M4 just doesn't give me that level of long-range accuracy I'd like to achieve. And for whatever reason, I get a warm and fuzzy thinking about dialing in a tricked out piece of history...

BTW, just recently became a proud owner of American made Kimber Custom II TLE/RL. Wow. Just wow...



OP, M1A is the commercial name Springfield Armory Inc [Not to be confused with the genuine arsenal At Springfield, MA] gave their M-14 clone.

M-14 clone rifles are already quite expensive (as you probably have seen), but the other ones to look at (off the top of my head) are LRB and James River. The LRB for sure are made with genuine forged receivers, just like the specifications for the US M-1 and M-14 called for.

http://www.lrbarms.com/images/480_Bourdon_013.JPG
Here's a pic of an LRB M-14 receiver after being forged into is rough shape

Chinese made Polytech M-14 receivers are also forged, and they're actually pretty sought after. Some say they are better made than the Springfield Armory Inc receivers. But to be fair, the SA Inc ones are cast and not forged. This probably upsets the purists and understandably so, but I guess the cheaper cast M1As hold up ok for general use. Though I don't care for M1A's, I won't piss in its cheerios. They're OK. I like USGI M-1 Garands more myself.


Say, did you consider an M-1? You can get a really nice one from the CMP for less than an M1A, and you'll have a superb longer range rifle. The other thing I would suggest to you is to check out a full rifle size upper with a heavy barrel for your AR. Those should work at longer ranges too, seeing that such ARs are included in "Hi-power" matches.

And someone mentioned a 308 AR. If you have the money, one of those such as the LMT will outperform an M1A given the nature of their respective designs. It will also be less of a PITA to mount a scope on.

But yeah, you don't have to limit yourself to just M1As. :chris:

mcisniper
12-09-2011, 6:27 PM
Have both, love both. But, wish I had an M1A in Iraq. Built my AR and have a SOCOM II. Should have bought the SOCOM I, I don't like shooting off bi-pods and cant use a forward grip in Cali. I suggest you at least shoot a .308 before you buy one, not everyone can take the beating. Trust me, you will feel it after 20 rounds. Some of us are masochists and enjoy bruised up shoulders :43: Semper Fi brother.

X-NewYawker
12-09-2011, 6:32 PM
Have both. Have a soft spot in my heart for my JAE stocked M1As, but a fine AR-10T upper on and Aero Lower would be easier to scope, and weigh less, but till we get droppable mags back, I'll stick with this 308:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/Fasanoland/_MG_2366.jpg

bomb_on_bus
12-09-2011, 6:48 PM
Get the best of both worlds and get an AR style .308. Same style and function as the AR15 but chambered in .308. :D

Jpach
12-09-2011, 9:36 PM
Outstanding LMT. How's the recoil?

No disrespect, but I gotta believe the M1A has the ability to really reach out and touch someone better than an AR platform.

Thanks! The recoil isn't bad at all. It is very easy to handle.

Believe what you want, but it is a FACT that .308 ARs are capable of shooting better than M1As. It is the nature of their design.

rojocorsa
12-09-2011, 9:44 PM
FWIW, none of the guns being discussed in this thread have "recoil."

The gas systems just make them too easy.

kemikalembalance
12-09-2011, 11:50 PM
I would have never thought that the AR platform was more accurate than the M1. But thank you though for the correction. Any experience with both? Whats the difference at 600 yards after say 20 rounds inside of two minutes? Or something of comparison.

utahraptor
12-22-2011, 6:52 PM
The SA Loaded Standard is a very nice rifle, and you just have to add a few parts to get it ever so close to the National Match - well minus the bedded stock. The big red birch socks are very nice too.

jm13690
12-22-2011, 6:57 PM
M1A. That way you can slowly work on both depending on deals you find.

david619
12-22-2011, 8:03 PM
Kimber does make some nice 1911's.