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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2009, 11:07 PM
Roy Mustang Roy Mustang is offline
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Default M1A/M14 Springfield vs. LRB vs. Fulton

I'm potentially in the market for a new M1A/M14.

The rifles I"m looking at are:

SA m1a supermatch
LRB m14/m25 with Heavy barrel
Fulton Armory m14

The SA is about 1K cheaper overall than the lrb or fulton, I know the lrb is a forged reciever while the sa and fulton are cast.


I have a older SA supermatch with that I use for high power - the best group I've got out of that has been about 5 shorts, .75" at 100 yards with my handloads from the bench with open sights.

The reason I want a second rifle is so that I can scope it.

Can anyone tell me what accuracy they're getting from these rifles with 168 GMM?

Has anyone had any problems with these rifles and if so what is the customer service like?

Any random thoughts or ideas?
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2009, 8:48 AM
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I shoot Springfield rifles. They give me very good accuracy. I have won numerous medals with them. I was told that the other rifles are good too, but I think they are over priced. With the price asked for the other rifles, I would get a Springfield super match rifle and forget the rest.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2009, 9:17 AM
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How do you plan on scoping it?
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2009, 9:36 AM
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LRB all of the way, way better craftsmanship, I have an SAinc loaded and an LRB.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2009, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-NewYawker View Post
How do you plan on scoping it?
He intends to use LRB's M25 receiver, which has an integral scope mount. IMO the cleanest and least expensive way to have a scoped M14.

Back to the OP, a heavy barrel, double lugged LRB(assuming that is what you wanted) will perform just as well as your SAI Supermatch.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2009, 12:11 PM
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Double lugged LRB in JAE or McMillan M-3
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2009, 8:32 PM
Roy Mustang Roy Mustang is offline
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I do intend to use the LRB m25 integral mount if i get an LRB.

I would use and SEI on the fulton or SA if I got one of those rifles.

Is the quality difference really noticable between a LRB and SA that has USGI parts?

My current m1a has TRW and HRA USGI parts. Is the machine work on the reciever of a LRB or fulton really that much better?
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2009, 8:55 PM
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My situation is similar... I started with a M1A with NM open sights and after playing with scope mounts I decided I'd much rather build a second M1A that was a dedicated scoped rifle.

LRB receivers are of superb quality, I have both an LRB M25 built by Ted Brown with all TRW parts I gathered up and I also have Fulton Peerless that was my first M1A. Both are rear lugged receivers.

While the Fulton is a perfectly acceptable piece (fit & finish is good, functions flawlessly) the finish & machining quality on the LRB receiver is excellent and better than the Fulton. And then there is the whole cast vs. forged debate that plays out over and over on all the M1A forums... while a civvy user will probably never wear out or break a properly made investment cast receiver (Fulton, SA, etc.) a hammer forged receiver is stronger. LRB is of course forged. There are also the forged Smith Enterprise receivers out there that are pretty hard to come by (and don't have an integral scope mount.)

I've messed with scope mounts (ARMS and SEI) and while they do work the LRB M25 is the way to go IMO for scoping an M1A. Everything is integral, no adjusting a mount, no hoping the side of your receiver was cast & machined properly for a good mount fit, etc. The M25 receiver just plain works with no fuss, looks good, and is a very stout piece.

SA certainly has excellent customer service and a proven track record of service. If they ship you a rifle with a problem, they will take care of it promtply. While I have not had to deal with LRB directly I've heard good things about them, and Ted Brown (who built my M25) is a very good guy who is easy to get a hold of and work with. SEI also does excellent builds but I don't know if they are taking on new builds at this time.

Last edited by Kiba; 12-21-2009 at 4:36 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2009, 2:40 PM
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LRB makes a rear lugged receiver, not a double lugged one. Not many people do double lugged rifles and there's a reason for it (expensive and not really beneficial).

Frankly, I'd skip the rear lug as well, especially if it drives out your delivery time. From the perspective of the shooter it doesn't really do anything for you.

It's popular because the military teams started doing it and the teams started doing it because it was easier than re-bedding all the rifles when only a couple really needed to be re-bedded halfway through the season. Keep in mind they shoot 6 days a week.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2009, 4:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30Cal View Post
LRB makes a rear lugged receiver, not a double lugged one. Not many people do double lugged rifles and there's a reason for it (expensive and not really beneficial).

Frankly, I'd skip the rear lug as well, especially if it drives out your delivery time. From the perspective of the shooter it doesn't really do anything for you.

It's popular because the military teams started doing it and the teams started doing it because it was easier than re-bedding all the rifles when only a couple really needed to be re-bedded halfway through the season. Keep in mind they shoot 6 days a week.
True... but a rear lug with a torque screw gives you a much larger bedding surface area than a no-lug receiver and thus bedding jobs last a long, long time because of all that surface area to take the recoil.

My rear lugged LRB M25 is in a JAE stock (which doesn't even use the rear lug at all) but I bought it with a rear lug knowing if I ever decided to switch to a bedded stock (like a McMillan M3A or similar) I wanted the most stable and longest lasting bedding job possible.

The rear lugged M25 isn't that much additional cost over a no-lug receiver and IMO it gives you the greatest versatility for stock fitting. It did add an extra 10 months or so to the pre-order of my M25 receiver though over the non-lugged version, but that was a couple of years ago when LRB was just releasing the M25 receiver.

Last edited by Kiba; 12-21-2009 at 4:44 PM..
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2009, 10:47 PM
Roy Mustang Roy Mustang is offline
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LRB is 6-8 months out; I'm leaning very heavily towards the m25.

I'll probably go with the JAE stock too.

I'm estimating the rifile w/o optics will run about $3700 and probably closer to $5K after optics.

I'd probably go with a leupold or nightforce. I like IOR but I think the eye relief is too finicky for a auto loader.
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:19 PM
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:22 PM
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can I buy and import into california a preowned Springfield M14 from a friend out of state if he removes the flash hider?
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky G View Post
can I buy and import into california a preowned Springfield M14 from a friend out of state if he removes the flash hider?
Yep, you sure can! Just make sure it is "featureless." For an M14, that basically means standard stock and no flash hider, since it's almost "featureless" already!
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2009, 12:07 AM
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nice, thanks!
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  #16  
Old 12-22-2009, 10:36 AM
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My vote is for the Springfield. I've had two and my current one is one fine rifle. I'm not a competitive shooter, as most of my use is for fun shooting and backpacking. In both instances, the M1A does all and performes better than expected. My Springfield M1A woud be the only rifle I would own if I had to own only one rifle.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2009, 1:50 PM
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Both SA and LRB are excellent. But the prices are different.

Nobody mentions about SEI crazy horse?
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  #18  
Old 12-22-2009, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mltrading View Post
Both SA and LRB are excellent. But the prices are different.

Nobody mentions about SEI crazy horse?
My uncle just had an SEI Crazy Horse built on an LRB M14SA receiver. That thing is absolutely incredible. Total price tag for the rifle plus the Pride-Fowler optics was somewhere in the 4k range, I think.

Worth every penny.
My 2 cents.
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  #19  
Old 12-22-2009, 3:09 PM
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all this M1A talks makes me miss mine.... personally, i'd be happy with a NM M1A. but... if money wasnt an issue- fulton sure looks nice...
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  #20  
Old 12-22-2009, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Mustang View Post
LRB is 6-8 months out; I'm leaning very heavily towards the m25.

I'll probably go with the JAE stock too.

I'm estimating the rifile w/o optics will run about $3700 and probably closer to $5K after optics.

I'd probably go with a leupold or nightforce. I like IOR but I think the eye relief is too finicky for a auto loader.
6-8 months for LRB? That's pretty good actually, I waited about 30 months... (I pre-ordered about 20 months before the standard M25's began shipping and then the rear lugged variants were about another 10 months behind that.) It was worth the wait!

About the scope... I have an IOR 3-18 SH edition scope on my JAE M25. Honestly, the amount of eye relief is OK-- I also have one on my AR-10 and never had an issue with the amount of eye relief. I do have a problem with the IOR on my M25 though because of the LOP of the Gen 1 JAE and limited scope mounting positions. The long LOP and inability to move the scope any further rearwards means I have to stretch my neck just bit to get to it! It's not terribly uncomfortable but I have to stretch my neck forward just a bit from my neutral neck position when prone (i.e. if I just lay my head over on the stock where it feels best.) I have a Gen 1 JAE which has a long LOP and even with all the butt spacers removed and the scope mounted as far back as possible it's still a bit of a stretch to get "in the scope." I may buy a Gen 2 JAE as it has a shorter LOP and should fix the problem.

Besides the stock, the IOR and M25 scope mount are part of the problem too; not because of the amount of eye relief but because there isn't much room between the occular bell and the turret area of the scope body so you can't slide it back all that far before the ring hits the turret portion of the scope body. To make matters worse the M25 scope rail length isn't all that long so the rings are fairly close together giving you a rather limited range of scope mounting positions.

You can kind of see what I mean in the pic of my M25 below... the turret position of the IOR limits how far back the occular can be (there is barely enough room between the power adjustment ring and the turrets for the rear scope ring), and the M25 rail & rings are pretty close too. Moving the scope back would help (but isn't an option) but the real fix is a stock with a shorter LOP. You could also go with a scope with a more "centralized" turret position that would allow you to mount the scope further back.

Again, the shorter Gen 2 JAE would solve it all but a Gen 2 configured with all the options that were standard on my Gen 1 is almost $500 more than my Gen 1 cost!

FYI, according to JAE the LOP of a Gen 2 with the buttpad adapter and buttpad installed is 13.25".

On my Gen 1, the LOP is as follows:
Stock only (no buttpad adapter or buttpad): 12.5"
Stock and Buttpad only (+1.125"): 13.625" LOP -- you can run just the buttpad only without the adapter if you get shorter screws, this is how I have mine set up
Stock with buttpad adapter (+.375) and buttpad (+1.125): 14" LOP
(And then you can add additional spacers on top of that)

Based on my measurements it looks like JAE took out .750" of LOP in the Gen 2 stock which would be about all I need to make my eye relief perfect.


Last edited by Kiba; 12-22-2009 at 8:24 PM..
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  #21  
Old 12-22-2009, 9:28 PM
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I was almost going to purchase a M1A1 but after seeing how my buddy's FAL SA 58 shot at the range and checking his targets, I went with the DSA FAL SA 58. The very first time I shot this rifle at the range, I was very impressed and so were a dozen people standing near by.

I did put a Leupold rifle scope on this military weapon, as my eyes are not as strong as years ago. The 3 x 9 scope let me shoot .385-MOA with factory Winchester military ammo. Now this rifle is the real deal!!! Price tag $2250.00 US dollars.
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  #22  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:48 PM
Roy Mustang Roy Mustang is offline
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I've got an FAL in the SLR/L1A1 patern. It shoots well, but my current M1A put's it to shame. The best I can do with the FAL is about 2" at 100 yards.

Another question I should probably bring up is the m25 mount really that much better then a Smith mount? If it is how much movement is there in a smith mount?

The position of the m25 mount looks about the same height as a smith mount; maybe a half inch lower.
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  #23  
Old 12-23-2009, 9:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiba View Post
...The rear lugged M25 isn't that much additional cost over a no-lug receiver and IMO it gives you the greatest versatility for stock fitting. It did add an extra 10 months or so to the pre-order of my M25 receiver though over the non-lugged version, but that was a couple of years ago when LRB was just releasing the M25 receiver.
The rear lug won't fit in a GI stock without removing quite a bit of material from the weakest area--I'd be hesitant to spend the money/effort to bed it into anything short of a heavy match stock for fear of it cracking or breaking at the wrist. Even in those heavy stocks, the lug is prone to cracking the bedding and stock if things aren't set up right. I've seen a couple like that.

You'd have to shoot your way through more than a couple of barrels before the lug starts to pay for itself. I've got a lugged rifle (w/o screw)--if I was buying again, I'd get a standard receiver and spend more money on more match ammo.

I do my own bedding work. Takes me about 3hrs of labor and 24hrs cure time to do the job. The lug adds another opportunity for epoxy to flow into the wrong place, locking the action in the stock for eternity.

Ultimately, the durability of any bedding job depends heavily on the quality of work that goes into it.
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  #24  
Old 12-23-2009, 6:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30Cal View Post
The rear lug won't fit in a GI stock without removing quite a bit of material from the weakest area--I'd be hesitant to spend the money/effort to bed it into anything short of a heavy match stock for fear of it cracking or breaking at the wrist. Even in those heavy stocks, the lug is prone to cracking the bedding and stock if things aren't set up right. I've seen a couple like that.
True, but if you're buying a lugged receiver then you're very likely going for all the accuracy you can get out of the M1A platform... and then I would have to ask why you'd be putting it in a standard profile GI stock. Good information to know but conflicting parts and goals. To say a rear lugged receiver is appropriate for an NM-profile stock or McMillan M3A or something along those lines goes pretty much without saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30Cal View Post
I do my own bedding work. Takes me about 3hrs of labor and 24hrs cure time to do the job. The lug adds another opportunity for epoxy to flow into the wrong place, locking the action in the stock for eternity.

Ultimately, the durability of any bedding job depends heavily on the quality of work that goes into it.
Modern bedding compounds are certainly a lot tougher than the "old" stuff and thus last a lot longer-- and modern bedding compounds even with a standard non-lugged receiver will last quite a while which certainly reduces the original intent and importance of the rear lug. But, since the rear lug provides many times more surface area it will last longer still. With proper masking/clay and mold releasing a rear lug shouldn't pose a problem to someone who is comfortable with bedding. As far as the locked for eternity thing as long as you properly mold released the receiver you're only looking at a mechanical lock (if the bedding compound flowed up and over the lug into the tail of the receiver allowing it to "hook" the lug) and at that point you would probably have to sacrifice the stock as the easy way out.

I still stand by that if you're going for all-out accuracy on an M1A platform a properly bedded stock with a rear-lug & torque screw is the way to go. Ted Brown, the gunsmith who built my M25 told me he feels the same way. Several times he advised me that while the JAE is great for a drop in, no fuss stock that if I wanted accuracy above all else and beyond what the JAE could provide that I should buy a McMillan and have it bedded-- because the JAE is machined to fit a wide tolerance range of receivers and the receivers themselves have a tolerance the fit is never perfect, where with bedding the stock to action fit is molded to fit an individual receiver-- imperfections, tolerance stackups and all.

It's up to the buyer really to decide on realistic goals and expectations for the build and decide just how far they want to go-- keeping in mind an M1A with a gas cylinder, gas piston, and oprod hanging off the barrel that move and bang around with every shot will certainly achieve and maintain a different level of accuracy than say a bolt gun or even an AR-10. I know several people who were not happy with the accuracies their M1A's achieved but they were coming from the world of high end bolt guns so the bar was set very high for them. I also know guys who came from the battle rifle world who were very happy with the level of accuracy achieved by their M1A's. My Fulton Peerless and LRB M25 aren't as accurate as my bolt rifles or AR-10-- but I know the limitations of the M1A platform and am more than happy with the level of accuracy they achieve considering all the moving stuff hanging off the barrel. And besides... they look nice, feel great, and are fun to shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Mustang View Post
I've got an FAL in the SLR/L1A1 patern. It shoots well, but my current M1A put's it to shame. The best I can do with the FAL is about 2" at 100 yards.
Another question I should probably bring up is the m25 mount really that much better then a Smith mount? If it is how much movement is there in a smith mount?
The position of the m25 mount looks about the same height as a smith mount; maybe a half inch lower.
I've got an STG-58 FAL and like it. The accuracy of mine is quite good (typically around 1.5-2 MOA with the Austrian STG-58 barrel and Aussie surplus) but the weak point is the iron sights... compared to the M1A sights it's a big step down. I tried optics on the FAL and just didn't like how well they "fit" the rifle concerning cheekweld so I went back to irons only.

As far as the SEI scope mount... fantastic piece. As long as the side of your receiver is in spec and within the adjustment range of the cam bolt it's a great fitting and solid mount. It's comparable in height to the M25.

Sadlak makes a good mount too, and here is good reading regarding why some people have difficulties fitting a scope mount on their receivers:

http://www.sadlak.com/si_m1a_receivers.html
http://www.sadlak.com/si_inspect_kit.html

I think we're now in the "Any random thoughts or ideas?" portion at the end of Roy's original post.

Last edited by Kiba; 12-28-2009 at 8:37 AM..
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  #25  
Old 12-23-2009, 6:03 PM
Bucky G Bucky G is offline
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how much should a Springfield M14 cost?
my buddy wants 1700 for his?!
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  #26  
Old 12-23-2009, 6:13 PM
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top them all and get a lwrc repr
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  #27  
Old 12-23-2009, 9:09 PM
Roy Mustang Roy Mustang is offline
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Depends on which version of the SA m1a you're getting from you're friend at 1700.

1700 for a standard is kind of steep; if it's a NM or Super it's a hell of a deal
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  #28  
Old 12-24-2009, 5:24 PM
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Default Hell of a deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Mustang View Post
Depends on which version of the SA m1a you're getting from you're friend at 1700.

1700 for a standard is kind of steep; if it's a NM or Super it's a hell of a deal
Quote:
Originally Posted by swerv512 View Post
all this M1A talks makes me miss mine.... personally, i'd be happy with a NM M1A. but... if money wasnt an issue- fulton sure looks nice...
Got this NM SA off a guy walking around at a gun show about a year ago for 1,300.00 in almost new condition.
I was happy then, still am!

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