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Springfield Armory M1A

Nutnfancy on the M1A

Nutnfancy video:

Published on Apr 29, 2016

“Yay though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I shall fear no evil….because I have a Springfield Armory M1A. Looked down upon by some because of its foreign manufacture and investment cast receiver, I discuss the realities of the S.A. M1A as I discovered them. This journey took me through 16 years of shooting these guns with heavy involvement here in TNP during the last three years. In meeting mil-spec, the S.A. M1A is far from the military M14 and differences abound. However in practical use they are the same gun and have the same capabilities. As such the SA M1A in some ways inherits the storied track record of the M14 as it continues to soldier on across the world killing bad guys at both close and long ranges. But it's also made its own track record, especially with me. I find the SA M1A to rank up there with the best old style heavy caliber semi-auto battle rifles made (FAL would be another).

Reliability tops the list. During shooting tests three failed shots occurred (one FTE) but it was unclear if it was the 1980s machine gun ammo's fault or not. In Operation Red Skies (this was a multi-day backpack trip into desert with heavy weapons) my preferred type, the M1A Scout Squad, ran with impressive reliability. I would carry that gun into battle. Accuracy is also generally good from the type. I show both iron sight and optics assisted results but its reasonable to expect 1.5 to 2 MOA results with ammo it likes. Some SA M1As don't shoot quite that good and I show that too! Ergos carry over from the 1950s which is to say this is a full size, walnut and steel (or composite) battle rifle. It is not light nor is it easy to carry. In your POU you will have to make thoughtful choices of Firepower vs Mobility. Expect about a 10 lb naked carry weight depending on model chosen. But I love the feel of the M1A, its purposeful combat lines, and ideal balance. The two stage Garand trigger carries over and it shows excellent reliability and predictability. I rec' a NM modification on this trigger to achieve a 4.5 to 5 lb pull.

The SA plastic stock is excellent if they get the mag well sizing correct. It has high traction, comes in colors, and its light. And you won't care if you beat it up in your shooting operations. Many configs are discussed and I show my faves, shot extensively for this review. Topping the list will again be the Scout Squad and all “Loaded” versions of Springfield's M1A. These loaded rifles come equipped with med wt NM barrel, NM trigger mod, and NM sight mods. It's the most rifle for the least money. The Squad functions well in ALL realistic POUs and excelled even in 600 yard night engagements with its 18” barrel. It's muzzle brake looks cool and works well. It is lighter and faster than the 22“ barreled versions. The SOCOM 16 makes a hard hitting carbine that's compact and squared away but the SOCOM II with its goofy cluster rail is not endearing. It adds stupid weight and tears the hands. It may look cool in video games but I stripped it off for testing I hated it so bad. Nevertheless even that gun rocked my Sledgehammer Drill like no other .308 rifle has before or since (…). It's GI fiberglass stock comes in some cool camo colorations as well.

Durability of the SA M1A showed no weaknesses over the years of shooting: no parts flew off, no receivers cracked, no barrels failed. That's not to say Springfield Armory does a perfect job with these guns; several quality misses are noted in the type and you too may have to seek warranty service. But consider the price. Though much elevated since the 1990s, the SA M1A is coming in around half of what a US produced forged receiver M1A will cost. Outstanding examples of these can be found at LRM and perhaps Fulton Armory but be prepared for HIGH expense. For the money the SA M1A delivers. From the many rounds sent through six of these guns I feel they for places where the shadow of death may fall upon you.

Nutnfancy Likability Scales: 8 out of 10 SA Scout Squad, 8 out of 10 for Loaded versions, 6 out of 10 for SOCOM II version, 7 out of 10 for SOCOM 16 version, 8 out of 10 for Standard version (getting Loaded for more value), 4 out of 10 for M21 versions (too expensive, get LRB forged rifle for that price)”

Fair Use Source:

Hickock45 on the M1A

Hickock45 video:

Sootch00 on the M1A

Sootch00 video:

Published on Aug 1, 2016

“Fun Gun Reviews Presents: The Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 .308 Rifle. A shortened version of the Standard M1A from a 22” barrel to 16“ and a forward mount Picatinny Rail for a Scout Set up with Red Dots or LER Scopes.

  • Use code “SOOTCH00” for 5% off your entire order

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Thanks for watching~ Sootch00

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Music is from Jingle Punks Royalty Free Music through the Fullscreen Network. Used with permission.

Collaborators: Wheatonarms (, SkinnyMedic (, OpticsPlanet (, Springfield Armory (, Aimpoint Official Channel (, Leatherwood / Hi-Lux Optics Brownells, Inc.”

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The Springfield Armory M1A is a civilian version of the M14 rifle designed and manufactured by Springfield Armory, Inc. in 1974. The term “M1A” is a proprietary title for Springfield Armory's M14-pattern rifle. Early M1A rifles were built with surplus G.I. parts until Springfield Armory, Inc. began manufacturing their own.

Differences between the M1A and M14

The M14 was developed to take the place of four different weapons systems—the M1 rifle, the M1 Carbine, the M3 "Grease Gun" and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). It was thought that in this manner the M14 could simplify the logistical requirements of the troops by limiting the types of ammunition and parts needed to be supplied.<ref>M14 Rifle History and Development (by Lee Emerson)</ref> It proved to be an impossible task to replace all four as the cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR. (The M60 machine gun better served this specific task.)

The Springfield Armory M1A is, for the most part, identical to the M14. There are, however, a few important differences:

Early M1A receivers were made from surplus M14 receiver blanks, current M1A receivers are made from precision investment cast AISI 8620 alloy steel. The military M14 receivers were manufactured using the drop forge process, which is more complicated and more expensive. Until around the late 1990s, the M1A produced by Springfield Armory retained the cutout in the rear right of the stock for the selector switch found on the M14. Springfield Armory has also omitted the “7.62-MM” caliber designator on the M1A receiver since 1991.

Once the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was passed, prohibiting the manufacture of firearms with bayonet lugs (among other features), the M1A no longer shipped with a bayonet lug. Although the 1994 law expired in September 2004, making bayonet lugs on newly manufactured firearms legal again (in most states), Springfield Armory has not restored that feature. Since the bayonet lug is attached to the flash suppressor, “post ban” rifles can easily be fitted with a bayonet lug by fitting a pre-ban flash suppressor.

The California Assault Weapons Ban, which went into effect January 1, 2000, prohibited flash suppressors on all semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine. As a result, Springfield Armory designed a muzzle brake, which they installed in place of the standard flash suppressor on all models that were sold in California. The muzzle brake reduces climb of the barrel, allowing the operator to aim more quickly for another shot.

M1A/M14 select fire rifles

Most of the M1A rifles manufactured since 1971 were made for the commercial market and thus were only capable of semi-automatic fire. However, it is estimated that less than 50 select fire M14 type rifles were manufactured and registered for civilian ownership prior to the passage of the Firearm Owners Protection Act on May 19, 1986. Springfield Armory, Inc. and Smith Enterprise Inc. were the two companies that produced select fire M14 type rifles for civilian ownership. Up until May 1986, Springfield Armory, Inc. had a Full Auto Department at their factory in Illinois. A few M1A rifles were converted to full-auto fire and registered with the ATF by Class II manufacturers like Neal Smith and Rock Island Armory. The receivers of these select fire rifles have the selector lug and operating rod rail cuts for the connector assembly.


Besides the standard M1A, Springfield Armory also produces multiple variants including the M21 Tactical and M25 White Feather.

Loaded rifles

The Loaded variants are available with either a walnut or synthetic stock, and one model comes with an Extended Cluster Rail Fiberglass Stock. All Loaded models include the following features:

  • Barrel: air-gauged medium weight National Match (available in stainless steel or parkerized chrome moly steel), 22“ inches in length with a 1:11 right hand twist.
  • Front Sight: National Match .062” Military Post
  • Rear Sight: GI Match Grade Non-hooded Rear Sight: Aperture .0520, Adjustable, One-half Minute for Windage and One Minute for Elevation
  • 2 Stage Military Trigger, Match Tuned, 4.5-5&nbsp;lbs

The Loaded models do not have the action glass bedded into the stock as do the National Match models. While the National Match features included lend considerably to the Loaded models' accuracy, they are not a true National Match rifle.


Match rifles

Two M1As are advertised as match rifles, the National Match M1A and the Super Match M1A. The National Match is a more basic model, while the Super Match is more customizable has additional features on some models such as a McMillan stock and a Douglas stainless steel barrel.

Scout Squad

The Scout Squad is an M1A marketed toward law enforcement users. It has an 18-inch barrel, a forward mounted optical sight base, and a proprietary muzzle stabilizer. It is advertised as being optimal for Aimpoint optics, however, most mounts attached to the factory rail will still require a cheekrest in order to get the proper weld. It is available in both wood stocked and synthetic furniture options with different colours of wood and synthetic stocks.

SOCOM rifles

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–> The SOCOM II and SOCOM 16 are modern variants of the M14 manufactured with lighter materials. This rifle is the shortest barrel length (16 inches) for a rifle permissible without taxing and registration under the National Firearms Act in the United States. The gas system was reworked to ensure proper operation with the shortened barrel, and a new compensator was added to help soften recoil. The SOCOM II features a "Cluster Rail System", while the SOCOM 16 has a single short scope base. Another, more rare variant called the SOCOM II Extended Cluster Rail features a longer top rail that extends over the ejection port to the stripper clip guide, allowing the operator to mount optics farther to the rear.

and M6 bayonet]]

See also


springfield_armory_m1a.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:38 (external edit)