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Actually, Springfield Armory Inc. (SAI) did produce an M1A-A1. It was an offshoot of the M1A Bush rifle and sported a side folding stock very similar to the BM59 design. Most were put together with USGI M14 service rifle parts and had non-chrome lined 18inch std contour bbls. (Twist rate at 1/11in, which is the same as their current 22in std, Scout, and Socom bbls)
It weighs out at exactly 8.5 lbs in the above stock along with it's sling. ( As a comparison...... my Ruger SR762 weighs out at 8.6 lbs)
Here is a few more points that might be of interest.
1. Actual weights vary between the various models of M1A's, as well as other M14 clones. (Same with the various AR10's out there). A better comparison ratio between the 2 rifle types would be best served along the same lines.....
Examples are : A Socom16 to that of a 16in bbl AR chambered in 7.62x51mm with a similar profile bbl. On the other end of the spectrum........ an M1A Supermatch or FA M21 "Peerless" next to an SR25 clone or a GAP10.
FWIW, I don't find 18in bbl M14's or the SR762 to be overly heavy. Both are well balanced and the weight is perfect for shooting from various postions in the field.
As far as weight goes, I sold off the BM59 folding stock and fitted a GI synthetic M14 stock to my M1A-A1......even though the folder was a tad lighter in comparison. The rifle is much better balanced now, and I have a bit more "meat" to place my mug to when aiming it.
2. Unless your looking at an LRB Arms M25 or JRA "Rock-Ola" M21, you will need a scope mount if your plans include traditional optics over the receiver. A few mounts out there are of good quality, while a few others are best utilized as a paper weight.
I like and use the ARMS 18 personally, as this mount is very light in weight, rock solid, and sports the lowest profile of any mount I've come across to date for this type of rifle. Less height involved concerning proper cheekweld. (My ugly mug doesn't require a comb, but this has to do with the optic I utilize, as some optics will require a comb.
In comparison, My SR762 is a flat top receiver by design, and is very forgiving and easy to add optics to.
3. Ergonomics between both are very different. (Location of the safety, op-rod/charging handle, etc......) While I like both, my personal preference leans heavily towards the M14 types, as the rifle seems as if it was made specifically for me when sporting an M14 stock. As both come from the factory, the M14/M1A has the better manual at arms, is more lefty friendly, and by design allows me to transition from either hand much faster. Immediate action drills are simple, easy to commit to memory, and the location of the safety is perfectly placed for a rifle. (Some don't like where it's at however.)
Other than the location of the safety, folks that like AK ergos will find the M14 types very familiar in a lot of respects here, and too include how the magazines are inserted. AR folks are obviously gonna like what they are familiar with.
IE.........pick your poison here.
4. Reliability: Lemons aside, a well built example of either can be reliable. Maintaining either (M14 or SR762) in the field is a simple thing.
Note: The SR762 does not utilize direct gas impingement, and stays very clean on the inside compared to DGI AR types.
5. Modular system: Some 7.62 NATO AR's have the ability to exchange different uppers chambered in different cartridges such as 243 or 260. ( The Gap10 comes to mind).
One area where the M14 surpasses the AR types is it's ability to utilize either traditional GI M14/SAI Boyds stocks, as well as pistol grip types such as the OEM M1A-A1 (BM59 style), Troy, or Sage stocks.
Note: The SR's 6 position "M4" type stock, along with it's dual stage adjustable piston gas system gives it an edge over the M14 designs when it comes to utilizing cans to keep the noise down and still maintaining a portable rifle concerning OAL in this configuration. Certain M14 stocks can match it, but again...at a cost of added weight. Both allow the gas system to be shut off completely if the desire is to make it as quiet as possible whilst using sub sonic ammunition. ( Provided that one's M1A has a gas cylinder that's not been unitized via the Army's screw and glue method.)
Note: The M1A-A1 stock makes for a very lightweight stock, but some of the other designs will add a lot of weight.
Note: Some folks like a lot of rail space. Both designs can sport enough rails to run several train depots at once if one is so inclined. I don't have much of a use for rails at the 3/9/6 0'clock positions, which is one of the reasons as to why I like the SR762's handguards, and especially like the M14 service rifle stocks.
Note: As it sits now, my M14 clones are ahead here, as Ruger just recently introduced the SR762....but if they eventually come out with complete upper receivers chambered in 243 and/or 260, then things could get interesting around here.....lol
7. Magazines: Not all 7.62 AR's take the same type of magazines, and not all M14 mags are reliable from my findings. The SR accepts the more common P-mags, as well as metal SR25 mags....... and I stick with 1960 era GI M14, along with current made Checkmate Industry magazines for the M14/M1A.
A small thing for some but worth mention here....... mag pouches. The M14 and SR25 metal mags fit into the various mag pouches better than the 7.62 P-mags do. I'm sure that they have specific mag pouches for them out there, but I like the stuff I have now.
Note: SAI,FA, LRB, and JRA typically sell their rifles with 1-10rd mag, while the SR762 sold with 3- 20rd mags.
Note: Last I checked, SAI had CMI contracted to build their mags for them, then they add their stamp once they arrive.
Note: 308 vs 7.62x51mm. No issues with the SR762 firing either as of yet. All of my M14 clones have headspace set at around the 1.632 mark, so I fire either without issue and have since I bought/built mine back in 2003/2006. I have had others for quite awhile longer.
8. Durability/longevity: I haven't had the SR762 long enough to make a call, but would still put the M14 clones that are properly built as the leader here. Especially concerning extreme cold weather, and use anywhere under adverse conditions. Immediate action drills are faster (for me anyways) if an issue occurs when I absolutely positively must have the rifle FMC.
Most of my time has been spent over the years with the M14 types, plus I've been issued M14 service rifles on past combat deployments overseas, and I have more confidence in this type of rifle compared to the other. ( My time around the SCAR-H, and M110 was too limited to make a call either way.)
The last M14 I was issued was built in 1963, and the rifle worked every time I needed it to. ( As tax payers I feel that we got our money's worth here...lol)
Would a current production M1A handle the same or worse environments? You got me. ( Either of mine or my wife's would, but none are put together with current production M1A parts, so I cant make a true call on that). I would trust an LRB Arms, Fulton Armory, SEI too handle any kind of environment, and under adverse conditions.
As I mentioned before, no issues with the SR762, but I haven't had all that long yet. I wouldn't trust an AR in extreme cold weather/less than ideal conditions, but that's just me.
9. Iron sights: The SR762 (Samson) flip up sights are very useable and have dual apertures, but they don't hold a candle to the M14 design as a user friendly and fully adjustable way of shooting the rifle with accuracy. Meters or yards depending on what one prefers....as rear sight components of an M1 Garand can be utilized. (Same with BM59 which is also in meter increments. BTW)
The Ruger SR762 sells with quite a bit of "extras" compared to the M14 clones, sports a 16 in chrome lined bbl, adjustable gas system, flat top monolithic upper, iron sights, threaded muzzle, shares some common AR15 parts, and has a well thought out handguard.
The M1A Socom can have the same set up for the most part, but will cost more $$ to match the SR762 in this area. FA,JRA, and LRB rifles are quite a bit more concerning a whole in your wallet......but then again, KAC or GAP rifles aint all that wallet light either....lol
11. Precision: Both are equally capable concerning this area if you look at it in terms of shooting in the field, using offhand positions. ( Again here.....I'm not comparing something of the likes of a GAP10 up against a Socom16, or a SuperMatch to that of a 16in bbl AR10 type.)
In my case, I shoot the M14 types better, and the way I have mine set up allows optimum use of it's sling as a shooting aid. On the other end.....I have had them much longer, and know what they like the best in terms of ammunition....compared to the SR too which I haven't had it long enough as of yet. ( Still putting the iron sights thru the paces and haven't had an optic on it so far.....)
I honestly believe that another person who has a similar amount of time with both types of rifles (but reversed) just might have the same end game.
I mean nothing against bench rest shooters and utilize one myself sometimes for certain things, but I simply do not spend all that much time behind one, and do not consider a bench as a tool for finding out what I can and cannot do with a given rifle.
Endstate: If I had to get rid of every rifle I have now and only keep one, then it would be one of my M14S 18.5 bbl "hog slayin stick".....lol
The wife also has a few, and she says that her "one" rifle over the others is her LRB M14SA Tanker.
Last edited by fragout; 01-28-2014 at 01:35 AM.