Do These Deeds To Make Sure You're Spending The Right Money
In the market for a used M1A? Good! More experienced, more knowledgeable M1A pro's – experts that are invariably a lot smarter than I – believe that the absolute best option when buying a used M1A is to search for and find the oldest one you can. That's right: according to them, the older the better. Why? Primarily “corporate quality control”. What this means is that regardless of the manufacturer, if you purchase a used gun that was originally produced to fulfill a government/military/law enforcement contract, the corporate quality control at that time would be exhaustive.
What this does is increase the probability that the original piece was made to be perfect, and made to last. Also, the year it was manufactured and who it was manufactured for will also determine whether or not it was built using galvanized iron (GI) parts, GI chrome bores and, if the people, the employees at the manufacturer, really gave a pile of bull spit about what they were doing.
Okay, now that little soapbox preaching homage to my elders is over. Now comes the important “what do I do if I want to buy a used M1A?” Maybe you're searching for a White Feather or a camo Super Match? Stainless Steel option for the barrel? Fiberglass stock? Maybe you already found a USMC with iron sights? Maybe you know more than I? Maybe you are on the prowl for something that no one's seen in a bit. Regardless, here's a tested, tried and very true short hand checklist to make sure you walk into a used M1A purchase with eyes wide open:
The M1A used buying checklist:
- Smile – You're off on a journey to buy a piece of military & sharpshooting history. Life is good!
- Now, focus on performance – that's what the M1A is all about, that's why you're buying it, so... make sure she performs. That means meet the seller at a gun range to test and inspect the rifle before you hand over any loot. If the seller balks, hedges, waffles or outright says “no” to letting you see the M1A do it's thing, then walk away from the deal.
- Take it apart/field strip – ask the seller if they are comfortable with you taking the M1A apart in front of them. If they are, then have at 'er and inspect everything you can – the bolt, the trigger grouping, operating rod, barrel et al. While you're at it, compare the numbers to see if the rifle has aftermarket parts, or if they are barrel, and compare the numbers to see if they are United States Government Issue (USGI).
- Now, the biggie: the “tilt test” – For your hopefully almost new/used M1A rifle to perform correctly, it must first cycle, then extract, eject and lastly feed the gas system at optimum levels. To gauge this, and to make sure that the action is smooth throughout the entire range of travel, most gun experts recommend the tilt test, which entails:
- Remove the barreled action from the stock
- Remove the operating rod spring AND the operating rod spring guide.
- At this point, you'll know whether or not the action is good – by how freely the operating rod slides back and forth under it''s own weight. If it does, the action is good. If it doesn't, well, ya know.
- Now, tilt muzzle upwards to a measured 30-degree angle – which is the maximum angle the M1A needs to be at to induce full movement
- Then, tilt muzzle downwards to a measured 30-degree angle – you should see the weight of the operating rod should contact the gas piston tail and bring the bolt all the way forward, then lock the lugs easily into the rifle's receiver. At this point, if you encounter drag, simply note where the drag started and go back and have a look at the operating rod, the channel itself, the bolt tracks and the operating rod's alignment to the receiver and how it fits with the operating rod guide. On older rifles, any fallibility here aren't necessarily a huge deal, and is something that can easily be fixed by you, or whatever super hero works on your weaponry. If you see problems here, talk it through with the seller, maybe it's a negotiating point to drop price, or at the very least, there's a good story behind it.
- (Note: this is an abbreviated walk through a “tilt test”. Check with your gun buddies, gun smith or have a look around the various M1A forums for more data points. There are many, many other steps & tests to apply to this or any rifle you might be considering, such as:
- Test for flash suppressor alignment
- Check for loose screws and hardware
- Check for alignment of operating rod and gas cylinder
- Extractor quick check
- Test for bolt roller impact
- See if trigger guard lockup is operational
- Shoot! This is why you drove 120 miles through the rain to meet the seller. It wasn't to drink bad coffee, it was to shoot. Do it. Shoot! This is the best and funnest way to see if the used M1A you're considering is up to your muster. And, all kidding aside, the best way to see if this is the rifle for you is to see the results on the paper downrange.
Most important thing about this entire process – aside from enjoying yourself – is to take the time to do it right. M1A rifles are a special purchase and they deserve your full attention. If you are ready to buy and take home this very unique weapon, take your time and know the seller, the background of the weapon, past and potential future modifications and that you are getting the most pop for your buck.
INSTRUCTIONS ON REMOVING THE VLTOR RAIL CLUSTER FROM A SPRINGFIELD ARMORY SOCOM II
Hello to all of my fellow SOCOM II owners! I am pleased to bring you a detailed description on how to remove the VLTOR Cluster Rail from your rifle in a few easy steps. From installing a mod-stock, to simply not having a use for your rails any longer, I will have you ready for whatever plans you have in store for your SOCOM II.
The VLTOR cluster rail removes easily and only requires a few minutes of your time and some very basic tools. Here is what you will need:
1.) One 5/32 Allen Key
2.) One standard size socket wrench with a 3/8” socket attached
3.) About 10 minutes of time to remove rails
4.) A small amount of elbow grease
Locate the two 3/8” bolts on the left side of your SOCOM that attach the rear of the rail to the receiver. Set your socket wrench to remove the bolts and begin turning them counter clockwise. My bolts were set very tight and required a little assistance from my wife. While my wife tightly held the rifle in place, I removed the bolts which eventually broke free and were unscrewed the rest of the way by hand. The two bolts have washers attached, so be careful not to lose them.
Remove the lower portion of your rail cluster from the upper rail assembly. This is easily done by simply depressing both of the rail locking tabs located on both sides of the lower rail attachment. Push them in at the same time and simply pull the lower rail away from the upper rail assembly.
Now you have to remove the receiver/barrel from the stock. This has to be done in order to reach the Allen bolts that secure the upper rail assembly to the barrel. First start of by removing your trigger group. This is done by simply pulling out and upward on your trigger guard. Once the trigger guard is fully opened, remove the trigger group by pulling straight up. After removing the trigger assembly, the stock should simply lift off of the receiver. However, my rifle’s stock was very, VERY tight around the receiver and required a little bit of elbow grease. This is most easily achieved by pulling up on the rear portion of the stock, whilst pulling it towards you to clear the lip that holds the stock ferrule. Once the stock is off, we move on to the next step.
Now we move on to the actual removal of the upper rail assembly from the barrel. This is very, very simple. You will now need to use your 5/32 Allen key. You will see a large rounded band that curves around the barrel, with two Allen screws on either side. This is what secured the upper rail assembly to the barrel. Insert your Allen key and turn counter clock-wise, loosening and eventually removing both screws. After you have removed both screws, push firmly against the band to loosen it from the rail. Once it breaks free it should come right out. Now is the most gratifying step. Pull the upper rail assembly away from receiver and barrel. It should come off with little or no effort.
My suggestion at this point is to re-attach all bolts, screws and hardware back onto the rail cluster. This will prevent you from losing any hardware, should you ever decide to re-install or sell your rail cluster. It should be noted that there is one piece that is particularly important on the rail cluster that will fall out if not secured back in by the original 3/8” bolt that you removed in the beginning (see photos). This piece holds the rail tight against the hand-guard clip slot, used to secure the standard rails to the barrel.
Now that you are all finished removing the rail cluster, re-assemble your rifle the same way you disassembled it, just perform all actions in reverse(if that makes sense – lol). Now you are ready to put on that scout rail and hand-guard that has been patiently waiting to be installed…or maybe a new mod-stock? Whatever you plan to do, do it safely and enjoy that M1A!!!!!
Don't miss out on this M1A Stock!
Check out this deal on a Camo M1A Synthetic Stock with Harris bipod stud!
Hey M1A lovers! I was browsing ebay when I stumbles across this crazy deal. According to the auction description it's a USGI M1A Synthetic stock painted in a 3 tone camo scheme. The stock was picked up at a gun show and the description states the owner doesn't know what type of paint was used. The stock itself is in very good to excellent condition with some minor handling marks underneath the paint.
The front swivel was replaces with a Harris bipod stud adapter which allows you to attach Harris or Harris style bipods.
You can view the item by clicking the image or link below. Good Luck!
At the time of this post the item has ZERO BIDS and the starting price is ONLY $89.99, HURRY!!
M1ARifles.com member Sappnasty shows us how to white letter our guns, mags and accessories. Check out the video below.
- China White marker
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Clean cloth
Did you like the video? Have something to add or comment? Leave your thoughts below.
Congratulation to our newsletter subscriber Mark who was selected at random from our subscribers to be this month's winner. Mark just won a new BSA RD30 Red Dot Scope.
An email was sent to Mark Requesting shipping information. Mark MC, you have three days to contact us with your shipping information. If we don't hear from Mark within three days, then we will select another M1A Newsletter subscriber as November's winner.
If you haven't done so already, sign up for the M1A newsletter NOW!! You're not going to want to miss next month's prize!!!
Disclaimer: I just want to be clear, I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review and all expressions and opinions are my own. Heck, I even have to return the scope as soon as I'm done with this review.
A little while back Hawke Optics contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their rifle scopes. I jumped at the opportunity in order to provide the m1arifles.com community some fresh unique content. Since I had the option to select the scope, I chose the SideWinder 30 Tactical Series 4.5-14x42 rifle scope.
A little about Hawke Optics
Hawke Optics is a UK based company who has been silently making their brand known through the shooting community and are increasing their dealer base here in the United States. You can find a list of dealers who carry Hawke Sport Optics here. Like I said before, in order for Hawke to spread the word about their optics, they contacted me to review their Tactical 4.5-14x42 rifle scope, so here we go!
The SideWinder Tactical 30 Series
The SideWinder 30 Tactical Series rifle scopes are one of the higher end rifle scope line for hawke optics. I'm not going to say it's their highest line of scopes like their Japanese made Frontier series but, according to their sales team, they are becoming one of their hottest sellers to date and I think I know why.
The rifle scope comes packaged well with it's own rifle scope case filled with cut out egg crate style foam that fits the outline of the scope and it's accessories. Included within the case is the rifle scope, instruction booklet, lens cloth, screw on lens covers, 2" side focus wheel, wheel pointer, and 4" sunshade.
The single tube scope is 30mm in diameter making it strong and durable. It also comes with a black matte finish making the surface of the scope less reflective. The tube comes nitrogen purged/filled making it water, shock and fog proof. The tube is pretty smooth and there are no over the top features with it's construction leaving a simple, clean and QUALITY feeling to the scope. The turrets do remind me of the Leupold Mark 4 LR/T style turrets, giving it that mark 4 look and feel.
The turrets have some nice features to them. They are 1/4 MOA and large for easy use. They also have a nice locking feature to them. Pull the turret up or outward and they are unlocked, enabling for easy smooth adjustments. Once your settings are complete, just simply push the turret in or downward to lock it in place. They are resettable but one thing I did notice was the fact that when adjusted, I couldn't count up or down with these turrets. The parallax knob rotates nice and smooth and ranges from 10yds-infinity. Attached to the parallax knob is the illumination know with 5 levels of brightness for both red and green reticles. I found level 3 to be the best during low light conditions.
The eye piece is also pretty nice. It contains a fast focus ocular lens adjustment with locking ring. Simply adjust until focused, then lock by moving the locking ring back toward the eye. It allows for a nice amount of adjustment before it reaches maximum capacity, allowing for a sharp, crisp view of the reticle and target. The power ring is a little stiff upon it's first few uses but then moves back and forth smoothly. It's not too stiff nor too loose but moves smoothly when zooming in and out.
The eye relief is outstanding. I have this scope mounted on my Springfield M1A Scout and eye relief is a must on my rifle. Once mounted, I took this picture about 4 inches back and the reticle is still visible and crisp.
The reticle is clean looking. It's a free floating, glass etched, mil dot reticle with hollow bars for easy bracketing with dot and tie aim points. The mil dot and tie aim points are spaced at 1/2 mil dot spacing. The hollow bars are spaced at 0.2 mil spacing and whole spacing.
As you can see, the glass on this scope is superb. The scope comes with fully multi-coated lenses for increased light transmission and low light conditions. It took me by surprise on how clear the scope really was when viewed for the first time.
Ok, now that we have covered most of the specs, we are now going to see how this scope holds up at the range. Once I zero it with my M1A Scout, I'll fire about 75-100 rounds of .308 ammo. That should be sufficient for testing the recoil hold up.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the Hawke Optics SideWinder 30 Tactical Rifle Scope Review.
Yup, it's true. I'm paying for your experience and opinions about the M1A/M14 rifle.
I'm using my GI bill to go to school and my m1arifles.com blog is slowing down as far as content goes. That's why I'm offering to pay for your M1A/M14 experience and opinions.
I'm willing to pay the following prices for content:
* A single 300-500 word article - $25 ($30 with pictures)
* A single video review or "how to" - $50
* Combination of both video and content - $75
The content could be anything related to the M1A rifle like accessory reviews, m1a history, product reviews, "how to" (ex. "how to disassemble your m1a rifle") new rifle/gun laws, marksmanship, or any other idea you might have.
Your name will be kept as the author on your content, however, you must agree to ONLY publish the content on m1arifles.com. You can't publish it elsewhere. This is to protect m1arifles.com with Google's terms of service regulations.
If you are interested, use the contact form here http://www.m1arifles.com/contact-us/ and send me your ideas for content. If I approve, I will give you the go ahead and wait for the content. Also, respond here in this thread and let me know if you would be interested.
**I will make payments to you via paypal, make sure you have an account, IT'S FREE.**
I look forward to your replies. Comment below
I was browsing ebay and stumbled upon this beauty. It's a USGI fiberglass m1a rifle stock set. Handguard is included. It is slightly used but the paint is pretty fresh. At the time of this writing the starting bid was at only $24.99 with ONLY 1 bid. The seller's user name is ellicottdepot and has a 100% positive feedback rating which makes this listing the M1A deal of the day.
Time left: 4d 22h (May 09, 201019:25:22 PDT)
You can View the auction by clicking here.
I know this is long overdue but it's better late then never. Congrats to our m1a forum member 'The Shootist' for winning the Burris Fastfire II red dot contest. He delivered over 120 quality forum posts and gave some in depth knowledge. Take a look at the video for PROOF of the prize.
Sorry for the sound being so low, I accidentally recorded with my mic on low.
I'm still trying to figure out what next month's prize will be. I'll be asking for suggestions from my newsletter subscribers, so be sure to sign up for the newsletter now.
If you haven't done so already, be sure to sign up for the m1a rifles newsletter now!
BURRIS FASTFIRE II USED NO RESERVE FREE SHIPPING RAILED RED DOT SIGHT
$157.50 (12 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 53m
Burris Fastfire II w/ Picatinny Mount Red Dot Sight 300232
Time Remaining: 29d 2h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $177.69
Burris Fastfire II 2 Picatinny Mount Red Dot 300232
Time Remaining: 19d 13h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $188.09
That's right! M1a Rifles is throwing another contest with a sweet prize. Don't miss out on this opportunity to win a New Burris FastFire II Red Dot Sight with Mount.
It's time to make the m1a forum hyper active again and this contest will do just that. So head over to this post to read the forum contest rules.