I just wanted to send out a quick blog post regarding some cool M1A finds
Ebay has a new neat little feature that allows users to create “collections”.
These collections are made up by users for the public. Users can select different products from various vendors to display on each profile.
I found some pretty cool M1A Stocks from various vendors on ebay and added them to my “M1A stock collection”.
One being an OD green Sage EBR chassis!
Check it out here on ebay –> http://www.m1arifles.com/go/m1astockcollection
What’s in the queue for m1arifles.com?
We have some tutorials, videos and reviews on M1a accessories coming soon!
I’ll send out another email soon.
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:
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.]]>
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!!!!!]]>
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!!
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!!!]]>
So, having been in the world of the M1A/M14, I have become kind of an ammo snob. Not necessarily out of name recognition for the manufacture, or because I think that only expensive ammo or items will do. This has come from the conclusion that I dropped a lot of money into the rifle of my dreams, and I want this rifle to function for many, many years. I would also like to have great accuracy as well, so I have conducted a test of 3 different types of ammo. I started the visit by shooting some Venezuelan surplus ammo, approximately 20 rounds. This was done to get the rifle zeroed, the barrel warm and fouled a little, in an effort to try to create a non cold barrel environment. I was shooting at a local range, 100 yards, benchrest with sandbags. There was little wind and the temp was about 70 degrees. All rounds were fired from a Springfield Armory M1A Standard 22” with Basset low rise mount, Vortex rings and Vortex Viper scope, set to X14. All shots are taken with the crosshairs set for the center of the bulls-eye.
The first being PPU PRVI Partizan Match Line 308 Winchester 168gr ammo
Ammo is manufactured with Boxer primers, making it reloadable. Found it at a local shop know for its vast reloading supplies and components. If I remember correctly, I think I paid about $15.00 for a box of 20, taking it to .75 cents a round. On inspection, the box is well made, no issues. Once open though, the flimsy holder and inner box did very little to keep the rounds separated. The rounds themselves were nice shinny with no wear or corrosion. Headstamp was legible and easy to read. Loading them into the CMI 20 round mag was flawless. I proceeded to fire 5 rounds at the target in slow succession. The first round hit about 1.5” high and 1” left, second and third hit 2” high and .75” left, fourth was a flinch/stringer hitting 1.5” high and .5” right and the last hit within the second and third grouping.
The second was Federal Sierra Gold Medal 308 168gr ammo
Ammo is made with Boxer Primers, making them reloadable. Found this ammo at the same shop as the PRVI, but was slightly more expensive at around $19.99 a box, taking it to almost a $1.00 a round. The box seemed a little sturdier then the PRVI, but the most drastic difference was in the plastic holder that held the 20 rounds. Each round was secured tightly, and the holder could be reused in the future. Just like the PRVI, the rounds, cases and headstamps are clear and legible. Each round feed easily in the CMI mags. First and second rounds hit in a nice group just 1.75” high and zeroed with no left or right drift, third round was a flinch/stringer hitting .5” high and maybe .15” left, fourth round hit slightly to the right of the first and second round group and the fifth was a flinch/stringer hitting 1.75” high but 1.25” right. Flinching sucks!!
The third was Portuguese Military Surplus 147gr
The third was Portuguese Military Surplus 147gr, that I found locally at $100 for a sealed battle pack of 200 rounds. I bought 2 sealed packs, and I am seeking more. At just about .50 cents a round, it is great shooting ammo, clean and non-corrosive. The only complaint I have is that it was manufactured with Berdan primer, making it virtually not reloadable, but still fun to shoot. In the sealed battle pack, sealed boxes held 20 rounds with nice legible labels identifying it. The rounds were bright and shinny with no corrosion. The battle pack plastic material is great and if it is truly sealed, will keep out the unwanted efforts of time and environment. Each round loaded into the mag and off I went, but instead of only doing 5 rounds, I went shot 10 rounds in 5 shot sessions. The first shot hit at .5” high and .5” right, second hit .25” high and .10” right, third hit .10” high but 1” right and the fourth and fifth hit in a nice group just 1” high and about .75” right. No flyers, no flinches and no strings. Second session produced a nice grouping, but had a flinch/stringer. First round hit almost dead center with the vertical being dead on but .25” high, second hit 1” high but .10” left, third .5” high and .25” right, fourth was .75” high and 1” right and the fifth and final hitting .75” low and .25” right.
Some things that I gathered from these 3 different types of ammo
First is my rifle is defiantly zeroed for a light round, around 147gr. Second, my rifle holds tight groups with the slightly heavier and match grade ammo. Third, I got to work on the flinching thing. Fourth, I need to work on getting reloading equipment to cut down costs and develop a specific load that my rifle will do great with. Fifth, I need to buy more military surplus ammo as the prices have gone up about $10-$20 per 100 just within a 3 month time frame. Sixth, I need to test out more types and weights of ammo.
I love the groupings I got with the more expensive ammo, but at double the cost of the surplus stuff, it is not feasible just for range outings. Since this range test, I have taken my M14 out to 300 yards with the Portuguese ammo. It did very will, hitting almost dead center where I aimed my crosshairs at a 2’X2’ steel plate. Hits were consistent and produced that gong sound that just makes me grin ear to ear. I have also just purchased locally, 1000 rounds of some Austrian Military Surplus Hirtenberg ammo. The ammo is primarily 1980 headstamps, but has some 78 and 73 mixed in. I have yet to take any of it out for testing, but as soon as I do, I will get a review created and posted here.
My next article is going to be a step by step process on how to create a range book, with range cards, target diagrams, Mildot info and much more. Thanks for reading the article and keep shooting.]]>
So I went through the hassle with Opticsplanet.com, and to make a long story short, I ended up with getting my money back. Now being skittish with the Vortex brand, I was not only upset that the scope was a bust, all my research into the Vortex seemed to have been in vane, or so I thought. The day I got my money refunded, I was on the phone Vortex Optics to vent and give them a piece of my mind. Well, I was quickly turned when I spoke with Brian Widder and Scott Parks. Brian was a manager and calmed me down. Scott is their resident “scope guy” and I soon learned also has an M1A. Scott listened to my issues and concerns and suggested I take the plunge again, only on a Viper this time. I hoo’ed and hah’ed for a second, and Scott had me sold. Yes, it was a little more money, but a better scope, and Scott reassured that the Viper was the way to go, as that is what he had on his M1A.
One week later, I received the Vortex Viper in the mail. I felt like a kid on Christmas. The box was packaged well and came with the standard bikini scope cover, lens rag and instructions. In my hands, the scope felt solid. The glass was crisp and I observed little to no fuzziness out to the max 20 magnification. Now, I have great corrected sight and this may lend to the glass being clear, but there is no reason that I would not feel confident with the scope on any rifle in just about any condition. One of the major things I loved about this scope is that the elevation and wind turrets are not secured via allen wrench. They are the style that you adjust for zeroing in, and then pull up and reset. The turret covers were solid as well, with the large threads to avoid stripping.
Some of the other great upgrades/additions is the parallax adjustment is on the opposite side from the wind turret. All other scopes I have used have the adjustment between the eyepiece housing and scope tube. In its place is the magnification adjustment. The adjustment feels great when rotating it in either direction. The rings adjustment is fluid and seems to be “just right” for the amount of pressure needed for movement. The eyepiece has a clarity adjustment that I assume would help correct fuzziness that might occur within the different magnifications. I was able to look out to about 300 yards, viewing through the ranges of magnification and was able to view everything with great detail. The MilDot is clear and will serve its purpose of range finding and sizing targets. The scope came with instructions on using the MilDot and advised to use it set to the 14 power magnification with a set formula. I will try this and also try the tried and true method of 10X with another formula.
Anchoring the scope to the Bassett Machine Mount is the Vortex Brand Low rise Tactical rings. The rings have the normal “tactical” style anchor knob that secures it to the mount. They have a flathead screwdriver slot which makes it a little easier to tighten them down. I really don’t understand why manufactures do this. A socket and ratchet is a better way to torque them down, as the flathead screwdriver required is usually larger then what most people have and leaves more damage then the socket. The thing I found really appealing with these rings is the 6 torx head bolts used to secure the 2 halves of the rings. Vortex also includes a small torx wrench for this application.
At the end of the day, I am very happy with the purchase for the Vortex Viper. The only complaint I have with the Viper, is that it is not offered with the illuminated recital. The only regret I have with the purchase is going through OpticsPlanet.com.
[phpbay]vortex viper scope, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]]]>
First off, let me introduce myself. I am Kyle. I am a USAF veteran, was in Law Enforcement in AZ for about 3 years and have since returned to the Telecommunications Industry. I am, at heart a technician. In the USAF I was a Telecom Tech, but I was also a Security Forces Extra. I was basically an extra base cop during exercises and so on. At every qualification, I obtained “Expert Marksman”. In the AZ Academy I placed second (using a Glock 22 in 40SW), with first going to an officer using a 9mm. I grew up around firearms, ranging from 22s to 30-06 and everything in between. I am an owner of a new Springfield Standard M1A 22” in the Walnut stock. I take great care in researching and learning every firearm I have ever owned, with the M1A being no exception.
I researched the M1A for 4 months before getting mine. In those 4 months, 3 months were spent researching scopes and mounts. Lets start with m1a scope mounts. As anyone knows, the mounts for the M1A are vast and really do not sell for under $100, with the top end at $400. I don’t know what some peoples budgets are, but mine was differently not at the $400 range for a mount. Through my research I discovered Bassett Machine, located in Dripping Springs Texas. Their website is really easy to navigate, and I found the mount subsection. They show 2 different styles of m1a scope mounts. One being the “Standard”, in two variants, the second being the “Picatinny” style in two variants. Being a modular kind of guy, I chose to start with the Picatinny style.
Bassett offers a “high” and “low” rail. Both being around the $150 range, now we are talking. I also wanted a mount that would not need to be removed to use the iron sights, I am a big believer in backup plans and options. My wants lead me to the “high” rail style, with the people at Bassett confirming that if the “high” rail is mounted on a SAI M1A, there would be clearance to use the iron sights without removing the mount or scope. From what I was able to also find, is that depending on if the receiver is of different manufactures, that the “low” rail could work, but it was a case by case basis. From the photos on the internet, the Bassett mount seemed very straight forward. It had a single bolt to attach to the rifle, with no other anchors. This intrigued and worried me, as I am a big backup kind of guy. I also had researched that SAI also had a single point mount, which received constant bad reviews. So, my research brought me to the reviews of the Bassett mount. I searched for about a month, looking specifically for reviews, and found nothing bad, only great comments and experiences.
Bassett Machine also had the instructions on how to install the mount on their website. It is very straight forward, hold mount in your hand, mate it to the left side of the M1A receiver, hand tighten the single bolt to the threading and use the included tool to torque the bolt to the machined specs. Ok, so now what was this “tool” they spoke of. Well, during the development of the mount, they discovered that the mount needed to be torque to 22lbs. Well, if I am out at the range or in the field, I will bet I do not carry a torque wrench. They thought of this as well and found that by using the weight of the rifle, and using a small piece of metal attached to the bolt, it would not only create the correct torque for installation, if using the tool every time, the mount would return within ½ moa after removal. The ring mounting area is designed to accept Weaver and Picatinny rings. This is important when putting together an optics package.
While Picatinny rings are great, they are often more expensive then their counterpart the Weaver rings. Both mount use claws and tension for mounting, but the difference is in the angles of the anchor points. Well, looks like Bassett thought of everything. Also, with any other mounts, there is no need to remove the strip clip guide of tighten down 3 or 4 allen head bolts with a tiny allen wrench. I like not having to remove factory items to add to something.
Well, with the price, ease of installation, included tool and great reviews, the purchase was made. I received my new M1A scope mount about 4 days after my web purchase. Out of the packaging it looks and feels rock solid. I have held many of mounts, with the UTG brand mounts feeling rather flimsy and was surprised with it in my hands. It included instructions with pictures and the special tool. Installation was a snap, and using the tool was a dream. First range trip out, it help up the Venezuelan and Argentine Surplus ammo, about 500 rounds and no movement. I was able to first sight the irons in, without removal of the mount or scope then moved to the scope. For the price and the final product, I am very very happy with the Bassett High Rail M1A Scope Mount and would recommend to anyone.
M1A Scope Mounts on Ebay
[phpbay]m1a scope mount, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]]]>
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 4.5-14×42 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 4.5-14×42 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.]]>