The Best Ammunition to Buy For Your M1A Rifle

July 29, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles


Click to enlarge

Anyone who is serious about shooting knows that your choice of ammunition is important, whether it’s in a hunting or competition scenario. While your choice of weapon is the primary concern, ammo is definitely a factor and can make a difference in the health of a firearm and in terms of accuracy. A gun as well made as the M1A rifle deserves to have some good quality ammunition fed into it. So how do you know what type of ammo you should use with your rifle?

Well, first off you have to know what size of ammo that you need. The M1A is designed to use ammunition of 7.62x51mm NATO standard. It can also use .308 Winchester ammo, since the two types are essentially the same. Note that you should not just assume any ammo that says “7.62” is going to work for you. There are 7.62x39mm and 7.62x54mm, which are used for other types of weapons. Also, .308 magnum rounds are different from .308 Winchester, and won’t work in the M1A.

Once you’re sure you’ve got ammo that will work with you M1A, then you need to figure out what you’re going to be using the weapon for. If you’re just going to the firing range to unload some rounds, then you’re probably not overly concerned about pinpoint accuracy. However, if you’re going hunting for small game or you’re target shooting in a competition setting, then you may want some top-quality ammo that will give you better accuracy.

When accuracy is the concern, then you have to consider the grain of the bullet. Grain is a type of measurement used for bullets. The larger the grain, the heavier the bullet is. Bullets that are too light are more susceptible to factors such as wind, while bullets that are too heavy are pulled more by gravity, and will be pulled to the ground faster. The M1A can use any grain from 147 to 180.

It’s not a huge issue for relatively short-range shooting or shooting at large targets; so casual shooters can safely ignore grain as long as they’re within the right range. For tournament level shooters, Springfield Armory recommends 168-grain bullets manufactured by a match grade ammo company. 168-grain is also recommend for deer hunting, but a larger grain is better for bigger game, such as moose.

Another consideration is the actual type of bullet casing. Hollow point rounds are known for their improved accuracy, and many hunters also recommend them because they can cause quick and humane kills. The other common option is full metal jacket ammunition, the main advantage of which is that it has less chance of misfiring. The relatively new ballistic tip ammo attempts to combine the advantages of both, but is more expensive.

Finally, for the health of your firearm, it’s important not to use soft-tipped bullets. The problem is that the soft parts get shaved off the bullets and end up in the gun’s inner workings, and this can then jam up the whole gun. Stick to using bullets that are standard full metal jacket, hollow point, or ballistic tip.

  • Any grain from 147 to 180 is usable.
  • 168 grain is recommended for best accuracy
  • Use FMJ, HP, or “ballistic tip” type rounds (Hsoi: i.e. plastic tiped bullets; note that the term “Ballistic Tip” is a registered trademark of Nosler, so it shouldn’t be used as a generic term for “plastic tipped” bullets)
  • Avoid soft points. The lead can shave and wind up down in the action and jam it up.
  • Avoid steel-cased ammo (not necessarily SAAMI spec)
  • Avoid Hornady TAP (not sure why this)
  • Avoid Cavim ammo as it’s not very accurate and varies in size

For hunting

  • Winchester Silver Tip is OK to use (I’m not sure if they differentiate between Winchester Super-X Silvertip and Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silvertip, and/or if it matters. The Silvertip is an aluminum cap whereas the Ballstic Silvertip is a polycarbonate tip. Don’t know if it matters, and it probably doesn’t.)
  • Hornady Ballistic Tip (technically Nosler makes Ballistic Tip, as it’s their registered trademark. Are they meaning A-Max or V-Max? I don’t know, but you get the idea.)
  • Winchester Failsafe (Winchester doesn’t make this any more, replacing with the XP3 line.)
  • 168 grain for deer
  • 175 grain for moose
  • Moly coated bullets are OK to use but when you start to use them you must stay with them. You will have to clean the gas port more often. SAI does not recommend. If you do use them, it will gum up fast, and you’ll have to clean often and clean well.
  • Tracer and armor piercing ammo is OK, as long as it’s NATO spec.
  • Frangible ammo is too light, won’t work.

There’s a few other things in the posting, but it’s a bit redundant. Their terms are a bit informal so it’s difficult to know exactly what’s what, especially regarding hunting ammo. The key thing seems to be that you can NOT use anything with an exposed soft point. The reason is any exposed lead will shave off, get down into the action, and jam things up. I have read of people using exposed soft points in their M1A’s “without any problem” but why risk any problems?

So, what’s on your mind? Have something to add? Feel free to comment below!

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What is an M1A Rifle

July 2, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles

The M1A rifle is one of the various types of rifles that you can purchase for your own use. There are various aspects of this rifle that could make it the best rifle for your own needs. With that being said, the M1A rifle could also be the wrong rifle for what you need it for. Taking a look into exactly what the M1A rifle is will help you to understand as much as possible about what the rifle can do for you.

The M1A rifle is actually a different version of a Military rifle that was created for the United States. This rifle is known as the M14, and was created by the exact same company. There is actually a drastic difference between the two. The military rifle was created under specific specifications by the US government. This means that the rifle was built to be able to handle serious combat. The guns were made to be able to handle more, and are therefore more expensive than the M1A.

The M1A rifle is a semi-automatic weapon. While many people want to attempt to turn it into an automatic weapon, it cannot be. It cannot be modified into an automatic. Beware of anyone trying to tell you that an M1A is an automatic; the gun is not very stable with an automatic setting. Even if someone managed to modify it to be automatic, it would not be a good rifle to have or shoot with.

The major company creating the M1A rifle is the Springfield Armory, Inc. While there are other companies creating the rifle, this was the original. Fulton Armory also builds a rifle resembling the M1A. While there are specific types of international M1A rifles floating around, they can no longer be imported into the US.

There are various accessories that can be added to the M1A rifle. Each accessory can add something to the rifle, but could change the way it behaves or feels. Test out various accessories before decided on the one to use.

In the United States, the M1A rifle must be registered with the government. The National Firearms Act actually requires the regulation of the M1A Rifle. Because of varying gun laws by state, there are differences between states. Some states will require that you have a permit to be able to purchase the M1A rifle. Other states simply state that you must register the firearm after you purchase it. Each state may be different. Check your local laws to fully understand how you can legally own a M1A Rifle.

The M1A rifle has seen popularity grow steadily, simply because it is known to be a good rifle. While it cannot fit all needs, it fits a myriad of needs that people may have. That alone makes it important to research and consider the M1A Rifle for your own personal needs. While it may not be perfect, it can help you to understand exactly what you need, and if it is the right rifle for you.

Myths Surrounding the M1A Rifle

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles

The M1A Rifle is a popular rifle that many use on a regular basis. Those who own the rifle know of the actual abilities and facts of the rifle itself. Those who do not own the rifle may still believe some of the myths about the rifle itself. Understanding as much as possible about the M1A rifle when looking into a gun will help you to find fact from fiction. A little research may help you to understand that this is the best rifle for you.

The M1A is Fully Automatic

One of the biggest myths surrounding the M1A is that the rifle is an automatic rifle. The M1A is actually semi-automatic. The M1A is not actually completely (fully) automatic. Some people claim that they can modify the M1A to turn it into an automatic weapon. The M1A cannot be turned into something automatic. Any M1A that claims to be fully automatic is not the rifle that you are looking for, as it is a fraud.

The M1A is Military Grade

Another myth revolving around the M1A is that it is a military grade firearm. Many believe this myth simply because of how close to truth this can be. The M1A is close to the M14. The M14 is an actual military rifle. The M1A was created as a normal version of the rifle. It is not made to military grade standards, and is therefore not a military grade firearm.

The M1A Matches the M14

This next myth stems from the idea of the military M14. Many are led to believe that even though the M1A is a “normal” version of the military rifle, they are the same. There are multiple differences between the M1A and the M14. The M1A is much less expensive than the M14 because of the process that creates it. The process to make this rifle is not nearly as complicated as the process for the M14. The M14 is created to handle more than the usual M1A.

There are certain types of M1A rifles that are no longer created. While you can still find these rifles around, there are no new ones being created and built. A small myth revolves around the fact that it is easy to find the M1A rifle. While it is not impossible, it is harder than it has been in the past.

It can be easy to believe any of the myths of the M1 A rifle. Many fail to do research about the guns that they are looking into. They simply have heard about a gun and want to make sure that they have that gun. Learning as much as you can about the myths and facts about the M1 A rifle will help you to know exactly what you are getting into. The M1 A rifle may be perfect for your needs. Without the proper research, however, you might not know that.

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Safety while handling the M1A Rifle

June 12, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles

The M1A rifle is the commercially available version of the United States army M14 military semi automatic machine gun. It is a very powerful weapon with a decent range of approximately 500 yards. These rifles are highly sought after and a well maintained model can be purchased for anywhere upwards of $10,000.

Considering the capacity of the weapon, it demands to be respected and you should be safe while using and maintaining it at all times. There are a couple of key points that you need to keep in mind while handling these machines.

The first instruction that you need to follow is regarding the operating rod handle. Whenever you attempt to manipulate the operating rod handle with a chamber, please keep in mind to move your hand out of the way of the rod after releasing it. Ensure that your fingers are always out of the path of the operating rod. The force of the operating rod is powerful to severe your fingers and open up your palm. That is definitely an ugly sight and something you should avoid at all costs.

Whenever you are operating on any firearm, be sure to wear safety glasses at all times, especially while disassembling it. The M1A’s operating rod is maintained under immense pressure and upon releasing of the connector locks, the rod guide might plummet out at a high velocity if your other hand is not fastened steadily enough. Make sure that other individuals in the room are wearing safety equipment as well.

If for some reason the weapon does not react when you pull the trigger, resist the temptation to pull back the operating handle. Keep the weapon pointed downwards for at least fifteen seconds to rule out the foul play due to a delayed ignition. Before pulling the operating handle back, remove the magazine, then pull the operating handle and check if the rifle is jammed. If the rifle is jammed, use a rubber tipped hammer to hit the operating rod handle downward, keeping your body as clear as possible from the weapon.

Although it may sound stupid, it is important that you verify the kind of ammunition before loading the weapon. You should ideally verify several times just to be sure. The M1A uses a 7.62x51mm NATO, so repeat those exact words when you are purchasing the ammunition. Always buy from known sources and do not risk the weapon and your life for a good deal. Make sure that you have already seen the ammunition for real and that it is the exact same one that you are replacing with. Most of the NATO bullets have known markings that are not very hard to figure out. The wrong weapon might cause the weapon to implode, severely hurting you in the process.

With all the right measures, you should have a long and enjoyable time with your M1A. Most M1A owners are very proud of their weapon and take great care in looking after it. Always read the manual thoroughly, no matter how good you think you are. The manual is written for a reason and the manufacturer wants to make sure that you stay fit and healthy for a long time and purchase more of their weapons!

Differentiating an M1A Rifle from an M14 Rifle

June 10, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles


M1A Rifle - Click to enlarge

The first thing that you might notice about these two rifles is the striking similarity in appearance. It should be similar because they are essentially the same in almost every feature except that one rifle is used by the army and the other one can be purchased at any reputed gun store.

Like the saying goes, the differences are only skin deep. For beginners, the receivers of the M14 are manufactured using what is known as the drop-forge technique. M1A on the other hand uses an investment cast receiver and may be comprised of a mixture of genuine United States GI military specification parts along with case replica parts, or simply all United States GI parts or even mostly investment cast parts along with smaller military specification parts. The sound created by the two receivers is different and any rifle audiophile can immediately differentiate the two by simply listening to their sound upon discharge.

The selector switch of M1As manufactured post 1990 are different from the ones on the M14. The M14 uses a walnut stock similar to the M21 that is height adjustable. Additionally, the 7.62mm caliber design was also dropped after the 1990 model of the M1A. M1As work only off 7.62x50mm NATO ammunition and not on anything else.

The bayonet lug has been removed from the newer M1A models. This was following the Assaults Weapons Ban of 1994 that prohibited the use of bayonet lugs on civilian weaponry. However, there is a workaround that allows owners to attached a bayonet lug to their M1As since the flash suppressor on the M1As are all identical.

When it comes to disassembly as well, there are minor differences between the two. With the M14, you can simply remove the connector and the operating rod slides out whereas the M1A uses a technique commonly known as “twist and pray” to remove the operating rod.

M14 Rifle With Fire Selector - Click to enlarge

M14 Rifle With Fire Selector - Click to enlarge

The M1A is strictly a semi automatic rifle. There is no way that it can be made to operate in a full automatic mode. The M14, on the other hand, is a selective fire military weapon. This translates into it being able to operate in selective automatic fire mode. The military initially hadthe selector switch to operate the M14 in full auto but eventually had it removed to a functionless knob since most of the soldiers were habitually leaving the selector to auto under all conditions. The M14 was infamous for not being very controllable in the auto mode and hence it was decided to drop the switch after a while. Thus, this is the reason why almost 90% of the M14s out there are forcibly semi auto with no option to switch.

The other big difference between the two weapons is the inflated price tag. The M14 is at least $14,000 dearer than the M1A. The high cost is attributed to the costlier fabrication process and the use of costlier military grade materials while making it. Hence, you need to be cautious and use discretion while handling the M14, especially if it is in the auto mode.

Cool High Speed Video of an M1A Rifle Shooting

April 22, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles

I was going through youtube and saw this cool high speed clip of the M1A Rifle shooting a round. The clip shows the shot, the ejection of the shell, and the recycling of a new round into the chamber. And all of this is done in slow motion. Take a look and enjoy! Review of My M1A Cheek Pad

April 14, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Cheek Pads, M1A Rifles

m1acheekpad1The site has a good an interesting array of cheek pads designed for M1A and M14 rifle stocks . The purpose of the cheek pad is not only for comfort, but it also gives a good line of sight in the correct cheek to stock weld position which is what shooters need. Owners of M1A or M14 rifles can definitely find a cheek pad that would suit them through this site. Also, the site isn’t filled with flashy graphics and annoying applications.  Once you have found the cheek pad that you require, simply click on the ‘Order Page’ for the purchasing process.

Purchasing my 1 7/8 cheek pad from was a thoroughly good experience, as the customer service given to me was good. The people from gave me good response to my inquiries. Not only that, the shipping was incredible too. As soon as I placed my order and my purchases, shipping was prompt to what has been promised by the folks at

Customers will be happy to know that shipping costs were also reasonable. Most companies charge an incredibly expensive amount even though the locations aren’t that far. So not only will customers get prompt delivery, they are also not burdened by the shipping costs that directly increase the purchase value of the cheek pads.

Once I received my cheek pads, one thing that really made me happy was the fact the cheek pad was comfortable.m1acheekpad-lean This is a good feature for the cheek pads because not all material is soft. What I didn’t like about the pads were the fact that it kept on slipping positions (leaning right) and it wouldn’t stay upright as how I needed it to be. This disturbed my focus and line of sight. It would be great if the cheek pads were made with anti slip features on the bottom to better grip the stock.

Though the pads themselves were soft, the outer nylon materials were not so great. For male shooters who did not shave their facial hair off, this would be a problem as I noticed my facial hair got caught in the webbed part of the material causing discomfort. Not only that, the material also tugged at my facial hair and caused a sharp pain here and there. This was extremely painful which resulted in a not so comforting shooting experience.

All in all the cheek pad was ok. I would suggest to browse ebay first before you go and spend $40+ dollars on this M1A Cheek pad. Here are some listings.

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Do you have this pad? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

How to do a functions check for your M1A Rifle

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles

m1a-rifleChecking your M1A rifle for malfunctions and faulty parts is one of the first things you should do before finalizing your purchase. It is much better to purchase your rifle at a store rather than purchasing it online. If there are any faulty parts or malfunctions found, you can immediately ask for a change or refund. Running a function check for your rifle is as important as cleaning and storage. Now before you attempt to check the rifles always practice safety. You don’t want to end up in jail for shooting people right? Ok so the first thing you should do is to make sure the gun is not loaded. We all know a loaded gun is an accident waiting to happen-if you don’t plan on shooting it. So now, get your rifle unloaded and then stand or sit or whichever position you are comfortable in- in a location that is safe and secure- away from children, people, animals and dangerous objects.

A rifle has to be given function checks not only at the time of buying but after every disassembling process. This is to ensure the every part in the rifle works properly before you go around shooting. Doing a function check on your rifle isn’t so hard. It’s actually an easy process. Before anything else, as mentioned earlier, make sure that your rifle is unloaded and pointed to a safe direction.

Next, pull the charging handle of the rifle. This handle is located on the top of the rifle, towards the rear and release end. After doing this, you must proceed to placing the selector on SAFE mode. When the rifle is in safe mode, means that is will not fire. Safe Mode prevents the rifle from firing accidently. Make sure that you do this step to avoid anything being blown up.

Now place the selector in the SEMI position. At this point, you can squeeze the trigger by holding it to the rear. When you do this, the hammer should fall. Keep holding the trigger to the rear and not, pull the charging handle to the read. This will release the charging handle. Now, smoothly and slowly release the trigger until it is fully forward. When you do this, the hammer should not fall but only falls when you squeeze the trigger. In any case that the carbine fails to function properly, you should stop the function check.

Now we will go through the details of function checking your rifle when it is in AUTO position. Now place the selector in the AUTO position and pull the charging handle to the rear and release it. As soon as you squeeze the trigger, well, you now know that the hammer should fall. Hold the trigger again to the rear and cock the weapon. Once again, release the trigger fully and squeeze it to the read again. When you do this, the hammer should not fall. If it does, then something is wrong. Again, stop the function check if the carbine fails to function properly. Turn in the malfunctioning carbine to an experienced gunsmith for checking. And there you have it, steps on how to function check your M1A rifle.

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M1A SOCOM – Why does everyone want one?

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Socom

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Those who were in the army want it. Those who hunt want it. So, what makes the M1A Socom rifle a great shooting device? There are two types of the M1A Socom rifles, which are the M1A Socom II and the M1A Socom 16. Based on the reviews done for the products, most people opt for the later. Technically, the M1A Socom is a 300-yard rifle, beyond that; you need to really have to calculate the drop.

Though it is noticeably bulkier and heavier, its performance has a lot more to talk about rather than its downside. So yeah, while the M1A Socom 16 is a lot bigger and heavier, it is relatively short in length. It has become everybody’s favorite for a few reasons, it’s very soft, easy to control, and best of all fun to shoot. It is said to be a “perfect girl gun”. Though the heat is quite unbearable, you can get accessories to help protect you from the heat of the chamber and barrel.

The only thing that makes you think twice about buying the M1A Socom is the price. But, if you are considering the accuracy and effectiveness, then it’s money well spent on a M1A Socom. You will be amazed and fully satisfied with your choice. The performance is actually invaluable considering the precise fire on target at great range that it provides. Furthermore, its high accuracy is constantly approved by a lot of veterans rifle users. It was also experimented by many longtime law officers, who can be said as specialists with rifles. The beauty of the 16-inch barrel, with black synthetic stock is a total fascination to gun lovers. M1A Socom 16 is very easy to handle, quick to shoulder and just all-round practical.

The M1A Socom 16 rifle stock is very comfortable in the hands than the thicker wood furniture on the M1A Scout Squad. Although the M1A Socom 16 is smaller, but it weighs about the same to the M1A Scout. However, the short, stout M1A Socom 16 has a lot more attitude, dare we say sexier. It is a powerful and compact shooting device. Moreover, it provides more durability than its counterparts do.

Though there are a lot more users prefer the M1A Socom 16, but the M1A Socom II, is no less than a perfect rifle if accuracy, durability and style are in your mind.

M1A Scout Rifle-What You Didn’t Know

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Scout Rifle

Click M1a scout to enlarge

Click M1a scout to enlarge

So everybody is talking about the Scout version of the M1A. This new bloke is able to shoot 3-4” or better at 100 yards. The accuracy was so unbelievable that one of the Vietnam veterans once said that it is so accurate that it could “shoot the balls of a mosquito”.

A big plus point is that the M1A Scout’s cleaner operating system is easy to use cause there is no direct gas impingement. This semi-automatic design is good for your target practice, security and of course for any kind of hunting. The only thing that most shooters are concern about is the fact that it is quite expensive and a little heavy.

Anyhow, it is fast becoming the law enforcement favorite. This M1A Scout Squad rifle with forward mounted optical sight base provides an excellent platform for the aim point military sight. The M1A Scout is said to have a lot more hand on. Some say that the iron rifle’ accuracy can go up to 500 yards.  It has all the benefits of target acquisition and are vastly improved. Additionally, the passage is unhindered to the receiver mechanism.

Despite having a proprietary muzzle stabilizer, what you really need to know about the M1A Scout is that it is quite a “blast” when you perform your shooting, therefore you need to make sure that you have a good earpro to able to overcome the loud noise.

One more thing you need to know about the M1A Scout is that it is truly compact and powerful. This feature is incomparable to any of the other counterpart. Its 18-inch barrel made possible by a returned gas system. Plus the black fiberglass stock, forward-mounted scout-style scope mount is such a beauty. Due to these facts, the M1A Scout  is quite expensive compared to its counterpart, for instance the Armalite AR-10 Carbide. However, in terms of the ergonomics and accuracy, the M1A Scout wins hands down. It is undeniably solid, not like another piece of plastic shooting device like some of its counterparts.

That is why the M1A is known as the Battle Rifle, it is due to its sturdy design and high accuracy. Though it is quite heavy due to its robust design, it is very accurate for a semi-automatic. When you finally use it and have the hands on experience, will help you to understand more about the fantabulous performance of the M1A. A lot of those who have been in the war and have experience with the M1A-the fully automated version have approved of the quality of the M1A Scout.

History of the Springfield M1A Rifle

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under M1A Rifles, Springfield M1A Rifle


Click To Enlarge M1A Rifle

In the world or weapons, guns and rifles, certain variants remain among the favorites among civilians as well as armed forces. Such is the case of the Springfield M1A. Many people mistake the M1A for the M14 rifles. The M1A is actually the civilian approved version to the United States military version- the M14. Its design and manufacturing comes from Springfield Armory way back in 1974 and some of the M1A versions design and appearance resemble the M21 Sniper Weapon System. The M1A’s are semi-automatic rifles with no chances of being modified to a fully automatic or selective firing machine.

The M1A is also called the Springfield M1A, having been manufactured in Springfield Armory in Genesco, Illinois. Elmer C. Balance gave the title of M1A to the Springfield M1A rifle who is the man behind the privately owned armory in Devine, Texas. In the early days of the Springfield M1A rifle, the guns were built of surplus G.I parts until the Springfield Armory plant began manufacturing their own, which is what we see in today’s M1A rifles. The receiver of these rifles is made from AiSI 8620 alloy steel. Since its introduction to the weaponry world, the Springfield M1A rifle changed hands from its founder- Balance to be sold to Bob Reese in 1974 and Springfield M1A has remained under the Reese family till today.

To most people, the Springfield Armory is the source of the widest variety and of some of the worlds’ most accurate and reliable m14 pattern rifles. In a nutshell, the Springfield M1A is the preferred version or the perfect substitute as some may call it, for the military’s M14 that was used in the early years of the Vietnamese War. The Springfield M1A has remained popular till today because of this as well as its G.I parts and specifications.

The M1A is a favorite among shooters as it has a gas-operated, rotating bolt; semi-automatic magazine fed firing mechanism with 7.62x51mm ammunition. Its military linage comes in its configuration of G.I chrome-lined barrel and standard peep application with front sight blade. To top that off, the Springfield M1A two-stage military trigger and costs around $1000, that is if it is purchased at an online auction site such as Gunbroker. In most states, such as in New Jersey, the M1A is classified as an assault weapon if it comes equipped with a pistol grip or flash suppressor. If you are in any of these states, then you would have to purchase a legal muzzle brake. In any case, always practice caution, safety and security when purchasing firearms and always check with you local laws before proceeding.