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Accuracy or dependability?

This is a discussion on Accuracy or dependability? within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; My concept of the M1A/M14 is that of a battle rifle. I see guys do a lot of Sadlak/NM this and that to improve accuracy. ...


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Old December 9th, 2016, 04:47 AM   #1
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Accuracy or dependability?

My concept of the M1A/M14 is that of a battle rifle. I see guys do a lot of Sadlak/NM this and that to improve accuracy.

What accuracy mods impact dependability in a negative way, and what can be done to my M1A Scout to improve dependability, though I have yet to have any sort of failure and it is a sub 2 MOA rifle? I really don't plan on changing anything, as in "if it aint broke, don't fix it". I did remove the scout mount, cause that was a case of "it's broke" because that whole clamp-on-a-barrel idea sucks.


Last edited by Rich D; December 9th, 2016 at 05:50 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 05:04 AM   #2
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unityze and shim gas systems,sadlack/lrbarms/bulaarms.com spring guide,sadlak mag release,williamstriggerspecialties trigger work, or (see below)

watch the tony ben videos on the m14 so you will understand the little m14 tricks that need to be checked if you own an m14/m1a.you can do them yourself.
either buy a unityzed gas system from brownells,or send your complete gas system and ferrule to jon wolfe to unityze and melonite.

http://sadlak.com/si_rifle_parts_pistons.html ungrooved for short barrels,if you want. (optional) you could have original gas piston melonited by jon wolfe if you send complete gas system.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tonyben3

http://shop.shootingsight.com/M1-M14_c2.htm hammer/trigger setup

http://www.schustermfg.com/m1a/ shuster gas plugs

http://sadlak.com/si_hd_front_rail.html

additions/corrections welcome

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Last edited by POLACK; December 9th, 2016 at 06:13 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 05:12 AM   #3
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None of the normal modifications will harm dependability of your rifle.
Probably the most important thing is to keep her cleaned and lubed.
Personally I do not like the extended mag release. For me it actually makes mag changes slower and more difficult. Same goes for the extended bolt hold open. Really crappy if you want to lay your rifle on the left side with the bolt to the rear. I have heard, on more than one occasion when you are at the range and setting your rifle down, that clank of the bolt closing unintentionally is a very unwelcome sound.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 05:18 AM   #4
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Rich,

I think bedding is actually a pain if you plan to carry the rifle. Why? If you actually carry the rifle and use it for activities other than paper punching on a sunny day...let's say, hunting when it's raining and/or snowy. It's nice to be able to pull your rifle apart for cleaning and such without having negative effects to the rifle's accuracy. Let's face it, do you really need a bedded rifle for a carry piece? I don't think so.

I suppose of you want a bedded carry rifle, than you need to get a chassis system that is light weight.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 06:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POLACK View Post
unityze and shim gas systems,sadlack/lrbarms/bulaarms.com spring guide,sadlak mag release,williamstriggerspecialties trigger work, or (see below)

watch the tony ben videos on the m14 so you will understand the little m14 tricks that need to be checked if you own an m14/m1a.you can do them yourself.
either buy a unityzed gas system from brownells,or send your complete gas system and ferrule to jon wolfe to unityze and melonite.

http://sadlak.com/si_rifle_parts_pistons.html ungrooved for short barrels,if you want. (optional) you could have original gas piston melonited by jon wolfe if you send complete gas system.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tonyben3

http://shop.shootingsight.com/M1-M14_c2.htm hammer/trigger setup

http://www.schustermfg.com/m1a/ shuster gas plugsn

additions/corrections welcome
That's a lot of work and money to go from a 2 MOA rifle to a 1.5 MOA rifle, when it's not needed for a battle rifle. I've watched Tony's stuff, trained on the M14, and have a fair knowledge base. I am just curious which accuracy mods impact dependability. Closer tolerances aren't always good for reliability. For instance, does unitizing and shimming the gas the gas system impact dependability or ease maintenance for a battle rifle? Does it impact flexibility as far as ammo choices? I'm looking strictly as a utilitarian. Make my hammer better, but it still needs to be a hammer, every time I pick it up, and don't complicate it's use.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 06:37 AM   #6
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The beauty of the M14 rifle is that all the NM mods that you can perform do NOTHING to compromise reliability. The only thing that might compromise reliability is having a tight chamber or using very cheap surplus ammo in a tight match chamber.

Bedding does nothing to compromise reliability or ease of field use either. People treat bedded rifles as some super delicate thing when in reality, it will always be tighter than using a GI fiberglass or wood stock with no bedding.

Sure, there may be some settling shots needed after you remove the rifle, but settling shots will also be needed with an unbedded traditional stock. The bedded rifle will settle in quicker and tighter. I can't tell you how many times I've removed my action from my Hueygunner carbon/graphite/Kevlar stock since I bedded it one doomsday, 2012 (12/21/12) with Marine Tex and it still shoots MOA. It's my primary deer hunting rig.

And you asked about mods, not price, so from a strictly modification standpoint, NM mods generally don't compromise reliability.

Tony.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 06:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyben View Post


And you asked about mods, not price, so from a strictly modification standpoint, NM mods generally don't compromise reliability.

Tony.
Definitive. Thanks.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:02 AM   #8
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RichD,

Thanks for a good post. I had a lot of the same questions. I did the same as you and removed the forward scope mount and handguard. I am resisting further changes until I run into some kind of problem with it.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:08 AM   #9
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If you are talking about range dependability, then no, NM mods do not affect the rifle.

If you are talking about battlefield reliability, then yes, NM mods will have an effect on the rifle.

For instance, the operating rod was designed to work with mud or sand in it. By replacing the USGI guide with a National Match, you limit the amount of crud that can accumulate before it seizes up.

A tight match chamber will not allow you to dirty ammunition.

Hooded rear sights are fragile, unless you have a scope above it to protect it.

I think the best compromise between accuracy and battlefield reliability is the US ARMY EBR. You have a rack grade M14 rifle sitting in an accurate and rugged stock that can be washed out with canteen water.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyben View Post
The beauty of the M14 rifle is that all the NM mods that you can perform do NOTHING to compromise reliability. The only thing that might compromise reliability is having a tight chamber or using very cheap surplus ammo in a tight match chamber.

Bedding does nothing to compromise reliability or ease of field use either. People treat bedded rifles as some super delicate thing when in reality, it will always be tighter than using a GI fiberglass or wood stock with no bedding.

Sure, there may be some settling shots needed after you remove the rifle, but settling shots will also be needed with an unbedded traditional stock. The bedded rifle will settle in quicker and tighter. I can't tell you how many times I've removed my action from my Hueygunner carbon/graphite/Kevlar stock since I bedded it one doomsday, 2012 (12/21/12) with Marine Tex and it still shoots MOA. It's my primary deer hunting rig.

And you asked about mods, not price, so from a strictly modification standpoint, NM mods generally don't compromise reliability.

Tony.
Tony,

Maybe the bedding and removing the action is a complete myth? I've read on this forum several times how removing the action from bedding is taboo and should be kept at a minimum as you'll "wear the bedding out." Then you need a scim job to refresh the bedding so it's tight again.

I'm not disagreeing with you by any means. In fact, I'm glad to hear your take on the subject. However, this is the first time I've heard this thinking on bedding durability. So here's a question for you...do you think having your bedding in a synthetic stock is tougher than having bedding in a wood stock? Just my thoughts here, but wood has the ability to compress, expand, and contract. Perhaps that's where the "don't remove the action" comes from? Just spit balling here....

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:16 AM   #11
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I'm not sure why my posts from my phone don't post, but I'll try from my tablet. The other post will probably show as soon as I'm done typing here.....


In my narrow opinion some of the mods do potentially reduce dependability, in adverse conditions.

A reamed flash suppressor is weaker. Tight match chambers don't like dirty conditions or poor ammo. Adjustable gas plugs might prevent operations when things get messy. Small aperture sights are hard to use in low light. Hooded sights love to catch dirt and water. Bedded actions might indirectly contribute by making it more of a hassle to clean. Trimmed ejector and extractor springs could be a negative.

Done properly, none of the mods are a problem in match conditions. Done poorly.....just go to a High Power match and see how many rifle malfunctions there are.....

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:37 AM   #12
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Dependability vs reliability ?

These two terms can be two different things, but I understand your question. There are several things that can cause an unreliable M1A as it relates to accuracy mods..

The most common are some commercial parts that are popular without reason. Some commercial Pistons and Opt. rod spring guides can and do cause issues.

The most common issue related to bedding is failure to make proper clerances in the bedding. Most common clearance failure is clearance for the firing pin tang and opt rod spring guide. These are two that need to be checked after first test firing. There are others that are more complicated but these two are a good place to start..

If I may toss this out, not for the purpose of starting a discussion, but as a something to consider. There is no doubt a free flowing piston out performed what was described as a slow flowing piston both in accuracy and dependability... This information comes from testing many Match conditioned M14's using M118. Many of the best of these Mtched connditioned M14's later were the same M 14's used as Sniper rifles in VN. Art

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Old December 9th, 2016, 07:41 AM   #13
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I think every M14 could benefit from the NM ferrule and handguard mods. I really can't see any downside to doing these simple procedures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Humphrey View Post
A reamed flash suppressor is weaker.
They wear out faster, too. If you got 3,000+ rds on one, I'd be inspecting the ends of the flutes every time I cleaned the rifle.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 08:28 AM   #14
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As far as bedding a hard use non-match rifle goes, we developed a procedure many years ago that is still be used today and is very effective.

Alignment Bedding

Accuracy modifications and dependability, functionality and reliability are not inverse variables and are not mutually exclusive. I believe the opposite is true.

Hope this helps.

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Old December 9th, 2016, 08:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jywolfe View Post
As far as bedding a hard use non-match rifle goes, we developed a procedure many years ago that is still be used today and is very effective.

Alignment Bedding

Accuracy modifications and dependability, functionality and reliability are not inverse variables and are not mutually exclusive. I believe the opposite is true.

Hope this helps.
Good read, thank you. I stand corrected.

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