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Modifying Rifles to Improve Accuracy

This is a discussion on Modifying Rifles to Improve Accuracy within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I have a question for those who have worked on multiple types of rifles. Are M14/M1a rifles any more or less difficult to modify to ...


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Old March 15th, 2017, 12:33 PM   #1
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Modifying Rifles to Improve Accuracy

I have a question for those who have worked on multiple types of rifles. Are M14/M1a rifles any more or less difficult to modify to improve accuracy than any other type of semi-auto rifle? Are M14/M1A rifles more "temperamental" after such modifications or are all rifles "temperamental" with such modifications?

For example, are AR-type rifles easier than M1As to make modifications to improve accuracy? Do AR-type rifles have any fewer variables than M1As that might throw off accuracy? Or are all semi-auto rifles, like PTR-91s and FNARs, like that?

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Old March 15th, 2017, 12:56 PM   #2
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I believe ar rifles are easier to accurize than the m1a. Of course some might disagree.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 01:22 PM   #3
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Sure, free float the AR barrel and your done for the most part.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 01:42 PM   #4
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M14 rifles require several modifications and up-graded parts to get consistently good match level accuracy. So does the M1 Garand, but it has different modifications needed. The AR15 is relatively simple in that it does not require glass bedding. All that it needs is a free floated match grade barrel, a good trigger and match sights. That isn't to imply that more cannot be done to the AR. I built an excellent Space Gun that shoots wonderful scores at 600 yards. It cost about $3000 before I added sights. It was an exercise to see how much I could spend and I was quite successful. I still like the M14. It's just plain fun to shoot and one has to be in total control of the rifle to shoot it well. The AR is much more forgiving, but I don't think it is as much fun.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 02:01 PM   #5
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Not even close in the fun department Ted!

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Old March 15th, 2017, 03:32 PM   #6
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When compared to AR's, yes, they are much more difficult and tempermental to match condition or simply accuratize using modern methods. Controlling all the moving parts that move under the barrel is troublesome and expensive sometimes.

But we're talking apples and oranges. When comparing M14's to other battle rifles, then the M14 is at least capable of modifications that allow shooting of MOA or Sub-MOA groups and long distance shooting. Not everyone can do it and it requires a certain amount of artistry to break through to a certain accuracy milestone.

Try that with a FAL, or HK-91. When was the last time you saw a FAL or HK-91 at a 1,000 yard match? A Druganov? I've never heard of it.

If I were to build a match AR, all I'd need is:
-Match barrel (white oak)
-Good scope or match sights
-Free-float tube
-Good ammo
-RRA or Geisselle trigger
Done....
All those things could be installed by anyone with decent mechanical aptitude.

The same can't be said for anyone trying to match tune an M14 or to drop it into a modern chassis (except the JAE, it's easy-peasy).

Tony.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #7
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I haven't found a chassis stock yet that can equal a good bedding job on an M14. They are OK and will last longer, but just don't have the edge needed for consistent long range accuracy. The military likes them because they are easy to maintain and they can hang a lot of junk off them for CQB which has nothing to do with accuracy. I don't have anything against chassis stocks. It just depends on what one wants out of their rifle. I've certainly installed a lot of them.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 04:49 PM   #8
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I know this doesn't actually speak to the question but you must must admit a m14 in a bedded stock like one of those cool McMillans or a great looking peice of walnut just looks cool .

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Old March 15th, 2017, 04:50 PM   #9
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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The m14 was conceived and designed as 4"-5" group at a hundred yards battle rifle that would function from the Arctic ice fields to the swamps of Boro Boro with terrific reliability and moderate difficulty in user maintainence.

A majority of our forum members seem to want the platform to be a long distance sniper platform. Usually from a bench with lots of support like sand bags or mechanical devices like a lead sled. In this configuration the platform has evolved from operator ability to mechanics and rigid support. In other words the bench shoots the platform.

As Tony wisely pointed out in his post, FAL and G3 owners don't endeavor to make something out of their weapons that they aren't. That doesn't negate the combat characteristics of those weapons which easily place them in the same league or besting the M14.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:52 PM   #11
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I am not speaking from gunsmithing experience but my understanding of this subject over the years is that out of the box AR's are generally capable of better accuracy than M1/M1A/M14 rifles.

With that said I believe a greater percentage of accuracy improvement can be achieved with the older wood and iron rifles than with an AR rifle. At the end of the day a tricked out match service rifle of any flavor will be capable of similar accuracy. It sounds easier to improve an AR vs the old school stuff.

I owned a Colt match HBAR model back in the late 90's, a bedded M1, and currently own a SAI M1A loaded with a steel epoxy bedding job. I have shot consistently 2-2.5 MOA with all of them. The HBAR was the only unmodified one of the three. Out of the box it shot the same as the M1/M1A with bedding and match trigger jobs.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Haig View Post
The m14 was conceived and designed as 4"-5" group at a hundred yards battle rifle that would function from the Arctic ice fields to the swamps of Boro Boro with terrific reliability and moderate difficulty in user maintainence.

A majority of our forum members seem to want the platform to be a long distance sniper platform. Usually from a bench with lots of support like sand bags or mechanical devices like a lead sled. In this configuration the platform has evolved from operator ability to mechanics and rigid support. In other words the bench shoots the platform.

As Tony wisely pointed out in his post, FAL and G3 owners don't endeavor to make something out of their weapons that they aren't. That doesn't negate the combat characteristics of those weapons which easily place them in the same league or besting the M14.
But, it its service rifle form, it did show better inherent accuracy than the FAL.

One wonders, however, what we would be doing today, had the scales tipped the other way in 1957. . . . Attempting to wring sub-MOA accuracy out of a FAL?

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Old March 15th, 2017, 06:38 PM   #13
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I've found for me a good quality trigger helps my accuracy greatly.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 07:03 PM   #14
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AR10 ($8-900) add Mark 4 of your flavor yields 1-2MOA.
M1A Loaded or NM($1,200-1,500) add Mark 4 of choice yields 1.5-2MOA.
AR10 will be lighter than M1A by a couple pounds.
Which one would I take into battle? M1A hands down. Why? Because it will go BANG when I need it to. AR10 might or might not, depends upon how much dirt is around and how it has been treated. Personal opinion, you may differ.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 08:16 PM   #15
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I built a 1 MOA AR10 and a 1 MOA M1A. Both are fun, both shoot great and I won't get rid of either. But the M1A is difficult to tune. You are a parts assembler with AR pattern rifles. It takes some artistry and conviction to accurize the M1A.

Russ

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