This is a discussion on Record of Texas M1A Rifles within the Devine M1A forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I just discovered that I have #2250. Radium address. Full info here:
1) #100 is a NM rifle I'll seen the pictures
2) #2070 was a rifle, I shot it since the owner and occasionally I swapped rifles (I had a pre-64 M70 Target). Came with a USGI chrome lined bore originally, used NM barrels after he tuned it. I do have a copy of the picture of that rifle, but you can't see the SN since it's a group picture from a match (I didn't shoot it, it wasn't a typical match). It did have a G&H mount on it.
Last week, I had a guy bring this gun in to my shop. Long story short--He got a new (blemished) receiver from Springfield Armory Inc. I built the gun back up and it shoots fine. Just thought I should show you what was the apparent cause. It was the piston! See the erosion at the gashole? The erosion allowed the gas to act on the op-rod for a much longer time which increased the force on the bolt going to the rear. Kind of like a battering ram. (see Kuhnhausen page 283) I did notice that the current receiver is some thicker in the rear of the receiver.
Specs on the gun are- The stamping under the barrel is in one line. The barrel is SAK(drawing # 7791362) non chrome lined with a TE of 1.5. That was good as I did have to lengthen the chamber just a wee to get it to headspace properly in the new receiver. The owner wants to keep the receiver as he has emotional family ties to this inherited gun. My buddy Dan at Accu-Tig could put this back together. It's just a broken "back door" and Dan can weld smoke. ;^)
Just thought someone should know.
I am a new forum member. Please add my infor to your records of Texas M1A rifles. I own three Springfield M1A’s. Two (2) are Devine, TX M1A’a
I have talked to Elmer Balance on several occasions and he confirmed the authenticity of both weapons listed below.
sn: 000359 rifle RTI BX 2I0 DEVINE TX two hand stamped
sn: 002043 rifle RTI BX 2I0 DEVINE TEX one engraved
Info on 1 (one) mfg by Spriengfield in Geneseo, IL
080904 (Geneseo, IL on right side of barrel just before receiver).
I have 546 and 3243. 546 I acquired from a friend of mine and I have no idea of it's origin. Ity was a complete built gun and no markings tha tI remember. It has since had a lug put on the rear by Smith Enterprises (beautiful job). It's on the 5th barrel since I shoot competition. Back when I got both( 70s), there was no Devine collectability issues, just shoot them. Since I was going for distinquished, (got it in 1981) it got shot a lot. 3243 is on it's 4th barrel. It currently has a take off barrel from my bolt gun. That barrel (Obermyer) had 4,300 rds through it. I sent it down to Gene Barnett (GB) to turn into a heavy match barrel. Since it gets about 5 inches cut off the breech end, it eliminated the erroded throat and as to my way of thinking in it's new form became a broke-in new barrel. Well, it shoots great! It has about 2,000+ through it and will hold about minute of angle at 600 yds. It will shoot any bullet I put through it. Nothing like making a barrel shoot twice. I also have a Frankford Arsenal test barrel (1903) that I sleeved at the breech and had GB thread and spline. It's on my other SPG M1A and it shoots excellent also. So, that's my Devine and recycled barrel stories. CL
I own 0003384. I got it in the 70s from Robert "Bob" Reese who bought SPI from Elmer. It does not have any Texas markings on the barrel, but is marked "NM" on the top just rear of the front sight. It is National Match through out, sights, unitized gas cylinder(screwed), glass bedded walnut stock, all GI parts. Actually I traded for it and a M1 Carbine from Bob for a Swiss Sig AMT rifle I had that he wanted more than I did. At the time, it was his personal rifle.
Last edited by hemdahl; June 11th, 2014 at 09:32 PM.
I am needing some information. I have M1A #001135 with hand stamped Devine tx on one line on the barrel. After reading some of the post I am confused weather it was assembled in tx??
What kind of stock does it have? Is the stock bedded? What is the color of the bedding material? Are the initials J J H in the stock barrel channel? Is the gas system unitized? If so, how is it unitized? What are the barrel markings including any address marking, manufacture, drawing number, month and year of manufacture? What are the bolt markings? Does it have National Match sights?
In the summer of 1972, July as memory serves, I lived in Borger, TX, a small town in the Panhandle area of TX, about 50-miles NE of Amarillo.
Upon viewing an ad in the Shotgun News I telephoned Mr. Balance and got permission to drive down to his place in Devine to purchase one of
the new M1A rifles in person. It was about a 10 hour drive as I recall and I drove down on a Friday or Saturday, called him up the next day and
drove to his place outside of Devine which had been a dairy farm at one time. His machine-shop and parts-supply and storage was set up in the
one-time milking-barn. It was a very well built brick building with cement floors. There was a very nice brick home close by that was his residence;
it must have been a very nice and well run Dairy farm at one time.
Mr. Balance meet me when I drove up; he was a very down to earth and pleasant fellow dressed in khaki pants, tee-shirt, with a beer in hand. I
very much enjoyed the next couple of hours or so that we spent visiting about military weapons, primarily U.S. military rifles from the Civil War
era up through Vietnam. He first took me into his residence to show me his personal collection of military weapons and we entered a rather large
looking room or it appear to me to be large because there was not a piece of furniture in it. I am not sure what the room would have been used for
before Elmer moved in as I did not get to see the rest of the house and how this room was located in relation to other rooms. The room was, as I
recall, nearly as deep as wide, at least 16' by 20', and the full circumference was completely ringed with rifles standing upright in a rack with not
more than an inch between each one. There was a WWII .30 caliber, water-cooled machine gun, tripod-mounted, and setting dead center of the
room. At one end of the room was a full length narrow closet-like room that had full-automatic weapons standing racked upright and running it's
After we had perused his collection, pulling out specific weapons of interest and discussing them at length, we went into his machine-shop where
he provided me with a tour of his operation in building the M1A. There near the front were a couple of racks standing full of completed M1A rifles
minus the stocks. He told me to pick one out which I did and then he took me over to an area along one wall that had literally dozens upon dozens
of butt-stocks stacked in shelves there and told me to select a stock. I picked out a NOS deep-red fat walnut butt-stock that had never been on
a rifle and so was w/o any cartouches and handed it to Mr. Balance. He trimmed a small amount of wood from the top of the stock to allow the
receiver to seat properly, placed the completed upper-receiver into the stock, installed the trigger group, inserted a magazine, handed it to me and
said, "there you are!" He did NOT stamp any initials or letters into the stocks barrel channel.
Before I left, I not only purchased the M1A with sling, bayonet, and several new magazines, but also acquired a mint looking M1 Garand of which
he had several. The Garand had a welded receiver; Mr. Balance's was the best I had ever seen at doing that; his work was virtually undetectable.
The M1A was s/n 000222, single-line, hand stamped, "RT I BX2I0 DEVINE TX".
Some years later I sold this rifle to "Billy Freds Gun Store" in Amarillo, TX.