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"Pre-Ban" Springfield M1a's

This is a discussion on "Pre-Ban" Springfield M1a's within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Overall, is there any difference in the quality of earlier M1a's as opposed to the examples made recently? Is the only difference the use of ...


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Old October 11th, 2013, 07:15 PM   #1
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"Pre-Ban" Springfield M1a's

Overall, is there any difference in the quality of earlier M1a's as opposed to the examples made recently? Is the only difference the use of USGI parts?

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Old October 11th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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USGI parts were available - even during the ban. My '97 came with TRW Bolt/TG & Winch OpRod.

The only real material difference (since these were not evil black guns), was the absence of the Bayonet Lug on post-94 AWB rifles.

If we're taking SPRINGFIELD M1A's (trademark to SAI - all other Semi-Auto M14's are referred to as M14's) - some would venture the quality has gone down with the implementation of "commercial parts" - while others would opine that a WELL MADE commercial part is every bit as good as a USGI one.

So the 94 AWB had little/no effect - other than that after it sunset - SAI opted to not re-introduce bayo-lugged flash hiders.

Those that are sticklers for historical accuracy would call that "neutered". I always figured if an opponent gets close enough for me to use a bayonet - I'd better be OUT OF ROUNDS FOR MY PISTOLA TOO. And I'd probably be served better by using the rifle as a CLUB - than as a SWORD ANYWAY...

My $.02

Rick

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Old October 11th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #3
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So the premium paid for pre-bans is mostly for the luxury of an early gun as opposed to any real difference in quality...

That being said, were pre-ban SAI receivers made any differently than they are today? Materials, machining, QC, etc.?

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Old October 11th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenny View Post
So the premium paid for pre-bans is mostly for the luxury of an early gun as opposed to any real difference in quality...
NO

Pre 94 ban receivers (S/N < 100,000) were MADE IN THE USA entirely, with excellent QC, Per Different. But you need to read the entire document, way too much for here...

Receivers since then is made off-shore and assembled in the USA.

USGI parts count vary among the pre-bans, and post-bans. The main difference is the US made receiver.

From Lee Emerson (Different) RHAD:

"Gray-Syracuse made the raw M1A receiver castings starting around 1973 or 1974 until some time after July 1996 but before February 2004. The casting supplier that preceded Gray-Syracuse has not been discovered. The raw castings and certification papers for each production lot were shipped from Gray-Syracuse to Valley Ordnance until closing in July 1996. Valley Ordnance had been located at 280-282 North Main Street Wilkes- Barre, PA 18702. Valley Ordnance would then send the receivers on to Springfield Armory, Inc. At some point between M1A receiver serial number 030061 and 0389XX, the pour lot code was made a part of the raw casting. This number is found on the underside of the receiver just behind the left leg. This is denoted by one of two formats: 1) the letter A followed by a two or three digit number, e.g., A178 or 2) a five digit number followed by a hyphen then followed by a two digit number, e.g., 14132-01. Valley Ordnance machined receivers had letter A prefix numbers for the pour lot. Casting pour lot numbers observed with the letter A prefix have been as high as A186 and as late as receiver serial number 098XX. By M1A serial number 115XXX the pour lot code was changed to the latter format."

and

"As of February 2004, Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A receivers are cast by Alphacasting, Inc. in St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada for Springfield Armory, Inc. "

and

"M1A Receiver Production Flow – A combined total of seventy different machining
operations were performed by Hillside Manufacturing and Valley Ordnance for each M1A receiver. Both companies used quality control procedures after each machining operation. For operations that were cosmetic in nature, one out of every ten receivers was checked dimensionally. For critical operations, e.g., receiver threads, every single receiver was checked for dimensional tolerance. The manufacturing cycle time for the M1A receiver at Hillside Manufacturing in 1976 was 1 hour 50 minutes. By 1996, the cycle time at Hillside Manufacturing had been reduced to 45 minutes by use of CNC machining methods. The following describes the production flow for receivers during the period of 1981 to 1996:"

So it can be argued that receivers made sometime before Feb. 2004 were also US made, but the date is not certain.

Read the entire document to see the QC steps for the pre-bans...

http://photos.imageevent.com/badgerd...n%20070603.pdf

JWB

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Last edited by jbrooks; October 11th, 2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RSConsulting View Post
USGI parts were available - even during the ban. My '97 came with TRW Bolt/TG & Winch OpRod.

The only real material difference (since these were not evil black guns), was the absence of the Bayonet Lug on post-94 AWB rifles.

If we're taking SPRINGFIELD M1A's (trademark to SAI - all other Semi-Auto M14's are referred to as M14's) - some would venture the quality has gone down with the implementation of "commercial parts" - while others would opine that a WELL MADE commercial part is every bit as good as a USGI one.

So the 94 AWB had little/no effect - other than that after it sunset - SAI opted to not re-introduce bayo-lugged flash hiders.

Those that are sticklers for historical accuracy would call that "neutered". I always figured if an opponent gets close enough for me to use a bayonet - I'd better be OUT OF ROUNDS FOR MY PISTOLA TOO. And I'd probably be served better by using the rifle as a CLUB - than as a SWORD ANYWAY...

My $.02

Rick
IMHO, the bayonet lugs were removed from SAI M1A's at first because of the 1994 Clinton gun ban, and stayed off because current manufacture Springfield Inc. M1A's no longer have sufficient USA made parts count to be compliant with domestic / import parts count manufacturing restrictions.

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Old October 12th, 2013, 03:01 AM   #6
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SAI still does business with FFL dealers in as many of the 50 States in which it CAN do business at all. Some of them have laws that would create a headache if new product into the State had certain features or a combination. Bayo lug is one of those, like detachable mag and pistol grip and threaded barrel.

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Old October 12th, 2013, 06:30 AM   #7
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Without engaging in a huge debate here...

SURE the older models (pre-ban) are considered more desirable - due to the high USGI parts content - and the "100% Made In America-nism". And the lower production volumes back then, probably allowed for more time spent on "individual attention" to each one.

Though current SAI's are not considered "undesirable" either (well, except the extractors).

Older one's will likely become EVEN MORE DESIRABLE, as the supply of (NIW/NOS) USGI parts continues to dwindle down to zilch.

I know that I jumped on the deal the purchase my '97 Super - sight unseen - because the seller told me TRW Bolt/TG & Winch OpRod. Yet my rifle was manufactured DURING the '94 AWB and lacks the Bayo-Lug.

So the moniker of "Pre-Ban-Quailty" probably doesn't apply to my Post-Ban Super (plus the fact that Glen Nelsons Customs was doing SAI's Supers at the time).

Taking THAT into account - the only difference between MY '97 (post-ban) and Pre-94's - was the Bayo Lug. All other parts of the rifle are identical in configuration.

Statistically - due to the current higher production rates of SAI (currently running around 2K a month it's rumored), the practice of painstaking QC has probably fallen somewhat by the wayside. But considering the number of M1A's cranked out by SAI - even a 1% defect rate would not be considered "unacceptable" in a mass production environment (unless you happened to be the guy THAT GOT ONE).

So - if the OP were thinking of buying a NEW SAI - he would likely find a BETTER QUALITY NEW MANUFACTURE RIFLE - were he to purchase an "upgraded model" (NM, Super, etc.) - as these would have had MORE TIME SPENT ON THEM during the build process.

I'm currently a "roll your own" kind of guy - and if I could get a BARE SAI RECEIVER - I wouldn't hesitate to do a build on it. Might even have to take a run up to Camp Perry and do that next year (since that's the only way you can purchase a bare lump).

Either way - SAI's warranty and customer service are still the best in the biz.

And if the OP is posting from Afghan - and is not Afghani - THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE - GET HOME SAFE!

Rick

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Old October 12th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #8
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Preban are more desirable because in states that have or have kept AWB in place consider these legal because they are grandfathered in, in other words manufactured prior to the ban, hence legal, in some cases.

For example, mags that are usgi old stock are not necessarily better quality then new CMI mags but because they were manufactured prior to some laws are preban/legal and new ones are not, that is why they can be more expensive, there's only so many out there.

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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by garandguy10 View Post
IMHO, the bayonet lugs were removed from SAI M1A's at first because of the 1994 Clinton gun ban, and stayed off because current manufacture Springfield Inc. M1A's no longer have sufficient USA made parts count to be compliant with domestic / import parts count manufacturing restrictions.
This. Barrels (at least the SOCOM barrels), muzzle attachments, bolts, the entire firing mechanism, gas cylinder, etc. have all been made in Taiwan or Korea for many years. This is NOT to say that EVERY part on every M1A since 1994 has been made from foreign sources but many have. Example, for a time, SA, Inc. used Smith Enterprise, Inc. gas cylinders which are most definitely made in the USA.

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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Sorry to thread jack but aside from the extractor how are the other commercial parts on a modern M1A?

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Old October 14th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Hobbit View Post
Sorry to thread jack but aside from the extractor how are the other commercial parts on a modern M1A?

Not to paint with an overly broad brush, but there are very good reasons why USGI parts are desirable, if you get my drift.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:03 AM   #12
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To be perfectly honest if I were to find a stellar deal on a late production SAI M-1A I would buy it but it would have to be a killer deal. But I'd treat the new M-1A even more critically than I do my Poly-Tech M-14s due to their preponderance of cast commercial parts.

I would replace everything on the new M-1A except the stock, receiver and barrel. On the Poly-Techs I don't replace the receiver, which is what I buy them for in the first place. I also keep and use their excellent chrome lined barrels and their one piece forged op rods.

Everything else gets replaced with USGI M-14 or Garand parts but that's just me and the trip that I'm on. I'd treat the new M-1A even more critically by not even using its cast commercial op rod. All take off parts are then tagged and relegated to the spare parts bin for emergency use or barter down the road.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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I have a 137,000 that came with a gi bolt and cast everyting else. I replaced all with gi parts except the rod.....as that seems to be working very well. It's my highest numbered gun and shoots with my 42,000 and my 57,000 just fine.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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I have a 137,000 that came with a gi bolt and cast everyting else. I replaced all with gi parts except the rod.....as that seems to be working very well. It's my highest numbered gun and shoots with my 42,000 and my 57,000 just fine.
Did you have problems with the cast parts or just changed them 'because'? From what I've heard the only suspect cast parts are extractors and some recalled cast bolts..................... I'm sure that you kept the cast parts as backups.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 02:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by garandguy10 View Post
Not to paint with an overly broad brush, but there are very good reasons why USGI parts are desirable, if you get my drift.
I do realize that there is a reason that USGI parts are desired, I was just wondering how the SAI commercial parts were quality wise on their own. Ideally I want to get one that is USGI but that may not be possible when I go to purchase and after seeing what USGI parts run (for good reasons) I do not want to spend that kind of money replacing new parts on a new rifle.

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