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Fulton vs. Springfield Armory...

This is a discussion on Fulton vs. Springfield Armory... within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Why is there such a big price difference? Sorry in advance for the newb question. I see people posting about other brands of M1A I've ...


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Old July 12th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Fulton vs. Springfield Armory...

Why is there such a big price difference?

Sorry in advance for the newb question. I see people posting about other brands of M1A I've never heard of as well.

Can you guys tell me the differences between the brands and why one may be better than the other?

I did a search but came up empty handed. I never seem to be able to search key words that apparently other people use to find the topics I'm after so if I missed appropriate threads about this topic, please forgive me.

I'm not looking for a National Match type rifle, just a rugged, reliable combat style rifle with good accuracy.

Thanks for any help.

Sean

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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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IMO, Fulton just charges more.

Fulton does NOT have a lifetime warranty. SAI does, it's exceptional, and they honor even owners of used SAI rifles.

Neither brand uses USGI parts much any more.

Fulton receivers are cast, as are SAI receivers. No difference, basically.

Look for a good used SAI with mostlu USGI parts in the serial number range below 100,000.

P_R

PS: From the Fulton Web site:

LIMITED WARRANTY: All Fulton Armory products carry a twelve month or 12,000 round (whichever comes first) materials and workmanship warranty to the original owner with the original invoice only. During that period should a product fail under normal use (expected wear and tear excepted, of course) we will repair or replace that product as appropriate.

Transportation to and from our repair facilities, damage caused by failure to perform normal maintenance, damage due to use of high velocity, high pressure, reloaded or other non-standard ammunition, or any unauthorized repair, modification, misuse, abuse, or alteration of the product are not covered by our LIMITED WARRANTY.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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Unless Fulton has come up with a new receiver manufacturer, it's not turning out any rifles since Armscorp went under.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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That's good news for me! I will have a hard enough time funding the SA M1A. ;)

Thanks for the help...wasn't sure if the FA was using more forged parts or what not making it a more "durable" rifle.

Sean

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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If you want to know why Fulton costs more, check the sloop chute and read my post on Fulton

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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It's just a name thing pretty much. You can find some stuff at Fulton for a reasonable price, but as far as services or complete rifles go, they are just MUCH higher priced. Before I found this site and educated myself and saw the light, I used to think Fulton was the golden standard. I'm glad I didn't have the cash on hand back then.

The best warranty for a good rifle is Springfield.
For a top dollar performer, go custom with one of the armorers here.

Tony.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyben View Post
It's just a name thing pretty much. You can find some stuff at Fulton for a reasonable price, but as far as services or complete rifles go, they are just MUCH higher priced. Before I found this site and educated myself and saw the light, I used to think Fulton was the golden standard. I'm glad I didn't have the cash on hand back then.

The best warranty for a good rifle is Springfield.
For a top dollar performer, go custom with one of the armorers here.

Tony.
Custom armorers here? Wow!

I think I will reconsider Springfield armory!

But, hypothetically speaking, can I get a bayonet lug attatched, and the whole rifle "tuned" to be reliable (beyond the scary storied I've heard)?

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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Although I have heard a lot of horror stories with SA, they have a lifetime warranty, and every horror story seems to be fixed even if it does take a few trips back to them. Me personally, my second build was a NM SA rifle that I took out today and it functioned flawlessly. Only issue I had with it was a scuffed flash supressor that they will refinish for me once I send it in.

So even though there have been lots of issues, they will take care of it, and they take care of shipping both ways.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #9
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Get a Springfield. The warranty is fantastic as well as their customer service. They don't ask questions, they just fix the rifle. Top notch outfit. I have four of their rifles. Many of the stories you hear are true, but they sell thousands of rifles you never hear about because they function flawlessly. I did have issues with one rifle and it was fixed and they picked up the shipping tab both ways. Get it tuned up by by one of the armorers on the site if necessary.

I would personally go with a NM rifle if you plan on doing any service rifle comp or want a 1 MOA rifle. My stock Springfield NM rifle is my most accurate one and it sports 75% USGI parts and I purchased it only two years ago.

Your going to get addicted to the M1A. I've shot a lot of service rifles and the M1A is by far the best, with the 1903a3 and Garand in a tie for second.

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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawl88 View Post
If you want to know why Fulton costs more, check the sloop chute and read my post on Fulton
Read up on it. Wow, $1200 difference. Well, if I need any smithing done I know who I WON'T be sending it to.

Thanks for the heads up.

Sean

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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammonje View Post
Get a Springfield. The warranty is fantastic as well as their customer service. They don't ask questions, they just fix the rifle. Top notch outfit. I have four of their rifles. Many of the stories you hear are true, but they sell thousands of rifles you never hear about because they function flawlessly. I did have issues with one rifle and it was fixed and they picked up the shipping tab both ways. Get it tuned up by by one of the armorers on the site if necessary.

I would personally go with a NM rifle if you plan on doing any service rifle comp or want a 1 MOA rifle. My stock Springfield NM rifle is my most accurate one and it sports 75% USGI parts and I purchased it only two years ago.

Your going to get addicted to the M1A. I've shot a lot of service rifles and the M1A is by far the best, with the 1903a3 and Garand in a tie for second.
I'm pretty sure at this point (thanks to all the posts here on the site) that I'll be going with SAI. I have their XD 40 and I have nothing but great things to say about that gun. I'm sure the rifle will be the same.

I am interested in a 1 MOA (or really close to it) rifle. However, I don't really want the length or the stock on a NM model. I know that sounds odd. I'm used to SBRs and short carbines, so a 22" bbl seems like it would be hard to manuever with....it's probably not, but if M1As are anything like ARs, I'm sure I'll own more than one ;) , so I can get a 22" NM later I suppose. I'm looking at the Scout Squad model with 18" bbl and I'd probably also like to put on the upper Cluster Rail System from the SOCOM II so I can mount a good Leupold (or I may just go with a pistol or Scout scope mounted farther forward). I want a KISS rifle this time around for my first M1A (holy cow, you guys already have me thinking of 2 or more!).

My other "concern" is the stock. This first M1A will be a beater gun to some extent. I'd like to use it for hunting elk if I end up moving to Colorado (like my wife and I are hoping). And yes, I know a bolt gun would be better suited to hunting....but I'd really rather have the versatility of the M1A over a bolt gun. The gun will likely be exposed to elements of freezing, heat, wet weather and the like, so I'd much prefer a synthetic stock. That being the case, is the synthetic stock just not going to be able to give me good accuracy, especially with the 18" bbl?

I know that the shooter is just as much a part of the accuracy equation (maybe moreso) than the rifle and I'm not saying I'm some great marksman, but I've been shooting all my life and I'm pretty decent at anything up to 300 yards (I haven't had much opportunity to shoot any farther). I'm looking for a good .308 rifle that can, very rarely, shoot out to 5-600 yards with good accuracy. I think the M1A fits that bill, but perhaps I have to step up to a NM model with the longer bbl to get what I'm after.

I don't know much about the M1A yet and my vague understanding is that the higher end NM rifles have bedded stocks which increases their accuracy. If that's correct, do you have to have a bedded stock to get down to around 1 MOA?

I'm leary of the walnut stock after my friends M21 Tactical fell off the shooting bench (about 2.5 feet) at the range in heavy wind and cracked the stock. I have a feeling it was a fluke that it broke and split that far....but it was still pretty surprising, enough that I kinda ruled it out (and I've always liked the synthetics for their practicality....appearance wise, they look like doody, IMO)

Thanks for your post....well, all the posts really. They are really helping me with my decision.

Any other free advice people want to give out here is greatly appreciated. ;)

Take care,
Sean

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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #12
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Synthetic stocks do not have to be ugly. My only concern after seeing some of the talent exhibited here on this Forum, is setting the rifle down and not being able to find it.

I have always been a wood and steel kind of guy, but the paint jobs on some of these rifles makes me want to comply with the Rule of Two.

I think if I get another one, it will be a SAI shorty with a camo synthetic stock.

Good Luck

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Old July 13th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean K. View Post

That being the case, is the synthetic stock just not going to be able to give me good accuracy, especially with the 18" bbl?

I know that the shooter is just as much a part of the accuracy equation (maybe moreso) than the rifle and I'm not saying I'm some great marksman, but I've been shooting all my life and I'm pretty decent at anything up to 300 yards (I haven't had much opportunity to shoot any farther). I'm looking for a good .308 rifle that can, very rarely, shoot out to 5-600 yards with good accuracy. I think the M1A fits that bill, but perhaps I have to step up to a NM model with the longer bbl to get what I'm after.
A properly assembled rifle in a USGI synthetic stock with an 18" barrel will be more than sufficient to reach out to 5-600 yds. Glass bedding and 22" barrels are more of a factor out past the 600 yd mark.

IIRC, Smith Enterprise Crazy horse rifles are built with 18" barrels and servicemen in the sand box have reported shots out past 1000 yds (or is it meters?). I don't believe they are bedded, the gas cylinders are not untized and I believe they are built on USGI synthetic stocks.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

USGI synthentic stocks are not rigid enough in the forearm area to benefit from bedding. Some poeple have addressed this issue by epoxying carbon fiber arrow shafts into the weak areas to provide rigidity and allow bedding.

In the end, it boils down to quality parts, proper assembly, good ammo and shooter proficiency.

Tony.

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Old July 13th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyben View Post
A properly assembled rifle in a USGI synthetic stock with an 18" barrel will be more than sufficient to reach out to 5-600 yds. Glass bedding and 22" barrels are more of a factor out past the 600 yd mark.

IIRC, Smith Enterprise Crazy horse rifles are built with 18" barrels and servicemen in the sand box have reported shots out past 1000 yds (or is it meters?). I don't believe they are bedded, the gas cylinders are not untized and I believe they are built on USGI synthetic stocks.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

USGI synthentic stocks are not rigid enough in the forearm area to benefit from bedding. Some poeple have addressed this issue by epoxying carbon fiber arrow shafts into the weak areas to provide rigidity and allow bedding.

In the end, it boils down to quality parts, proper assembly, good ammo and shooter proficiency.

Tony.

Thanks for the tip....if Smith Enterprise Crazy horse has a website....I'll be looking them up. :)

Thanks again,
Sean

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Old July 13th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #15
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Just went to the Smith Ent. website:

http://www.smithenterprise.com/products02.html

It *sounds* really impressive reading the specs, but I'm a newb, so I don't really know if it is or not.

Anyone mind reading the above link and giving your opinion?

Also, do they sell complete rifles...or do you send a SAI rifle to them to be "modified"?? I can't tell from the site information.

Thanks,
Sean

Holy crap....I just realized...this is the same "Smith Enterprises" that invented the Vortex FH for the AR, right?

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