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Pre-Ban M1A - Who really cares, and why ?

This is a discussion on Pre-Ban M1A - Who really cares, and why ? within the Modern M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Given that the 1994 Ban has passed, why should I care if a Springfield M1A is Pre- Ban or Post ? I ask this seriously. ...


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Old May 4th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #1
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Pre-Ban M1A - Who really cares, and why ?

Given that the 1994 Ban has passed, why should I care if a Springfield M1A is Pre- Ban or Post ?

I ask this seriously. I am not a collector, but a shooter with all emphasis on practicality.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #2
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For those of us in states that still have an AWB, it's relevant. For those who are not, I don't see why it would be.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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It's of concern to M14 fans in states with "Assault Weapon" bans like Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Pre-bans generally have a higher likelihood of having USGI parts, but it's not a guarantee.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:40 AM   #5
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Beyond the legal ramifications of the AWB wasn't it around '94 that SAI had depleted their GI supplies and started using commercial parts; bolts, FH's, sights, etc. in their builds? Was the time frame of this transition to commercial parts coincidence? Is this accurate, Different? Just when did SAI go strictly "commercial"? Seems in states unaffected by the AWB the pre-ban appeal is knowing (assuming) you're M1a was built with GI parts, a big deal to savvy buyers.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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"Pre-ban" v. "post-ban" in the more free States is a rough shorthand for what you want if you're shopping M1A's. GENERALLY speaking, it means a Valley Ordnance receiver, critical and precision parts all USGI, and a good barrel whether it's GI chrome-lined or a Douglas or Krieger or at least Wilson match barrel, and a good wood or USGI fiberglass or McMillan match stock. Some of those things you can still get with current production, some you can't. SAI didn't stop making good M1A's when Klinton's AWB passed. SAI did cut the bayo lug off the flash suppressor and stopped shipping 20 rd magazines. IMHO it's in the early 2000's production when you have to be more careful what you're getting into. There was a fall-off in consistency and quality. Maybe the ones they're making now are better. I don't know. Either way it's your $$$. People who have been rebuilding, fixing, and tweaking commercial M14 clones a long time have had to address conformity and performance issues with pre-ban as well as post-ban rifles.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Without taking into account states that still live with the AWB, I believe there is a general perception that preban SA M1a's are of a higher quality than those built during and after the ban. Whether this is true, I don't know.

When I look at the products SEI and LRB are producing today, they quash any hint of desire I might have reserved for 'preban' or 'genuine USGI' of the mark. My 'preban' was acquired due to price and I wasn't educated enough at the time to take date of manufacture into account.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheepertokeeper View Post
Beyond the legal ramifications of the AWB wasn't it around '94 that SAI had depleted their GI supplies and started using commercial parts; bolts, FH's, sights, etc. in their builds? Was the time frame of this transition to commercial parts coincidence? Is this accurate, Different? Just when did SAI go strictly "commercial"?
Springfield Armory, Inc. was awash in USGI M14 parts from 1987 to 1993. In that time period, standard M1A rifles were usually assembled with USGI parts. Before and after that, M1A rifles were typically built with more commercial manufacture parts than USGI parts. Personal example, my select fire M1A left the factory in 1984 with the following commercial parts: trigger housing, barrel, gas piston, gas cylinder, spindle valve, and operating rod.

From M14 Rifle History and Development Fifth Edition:

"Springfield Armory, Inc. - Springfield Armory, Inc. began making parts in the late 1970s as the supply of USGI M14 parts became limited. Commercial reproduction trigger housings marked 7267030-G were installed in M1A rifles as early as April 1978 and as late as May 1984. Standard model M1A serial number 007041 left the factory in 1977 with a commercial manufacture barrel and a commercial manufacture operating rod. In the 1980s, some M1A rifles were assembled with commercial cast rear sight bases marked SA 554600 on the bottom."

and

"A National Match model M1A produced in 1978, serial number 00909X, was assembled with a commercial bolt at the factory. This particular bolt has no markings except for the letter N on the rear end. These cast bolts are referred to as the “lettered series” bolts. A standard model M1A with serial number 0093XX left the factory in early 1979 with a commercial non-plated standard contour barrel, commercial operating rod and commercial bolt. M1A serial number 010047 was assembled in 1979 at the factory with a “lettered series” M1A bolt, reproduction ejector and M1 Rifle ejector spring. The “lettered series” cast bolt on M1A serial number 010047 was tested for cracks and hardness by an Ohio National Guard armorer. No cracks were found by magnetic particle inspection. The bolt hardness was 55 HRC. However, the bolt firing pin hole was larger than required by the USGI drawing. By April 1979, Springfield Armory, Inc. had changed to “numbered series” reproduction bolts in M1A rifles.

From 1978 to 1986 Springfield Armory, Inc. was short on USGI M14 barrels so it installed non-plated standard contour barrels. The standard contour barrel blanks were supplied by Wilson Arms."

and

"Match rear sight bases marked NM/2A on the right hand side and NM/2A and SA 7791571 on the bottom were manufactured by Wayne Machine, Inc. for Springfield Armory, Inc."

and

"Since the mid-1980s, Wayne Machine Inc. has made and supplied reproduction M14 parts to Century Arms International, Numrich Gun Parts Corporation, Sarco, Inc., and Springfield Armory, Inc."

and

"Gerald Drasen, who did business as Nesard and Sendra (Chicago, IL), went into the firearms parts business no later than 1963 selling M1 Garand rifle and M1911 pistol parts. He produced reproduction M14 items such as the flash suppressor nut wrench, bolt assembly tool, front band, gas cylinder, magazine latch, rear sight cover, safety and trigger housing in the 1980s."

Nesard / Sendra did supply some reproduction M14 parts to Springfield Armory, Inc. in the 1980s.


Last edited by Different; May 4th, 2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Different as always you are full of wonderful information and it is greatly appreciated. I have a 1991 Bush Rifle and I was wondering who would have manufactured the barrel for SAI in that time froame? It has mostly USGI parts on it, maybe the trigger group housing and flash suppressor are commercial.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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My reason for only having an interest in preban SAI M-1A's has been adequately covered in this thread so far. But in summation, it boils down to a preponderance of high quality forged USGI parts used in their construction and conventional wisdom says that SAI had the best quality receivers back prior to the ban. These are more than enough reason to pay a premium for a well preserved preban, over anything manufactured by them since 1994.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swcu21 View Post
I have a 1991 Bush Rifle and I was wondering who would have manufactured the barrel for SAI in that time froame?
I don't know who machined the 18 " M1A Bush / Scout Squad barrels except for a single run around 1981. Except for that single lot of 18 " barrels, it was not Hillside Manufacturing (Dallas, PA). Hillside Manufacturing did machine the 22 " standard contour, standard contour match and heavyweight match barrels for Springfield Armory, Inc. until 1990. I was fortunate to interview the gentleman who machined these barrrels. It was a very interesting conversation. There's an entire section of the book on Valley Ordnance and Hillside Manufacturing that I did not reproduce in this thread for the sake of brevity. Those companies made various M1A parts before 1994 when SA, Inc. was short on USGI parts.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swcu21 View Post
Different as always you are full of wonderful information and it is greatly appreciated. I have a 1991 Bush Rifle and I was wondering who would have manufactured the barrel for SAI in that time froame? It has mostly USGI parts on it, maybe the trigger group housing and flash suppressor are commercial.

I can help somewhat because I too have a early 1991 Bushy. Differents word would over ride my observations. There are no USGI 18" barrels, so the barrel blanks would have come from either Krieger or Wilson. I believe the SAI cut the rifleing in thier shop. MY TH had the "G" prefix so that was commercial SAI. It has been replaced by a whinny TH. Although I can't positively ID the FS, I believe it is commercial based upon the non-banana shaped slots. Bolt and op rod are USGI. dozier

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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dozier View Post
I can help somewhat because I too have a early 1991 Bushy. Differents word would over ride my observations. There are no USGI 18" barrels, so the barrel blanks would have come from either Krieger or Wilson. I believe the SAI cut the rifleing in thier shop.
Very true, the 18 " M1A Bush / Scout Squad barrels are commercial manufacture. My guess is that they were Wilson barrel blanks machined by Springfield Armory, Inc. itself. My gut says SA, Inc. would pay Wilson before Krieger for 18 " barrel blanks due to cost. Also, Wilson Arms likely had greater capacity than Krieger but that is supposition on my part. Again, we are discussing pre-'94 M1A barrels.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #14
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Who makes the modern SAI 18.5" barrels????? I am about to buy a new takeoff and am curious.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammonje View Post
Who makes the modern SAI 18.5" barrels????? I am about to buy a new takeoff and am curious.
The information I have is that Springfield Armory, Inc. buys the barrel blanks (from Wilson Arms??) and machines the 18 " barrels in-house. SA, Inc. has supplied the same barrel to the U. S. Navy for the Mk 14 Mod 0 and Mod 1 rifles. One thousand Mk 14 Mod 0 and 500 Mk 14 Mod 1 rifles were built by NSWC Crane. The only difference I am aware of between the Navy Mk 14 barrel and the M1A Scout Squad barrel is that the gas cylinder shoulder boss was moved forward about 0.62 " due to lack of a gas system front band.

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