This is a discussion on NM M14's within the Rifle Competition forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; I wasn't into the matches like I'm getting into today, my loss. I was curious ,back in the hay day of the M14's at the ...
I wasn't into the matches like I'm getting into today, my loss. I was curious ,back in the hay day of the M14's at the National Matches what was everyone shooting. I'm guessing the military teams had real M14's but what about the civilians, what were they shooting. It would be nice to hear from some folks that were there. Thanks guys. Dan
Your question makes me feel old, which I am, but the SAI M1A was the rifle of choice for civilians shooting Service Rifle class matches, or the M1 Garand as well. Before the AR15 became common for High Power matches, many used purpose build bolt guns, mostly Rem.700's which would accept stripper clips of 5 to enable rapid fire stage. Going back even more, Springfield '03/A3's and along came the AR15/16 and you know the rest of the story. Early on the 15's were called "mouse guns" and you were told to pick up your "mouse poop" meaning reclaim your brass. Lots of laughter and jokes, but when the scores were tallied, the crowd became very quiet and headed down to the nearest gun shop to get them a "mouse gun." Time marches on.
Ha, I'm feeling old too. Thanks. I guess I'm more interested in the m14's / clones from that time. I skimmed over the pages of the magazines from that time ,my grandfather shot smallbore team matches in the 30's and 40' and shot Perry so it was on the bucket list . I always wanted a m14 but was a starving oil field worker and a firearm for hunting was more of a priority. I really leaning towards putting a NM rifle together now that I can and keep my M1A Walter Mitty light and the way it is. I'd like to here more. Thanks guys.
No one had a favorite rifle during those years ? Thought this might be a nice flashback to the time the M14 ruled the matches. Oh , I don't want this to become a what's the best and those are junk kind of thread. Let's hear some history.
Back in the day, I shot a double lug gun built by the USMC Quantico RTE shop on a forged Smith receiver or one of my RTE shop double lug Springfields. All were in McMillan stocks. My first match M1A was a standard gun that Ray Parkinson rebuilt to match specs for me, though I never shot it at Perry. I eventually sold that one to a man who was looking for a rifle for his son to use in competition. Most of those I shot with were running double lug guns. The state association had M14's from the DCM that were match conditioned and FA capability eliminated. Those were great times!
I am so bummed, it must have been awesome with so many people shooting match grade M14 type rifles.
Why bummed ? Springfield Armory Inc match production rifles are 1 MOA just as good as any of those hand built rifles from the old days. Even most of the short barrel SOCOMs will do this. Heck you can have one at your FFL in just a few days.
Last edited by Douglas Haig; May 7th, 2016 at 06:06 PM.
I know I could spend a pile of cash on a double lugged rifle and heck my M1A doesn't shoot all that bad with the enhancements that have been done to it. Its just the only time you see them at Perry in a big way is for the Springfield match. Back then they were the rifle to shoot.
The 1980s were the hay day of the M14 as a competition rifle. Military teams were forced to switch to the M16 in 1993 except the Marines who took an additional year to convert. It was great to have a firing line loaded with M14 and M1A rifles (although there were always a few Garands too). I'd note that while scores are averaging higher with the .223, scores with the M14 were just as high and the M14 was capable of cleaning targets at any range.
As mentioned, several of us here in WV were issued true M14's for competition use but of course had no select fire ability, semi only mode. Documents accompanied each rifle to the user to prove authorization to posses for semi or not, once a machinegun, always a machinegun and were Property of the U.S. Gov't. They were recalled some years ago and supposedly went back into service. Other than the fact that the AR's are std. issue to U.S. forces and used in HP matches so much these days is that the AR is quicker to master due to recoil and scores increase at a higher rate than with the M14 or Garand.
Cost of firearm also plays a part in this switch to the AR's, considerably less money to purchase and use. Much can be said for SAI holding the M1A matches for if not participation in matches would be far less than without such support.