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Expectations Too High?

This is a discussion on Expectations Too High? within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; It takes a lot of patience and tinkering just to feel comfy with the M1A. I started with the CMP M1 Garand back in the ...


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Old May 21st, 2020, 03:57 PM   #46
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It takes a lot of patience and tinkering just to feel comfy with the M1A.
I started with the CMP M1 Garand back in the 70's and got promptly hooked. It's not always how good the rifle shoots. It's also about how much you enjoy shooting and tinkering with it. The accuracy will come to you if you decide to invest more of your time and money to the effort. There are a ton of stuff that you can learn and do with this most iconic American beast. Heck, my cheap DMPS 6.5 Creed out shoots my M1A Super Match all day. However, I have more enjoyment out of shooting my Super Match. I wish you all the best in getting your M1A to an 1 MOA rifle!

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Old May 21st, 2020, 04:02 PM   #47
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^^^ good words here guys!

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Old May 21st, 2020, 04:36 PM   #48
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The standard is built to USGI standards so don't expect match level accuracy. You can improve it a some. I recently purchased an early M1A which had a large number of surplus parts. The M14/M1A is designed to shoot standard ammo. In other words 147 to 150 grain bullets. The heavier bullets will let you know, in your shoulder, that it doesn't like them. And that effects accuracy. I went with a Sadlak National match piston, which helps a great deal.

As for a sling, I have used both canvas and leather. Go with leather. Turner Saddlery makes very good ones. The national match sling is stiff, but you want stiff. The difference in cost is very minor between a OK sling and a very good one.

The sights are battle sights, go with a set of national match sights,

Be careful about trigger jobs. If you plan on shooting in competition, the CMP matches and NRA matches require a minimum 4.5 pound pull. I have had Fulton Armory do both my M1 and M1A triggers. It made a significant difference. Not only in the amount a pressure used, but also made the pull smoother. Fulton got both of mine very close, so close I think another lap on the stone with have made the pull too light.

Just keep in mind that these are combat rifle designs and were never designed to be sniper accurate. They can be but it does take a bit of work.

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Old May 21st, 2020, 05:02 PM   #49
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I have a Standard. It shoots really well. She does not like any bullet weight above 168... 175 grain Hornady, GMM were in the 2-3 MOA range. I have shot some near MOA groups (at times) with it when using 168 GMM. Also, she really likes PMC 147 ball ammo, but not all 147 type ammo -it has been easy to shoot 600 m with 147 PMC. I have grouped 12-14" groups (sometimes better) with PMC 147s at 600 m. I will note I put in a Sadlak piston, guide rod, and op spring... I did not check before/after accuracy from the part swap.

I guess I am trying to say that you should keep exploring ammo.

I do have a scope on it. I have been thinking of just pulling the glass off and going with irons. M14/M1As do have the best irons of any rifle made...

How well can you shoot irons?

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Old May 21st, 2020, 05:22 PM   #50
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I would try some jack-leg bedding, with decent ammo.

Fold up a couple layers of National Match (Of course!) ammo box and install under the heel of the receiver. Try a group. If no better, remove that, try two stacks, one on each side of the front of the receiver.

If either attempt helps, study up on how to bed. Decide whether to DOI, pay somebody, or open up your expectations. Of course you my be heading down the rabbit hole chasing the rabbit of M-14 accurracy. Oh dat wasscawy wabbit !

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Old May 21st, 2020, 05:42 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I would try some jack-leg bedding, with decent ammo.

Fold up a couple layers of National Match (Of course!) ammo box and install under the heel of the receiver. Try a group. If no better, remove that, try two stacks, one on each side of the front of the receiver.

If either attempt helps, study up on how to bed. Decide whether to DOI, pay somebody, or open up your expectations. Of course you my be heading down the rabbit hole chasing the rabbit of M-14 accurracy. Oh dat wasscawy wabbit !
Might have to give this a try!

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Old May 21st, 2020, 05:44 PM   #52
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Is the front sight loose.The screw has to fall out for the sight to come off, till then front sight will walk left and right!

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Old May 21st, 2020, 08:07 PM   #53
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The flash hider might be a bit off look for marks. Change the piston (titanium) and the spring guide. Get a fiberglass stock. Make your own ammo. There are a couple of other easy mods that you can do but I can’t think of them.

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Old May 21st, 2020, 08:10 PM   #54
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Advice that I learned from an Olympic shooter-load buckets of ammo and practice. As other members have stated the 14 is not easy to shoot, but it can be learned. Not assuming anything, but learn to shoot from a good quality leather sling, such as a Ron Brown or other high quality maker, get off the bench and into prone. If you purchased your rifle used, check for excessive copper fouling, if you cannot see the front sight, get an NM hood and throw a MISO in it. just the other week I shot a 192-4x 200yrd standing, with a off the rack M1A. Ammo was Lake City pull down primed brass with yugo bullets.

Revisit your accuracy concerns after a couple thousand rounds of practice.
The CMP has some good articles, youtube can be a good resource too.

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Old May 22nd, 2020, 06:53 AM   #55
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Use reloads, everyone will tell you you need to modify an m1a this in my opinion is not whwt you have to do, here is my m1a loaded percision that i put a usgi stock on, 168 bthp and 175 bthp, n140 and tac both preform well, load to 308 minimum, or 308 service rifle data, i will glad share more photos, my m1a will constantly do this or better, these just happen to be on my phone from last weeks range visit
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File Type: jpg 20200510_102429_1590155282687.jpg (1.42 MB, 6 views)
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Old May 22nd, 2020, 09:49 AM   #56
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Since you're in pursuit of some decent accuracy out of your M-14 clone then here's a link to an outfit that might just be able to supply you with some goodies. I've dealt with them for years for my M-14 and AR bits, pieces and shooting accessories. They're a first class outfit to deal with too.

They were formerly located in Commiefornia but several years back they moved here to the still free state of Alabama. Just to get away from the onerous gun laws out on the left coast. Creedmoor Sports is located just a short distance from CMP South. Lots of gun guys make calls on both places if they're within driving distance. It's almost like making a pilgrimage. I'm sure that other riflemen and pistoleros will chime in shortly about both of the links.

Good luck on your misison.

https://www.creedmoorsports.com/

http://old.thecmp.org/cmp_sales/cmp-stores/south-store/

7th

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Old May 22nd, 2020, 05:35 PM   #57
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Expectations to high

I've found this thread very interesting. My M1A (national match) after shooting it for a couple years and getting used to it, finding reloads it liked, changing how I trimmed my cases, testing different powders, and a decent scope and mount was constantly getting 1 1/8 - 1 3/4 groups.....I thought this was great. I took last winter and changed four things on the rifle and it has now gone to 3-4" groups. It is certainly a rabbit hole to throw money into chasing improvements and trying different gear, BUT it's been great to listen to the results and opinions of others on what to expect out of these guns. I'm now reversing the four things I did to try to get back some goodness - and have really enjoyed the videos on tilt test for troubleshooting, what has happened to some who used the archangel stocks in other posts - as this was one of my changes and I believe it's tensioned/bent something.......so the troubleshooting begins. It'd much rather be able to shoot a golf ball off a fence post at 100 yards than a softball sized object. In comparison my friend at the range has an M1A standard and does 5-6" groups and that's about the best he can get even trying some of the ammo that works so well in mine. I will say that when my gun was getting the 1 1/4" groups - it was awesome to go out to 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 yards and hit all the steel targets with some proper elevations figured - these are a fun gun to shoot......but if they ain't on at 100 - they're sure as hell are not on at 600!

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Old May 22nd, 2020, 07:06 PM   #58
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Always change only 1 thing at a time, then test and document results before changing another potential factor. Be the tortoise, not the hare.

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Old May 23rd, 2020, 10:55 AM   #59
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Carlos Hathcock had no problem with shooting the M14. Like many have said here already this is a battle rifle, and at 2-400 meters it does the job it was designed to do with iron sights.

I have had mine produce 1 MOA scoped at 100 yds with match ammo. Iron sights it can hit the 9-10 rings on a B27 silhouette target using 147 grain ball ammo. I'm happy with that.

Keep working with it, and you come to love the rifle.

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Last edited by High Plains Drifter; May 23rd, 2020 at 10:57 AM. Reason: never mind
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 03:32 PM   #60
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This is a T44 clone I built and test fired at 200 yards using XM80C ammo. This is a standard service rifle configuration, no trigger work.

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