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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; Bought my first M1A Standard a month or two ago. Completely stock. Have put 100 to 150 rounds down range (100 yds) so far using ...


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Old May 17th, 2020, 05:29 PM   #1
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Expectations Too High?

Bought my first M1A Standard a month or two ago. Completely stock. Have put 100 to 150 rounds down range (100 yds) so far using several different commercial loads from Sig Sauer, Federal, PPU of the match grade 168 gr OTM variety.

I've taken it apart and checked function, applied grease in the right places, made sure the handguard was not touching the stock, zeroed the rear sight, etc. etc.

The rifle will not group. I was expecting it to provide at least 1 to 2 moa, but it's all over the place. Once in a while I'll get a few shots close, but a five shot group, no way.

I can shoot. I've got a RPR in 6 Creedmoor that's basically a one hole'r at 100. Scoped vs iron sights aside, breathing, trigger pull, etc. are under control.

Really not interested in making all kinds of mods. Just want an accurate, fun to shoot rifle.

What's going on? Is this rifle simply not capable? I'm open to your opinions.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 05:37 PM   #2
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Does it hit a man sized target?


Last edited by HardingM14; May 17th, 2020 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old May 17th, 2020, 05:42 PM   #3
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A standard M14 is not an easy rifle to shoot. You can't just plop down behind it like an AR and squeeze the trigger. Not without a lot of mods, which usually add about 5 lbs in weight. T

With standard weight M1A's, I get my best groups when I sling up tight, resting my front hand on a sandbag. I still need to follow all the fundamentals of service rifle marksmanship.

I've yet to find an M1A that couldn't hold 2 moa when I do my part, using FGMM ammunition. It's a little easier to hold 1 moa with the Loaded model, with the medium weight match barrel. For 1-1.5 moa, you really need a National Match or Super Match.



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Old May 17th, 2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
A standard M14 is not an easy rifle to shoot. You can't just plop down behind it like an AR and squeeze the trigger.
That, sir, is a fact.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 06:25 PM   #5
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As you say, expectations. You said what you did get but not what you wanted for groups.
I am content with irons in a standard configuration rifle with good ammo if I can keep them in a 3-4 inch group for 10 rounds. I can usually do much better, but not always. Scoped is a whole different story, there I expect to shoot MOA.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 06:51 PM   #6
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As was stated, shooting a bolt gun with a magnified optic is only marginally the same as shooting an M1A with irons. Are you able to get 1-2 MOA groups with other rifles (of any kind) with irons?

If you're able to get 2 MOA with an M1 or other M14 clones, then you should expect to get 3 MOA from an M1A Standard, with PPU match ammo, and better results with FGGM. With generic hunting ammo, 4 MOA would't be considered unreasonable results.

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Last edited by Grizzman; May 17th, 2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2020, 06:56 PM   #7
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I’d try a lighter grain bullet. I shoot 168s out of my Supermatch but the loaded I had years ago I was shooting 150 grain and it was a 1moa gun easily.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 07:22 PM   #8
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The standard is a 4” group rifle with most mil surplus ammo. I think you’ll get in the 3” range with Federal Gold Metal Match FGMM. In your post you said you only shot 100 to 150 rounds Of various commercial type ammo . If it were me I would buy a case of good ammo and spend a lot of time with eye trigger coordination with a single type of ammo. It takes a little while to get the irons sight picture just right at let off. With a little practice I think you’ll be surprised how well you do.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 07:54 PM   #9
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A few specifics...

The trigger pull on a Standard model is about 6 lbs. That's probably twice as much as much as most AR's and four times as much as most bolt actions. Properly tuning the trigger can safely get it down to 4.5 lbs, with a crisp and even let off.

The rifle itself is not held together with bolts, like just about every other rifle in existence. The rifle is held together by the simple clamping action of the trigger guard. Due to dimensional variations in the receiver, stock and trigger assembly, these parts can be held together loosely, tight, or somewhere in between. If your trigger guard shows tension as it passes the tip of the trigger, you have a tight clamping action.

Moving parts. The rifle has a good deal of them and they are not held together in a tube, like an AR. Everything is reasonably well fitted, but they all start to vibrate the instant the hammer starts to fall. Due to the large amount of freebore, gas even enters the barrel ahead of the bullet. This is where the fundamentals of marksmanship shown in the above video come into play.

As designed, a production M14 only had to hold about 5 moa, with M80 ball ammo, in order to leave the factory. Most did 3-4 moa. An original 1964 National Match M14 only had to hold 3 moa for 10 shots, using Match ammunition, fired from a rest.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 08:20 PM   #10
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Advice from this "boomer." Get a service rifle sling, web or leather. Watch the clips on how to shoot a service rifle as Kurt suggested. Dry fire, dry fire dry fire. Apply what you practice at the range. Maybe take notes. Taking your rifle apart constantly is counterproductive to it's consistency as it is a clamp design.

If you can shoot 10 rounds in the standing position for points at 300 yards, you're getting better.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuceguy View Post
Taking your rifle apart constantly is counterproductive to it's consistency as it is a clamp design.
I believe that many shooters disassemble their M1 and M14 type rifles way too often. As Deuceguy noted, that can compromise consistency. It simply takes a number of rounds for the action to reseat itself in the stock.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 09:17 PM   #12
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Your expectations are too high for a standard M1a. You might do 2moa with luck but closer to 3 is probably more realistic. It’s a battle rifle designed to hit a man at 400 yards with iron sights. It wasn’t designed for benchrest groupings.
Also, this is a difficult rifle to shoot and takes practice.

My Rpr also shoots great groups. It makes people think they can shoot well. Master the M1a and you will be a better shooter.


Keep it fIrm into the shoulder.

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Old May 18th, 2020, 01:50 AM   #13
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You are taking a VW beetle to the drags and expecting it to compete with the rails. A + B = ?

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Old May 18th, 2020, 02:20 AM   #14
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You are taking a VW beetle to the drags and expecting it to compete with the rails. A + B = ?
I have no idea what you're talking about, but I think I know what you mean...

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Old May 18th, 2020, 02:31 AM   #15
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I have no idea what you're talking about, but I think I know what you mean...
Sorry about that. Most from my generation would know.

1960s VW beetle was hated for being slow.
Rails, dragsters for 1/4 were faster than fast.

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