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Have I mentioned how much I like my M1A?

I mean, really?  A lot?  Of course, I've been a fan of the M14 (the M1A is a commercial version of the M14) ever since I carried one as a cadet those many years ago, back in the '70's.  Here's a pic of Ry blazing away with the M1A on one of his visits to the Castle.

I broke in the new target stands with it yesterday.

50 feet.
The Armorer shooting the M1A at 50 feet for a warm-up.  Standing, unsupported.



60 yards.

The Armorer shooting the M1A at 60 yards, standing, unsupported.
 
Life is mostly good.

16 Comments

More info on the gun please! Is it a Springfield or ? I'd love to get one, but opinions of commercially available ones seem to vary widely.
 
Mine is a vanilla Springfield Armory product, built  pre-ban in the 90's.  I stuck it in a genuine M14 stock, because I'm weird that way.  I've put several thousand rounds through it, and it still functions flawlessly and accurately.

I also have the Chinese M14S (I think that's what they called it), which, despite some concerns people had about heat-treatment of receivers, and some parts apparently aren't interchangeable, it shoots just as well as the SA product.  I haven't put as many rounds through that one, but she's been every bit as good from my perspective as the M1A.  Tweakers and long-range precision shooters may have different opinions about the difference between the two, but as far as I'm concerned, you aren't wasting your money on the Chinese copy.

 
Very nice group.  I, too, have always loved the M-14 since my days on the TXNG Rifle Team. 

Had an M-1A, but quality control from Springfield Armory wasn't the best and I traded it for an HK-91 back in 1985.  Its my favorite rifle, but the M-14 wil always have a warm spot in my heart.

Remember, its not the rifle but the shooter.
 
Well, as long as the rifle is a competent design and in good shape, yes.

But sometimes, it *is* the rifle.

The British No.5 jungle carbine, with it's famous wandering zero comes to mind.
 
Ah, yes, the cadet M14. I have not so fond memories of my roommate letting an operating guide rod,under compression, loose. Missed me by about a foot, sailed through a panel on a door and was recovered by a third classman on the third stoop. What happened to him after that is a legend in our minds. VMI, '80
 
I know my Dad calls it "the boy's battle rifle", but I think it may be one of the peaks of military rifle design. (And I think that's confirmed by the modifications for its current uses in house-to-house.) A variant folding stock would make it a handy car/truck carrier.
 
My new favorite toy (I don't consider the K31 a toy so it's in a category by itself) is the M1 carbine. I lurves my carbine. I'm not very good with it, but I lurves it anyway.

On the third hand, I have a friend who has a Jungle Carbine, and either he has a particularly fine example, or the wandering zero has to do with the shooter. As a big guy (and I know you have this same issue, Boss,) I'm not pushed out of the way easily; my shoulder absorbs all of the recoil. And the Jungle carbine is no slouch for recoil. I suspect that a lot of the "wandering zero" component of the Jungle Carbine lies in the painfulness of shooting it, and less in the inherent accuracy of the weapon. Just my .02.

I am jealous of your M1A there, and of your shooting skills.
 
Remind me to call first if I ever get to visit the Castle!  Nice group, John.
 
The K31 is a nice rifle.  I still like the M1911 a little better, but I'm a fan of long, heavy rifles, since I don't have to hump them up and down hills, much less mountains.

Regarding the "wandering zero" of the No5, you have a following, Og.  While I don't touch wikipedia for politics, the technical stuff is usually pretty good.  Of course, since I'm cited in a dozen or so weapons-related articles, I admit to being prejudiced.  Here's their bit on the No.5:
One of the complaints leveled against the No. 5 Mk I rifle by soldiers was that it had a "wandering zero"- ie, the rifle could not be "sighted in" and then relied upon to shoot to the same point of impact later on.[13].

Tests conducted during the mid to late 1940s appeared to confirm that the rifle did have some accuracy issues, most likely relating to the lightening cuts made in the receiver, combined with the presence of a flash suppressor on the end of the barrel.[14], and the British Government officially declared that the Jungle Carbine's faults were "inherent in the design" and discontinued production at the end of 1947.[15]

However, modern collectors and shooters have pointed out that no Jungle Carbine collector/shooter on any of the prominent internet military firearm collecting forums has reported a confirmed "wandering zero" on their No. 5 Mk I rifle,[16] leading to speculation that the No. 5 Mk I may have been phased out largely because the British military did not want a bolt-action rifle when most of the other major militaries were switching over to semi-automatic longarms[17] such as the M1 Garand and SKS.

Nonetheless, it has also been pointed out by historians and collectors that the No. 5 Mk I must have had some fault not found with the No. 4 Lee-Enfield (from which the Jungle Carbine was derived), as the British military continued with manufacture and issue of the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk 2 rifle until 1957[18], before finally converting to the L1A1 SLR.[19].
I've got a No5 and a small boatload of .303 and a bench rest.  I guess I'll have to see how mine does in that regard.  It is a punishing rifle to shoot.  Aside from the issue of pushing the .303 round out of a lighter weapon - I theorize that the shape of the flash hider makes it effectively a venturi, and increases perceived recoil.

But that's just blathering with no science or experimentation to back me up.  And I'm not willing to fiddle with my No5 (which is wartime manufacture, April 45) and not a post-war rifle, to shoot it with and without the flash suppressor to check.

I can imagine the conflagration at the end of the barrel, shooting all that powder from that short barrel.  It would probably light up the night...
 
thats an astute observation all the way around. Mann et al found that minor bullet deformity would cause significant POI variation due to gas escaping unevenly at the muzzle; a deflector could easily have a similar effect. i wonder if boat tail ammo would minimize the effect, again per Mann? id love a k1911 but i are a po leadchucker.
 
There is no doubt the K31 is pretty much the ultimate expression of Schmidt's bolt design.  Not quite as elegantly crafted as the predecessors, in that it was simplified to make production cheaper with no sacrifice in function, but the evolution of the locking lug position to keep the strength of the action while shortening the stroke (and thus receiver length and overall weight) while keeping the smoothness is just a fine example of the gun designer's art.

I've got an M1889, M1911, and K31.  I should take 'em down off the wall and get a picture of the bolts laid out together.
 
hadda rub salt in the wound. meanie. yeah, i am a sucker for long battle rifles too. would love to have a big longass martini in 303.
 
Moi?  A gloat?  Never.  I wouldn't.  Really.  Honest.
 

I do now need to take down my copy of "A bullet's Flight" and see what Mann did about boat tail bullets, if anything. Franklin did several experiments with deliberately malformed bullets and objects in front of a barrel/close to the bullet's path. Now it intrigues me to think that the flash hider could affect the path of the projectile. I know there are M1D garands with flash hiders (which makes perfect sense, without one you'd only be able to see a bright dot after squeezing off a round) but I've never heard of anyone having trouble with those. On the other hand, a lot of military stuff has, if not a boat tail, at least a rolled trailing edge. Most of the 303 I've seen (I use pulled bullets in my 303-06 Arisaka)  is rather square based.

 
Standard milspec Mk VII ball is flat-based, not boat-tailed, you're correct.

Again with the caveat that I'm not Bill Nye the Science Guy nor do I play one on TV (though I do on the Internet and we all know how reliable that is...) Garand, M14, M16 flash suppressors are slotted and disperse the flash to the sides and upwards to both reduce the flash and provide some measure of downward pressure on the muzzle to help control recoil jump.

The No5 flash suppressor is like those mounted on some machine guns (the Bren, Hotchkiss, DP, etc) which are, after a fashion, nozzle-shaped.  Dispersion in machine guns, is, to an extent a virtue not a vice, whereas in a bolt rifle it's a definite vice.
 
I was actually thinking more about the M2 hart style, but now I see those are removeable. Maybe it's the removeability that makes the difference.

Cool. Now I have some other kind of wierd info to research and have jammed in my head for no apparent reason.