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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be buying a new M1A, and I heard a casual comment from one
person that Springfield Armory does not put out as good a product as
Fulton Armory. It was not his own personal experience, but rather from
another shooter. He said that Fulton puts out a slightly better product.
More to the point, he said that Springfield imports a number of parts from
foreign shores but that Fulton does not.

Not even sure if there was an issue in the difference of quality, or was he
just pointing out an "imported vs. domestic" issue.

Can any of you offer your insight on this issue? Thanks.

-Steve

P.S. The specific M1A model I had my sights on (at Springfield) is at:
http://www.springfield-armory.com/images/rifles/MA9102Large.jpg
 

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welp, either one is good, i have a Springfield Armory Inc, from the middle "70's" bought it new, and works everytime.
 

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i should have mentioned, my m1a is their standard grade. all GI parts 'cept of course the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both PAPA G and Old Navy for your input.
I called the gun dealer today wanting to talk to the gentleman
who is seeking out the model of interest. He was not there
but the guy on the phone had "zero knowledge of problems
with M1As ordered through them" (of course). His relay to
me was he has sold "many many SA M1As with no complaints."
Of course, it's not the gun dealer that would have dealt with
the complaints, anyways.
So, should I just go with it???
 

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My recommendation is, as long as the parts are USGI (except the receiver of course), buy the Springfield, and you will probably be happy. I have seen Springfield M1A's in various configurations come to our range, and the only one that I have not seen a failure with, is the Super Match (for the price, they had better not fail). A friend said recently that his latest Super Match had to be returned to Springfield, because of failures due to non-GI parts, so the problem may be creeping into the Super Match, too! Except for the Super Match, you will need to do some match conditioning to be competitive in high power competition.

Most of the failures are of non-GI parts, and as long as Springfield replaces the failed parts with non-GI parts they always fail again. This has become a routine, at least of the ones I have seen at our range.

Fulton prepared M1A/M14 Semi-autos are a bit expensive, and while they are more accurate than the Springfield (before match conditioning the Springfield), they generally have not had the failures (they use USGI parts). I have only seen one at our range in the past 3 years, and the guy said he had to wait over a year for it.

Smith Enterprises in Phoenix, AZ also makes M1A/M14 Semi-autos, and I have seen several of them. I have never heard of a failure on one, but they are match conditioned rifles and a little bit expensive as compared to Springfield. They would be my recommendation if you are going to shoot in high power competition.

Other companies make them, using various receivers, some are OK and some are a pain in the backside. For a blaster, get a Chinese Norinco or Poly Tech. If you want to have a match conditioned Chinese M14, I know Smith Enterprises, and Clint Fowler (used to anyhow), and I think Fulton Armory does this too, verify the heat treat, put in a USGI bolt, and get you ready for competition, for a reasonable fee.

The Chinese M14's were made with the same M14 forging dies as the USGI M14's were made with, and most of the parts except for the rear sight internal parts, and the gas cylinder parts, are totally interchangeable with the USGI (they used metric threads inside the rear sight, and for the gas cylinder threads on the barrel). The whole rear sight can be changed to USGI, by just putting one on the rifle. Their magazines were made with the same tooling, and I have to look at them for the logo (the Chinese ones don't have a logo), to tell whether I am using a USGI magazine or a Chinese magazine.

The US Government sold the machining tools and forging dies to Taiwan, because they were planning to stay with the M14, not switch to the M16. They too caved in and began buying the, "Varmit Rifle", M16 for their main Taiwan Army rifle. Taiwan then asked for and received permission from the US Government to sell all of the tooling and forging dies to Communist China.

Communist China wanted to support the Hukbalahap (forerunner to the Communist NPA (New Peoples Army), in an insurrection to overthrow President Ferdinand Marcos in the Pilippines, and the M14 was a perfect rifle, because the HUK could get ammo and spare parts from raiding the Pilippine Army bases, and the Chinese M14 and the USGI M14 sound exactly the same when firing close up or at a distance, so the noise wouldn't give them away, like an AK-47 or AKM would do. The CIA got wind of this, and in one of their RARE great ideas, they convinced Marcos to recognize China (and forget Taiwan) as the only Chinese Government, to prevent a Chinese supported insurrection. Marcos recognized China, the HUK became the NPA, and the insurrection was nipped in the bud.

The Chinese use a different, but at least as good, steel for the receiver (not 8620), and have generally used soft bolts (which don't work very long, before needing replacement). The receivers can be reheat treated to USGI spec (some are already there), but the rifle needs a US barrel (which just screws right in), and a USGI bolt, to have it ready to shoot seriously, for a long time.

`
 

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USGI parts

Hi , maybe it is a stupid question, how can i judge if some parts of my M1A standard from SA genesco, that i recently bought are originall G1 parts ? BR riccardo
 

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You need some books, or a local aquaintance who is an armorer, both is better. Search for North Cape Publications. I believe their book on M14 and M1A's is about $19.95 plus postage, here in the US. It gives a pretty good rundown on the various rifles and components. Search on Scott Duff. I am not sure if Scott Duff has one, but if so it should be very good for identifying parts, as he usually has excellent information for collectors. Kuenhausen publications are very good, but a little more expensive, and well done.
 

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Parts

Probably no one watching this thread anymore, but there is continued mention of parts malfunctioning that are non-USGI. Specifically, what parts are we talking about? Springs? Firing pins? Extractors? Is there a list of suggested parts to buy from Fulton's online supply? Feedback is much appreciated on this one. reason
 

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M14/M1A armorers listed in order...
Smith Enterprise, Inc.
LRB
Springfield Armory, Inc. custom shop
Ted Brown
WarBird

Best M14/M1A parts listed in order...
USGI
SEI
Chinese

Best M14/M1A magazines in order...
USGI
CMI
Chinese
 

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SAI has a chronic problem with the extractors, replace that one part with usgi and they are very reliable. No other supplier offers anything close to SAI's life time warranty. They no longer have usgi parts to build the new rifles, with the exception of trigger groups. You either need to find an older rifle from the late seventies to early nineties, or buy the usgi parts and install them.
The forged SAI bolts and op-rods are fine, no problems that I have read about. They had a run of bad bolts twenty five years ago, but replace them free if you get one.
 

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I own 2 M1A's and have never had a single malfunction on the range, and I've shot both a lot. No feeding, extracting problems.

They eat whatever kind of ammo I put in them and love it.

I'm not saying it's "better" than a Fulton, as I have no experience with that make, I'm just saying I'll never own anything but Springfield.
 

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I have an M1A from Springfield, its about 4 years old now. Question I have is, how many shots do you guys take (about) before completely tearing it down and cleaning, lubing?
 

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My M1A is as reliable as the Sunrise. Its worth almost twice what I paid for it too. I can't complain.

On a side note the FNAR is the better gun. I own them both and feel that that FNAR is a better shooter with more technology put into it.
 

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I'm shooting 2 Springfield Armory M1-A's.









This SOCOM 16, and a National Match NRA Camp Perry Edition. Both are superb rifles. Neither one has ever experienced an issue in thousands of rounds combined. I keep them clean and well lubricated, and keep my loads down in reasonable parameters. A lot of M1-A problems are dirt and lubricant issues. Too much of one, and not enough of the other. Personally, I think a lot of this "G.I. parts" stuff is meaningless when compared to problems caused by bad ammunition and cleaning practices.

For what it's worth we have 3 shooters at our club with Fulton Armory guns, and for whatever reason, they seem to have the most problems. Gun Test Magazine did a report on a Fulton Armory M-14 and they had issues as well. That should not be the case with a gun at that price point. Not at all. If you go with a Springfield Armory M1-A rifle I believe you will get the most bang for your buck, with the least amount of issues. As always your mileage may vary. Bill T.
 

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I'm reviving an old thread here but I'm new to the forum and have the SOCOM 16 as billt pictures here.
To me the SOCOM 16 is the best rifle of all worlds if one had to have ONLY ONE gun! I've had the standard M1-As from Springfield since 1987 off and on--never a problem with any.
Right now the only M1-A I have is the short and business-like SOCOM 16; I may add a longer wooden stocked version I don't know--I really don't NEED to!
The SOCOM is a pleasure to shoot--a bit loud but no louder than an HK 91 or other 7.62 "assault style" rifle. Recoil is LESSER than a standard M1-A believe it or not. I put a handgun scope that is detachable on the barrel rail mount (Burris 1.75-4X) and that gives me more precision than an open sighted (non-scoped) standard M1 A any day--the problem with getting the standard version is the scoping thing--once you finally get one on the stock is not right for the proper cheek weld.
I've heard the thoughts both ways on Fulton or Springfield. Never owned a Fulton but I never had a problem with a Springfield M1-A whether it was bought in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s.
Perhaps in the 2010s I may get another standard Springfield--it's mostly an urge more than a need!
 

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I'm going to be buying a new M1A, and I heard a casual comment from one
person that Springfield Armory does not put out as good a product as
Fulton Armory. It was not his own personal experience, but rather from
another shooter. He said that Fulton puts out a slightly better product.
More to the point, he said that Springfield imports a number of parts from
foreign shores but that Fulton does not.

Not even sure if there was an issue in the difference of quality, or was he
just pointing out an "imported vs. domestic" issue.

Can any of you offer your insight on this issue? Thanks.

-Steve

P.S. The specific M1A model I had my sights on (at Springfield) is at:
http://www.springfield-armory.com/images/rifles/MA9102Large.jpg
I could write a couple books.

Best option would be to pickup as much USGI Surplus parts as possible, get LRB Receiver from LRB, and get Jon Wolfe to assemble. Let Jon provide the op rod, I like Mike Sadlak's plate match piston that bleeds recoil, boys on RWVA site will set you straight too. M-14Parts.com or something like that, google LRB arms up in Yankeeville USA. Unitize gas cylinder it does matter, polish ferrule and lip on stock (Part name escapes me now) but part of the gas cylinder parts group, front and rear sights to suit your eyes, or get LRB M25 "pre"railed receiver for scope. I like Kreiger bbls 21 inch 4 groove 1:12 SS medium weight or their OEM bbl available from LRB and others the criterion line (I prefer chrome lined and standard weight in those bbl's.

Next best is (imho) Fulton Armory. (maybe even a notch above cosmetically

BTW you are not comparing apples to apples here, to start with MA9102 is base entry all commercial rifle, investment cast receiver even though I have not burst one yet, I tend to shut my eye after 12,000 - 14,000 rounds through one of their (SA) receivers.

Except for the fact that I personally hate Ron Smith (but he does not care - nor do I for that matter) Smith Enterprises makes one hell of a rifle, be prepared to wait.

Good luck and happy shooting, I personally would NEVER have a wood stock on another M1A-M14 Fibreglass USGI first choice, or the SA synthetics second choice. I'm high master and have never been able to out shoot a single lugged match M1A, M14.

Enjoy....you might want to mortgage house for ammo, it's out there but very expensive. Fulton has good deals on cases of Blackhills.
 
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