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Old 04-11-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
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Noobie?? Compelling reasons why is M1A better than Garand?

I've been scanning this site over the past couple days trying to learn what I can. I've even considered selling a Garand in order to begin funding an M1A purchase, but then I started wondering why.....they're so similar.
Aside from the clear advantage of being magazine fed, and possibly being slightly lighter, what makes an M1A better? They have the same action, same sights, same ergonomics (except for loading magazine/en bloc differences), similar caliber, etc. I don't know for sure, but I bet both are equally accurate when tweaked properly.
I hope this isn't one of those blasphemous topics that starts a firestorm.....I assure you I'm just asking questions for knowledge sake. I'd like one, but I think I could buy 2-3 nice Garands for what one nice M1A would cost.
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:37 AM   #2
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A lot has to do with what you feel comfortable shooting. Both are good Platforms. Both M1 and M-1A require a little more maintenance than an AR-15.By that I mean you will need to have them re-glass bedded every season or so.

I have shot both .My score jumped about 40 points when I switched to the M1-A.But that was just me.An M-1 Can shoot good scores to.

IMHO the .308 Cartridge is jus t a little better for over the course shooting then 30-06.

The trick is to have a top Notch Armor go over the rifle before you start shoot in competition.

Good luck with your selection.

Find some friends or a CMP Club and shoot both .Find what works and go for it.

Regards , Mike
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:45 AM   #3
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My scores also increased after switching to my m1a.

I thought the M1A would be harder to reload during the rapid fire stages, because the clip automaticaly pops out on the Garand. But it's actually easier to reload the M1A.

Surplus 7.62 is cheaper than .30-06. So if you're a beginner like me you get to practice more.

But the garand feels a lot more comfortable in offhand, cause it doesn't have the magazine getting in the way.
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:19 PM   #4
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1. Bolt roller on the m14 allows the bolt to move even in severe wet weather - the garand bolt would sometimes fail after all the grease was washed off
2. The gas piston on the m14 prevents the op rod from overheating in prolonged fire so it does not bend/warp as easily as the m1 garand
3. 7.62
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:45 PM   #5
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Many good reasons to prefer the M14 in the above posts!

A "good" Garand is going to cost around $1000 around these parts unless you go CMP and luck out.

The improved gas system of the M14 puts far less stress on its operating components.

The M14 platform is, in fact, more accurate than the M1, rifle for rifle. The M14 has consistantly scored better in Service Rifle competition when both rifles used to compete side by side.This is due to the inherently better accuracy offered by the M14, the fact that its potential has been more highly developed by the armorers, and the fact that the 7.62 NATO cartridge is naturally more accurate than the .30-'06.

And most important to me, good surplus 7.62 ammo is readily available from many sources. It looks like the supply of .30-'06 has been drying up for quite a while. And check the price difference!

Please don't consider any of this to be a put-down of the Garand. I've got one of the early CMP Garands, an SA 1944 that was arsenal overhauled in 1953 with a new Marlin barrel and all of the post-war improvements. I really like it and I don't think that I'd ever get rid of it. But I'd never start building one now!

I am, however, starting a new LRB M14SA build this week
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:42 AM   #6
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Gus Fisher was saying over on that the service teams saw a dip in scores when they switched over to the M14. Soon after, the quality of match barrels to a leap forward with makers like Douglas and Kreiger and the scores came back up to what they had been with the M1. He argues that a top end M1 will shoot better because the gas port is farther down the barrel than it is on the M14.

I personally doubt you could see the difference on paper between the two rifles if equally well shod and tweaked out.

You'll have to ask a lot of people to find one that got a bad M1 from the CMP.

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Old 04-12-2005, 07:28 AM   #7
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Not to belabor the point, but sure it took some development time on the M14 before the scores came up to those of the M1. It's a learning curve situation that always happens when a new system is introduced. That's why the military teams shoot both weapons while the new one is breaking in.

The service teams also saw a dip in scores when they initially switched to the M16 in competition. With the change to the M14 and to the M16, the dip in scores could be traced to a combination of things. The older, more experienced shooters were not used to the new rifles and in quite a few cases didn't want to adapt to it, opting to retire instead. Newer, less experienced shooters were left to pick up the slack. A dip in scores was only natural.

The team armorers had to learn a new weapons system in both cases. What worked for the old system didn't necessarily work for the new one. More time behind the learning curve. None of this means that the M1 is superior to the M14 in competition. Remember that the M14 still holds the highest score ever recorded in Service Rifle competition.

True, match barrel technology saw a great improvement, but so did bullet development. The Sierra MatchKing was a tremendous gain on the old .30 cal. 173gr match bullet used in the M72 and the M118 cartridges.

Just my opinion, but I believe that the M14 will hold a slight accuracy advantage over the M1 platform, all things being equal. Gus has his belief about the superiority of the M1 gas port position. I, on the other hand, believe that the 'softer' operation of the M14 gas system contributes to its better accuracy.

I never said that there are 'bad' CMP M1's, but I've seen some not-so-nice ones as of late with the supply getting leaner.

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Old 04-12-2005, 08:54 PM   #8
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Go for the garands. There are plenty of good armorers that will bring the garand up to m14 standards and beyond. IMHO the garand is easier and faster to reload than the m14, is better balanced and ergonomically better suited for HP competition.

Addressing the refinements of the m14. Unless you plan on going to battle any time soon, they really won't matter.

308 vs 30-06, mostly academic, it's like arguing chevy is better than pontiac. Practically, the 30-06 has far more advantages than the 308. Top scores in HP were posted with M1 and 30-06, and as it's popularity grows, they will again.

The garand fell victim to timing in regard to HP competition. Think about it, why would armorers spend time refining garands when they need to be refining current issue m14s? Now, with the flood of garands on the market and their relative inexpense, you can put together a NM m1 for a third to half the cost of a NM m14 and there will not be a frog hairs difference in accuracy.

Clint Fowler and Gus Fisher make compelling arguments in favor of of the M1 over the M14. In the end, what you want, is all that matters; either rifle will perform admirably. Good luck with your decision.

Here is the link to Clint Fowlers web site. I hope to have one of my garands accurized by him in the near future.

edited by OpRod
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Old 04-13-2005, 01:28 AM   #9
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Differences between...2cents...

Welcome aboard Robbytheguy--I'm surprised the 'old timers' haven't extended the 'unwritten/written rules'--To get more ammo, etc.

Anyway, my long ago studies led me to believe that the longer op-rod spring of the M1 caused some 'harmonic shifting' in some standard stocks. THAT the M-14 was an improved version...which means one thing to some and another to others(LOL). In either case, the en-bloc clips must be retrieved and often cleaned of moisture, mud, snow, etc., if you want re-use them, where-as with the box-magazine-clip of the 14, allows for a more efficient switch from empty to full, i.e., 20 rounds over the 8 of the M1. When I'm out in the wooded muskegs I utilize a Sproingfield 5 rounder mag for better handling. (Placed a ring into the floorplate in order to quickly remove it for a 20 rounder if needed).

As you know: the M1 expended rounds eject upwards and the 14 exits to say the 2 o'clock position and therefore allows for the use of a scope mounting that does not present the minor parallax problem as the M1's side-mount presents. If I sighted an M1 scoped rifle with my left eye, my cheek wield is not too bad, but with my right eye it is just not too good. Hence, another reason I went with the 14 variant. I'm ok at 100 yds through standard peep, but the eyes kind-of lose it beyond, that so I need a scope. Since there are no organized matches anywhere in this part of Alaska, I could care less about match requirements and rules. The .308 is about the most efficient round made and is often carried in bolt actions for the hunt. Side arms of nothing less than .44mag. is intended for bear protection...There are superior parts from the M1 Garand that can even up-grade the M14, i.e., the early style hammer spring plunger with wings. Why I like it is for two reasons. A. It holds a dab of grease better, therefore longer, and B. It has next to no lateral 'play/slop'. Little refinements like that are what are considered match grade modifications. There are a lot more ofcourse. When we were gett'in ready for the war effort, I practiced estimating yardage between reference points everyday for about two hours of walking to class/home. Therefore, I opted to use the elevation drum off of a M1 to go on my variant for ease of use. Something about that damned metric stuff that just does'nt sink in for me. Sort-of problematic as parallax. The less confused I am the better off I am to place my shot(s).

The inherent ability of wood to swell and twist/warp on some stocks more than others of even the same species of wood has it that most prefer some kind of synthetic stocks to better insure accuracy, i.e., taking out a practical harmonic problem, or theoretical if you wish, no point in starting an arguement. Almost every guide/hunter I know uses synthetic stocks for what ever stick they use up here in the weird weather of Alaska. Synthetic stocks for the 14 are fairly easy to come by.

The knowlege base of the highly respectable fellows here at this site is quite incredible and you will find every answer to every question you pose. Take notes and Good Luck
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:22 PM   #10
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Garand or M14 Clone

Unless you buy a SA Inc Garand you are buying a USGI battle rifle not a commercial reproduction. The heart of any rifle is the reciever. all Garands receivers are USGI with above exception and have forged USGI receivers tested and proofed to USGI spec. I wonder with that said how many commercial M14 would pass the same test for a USGI M14 with the exception of the select fire part, when the proof round was fired. I have both the M14 bieing a Polytech turned into a USGI look alike with mostly USGI parts. But when I hold it there is nothing to compare to a USGI Garand in excellent condition it is authentic the real thing. However I really do enjoy shooting my M14 clone more for whatever reason whether it is the 2o round detachable mag or feel or 7.62 NATO round. Also it is a lot easier to find good surplus NATO 7.82 than M2 anymore the only surplus import in that being Korean. Last thing in favor of Garand is the fun factor of holding it while watching Band of Brothers in case Easy Company needs some reinforcements. Love them both.
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:00 PM   #11
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You NEED to have both....and that's all there is to it!!! I have 2 of each...and tho I prefer the M1A..that's personal preference..I wouldn't part with either. Both are great rifles and have a lot of history behind them...emphasize....BOTH
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:33 PM   #12
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You should have both. If your Garand is a nice one, a keeper, don't sell it. Save up an find a good used M1A. Take your time and get what you really want. Years from now you'll be happy you still have the Garand. They will get more expensive over time, and 20 years from now may be worth more than the M1A. I would recommend people get a Garand first, as well as a .22 for practice, and build themselves an M1A when they are ready. Good deals DO come along if you keep your eyes open (especially if you keep contact with HP shooters as the older guys retire), so if you have some cash at the ready, you may get a lot better deal than someone who wants a new one right now.

-- cw
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Old 04-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #13
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What!? I don't believe it.

Nobody said, "Garand Thumb?"
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Old 04-15-2005, 07:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by shan
What!? I don't believe it.

Nobody said, "Garand Thumb?"
Well said. However, I was "compelled" to have both. That's what I did. Still no M1 thumb... (salt please)
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:30 PM   #15
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Knock on wood, but...
I have never busted a thumb on my Garand. Its a great rifle and deserves a very special place in history...and everybody's hearts.

There is no denying, though, that the M14 is a superior weapon.
It is simply a product-improved Garand, even with John C. Garand's own help! The battle info from WW2 and Korea helped shape our last true wood-and-steel-full-rifle-caliber battlerifle. Putting aside accuracy
for us target-blasters, the real merit of the M14 is that is was a more
battle-worthy rifle than the Garand.

But, seeing as how we are not carrying either weapon into battle
ourselves, this is a moot point. As other readers pointed out, you need both. If you love the father, you will love the son. Enjoy them both, as no other nation has ever produced quality weapons as these...

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Old 04-16-2005, 04:35 AM   #16
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One more thing to consider…
The aftermarket has fully embraced the M14/M1A platform
with all sorts of modified and upgraded parts and accessories.
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:16 PM   #17
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I've owned and shot alot of m1's, Shot and owned alot of M1a's too, shot alot of issue M14's service grades ( semi and full ) and Match 14's. I have shot them both in Highpower competition.

The only advantage of the 14 IMOP is the 20rd detachable mag, and to me it's not that big of a deal because I can shoot and reload a M1 pretty damn fast !
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:52 PM   #18
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If you are like me, obsessed with American military firepower, you must simply own a few of each. Of course that's not limited to just the Garand or M14 platform. I am not crazy about the AR, that said I simply must have a few for the collection. The 14 has a special place, being that it was the last "true" battle rifle, the Garand, for it's connection with the "greatest generation".
Bye the way, don't forget to throw in a few M1 carbines
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