View Full Version : Why is the M1A/M14 so pricey?

11-29-2011, 03:39 PM
I realize this is a bit off topic, but given that the Garand seems to be the template for the M1A/M14, I figured it was safe to post this here. Is there a sound reason why the M1A/M14 costs so much more than a Garand?

For instance, Fulton Armory M14s start at $2,500 and top out at $4,250. http://www.fulton-armory.com/M14-Rifles.aspx

CTD has Springfield M1As starting at $1,250 and topping out at $3,000. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?sort=priceLow&utm_campaign=M1A1ForumSocial120710&pagesize=1000&catid=7785&utm_source=AR15com&utm_medium=EquipmentExchange&mfgid=286&utm_source=AR15Forum&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=20111004-AR15Forum-M1A

Conversely, the CMP will sell you a field grade Garand for $500 and a correct grade for $1,100.

Why does the M1A/M14 command essentially 2.5 to 3 times the price of the Garand? Is the option of having a 20 round magazine versus an 8 round clip the basis for the cost multiplier?

11-29-2011, 04:07 PM
I'll take a stab at it. I imagine the price is so high because it is a labor-intensive, expensive material-made device. It's got very few parts that are stamped (trigger guard is all I can think of off the top of my head), they're almost all milled steel components. That is expensive to produce. Contrast that to the post-Korean war guns (H&K G3, FN FAL, etc.). They're stamped steel components as much as can be done, or in the case of the M16's, which are as much aluminum as possible. Also, the cost of manufacture is not factored into the cost of a CMP rifle. If it were, I'd imagine the cost would be as high as, if not more, than an M1A.

col b
11-29-2011, 05:20 PM
Great question! I am going to assume that the CMP drives the price of M1s and that tends to suppress the market. The CMP can't sell NFA weapons, so the M1A standard is the Springfield and Foreign versions. The SA is relatively expensive with a standard grade M1A at about $1400 with Match Grades much higher. Although the CMP sells the kits, that puts pressure on all the "non-inlcuded" parts. Receiver being three times the cost of a CMP m1 receiver at $500 and more for forged and rear lugged versions. What makes it worse is that many folks who buy late M1As without GI parts want to sell them and buy USGI. I put my CMP kit together for about $1400 with SA receiver, USGI SA bolt and '59 SA barrel. That's about as cheap as it gets without buying a Chinese version.

11-29-2011, 05:26 PM
Since there are fewer USGI M14 parts around they command higher prices
With the shortage of M14 parts many are manufactured not to mention M1A Receivers are all commercially made.
If you had to manufacture all Garand parts you would see prices skyrocket also

11-29-2011, 05:58 PM
I have a background in manufacturing, working in machine shops large and small.

The biggest reason for the price point is simple market demand. The amount of machining and the fact that the M1A/M14 is all steel does play a role too. Steel is much cheaper to buy, but it costs far more to machine steel in both cutter life and machine time. But it's mostly the number of units being sold is far less than the AR platform. Most shooters are "casual shooters" and they also tend to be younger these days. They also tend to gravitate to the newer "more technologically advanced" designs. Of course ammo cost is a factor in there somewhere too and .223 is just a lot cheaper and more available than M1A/M14 compatible ammo. Lots of specific reasons to point to and every one of them can be overcome with mass production methods, but they all lead to market demand.

Another example is look at USPSA competition. The revolver division is barely represented. Give the average competitor a choice between a S&W M&P 40 and a 686+ revolver and he'll pick that auto every time. Even though that revolver will likely be capable of putting every single round in the A zone of a target at 75 yards when the auto won't, they'll pick the plastic blaster every time. At any given regional level match there will likely be 12 or less revolver shooters out of 200+ shooters.

Ditto for 3gun. AR rifles and Benelli shotguns simply rule. And like it or not, sporting and competitions are what drives market demand and the latest go fast gizmo is what will sell.

11-29-2011, 06:41 PM
Big part is development cost.The US GOV paid the bill in 1936 era dollars,and considered the bill paid when we won WW11.Since they made millions of m1"s the price came way down.They destroyed thousands since the m1"s job was done. The gov isnt too worried about cost.If the CMP gets a rifle at a very reduced price,they can sell it at a very fair price,and still turn a profit.M1a-M14 rifles are largely hand built by the thousands which means cost goes up per unit.Each company uses a different set of specs for its receivers,and they dont share development costs so each company who gets in the buisness is largely starting over, so the price of development gets passed on to the buyer.

11-29-2011, 07:23 PM
SAI (Geneseo, IL) has the best warranty and customer service in the business. That's got to factor somewhat into the price point. That's all I really have to add, other than the M1A/M14 is a work of art and is worth its hefty price tag.

11-29-2011, 07:34 PM
Could it also be we gave hundreds of thousands to "allies" which we will never see again, thousands more cut up, and the military is keeping theirs close to the chest... parts are unobtanium also???

11-29-2011, 07:38 PM
It's Clintons fault he cut up (demilled for the politically correct) thousands of M14 so there is not the surplus like the Garand

11-30-2011, 01:50 AM
For the same reason you can buy a surplus Navy minesweeper that cost a million bucks to manufacture for $35k at an auction, you can buy a surplus Garand for $495.

A newly manufactured "M14" isn't really comparable to a surplus rifle or boat...it's more like buying a new Boston Whaler.

11-30-2011, 05:45 AM
They're brand new and not 60 years old. Wait 60 years and see what a current manufacture M1A sells for.

11-30-2011, 06:13 AM
would't production total have somthing to do with it? far less were made, than garands.less replacement parts, not much time in service,and of course-capt. crunch.all this would keep prices higher.look what e2 stocks are going for, its a piece of wood.higher cap mag ,shoots well,and looks just plain cool as hell. wood,plastic,steel,grease, oil.[must stop, starting to shake.]

11-30-2011, 06:39 AM
Its the machining of the reciever. Springfield Armoury uses cast recievers while 7.62MM and LRB use a forged which is like the original M14. They also have to make it so it's not easy in ATF eyes to turn into a full auto weapon. I have my own opinion on SA M1a's which is why I built a LRB with GI parts kits . So far one season into High Power and not a glitch. If you tried to build an M1 garand today with forged reciever price would close if not the same as an M1A.

11-30-2011, 08:16 AM
For the same reason you can buy a surplus Navy minesweeper that cost a million bucks to manufacture for $35k at an auction, you can buy a surplus Garand for $495.

A newly manufactured "M14" isn't really comparable to a surplus rifle or boat...it's more like buying a new Boston Whaler.

I'll take an ole "Elco" over a Boston Whaler, anyday!:D

11-30-2011, 10:37 AM
The SAI M1A has a cast receiver, if the current SAI M1A had a real forged steel receiver like a USGI M1 Garand has the price would be even higher...much much higher.

11-30-2011, 11:32 AM
7.62 Firearms make a real forged receiver and their pricing isn't that much higher than other cast receivers out there.


Just my $0.02