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JGW006 01-13-2018 10:58 PM

Supermatch vs Custom M1A Built by Top M1A Builder
Hi, as I'm waiting to get my Garands' built, I'm interested in getting a top shelf M1A also. I know much less about the M1A than the Garand. My goal for an M1A would be top shelf all the way through the rifle: accuracy, trigger, fit, aesthetics, . . . everything about the rifle that makes is a joy to just look at, a pleasure to shoot, and friends envious that its beauty is surpassed by its accuracy.

I'm sure I can just by a Springfield Super Match, but will that meet all my criteria (including AAA furniture)? Or do I get a base model Springfield M1A and send it to one of the top builders to work their magic on it?

I'm not shooting in the sandbox (unless I catch a cat in it!), so I don't need "sandbox" level durability, but I still want that as well.

Ideas / references to builders? I don't mind spending for top quality.


Deuceguy 01-13-2018 11:19 PM

JGW, there are a lot if threads here with good info on all manufacturers and parts. Do your research. You may want to build one or two on your own with a mixture of parts.. It’s not hard, just takes patience.

No purse swinging or bashing!! LOL!

JGW006 01-13-2018 11:24 PM

Thank you for your suggestions. I've learned tons on this site as information pertains to the M1 Garand. I've tought myself through the information here, and several youtube videos to do most of the work on strippinig, detailing, replacing parts, etc. on the M1. I expect I'll want to do that on the M1A as well, but I really like having a known, top end sample to start with. That may not make much sense, but no one has every accused me of having a bunch of top sense!

Since I've had M1s for a number of years, I am less nervous about working on them. The M1A I have no experience with, and really want to start with a custom built rifle!

Renisin 01-14-2018 12:10 AM

Well Sir, the best place to start is with the receiver once you get that squared away along with the rest of the parts you will need you will want to choose the right armor and that would be Jon Wolfe of M14 Armory. He has built several M14s for me including a more involved XM25 version with great results.

I was lucky to have purchased three GunWorks of Lower Alabama receivers, the best I've had the pleasure of shooting, smooth like butta! If you can find one that is the route to take barring that go with LRB, unless you can find a five line SAI. receiver.

You could always buy a older but little used SAI. five line with many USGI M14 parts and change out the things you don't want. It will give you great bang for your buck.


nf1e 01-14-2018 06:10 AM

My suggestion would be to get in touch with a real match rifle builder. Ted Brown comes to mind. Let the builder know what you are looking for and work together toward than end.
The builder and the barrel used are usually way more important a particular type receiver or consumable parts used.
Good luck and enjoy the hobby.

Semper Fi

oodnoodn 01-14-2018 10:20 AM

Just to get you thinking, where is weight in your criteria? A Supermatch includes a heavy barrel & oversized stock, which add a couple pounds over a NM M1A. The SM I just sold with scope weighed every bit of 16 pounds. My SM was a lovely, well built rifle that was plenty accurate, but it's no lightweight.

Also, a SM rifle in walnut will have a nice piece of lumber, but it's likely to be pretty straight grained & nothing that would be considered fancy. If you're wanting a rifle that's accurate & showy, you probably want a custom build.

Renisin 01-14-2018 10:49 AM

The receiver is the most important part of an M14 rifle and central to it's being reliable and accurate. If you buy a lesser quality receiver you could end up with a barrel that will not time or align properly, a rear sight that no matter how much adjustment will not sight in, oh and lets not forget about mounting a scope. If that receiver is out of spec there will not be enough windage or elevation to correct for the poorly made receiver.

Sir, the receiver is the heart of the M14, if it is not correct nothing else will be...period.

My prefered receivers:

1. Gunworks of Lower Alabama
2. SEI
3. LRB
4. SAI. Five Line made by Conn. Valley Arms
5. Fulton Armory

The top three are forged, if that is of any interest, the Fulton receiver is cast and the least expensive. It is a good quality receiver and the only real drawback is the orange peel and that affects nothing but the looks of the receiver.

Now to find you a barrrel which really depends on you but you have many options in a wide range in price. The receiver being the heart, the barrel being the soul and will determine if it is an accurate rifle. I would not try to save money here, buy the best you can afford, Kreiger, Jon Wolfe, Hart, Douglas come to mind.

Now to whether you are going with USGI parts or commercial parts is a personal and financial choice. For me, I wanted the best parts that reflect the quality of parts made for the US government and are still the part of choice...USGI!

Here is the concern and why you may choose another route, they are expensive. You can find M14 parts but good quality or better is difficult and expensive. There are just a few sources for good USGI parts, TreeLine and Windy City Sourcing. They stand behind what they sell, good people to deal with.

So, before you spend any money read and decide what you want and what you can afford to spend. Knowing what you expect of your rifle will give a good indication as to what parts you will need and their cost.


ps my opinion others may differ

grateful patriot 01-15-2018 12:33 AM

Hmm. I thought SEI were machined billet as opposed to machined forging. At least My SEI #27x is machined billet. Which I waited for 13 month and 3 days but who was counting. Just sayin'.

nf1e 01-15-2018 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by grateful patriot (Post 1674032)
Hmm. I thought SEI were machined billet as opposed to machined forging. At least My SEI #27x is machined billet. Which I waited for 13 month and 3 days but who was counting. Just sayin'.

Correctomundo. Only LRB and Bula Defense are true hammer forged.
SEI is billet and GWLA were only partially forged into somewhere between a real forging and billet.

Deuceguy 01-15-2018 01:05 PM


Originally Posted by H2O MAN (Post 1674083)
Smith Enterprise is a top M14 armorer / builder.

When it comes to receivers, Cast vs. Forged vs. Billet is less
important than the dimensional correctness of the receiver.

Reach out to Ted Brown.

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