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  #1  
Old 11-30-2015, 08:40 PM
2sofflead 2sofflead is offline
 
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Default M1A National Match Rifles

Looking at NM M1As and have found Fulton and SAI there is certainly a difference in price. Would anyone like to comment on actual differences in rifles? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2015, 09:45 PM
Topkick Topkick is offline
 
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I've had 2 NM Springfield Armory M1As (still have one) and a Rock Ola M14F built with all TRW parts (still have this one). My Rock Ola outshoots the Springfields every time. I don't know why - it just does.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2015, 10:12 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Quote:
Looking at NM M1As and have found Fulton and SAI there is certainly a difference in price.
Fulton is a small company in Savage, MD that have been building relatively small volumes of M1A rifles every year for the last two decades, and I presume that they use subcontractors for most if not all parts, and have relatively limited in-house manufacturing capability, hence their somewhat high prices. (I've visited their facility many years ago).

Springfield Armory Inc is the largest manufacturer of M1A rifles in the US and has been for a few decades. They are able to manufacturer many parts in-house, along with subcontracting the complex receivers. This in-house capability affords them significant economies of scale in economic terms, thereby allowing them to offer many varieties of the M1A and typically at lower prices relative to most other M1A companies. Their serial #s are now in the 300k range, so they have produced quite a lot of these rifles since the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Quote:
Would anyone like to comment on actual differences in rifles?
That is very subjective question and you'll get all kinds of strong opinions on this topic, so I won't offer my own opinion as I have never owned (just examined) Fulton Armory M1As.

I do own a couple of SAI M1As, one M1A/M21 (2007 vintage) and a 1989 vintage M1A National Match that I inherited from a relative in 2013. (Also shown in this pic at the bottom is my M40 clone):


The 1989-vintage NM M1A in the middle had a slightly loose trigger group lock-up when I inherited it, and after a brief phone call to SA in 2014, they sent me a shipping label and I shipped the rifle back to them at no cost to me, and they re-bedded the trigger group again, at no cost to me - on a 25-year old product, and returned it to me within 2 or 3 weeks. So, from a customer service perspective, I have been incredibly impressed with Springfield Armory's lifetime warranty. They stand by their products, even when they are handed down from one generation to the next...that doesn't matter to some folks, but it does to me, as I plan on handing down my SA M1s to my sons one day.

I will note that both rifles shoot well and I have no complaints about performance or reliability - but be warned that some folks like to pooh-pooh SA M1A and prefer quasi-custom built M1As built by companies like Fulton, LRB, James River/Rock-Ola, Smith Enterprises, etc. Hope that info helps.

Last edited by Random Guy; 03-31-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2015, 12:05 AM
mcpo mcpo is offline
 
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I guess Random Guy pretty well nailed it. Economy of scale....or something like that. As to who builds the better rifle? I don't know. I have a NM built by SAI, bought it used, it's a great rifle, more accurate than I am and a heckuva lot of fun to shoot. I should perhaps add that I've worked up a pretty accurate load that I use. I sometimes buy a box or two of commercial ammo but I really just do that to keep myself in brass......
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2015, 02:48 AM
missilegeek missilegeek is offline
 
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SAI parts are mostly made in Taiwan and the receiver castings are currently from Canada, I think.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2015, 08:59 PM
Moammo6 Moammo6 is offline
 
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Missilegeek, any sources to be cited for this statement? FWIW, I called SAI recently when contemplating a buy and they assured me it was US components/castings, not just assembly.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2015, 09:29 PM
aloreman aloreman is offline
 
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Wayne machine has been a known supplier of sai parts for years
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:12 PM
Renisin Renisin is offline
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I am afraid it is true, very little is made here. Most everything SAI is made off shore, Taiwan and South Korea come to mind. I do believe the receivers come from Canada but very well maybe coming from Asia as well.

Assembled here but made somewhere else.
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:16 PM
missilegeek missilegeek is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moammo6 View Post
Missilegeek, any sources to be cited for this statement? FWIW, I called SAI recently when contemplating a buy and they assured me it was US components/castings, not just assembly.

HTML Code:
dasan21.en.ec21.com/Rifle_Parts--1143800_1143814.html
waynemachine.com.tw

I believe the receivers are cast by Alphacasting in Quebec.

alphacasting.com/

I seriously doubt they could build that rifle entirely in the United States entirely at a $1200 price point.

Last edited by missilegeek; 12-02-2015 at 10:19 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2015, 08:30 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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2sofflead - Here's what I meant by folks liking to pooh pooh SAI.... As if the market place for M1As would somehow be better off if this American company quit making M1As, and/or went bankrupt? Never understand why certain folks pooh pooh them so much given that the actual quality of the product appears to be quite good for the past 30 years. (one poster even stated a few years back that SAI parts are made of "pot metal" and all kinds of other nonsense, so don't believe all that you read on the net).

Regardless, it is in SAI's financial interest to use the best quality parts they can source given their lifetime warranty, and its not like the other smaller manufactuers have the large manufacturing capability to make all the various parts for an M1A, not the mention that the surplus M14 parts effectively dried up over a decade ago, so perhaps Wayne Machine supplies some parts to Fulton Armory and the other vendors as well?...just like they supply some firearm parts to other militarys apparently. That is an unfortunate reflection of the de-industrialization of the US economy for the past 3 or 4 decades, along with the effects of increased globalization of trade.


FWIW, Alphacasting in Canada seems to make high-precision jet engine parts from castings, and given the quality control processes and ultimate precision machining that are required in the production and certification of aerospace parts, I would say that is a benefit in SAI favor - if its true that is where they get their castings.

I don't think their would be much cost savings from a labor or material's perspective for SAI to use a Canadian company, but it appears that Alphacasting must have a huge manufacturing capacity, so perhaps their are even larger economies of scale for SAI to use that company rather than make them in the USA, and I guess NAFTA promoted this type of trade as well. I will note that the serial # font on SAI rifles changed at about the 300k range a few years ago, which suggests that the first 299k of so rifles by SAI were stamped differently than the most recent receivers, so possibly they starting using either different machines or perhaps that Canadian company.

Last edited by Random Guy; 12-03-2015 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Edits
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