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  #1  
Old 04-01-2020, 03:31 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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AR10 vs M1A

I am curious what everybody thinks about the pros and cons of the AR10 vs. the M1A.

I already know some things:

AR platform is much more modular and easier to add options to.
The AR is easier to mount a scope on.
The AR has a drop free magazine while the M1A is a "rock and lock" magazine.
The AR is more accurate (although I am not sure how much more accurate it is).
The M1A is more durable.
The AR can be less expensive (although I have also seen some in excess of $4k).


I know that my list here, so far, is leaning heavily towards the AR, but I am curious what other pros and cons you think there are for the AR vs the M1A.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2020, 03:39 PM
army_eod army_eod is offline
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I have had a few different AR-10s. Nice guns, but not real light. I have several AR-15s.

I have had a chance to fire the M1A1 SOCOM (not the one with all the rails) and loved it. Guy had a red dot on the scout rail and there was really no recoil with that muzzle brake.

I would go with a SOCOM personally. I just like it more. It is quick handling and accurate enough.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2020, 06:47 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Do not underestimate the accuracy potential of an M1. Those guns can shoot right with any AR out there.

EDIT:......and an AR is a weapon, not a platform.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2020, 07:02 PM
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Tom Freeman Tom Freeman is offline
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I have a few AR-10s and a couple M1As. My favorite M1A is the scout. Not as short as the SOCOM, but still a handy rifle. I even mounted a 5 inch Thunderbeast suppressor on it and it runs just fine.

AR-10s are a really long and heavy rifle. The bolt/carrier weigh a ton and that is a lot of mass slapping around.

And the AR has a ton of aftermarket support and good quality mags are easy to find.

If given the choice for going shooting with friends, I grab my M1A first, FAL second and AR-10 third. But, the AR-10 is much easier to shoot and excellent drop in triggers are cheap and easy.

If I am going to a competition, I grab an AR first, second and third. Assuming I want to win.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:39 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
Do not underestimate the accuracy potential of an M1. Those guns can shoot right with any AR out there.

EDIT:......and an AR is a weapon, not a platform.
The key word above is potential... and maximizing that potential will cost you. Each M14/M1 has its own quirky personality that needs to be addressed by a (relatively rare) master gunsmith. Its not just plug and play, drop in parts.... each one needs to be diagnosed, bit by bit.

The AR10 is much more predictable, you can take 10 off the rack guns, make the same mods, and get essentially the same results...

Don't get me wrong, I love the M14, particularly in a scout configuration. Its a great blend of a SDM and CQB rifle. I carried a couple in AFG over a few tours...

However, if pure accuracy is the goal, with armorer (rather than gunsmith) level work, on a civilized budget, the AR10 can't be beat....
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2020, 09:54 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I think that you kind of answered your own question.

[QUOTE=Black Jack;13111186]I am curious what everybody thinks about the pros and cons of the AR10 vs. the M1A.

I already know some things:

AR platform is much more modular and easier to add options to.
The AR is easier to mount a scope on.
The AR has a drop free magazine while the M1A is a "rock and lock" magazine.
The AR is more accurate (although I am not sure how much more accurate it is).
The M1A is more durable.
The AR can be less expensive (although I have also seen some in excess of $4k).

My Springfield M1-A is a pretty good rifle. But getting the Sadlak mount to work correcly for glass was a real PITA. And now even with good glass it is not even a 2 MOA rifle, not even close. My S&W AR-10 is a pretty good rifle and with the Trigicon 1X8 on it. It is a pretty good option for serious duty. But it is pretty heavy. If the crap really hits the fan I will likely grab my FN-FAL (match). This is the one that will go the distance IMO.

Unfortunately real ones are hard to find, and pricey when you do find them. Otherwise I would have two or three of them. And some of the parts gun do not measure up. I have glass on mine now and it really shoots.
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2020, 10:02 PM
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
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I've owned a Colt SP-1 since the late 1980s. Have shot it fairly extensively through the years and even dabbled with using it in high-power competition on a range that used reduction targets at 100 yards.

I also have an full sized M1A which has seen competition use. I prefer the M1A and wouldn't be interested in owning and using an AR 10.

I have never been enamored of all things AR, all the time.

Don't pay me too much mind though for I also still admire the M1. Oh, and the simple ol' Model 1903 Springfield. I am a fogy.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2020, 10:14 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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Thanks for the quick responses.

I have looked at the numbers and have seen the weights listed for the AR10's. I agree and I don't think they are any lighter than the M1A, unless maybe you are talking a stripped down AR10 vs a wooden stocked M1A. I actually have an older M1A, manufactured in '97, and it doesn't weigh any more that the weight listed for most of the AR10's out there and less than a lot of them.

As for accuracy, my M1A is able to consistently give me sub 2" groups at 100 yards, with my best 5 shot group being just about an inch and the average being about 1 1/2". Even though this is not as good as what I understand most AR10's can do, it is better than a lot of the M1A's out there are doing (I dread the day that I will have to have it re-barrelled).

Although I love the idea of being able to get 1" groups all day long, I really do not need anything better than the accuracy that I am getting with the M1A. Also, I really like the ergonomics of the M1A over my AR15, and I am guessing that, aside from the additional weight, the ergonomics of an AR10 would be about the same as the AR15.

Really, the AR10 has three features that I really like and make wonder if I want to think about getting one. It can be had, in some cases, for less money. It has drop free magazines. It is much easier to put a scope on (no need to ad a cheek riser when putting the scope on).

Basically, the cost and the drop free magazines are pluses, but it is really the ease of mounting and mounting a scope that even makes me think about it. If there was some way of mounting a scope low enough, without needing a cheek riser, and being able to go back and forth between the scope and the iron sights quickly and easily, I doubt I would even be thinking about an AR10.

Thanks again for your input. I know that I will eventually get another 308 semi and was just wondering if the AR10 was worth considering.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2020, 10:21 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post

If the crap really hits the fan I will likely grab my FN-FAL (match). This is the one that will go the distance IMO.

Unfortunately real ones are hard to find, and pricey when you do find them. Otherwise I would have two or three of them. And some of the parts gun do not measure up. I have glass on mine now and it really shoots.
I have thought about the FAL, but have never gone too far down that road because of the fluted chamber. I reload my own and have always heard that having a fluted chamber ruins the brass so that it can't be reloaded.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2020, 10:27 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Don't pay me too much mind though for I also still admire the M1. Oh, and the simple ol' Model 1903 Springfield. I am a fogy.
Yup, I'm at the point where I have a few more years behind me that i do in front of me now, so I guess I'm an old fogy too.

I also have a 1903 and I like it, but haven't had it out in years. I wish that I could find a 1903 reproduction chambered in 308! I have thought about the M1, but somehow it just has never been as interesting to me as the 1903 or the M14/M1A.
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2020, 11:51 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Originally Posted by Black Jack View Post
I have thought about the FAL, but have never gone too far down that road because of the fluted chamber. I reload my own and have always heard that having a fluted chamber ruins the brass so that it can't be reloaded.
You are confusing the FAL with an HK 91/G-3. No flutes in a FAL.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2020, 01:55 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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That one had me scratching my head also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
You are confusing the FAL with an HK 91/G-3. No flutes in a FAL.
I have reloaded brass from my FN a number of times with no issues.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2020, 06:52 AM
Sailormilan2 Sailormilan2 is offline
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I have both. I have the Palmetto PA10 and Tanker, Standard, and Medium weight barrels M14s. The PA10, which I put together, cost about 1/2 as much as an M14. The PA10 has a 20" barrel, which is heavier than that on an M14. So, with a loaded 20 rd magazine, the PA10 weighs as much, or more, than an M14.
Because of that, to me, the PA10 doesn't balance quite as well. Most of the weight is out front. The AR pattern is easier to scope. The M14 has a better trigger, and easier to work on.
Nothing really wrong with the AR pattern PA10, but I prefer the M14.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2020, 07:33 AM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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I also have both: a Springfield 16" Socom Scout and several AR-10s. I don't shoot off of a bench, unless I'm zeroing a scope, so for me accuracy is being able to put 5 rounds into a paper dinner plate at 100 yards, offhand. I'd call my version of accuracy a wash between the M1A and the AR-10. They're both quick handling and easy to shoot, in the shorter versions. Weight seems about the same.

The only differences for me are that the AR-10 is easier to mount an optic onto, and optimized for it, where the M1A is set up for iron sight shooting. The other difference being the insertion of magazines being easier in the AR-10. The iron sights on the Socom Scout are outstanding, a ghost ring rear and a tritium post front. I run that rifle optic free. The magazine insertion issue is pretty minor. I think that with some training, one could learn to insert an M1A magazine about as fast as an AR-10 magazine. They're both great rifles!
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2020, 03:05 PM
VoceNoctum VoceNoctum is offline
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I've had a lot of guns, but currently lack a 308 as I just recently sold my M1a SOCOM. A G3 recoils more and lacks a BHO and is heavy, but fun enough.

FAL's are great battle rifles, nice and slim, folding stock is fun, but I do think they're outdated (even as I'm contemplating buying a DSA Israeli...).

M1A's have a real nice feel to them as a classical style and I've never understood why someone would buy it and throw it in a pistol grip chassis. They're generally accurate, sight naturally, scoping is so-so. I had the SOCOM, which had the forward rail, but also had the brake that was a bit too loud/ flashy. Getting the replacement stuff to mount a silencer didn't seem worth the $, considering how much I had already paid.

I used to have an Armalite AR10, and it was a great rifle. They do feel heavier than the M1a or FAL, but then Armalite always liked those heavy barrels too. It has all the advantages of a AR15 (BHO, ergo controls, magazines that fly from the gun rather than being pried out, accuracy) and shoots good.

So, for a classic feel, the M1a is probably better, but... I think I like the M1 Garand even more for a true classic feel, so screw it, I'll stick with the Garand for that. I also have a pair of Mini14's for when I feel like trying to see if a magazine is seated or not.

For a modern gun, I think the AR10 wins all around really. The main drawback is that every company that makes a 308 AR has a variation to their product usually, so there is not as much interchangeable as might be thought at first. I may get a S&W M&P10 to give that a try, but DPMS is dead now and not sure what PSA uses compared to Armalite or some others. I don't think the Colt CM762 is available anymore either.


Also, not sure why you'd think an M1a has the advantage in durability? I doubt one will break before the other, but the AR10 will probably be much easier to self-repair vs the M1a.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2020, 05:16 PM
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Talking

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  #17  
Old 04-02-2020, 07:03 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
The key word above is potential... and maximizing that potential will cost you. Each M14/M1 has its own quirky personality that needs to be addressed by a (relatively rare) master gunsmith. Its not just plug and play, drop in parts.... each one needs to be diagnosed, bit by bit.

The AR10 is much more predictable, you can take 10 off the rack guns, make the same mods, and get essentially the same results...

Don't get me wrong, I love the M14, particularly in a scout configuration. Its a great blend of a SDM and CQB rifle. I carried a couple in AFG over a few tours...

However, if pure accuracy is the goal, with armorer (rather than gunsmith) level work, on a civilized budget, the AR10 can't be beat....
I've got 2 Garands. One in -06 and the other in .308. Both came from Port Clinton CMP and came with new Criterion barrels. I haven't shot the -06 much but the 308 will shoot moa all day long with Hornady Match ammo. I might have gotten lucky, but I have good friends that shoot in the National Matches and they tell me my gun is typical of a newly barreled gun.

But I get what you're saying. An AR10..... actually any AR... is going to be more "plug and play" WRT accuracy when compared to an M1.
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2020, 07:44 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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An AR-10 can be suppressed, is lighter, and is more accurate. Optics mounting simpler too. The M1A is an inferior rifle in every way possible, except in the looks department.
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  #19  
Old 04-02-2020, 08:12 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
I've got 2 Garands. One in -06 and the other in .308. Both came from Port Clinton CMP and came with new Criterion barrels. I haven't shot the -06 much but the 308 will shoot moa all day long with Hornady Match ammo. I might have gotten lucky, but I have good friends that shoot in the National Matches and they tell me my gun is typical of a newly barreled gun.

But I get what you're saying. An AR10..... actually any AR... is going to be more "plug and play" WRT accuracy when compared to an M1.
Does it have legs? Will it hold MOA @ 300, 500, 700m? The reason I ask it that tons of off the rack rifles are MOA @ 100m, but can't go the distance....

My observations were generic, broad stroaks- dollar for dollar, an AR10 will be more accurate than an M14/M1A, from off the rack to full custom.

Quote:
The M1A is an inferior rifle in every way possible, except in the looks department.
I'd say that the M14/M1A handles a bit better, not as nose heavy... weight is so dependent on what you do to the rifle, I'd call it a wash....

The Sprinfield M1A EBR I had for one tour was a piece of crap. I got it NIB, from SA. There was a big "warning" card in the box, stating that it was only guarenteed to be a 2.5MOA gun... the chassis system weight about as much as a midsize Volkswagen, and the one could shave with the rails.... it spent a lot of time in the truck....

Conversely, I had an 18" M14 in a McMillan stock with a scout scope that an associate had cobbled together in some dark, oily shed somewhere in the bowls of FT Bragg.... in my average skill- on a good day- hands, it was an honest 1.5MOA gun out to 700m. With a real shooter, I'd call it a legit 1MOA gun all day long, +/- 1/10. It can be done- but the work that went into that rifle probably would have retailed for $4k- not counting a quality base gun or optic.... I've carried a lot of rifles in service; thats the only one that holds a special place.... If I could have gotten away with "losing" it, I probably would have.
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Last edited by wccountryboy; 04-02-2020 at 08:14 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2020, 09:42 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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When we say AR-10, are we talking about something like the Dutch were building in the late '50s, or are we talking about a KAC SR-25?

The 308 AR platform has evolved a lot over the decades, and has many unique attributes among different manufacturers. The M14/M1A have remained essentially the same since 1957, aside from having different stocks and barrel lengths offered.
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  #21  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:15 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by FNHipowerluv View Post
An AR-10 can be suppressed, is lighter, and is more accurate. Optics mounting simpler too. The M1A is an inferior rifle in every way possible, except in the looks department.
I agree.

I have had a few M1A's over the years, including a collectible Texas made NM that was the nicest of the ones I've owned. But they never warmed my heart on the shooting range. I even used it in He-Man competition for a few years. That really showed me how the ergonomics and handling characteristics of the AR15/AR308 were vastly superior.

Fast forward to today, and the AR308 industry has finally started to show the diversity that the AR15 market has for so many years. The early AR308's were very limited in their feature sets and parts compatibility. Today there is still several different patterns, so you need to know which receiver design your working with, but the options abound. No longer are you limited to big heavy long barrels. This is an example of what can easily be done. Its considerably more accurate than even my NM was and lighter than a SOCOM. With the stock folded its shorter than my 8" barreled 9mm SBR.
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2020, 10:45 AM
earlwb earlwb is offline
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I think that the AR10 has a simplicity about it as compared to the M1A. Easy to change barrels, change uppers, and so on. You can even build one out of parts fairly easily too. Easy to modify or change it around however one wants to. Thus it is easy to have several uppers for different calibers or purposes. You can't do that with the M1A.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:11 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
Does it have legs? Will it hold MOA @ 300, 500, 700m? The reason I ask it that tons of off the rack rifles are MOA @ 100m, but can't go the distance....

My observations were generic, broad stroaks- dollar for dollar, an AR10 will be more accurate than an M14/M1A, from off the rack to full custom. .
Not sure how it would do as I've never shot it past 200. But I know that most good shooters at Camp Perry are shooting MOA at 600 yds, and the winners are doing better than that.

Again....my post wasn't to claim the the M1 was overall more accurate than an AR 10. Rather it was to point out than an M1 is no slouch in that dept. Clearly it can be a very accurate gun, but as you noted, it takes more time and money to do so.
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:17 PM
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There are now ARs the size/weight of an AR15, chambered in 7.62.
That is, the upper and lower are the same length as the AR15, with the internals moved around to accommodate the larger magwell.
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:13 PM
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fast eddie fast eddie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FNHipowerluv View Post
When we say AR-10, are we talking about something like the Dutch were building in the late '50s, or are we talking about a KAC SR-25?

The 308 AR platform has evolved a lot over the decades, and has many unique attributes among different manufacturers. The M14/M1A have remained essentially the same since 1957, aside from having different stocks and barrel lengths offered.
Agreed, My POF in .308 weighs under 7 lbs. The original M 14s were maintenance nightmares. I have one of the CMP M1 Garands with the new criterion barrel and it shoots MOA to the limits of my range (200m) I owned a SOCOM 16 and it would not hold a group even at 100 yds. The only M1A I would be interested in is the Scout model. I passed on one last month. Been rethinking my decision.
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