1) What is the difference, if any, between an M14 and an M1A?
A: The main difference between the two is the M14 was a select fire weapon. It could be fired in semiautomatic or fully automatic modes. The M1A can only be fired in the semiautomatic mode.
2) What caliber is the M1A?
A: The M1A and M14 fire the .308 Winchester/7.62×51 NATO rounds.
3) Is 7.62×51 NATO the same as .308 Winchester?
A: Essentially yes. The external dimensions are the same. The NATO round is actually loaded to lower pressures than the commercial .308 Winchester round. Both cartridges can be safely fired in guns with either chamber.
4) When was the M14 put into military service?
A: The M14 was officially adopted into U.S. military service in 1957.
5) What wars did the M14 see action in?
A: The M14 saw action for the first time in the Vietnam War. While it was officially replaced by the M16 as the standard issue service rifle by 1970, it is still used in the U.S. military by special units. It also sees use as a sniper rifle by the Marine Corps and as honor guard rifles by several branches.
6) How do I mount a scope to my M1A?
A: The most common method is the side mount. There is a single threaded mounting point on the left side of the receiver. The stripper clip guide, if it doesn’t already have a mounting point, can be replaced with one that does. This allows a mount to be attached via two thumb screws with a Picatinny-style rail on it. A newer version of the M1A, the Springfield SOCOM, will have a Picatinny rail on the handguard that allows mounting a scout style scope to the firearm.
7) How many rounds did the original M14 magazines hold?
A: The original GI mags would hold 20 rounds. There are magazines available now with 5, 10 and 30 round capacities.
8) What is a National Match model?
A: The National Match M1A is an upgraded model that is built for target shooting. Upgrades will include a hooded rear sight that has a smaller aperature and more precise adjustments, a match front sight, a better trigger group, a heavier match-grade barrel, upgraded gas system and a glass-bedded walnut stock. These improvements create a more accurate rifle for the match shooter. Springfield also offers a Super Match model with more upgrades.
9) Isn’t the M1A similar to the M1 Garand?
A: Yes. The M1A is actually a derivative of the M1 Garand. The army decided that it needed a rifle with a detachable, higher capacity magazine that fired a more compact round with similar ballistics to the .30-06 cartridge. Several design changes to the Garand were submitted and the final result became the M14.
10) I would like to add some forward rails to my M1A. Are these available?
A: Yes. Several companies produce replacement handguards that incorporate Picatinny rails for mounting a variety of accessories.
11) How can I mount a bipod to my M1A?
A: If you have a standard wood or synthetic stock, you can purchase an adapter that is made by Harris. This fits into a hole in the forearm of the stock and provides a mounting point for a bipod. Another style of bipod attaches to the gas cylinder plug under the barrel. This is the original GI-style bipod. If you own the Springfield SOCOM M1A, you can attach a bipod directly to the Picatinny rail on the bottom of the stock.
12) Does anyone make a speedloader for my M1A magazines?
A: Yes. There are several options for magazine speedloaders including the Lula and one made by Cheaper Than Dirt.