Springfield Armory M1A
There are rifles, and there are rifles. This is a rifle. The U.S. Rifle, 7.62mm, M14 was the ultimate evolution of the M1 Garand weapon system. It was an evolution of that earlier weapon, and its testimony is that it is still in use as limited standard today, 52 years after it was initially adopted, and 73 years after John Garand created the M1.
In fact, the M14 has served the U.S. as an official rifle for longer than any other service rifle except the M1903 Springfield. While most of these years have seen it in service as a limited standard, or auxiliary rifle, it has really shown its merits in front line combat in Iraq and Afghanistan where the long range, hard hitting power of the 7.62x51 NATO cartridge has again proven superior to lesser cartridges.
This is a later model Springfield M1A, and while I have owned it for about four years now, it remains unfired.
It is my third M14 type rifle. My first was a Chinese M14S, which I had only one complaint with...It was Chinese. I'm sure the Chinese are wonderful people, but I found I didn't want a Communist version of an American battle rifle.
So I sold it and bought a really nice M1A with all USGI parts, a national match barrel, a TRW bolt, oh...it was great. I had it for about ten years, and eventually sold it to finance another purchase.
I always planned on getting another one, but it took four years for me to go out and do so. During this interval Springfield Armory ran out of USGI surplus parts and started making their own. I have heard there was a decrease in quality. Not having ever fired this rifle I can't say whether I buy into that or not, but it sure looks nice. It looks nicer than either of my earlier rifles. Looks can be deceiving. Someday I'll get it out to the range and shoot it. I just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe in another 60 years or so.
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