M1A Standard Conversion to Scout Squad - Thoughts?





Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#1
So, I have a Standard Springfield M1A. I don't shoot it. I dont really enjoy it anymore, not to get into a debate, but I don't find the M14 pattern to be a "useful tool" in my collection. I used to enjoy it a lot, but, I don't really shoot it long range anymore. I would probably enjoy it alot more in a more handy size, and that would at least make it more useful in my eyes. A SOCOM 16 sized one would be pretty fantastic, but thats not really a conversion type deal.

Also, the gun was "mostly" a gift to me, so, love it or not, I am somewhat obligated to keep it around.

I'm considering doing a conversion to a Scout Squad. Has anybody done this? Did you have a local (regardless of where you lived at the time) smith do it? Did you send it out to a smith? Did you send it to Springfield?

Last I read, Springfield was actually pretty affordable (<$300) to have it converted.

Or, should I just try to TRADE for a shorter unit?

OR should I just get over the sentimental thing and sell it for something I'll actually use and enjoy a lot more?

Its just so friggin huge and heavy.....about 14lbs with the optics and a mag.
 
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#2
How long have you had it?
Have shot a squad scout or a SOCOM? Before spending the money on a conversion see if you can try one out.

If you decide to convert, go with Springfield for ~$300. I doubt a gunsmith would do it for less. Also there would be no question from SAI if it needed any warranty work.

I enjoy shooting M14 type rifles but they are not for everyone.

The used gun market and M1As have really gone soft in the past year.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#3
How long have you had it?
Have shot a squad scout or a SOCOM? Before spending the money on a conversion see if you can try one out.

If you decide to convert, go with Springfield for ~$300. I doubt a gunsmith would do it for less. Also there would be no question from SAI if it needed any warranty work.

I enjoy shooting M14 type rifles but they are not for everyone.

The used gun market and M1As have really gone soft in the past year.
I enjoy shooting it to an extent but I tend to keep everything in my safe fairly purpose driven. There are a number of reasons I don’t consider it to be a gun that I would grab if I needed to run out the door. That alone discouraged me. It just bothers me to have a huge lump of money sitting there not getting used and not even really being desired to be used. I know, I’m weird.

I haven’t shot a scout squad.

I’ve owned it for close to 10 years.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#4
Springfield's price is about half what you can expect to pay a qualified gunsmith for the parts and labor to do that conversion.

I carried one, without a scope and with one quite a bit 50+ years ago, that weight can be very welcome at times.
If you find it objectionable, maybe a lighter fiberglass or composite stock would help.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#5
Springfield's price is about half what you can expect to pay a qualified gunsmith for the parts and labor to do that conversion.

I carried one, without a scope and with one quite a bit 50+ years ago, that weight can be very welcome at times.
If you find it objectionable, maybe a lighter fiberglass or composite stock would help.
I have a GI stock.



The bottom line, and i dont mean this disrespectfully, but the rifle is a pig. And its an archaic design, but we dont need to get into the politics of all that. As far a ssemi automatic .308's are concerned there are many more newer, arguably better, more reliable, lighter weight options out there (not that i could necessarily afford one). Anyway, just looking for ways to maybe gain some enjoyment out of what I am pretty close to relegating to just an interesting piece of history. Lol, anty thats coming from a guy who carry's revolvers most of the time.
 
#6
You could build a decent PSA or similar AR10 type rifle for roughly the same money that you would be able to sell the M1A.

What is your goal of the rifle? Range gun, hunting, competition, home defense?

The M1A is really an iron sight rifle. The added weight of the scope and mount to an already "heavy" rifle does not make it good for carrying around any distance and they are not really meant to shoot off of bags on a bench. I have a Scout with optics and it would not be my first or fifth choice for hunting. Unless you go with a scout or SOCOM with a red dot it will still feel like a heavy rifle. The weight and gas system make it a pleasant rifle to shoot off hand or in sling.
 

7.62

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#8
From the sound of it all, you should sell it and move on. Shortening the barrel, even down to 16” isn’t going to do much for you. It’s still a pig as you said.

I’m in the same boat, just don’t shoot mine much anymore. I’ve been reading all the same thing all over the net, seems like the interest is dying in the platform.
 

Gullwing

1911 pistolsmith
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#9
Years ago a friend gave his friend a rifle. For the past two years my friend has been trying to sell the rifle for his friend. Some people might be upset at you selling a gift, some wont.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#10
Years ago a friend gave his friend a rifle. For the past two years my friend has been trying to sell the rifle for his friend. Some people might be upset at you selling a gift, some wont.

The gift situation wasn’t anything super sentimental. When I graduated my parents wanted to give me something nice that I wanted. The m1a was a couple hundred more than the watch they bought my sister. They wrote me a check for most of it then I covered like 20% of the cost from my own pocket. But it’s literally the only firearm type thing my family has ever given me, and I’ve shot it with Dad. I dunno.

Anyway. My goal for it would just be to have a solid battle rifle in a full caliber if it was needed. But with so many other platforms out there, the m1a isn’t super great.

To comment on your thoughts about it going out of style, and I mean no disrespect saying this, but the people that like them are old guys. The same guys who generally don’t grasp the AR15 Trend or still argue the 1911 is a superior platform to a Glock or any given modern polymer gun.

I love old school stuff. But just never shoot this thing, and it pains me to think it’s just a range toy. Maybe I just need to get over it and accept it as just that.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#12
So I'm guessing you must prefer laser rifles, because the AR 15 is 60 years old, only a few years younger that the M14, and by the way, SCAR, HK battle rifles, etc, all OLD tech, just some new window dressing is all, but their basic operation principles go back a hundred years or so.

Glocks? Old tech wrapped in plastic, no radically new design there. All the new rifles, pistols and shotguns are just minor window dressing changes on old designs.
 

Fogie

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#14
Take that behemoth scope off of it and put on a red dot or run the irons. The few inches between my scout and my buddies full size with irons isn't worth much. Mine does have a stripper clip rail and a Fastfire in it's protective mount adding a half a pound, maybe.
Hoping I will draw a doe tag next year so I can blast her with it...If it hasn't been melted by Steve Suck-o-lack.
 
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Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#15
So I'm guessing you must prefer laser rifles, because the AR 15 is 60 years old, only a few years younger that the M14, and by the way, SCAR, HK battle rifles, etc, all OLD tech, just some new window dressing is all, but their basic operation principles go back a hundred years or so.

Glocks? Old tech wrapped in plastic, no radically new design there. All the new rifles, pistols and shotguns are just minor window dressing changes on old designs.
You know what I’m talking about.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#16
Take that behemoth scope off of it and put on a red dot or run the irons. The few inches between my scout and my buddies full size with irons isn't worth much. Mine does have a stripper clip rail and a Fastfire in it's protective mount adding a half a pound, maybe.
Hoping I will draw a doe tag next year so I can blast her with it...If it hasn't been melted by Steve Suck-o-lack.
You like how it handles with the dot?
 

Fogie

Swimming Pool Monkey
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#17
Yeah..It's pretty sweet, but not a long distance tack-driver.
It's a 3 moa dot, so it can't do any better than that.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#19
You know what I’m talking about.
Nope, I don't!

Gas piston guns are more reliable in the long run under dirty conditions than direct gas impingement, and they don't wear out parts as fast either, so says the guy with the Masters in Mechanical Engineering , 60+ years of gunsmithing, and many years of combat experience using both types behind him (who is, admittedly, a dinosaur, egotistical, a jerk and stubborn beyond all measure).

Now, if you are talking ERGONOMICS, OK, then I will readily agree, many of the "window dressing" new designs are much more ergonomically correct, easier to carry, shoulder, move with, etc. than the older designs like the M14, M1, etc.
And that can increase accuracy for some individuals, or at least let them carry the weapon in greater comfort.
The AR10, or SCAR 17 in .308 are more ergonomic than the M14, even one with the E2 stock on it.

But many of the so called Modern rifles (AR platforms) are now being offered in short stroke Piston versions, because 100 million AK's, 50 million SKS's, 6 Million M1 Garands, 6 million M1 Carbines, 5 Million or so M14&M1A's, can't all be wrong.

The DGI system puts hot gases and unburned powder and carbon (which is very abrasive) right back into the receiver, so they require more cleaning and more lubrication to keep them running reliably, and the parts in that area tend to wear faster due to the hot gasses and that hard carbon fouling.

The gas piston mechanism pretty much eliminates all those issues, and is a bit easier , in most rifles that make use of it, to clean , and the parts that wear are smaller, less costly, easier to replace, and rarely require fitting in order to complete the repair.

All the above is just my personal opinion, every one else's is likely to vary widely, especially since I am OLD, out dated, ancient, crusty, and hard headed, but I ain't ARCHAIC (well, not yet anyway!):)

But really Doc, what it all boils down to is if that M1A doesn't fit ya, or feel right, or do what you need or want it to, there is no reason not to move on to something that will do those things for ya, life's too dang short not to be as happy as possible every moment of it.

If it has sentimental value to you (When it comes to guns, that's the only value I place on them, when it comes to keeping or selling them, as I have some that I have next to nothing in, but could sell for thousands, but because of some moment with my Dad, or Grandfathers, etc. , they are priceless TO ME) then keep it and buy / build exactly what you want in the way of a centerfire rifle.

And thanks for letting me jerk your chain a bit, Gullwing has been slacking off lately giving me any guff, figured I'd see if I could get you to pick up the slack and ya did! :devilish:

Holler if ya have questions or need help with the project, you know were to find me and should still have my phone number.

Regards,
Cranky old guy.