Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 35

bedding lasted as long as the barrel, and the
bedding was easily freshened up when the
rifle was rebarreled. In the early 1990s a topof-the-line, double lugged rifle like the Iron
Brigade Armory sold for around $4,000 with
all the bells and whistles.
To represent the current M1As, I chose a
Super Match Springfield Armory with the
heavy, premium, chrome moly barrel and
oversized wood stock. It comes with all the
modifications that allowed the remarkable
accuracy of those early match rifles, like a
unitized gas system, a modified recoil spring
guide, a better trigger, glass bedding and
National Match sights. The Springfield Armory
Super Match incorporates the rear receiver lug
for more bedding surface, though there are no
screws to augment the trigger hook system,
probably because time proved the trigger hook
system is sufficient. Available upgrades for
the Super Match include stainless barrels and
McMillian fiberglass stocks. The Chrome moly
barreled, wood stocked, Super Match currently
sells for $2,799.
While genuine M14 rifles were unavailable
to civilians, so was the M118 ammunition
used by the military. Civilians only got a
chance to shoot M118 ammunition through
the then DCM's National Board for the
Promotion of Marksmanship matches.
The standard load for civilians to replicate
M118 was a Lake City Match case with
41.5 grains of IMR 4895 with a 168-grain
Sierra MatchKing. Since the MatchKing was
considered superior to the 173-grain Lake
City bullet, many military teams chose to
pull the 173s and replace them with 168
MatchKings. While I have no information
on why, these loads were referred to as
"Mexican Match".

Later, the Army developed a dedicated
match load, designated as M852, using
the same case, primer and powder with
the Sierra bullet. This load was superior
to the M118 and in my experience on the
test cradle, was even superior to the most
carefully crafted handloads. When I was
running the North Carolina team, we tested
the club's M14s and M1As annually. Never
once did a reload outperform M852. I've
always suspected it had something to
do with the primer Lake City was using.
Depending on who was running Lake City,
M852 was loaded with either IMR 4895 or
Winchester 748.
All these rifles represent a different era of
the M14 clone legacy. While they're different,
they share many of the same features that
allowed the M14 and its clones to dominate
Service Rifle competition for so many years.
As racing improves automobiles, competition
improves firearms, and the current crop of
Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top
of the line, Super Match and Loaded models,
reflects the years of development. The M14
and its variants are still in service today and
it's still considered by many
to be the best battle rifle in
the history of the
U.S. Military. *

The trigger hooks
engage in the receiver
ears and cam the
receiver down into
the stock under
considerable pressure.
Note the added recoil
lug on the rear of the
Springfield Armory
receiver.

SSUSA.ORG | APRIL 2018

35


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - April 2018

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 4
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 10
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 12
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 14
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 16
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 18
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 22
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 26
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 27
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 31
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 32
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 33
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 34
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 35
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 36
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 37
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 39
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 40
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 41
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 42
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 43
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 44
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 45
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - 46
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - Cover3
Shooting Sports USA - April 2018 - Cover4
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