American Rifleman - February 2015 - 70

M1A
The SOCOM II is the most modern, tactical version of the M1A
and, despite its short barrel, is fairly soft-shooting because
of an effective integral muzzle brake. The lower section of its
Picatinny rail assembly can be quickly removed without tools.

41.0 grs. of IMR-4895, averaged 0.87 m.o.a. More recently,
another Super Match averaged 0.72" with that same load.
When I was shooting that first Super Match, a new version of the M1A called the M21 Tactical had just been introduced (even though M21 variants have been around since
the 1980s) but I did not get around to shooting my first one
until 2001. The outing was held at John Shaw's Mid-South
Institute in Mississippi and hosted by Dennis Reese and Rob
Leatham of Springfield Armory. I recall Reese saying, "There
is no way we can shoot up all that ammo." We proved him
wrong. Reactive steel targets were hammered out to 200
yds., but a dozen years would come and go before I had an
opportunity to shoot groups on paper with an M21.
After breaking in the barrel with 75 rounds of Hornady's
Steel Match ammunition, I began squeezing off five-shot
groups at 100 yds. with it and seven other factory loads.
The barrel was allowed to cool down between each 25-round
string. I was unable to squeeze 1-m.o.a. from the rifle with
factory ammo, but the IMR-4895/Sierra 175-gr. MatchKing
combo I had previously tried in two Super Match rifles
consistently averaged slightly larger than 2" at 300 yds.
The M21 wears match-grade sights but the heightadjustable comb of its walnut stock, along with a receiver
that accepts Springfield's 4th generation mount, makes
it too tempting to use with anything but a good scope.
An adaptor made by MIM Manufacturing can be used for
attaching a Harris folding bipod.
A second tactical rifle called the M25 was built in honor
of legendary Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock who
became known as White Feather to his enemy combatants
during the Vietnam War. With the exception of its synthetic
stock, the rifle is quite similar to the M21. As approved by
Hathcock's estate, the rifle bears a stamping of his signature
along with his trademark "White Feather" logo. Sadly, it is
SPECS

no longer in production, but rifles are still out there.
Standard-grade M1A rifles usually wear chrome-moly
barrels, while Super Match rifles come with Krieger stainless or Douglas air-gauged chrome-moly barrels. Most have
six-groove rifling with a right-hand twist at a rate of 1:11",
but the Krieger on the M21 I tested is four-groove and 1:10".
Standard trigger pull weight ranges from 5 to 6 lbs., match
triggers are in the 4-lb., 8-oz. to 5-lb. range.
Overall rifle weights range from 9 lbs., 8 ozs. for
standard models to 11-12 lbs. for heavy-barrel target
versions. Steel and aluminum hardware in the adjustable
comb of its oversized stock makes the M21 the heaviest
at 13 lbs., 12 ozs. with a Weaver 6-20X Grand Slam scope,
Springfield Armory mount, Warne rings and an empty
magazine. The tactical rifle stock has a ventilated recoil
pad while most of the others have a steel buttplate.
All M1As have fully adjustable sights with half-minute
clicks on the match and tactical versions and one-minute
adjustments on standard rifles. The aperture of the matchgrade rear sight has a rotating hood with an indicator
notch; twisting the hood to its notch-up position quickshifts bullet point of impact up 1/2 m.o.a. Rotating the
hood a half-turn to its notch-down position shifts impact
down by the same amount.
One interesting feature of the rifle that is a holdover
from its military service is the spindle valve located at
the bottom rear of the gas cylinder. It controls gas flow
through the cylinder's interior and was originally included
on the M14 design to prevent damage to the gun's operating system when it was used to fire rifle grenades. On the
M1A it offers the option of manual operation, effectively
turning the M1A into a straight-pull bolt gun, and eliminating the ejection of fired cases into mud and dirt. With
continued on p. 98

SPRINGFIELD ARMORY M1A SUPER MATCH

MANUFACTURER: SPRINGFIELD ARMORY, (DEPT AR) 420 W. MAIN ST., GENESEO, IL 61254; (309) 944-5631
SPRINGFIELDARMORY.COM

44.33"

13⁄8"

11⁄2"
131⁄4"

CALIBER: 7.62X51 MM NATO/.308 WIN.
ACTION TYPE: GAS-OPERATED, SEMIAUTOMATIC CENTER-FIRE RIFLE

RECEIVER: 8620 STEEL
FINISH: PARKERIZED
MAGAZINE: 10-ROUND DETACHABLE BOX
RIFLING: SIX-GROOVE, 1:10" RH TWIST

70

HEAVY MATCH

WEIGHT: 11 LBS., 3 OZS.
REAR SIGHT: MATCH GRADE
TURE.

HOODED APER-

½-M.O.A. WINDAGE AND ELEVATION

TRIGGER: NATIONAL MATCH

4-LB., 8-OZ TO 5-LB. PULL

STOCK:

FRONT SIGHT: NATIONAL MATCH 0.062"

BLADE

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

TWO-STAGE,

OVERSIZED WALNUT OR

FIBERGLASS

ADJUSTMENTS

FEBRUARY 2015

22"
KRIEGER (TESTED) OR DOUGLAS

ACCESSORIES:
MSRP: $2,905

MCMILLAN

OWNER'S MANUAL


http://www.SPRINGFIELDARMORY.COM

American Rifleman - February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - February 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 6
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 7
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 8
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 9
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 10
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 11
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 12
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 13
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 14
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 15
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 16
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 17
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 18
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 19
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 20
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 21
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 22
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 23
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 24
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 25
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 26
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 27
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 28
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 29
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 30
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 31
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 32
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 33
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 34
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 35
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 36
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 37
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 38
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 39
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 40
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 41
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 42
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 43
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 44
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 45
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 46
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 47
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 48
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 49
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 50
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 51
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 52
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 53
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 54
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 55
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 56
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 57
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 58
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 60
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 61
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 62
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 78
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 79
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 89
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90b
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91b
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90c
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91c
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90d
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91d
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90e
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91e
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90f
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91f
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 92
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 100
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover4
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