Loaded Precision: Springfield’s Sensational .308
April 12th, 2021
4 minute read
When you think M1A, what comes to mind? For me it was the world famous M1 Garand used by the U.S. military during World War II. What firearms cabinet wouldn’t be complete without one of those in it?
And the M14 would be born from the foundation of the M1, adding in a new chambering, detachable box magazine and more, taking the design into the future. And while the military service life of the M14 was somewhat short, the design inspired the semi-automatic, civilian-legal M1A from Geneseo, Illinois’ Springfield Armory.
Springfield has adapted this design many times over the years, all while sticking true to the original spirit of the M14. The M1A comes in many different forms, from the Scout and the SOCOM 16, to the Standard, Loaded, and the National Match models to name some.
Going the Distance
Let’s talk about the Springfield Armory M1A Loaded Precision that was reviewed at The Armory Life by Eli Duckworth. This precision-style rifle incorporates an Archangel adjustable stock, which takes the performance capabilities of the standard M1A rifle to the next level. With a lower Picatinny rail strip, integrated QD slots and an enlarged and funneled mag well for easier reloading, this is a truly advanced design.
The stock also has an adjustable cheek comb and recoil pad. This stock enhances the capabilities of an already impressive rifle. It truly takes the performance capabilities of the rifle to the next level.
This M1A Loaded Precision is a .308 chambered rifle with a medium-weight 22” premium National Match air-gauged barrel. National Match means match-grade, meaning a tighter tolerance demanded between bullet and barrel. This is measured by air-gauging, the process where one end of the barrel is plugged and then a probe is then sent down the other end of the barrel that then pumps air into the barrel. This probe has sensors on either end that measure the amount of air that passes by them. The less air that passes by the probe means tighter tolerances. Tighter tolerances along the entire barrel equals higher accuracy. Topping this barrel off is a classic long-slotted flash suppressor, giving this rifle that traditional look.
Having a barrel designed around accuracy means you don’t want anything interfering with that. For this reason, Springfield installed a two-stage precision-tuned National Match trigger in the Loaded Precision M1A. A two-stage trigger has one stage that lets you take up all the creep before the break. The second stage is the action stage when the hammer releases to hit the firing pin and send your choice of ammo downrange.
A match-grade trigger is crisper, the take-up is a lot smoother, and the break is like the snap of a glass rod, clear and defined, with no creep or mush. The two-stage precision-tuned National Match trigger breaks predictably at between 4.5 and 5 lbs. Everything is made to fit, just as a glove is to a hand.
Setting Your Sights
Sighting in has never been more precise than with the match grade front sight and rear aperture. The National Match front sight is a crisp 0.062” blade. The rear Match-Grade sight features a small non-hooded 0.0520” aperture. The windage adjustments are in ½ M.O.A. increments, while the elevation adjustments are in 1 M.O.A increments.
Let me take a second to explain just how easy these match grade sights are to sight in. Zeroing my iron sights only took 3 rounds at 250 yards to zero, using Black Hills .308 Win Match grade ammo. One click on each adjustment and wow, I’ve never gotten that lucky before. The next 17 rounds gave me a nice 3” grouping at 250 yards.
Adding a scope to your M1A Loaded precision rifle is easy. Springfield sells a scope rail mount you can put on your rifle to attach any scope of your choice. Mounting this rail is easy using the provided hardware.
The Springfield M1A Loaded Precision .308 Rifle’s price tag comes in at of just over $2,000 MSRP. Personally, I see this price tag as well worth the money. You’re getting not only an iconic rifle, but also getting a rifle that will put you in the same league as some well-known competition shooters at Camp Perry. This is a small price to pay considering everything you get with this rifle.
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