Loaded Precision: Springfield’s Sensational .308

By Kevin Lord
Posted in #Guns
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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.

M1A rifle fired by woman
The M1A rifle is well known for its performance. For matches or hunting, it is a superior choice in autoloaders.

Going the Distance

Let’s talk about the Springfield Armory M1A Loaded Precision that was reviewed at The Armory Life. 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.

Rifle stock on M1A
The Archangel adjustable stock allows for precise shooting while improving comfort in this competition ready rifle.

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.

M1A trigger
The M1A trigger has a smooth take up and a clean break. A good trigger contributes a lot to accuracy.

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.

M1A National Match front sight
Precision shots require finely crafted sights. This is the National Match front sight.

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.

Also, please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Kevin Lord

Kevin Lord

Kevin Lord, also known as KLGunner, was born and raised in Arizona, later moving to Texas to work in the oil fields back in 2011. He was a diesel mechanic for 10 years. In 1997 he got into firearms through his father who started teaching him about them and how to handle them safely. Together they did small arms competitions and a lot of hunting. Today, Kevin is currently a medical field professional and a moderator for The Armory Life Forum.

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