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When I first started shooting NRA highpower in the late 80"s the M14/M1-A was on the cutting edge and AR15(mouseguns) where looked down on. Today it is just the opposite. The AR15 rules the NRA highpower firing line and M14/M1-A shooters(the few left that are still holding on) are for the most part no longer competive). The M14 might have a slight advantage at 600, but the AR's eat the 14 alive at 200/300 rapid fire. Its all about less recoil to knock you out of postion, 1x8 twist HB, free floated AR barrels, etc. Price also: you can pick up a AR15 match grade for around $1200.00 that will shoot master level scores right out of the box, thats not even half way to a match grade 14.
 

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In across the course NRA Highpower shooting(200Yds-600Yds) the M14 is now a dead end rifle. If you shot the Highpower game you would quickly see. I do agree with many of your other points: harder hitting, cycles under advise conditons etc. With the AR 1x8 twist barrels and 80 grain bullets accurate shooting with the AR out to 1,000 yards is obtainable. It is my understanding that AR's are being used out to 1,000 yards by military marksmenship units at Camp Perry.
 
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