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Hi:

I am new to Military rifles and looking to purchase either an M1, M1A, or M14. My question is this: which is the best shooter, and which is the best for collecting? What are the differences between the 3? I have only fired and purchased bolt action rifles so I am new to this.

Thanks in advance.
Frank D
 

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Frank, I hate to bust your bubble but only the M1 Garand is an available, collectable "MILITARY" rifle. M14s, while military, are not available for sale to the public and, if they were, would require a class III license since they are capable of firing fully automatic. The M1A is a civilian clone of the M14 and available from Springfield (other versions are available from several sources). But since it is a CIVILIAN clone, I assume it does not meet your criteria.
However, you are in luck since the M1 is far above the other 2; after all, the M1 shoots a full grown cartridge (the mighty .30-06, what else), not some stunted imitation.
 

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Shootist3006 is correct, except for the ammo slam. With any bullet less than 200 grains (most military is in the 150 grain range) the terminal ballistics are, for all intents and purposes, the same.

I prefer 308 because it gives me commonality of caliber across all my rifle platforms and surplus ammo is less expensive.

The M1 Garand was issued in 30/06, but can be converted to 308. Of course, you express interest from a collector's standpoint, so the 30/06 would probably be the best bet for you.

Check the CMP. They currently have a pretty good selection, including some Danish rifles. Price is right too.

Good luck.
 

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Yup, I'd have to go along with the M1.

Another thing to consider is price. An M1 will run about $500-$800 depending an where you get it. An M1A will cost between $900-$2200 depending on what you get and where it's from.

And get it in .30-06, the 7.62 is..well...:confused:
 

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A good place to startYou should do some studying about M1 before you buy one. There are so many different manufactures of the M1 that it's kinda like shooting yourself in the leg if you get an inferior model. Generally look for GI models they hold up pretty well. The new remanufactured ones are nice. But in my opinion don't hold a candle to the original. In just a quick count there are 11 separate manufacurers 3 of witch were produced by subsidiarys of GM (Genneral Motors). Don't just jump in Would be my advice a little resurch will help you find the one you will like best. Fallow the link above it gives a good history.
 

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Like has been said before the M14 requires a lisence, and the M1A is more expensive, you can get a solid old military garand for under 800 if you look, i have a Garand made in December of 42, paid $650 for it.
 

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Nothing compares with holding a piece of history in your hand. Go with the M1 Garand. Mine was made in Jan 45. Its a fun shooter accurate as hell and everytime you fire it you feel the link to our fathers and grandfathers. The Greatest Generation.

TC :cannon:
 

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Various divisions of General Motors may have made
M1 CARBINES, but none of them ever had anything to
do with the M1 Garand.

Garands were made by Springfield Armory, Winchester,
International Harvester, Harrington and Richardson,
Beretta, and Breda for the military. No one else ever
made an issue M1 Garand.

I convert ALL the rifles I shoot to .308, both to preserve
rare military barrels and to prolong the rifle's life. This
also saves a small fortune in ammo money. 3/32" is
the gas port size which has to be used, and rebarreling
is necessary, but long term, it still saves money and
trouble.

The Garand is the last REAL U.S. military rifle you
can own without a nightmare of paperwork. Few real
M14's are available, and save with a handful of specifically
exempted rifles, they must ALL be NFA paperworked.
And those "exempted" rifles command OUTRAGEOUS
prices.

The civilian castings are o.k. To my knowledge, only
Smith in Arizona has ever built a true, forged MilSpec
M14. ( ***This has changed since I posted these remarks...see below)

If you are collecting, only M1 is available, usable,
and sanely priced, and is generally the only REAL
military artifact you can walk out your door and
purchase conveniently.
 

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By the way, no one save Springfield Armory, Incorporated, has EVER called any rifle the "M1A". Smith, the Chinese Norinco and Polytech, FedOrd , Armscorp, Fulton, ALL THE OTHERS, call theirs "M-14" or even "M14 SA". The old shuck and jive statement that M14's are via some inherent and mysterious process "illegal" and "must be registered" was never true save of former G.I. rifles. Those, even if not ever selective fire, are generally considered to have been NFA registerable. But LRB and others are definitely nothing called "M1A", which is in fact a copyrighted title usable ONLY by Springfield Armory, Incorporated.
 
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