I'm thinking of getting a semi-auto gun in either a 308 or 260. I'm torn between getting a M1A Loaded or one of the many AR versions. Right now the two I'm really considering is M1A in 308 or DPMS LR-260 (24" barrel). Any advice/comments welcome
It depends on what you want to do. Both are awesome guns. Both are battle proven platforms. I don't own either, but I have shot the MK11 mod o and M14 DMR a good bit. Both are very accurate guns, and with the MK11 sans suppressor, their accuracy is about equal at a little under 1 inch at 100 yds. If I had my pick for one gun to use it would be the m14. I love this gun, it is a pleasure to shoot. On the other hand AR platform is modular. With the M1a you are stuck with a 22in barrel .308. With the AR You are limited to how many different uppers you feel like buying, in whatever caliber and barrel length you need. Down side to this platform is all the cleaning time spent after shooting a AR. Does anyone other than H&K make a piston upper AR in .308? If so I would be after that if you pick an AR.
I was issued and M1a or as I like to call it an M14 in the Marine Corps some 40 years ago and fell in love with it. Several years ago I purchased a new one right from Springfield in basic walnut stock no frills, no scope...it's awesome, accurate, reliable, pleasure to shoot and on semi-auto a blast to spray and play once in a while. Plenty of knock down power on most game out to 500 yards.
M1A/ M-14, an awesome weapon in the hands of a 'rifleman'. Strickly .308 these days, you used to be able to get a barrel in 7mm/08 or .243, but, no more. Plan on waiting, they're still selling as fast as they can make 'um. They'll have to 'pry mine from my cold, dead hand'!. I've never owned an AR in any of the larger calibers, so I can't give you any first hand info there.
I was in the same position a few years ago. I grew up with a father who hated ARs so I got used to the M14 action via a Mini-14. After much consideration I ended up getting a DPMS LR308 AP4. I love it.
I would recommend getting a longer barrel, at least 18". Currently I shoot under 1", 3-shot groups at 100 yards. Warning - DPMS triggers are really bad so plan on replacing it if you go that route.
Here is a list of AR10s available im sure there are more
LWRC REPR (piston driven, had issues with mag well i think its fixed now)
LMT MWS ( British MOD marksman rifle,DI)
Larue OBR (DI)
Armalite AR10 ( 308,300 RSAUM etc, DI)
Kinghts M110 ( way way over priced US mil M110 sniper rifle,DI)
DPMS (DI, qualty is hit or miss)
Here are the M1As
Springfield ( has had issues with bolts )
LRB ( newer company had issues with inital production recivers but that was 3 years ago, forged recivers)
7.62 firearms ( Forged recivers)
Norinco ( china)
All the AR10s are tier one platforms except the DPMS. The M1As I would stay clear of springfield and Norinco. Norinco is Known for soft bolts and Springfield farms out alot of there work with leads to qualty issues.
With the M1A you are stuck with 308 win. With the AR10 there are alot more options.
One of my best friends is a full term ARMY vet and the first this he said is how much he loved his M14 he swore up and down he would pass on an AR. He has two M1A1 and I love to shoot it better than my Rem700. this rifle is a bit heavy and if you plan to hunt deer with it you may wont to set and watch the fields It is very accurate in I love it..
as for the AR no ideas on using one. Just remember you will need to know how to clean it.