Monday, December 17, 2012

Quote of the Day- Jim Rawles on the Economics of an M1A

"For the same money as a "Loaded" M1A with one magazine and no scope, you could buy a PTR91-GI rifle (a HK91 clone), AND 100 spare alloy G3 magazines (under $3 each!), AND a Savage Model 10 .308 bolt action that is sub-MOA, right out the box.

For comparison, 100 spare original M14 magazines would cost you around $2,600. And just a spare USGI M14 operating rod ("op rod") now costs around $250. You should dispassionately consider not just the initial cost of the rifle, but rather the full lifetime cost, including magazines and and a supply of repair parts  (my emphasis, TOR)."
-Jim Rawles

I love the M1A. They are beautiful and accurate though if we are real probably not a gun that should ever have existed. It says something about America that we invented an inferior gun instead of just buying the much superior FN-FAL which if I recall beat the M1A twice in our own tests, which were promptly ignored. However some time ago I came to terms with the fact that it was a gun whose price was pegged (inflation, gun cost increases, etc) above what I was ever going to be willing to pay.

Incidentally at one point I planned to get an M1A and even picked up some magazines. They are the Checkmate 20 rounders which are currently being used by .mil. Brand new still in their wrappers. Think I've got 10 of them. Will sell for $25 a piece plus a few bucks for shipping. Will definitely trade for PMAGS or USGI AR-15 magazines and may trade for other mags or gear. If you've got something else to trade we can figure it out. Shoot me an email at if you are interested.

Mags are pending sale at this time.


Anonymous said...

NOW he tells us.

Unfortunately, HK-91 clones weren't on the menu, nor were $3 surplus mags, back when I bit the bullet and snapped up a SOCOM M1A.

And let's be fair, the M-14 was a product improved M-1 Garand, which had just come out on top in Europe, the Pacific, and Korea. We weren't going to go with some metal and plastic Belgian space gun from that.

Especially when they were trying to sell it to generals who'd LIBERATED Belgium just a few years before. With M-1 Garands.

Much as I like the FAL, as long as we're on this continent, even given the price detriment, I'm still likelier to find parts much more readily for our not-quite-obsolete 7.62 rifle before I'll find any for someone else's not-quite-obsolete 7.62 rifle, so I'm keeping it.

But if that PTR option had been handy at the time, I may have followed a different path.


Ryan said...

Aesop, It isn't that an M1A is a bad gun, just that it is a really expensive gun for what it is.

I think common availability of spare parts for any of the .308 semi auto's is a race to the bottom. Unless they are in your armorers chest I wouldn't want to bet on finding them.

Commander_Zero said...

Me and the wife have had out PTR's for probably, oh, six years or so now. I love mine. The main advantage to to the PTR is the incredibly economic logistics stream. FOr now, spare parts and mags are ridiculously cheap. That will change as soon as the surplus G3 parts from the German changeover to the G36 is complete, but for now you can buy everything you need for prices that beat even AR mag/part prices.

The PTR-GI model is nice, but I've found that even the non-GI model digests the tar-sealed ammo with good reliability.

I prefer the FAL and think it's a better gun in many ways, but economics shows that the PTR is the first choice for a .308 MBR where you want the most bang for the buck.

You should get one. Especially since you can buy 25 magazines for the price of two of those M1A mags!

droneboy said...

Amen! Fuck a "poodle shooter"....

Ryan said...

Zero, Incidentally I almost picked up a PTR-91 in a trade last week. Unfortunately the guy needed a bit more cash (vs trade) than I could comfortably pull together. Right now my gun fund is as solvent as the 2045 medicare pool and there are some competing priorities to boot. Maybe next year if things go well and I can get some other things through trades.

I have put some mags back (unfortunately just after the jump to 2 bucks a piece) for a potential PTR-91 purchase. Will have to look at spare parts kits one of these days if just as an investment.

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