The M14 has received a fair share of criticism in the online gun community in the last few years. Some of that coming from this very source. I and many have pointed out that the M14 was a misplaced rifle for its time. The US Service Rifle was already obsolescent when it was fielded, ignoring many of the hard learned lessons of ground troops for the sake of US Military institutional inertia.
The current production Springfield M1A is the descendant of the M14. It’s a popular rifle while also being maligned. The M14’s short service history did the M1A no favors but it developed a legendary cult reputation. Every alleged Vietnam Veteran I came across also allegedly threw their M16 into the woods in order to get an M14 instead. Little mention of the M14’s own problems, like warping stocks and uncontrollable full-auto fire, make it into the cookie cutter narrative. I suspect the majority were lying.
Well I am of the opinion that the M1A’s overly hyped reputation, due to nostalgia and it being gobbled up for GWOT, had a pendulum backswing that pushed too far the other direction. It went from the golden boy US battle rifle that it never really was to literally the worst thing ever which it also is not.
The M1A is what it is and does what it does as well as it does. Watch the 9-Hole review video, it clears the course with iron sights in 24 rounds, pretty good. InRange is doing a series right now where the M1A shows up too and it does respectably.
So the answer, as usual, is that the M1A really sits somewhere in the middle when it comes to .308 battle rifles. I still want a National Match, like the one shot in the video, just because. It doesn’t have to be the best to be fun to own.