Rifleman Review: Springfield Armory M1A Loaded

posted on March 31, 2021
Springfield Armory Inc., based in Geneseo, Ill., offers a version of its tried and true M1A chambered for 6.5 mm Creedmoor. The M1A is a semi-automatic commercial version of the M14 service rifle originally chambered for 7.62x51 mm NATO. This new version of the M1A, a part of the "Loaded" grade of rifles, has a few updates that separate it from the typical features that would be found on a mil-spec M1A, while remaining mostly the same in other regards. 

Shooting the Springfield Armory M1A Loaded chambered in 6.5 mm Creedmoor.
Shooting the Springfield Armory M1A Loaded chambered in 6.5 mm Creedmoor.

The M1A is a popular gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle platform typically chambered for .308 Win. known for its accuracy potential at extended range and is still employed as a match rifle. A majority of the metal components of the M1A Loaded line remains largely unchanged from the standard M1A, except for the barrel and flash hider. The receiver group of the M1A has the classic traits of the M1 Garand, the rifle from which the M14 was partially developed.

The Archangel stock used on the M1A Loaded has an adjustable length-of-pull and comb height.
The Archangel stock used on the M1A Loaded has an adjustable length-of-pull and comb height.

The M1A Loaded line is available with either a standard style wood stock or an Archangel stock, as is the case here. The Archangel stock features adjustable length of pull and comb height adjustments to better fit the user and specific optic used. Other features of the Archangel stock include a near-vertical pistol grip, quick-detachable sling mount holes, a Picatinny rail segment on the bottom of the fore-end and finger grooves molded into the sides of the for-end.

The Archangel stock used on the M1A Loaded also has a Picatinny rail segment on the bottom and finger grooves molded into the side.
The Archangel stock used on the M1A Loaded also has a Picatinny rail segment on the bottom and finger grooves molded into the side.

The M1A loaded comes with more precise national match iron sights, with a narrower front-sight post and rear sight peep for greater precision at extended range. The rear sight also has 1 m.o.a. elevation and 0.5 m.o.a. windage adjustments through the use of the knobs on the sides of the rear sight base at the top of the receiver. At the muzzle of the Loaded series M1A is a MA5049 compensator to help tame muzzle rise and minimize flash signature.

The left side of the M1A Loaded has an attachment point for a standard M1A style screw-on Picatinny rail scope mount.
The left side of the M1A Loaded has an attachment point for a standard M1A style screw-on Picatinny rail scope mount.

On the left side of the M1A receiver is a screw hole and mount-interface point for attaching a steel Picatinny rail scope mount. The 6.5 mm Creedmoor M1A is compatible with standard 10- and 20- round M1A detachable box magazines as well. The 6.5 mm Creedmoor chambering has grown in popularity over the past few years with long range shooting due to its flatter trajectory, more tame recoil impulse and higher ballistic coefficient compared with the .308 Win., especially when used out to the 1,000 yd. mark.

The 22" stainless steel national match barrel of the M1A Loaded comes with a MA5049 compensator installed.
The 22" stainless steel national match barrel of the M1A Loaded comes with a MA5049 compensator installed.

The Loaded M1A in 6.5 mm Creedmoor has a 22" air-gauged stainless steel national match barrel with four-groove 1:8" right-hand-twist rifling. It also has a national match two-stage trigger tuned to a 4.5- to 5-lbs. pull weight. The Loaded M1A comes with a 10-round magazine and has an overall length of 45" to 46.25" depending on the length-of-pull adjustment made to the Archangel stock. For more information on the Springfield Armory Inc. M1A Loaded chambered for 6.5 mm Creedmoor visit springfield-armory.com.      

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

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