December 2010

A Trio OF M14s: Springfield, Fulton Armory, Polytech Custom

Springfield’s M1A was great, but Fulton Armory’s M14 was greater. If you have a Polytech M14S, upgrading might be worth it—our customized model had all its bugs worked out.

In the world of 308 auto-loading rifles, the M14 and its look-alikes reign just about supreme. They have it all, looks, power, function, capacity, plus a great variety of stock and accessory configurations from wood to all manner of polymer that can convert an M14 or M1A into just about any configuration you might want, particularly if you have deep pockets. In this test we look at three wood-stocked versions, a remanufactured Chinese-actioned Polytech M14/S that was converted several years ago by Fulton Armory into a mostly GI-part rifle (about $1900), a new Fulton Armory M14 ($2755), and an M1A from Springfield Armory ($1739). The M14/S was fitted with a Burris 2-8X scope in an S&K mount, but the iron sights were still usable with the scope attached. We used both the scope and iron sights to test that rifle so you could see what one of these rifles can do, and used the irons on the other two.

We tested with three types of ball ammunition, the only type recommended in these firearms. It was Federal Gold Medal match, Magtech 150-grain ball from Brazil, and mixed lot of recovered ammunition purchased in bulk with headstamps from Israel, Italy, Belgium, and Canada, which we used unsorted. Here’s what we found.

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