CLASSIC ARMY: M14 Scout

Despite being a rather unsuccessful model at the time of the conception (its second coming in last couple of years validated its true worth) M14 can be called an iconic weapon. A direct descendant from legendary M1 Garand, this product of Springfield Armory has been produced in huge numbers. Its success as civilian sport and hunting rifle is only confirmed and reinforced by Law Enforcement and Military use.

One of the popular variations is M14 Scout. Actually, its official name, given by Springfield Armory is M1A Scout Squad Rifle:

New Springfield Armory Scout Squad Rifle Chambered in .308. Fast becoming a law enforcement favorite, the M1A Scout Squad rifle with forward mounted optical sight base provides an excellent platform for the Aimpoint military sight. Benefits are vastly improved target acquisition and unobstructed access to the receiver mechanism. Additional features include a quick handling 18″ barrel, proprietary muzzle stabilizer and black fiberglass stock.

Description courtesy of Springfield Armory

Difference between standard M14 and M14 Scout is in length (M14 44,3 inch/ 112.5 cm versus 40,3 inch /102.4 cm of Scout M14); different flash hider/muzzle stabilizer, absence of bayonet stud and already mentioned forward mounted sight base.

Classic Army M14 was first seen on IWA 2007 and it made a very favourable impression. We tested version with black plastic stock, but several other versions, including wood stock are available. Colouring of stock is even, surface is textured; seam is barely noticeable. Replica is quite long, but there is no creaking- well, almost- with the exception of the heat shield. It moves and it creaks.

Is is not in danger of breaking (under normal circumstances, at least). A bit beefier heat shield would be preferred. Quick fact checking over Internet offers an explanation that at least GI Rifle heat shields are made out of hi temp polymer with fiberglass strands, so the CA’s heat shield looks the part.

Trades are located at the back of the receiver. Inclusion of (laser engraved) individual serial number is always welcome. Receiver with markings (U.S. RIFLE/ 7.62MM M14/ SPRINGFIELD/ ARMORY) is diecasted.

Battery is stored in the stock. As all M14, Scout version has (metal) hinged stock plate, which covers door to battery space in stock. Doors are small (it is a bit annoying to squeeze the battery into the stock and even more annoying to fish the empty battery out) and are plastic.

Sling sviwels are fixed type and while they are functional, there are located bit awkwardly. Thankfully, there is plenty of excellent three point slings, which will facilitate as comfortable and versatile carrying as possible.

Fire selector switch is located on the right side of the receiver. It is a simple rotary switch (180 degree rotation), full auto setting is marked A.

Safety is located in the best place possible – trigger guard. You need to insert finger, flip the switch to forward position and start shooting.

As with all M14 sights, they are very good. Rear sight is adjustable by elevation and windage. Both knobs are very stiff and reassuringly click into position. Front blade type sight is windage adjustable and is copy of Smith Enterprise M14 Tritium Bar Combat Sight , naturally, without tritium insert. Its dovetail configuration allows windage adjustment according to users’ preference.

Forward mounted optical sight base appears to be CNCed is MilStd 1913 Picatinny compatible rail. If you do plan to install an optic, you should look into direction of Eotech or Aimpoint. Choice between original and replica is left to you.

Magazine is a tricky part of this package. Why tricky? For one, only HiCap magazines are available (at the time of the writing this review, at least). They work great, but still, some users certainly prefer LowCap magazines. Secondly, inserting the magazine is a bit tricky. Reason is that the part of the gearbox is located in the magazine well and magazines are not flat on the top, but have a step. It is necessary first to lock the magazine to the tooth in the front of the magazine well; secondly, insert the magazine so it locks; thirdly, rock it gently forward, so it finally catches to the tooth. It is a bit complicated and annoying at first, but with some practice, it becomes second nature.

Magazine capacity is around 470 BBs. HiCap feeds reliably and there were no issues during the test. Magazine has some play in the magazine well, but nothing to despair about.

Level of details on CA M14 Scout is very good Some more obscure features are well replicated. For instance gas valve spindle moves; gas cylinder plug is removable. This shows dedication in replicating even smallest features.

Another nice feature is working bolt catch. HopUp dial is covered by port cover and you will have to pull handle backward to access it. If bolt catch is engaged, bolt will stay in open (“back”) position. Word of caution: simulated extractor (lighter L shaped metal part on the top of the bolt) is glued to the place and during particularly violent testing session it fell off. Quick application of super glue saved the day.

And what about actual field use? Replica is quite heavy and despite being bit shorter than ordinary M14 it is still quite long. CA M14 Scout shoulders very well and iron sights are excellent. Ease of use is even more upgraded with installation of appropriate optical system. Bottom line, our test team agreed that CA M14 Scout is an excellent platform for DMR type platform.

And now something completely different- mechanical features.

First of all, Classic Army M14 gearbox is almost identical to gearbox, used in Guay Guay M14. There are also some differences, which will be discussed later on.

Compared to the Marui gearbox, I’d say that I prefer this version of the gearbox over Marui. It is simpler, but to each its own, I guess.

Gearbox is very heavy and its linear configuration is relatively uncommon, at least when compared with more usual V2/V3 gearboxes. Upon closer inspection we see that there is no slot for the cylinder, which makes closing the gearbox little more awkward than usually.

 

Gearbox uses 7mm oily metal bushings and metal spring guide. Most parts are standard products, found in the Classic Army’s replicas. Spring is being an exception, as it is about 10% longer than standard spring. Also, nozzle is longer and thus incompatible with V2/V3 nozzles.

 

As mentioned, this gearbox is very similar to Guay Guay M14 gearbox. However, spring release lever function is missing on CA’s gearbox.

In comparison with Chinese M14 gearboxes this one is much better in presentation and in overall quality. There is no imperfections and impression of the quality (no white nylon parts!) is there. Also, speed of work is also in favour of this type of gearbox. It may be a bit of redundant, but Classic Army gearboxes are every bit as good as their competition.

Hop up chamber is metal and very effective. When set, BBs fly at constant speeds around 320 fps (98 M/s) in very straight line.

So, is there anything we don’t like? Absence of LowCap magazines for one. Inserting of the magazines is bit exotic, but nothing major. Lack of accessories… and that is it. Currently, this is only replica of M1A Scout in the market. Price is affordable, replica has excellent features… if you are thinking about getting a replica M14, Classic Army M14 is a more than viable option.

Test item provided by Action Sport Games

Share this article
Prev Post

CLASSIC ARMY: SA58 Carbine

Next Post

TOP TECH: M4 Carbine

Read next

ASG: Zastava Arms M91

Soviet sniper doctrine (unlike western, NATO doctrine) prescribed sniper in every infantry squad. Naturally,…

KING ARMS: M4A1

By today’s standards, the M4A1 from the AR15 family is a weapon deemed almost archaic due to the lack of…